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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government House leader could indicate his intentions for House business over the next week at least and hopefully two weeks.

I would point out to him that the House business advice that he gave to other parties last Tuesday is now obviously outdated because of events that have taken place in the meantime.

I would be particularly interested to know his plan for disposing of Bill C-3, because there is a court imposed deadline for dealing with that issue.

I would also be interested to know if he is yet in a position to designate any of the opposition days that must be designated during this supply period.

I wonder if I could ask as well whether there would be unanimous consent in the House for a motion that is on the order paper standing in the name of the member for Winnipeg South Centre which states:

That this House endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007, and call upon the Parliament and government of Canada to implement fully the standards contained therein.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am not sure to whom the opposition House leader was asking this question. The last part was addressed to me, but perhaps we can have the answer to the first part and then he wants me to ask for consent for the second part later.

We will deal with the first part of the question from the government House leader first.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, since this is the first Thursday question of the year, I want to formally welcome everyone back to the House of Commons. Hopefully, we will be even more productive in 2008 than we were in 2007.

Judging by the first sitting day, I think we will be.

So far, the House has passed Bill C-8, on railway transportation, and Bill C-9, on the settlement of investment disputes.

Moreover, Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Judges Act, and Bill C-27, on identity theft, have been referred to committee.

This is a rather good start.

We hope to keep up that level of productivity by quickly passing our legislation to strengthen the security certificates process, which started debate at report stage today. That is of course Bill C-3. We now have a House order to assist us in facilitating that debate. We will continue to debate the bill until report stage is completed.

While all members of the House do not understand the importance of the bill, I believe that the official opposition does. I hope that we can work together in a spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship to have it passed before the date identified by the Supreme Court of Canada as the date by which it would like to see the law passed, February 23.

Following Bill C-3 tomorrow we will continue with the unfinished business from this week, namely Bill C-33, renewable fuels; Bill C-39, the grain act; Bill C-7, aeronautics; and Bill C-5, nuclear liability.

Next week will be a safe and secure Canada week.

Debates will continue until the bill is passed by this House.

After that, we will debate Bill C-25, which would strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and Bill C-26, which imposes mandatory minimum penalties for producers and traffickers of drugs, particularly for those who sell drugs to children. We also hope to discuss the Senate's amendments to Bill C-13, on criminal procedure.

Finally, in keeping with next week's theme, I would suggest that my hon. colleague opposite explain to his colleagues in the Senate the importance of quickly passing the Tackling Violent Crime Act, the bill which is overwhelmingly supported by Canadians across the country, and which was the number one priority of the government throughout the fall session of Parliament and which passed this House last fall. It has already been in the Senate longer than its entire time in the House of Commons, yet the Liberal dominated Senate has not even started committee hearings on the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

While the elected accountable members of the House rapidly passed the bill, which I would like to remind everyone was a question of confidence, unfortunately it looks like the unelected, unaccountable Liberal dominated Senate is up to its old tricks again of delaying and obstructing in every way. Let me be clear. This government will not stand and allow Liberal senators to obstruct, delay and ultimately kill the bill. The Tackling Violent Crime Act was quickly passed in the House and Canadians expect the Liberal dominated Senate to act in the same fashion and pass it quickly.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House leader for the official opposition asked if the House would give its consent to pass, without debate, the motion “That this House endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007, and call upon the Parliament and government of Canada to implement fully the standards contained therein”.

Is there unanimous consent to adopt this motion without debate?

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

January 31st, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the question of privilege raised by my friend, the hon. member for Mississauga South, a couple of days ago.

Requests for information received at Health Canada from members of Parliament and senators are of great importance to me and to my officials. We take them seriously. In order to facilitate the flow of information to MPs and senators, Health Canada officials follow the departmental guidelines that have been in place for many years. Indeed, these guidelines were in fact inherited from the previous government.

These guidelines advise officials to provide all public information to parliamentarians immediately. Upon receiving the inquiry, officials complete an electronic form, which is sent to parliamentary affairs officials in the department in case follow up action is required. This electronic form is used for tracking the inquiry.

The information is passed to the minister's parliamentary staff, who, as a courtesy, will often contact parliamentarians to ensure that they are provided with accurate information. Indeed, in this case, the minister's staff did contact my hon. colleague and provided him with the information sought.

It is important to note that the electronic form in question was developed many years ago and was, as I have said, inherited by the present government. It did include contact information to ensure follow up and, yes, it did include party affiliation. I recognize that this could be misconstrued and give the wrong impression. Consequently, I agree with my hon. colleague that this is something that should have been stopped many years ago. I have, therefore, instructed my department to remove the information pertaining to party affiliation and we have asked officials not to seek this information. This was done yesterday.

Yesterday, the hon. member stood in his place and raised a point of order indicating that he had not received the form in question and that my office failed to correctly provide the information that he had requested. I trust the member has now, after 24 hours, taken the time to read the four documents and web links my staff provided to his office, because it is clear that he had not done so when he stood in the House yesterday. If he had read the documents, he would have realized that the note in question was regarding lead coating on pencils and not lead pencils themselves. That is the point.

My officials provided that document to the hon. member so that he may inform himself and his constituents on the issues surrounding topical lead coatings on products, including paint brushes, pencils and toys. Had he but taken the time to read past the first paragraph of the note, he would have found information on the health impacts of lead exposure, how to determine if someone is suffering from lead exposure and other vital information. This includes lead coating of children's toys, as the member requested.

Mr. Speaker, I hope these brief remarks address the member's very important question of privilege. Mr. Speaker, through you, I sincerely hope that this action and explanation assures him and all those who are watching that Health Canada will continue to respond to inquiries from all parliamentarians quickly and efficiently, regardless of their party affiliation.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister coming back a second time to explain.

Yesterday the minister advised that the question was inappropriate. He also stated, if my memory serves me correctly, that it is not standard practice to ask for party affiliation. As a consequence of the minister's statements today, it is clear that yesterday when he spoke to the House, he misspoke himself about whether or not this was standard practice, which is what he is declaring today.

Finally, with regard to the information that was sent to my office, it had to do with lead in pencils and other things.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

An hon. member

Sit down while you are ahead.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

I would thank the House leader for a little bit of order.

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of privilege which affects all members of this place. The minister yesterday made a representation which he admits today was incorrect. Also, in his statement today before the House he said that this addresses my inquiry because my inquiry was about lead in pencils, toys and other things. That was not the inquiry. This is how incompetent the minister's department is on these matters.

The question was clear and it was documented by the personnel in his department. The question was, what is the government's policy on the importation of goods to protect the safety of Canadians? The issue of China was one example that was given.

In fact, if the Minister of Health had read the intervention I made in the House, it was clear in my intervention that I used China as an example. The inquiry was a general inquiry from a constituent. It was an inquiry to ask the policy of the government with regard to product safety on the importation of goods. It is not a China question. It is not a lead question. It is not a pencil question.

The minister misled the House both yesterday and today as to the facts. The fact remains that when my office contacted product safety, as they were instructed to do by Service Canada, they asked the question of the product safety personnel who took the inquiry. The inquiry was recorded and they said they would have to call back. The call back to my staff, to reiterate, was, “Is your member a member of the opposition?”

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am hearing the same argument over again. I thought the purpose of the interventions today was not to rehash what was heard before, but to add additional material. The minister has submitted additional material. The hon. member for Mississauga South has expressed his dissatisfaction with some of it, but I do not need to hear the whole argument again about what happened in the telephone call or what the request was. We got all that detail when the matter came up initially.

I think we ought to move on pretty quickly with this. If he has more submissions about the minister's submission, fine.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a consequence of the matters that have gone on, that there was misinformation, whether deliberate or not, the fact remains that there was a system in place, a formal process. You may recall at a further intervention I had asked that a blank copy of that form simply be provided to me. That has not been done. I would like to have that to verify the representations that have been made.

I would then still ask, in view of the past events that have taken place where the privileges of members have come into some question because of the actions and activities of the government, that this matter continue and that it be referred to the procedure and House affairs committee to do a fair assessment of what is actually being done. This a matter of the privileges of all members of the opposition and I ask that it be referred to the procedure and House affairs committee.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his interventions. The member is an honourable member and surely there is a way that we can sort this out outside of the time of the House. I would be happy to do so at the earliest opportunity.

Alleged impediment in the discharge of a member's dutiesPrivilegeOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair will take the matter under advisement. I believe we have now heard all the arguments that are likely to be advanced in respect to this matter.

I would point out to the hon. member for Mississauga South and to the minister that they can have meetings together and possibly resolve the whole matter. In addition, if there is a continuing perception that this is a problem that affects other members, the hon. member from Mississauga South can go to the procedure and House affairs committee and ask the committee to examine the matter without me referring it there or the House referring it there if I decide this is a question of privilege. I will look into it to see if the member's privileges have been infringed and I will come back to the House with a ruling on the matter.

In the meantime, I would urge the minister and the member to work together to see if the appropriate exchange of documents or questions or whatever can be arranged.

I understand the hon. member for Malpeque also has a point of order.

Bill C-219Points of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to respond to the comments made earlier today by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader, in which he stated that my private member's bill, Bill C-219, was improperly before the House. I was not in the chamber at that time so I did not have a chance to respond.

Bill C-219 would amend the Income Tax Act to allow voluntary emergency workers to deduct from their taxable income the amount of $1,000 if they performed at least 100 hours of volunteer service and $2,000 if they performed at least 200 hours of volunteer service.

The parliamentary secretary contends that Bill C-219 is improperly before the House as it has not been preceded by a ways and means motion because, in his view, the bill would increase the level of taxation. He argued that Bill C-219 would increase taxation.

As I have already indicated, the bill would increase the exemption from taxation. House of Commons Procedure and Practice at page 898 states:

...private Members' bills which reduce taxes, reduce the incidence of a tax, or impose or increase an exemption from taxation are acceptable.

Ways and means motions are necessary for bills that impose a tax or other charge on the taxpayer. This bill does not do that.

The fact is that the current bill is similar to Bill C-273 that was in the last Parliament. It went as far as the finance committee and at that level there were technical questions on who it applied to, the record-keeping procedures for hours, et cetera, but not about increasing taxes.

This bill does not propose the expenditure of public funds but rather affects the exemption from taxation which is permitted under our rules.

In conclusion, I believe this bill is properly before the House and I ask that you, Mr. Speaker, allow this bill to proceed as it is supposed to during private members' business tomorrow.

Bill C-219Points of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for his interventions and certainly I will take them into account in preparing a ruling on this matter for the consideration of members.

The hon. member for Don Valley West is also rising on a point of order.

Bill C-474Points of OrderOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with regard to the private member's bill that I introduced last year, Bill C-474, which is a bill to require the development and implementation of a national sustainable development strategy.

On December 7, 2007, the acting speaker invited comments as to whether this bill would require a royal recommendation and it was duly obliged on December 11 by the parliamentary secretary to the leader of the government in the House with a series of suggestions, the import of which was that yes, indeed this bill required a royal recommendation.

I have considered those remarks. I was invited to respond to that. As a result of consultations with House officials, I will be bringing forward a series of amendments, if the bill passes second reading and gets to the committee stage, which will address and amend any concerns there might be about this bill requiring a royal recommendation. I believe it will then satisfy the concerns raised by the parliamentary secretary.

Bill C-474Points of OrderOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Don Valley West for his submissions.

Statements Regarding Afghan Detainee Policy--Speaker's RulingPrivilegeOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair is now ready to rule on the question of privilege raised on Monday, January 28, 2008 by the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam concerning replies on the issue of Afghan detainees given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs during oral questions on November 15, 2007.

I would like to thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam for raising this matter and for providing the Chair with additional documentation. The Chair also appreciates the contributions on this matter from the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the hon. member for Saint-Jean.

In presenting her case, the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam charged that the Minister of Foreign Affairs deliberately misled the House in responding to her questions regarding the government’s detainee policy in Afghanistan because he had not, in her opinion, provided all the information that was available to him at that time.

In particular, she stated that on November 15, 2007, the minister had not offered any information concerning the halt in the transfer of Afghan detainees to the Afghan authorities that had occurred 12 days earlier. The hon. member for Saint-Jean also noted that he found the minister's silence on this point particularly troubling. In his response, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons contended that the government made no misleading statement on this issue and insisted that no change in policy had occurred.

At the outset, I wish to remind hon. members that a minister may decide how or if he or she wishes to respond to an oral question. As indicated on page 433 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice:

Members may not insist on an answer nor may a Member insist that a specific Minister respond to his or her question. A Minister's refusal to answer a question may not be questioned or treated as the subject of a point of order or question of privilege.

Furthermore, the role of the Speaker with respect to oral questions is very limited. I refer the House again to Marleau—Montpetit which clearly states on the same page:

The Speaker ensures that replies adhere to the dictates of order, decorum and parliamentary language. The Speaker, however, is not responsible for the quality or content of replies to questions. In most instances, when a point of order or a question of privilege has been raised in regard to a response to an oral question, the Speaker has ruled that the matter is a disagreement among Members over the facts surrounding the issue. As such, these matters are more a question of debate and do not constitute a breach of the rules or of privilege.

With those principles in mind, the Chair has carefully read the two questions posed by the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam, as well as the answers of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as found in the Debates of November 15, 2007. Let me say, first, that my reading reveals that the hon. member for New Westminster--Coquitlam ran out of time before completing either of her questions that day and so these questions appear to be incomplete. Second, the Chair is unable to find in either question a precise request of the minister to provide the information the member is now alleging was not given.

Furthermore, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons has now made a categorical assertion that there has been “absolutely no change” in the policy of the government. This is an assertion the Chair is bound to accept, just as it would be bound to accept the word of any hon. member.

It appears to me that we are dealing with a matter of debate. I realize full well, not only from the content of statements but also from their tone, that there are strikingly different views on this subject held by hon. members in this House as to whether the current handling of detainees represents a change in government policy or not. There is also strong disagreement over whether the minister ought to have communicated to the House certain facts about the halting of prisoner transfers in Afghanistan.

However, as I stated earlier in this ruling and as I have mentioned before on various occasions in this House, any dispute regarding the accuracy or appropriateness of a minister’s response to an oral question is a matter of debate; it is not a matter for the Speaker to judge. The same holds true with respect to the breadth of a minister’s answer to a question in the House: this is not for the Speaker to determine.

As hon. members know, before finding a prima facie breach of privilege in situations such as these, the Speaker must be convinced that deliberately misleading statements were made to the House. The current case is a dispute about the lack of information in the minister's responses to questions on November 15, 2007.

The Chair acknowledges that there are strong differences about the issue of prisoner transfers as well as strong disagreements about what information on prisoner transfers has been or ought to have been provided. However, it is not for the Speaker to address or resolve these differences nor are they sufficient to convince the Chair that the House was deliberately misled.

Accordingly, the Chair cannot find that there is a prima facie question of privilege in this case.

I thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam for bringing this matter to the attention of the House.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

When the House broke for question period, the hon. Minister of Public Safety had the floor for questions and comments as a consequence of his speech. There are two minutes remaining in the time allotted for questions and comments. I therefore call on the hon. member for York South—Weston for questions and comments.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for clarifying the difference between Criminal Code violations and the processes and the security certificate process. He also made it clear that the security certificate process does not relate to Canadians.

However, I have been asked by constituents to clarify with the minister with respect to the role of the special advocates. In the criminal process there is protection with respect to client-solicitor relationship. If during the process of certificate implications are made with respect to allegations against Canadians, is there the same degree of protection that exists under the Criminal Code and natural justice? Could the minister explain whether that similar client-solicitor relationship applies?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question came up in the committee and it was as a matter of some concern.

A number of provisions are in place to protect the individual who is being detained from untoward situations that may arise in the course of the actions that would unfold. As a matter of fact, in the committee discussion it was agreed that there could be some things that would come up that would actually be unpredictable and that there needed to be something in place to allow for that.

One of the ways of addressing that is in clause 85.2(c), which is a catch-all provision that can be applied for and asked for by the special advocate himself or herself. There would also be provisions for the person being detained and I think, if in not all cases, in most cases they would have their own counsel. There would be provisions to ensure the person is protected from such an eventuality related to client-solicitor privilege.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the concern that the NDP and I as the critic have with this, and the reason for putting forward all of these amendments, is that we have considered this to be completely the wrong way to go about dealing with the issues of terrorism. We are as concerned as anyone else that this country is protected, that its citizens are safe and that terrorism has absolutely no place and no acknowledgement in our country.

I think most Canadians would consider safety to be some kind of balance between freedom and security. They expect security in the country in which they live and raise their children but also they have a certain expectation of freedom.

I am a bit puzzled, I have to say, by the motions today to sit until the bill has finished report stage and by the rush to get it through. I understand perfectly well the deadline of February 23, but that was a year ago. If we had come back in September when we were due to come back, we would have had an extra month to work on this. Instead, we have had nine weeks.

It seems to me rather inconsistent that a bill that is of such great importance, and, by the way, I think it is, is left to the last two months of the year, because it has to go to the Senate as well, which has been known since the date was established last February. It seems to me that unless there is some other motive, the action does not reflect the gravity of the issue the bill has presented.

From the beginning, we have always seen this as the wrong way to go about dealing with terrorism, espionage and organized crime, and let us be sure that we are talking about all three things. Although terrorism is the phrase that is used most frequently, this is about also espionage and organized crime.

As members can see, we believe that if one has come to Canada to commit a terrorist act one should be charged and punished. To consider an act of terrorism in any country, but speaking of our own country, is one of the worst things imaginable. We have seen those examples in other countries as well as countries to the south of us.

So why would we not put in place legislation that would allow punishment of people instead of sending them back to their country of origin, where they may very well wish to go, and where they can or may continue their activities? I think in many cases they do continue to engage in the planning of terrorist activities, again, perhaps toward Canada, and it may not be them but somebody else they have trained.

But to send them back with no repercussions whatsoever is not acceptable. I expect people to be punished for such an odious type of crime. I also, by the way, expect people to prove that the odious crime is in the process of being committed or that there is a demonstration of its planning.

I think we know that significant numbers of members in this House will publicly say they think this bill is flawed. Some will privately say they know this bill is flawed. We know that members of the legal community believe that this bill will not withstand, albeit its rewriting, a constitutional challenge again, and there will indeed be another constitutional challenge. I do not think we should mistake that at all.

The human rights issue within this bill is a concern for all Canadians, I would hope, because human rights are something that we hold dear. Standards, procedural fairness and due process are things we consider to be inherent in human rights.

The ability to fully answer and defend ourselves is a basic human right. That is not reflected at all in this piece of legislation, unless we say there is a level of human rights and we believe only certain people have human rights, but I do not think that is what most Canadians believe. I think they believe people have a right to know fully what they have been accused of and to be able to defend themselves against it.

The NDP believes, and many community organizations who made presentations to the public safety committee said the same thing, that the use of what we would call secret evidence is a grave threat to fundamental justice. This bill proposes that if a special advocate were to be put in place, the advocate could speak to the detainee and his or her counsel and then see the full file, but could not talk to the detainee again, or at least have any conversation about what is in the file, even if it might be helpful to the detainee.

We know it is a flawed system because there have been other circumstances where we have used information without the full advantage of having all of it. We have seen the kind of prosecution people have been put through.

The special advocate is being championed by this piece of legislation, but it does not explicitly give any kind of special powers to the special advocate to seek and obtain other government records that might be believed to be relevant. If the advocate reads in a file something that refers to another record that he or she thinks would be helpful, there is nothing that explicitly states the advocate has the right to see that information.

Certainly there are other models that people have suggested, such as the SIRC model, where there has been full disclosure of information that CSIS has available. That kind of process was used and was in place before the current process.

There also is a concern about how long people can be detained without any charge being laid at all. One individual has been in detention for seven years. Other individuals have been in detention for somewhat shorter lengths of time, but certainly not short lengths of time. There is nothing to protect them. Yes, detainees can have their cases reviewed on a regular basis, but that does not mean they cannot continue to be told no for some indefinite length of time.

They can be kept in prison-like settings that I think are built for two or three people, without any idea of why they are there, and without anybody presenting the charges to them. If we were to even consider that as a principle we would use anywhere else, Canadians would rise up in anger, as they should.

It is a basic premise. If we are charged with something or detained in jail, we have a right to know why. We have a right for our counsel to see the evidence and a right to defend ourselves. Under this piece of legislation, which we do believe is completely flawed in dealing with the issue of terrorism, which we believe should be criminally punished, we do not have that.

I look forward to other speakers.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have seconded the motions my colleague put forward this afternoon, which delete all the clauses of this legislation as a way of showing our fundamental disagreement with this security certificate process, as well as the fundamental flaws and the supposed fix that the government has provided for this legislation.

Earlier I was incredulous when I heard the Minister of Public Safety say that he believed the security certificate process was appropriate, even though its sole aim, the whole deal, was to send someone accused of some of the most serious crimes against our society, those of terrorism, security threats and espionage, out of the country. It did not matter if they were ever charged, convicted or punished for perpetrating those serious crimes. What is more is that the only thing this legislation and this process seek to do is to get them back to their country of origin, where there is no guarantee that they will be charged, convicted or tried for those very serious crimes either.

This seems to be a piece of legislation that seeks to avoid dealing with the most serious crimes in our society. Would the member comment on that? How does this legislation make Canada or Canadians safer? How could a Minister of Public Safety support that kind of legislation?