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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was evidence.

Topics

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is important to underscore is the people with whom we are dealing. If they truly are as dangerous as the government is to allege, then we want to keep them in custody. If we have a very serious offender who is truly a threat to Canada, I want to see that person in jail.

However, let us not kid ourselves. If there is a real professional, who we are deporting under a security certificate, that individual can easily return to Canada. We may say what we will, but our borders are porous. If an individual intends to do harm, that person can certainly come back, given the state of our borders.

It seems to me that the way we deal with dangerous individuals is to put them in custody and keep them there. If somebody has a problem with serious criminality, the individual is inadmissible to Canada in the first place.

However, the security certificate process attacks the very integrity of the legal section of the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. Let us not fool ourselves. This security certificate regime has been unconstitutional ever since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been in place. We have an unconstitutional piece of legislation, and the government says that it wants to continue to do more of the same. That does not work. If someone is dangerous, that person should be in custody either here or someplace else.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments but he is wrong.

This does not only deal with criminality. He indicated that people with serious criminality are ineligible to be in Canada anyway. This is precisely about putting up those obstacles at the border to keep people out.

I might suggest that this is old legislation. It has been around a long time. It has been tested in the courts many times, and this amendment deals with a court decision. However, Canadians should also know that it is not used willy-nilly. I believe it has been used 28 times with 27 individuals over the last 20 years.

The most recent security certificate was issued by officials of this government for industrial espionage and the individual chose to leave the country without being detained any longer.

It is a necessary tool. It is an important tool. It deals not only with criminal acts, but also with terrorist acts and any number of serious threats to Canada's safety and security.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, why would Canada voluntarily let someone, whom we suspect and have evidence of committing industrial espionage, leave Canada voluntarily without punishing the him, by charging him and taking him to court?

It is a very serious criminal matter. Why would we use this kind of legislation to facilitate ducking those charges? It just does make sense and it does not make Canada any safer. Why would we do that?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thought I had made it clear a little earlier. In many cases the totality of the evidence cannot be disclosed to the individual. In this case it was deemed that he was inadmissible to Canada. A security certificate was issued, he left Canada and the country is the better for it.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to this matter.

First, the presentation of the parliamentary secretary was fairly detailed on most of the technical issues. Therefore, I will not talk about what is contained in the bill. He has described the bill more than adequately.

I will address some questions before I get into some of the details of the legislation.

First, our country takes in over 250,000 immigrants and refugees every year. That is our lifeline. That immigration supplies human capital, skills and the talent we need on an ongoing basis.

When we have a country as open as Canada, there are elements who come to the country who do not belong here. They have committed crimes somewhere else or they may intend to commit crimes in our country. Most countries that deal with immigration expressly retain the right of removal from the country for aliens or non-citizens, whether they be permanent residents or just aliens in the country.

It is important for us to understand that the legislation is based on this assumption; Canada being an open country that invites and welcomes immigrants. Canada needs to have a mechanism in place where it does not have to go through rigmarole of proving beyond reasonable doubt all the crimes an individual may have committed before the individual could be deported out of the country or removed from the country.

This is an important concept for people to understand. Once we understand it and if we believe Canada ought to have that right in place, then I think everything else follows.

I have been a practising lawyer since 1977. I was called to the bar in 1977. Since then and before that, immigration legislation in Canada always has had clauses to deal with the inadmissibility of people who may want to come to Canada or may be in Canada as permanent residents or aliens. Therefore, this is nothing new. It is not as if suddenly we woke up one day and now imported into our legislation something that had not existed.

Security certificates have existed for the last several decades. They have been challenged in the past. They now have been challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court provided some instructions for the government and the government brought the legislation forward to meet the deadline of February 23.

If the Liberals had to introduce this legislation, we would have looked at the home grown model of the SIRC, the Security Intelligence Review Committee. We may have chosen the U.K. system with a special advocate, which the government chose, but we may have brought in amendments to that system. That system has been under a great deal of criticism in the United Kingdom itself.

Therefore, this is not ideal legislation. There are no ideal solutions when we try to deal with organized crime or terrorism and the difficult questions of proof, of issues, of actions and omissions that may have occurred away from our shores in other countries. It is not easy to bring that evidence forward to deal with those issues.

Let me give a case in point, the Air India case. I was the attorney general when it was being investigated and I was the premier when the two individuals, who were eventually acquitted, were arrested for that. I know from the briefings I received from the Crown that the evidence for the crime was in different parts of the world. This is why it took so long for the Crown and the investigators to gather that evidence. Even then, we were unsuccessful in prosecuting that matter.

That simply brings this into focus. If someone is an alien or a visitor trying to get into the country and we have evidence or sources, which sometimes cannot be disclosed without jeopardizing and compromising our contacts or informants, we need the kind of process in the security certificates to deal with those issues.

Then there is the question that always arises. Why do we not deal with these issues through the Criminal Code. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, we have always had this regime where we have dealt with people who were inadmissible. The proof required under the act is not one of beyond reasonable doubt. It is essentially on the balance of probabilities or on reasonable grounds. It is a quasi-judicial, quasi-criminal matter so the proof is not as onerous.

This is appropriate in cases where our country faces danger from people who may have committed crimes elsewhere, who cannot be advised of the information completely and who cannot be given all the names of the agencies and informants from which we received information. Under those circumstances, it is appropriate to use that lower threshold and not the Criminal Code threshold. The fact is the evidence may not be in our hands. It may be somewhere else thousands of miles away from our shores. This is why these kinds of cases cannot be dealt with on the Criminal Code basis.

It is important to recognize that to come into Canada is a privilege. It is not a right for anyone in the world to come into the country except people who are Canadian citizens. Canada ought to reserve the right to deal with these individuals in a way that is appropriate, that is in keeping with our traditions of due process and the like.

Some of these crimes are often committed elsewhere. The information and evidence is elsewhere. It is important for us to protect those agencies and informants. They may have provided us with that information. Therefore, it is important we continue to have the mechanism in the immigration legislation.

When making the decision in the Charkaoui case, the court examined various models. I have said this before in the House. It is unfortunate the government chose this model. The government could have chosen a security intelligence review committee model, which is a home-grown, home developed model in Canada. It is more adversarial in nature and provides for better disclosure of the evidence. It also has provided in the past couple of decades a mechanism where the evidence can be scrutinized in the presence of counsel. I do not believe there ever have been any violations of security with respect to that process. Therefore, this was an appropriate model to adopt, but it was not.

The court also looked at the Arar case, how Mr. Justice O'Connor dealt with the issues of confidentiality, how he provided and facilitated the provision of information to the counsel for Mr. Arar, with all the security precautions intact. The government could have looked at that.

The court also addressed the issue with respect to the Evidence Act and how the attorney general of Canada could deal with the need for non-disclosure in certain cases. The government did not look at that. The government went to the United Kingdom model, which was not necessarily the best model. However, that is what we have and that is what we have tried to improve by bringing forth the amendments about which my colleague, the parliamentary secretary, talked.

Could this legislation have been better? Definitely. Could it have been different? Definitely. However, there is no question in my mind that the legislation is a necessary evil, so to speak. Ultimately, if we are interested in protecting our country from those who wish to do harm to it, it is important to keep in reserve, within the hands of the government, mechanisms that keep the country secure and safe. It is very important in the context of that to look at the due process, which has been provided in the legislation.

I believe the amendments, which deal with how one appoints an advocate, have enhanced the legislation. The legislation would give the public safety minister appropriate instructions for preparing a roster of security cleared advocates from independent, qualified members of the bar from across the country who would be provided with adequate resources to independently function when acting in the interests of the accused and in no one else's interests.

The choice of counsel is a cherished principle in our laws and in our centuries old conventions and I believe that choice has been preserved in the bill for the detainee. A detainee would have the right to choose from the independent roster and the judge would then appoint that particular advocate for the detainee barring circumstances where that might jeopardize either national security or may bring the individual into conflict.

There is also the issue of privilege. When the bill was presented in its initial form, it had no privilege. The detainee enjoyed no solicitor-client privilege at all, which exposed the detainee and the advocate and any communications with each other to disclosure. Therefore, it was seen fit by the committee to re-import the notion of solicitor-client privilege to the extent of protecting those communications.

The most important amendment in my mind is the amendment that the committee pushed through on the issue of torture. It clearly prohibits evidence that may have been derived, either primarily or secondarily, from torture. Any evidence that is tainted by torture would not be admissible in the proceedings with respect to the detainee.

Those four amendments have actually enhanced the bill. The bill could have been a lot better but this is the bill we were given and it is the one we are working with. The deadline is looming and we want to ensure this is dealt with expeditiously so that on February 23 a certain legal regime will be in place to deal with the existing certificates and a mechanism is available to issue others if needed. Of course, that is being done sparingly. As we know, over the last decade only 28 security certificates have been issued.

These are not easy issues. We need to balance national security interests with the interests of due process in our conventions and our laws. These decisions are not made lightly. I understand that some colleagues may have difficulty with these issues but when one is in the business of governing sometimes tough decisions need to be madeand we need to deal with balances that may not always be the way we would like them to be.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I still fail to see how it would make Canadians feel safer if we were to allow someone accused of terrorism or espionage to leave Canada and go to another country unpunished? How would this protect Canada? How would this protect Canada's national interests? How would it make us safer if we were to allow someone who we believe to be a terrorist or a spy to leave and, given the small planet these days, continue to pursue their activities in another country?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is a false question that is being set up by my hon. colleague.

When the evidence is far away, when the contents cannot be disclosed and when the agencies cannot be disclosed, we cannot prove those kinds of crimes beyond a reasonable doubt because most of them did not occur on Canadian soil. It is important that we become pragmatic and understand that in some instances we just do not want the people because we may not be able to put them behind bars.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

About nine minutes remain for questions and comments after question period.

We will now move on to statements by members. The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

University of Alberta and Campus St. JeanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the University of Alberta and its francophone campus, Campus St. Jean, officially launched a year of centenary celebrations to honour their establishment in 1908.

Since then, the essence of the U of A and Campus St. Jean, along with their commitment to serve through knowledge, has remained. These institutions have grown to become world renowned while remaining true to their Alberta heritage.

Events will occur throughout Alberta with the goal of not only celebrating their past achievements but looking forward, daring to discover what the future may hold. One such celebration, the Prime Minister's Conversation Series, will see prime ministers from the past 30 years, including the current Prime Minister, visit the campus to discuss the theme, “Advancing Canada, Changing the World”.

I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating the U of A, Campus St. Jean and their respective presidents, Dr. Indira Samarasakera and Dr. Marc Arnal, on this milestone celebration and wish them continued success for another 100 years.

Earth Hour 2008Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the World Wildlife Fund has initiated Earth Hour 2008 as part of its campaign to fight global warming. Cities across the globe are signing on and both Toronto and Ottawa have agreed to participate.

I now challenge my constituents of Davenport to join me on March 29 at 8 p.m. in turning off the lights and other electronic devices for just one hour. Each of us, acting individually but united, can make a difference.

While the fight against climate change must be waged year round, on March 29 we take a stand.

Furthermore, I challenge all my colleagues here in Parliament to take a stand and to lead their own communities. I challenge each of their political parties to take on this challenge and stand together for the planet. I challenge the Prime Minister to join this campaign and to pledge the federal government institutions to participate.

Canada is stronger together and together everything is possible.

Chloé Legris, 2007 Scientist of the YearStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 24, the Société Radio-Canada named Chloé Legris the 2007 Scientist of the Year. Radio-Canada awards this title to a scientist who has distinguished themselves in their field as a means of highlighting their involvement in and influence on the scientific community.

Ms. Legris, an engineer at the Mont-Mégantic ASTROLab, led the project to create the first International Dark Sky Reserve in the world, which is located over the Sherbrooke area.

Attempting to limit light pollution was no small feat, but Chloé Legris and her team persevered and succeeded. In September 2007, their achievement was recognized by UNESCO and the International Dark-Sky Association.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois members and myself, I congratulate Chloé Legris for her well-deserved award. Her efforts have resulted in major advances for science and astronomy.

Filipino Seniors GroupStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell parliamentarians and Canadians a story of courage, compassion and cooperation from my constituency.

It starts with the Filipino Seniors Group, an integral part of the Point Douglas community for over 20 years, which, in the most amazing display of generosity, recently opened the doors of its Euclid Hall to the surrounding neighbourhood and entered into a beautiful partnership with the SISTARS Community Economic Development Co-op , which stands for Sisters Initiating Steps Towards a Renewed Society.

The Filipino seniors and the Point Douglas women then worked together to set up the Eagle Wing child care with 63 licensed spaces and a Red River College early education training program right in the Filipino Centre, which means moms in the community have the day care they need to access the training to become paid child care workers.

This means jobs instead of social assistance. This means a good start for children, hope for moms and help for parents in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada. This means Filipino and aboriginal Canadians working side by side. What an amazing lesson for all of us.

As the song says, on the wings of an eagle we will fly. I want to say to all involved, Megweetch and Salamat po.

Energy Conservation Leadership AwardStatements By Members

February 5th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Tolko Industries Ltd., located in Vernon in my riding of Okanagan—Shuswap, for receiving a Canadian industry program for energy conservation leadership award.

Tolko Industries won the award for its energy conservation efforts demonstrated through the gasification project at Heffley Creek division. The award, administered through Natural Resources Canada, is a partnership between industry and the federal government to promote the efficient use of energy.

The gasification process converts wood waste into synthesis gas which is used as a fuel to replace natural gas. The result is a reduction in energy costs and emissions.

The gasification energy system online displaces an estimated $1.5 million of natural gas annually and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 tonnes. This is truly a model for Canada's industrial sector.

Once again, I congratulate Tolko for its role in helping Canadians use less and live better.

Truly, being green is good for the environment and the bottom line, as Tolko Industries has proven.

Rural CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, rural Canada has a history of success in innovation.

Our rural population, with its entrepreneurial base, has pioneered countless initiatives over the years and will, given the chance, continue to lead and invigorate our national economy in the years to come.

Small town chambers of commerce, federations of agriculture and groups like the CFIB, who are with us in the House today, continue to be leaders on this front and governments must acknowledge and build upon this reality.

Today, knowing that the next federal budget is looming on the horizon, I am asking the government to provide the tools needed for our small businesses to continue to be successful.

Unnecessary and overly cumbersome regulatory regimes, coupled with vacillations in the marketplace, continue to hamper small business owners. The government needs to act now if rural Canada is to continue with a positive legacy.

The budget is a chance for the government to make a real, long term difference to small business owners and I challenge the government to finally step up to the plate.

Humanitarian Aid WorkersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the past months, we have witnessed an appalling increase in attacks on humanitarian aid workers.

Just last week, three humanitarian workers were killed in Somalia. Aid workers have been attacked recently in Afghanistan, Darfur and Sri Lanka. The UN suffered one of its deadliest years in 2007 with 42 employees being killed in the line of duty.

It is essential that humanitarian workers have full, safe and unhindered access to affected populations.

There can be no impunity. Those who attack aid workers must be brought to account. Canada calls on all governments that have not already done so to become a party to the 1994 United Nations Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel.

Attacks on humanitarian workers must be halted. Canada will continue to provide political, diplomatic and financial resources toward this end.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 12, as reported in Le Quotidien, the Minister of Labour said that the plan to help the manufacturing and forestry industries could only be passed as part of the budget. However, this morning, in the very same Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean paper, the Minister of Labour acknowledged that the government was forced to reverse its decision to make the $1 billion aid program conditional on the adoption of the budget because it was afraid the Bloc Québécois would reject the budget.

In these recent statements, he recognized that the Bloc Québécois is useful here in Ottawa. The pressure we put on the government caused it to backtrack. The Conservatives' plan is not enough for Quebec and my region, nor is it fair. We have won the first round, and we will work hard to keep winning.

Bill C-2Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, if stall tactics could kill, not many Liberals would be left in the Senate. Indeed, while Canadians are calling for action and our government is doing its best to act quickly and responsibly, they are unnecessarily blocking the legislative process that would allow Bill C-2 to be passed. That bill, which aims to tackle violent crime, would allow our government to make the reforms needed to strengthen our criminal justice system.

By speeding up the process, these senators could ensure that Canadians would no longer have to be afraid of sexual predators attacking our children, that irresponsible people would stop driving on our roads and highways while impaired, and that those who commit crimes with a firearm would be removed from our communities.

I would like the Liberal opposition to come to its senses and stop its appalling tactics, so that the quality of life of Canadians can be preserved.

Kedgwick Regional Chamber of CommerceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, it was a great pleasure for me to attend, on January 26, the businessperson of the year gala organized by the Kedgwick Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce paid tribute also to the exceptional work of a volunteer, Mr. Marcel Paquet, who is involved in many projects in his community, including Puits de Jacob, Ami de Jacob, the forestry museum and much more.

The organization of the year award was given to Jeanne Boulay, president of Puits de Jacob. This organization has a team of 20 volunteers who provide support for persons with drug or alcohol addictions.

Garage Gaëtan St-Laurent received the business of the year award. This family business was established in 1960. The current owner, Mr. St-Laurent bought the business when he was 30 years old after working for 19 years as a mechanic.

The businesswoman of the year award went to Diane Couturier, a chartered accountant who works for Roland Couturier Gérance Ltée of Kedgwick.

These individuals deserve our recognition.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, time and time again important legislation such as Bill C-2, the tackling violent crime act, gets held up in the Senate, a body whose members are unaccountable and unelected. Of course, the Senate being dominated by the Liberals is also a factor in the politics that play out when a bill leaves the House and goes to the Senate.

We are all tired of the rhetoric and stalling tactics used by the Leader of the Opposition and his party.

The tackling violent crime act would better protect our children from sexual predators, would protect society from dangerous offenders, would get serious with drug impaired drivers and would toughen sentencing and bail for those who commit gun crimes. These are important issues for all of our communities and for the rural communities in my riding.

I strongly encourage the Leader of the Opposition to speak with his senators to ensure that this piece of crucial legislation, the tackling violent crime act, goes through without delay. Canadians want it. Canadians demand it.

Black History AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, black Canadians have long been at the forefront of Canada's success as a nation.

On February 1, I had the privilege of meeting the recipients of the Black History Ottawa Community Builder Awards.

The recipients included: Dr. Horace Alexis, a highly respected community member who raises money for disadvantaged university-bound black students; Stachen Frederick, a powerful campus organizer who is promoting achievement and leadership among her peers; and Joanne Robinson, whose tireless advocacy is improving the health of our community. I send my congratulations to them.

On another note, I welcome U.S. Congressman Michael Michaud to Ottawa. This morning my NDP colleagues and I met with Congressman Michaud to discuss the issue of free trade negotiations with Colombia. The U.S. Congress agrees with the NDP that these negotiations must be immediately halted in light of the ongoing human rights abuses in Colombia.

I call on all parties to stand up for human rights and fight the free trade negotiations in Colombia.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year the federal government added only confusion and confrontation to the provincial equalization formula, which remains devoid of national objectives.

Meanwhile, there remains no effective national program for reduction of greenhouse gases by provincial power producers. Now is the time for an environmental equalization program.

For an investment of little more than one-tenth of the surplus announced in the fall, the government could provide provinces with $5,000 per gigawatt hour of clean energy and deduct $5,000 for every gigawatt hour produced from coal and half of that amount for natural gas. This would reward provinces such as Ontario that have committed to get out of coal and would provide a powerful incentive to provinces rich in natural gas to stop using coal as their primary source of power.

An environmental equalization program would link federal transfers to the national challenge of the century and it would be a vehicle to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.

The Conservative PartyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, when they were elected in 2006, the Conservatives led Quebeckers to believe that they would form a transparent government that was sensitive to Quebeckers' concerns. Their actions tell a different story, though.

The Conservatives have undermined access to equal rights for women by eliminating the court challenges program and closing 12 of the 16 offices of Status of Women Canada.

The Conservatives have no intention of paying seniors the full guaranteed income supplement benefits they are entitled to.

The Conservatives are refusing to put in place a real program to help workers in the manufacturing and forestry industries, improve employment insurance, introduce an independent fund and create a real program to help older workers.

Young people who are concerned about the environment feel that the Conservatives have sabotaged the Kyoto protocol.

The Conservative mirage hides a right-wing ideology that flies in the face of Quebec's values and that the Bloc Québécois will continue to fight against.

Member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit ValleyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Last week, Mr. Speaker, one of our colleagues, the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, underwent surgery for prostate cancer.

According to media reports, the surgery was a success and the member was sending emails from his hospital bed a few hours later. As they say, it is hard to keep a good man down.

My Nova Scotia colleague has proven over and over again that he is fiercely independent and is a passionate defender of the interests of his province, no matter what the consequences.

I know that members from all parties in the House will want to join me in wishing my hon. colleague from Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley a full recovery and a speedy return to this place.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party is playing politics with the safety and protection of our children, our families and our communities.

The tackling violent crime bill has been held up by the Liberals in the Senate in a shameful display of partisan politics and the Liberals just do not care.

Typical of the Liberals' soft approach toward crime, they demonstrate that it is okay if dangerous offenders are walking our streets, that the age of protection for our children is not important, and that it is just okay if the sexual exploitation of children continues.

How long are the Liberals going to use the safety of our families as a pawn in their political game playing?

I say to those Liberals that when they go home this weekend, they should look around their neighbourhoods, see the families, see the children, and hang their heads in shame.

Community DevelopmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister tied his poorly designed aid package to the budget, once again Canadians saw the Conservatives putting partisanship ahead of people. They tried to blackmail Canadian families and workers.

Why did the Prime Minister put partisanship ahead of helping Canadians?