House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.


Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the government on bringing this legislation forward, because I think it has done something that is a positive step towards dealing with what is a critical issue.

I think the legislation has a lot of good points to it. We have heard some very astute comments made in this House by people who have read the bill very carefully. We know where improvements can be made.

First of all, we know that the electronic commerce protection act will accomplish little if there is no real commitment to enforcement.

In this act the CRTC has been given a wide range of investigatory powers, including the power to compel ISPs to preserve transmission data. Once it concludes its investigation, it can pursue a settlement or bring a notice of violation. Penalties can run as high as $10 million.

There are smaller roles for the Privacy Commissioner and the Competition Bureau, as well, to facilitate anti-spam law suits.

Again, I think these are positive steps that the government has brought in and that the previous Liberal government did not. I am just wondering if my hon. colleague can comment on what he thinks about the enforcement mechanisms in this bill, particularly addressing two issues. One, should there be a criminal sanction to this bill, which is presently lacking; and two, does he have any suggestions for how we can get at people and organizations located outside Canada that issue spam?

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I tried to address that in some of my comments.

No, I am not one who believes there ought to be criminalization unless there are very egregious examples where someone has done this and done this repeatedly.

It also suggests to me that if the purpose, particularly as it relates to commercial interests, is that someone is trying to make more money, then the best way to hit them is in the pocketbook. If people are doing this to destroy or become involved in the destruction of someone else's property, I can assure the hon. member that there are already provisions in the Criminal Code, as the hon. member knows. That is, of course, a form of vandalism or theft of intellectual property, and that can be dealt with criminally.

From a strict commercial point of view, the sanctions in terms of monetary penalties are the way to go. They have to be serious, particularly when there are egregious examples.

The member has asked a question on international enforcement. I call upon Parliament to begin the process of understanding the various forms of international treaties that exist and to improve on those to ensure that there is no jurisdiction left open for international spammers that affect our businesses.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pickering—Scarborough East for all the work he has done over the years, again, going back to 2003, really being on the forefront of this issue.

My question is going to relate a bit to what the previous member asked.

The member for Pickering—Scarborough East talked about unintended consequences on domestic business.

The NDP seems to be leaning toward basically criminalizing individuals, arresting them and charging them with a criminal offence. Someone running a business, especially a small business person who really does not have a lot of resources, could be charged up to $1 million. If the business were incorporated, it could be charged up to $10 million. I say “up to”. I would trust the courts would have the judgment to implement the right amount.

One of the areas that I look back on is the number of laws that have come down much too harshly, to the point where it becomes ridiculous and the laws do not get enforced.

Would the member talk to us about reasonable punishment and reasonable punitive action, so that the law could be enforced, so that we would get the results we want and so that people who just send emails are not criminals?

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I mean no disrespect to my colleagues in the NDP who call for criminalization, but it sounds a whole lot as if they have taken the Conservative-Reform agenda, the hang 'em high approach to just about everything.

It is an interesting comparison, but it bears some discussion.

There is a very specific reason why, and the hon. member has alluded to this. There are often small businesses that make mistakes. They may be mistakes that may be repeated. They may be desperate. There are a number of reasons why these things may and can occur. There has to be a modicum of judicial discretion given in those circumstances that does not have a sort of one-size-fits-all approach, to take a howitzer to a very small business.

I can tell the hon. member that I have worked on a number of pieces of legislation where I thought we would use the heavy hand, where we would come at them with everything we had. The reality is that would do nothing to stop the problem, let alone doing undue damage to people who rightfully and unintentionally may have crossed a particular line.

It also speaks to the idea of criminalizing Canadians while, at the same time, allowing international spammers to continue unmolested and beyond the reach of our domestic legislation.

It is for that reason that I think we have to be very careful on how we approach this. I think the sanctions that were envisaged by the industry committee and adopted by all parties including the NDP, on the civil side, did in fact meet the test.

We want to look before we leap. We want to ensure we protect Canadians from Canadian spammers. However, we also have to recognize that some people will make a mistake, and when they do make that mistake, I think it is totally unfair that we should throw the book at them with a criminal sanction. I think we should hit them monetarily because after all that is perhaps the reason that they are in fact engaging in this practice. We should hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think we all agree that most of the actions against perpetrators would be dealt with through undertakings and agreements to cease and desist, and we would not even get to the basis of fines.

The fact of the matter is, though, that the roll-out of the bill is something that concerns me, the effects on small business and its customers. There are going to be road bumps that we have to deal with on that issue.

I just want to ask the member whether he thinks the government is prepared for a proper roll-out of this bill so that we do not create confusion in the public over what the provisions are.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Elmwood—Transcona raises some very important points. I am not convinced that there is a program going forward that would ensure we are able to follow up.

I am also of course reminding the hon. member that I do not believe in the criminal sanction, because I simply believe that it would not have the intended consequence we want.

More important, to prove criminality is a lot harder than going the civil route. Anybody who has practised the law would tell us that if we are trying to arrest the problem, particularly as it relates to a monetary, marketing, economic or financial transaction, it would be far better to go that route, save and except in the most egregious of circumstances. I can say that with this legislation we would have to start looking—

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I have to stop the hon. member there so we can start statements by members.

Genome CanadaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year, one of our country's true success stories celebrates an important milestone.

For 10 years, Genome Canada has invested in large scale projects enabling Canadian scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of representing the Minister of Industry at “Genomics on the Hill”, a one of a kind science fair that gave parliamentarians the opportunity to see first-hand some of the most innovative genomics research projects taking place across this country.

There were 12 research projects highlighted at this event, including the autism genome project, which, of course, is of personal interest to me and my family. World-renowned Canadian researchers, like Dr. Stephen Scherer, are working on decoding the genetic basis of autism and providing critical knowledge, diagnostic tests and eventually treatments assisting tens of thousands of families in Canada and worldwide.

I am proud of Canada's investment of over $915 million in Genome Canada. The return on our investment is not only demonstrable to Canadians, but priceless for countless Canadian families.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, some Canadian university campuses have become hotbeds of anti-Israel activity with the resulting intimidation of Jewish students.

Anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated, especially under the cloak of freedom of speech. Yet, last week the York Federation of Students hosted an on-campus event with George Galloway, a recognized promoter of the vilification of Israel and a supporter of a terrorist organization.

One of my constituents, Rabbi Aaron Hoch, protested. York officials responded by sending the rabbi a legal notice to cease and desist or face litigation. What a dreadful way to deal with those who oppose hatred.

Ironically, two weeks ago, the International Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism, which I attended, passed the Ottawa protocol. This protocol calls on governments to work with universities to combat anti-Semitism with the same vigour they apply to other forms of hate.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to signing the Ottawa protocol and aid Rabbi Hoch in his fight against hatred on campus?

Canadian Museums AssociationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the presence today of representatives of the Canadian Museums Association who are here as part of their second annual day on Parliament Hill.

They are here today to raise awareness among all hon. members of the association's financial needs. The Canadian Museums Association is calling for a program that would have the federal government match private sector donations dollar for dollar.

There are more than 2,500 museums in Canada, including nearly 700 in Quebec. They employ more than 24,000 people for a total payroll of roughly $650 million. Tourist visits to museums contribute an estimated $17 billion to Canada’s economy. What museums contribute to our economy is not insignificant. We must help them.

Litterless Lunch ChallengeStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, did you know that a school-aged child generates approximately 67 pounds of lunch waste every year? That is almost 20,000 pounds of waste for just one elementary school.

That is why in October, during waste reduction week, I held a “Litterless Lunch Challenge” in my riding of New Westminster—Coquitlam and Port Moody. Over 50 classes in 5 schools participated, including Baker Drive, Parkland, Lord Baden-Powell, Maillard, Ranch Park and Moody Middle.

The winner of the 2010 Litterless Lunch Challenge is Ms. Sherle's grade four class at Parkland Elementary in Coquitlam who achieved a score of 93%. I congratulate Ms. Sherle and her class.

I also thank all the students, teachers and parents for setting an example of environmental stewardship. We can just imagine what a difference it would make if every school in Canada went litter free.

David LamStatements By Members

November 23rd, 2010 / 2 p.m.


Alice Wong Conservative Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of the 25th Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Hon. David Lam, who died Monday at the age of 87.

David Lam was an inspiration for all Canadians. His intelligence, generosity, passion for life and love for his community are a few of his many qualities that will be missed.

David Lam encouraged the integration of immigrant Canadians into Canadian life, myself being one. He was a bridge for many new Canadians and he preached and practised the understanding of Canadian values.

He was a humble person but very strong in his ways. Although his service to the province of British Columbia in the capacity of Lieutenant-Governor granted him the official title of “honourable”, it is also a title he rightly deserved for his service to mankind.

I feel privileged to have known him and his late wife, Dorothy. Our country is all the richer for the years that they lived among us and for the many lives they touched.

Terry Fox MuseumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago, an average young man became a hero when he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each Canadian for research.

After 5,300 kilometres, Terry Fox announced that he would postpone the rest of the run, saying, “I'm gonna do my very best. I'll fight. I promise I won't give up”.

Since Terry's death, $550 million have been raised and the annual run takes place in countries such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

There is a new dream, a dream to build a museum in Terry's honour in Vancouver, and the tremendous strides made in cancer research, a place for the world to come to contemplate and to inspire hope.

Will everyone help build the dream?

National Holodomor Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, a Conservative private member's bill to redress the internment of Canadian Ukrainians during World War II was put into action, and the Prime Minister championed my bill to recognize the Holodomor, the forced Ukrainian famine of 1932-33, as genocide.

The Prime Minister's official trip to Ukraine last month further demonstrates the close relationship that we enjoy between our two countries.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the millions of Ukrainians who died during the Holodomor by placing a symbolic jar of grain on behalf of all Canadians at a monument by the National Holodomor Memorial Museum in Kyiv.

He acknowledged the enormity of the event and the millions who perished under Stalin's Soviet regime and demonstrated our hope that such an atrocity never occur again.

I was proud to witness our Prime Minister standing in solidarity with Ukrainians in Lviv and declaring Holodomor an act of genocide.

This week marks National Holodomor Awareness Week. I ask everyone to learn more about Holodomor so that atrocities such as this never occur again. I encourage all members to join in honouring the survivors and remembering the victims of this genocide.

Vichnaya Pam'yat.

Laval University's Rouge et OrStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the Laval University Rouge et Or captured the Uteck Cup on their home field with a dramatic last-minute 13 to 11 victory over the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.

The game, which was played with the chill of winter in the air, came down to the final play, with the Mustangs' failed attempt at a field goal. I would like to highlight the performance of Christopher Milo, who scored four field goals and added a rouge, notching all of the points for his team and thereby earning the title of game MVP. As a result of this win, the Quebec university football dynasty will make its sixth appearance at the Vanier Cup, which determines the Canadian champion.

The win is even more gratifying for the Rouge et Or since the final match for the prestigious championship trophy will also be played on its home field at Laval University's PEPS Stadium.

The Bloc Québécois wishes the Rouge et Or and coach Glen Constantin the best of luck and a glorious victory on Saturday.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, it will surprise no one to hear that the FTQ, a union, has been financially supporting the Bloc Québécois for over a decade. The Bloc Québécois and the FTQ are allies. Everyone knows that.

Up until March 6, 2009, the senior director of the FTQ was Jocelyn Dupuis. It has been widely reported in the media that Mr. Dupuis allegedly has ties to organized crime in Quebec. What we did not know is that this same Jocelyn Dupuis made financial contributions directly to the riding association of the leader of the Bloc Québécois, in Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

The question is simple: does the leader of the Bloc Québécois know where this money came from? Quebeckers deserve to know.

Religious FreedomStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, between 1979 and 2003, Saddam Hussein ruled over the people of Iraq through the use of fear, intimidation and terror. While Saddam Hussein seemed to enjoy inflicting atrocities upon the whole of the Iraqi people, he had a special affinity for persecuting Iraqi Christians, like those living in Nineveh.

In the time following Saddam Hussein's conviction as a war criminal, the people of Iraq have gained much. However, despite this progress, there is still much to do in this emerging democracy.

Discrimination against Iraqi Christians continues to prevent children from attending classes and their parents from fully engaging in society. To put it another way, Iraq's shameful history of human rights suppression has still not ended and this can be clearly seen as a result of the recent killings.

I again call upon the government to use every diplomatic tool to ensure the basic ideals of religious freedom and tolerance are respected and protected for all Iraqis.

Iraqi Christians deserve our support and our protection. I believe that by speaking out and through constructive engagement, we can help make this a reality.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government strongly supports the 80,000 Canadian families who work in Canada's world-class aerospace industry.

The F-35 purchase will help these families and new families by providing thousands of potential new jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits.

However, if the Liberal leader has his way, these jobs and benefits will be gone. Individual companies and industry organizations in Canada's aerospace industry are urging members of the House to put jobs and growth ahead of politics by voting against the Liberal leader's plan to cancel this important program.

The F-35 is a win-win for the Canadian Forces and the Canadian economy. The air force will be replacing an aircraft that has reached the end of its lifespan and Canada's aerospace industry will benefit from opportunities that will create highly skilled and well-paying jobs for Canadians for years to come.

It is time for the Liberal leader to put Canadian Forces and Canadian jobs ahead of politics and support a program that is good for Canada.

We are still paying for Jean Chrétien's horror movie about the Sea King replacement. We cannot afford to go there again.

FinanceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ontarians remember only too well when Mike Harris' minister of education said that he would create a crisis in education so that the Conservatives could then implement their right-wing agenda in schools.

Now the federal finance minister has taken a page out of the same play book and is bringing what he learned from Mike Harris straight to Parliament Hill. First, he has made sure that the financial cupboard is bare by creating the biggest deficit in Canadian history and now he is telling Canadians that it would be irresponsible to spend money on them.

He has had no problem finding new money for his pet projects: $16 billion in untendered fighter jet contracts; $13 billion to build prisons for unreported crimes; and $6 billion for additional corporate tax cuts.

However, for hard-working Canadians and cash-strapped municipalities, the finance minister says that there is nothing left.

That is simply not good enough. The innocent victims of this recession who have lost their jobs, lost their EI and lost their retirement savings cannot tighten their belts any further.

I would invite the finance minister to come to Hamilton and talk to the locked out workers of Local 1005, to seniors whose pensions cannot keep up with the HST, to homeowners whose basements are flooded by broken water mains and to students who are drowning in debt. It is time to put their priorities first. It is time to remember whose money he has been spending.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, today Parliament will vote on the Liberal opposition motion calling on the government to cancel the purchase of the 65 F-35 fighter jets.

The F-35 program is good for the Canadian Forces and the economy. The forces will be able to replace jets that have reached the end of their lifespan, and the purchase of the F-35s will give Canadian aerospace companies privileged access to billions of dollars in contracts for work on thousands of jets in the global F-35 supply chain, which is much more than if we limited the operations of these companies to Canadian aircraft only.

If it were up to the Liberals, they would cancel the F-35 program and jeopardize tens of thousands of jobs in our aerospace industry. The industry and the workers must not be subject to the Liberals' political games.

Our Conservative government strongly supports the 80,000 Canadians and Quebeckers and their families who work in Canada's aerospace industry.

Montreal AlouettesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal Alouettes advanced to the Grey Cup by literally crushing the Toronto Argonauts 48 to 17. The one-sided game took place on Sunday at the Olympic stadium in the magnificent riding of Hochelaga.

Thanks to spectacular team play, the Alouettes handily dominated their opponent. The support of 58,000 fans was also a factor.

This is the Alouettes' third consecutive trip to the Grey Cup, which they won in 2009. This year's championship game is a rematch, as Marc Trestman's team will again face the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Bloc Québécois hopes that the Montreal Alouettes will return victorious from Edmonton next Sunday and parade before their fans with the precious cup in hand. As in other matters, Montreal knows how to beat Toronto.

Canadian Museums DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Andrew Kania Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday is Canadian Museums Day, a day to draw awareness to the importance of Canada's museums and public art galleries to the Canadian cultural landscape.

Canada's museums and public art galleries preserve our rich history, help shape the Canadian identity and educate visitors about the importance of tolerance and understanding in our society.

Besides representing the very souls of our vibrant communities, Canada's 2,500 museums, which include everything from art galleries to science centres to zoos, are key to the economy. This sector employs 24,000 Canadians and contributes $17 billion in tourism revenue.

On Canadian Museums Day, I encourage all Canadians to consider the role that culture plays in their communities and to become more active supporters of heritage so that the Canadian story can continue to live on through the generations.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition continues to make reckless and uncosted spending promises, reckless spending promises like a 45-day work year.

Who would pay for reckless Liberal spending? Hard-working Canadian taxpayers, that is who. Canadian families would be forced to send more and more of their money to fund Liberal schemes and bloated government. It is no wonder the Liberal leader calls himself a tax and spend Liberal and publicly demands that federal taxes must go up.

Our Conservative government believes in lower taxes that help create jobs and economic growth. That is why we lowered the family tax bill by over $3,000 under our Conservative government. That is why we helped create over 430,000 new jobs since last July.

While Liberals talk about massive new spending and higher taxes, we are looking out for Canadian families by getting back to balance and lowering taxes.

PensionsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario


Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative MP for Saskatoon—Humboldt admitted recently that the government was spending like it was Christmas, and he is certainly right: billions on prisons, billions on single-source stealth fighters and $300 million to clean up the mess it made on Camp Mirage. However, when it comes to the Nortel pensioners, disabled pensioners whose benefits will run out at Christmas, the government starts behaving like Scrooge.

How does the government explain its reckless spending and its heartless choices to disabled pensioners?

PensionsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta


Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have considerable concern for the employees of Nortel. The Leader of the Opposition should understand that what is happening is due to a court settlement that occurred under legislation in place at the time of the Nortel bankruptcy.