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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was funding.

Topics

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, obviously, I will answer quickly.

No, that is not what Canadians expect. They expect their rights to be protected, their privacy to be protected, and their ability to move around the globe in a safe fashion to also be protected; none of which is guaranteed in this legislation at all.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in opposition to Bill C-42. It is clearly an important bill when we look at what is at stake.

There used to be a solid core of supporters and even members within the Conservative Party who prided themselves on the issue of privacy protection. That seems to have been lost recently. It has been pawned off at times, and I give the example of the bizarre and unusual case of the census conundrum.

The government has said that it wants to make sure that the privacy of citizens is protected. It has said that citizens should not feel obligated to tell the government how many bathrooms they have in their domain and other personal information. When asked how many people had actually complained about this, the government said one was enough. We are still not sure who that one person is. Some people think it might have been someone in the minister's backyard.

The point is this is not about the census and people know that. We in this Parliament are bound by the provisions for protection. We have the oversight. The problem with this bill is that we would be handing over Canadians' right to privacy to another government.

The government has talked about not being able to pony up the money for the database for the collection of this information. Not only will information be handed over to another government but that information will be held by that government and we will not be able to get to it.

I really want to underline the importance of the intervention made by my colleague from Windsor. I have had case after case right here in the nation's capital involving people who have been denied entry into the United States. When our government is asked what can be done, we are pointed to homeland security in the United States.

I do not know if the same situation exists in Saskatchewan, but I do know that people right across this country have been faced with it. If a constituent is on a no-fly list, his or her member of Parliament will probably talk to the minister or someone in his department. They are told that this is something that the department cannot handle. This is under the oversight of homeland security in the United States. After a very long route through voice mail, we can bring forward the case but that is the end of it. We will not be heard again.

Right now we have problems with regard to Canadians being able to freely travel abroad, particularly south of the border, and we have not figured that out yet. The government has been very silent on this during this debate. The government is going to oblige the United States when asked for this information, but we have not even figured out how to get someone's name off a no-fly list.

Constituents are scratching their heads and wondering why they cannot cross the border into the United States. They cannot figure out a way to get their name off the no-fly list. The government is about to open this up even further by sharing data through Bill C-42. It does not make sense.

Where is the consistency within the Conservative Party that used to stand up for privacy? This is not about the census. This is not about how many bathrooms there are in somebody's house. This is about a person's ability to travel abroad without the fear of being put on a no-fly list or without the sharing of personal information. That is what we are talking about here. We are talking about providing credit card information. We are talking about providing the date of birth of a Canadian citizen.

This reminds me of the debate in the House on Bill C-31 to reform the Canada Elections Act, when Liberals and the Bloc wanted to support an amendment to that bill and to streamline electoral practices by putting birth dates on the list.

Members may remember this. There was a strong debate in committee. I asked Ms. Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner, to come before committee to get her opinion on whether she thought having birth date information on an electoral list was a good idea. At the time I was not supported by the Liberals, Conservatives and the Bloc, who said that we had already heard from Ms. Stoddart. The problem was we had heard from Ms. Stoddart before the amendment was put forward.

I wrote to Ms. Stoddart and asked her opinion, as Privacy Commissioner, about having one's birth date on the electoral list.

Mr. Speaker, you will know, having been in a couple of campaigns, that the electoral list is shared widely. To have that kind of private information, with people's dates of birth, on a list that is circulated so widely is asking for trouble. Allowing others to take people's information from the electoral list to apply for a credit card or to do the other things that data miners do opens up many doors.

At the time, Ms. Stoddart got back to me and the House and said she had grave concerns about this compromising Canadians' privacy. Eventually, thankfully, that bill was dropped, but it was about to go through the House. It is the NDP Party that stood against that flagrant abuse of Canadians' privacy.

Again, I go back to the Conservatives and ask what happened. They used to be the ones who talked about protecting privacy. Now it is only about whether people have to say how many bathrooms they have in their homes. That is the line in the sand now.

What about when someone travels abroad? What about when someone's data is collected and captured by another country? Does that not matter any more to the Conservatives? Is it simply a matter of shrugging and saying this is the way we do things now? I want to underline that because this is a government bill.

To my friends in the Bloc and the Liberal Party, reviewing things after five years is not going to do what is needed, or even within two years or a year. If it is bad legislation now, do not pass it. When they vote for this bill, they are blessing this process. It is too late a year later, when a constituent asks how his or her information got into a database in the United States, to say we were told that it would not happen, that we trusted this would be a process our officials would keep their eye on. That is not good enough.

Today opposition members have an opportunity to say no to this bill. It is not about saying we do not want to negotiate with our friends south of the border. It is in fact saying that we should negotiate with our friends south of the border, which we did not do.

I am surprised that both the Liberals and the Bloc have decided this bill is okay. I say this because I know many of them and know that their constituents will be concerned about privacy. I am sure many of their constituents have been on the no-fly list and have not been able to get their names off it. I am sure many members have had to deal with those cases.

At the end of the day, I return to the issue of whether this is a good deal for Canadians. I say it is not: it puts our privacy in peril. If that is the case, then we as New Democrats say no to this bill. We need a better deal and we say no to Bill C-42.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to read something that was said by the leader of the official opposition earlier this month. He stated:

Mr. Speaker, a perimeter security deal that has harmonization of entry and exit standards will confer on the U.S. government unprecedented amounts of information about Canadians. I do not think the Prime Minister is being straight with Canadians about this issue. The deal would impose U.S. homeland security standards on this side of the border.

Why is the Prime Minister even contemplating the surrender of Canadian privacy rights to U.S. homeland security?

The leader of the official opposition appeared to suggest to Canadians that he cared about their privacy rights and stood against the surrender of Canadian privacy rights to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and yet we see the spectre of the Liberal Party of Canada preparing to vote in favour of this bill that would do exactly that.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague can comment on that horrendous act of hypocrisy.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would join the Leader of the Opposition in my concern about the perimeter talks. One of the concerns we have is about the SPP. We have not seen anything come before Parliament. He is quite right to underline the concerns that Canadians have about that. We and other members of the opposition, the Bloc, share the same concerns.

The thing that is hard to understand is what we do know.

We do not know the details of the perimeter talks because the government has not brought forward details of what is being discussed and what is at stake. We hear things. We hear about energy being shipped south, about supplies that we have not been told about and at what cost. We hear about standards for border security, products, food, etc.

However, we do know about this bill. Hopefully, the Leader of the Opposition has read this bill or had someone advise him about it. Unlike the perimeter security deal, we know about this one, and this one is going to compromise Canadians' privacy. This is not abstract, but concrete. This will give up Canadians' privacy to our friends south of the border.

Therefore, I would tell my colleague from Vancouver that we really do want to encourage the Liberals to look at this. In all sincerity, if they are concerned about privacy and sovereignty, there is an easy choice: vote no to Bill C-42.

Strengthening Aviation Security ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being 5:30 p.m. the House will now proceed to the consideration of private member's business as listed on today's order paper.

The House resumed from November 24 consideration of the motion and the amendment..

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona has five minutes left to conclude his remarks.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today in response to the motion by the member for Ottawa—Orléans.

I listened to the member's last go-round on November 24 last year. I know the mover of the motion, the member for Ottawa—Orléans, has done a lot of work on this motion. He made a very impassioned speech last go-round about his involvement in the issue.

He pointed out correctly that the forest products industry is a major generator of employment in Canada, that it is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for over 600,000 jobs in Canada. It has annual revenues of over $50 billion. It actually represents 2% of the GDP of the country. The member points out that Canada is the largest, most successful forest products exporting nation in the world.

Over the course of his remarks, the member also talked about his involvement in planting trees, his family's history of planting, and that of his son.

I talked about the situation we have in Manitoba right now with our boreal forest and the argument about whether the Bipole III power lines should go down the east side of the Manitoba lakes or not. I pointed out that it was his provincial party, the opposition in Manitoba, that was favouring this move to run the power line down the east side of the area. The Manitoba government is trying to turn the area into a preserve.

The member said he would check with Dorothy Dobbie, whom we both know. I have known Dorothy for many years. I actually know her husband and her kids. She, too, is quite involved in forestry and gardening issues in Manitoba, and certainly on a national stage as well.

I do applaud him because for many years we have had a very poor attitude towards natural resources in this country, but I am not going to say all over the world, because we have much evidence of the Europeans and Scandinavian countries back in the 1970s having a very positive attitude toward reforestation. People could not clear-cut over there. Trees had to be replaced as they were harvested. Every tree harvested had to be replaced.

We were not doing that here. As a matter of fact, we were just finding out this last week that the Ontario government and other governments were spraying Agent Orange through the forests of northern Ontario. Now the young workers who are were standing there getting the spray on them when they were teenagers are in their 50s and developing cancers and other health problems tied to this Agent Orange problem.

That is certainly the attitude we had during those years. The forest companies had their tracts of land, and their attitude was that they were going to spray the trees. They would load up airplanes with Agent Orange, mix it all up and spray it to kill what they considered to be trees of inferior quality. I would hope that we would not do things like that today and not try to harvest the best trees in the forest at the lowest possible cost. That is the way we used to look at things.

I am really pleased that we are changing our minds, little by little. We owe it to the environmental movement that has pushed us along. I am really pleased to see there are Conservative MPs who are taking a real interest in this, because the Conservative Party has not historically been overly concerned about the environment relative to our party over here. They have been known as pro-development and in favour of mowing the forest down and worrying about it later.

Even Conservatives can change. I am not suggesting that the member opposite has made any changes, because I think he has been solid from day one on this particular issue. However, it has not been normal for me to see a lot of Conservatives really actively concerned. Maybe they were concerned, but they were not actively promoting these kinds of issues—

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order please. There being no further members rising, I will go to the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans for his five minute right of reply.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to conclude the debate on my motion to establish a National Tree Day.

For the people of Ottawa—Orléans, I thank them for the opportunity to serve them and to represent them in the Parliament of Canada. It is with their support that I am able to stand in this place, in their place, today to speak to this important motion.

The residents of Ottawa—Orléans are the beneficiaries of a rich natural history. Orléans was, and to a great degree remains, a deep farmland with old trees and a great natural presence. Though continued growth has made new development a recurring pattern, one can always witness vibrant urban forests, parks lands and, of course, trees.

It is such a pleasure to take the journey that brought us here today with Michael Rosen and the professional staff and dedicated volunteers of Tree Canada.

In the first hour of debate, I alluded to the support of Mr. Rosen's organization for Motion M-575. Tree Canada has continued to be most helpful, and I understand they have even sent letters—on recycled paper, of course—to each member of this House seeking their support also. I once again thank them for their work.

Every member of the House knows, and it is henceforth recorded in the history of this place, that Tree Canada provides a vital service to our country and to its people. They have had a role in planting and maintaining over 76 million trees.

This motion comes as a product of a vision. As I previously told the House, I plant a tree each year during National Forest Week. I have done that since my days as a Boy Scout. I have also planted some 52,000 trees outside this celebratory week, and my children have planted 23,000 trees so far.

We do not just talk about the environment. We actually look after our own carbon footprint, and we have done it for generations.

It is my hope that this motion will create a day where others will be inspired to acknowledge the importance of the tree and take the time to plant one, or many, of their own.

Tree day will be the only exclusive day to recognize one of Canada's greatest assets: its trees. As I mentioned before, the tree is a symbol of Canada's historic, economic and environmental success. Our friends to the south celebrate their Arbor Day and soon we will celebrate Canada's own national tree day.

By passing this motion, the House will ask Canadians to spend just one day reflecting on the link between their lives and that of the tree. Canadians will dedicate trees, plant trees, learn about trees and appreciate the historical impact the tree has had on Canada’s economic success as a nation.

I understand that all parties in the House are fully aware of the importance of this motion and have extended their support. I thank them. It is then fruitless to continue encouraging them to support this motion when it seems that I have already laid a convincing case.

So, I will take just a few moments to thank some people who have helped this motion become a reality.

I thank the hon. members who have participated in this debate, my friend, the jovial member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, and the learned member for Elmwood—Transcona.

I also want to thank the fiery member for Honoré-Mercier and the member for Trois-Rivières.

As well, I thank the member for Windsor West and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.

I thank Craig Huff, the late manager of the city of Ottawa Forestry Services, his successor, David Barkley, the students of Good Shepherd Catholic School, the 1st Blackburn Scouts, 3rd Orléans, 4th Orléans, 8th Orléans and the 14th Gloucester.

And the Scouts of 25th St. Gabriel, 31st St. Joseph, and 55th Ste. Marie.

Finally, I thank my own staff, Lynne Bernard, Amanda Iarusso, Rebecca Lee, Andrej Sakic, Gina Vilsaint, Amanda Weir and Colette Yelle.

I also thank my senior assistant, Kyle Simunovic, who keeps the trains running on time.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Amendment agreed to)

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The next question is on the main motion, as amended. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion, as amended?

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to Standing Order 93, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, March 2 at the beginning of private member's member.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would ask that you seek consent to see the clock at 6:30 p.m.

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

National Tree DayPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year we will be noting an incredible anniversary, the 120th year since the first arrival of Ukrainian Canadian pioneers on the shores of this great nation of ours, Canada.

As they arrived, they got on to trains and headed west to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. In fact, Saskatchewan and Alberta were not provinces at that time. They transformed what was the bush of the Northwest Territories and of Manitoba into the golden wheat fields of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

It is an incredible history of perseverance and nation building. In fact, I have said this in meetings out in western Canada. When we talk about the tremendous contribution those pioneers made in building Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian community, those hearty pioneers that began arriving in waves 120 years ago, are in fact one of the founding peoples of our great country.

There was a labour of love that was worked on and built in Edmonton. It is called the Ukrainian Canadian Archives & Museum of Alberta. It was first open to the public in 1974. It includes over 2,000 artifacts, 40,000 books, 5,000 photographs, 400 pieces of art, 300 maps and a collection of 320 newspaper titles from 17 countries, archival documents that tell a story of those pioneers.

I have had the incredible opportunity to look at some of those documents. I have read letters written by young women who arrived and had to basically burrow in crates to get through the harsh prairie winter that first year. They wrote back home and talked of how they had lost their children during that first winter and the hardships that they went through in those first years.

We have a beautiful outdoor architectural museum in Alberta, where we see those original thatched huts and some of the churches those pioneers built after establishing themselves. However, there is nothing that actually has wide public access which talks about and documents the story of what took place.

This is the role of the archives museum in Edmonton. People there have been waiting for years for the federal government to step forward. The municipal government of Edmonton and the provincial government each came forward with $3 million. The community came forward with large amounts. The Chwyl Family Foundation put in $750,000. They were looking for a contribution of $6 million from the federal government to match the funds. In the fall, the government announced $6.25 million in a press announcement, which everyone took at face value. That meant this archival museum would finally open and the documents would not be lost. It turns out that this included the provincial funding of $3 million.

Why has the government not come forward with the funding required for this museum?