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House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bullying.

Topics

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I feel like I am in my law classes where a student asks me a question about something to which I do not know the detailed answer.

What I do know is that the Criminal Code does contain provisions that allow for a measure of preventive actions. The sections that deal with what we call peace bonds in English, do allow for preventive actions. We also have all kinds of measures that allow for arrests on the understanding of the arresting officer or agency that a criminal offence is about to happen.

We have to keep in mind that, for example, in the case of the Toronto 18, the kinds of arrests that were effected there were preventive in the sense that, apart from what was going on at the planning stages and the forays in the forest, the actual acts that we understand they were thinking about doing had not occurred. The system seemed to have allowed that to be detected. That has to do with the basic police and intelligence work that does allow for arrest when someone has started down the preparatory path of committing a crime. It is not just a matter of prevention where nothing has been done. People can be arrested and charged when they start down the path even if they have not been completed the path.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, this bill provides for increased penalties for those who harbour persons carrying on terrorist activities in this country, but are the factors that have led those people to support terrorists taken into account? Is the fact that certain persons are threatened and somewhat compelled to do so considered? For example, a family may be threatened in order to compel it to harbour such individuals or to remain silent. Does this bill draw a distinction based on the reasons that lead individuals to support terrorists?

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we would turn to the general criminal law and for various defences that would be available, including the defence of duress. That would enable people to say that they had no choice but to do what they did in harbouring. However, it is a pretty onerous standard and so it is not easily available if someone feels constrained versus actually threatened. If they are threatened, then they would have a defence.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk about Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act and the Security of Information Act.

This bill is one of a series of anti-terrorism acts that started in 2001 following the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Bill S-7, the Combating Terrorism Act, aims to reintroduce anti-terrorism measures into our legal system. Those measures have been controversial since they were introduced in 2001.

In my opinion, those measures were introduced in 2001 because everyone was panicking. Everyone considers September 11, 2001, to be a turning point. We are all aware that everyone panicked and that we did not really know how to react to the attacks.

If I asked, every member of the House would be able to tell me where they were and what they were doing when the attacks took place.

For my part, on September 11, 2001, I was 17 years old and starting my college-level nursing studies; I was in my psychology class, and the professor entered the room to announce that there had been attacks in the United States and that a plane had flown into the twin towers.

One of my colleagues, somewhat in a panic, said, “My mother is in New York right now.” Everyone panicked. We all remember that day; we can all say what we were doing when we heard the news.

When all this happened, I was in my first year as a student in Sherbrooke, which is closer to the U.S. border further south, and my father, quite a sensible, brave man—I am really proud of him—called me to say that if I could return to Abitibi if I wanted. He understood that I might feel safer further north. A man like my father, whom I fully respect and who is really brave, was concerned and even in a bit of a panic knowing that I was far away. Everyone panicked.

Nobody knew what was going on, and laws were passed quickly because something had to be done. Elected representatives panicked, and so did the people. Something had to be done immediately. The main anti-terrorism acts passed after September 11, 2001, stem from that.

The text of the bill before us would amend the Criminal Code. It adds to and amends the list of terrorist activities, increases the penalties provided, particularly for harbouring a person who has committed a terrorism-related offence, and amends the Canada Evidence Act and the Security of Information Act.

It is true that terrorism in many forms is a threat to our society, and we must address it. However, it is always a good idea, when discussing crime bills, to consider what constitutes the hard line and what is the intelligent and effective line because the two may be synonymous at times and not at others. Consequently, we must take the time to consider exactly what we want, and I believe we must always aim for the intelligent and effective line.

These days, the opponents of a democratic regime are less and less likely the conventional forces they previously were; they are much more frequently rebel groups or terrorists, who obey no rules or international conventions, no treaties or rules for parties at war.

However, if our opponents do not abide by those rules, is it not appropriate for us to ask ourselves whether we are prepared to abandon those rules in order to guarantee public safety? Sometimes we have to take the time to think and ask ourselves whether we are not selling our soul to the devil by accepting things that go too far for the sake of public safety.

So we must be very cautious when we talk about these things. For example, should we endanger the human rights and individual freedoms that are truly dear to our country, to our democracy, and for which people have fought, for which Canadian forces have fought several wars? Should we set aside the progress we have made? The answer is no.

Why? The Combating Terrorism Act raises this question: are we discharging our public safety obligations? Anti-terrorism measures have previously been taken, and all those provisions remain in effect today, with the exception of those respecting investigative hearings and recognizance with conditions. A sunset clause, which expired in 2007, was put in place with respect to those provisions because they were viewed as a short-term solution to an emergency and because concerns had been expressed at the time. So it is somewhat as I was saying earlier: following the events of September 11, 2001, panic set in. We took measures, without knowing whether they should be maintained, in response, as it were, to the climate of panic that had set in.

Before they were eliminated, these measures were never useful. Before 2007 they were never necessary. They were used only one time, and it was not a success. But now the government wants to reinstate these same measures, which were never used in a situation that was considered to be an emergency situation at the time.

In more recent cases, it was not necessary to use these specific measures. The existing provisions in the Criminal Code were more than sufficient. We are in the process of bringing these individuals to justice, under the provisions and conditions that already exist in our Criminal Code. In 2007, when these measures came to an end, the House rejected the resolution to extend these provisions.

Our desire to be seen as doing something about law and order is making us lose sight of the notion of justice. Our system must not become focused on law and order instead of justice.

If we look at the application of our laws, we can see that the current provisions are already sufficient. Furthermore, the committees responsible for examining this issue heard the testimony of a number of stakeholders who said that existing Canadian laws were enough. For example, during the 2011 study by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on the old Bill C-17—which was the earlier version of Bill S-7—Denis Barrette, the spokesperson for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; Ihsaan Gardee, the executive director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations; Ziyaad Mia, the chair of the Advocacy and Research Committee of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association; and James Kafieh, the legal counsel for the Canadian Islamic Congress, spoke out against this bill. They said it was unnecessary and violated a number of civil liberties and human rights.

Mr. Speaker, I will share more of what these people said when we continue our study of Bill S-7 and you give me 10 more minutes.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue will have 11 minutes to conclude her speech and another 10 minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on this motion.

World Food DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is World Food Day.

I am honoured to be able to tell the House about a wonderful event that is taking place in my constituency of beautiful Langley, British Columbia. Tomorrow at the Langley Events Centre, in the largest Canadian event of its kind, more than 1,600 people will come together, many of them local secondary school students, to bring attention to the needs of world food security.

World Food Day is a United Nations sanctioned day.

This incredible group of students and residents will be joining the Food for Famine Society to encourage all of us to do our part to end world hunger and poverty. This event will be livestreamed online at worldfooddaycanada.ca.

Please join me in encouraging this dedicated group of people for making a difference to end world hunger and poverty.

Passport ApplicationsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, why do only 25 out of 81 Service Canada centres in Quebec verify and pass along passport applications?

In Shefford, since I was elected, my staff has verified and forwarded no fewer than 2,767 passport applications. Considering that roughly 40 hours a week are devoted to this work and considering the cost of sending the applications, our MPs' budget no longer allows us to provide this service to our constituents.

Do not forget that my riding is close to the U.S. border. This service is essential to the people in my riding. I asked Service Canada about this a year ago and I got the same answer that I got last Thursday: the matter is still under review. What is the government waiting for to make a decision?

Local LeadersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Hillyer Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday I presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to 30 of southern Alberta's finest citizens. They are shining examples of the community spirit that thrives in southern Alberta.

All great movements have their great leaders, but the great movement can only come to pass and take root with the help of countless other local leaders working together to serve a great people.

India had Gandhi, and it needed Gandhi, but Gandhi also needed India, half a billion people willing to live as Gandhi lived.

The civil rights movement had Martin Luther King Jr., but it also had Rosa Parks and countless other individuals quietly and constantly practising what he preached.

Today Canada leads the world and we do so because of great local volunteers and leaders serving the world's greatest people, quietly working together not for praise and glory but out of a commitment to make the world a better place for their friends and neighbours.

It is through people like them that God keeps our land glorious and free.

Co-op WeekStatements By Members

October 15th, 2012 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is Co-op Week in Canada, a moment to highlight the 9,000-plus co-ops that make life more pleasant for millions of us.

Co-op enterprises have a long and proud history in Canada, from the Mouvement Desjardins and its more than five million members, to Vancity, to the United Farmers of Alberta; from the Fogo Island co-op to the new Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative and to the world-renowned Mountain Equipment Co-op, let us celebrate the values that drive this underestimated sector of our economy.

Last week, Quebec City was host to the International Summit of Cooperatives, the showcase event of the International Year of Co-operatives. Some 3,000 participants from around the world came to recognize the amazing power of co-operatives and to shape their future.

I am wearing this scarf as a tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who helped make the summit a success.

Finally, let me express a wish that the Government of Canada will use this co-op week to make amends and announce much awaited and deserved initiatives to support the Canadian co-operative movement.

Guinness World RecordStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, congratulations to the students from St. Anthony's Catholic School in Chalk River and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Petawawa and the thousands of other students at 135 schools and other locations across Canada who participated in attempting to set the Guinness world record for the largest practical science lesson at multiple locations. The record-breaking event took place on Friday October 12 at exactly the same time across Canada.

The activity marked the official launch of National Science and Technology Week 2012, which this year runs from October 12 to October 21. It was a way to help celebrate the occasion by encouraging as many Canadians as possible to have fun with science.

The students from Chalk River and Petawawa benefited from living close to the Chalk River Laboratories, with help from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited scientists who volunteered their time to assist with the lessons.

Congratulations to all the students and their teachers who participated in the world's largest practical science lesson.

Drinking WaterStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the resilience and patience of the people of Murray Park in Pointe-Lebel, near Baie-Comeau. This community is facing one of the worst cases of contaminated drinking water to be seen in recent years in Quebec.

Testing of the drinking water in this mobile home park found not only the E. coli bacteria, but also cancer-causing chemical components, including haloacetic acids, at levels that were 16 times higher than the Canadian standard.

In recent months, some remedial action was taken to allow the 51 families living in the park to continue their daily hygiene routine: communal showers were installed because of a water advisory issued for both cooking and personal hygiene.

When I met with some residents of Murray Park, I saw first-hand the distress they are feeling and the need for immediate action. The next day, my team set about checking records to identify the various stakeholders involved and the recourse available to residents under the circumstances. Furthermore, my office is awaiting a response from the Minister of Health, who was alerted of the situation in a letter dated September 14, 2012.

I would like to reiterate my support for the residents of Murray Park, who must now face the harsh north shore climate without basic amenities.

Chief of Peel Regional PoliceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, together with many of my fellow Peel MPs, I had the honour of attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new chief for the Peel Regional Police, Jennifer Evans. Chief Evans has served in many capacities with the Peel Regional Police since she joined in 1983, including as a front-line officer and criminal investigator. She has worked tirelessly to bring justice in a number of cases and has also served with the Ontario coroner's office and the provincial ViCLAS centre.

Chief Evans is the sixth chief of Peel Police and the first woman to hold the office. It is a great step forward for the outstanding police service of my region. Under her expert guidance and leadership, I am sure that the Peel Regional Police service will continue to move from strength to strength. Chief Evans has my fullest congratulations. I am sure that all of my hon. colleagues from the Peel region and across the country join me in wishing her the best.

Co-op WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the recent House of Commons Special Committee on Co-operatives, it is my pleasure to stand and recognize this week as international Co-operatives Week. Co-op Week provides this House with the opportunity to celebrate the role that Canadian co-operatives and credit unions play in building this country and to recognize their continuing contributions at home and abroad. The sheer number and size of Canadian co-operatives make their impact on the economy indisputable. Co-ops have proven remarkably resilient and are a key contributor to Canada's economic recovery.

Co-operatives can be found in each and every one of our ridings, from small villages to big cities, and in every region of Canada. They exist in virtually every sector of the economy, from retail and financial services to agriculture, housing and health care, to name just a few. I encourage all of my colleagues to get to know the co-operatives in their ridings and I wish all Canadians a happy international Co-operatives Week.

HousingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the International Monetary Fund warned Canada that the country's household debt has reached a critical level. Households are facing higher house prices and record debt levels, where residential mortgages represent 68% of household debt, and rent is higher than ever.

The Minister of Finance himself said that the global economy is fragile and that global economic turbulence has had and will continue to have a negative impact on Canada.

The government and the IMF recognize the potential problems, so when will the Conservatives act to prevent this potential crisis? We are offering them the solution on a silver platter. It is time to implement a national housing strategy. We are the only G8 country that does not have one. With a long-term strategy, we could coordinate our efforts to avoid a crisis and prevent debt from getting out of control.

The time has come for the Conservative government to listen to Canadians and support Bill C-400.

BullyingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss a very serious topic that affects the most vulnerable Canadians, our children.

Bullying is not a right of passage; it should not be considered a part of growing up. It is a serious issue and it can reach the level of criminal activity. My thoughts and prayers go out to all children and families affected by bullying, especially the family and friends of Amanda Todd from Port Coquitlam, B.C., who recently passed away. Few tragedies are more severe than the loss of an innocent child, especially from such a preventable cause.

Canadians young and old need to work together to increase awareness and provide support to end bullying in our schools, our playgrounds and online and social media. As Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley said, “There is a time for action now”. I encourage all Canadians to consider what action they can take to model compassion and empathy and to stop bullying once and for all.

The Windsor ExpressStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 2 the Windsor Express tips off its inaugural season in the National Basketball League. In its second season, the NBL is the next chapter in Canada's connection to one of the world's most popular sports, the game of basketball, invented by Dr. James Naismith and another gift from Canada to the world.

The NBL's focus on core principles, including Canadian content, the passion for play, ethical excellence and a focus on the fans, will facilitate the continued evolution of the game.

Under the leadership of President Dartis Willis Sr., the Express is applying these principles in my community by featuring two Windsor athletes, Gregg Surmacz and Issac Kuon, on their opening day roster, and is further nurturing that community connection by supporting educational initiatives, community events and small business.

In choosing the name the Windsor Express, the franchise tells Windsor's story by acknowledging our community as an underground railroad destination and paying homage to the railmen of Windsor, connecting heritage and history through sport.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the Windsor Express to my community. I am confident that the organization will be a tremendous ambassador for our city. All aboard the Windsor Express.

PakistanStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the world was horrified to learn of the brutal attack against Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl hunted down and shot at close range for speaking out for girls' rights and against the Taliban.

Although Malala remains in critical condition, we are pleased by the reports today that she is getting the intensive and comprehensive medical treatment she requires. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and others injured in this abhorrent attack.

Canada welcomes the Prime Minister of Pakistan's quick condemnation of this attack and the recent reports that the Taliban gunmen who shot Malala have been identified. We urge the Pakistani authorities to take the necessary steps to hold accountable those responsible for this reprehensible and cowardly attack.

BullyingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to mourn with the parents of Amanda Todd and all Canadians the tragic suicide of Amanda.

While the media have reacted with shock and dismay, this incident is but one of what has become a serious, chronic problem. Bullying has always had severe mental and physical effects on the bullied and research shows that bullies have often been victims of abuse themselves.

The time has passed when society can shrug off bullying as a childhood rite of passage. The Internet has changed that. Cyberbullying follows someone worldwide, through life and even after death. It is relentless, sinister and pervasive. There is no escape and no respite.

The suicides of Amanda Todd and others who have found death to be their only haven will have been meaningless unless the House summons the political will not only to develop an immediate national strategy to educate about and prevent bullying, but also to find and punish the perpetrators.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians wrestle with a significant decision around this time of year: when to turn on their heat for the winter.

Should the NDP leader get his way and implement his carbon tax, that decision will be a lot harder. The NDP leader's carbon tax would significantly increase the cost of heating our homes.

On this side of the House we understand that Canadians are already doing everything they can to conserve energy and keep their energy bills down. We fundamentally disagree with the NDP leader and his members opposite, who would punish Canadians with a chilling carbon tax.

We will continue to stand with Canadians against the NDP leader's carbon tax, which would increase the cost of gas, groceries and electricity.

Statements by MembersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, after spending weeks ignoring the evidence and claiming their changes to employment insurance would help everyone, finally the Conservatives have backtracked. They had to admit that their plans would hurt the very poorest Canadians looking for work.

In my London riding, just this year more than 700 jobs were lost at Electro-Motive Diesel, and Air Canada Jazz cut 200 maintenance jobs at London's international airport, but not a single Conservative backbencher spoke up.

Since the House came back this fall, Conservatives have used 39 members' statements to attack the NDP, 39 fabricated statements.

Statements by MembersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Statements by MembersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. Members can hold off their applause until the member for London—Fanshawe has finished her S. O. 31.

Statements by MembersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

How many times, Mr. Speaker, have the Conservatives used the word “local” in their statements since the House came back? Just 10 times. We have a governing party that does far more members' statements about the opposition than about its own constituents.

Will the next Conservative MP tell us what is going on in his or her riding, or just repeat another sleazy attack from the PMO?

Leader of the New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been months and the Leader of the Opposition has not explained to Canadians what he meant when he said, of course, “The cap-and-trade system that I propose...will produce billions...”. He also has not explained how he estimated that $21 billion in revenue would result from putting a price on carbon.

Why is the leader of the NDP hiding from his sneaky scheme to put a tax on carbon? Why is he not being clear with Canadians? Canadians deserve to know if the NDP wants to raise the price of everything, including groceries, electricity and gas. This job-killing carbon tax would be bad for Canadians, bad for the economy, bad for the country.

Our government will continue with our low-tax plan to create jobs, economic growth and prosperity for all Canadians. Canadians can count on us.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are now 15 confirmed cases of E. coli poisoning from beef from XL Foods. The crisis began 42 days ago, but chaos still reigns. One day, the workers are sent home and inspections cease, and the next day, the workers are called back to the plant. It is chaos.

The Minister of Agriculture has clearly lost control. Why has he not stepped down?