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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Patent ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to present two petitions.

The first comes to us from a group in the Sackville area, which is in my riding, Tantramar.

It is a group of grandmothers and others who are petitioning this House with respect to the access to medicines regime and the private member's bill that was introduced, Bill C-398.

The petitioners are calling on the House to support this legislation, and it is certainly something I intend to do at the appropriate moment.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition comes mostly from the people of Bouctouche, in my riding. These farmers, producers and others are worried about the government's bad move to close down the Hervé J. Michaud Experimental Farm in the Bouctouche area. This is a tremendously important facility for the agricultural industry; the petitioners all hail from the greater Bouctouche area. It is with pleasure that I present these petitions to the House.

KatimavikPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present names from people in my communities asking that the government continue to allocate $14 million per year in funding for Katimavik.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition to the House today calling upon the Government of Canada to recognize the importance of the Experimental Lakes Area, the ELA, to the Government of Canada's mandate to study, preserve and protect aquatic ecosystems, to reverse the decision to close the ELA research station and to continue to staff and provide financial resources to the ELA at the current or higher level of commitment.

Canadian Coast GuardPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present to the House a petition of 650 signatures.

The citizens of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia draw the attention of the House that the large area served by the Kitsilano Coast Guard base covers the marine area stretching from the tip of the University of British Columbia north and east, including English Bay, False Creek, Burrard Inlet and to its extremities up to Indian Arm; that the Kitsilano base serves the largest and busiest port in Canada, the Port of Vancouver; that the Kitsilano base serves a large number of pleasure craft, canoes, kayaks, working vessels, tugs, fishing fleets, lumber barges, tourist vessels and cruise ships, as well as cargo ships; that the Kitsilano base performs an average of 300 rescues a year; and that the base at Sea Island will increase the response by 30 minutes to an hour which will put lives at great risk.

Therefore, the petitioners call upon Parliament to rescind the closure of Kitsilano base.

Motor Vehicle SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from many constituents in Toronto who are asking the federal government to make side guards on heavy trucks mandatory. They note that this recommendation has come from two chief coroner's reports in Ontario. The chief coroner has noted that pedestrians and cyclists are dragged under the back wheels of a truck and if there is a side guard then these senseless tragedies could be prevented. These kinds of side guards have been in place in Europe and have been shown to reduce fatalities of both cyclists and pedestrians.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions.

The first petition is from residents in the New Westminster-Burnaby area and Vancouver, British Columbia, calling on the House to take action to institute a complete ban on supertankers along the British Columbia coastline and to ensure that it is permanent and legislated.

Lyme DiseasePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 17th, 2012 / 3:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition relates to support for a private member's bill that I put forward, Bill C-442, that calls for a national Lyme disease strategy. The petitioners are from Mississauga, Fergus and other areas of Ontario.

Canadian Coast GuardPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions.

The first petition is from thousands of Canadians who are petitioning the House to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, one of the busiest search and rescue stations in Canada. The highly-trained crews at the Canadian Coast Guard station in Kitsilano conduct an average of 300 professional rescues each year, saving hundreds of lives. In addition, these crews prevent many more emergencies through such actions as boater education, pollution response and aid to navigation, maintenance and escorting large ships through congested port waters.

The petitioners say that he government's decision to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard station is a grave mistake and will, undoubtedly, cost the lives of those in peril on the shores and waters near Vancouver harbour. They, therefore, call on the Government of Canada to rescind this decision and reinstate full funding to the Kitsilano Coast Guard station.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from Canadians calling on the government to save the Experimental Lakes Area. The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to recognize the importance of the ELA to the Government of Canada's mandate to study, preserve and protect aquatic ecosystems, to reverse the decision to close the ELA research station and to continue to staff and provide financial resources to the ELA at the current or higher level of commitment.

Public TransitPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the third petition contains dozens of signatures asking the House to consider the bill by the member for Trinity—Spadina.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to enact a Canada public transit strategy that seeks to provide permanent investment to plan for public transit, to establish federal funding mechanisms for public transit, to work together with all levels of government to provide sustainable, predictable, long-term and adequate funding and establish accountability measures to ensure that all governments work together to increase access to public transit.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with two petitions.

The first is a petition from the residents of Thunder Bay and Neebing in northwestern Ontario, as well as people from across Canada who are among the tens of thousands concerned about the closing of the Experimental Lakes Area. They are concerned that in the omnibus 2012 budget the government made a decision to close the ELA, one of the world's leading freshwater research stations, depriving Canadians of the groundbreaking scientific advancements it provided and economic benefit to northwestern Ontario.

Rail TransportationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Independent

Bruce Hyer Independent Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition that I am presenting today is on behalf of the residents of Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Stoney Creek and Mobert in support of bringing back passenger rail service to the spectacular north shore of Lake Superior.

The petitioners are asking parliamentarians to support my Motion No. 291 to return passenger rail from Sudbury through White River, Thunder Bay and on to Winnipeg and beyond.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by many residents of Manitoba and my riding of Winnipeg Centre, some of whom work at the ELA through the Freshwater Institute. They call upon the Government of Canada to reconsider the cancelling of the funding for the ELA, to recognize the importance of the ELA to the Government of Canada's mandate to study, preserve and protect Canada's aquatic ecosystems, reverse the decision to close the ELA research station and to continue to staff and provide financial services to the ELA at the current or higher level of commitment.

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition that I have introduced many times before. It calls upon the House of Commons to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known.

The petitioners point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial or occupational causes combined and they call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motion for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statement and the deferred recorded divisions, government orders will today be extended by 22 minutes.

The House resumed from October 15 consideration of the motion that Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act and the Security of Information Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

When this issue was last before the House, the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue had 11 minutes left.

The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Combating Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, before running out of time on Monday, I was speaking about the witnesses who oppose this bill because they believe it is pointless and violates various civil liberties and human rights. They appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in 2011, when it was studying Bill C-17, the previous version of Bill S-7, in another Parliament.

This is what Denis Barrette of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said:

The coalition believes that the provisions dealing with investigative hearings and preventive arrests, which are intended to impose recognizances with conditions, are both dangerous and misleading. Debate in Parliament on these issues must draw on a rational and enlightened review of the anti-terrorism law.

The first provision makes it possible to bring individuals before a judge in order to provide information, when the judge is of the view that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the individual has information about a terrorism offence that has or will be committed. A refusal to cooperate may result in arrest and imprisonment for up to one year. Furthermore, the provision dealing with investigating hearings gives the state a new power of search. Not enough is being said about this. The fact is that this provision can compel an individual to produce an object before a judge or tribunal, which will then pass it on to the police.

Furthermore, the current provisions encourage racial profiling and profiling on religious, political and ideological grounds. In its report on Canada in November of 2005, the U.N. Human Rights Committee noted its serious concerns with respect to the excessively broad definition of terrorist activity in the Anti-terrorism Act. The committee stated...“The State party should adopt a more precise definition of terrorist offences, so as to ensure that individuals will not be targeted on political, religious or ideological grounds, in connection with measures of prevention, investigation and detention.”

This shows that alarms were already going off about a number of problems in Bill C-17 with respect to civil liberties and how such a bill could be used. These problems remain in Bill S-7. This bill clearly has a problem balancing security and fundamental rights. What worries me is that I see no valid reason for these provisions.

These provisions have been expired for five years, so how can they all of a sudden have become so important and necessary, when they never proved to be useful when they existed? None of the witnesses was able to think of a case that would require this kind of law. None of the witnesses said that these provisions were necessary. On the contrary, witnesses clearly told the Senate committee that there were major problems with respect to human and children's rights.

I would like to talk about what Ihsaan Gardee of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations had to say:

We are mindful of the increased emphasis on public safety and national security in response to the threat of terrorism during the last decade.... We are also cognizant of the real risks to our free and democratic society posed by overreaction and fear when they are used as the basis of public policy and legislation. At the end of the day we risk eroding the foundational values upon which Canada rests, while not making us any safer from terrorism....

We strongly disagree with those who would suggest that attaining a balance between human rights and security is an insurmountable task. In addition to sharing many of the concerns others have raised regarding the proposed legislation, Canadian Muslims have particular misgivings regarding how...Bill C-17 [could] have a disproportionate impact on members of our communities that may be considered discriminatory.

[...]

With regard to the impact on individual freedom and liberty, after 9/11 every major criminal terrorism-related incident, from the Toronto 18 to the case of Momin Khawaja, has been disrupted and prevented without the need for preventive detention or investigative hearings.

I repeat: here is another witness who is saying that the measures set out in this bill are not useful and could even carry risks.

Let us go back to the statement made by James Kafieh. He said:

We also need to bear in mind that not everyone who chooses to remain silent in such circumstances is guilty, and that choosing to remain silent is not an admission of guilt or a proof of guilt. People may, for example, have legitimate concerns for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Such an extraordinary measure as investigative hearings should only be used for the purpose of preventing an imminent act of terrorism. It should never be used as an investigative tool for past acts. The present text of [the bill]...allows for investigative hearings for past events, for which the imperative of safeguarding of innocent life from imminent attack is wholly absent. This is, in itself, an escalation.... Such an escalation shows that we are already witnessing creep in the use of such provisions before the court.

He also said:

This [bill] allows for the arrest and detention of people without ever proving any allegation against them. It could also make people subject to conditions on release with severe limitations on their personal freedom, even if they have never been convicted of any crime. Anyone refusing to accept and comply with the terms of the recognizance may be imprisoned for up to 12 months. The legislation does not limit the number of times this provision may be reapplied.

How is this consistent with our Canadian values and the principles upon which our system of justice is founded? ...The most recent cases of five men who were detained for up to eight years without ever being charged or convicted of a crime should give us all cause for concern.

That is food for thought for our discussions on this type of bill. When it comes to combatting terrorism, we cannot just simply add slightly tougher provisions to the Criminal Code without understanding why. The fact that Canada is already a signatory to a number of international conventions that address this makes these measures unnecessary.

In 2001, when these provisions were being discussed, the aim of the Anti-terrorism Act was to update Canadian laws to meet international standards, particularly UN requirements. All the provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act, except for that concerning investigative hearings and recognizance with conditions, remain in effect today, which is what we are discussing today and what is being presented in Bill S-7.

To be perfectly clear, all the provisions of the original Anti-terrorism Act have remained in effect except for the two that expired in 2007, which were never used and which parliamentarians felt did not need to be renewed because they did not prove necessary.

Now, we are dealing with a Conservative government that says that the NDP is against making the country safer when it comes to combatting terrorism. In truth, this bill does not add anything substantive in terms of security. What is more, this bill will undermine fundamental human rights and freedoms. In my humble opinion, this represents a real risk. Canada already has a legal arsenal to combat terrorism, including international treaties, a complete section of the Criminal Code that deals with this, and a whole host of laws.

Furthermore, another provision in this bill would amend the definition of “special operational information” in the Security of Information Act. Under this change, the identity of a confidential source that is being used by the government would be considered to be special operational information. This would reduce the transparency of information.

Considering this government's track record when it comes to transparency, reducing it any further on such a delicate subject would really worry me.

In short, I oppose this bill because we already have very effective measures in place. This measure would be ineffective and pointless in the fight against terrorism.

This bill violates civil liberties and human rights and, once again, does so unnecessarily. In particular, it violates the right to remain silent and the right to not be jailed without a fair trial, two rights that are absolutely fundamental in Canadian society.

The provisions we are debating here today were invoked only once, and unsuccessfully. This perfectly illustrates the fact that we already have all the tools we need to combat terrorism. Thus, there is no reason to pass legislation that threatens our civil liberties.