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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

All right, Mr. Speaker. We will understand it is torture, no problem.

While the Prime Minister was away, a Conservative minister told Canadians to fire warning shots if someone tries to steal their ATVs. Does the Prime Minister agree with the justice minister? Does he believe that Canadians should start firing warning shots?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is legislation before the House. I do not know if this is what the member is referring to. There is legislation before the House to deal with the Chen case to make sure that Canadians have a full right of self-defence. The NDP used to support that legislation. I would urge it to support the self-defence rights of people like Mr. Chen.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

All right, Mr. Speaker, fire at will. No problem again.

There is more. First, a Conservative senator reopened the death penalty debate. Then, a Conservative MP reopened the abortion debate. After that, a Conservative minister accused those who are concerned about unjustified government intrusion into people's private lives of supporting child pornography. That seems like a slippery slope to me.

My question is this: is the Prime Minister orchestrating the slide down that slope?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we have said repeatedly, we do not intend to reopen certain debates. With respect to child pornography, our party is very much against it, and I encourage the NDP to join us in taking that stand.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister was away, his Minister of Finance confirmed that cuts to old age security would be made starting in 2020. However, there is still some confusion.

Can the Prime Minister confirm to us and to the 27 million Canadians who are 57 or younger that his Minister of Finance told the truth and that they will have to wait until they are 67 before they can retire?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that the government has been very clear in this regard. We will not cut our seniors' pensions. At the same time, we are reviewing the old age security program in order to ensure that it is viable for future generations.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Again, Mr. Speaker, that was not very clear.

Another thing that is not clear is what Conservatives will do about the F-35. For months Conservatives ignored warnings from the NDP. They claimed the program was on track. Suddenly the second defence minister says it is ludicrous for Canada not to reconsider the purchase. The defence minister will not say if Canada will modify its order.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that Canada is reconsidering the F-35 purchase?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has been working with its allies for a decade on the construction of the F-35 as the replacement to our CF-18 aircraft when they reach the end of their useful lives. There is a budget for that. The government has been clear. It will operate within that budget. We will make sure that when the current planes come to the end of their useful lives, our men and women in uniform will have the best equipment.

I hope this answers all of the questions the Leader of the Opposition has. I am sure they were all answered while I was gone as well.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the last week, those of us who have taken issue with the government on certain changes to the Criminal Code have been described as Hitlers. We have been described as friends of child pornography.

Now that the Prime Minister is here, I would like to ask him how he would respond to the comments of a Superior Court judge in Ontario who stated that the use of a mandatory minimum sentence of three years with respect to the Smickle case would be “fundamentally unfair, outrageous, abhorrent and intolerable”. What is his response to that?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what I would do, first of all, is note that those particular changes passed by this government were in fact supported by the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party.

I think Canadians believe that the courts have not been tough enough in dealing with gun crime. This government is determined to make sure that we have laws that can deal with serious gun crime.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that those of us who have opposed the government's positions have been described as Hitlers. These are the words used by a member of the Prime Minister's caucus. Yesterday, the Minister of Public Safety said that those who oppose or ask questions about the issue of Internet access are friends of pedophiles. That is the government's approach.

The question remains the same: what is the Prime Minister going to do to finally bring some civility to this House so that we can have a real discussion about issues relating to the Criminal Code, such as—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, this government's main objective is to make sure that our streets and communities are safe. When the leader of the Liberal Party criticizes a policy on crimes committed with firearms that his party supported, the real question is what is the Liberal Party's position? I will let the party answer that question.

Public SafetyOral Questions

February 14th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question of allowing access by police to Internet records without a warrant and the whole question of access to information, which has previously been considered to be private, is now raising questions from the privacy commissioner of Ontario, the federal Privacy Commissioner and many editorial writers, including those at the National Post.

I would ask the Prime Minister if he considers these people to be like Hitler. Does he consider these people to be the friends of child pornographers? Does he consider them to be the friends of pedophiles? This is exactly the approach--

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the changes in the lawful access legislation have not only been sought by police to protect our young people from pedophiles, but they have in fact been supported by every single provincial government and every single attorney general, including those who are Liberal. It might be relevant to the hon. member, that includes those who are NDP as well, depending on which side he is on these days.

It is important that among the provinces there really is an all-party consensus on this. I hope Parliament will study this bill carefully and make sure we do what is best for our children and our law enforcement agencies.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives think it is okay to spy on ordinary Canadians and treat law-abiding citizens like criminals and that it is okay for the police to track one's cellphone or follow one on the Internet however they want, whenever they want. The government is going to force companies to build elaborate spyware so that it can track the activities of any ordinary citizen. This would be like putting an electronic prisoner's bracelet on everyone with a cellphone.

Why is the government turning against ordinary citizens? Why is it attacking the rights of privacy of ordinary, law-abiding Canadian citizens?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I can clearly state that everything the member said is false. There is nothing in the bill that would allow police to snoop on an individual's private conversations or even to follow a person's activities on the Internet. All that has to be done through a judicially authorized warrant.

If the member had stayed for the technical briefing that was provided for him, he would have heard that.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wrote the minister a letter asking why he was breaking the promise of Stockwell Day. Stockwell Day promised Canadians that the government would protect privacy rights and judicial oversights. The minister wrote me back and said that times have changed. Yes, times have changed. Stockwell Day is gone and the Conservatives have a majority.

The basis of a free and democratic society is the right to due process and the right to privacy. The government has declared open season on average Canadians. The minister needs to come clean with Canadians on why he wants to snoop and spy on them.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, all I am asking the member to do is actually read the bill and then be honest with Canadians. That is something he is actually incapable of doing. He is either incapable of reading or incapable of being honest.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we feel the love coming from the other side of the House, that is for sure.

A minister of public insecurity has introduced a Conservative bill on lawful access that treats law-abiding citizens like criminals. I think I have heard that somewhere before. I agree we need to protect those who are more vulnerable, but we could do so without giving the government the power to spy on all Canadians.

Why are the Conservatives so eager to protect the personal information of hunters, while giving themselves the power to infringe upon the personal freedoms of all Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, if the member is not feeling loved over there, tell her that she can come over here. She will be loved here. We will explain the legislation that we are bringing forward.

As I have made clear, we are ensuring that there is judicial oversight and there is accountability by the police when they obtain information. For any private information there is a warrant system.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is so sad because I had the same offer for him from our side, although I have doubts about that.

Once again, the government will not listen to anyone who contradicts it. Quebec's information and privacy commissioner clearly said that this bill goes too far. The rights and freedoms of Canadians will once again be flouted by this government.

Why is this government being so stubborn and refusing to listen to the experts? What about transparency? Is the government waiting for a court challenge?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, every provincial attorney general, including two NDP attorneys general, supports this legislation as being necessary in order to stop the proliferation of child pornography on the Internet. It does not intrude on an individual's privacy without judicial authorization.

As for love in that caucus, I understand the member just left that caucus for the third party.