House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was csis.


Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a good question. We have laws in Canada, obviously. For anyone who is simply Canadian, there is no other way we can deal with them other than through the laws of Canada.

For someone who has chosen dual citizenship, in my view and in the government's view, their loyalties are divided between Canada and wherever. The government thinks that if they want to be divided citizens and want to carry out acts that are a danger to Canadians and Canadian interests, values, and property, then part of their citizenship should no longer apply.

I am not going to pick on any country, but if a person had citizenship in another country, then the other country could deal with that guy.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario


Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to ask the hon. member if he firmly believes that this act would add a level of protection for law-abiding Canadians and at the same time protect the freedoms of those same law-abiding Canadians?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is always going to be a balance. There is always going to be a pendulum. There are two things at play. There is fear, and there is complacency, among other things.

Fear happened with 9/11. Fear happened a week and a half ago. Between 9/11 and a week and a half ago, I would suggest that the pendulum swung quite a way toward the complacency side, notwithstanding recent events in the Middle East.

It is always a balance between allaying people's fears and giving people confidence that the government and the agencies of the government can protect them and the complacency people naturally feel when nothing has happened for a long time. That dispels the idea that someone is a threat out there.

Someone is always a threat. There is always a healthy concern that we are doing the right thing and protecting Canadians. At the same time, there should always be a healthy concern about keeping our rights and freedoms intact. That balance, we think, is struck in this bill. We intend to pursue it. The NDP is going to help send it to committee, and I applaud it for that.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Timmins—James Bay.

I am pleased to participate in this debate today on Bill C-44, an act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other acts. I understand that it is a bill the government had on the books and was preparing to introduce, and it is doing so now, following the recent events here in the House and another tragedy in the province of Quebec.

In short, it makes three substantive changes to CSIS. It would clarify the legal authority of CSIS to conduct security intelligence operations abroad in response to threats to the security of Canada. It had run into some difficulties in the courts with respect to this, so it now wants clarification and changes because of that.

It also confirms the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to issue warrants that have effect outside Canada. It provides for the protection of the identify of CSIS human intelligence sources in judicial proceedings. It also amends the timeline for changes to the Citizenship Act with respect to the revocation of dual citizenship for dual citizens who are involved in terrorism or other serious offences. That bill was passed this past June.

I want to state that I join with all my colleagues in this House, and in fact all Canadians, in paying tribute to Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. We joined many of our colleagues today at the cenotaph in Ottawa to lay wreaths. The veterans minister was there as well. It was a very moving time. I think Remembrance Day, in a few short days, will be a moving time for our country. My dad and my grandfather fought in the First and Second World Wars. I know how emotional, painful, and deep these experiences are for the entire Canadian psyche.

The violence that took place here in Canada a couple of weeks ago was something that certainly touched the hearts of Canadians and was something we need to take very seriously. I believe we will do that.

I have had a tremendous number of constituents contact my office and encourage us as parliamentarians to react in a measured, considered way and to not overreact to the events that took place, which indeed were terrible and terrifying. I am hopeful that as parliamentarians, we will do that, because we believe that defending both public safety and civil liberties is important. This is not a balancing act, where we shave off a little of one to gain some of the other. We believe, on this side of the House, that we can do both. We can move forward and ensure the safety and security of Canadians while guarding our shared values of freedom, tolerance, and an inclusive democracy. That is why we are all here as parliamentarians. It is because we value that democracy.

We must carefully review our laws in light of the tragic circumstances of the last two weeks and ensure that our laws and security measures are adequate and appropriate for the needs of our country while ensuring, at the same time, that our civil liberties are protected. We have to make sure that this work is done responsibly and with careful study based on the evidence we have at hand. Of course, we do not have all the evidence in yet, because investigations are ongoing.

On this particular legislation, details matter a great deal. We will support the bill going to committee, because we would like a thorough, rigorous, detailed study to take place.

I want to spend a bit of time on the notion of improved civilian oversight of CSIS. We are disappointed that the bill does not include that additional civilian oversight.

I had the great privilege of sitting on the finance committee in 2012, when under yet another budget implementation act, there was a debate about CSIS oversight. Members might well ask why the finance committee would be debating CSIS oversight, and that is a very good question. It was a measure included in the budget implementation act, 2012. The measure specifically included the elimination of the inspector general, a position I am sure most Canadians did not know we had, and if they did know, they were not sure what it did.

We had the terrific privilege of having as a witness at committee one of the key people responsible for setting up that position, Mr. Paul Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy has a long history of over 20 years in the public service. He has advised ministers. For a number of years, he was the senior assistant deputy minister of public safety responsible for national security activities. He spent five years as senior chief counsel to CSIS and four years as chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. He was the senior general counsel of justice and coordinated all the legal advice among intelligence agencies. I am sure members would agree that he was an eminently qualified person to speak about CSIS and advise the committee.

I want to tell the House some of the facts he gave us. We had heard from officials that eliminating the position of inspector general would save $1 million of the public purse and that this was good value for money. We heard that SIRC would be able to take up the slack and take on the monitoring responsibilities.

Mr. Kennedy told the committee that we would save $1 million in a $7-billion public safety department budget but that ultimately, it could cost the government, and therefore Canadians, a great deal more when there were problems. He said there would inevitably be problems. For example, he said that the Arar inquiry, about the illegal arrest, imprisonment, and torture of Mr. Arar, was a $30-million inquiry, $10 million of which the government paid in compensation. It was tremendously expensive, and that $30 million did not include all the hours public servants spent on that inquiry.

There was the ongoing investigation of the Robert Dziekanski case at the Vancouver airport. There have been many other inquiries.

Mr. Kennedy pointed out that if we were talking about a consolidation of the responsibilities of this oversight position and SIRC, then we should have a transfer of staff and files and money to make that happen. None of that happened. In spite of many inquiries recommending greater oversight and more resources, that simply has not happened.

This is the direct responsibility of the Minister of Public Safety. The buck stops with the minister. Without the inspector general in place, who can keep an eye on the spies, Canadians have no guarantee that their public interests are protected.

We need that position. We need greater oversight. At committee, parliamentarians should make sure that this happens.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague for Parkdale—High Park has shed some important light on this issue. We have to ask some questions about some of the issues she has brought to the House. Essentially, they have to do with the budget cuts that were reviewed in finance committee. The CSIS budget was cut by $15 million in 2012, followed by an additional $24.5 million in 2014-15. CBSA was cut by $143 million, and the RCMP was cut by $195 million.

The member talked about the Conservative government being penny-wise and pound foolish. Have the Conservatives made a terrible mistake? Have they jeopardized the safety of Canadians with these cuts to make themselves look fiscally responsible? Are they trying to make up for that foolishness now?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree that this is penny wise, pound foolish, as my granny used to say. It really makes no sense.

In response, I want to quote from Mr. Kennedy's testimony. He said that the inspector general was “the eyes and ears”. He said that “the minister is personally accountable for those intelligence officers”, who have huge powers that Canadians really do not know anything about because it is in secret. He said, "That was the way the model was, because the the public can't be involved in it”, but that the public has to be assured “that we have a responsible minister and he's on the hook for this, and he's informed and can do the job and deliver it for us.”

It was set up that way. This is a covert intelligence agency, and there were vehicles put in place to allow the minister to control it. That was the inspector general. That position has now gone. Nothing has replaced it. Where is the accountability?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Arnold Chan Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I noted in my friend's contribution to the debate her concern about parliamentary oversight with respect to CSIS.

Of course, before this House there are two private members' bills. They are Bill C-551, introduced by the hon. member for Malpeque, and Bill C-622, introduced by the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra.

I would like my friend's thoughts with respect to these two particular private members' bills, and an indication of whether she and her party will be supporting that legislation when it comes before the House.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising those two other bills tangentially, but in my time allotted, I would like to focus on the bill that is before us today.

I would like to say that CSIS, our spy agency, is a body that is very important for the security of Canadians, but it is essential that there be adequate oversight.

Inquiry after inquiry has identified the need for better oversight, but the government, sadly, has moved in the opposite direction. It has taken the eyes and ears away from the minister responsible by cutting the oversight of our spy agency.

That is not the way to provide better safety and security for Canadians. I submit it is a way to keep the minister responsible blind and deaf, and that is not what we need. Canadians need to know that the vast and very important powers of CSIS staff are being monitored so that they are in compliance with the rules that have been set out for them in law.

There is no other body that can fulfill this requirement, and if Canadians truly want to be safe and assured that both their security and their civil liberties are protected, we need effective oversight. It is not happening. The government needs to get that done.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, as always, it is a great honour to stand in the House representing the people of Timmins—James Bay, who put their trust in me to speak for them.

I am very pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-44. This is the first time I have spoken in the House in debate since the brutal attack at the cenotaph and the attack on Parliament Hill. I would like to begin by reflecting a little of what I experienced on that terrible day.

I certainly experienced a sense of relief when I found that we were safe. I experienced thankfulness for the incredible security people who literally put their lives on the line to make sure that we were safe. I felt an enormous sense of pride—not a bullish beating of the chest pride, but a quiet pride—watching the Canadians around me who went about their day unafraid and helped each other. It reminded me that no matter what our differences in this nation are, there is a sense of community that will not be intimidated.

The last thing I felt that day was a real anger, an anger that the House of the people had been desecrated by violence. I felt it when I went out in the early morning about 5 a.m. and went to the cenotaph and saw a crime scene tape. I was very angry that such a symbol of who we are as a nation could be cut off from us and suddenly become a crime scene of mindless, hateful violence. It made me feel very angry.

When we reflect on how we deal with this kind of violence, it is incumbent upon us to take that sense of anger, that sense of pride, that sense of relief, and step back and ask ourselves what the Canadian people expect from us to ensure that they are safe. We are dealing with some very complex issues that are now being thrust before us.

Bill C-44 is not a response to what happened last week. This is a bill that has been on the order paper for some time, and it is important to look at it in that light. There are certainly specific elements that will need to be examined clearly, which is why we want the bill to go forward to committee.

One aspect is the international role of CSIS in in spying on and maintaining coverage of potential perpetrators who may be overseas. Certainly we see the issue of radicalization of people who have gone overseas, but this is a question that does confront the House, and we need to address it.

We know that CSIS has been found to have breached the courts and the laws of our land on numerous occasions, as reported in the 2007 Hape decision. In 2008, Justice Blanchard found that section 12 of the CSIS act did not contain extraterritorial provisions with respect to covert intelligence. In 2013, Justice Mosley said that the practice of seeking warrants for foreign surveillance was not legal. Therefore, the bill needs to look at how the actions of CSIS will be done within a legal frame.

To put this in context, maintaining legal provisions that will protect the Canadian people has to be seen in terms of the resources that exist or do not exist to follow through on whatever laws we bring forth.

There is also the issue of oversight. The issue of oversight means that when we debate laws in this country to offer police more tools, we make sure that these tools are being applied where they were intended and that they are not opening the door to all manner of warrantless intervention in the lives of ordinary Canadians.

In terms of oversight, the government has a fundamental problem. The government may feel that CSIS needs the tools and that CSIS has to be the front-line fighter in terms of international terrorism, but the oversight mechanisms have been abysmal.

The Prime Minister appointed Arthur Porter, a notorious international criminal who is sitting in a jail in Panama, to sit on the oversight body of CSIS. I would think that Canadians who witnessed the attacks last week would not be comfortable knowing that the man who was supposed to be making sure that our spy agency followed the laws and had the tools necessary was now sitting in a Panamanian jail on all manner of charges and allegations.

The replacement for him was Chuck Strahl, a former minister in the House. We found later that he was acting as a lobbyist for Enbridge at a time when CSIS was apparently spying on anti-Enbridge activists. There is damage to credibility here.

Maher Arar was sent to a foreign jurisdiction, wrongly, and tortured. He was an innocent man. One of the recommendations from the Arar report was to have better oversight of these provisions. This oversight is important in making sure there are no more cases like Maher Arar's, cases of people who are innocent but are in the wrong place at the wrong time and are rendered because the feeling of the day is that we do not need to follow the rule of law. The rule of law is essential. It keeps us separate from the kinds of bandits who want to attack who we are as a nation.

In terms of resources, the government is cutting $687.9 million from its overall security in the coming years, and $180 million is being cut from border security. Telling us it is going to get tougher in terms of protecting us while at the same time limiting the resources being used to protect us certainly raises questions about the government's overall credibility.

There is the recent Privacy Commissioner's ruling on the RCMP and its warrantless access provisions. The RCMP does not even have an ability to track how it is gathering information and under what circumstances it is gathering it.

Do we need to look at rules that may provide better tools to go after potential threats? That is certainly the discussion we should have. However, when every 72 seconds we have a request made to a telecom by a government agency that wants personal information on Canadians, that is certainly not within justification.

The fact is, contrary to what the Prime Minister said, the killers of Warrant Officer Vincent and Corporal Cirillo were not killers who washed up on our shores, as we were told last week. These were home-grown Canadian men. The Prime Minister said that our international allies would be standing with us as we went after the men who brutally killed Corporal Cirillo. Where were our international allies when he was going into a McDonald's with a stick, trying to get himself arrested?

Clearly, the rhetoric does not match the reality here. The reality is that we are not talking about what happens when people fall through the cracks and become increasingly marginalized. We had the snow plough killer and the bus beheader. We have people who, in mental instability, do terrible, brutal crimes. In the case of Zehaf-Bibeau, we were glad that the RCMP was able to seize his passport to prevent him from going anywhere else, but he was not on their terror watch list because he was considered mentally unstable. We need to understand that if we are to respond to the brutal crimes we saw, we must put provisions in place that protect us.

In terms of Bill C-44, the reasonable step here is to move it to committee to see what provisions CSIS needs to deal with international radicalization, especially in the case of someone who is trying to go to a place like Syria or Iraq to engage in the murderous activities there. What provisions would still be within the laws of our country? What oversight will be there to ensure that CSIS does not abuse its function within Canada? What role will we take, as a federal House of Commons, to address the fact that there is clearly a problem when Canadian men, born and bred in our country, can fall so far from the norm that they can pick up any kind of murderous death cult ideology because of all manner of instability, drugs, broken lives, and the fact they were living on the streets?

There are other people out there who may be in that same situation, whether they identify themselves as radical or not. What provisions are we going to put in place to ensure public security?

This is a long, ongoing discussion that we need to have in the House. However, we need to have it within the context of figuring out what works, what resources are in place, and what will maintain the overall standards we have for the rule of law in our country and the fact that we are an open, democratic, and unafraid society.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The time for government orders has expired. Consequently, the five minutes of questions and comments for the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay will take place when this matter returns before the House after question period.

Bois-Francs Community TelevisionStatements By Members

2 p.m.


André Bellavance Independent Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, Télévision communautaire des Bois-Francs is celebrating its 40th anniversary. TVC, as it is popularly known back home, is dedicated to showcasing the community of Victoriaville and the surrounding area by producing and broadcasting television programs that focus on local concerns and encourage community involvement in the process.

Dozens of employees are joined by hundreds of volunteers who help produce such shows as Le Kiosque à chansons and Télé-Bingo, city council meetings and, of course, an excellent show called Votre député fédéral vous parle, which is hosted by the great François Houle.

TVC would not be celebrating its 40th anniversary without the people who have been there from the beginning and those who joined them over the years to help showcase our people.

I would like to congratulate all of them, in particular those who fought, and won, the battle to keep TVC alive 14 years ago. I also want to thank those who carefully monitor deregulation issues that could deny us this local content, the rich programming that is both original and grounded in the community.

Long live TVC.

Gift of Giving BackStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that it is that time of year again. It is time for the ninth annual Gift of Giving Back community food drive, which is being held on November 5 and 6 in Burlington, at Nelson High School.

Last year, the Burlington hockey families, including the Burlington City Rep Eagles, the Burlington junior A hockey club, and the Burlington Barracuda's Girls Hockey Club, really got into the giving spirit with great compassion by collecting and donating an astonishing 207,000 pounds of non-perishable goods during their food drive in mid-November.

This year, the beneficiaries include Burlington flood relief, Carpenter Hospice, Halton Women's Place, Partnership West and, of course, the Salvation Army. I encourage all residents to give to this food drive. I know Burlingtonians have huge hearts. I strongly believe in their generosity, which, in turn, strengthens our entire community. It is no surprise that Burlington has been declared one of the best places to live in Canada.

Good luck to all involved with the annual Gift of Giving Back community food drive.

HomelessnessStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, homelessness is a troubling issue, especially as the temperature drops outside.

The Comité itinérance de la Haute-Yamaska, which is made up of 12 organizations in my riding, is calling for urgent action on the issue of federal funding for homelessness, because the existing resources are no longer meeting the growing high-priority needs.

Le Passant, an emergency shelter, has noted a 50% increase in the number of admissions in the past two years. Between 2012 and 2013, Partage Notre-Dame and SOS Dépannage noted an increase in requests for food assistance of 15% and 39% respectively. That is why the call for the 2015-2019 HPS must be issued as soon as possible.

I wish to thank and salute the homelessness committee for the work it does for homeless people to give them a better life.

Veterans' WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, during Veterans' Week, I encourage everyone in Newmarket—Aurora and, indeed, across Canada to remember those who defend our shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Newmarket residents may pay their respects on November 9, at the Newmarket remembrance parade and ceremony. The march begins at 1:30 p.m. along Doug Duncan Drive to the cenotaph at D'Arcy Street for the official laying of the wreaths. There is also the Newmarket Veterans Association Remembrance Day service November 11, at the Newmarket Cemetery, at 10:30 a.m.

Aurorans can pay tribute November 9 at the Aurora legion's Remembrance Day parade. Marching off at 10:30 a.m. from Williams high school, the procession will end at the Aurora Cenotaph for a remembrance service. A service will also take place at the cenotaph on November 11, at 11 a.m.

These are just some of the ways we can remember the heavy price that has been paid to defend our cherished way of life.

Lest we forget.

Falun Gong and Falun DafaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is headed to China and Falun Gong and Falun Dafa practitioners on the Hill are asking him to please raise the issue of forced organ harvesting, especially now that the threat involves 10 family members of Canadians incarcerated there.

China has repeatedly announced that it has a plan to ban organ harvesting from prisoners, but Falun Gong and Falun Dafa practitioners know that this has yet to materialize. The practice has been independently verified several times. One report even cites a price list on a Chinese transplant website offering kidneys for $62,000 and lungs for $170,000.

We all know that forced organ harvesting is wrong and want to encourage China to end this practice.

Nations serious about human rights must put an end to this barbaric practice, or perhaps we should consider their inaction as part of future trade talks with these human rights holdouts.

CFB BordenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an ambitious legacy project led by a group of patriots from my riding.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of CFB Borden, a “Tribute to Peace” memorial will be erected at the entrance of the base in 2016. The acre site will also showcase a 7 foot brown statue of a World War I bugler and the following description will grace one of the 30 foot long granite walls, “Through these gates the sons and daughters of a grateful nation pass. Serving Canada with honour, duty and courage so all may live with freedom, democracy and justice”.

Honorary Colonels Jamie Massie and Barry Peacock will lead a group to France next June, on the invitation of the mayor of Arras, to repatriate some soil from the Vimy battleground. This sacred ground will be encased in plexiglass within the walls of the new memorial. The group from Barrie has committed to raising a half a million dollars to complete this project.

I would like to recognize Jim Williams, General Louis Meloche, Base Commander Doyon and artist Marlene Hilton Moore for their efforts and vision.

LGBTT Organizations in Laurier—Sainte-MarieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 18, as I do every year, I had the pleasure of attending the rainbow gala, which is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of many people who, in their own way, work in defence of LGBTT rights. Along with gay pride week, this is an important event in Montreal.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Foster, the organizer of the gala and one of my constituents, who is leaving his job at the head of the Quebec LGBT council. Steve, thank you for your hard work, your sense of humour and your generosity.

I would also like to commend the work of other LGBTT organizations in my riding that I have met with over the past few months, such as l'Astérisk, RÉZO, GRIS, Arc-en-ciel d'Afrique and the Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec.

Congratulations on your commitment to defending fundamental values that we all share, regardless of our orientation: diversity, respect for others and solidarity.

Capital ExperienceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students in Ottawa. They are participating in a program I call a “Capital Experience”, where student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days each year to learn about career opportunities in public life.

They have visited Parliament, the Korean embassy, CBC's Power and Politics studio, the National Press Gallery, the University of Ottawa and the Prime Minister's Office. They have also met with representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Results Canada and Summa Strategies.

I wish to thank those who shared their time with the students, and to thank the businesses and service clubs back in the riding that sponsored them.

Today, I welcome to Parliament: Mitchell Muscat from Brock; Aaron Haddad and Katherine Pinnegar from Crestwood; Haylie Cordick and Allison Gowanlock from Fenelon Falls; Curran Chambers and Krista Duncan from Haliburton; Emily Forbes, Brigid Goulem and Chardon Kozak from I.E. Weldon; Kayla Farewell and Megan O'Neill from L.C.V.I: Alexandra Kaczmarek and Jack Steinsky from St. Thomas Aquinas; and Justin Jeff from Apsley.

I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people all the best as they make important decisions regarding their future careers.

Canadian Health Food AssociationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Health Food Association. As the voice of the natural health product industry in Canada, the CHFA represents manufacturers, retailers and distributors of natural health and organic products.

CHFA has become Canada's largest trade association dedicated to health products with a membership of over 1,000 businesses and operators, predominately small and medium-sized enterprises, contributing over $6 billion to the Canadian economy.

From prestigious conferences and trade shows to advocating and informing of regulatory changes, the CHFA now offers an educational course providing retail staff and suppliers an opportunity to enhance their understanding of natural health products.

As 70% of Canadians regularly consume NHPs, we see the importance of CHFA's raison d'être.

On this Natural Health Products Week, I am pleased to welcome president, Helen Long, and delegates to Ottawa, and wish them continued success in building healthy Canadians through high-quality natural health products.

YOUth in Office DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the great pleasure of marking YOUth in Office Day in the House today. This event is organized by the Boys and Girls Club of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

By shadowing parliamentarians, young participants have the opportunity to spend an entire day at the heart of Canadian democracy and experience political life.

Today, a number of my colleagues and I have welcomed young people who are passionate about politics. I would like to congratulate them on their interest in public affairs and the debates here in this Parliament.

This day is as important for us as parliamentarians as it is for them. The YOUth in Office Day is a great opportunity for us to share our own experiences as members of the House, and as representatives of our riding, with the next generation of young leaders, telling them how important and gratifying it is to be involved in our communities.

As parliamentarians, we have an important role to play in helping youth fulfill their own potential and become the leaders not only of tomorrow, but also of today.

Remembrance WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, in Flanders Fields and on Canadian jackets, poppies will grow as we begin Remembrance Week today. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians will proudly display a red poppy, share a story or recall a loved one who served our great nation.

This week is about remembrance; nothing more, nothing less. I call on my colleagues from all parties to begin thinking about someone who they remember as we prepare to commemorate our veterans this week.

Above all, I encourage all Canadians to not only wear a poppy, but if they see a veteran, to say “thank you”. Thank them for their service.

For their sacrifice, lest we forget.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, respected Cree elder, Gary Moostoos, was physically evicted and banned from an Edmonton mall. The apparent offence? He was suspected of associating with the homeless. However, like others, he was simply enjoying a bowl of soup.

Elder Moostoos raised himself out of a life of despair on the streets to bring solace to Cree elders in health care, to victims of residential school abuse and to the homeless, yet he was still subjected to public humiliation and is emotionally wounded.

The mall offered an apology, but apologies simply are not enough. Was this elder targeted because he looked aboriginal? What direction was security given? Is the intention to keep the homeless and traumatized out on the street?

Tina Fontaine was not the first aboriginal child to be treated with abandon. Elder Moostoos was not the first aboriginal man to be humiliated.

As parliamentarians, we can and must use our powers to advance from mere apologies to ensuring comparable child and family services, restitution and support to the healing centres, and to meet our commitments under the UNDRIP, including respecting the rights of indigenous peoples to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and their aspirations.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government's plan to reduce poverty has been recognized throughout the world as one that works. In fact, a recent UNICEF report said that child poverty decreased during the last recession by 180,000.

The president of UNICEF Canada had this to say, “Canada is faring better than other western countries; it is due to measures that are favourable to families like tax credits, fiscal measures and benefits that have been maintained or put in place to counter the effects of the global crisis”.

However, there is still more to do. That is why we introduced programs like the working income tax benefit, increased the child care expense deduction, increased the UCCB and continued to invest in affordable housing, among other things.

I hope the opposition will start to support all of the measures we are doing to create jobs and reduce poverty in Canada.

Komagata MaruStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in May, 1914, the Komagata Maru, a former coal ship, anchored outside Vancouver with British subjects of Indian heritage on board, including 12 Hindus, 24 Muslims and 340 Sikhs, all of whom had come to start a new life in Canada. Due to the exclusion laws of the time, these men, women and children were forced to wait 60 days in horrendous conditions before returning to India.

One hundred years later, this incident is a stark reminder of the heavy costs of intolerance.

In 2008, the Liberal Party called on the government to apologize for this dark incident in our history, a motion that the House passed unanimously. Six years have since passed without the Prime Minister making a formal apology in the House. His token apology in 2008 was unacceptable to those who were victimized by this tragedy.

We again call on the Prime Minister to apologize in the House for this dark point in Canadian history.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

November 4th, 2014 / 2:15 p.m.


Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to watch with horror as women and girls are subject to unspeakable violence.

We cannot stand idly by as thousands of women are raped and sold into sexual slavery by the depraved gunmen that make up ISIL. We cannot sit quietly as we watch systemic rape be weaponized against women at war. We cannot close our eyes as Boko Haram boasts that it has forced the girls it kidnapped into marriage or as the Taliban shoot a young Pakistani girl in the head for wanting to go to school.

Women and children are not spoils of war. These disgusting acts are not limited to ISIL, Boko Haram and the Taliban, but are also increasingly perpetrated by extremists around the world who see educated women and girls as their greatest threat.

Canada must stand against it. Protecting and empowering women and children has been a priority of this government, and reports like these will only strengthen our resolve to combat these acts and terrorism in general.