House of Commons Hansard #339 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, if the inference that the member drew was that I was accusing her of being radicalized by Islamic extremists, that clearly was not my intention. I apologize for leaving that impression.

What I was making my remarks to, when I suggested that she had been radicalized by extremists, were the extreme Conservative views that somehow Canada constitutes a national security threat to the United States. That is an extreme view for any Canadian to hold and certainly an extreme view for any member of Parliament to hold. Those members are supposed to be the loyal opposition. I think they have lost their way.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share my time with the member for Alfred-Pellan.

I will start in the same manner as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and recognize the significance of the day, the topic under discussion and the late Nathan Cirillo as an individual who will not be forgotten, as colleagues on all sides of the House reflect on that significant day four years ago and what a privilege it is to be able to rise at any given time to address the House. I will now provide additional comment on the matter that is up for debate.

We often underestimate some of the important issues within our communities in all regions of our country. There is such a thing called radicalization and it is quite sad and profound. Many Canadians do not quite understand how it happens in the first place, but we do realize that radicalization toward terrorism happens here in Canada. The sad reality is that Canadians make the decision to leave our country to join and participate with terrorist groups and associations.

That is exceptionally upsetting not only to Canadian society but also to parliamentarians of all political stripes. I do not believe there is a member of Parliament who would disagree with the statement of how reprehensible it is when Canadians make that decision to leave our soil and go to an area of the world where terrorist acts are taking place. The horrific situations that their victims find themselves in is absolutely abhorrent and we want to ensure that Canada plays a leadership role in doing what we can to make sure there is justice for those criminal actions taking place.

It is interesting when we look at what we have been able to accomplish in the last few years. For those Canadians who leave Canada and then attempt to come back, there is a message we want to give them, that they will be arrested, charged and prosecuted. We have seen a government for the first time be successful not only at laying charges, but also in prosecuting and achieving convictions. That is new. We never saw that under Stephen Harper.

Under this administration we have now seen four arrests and charges, and two resulting in convictions. I understand that the other two are still at trial and we are very hopeful and optimistic that those will come to fruition at some point in time in the not too distant future.

Contrast that to what we saw when Stephen Harper was the prime minister. We heard the number 60 being bantered around on several occasions. Under the former government, the rhetoric was very loud. Press statements were numerous and the Conservatives talked very tough about terrorist acts and those leaving Canada and coming back, and what the consequences would be for them. However, the reality and the facts speak for themselves, namely, that no charges were laid under the Harper regime.

We had one member from the Conservative caucus stand up and say that, no, there were three or might have said there were four. Some dead guys got charged, and there was someone else who was charged from abroad who never actually came to Canada. I do not know how factual that is, but I do know that this government takes this issue very seriously. The Minister of Public Safety, on numerous occasions when asked about the issue, has addressed it head-on by trying to reassure Canadians that not only are we looking at arrests, charges and prosecutions, but we also believe in those agencies and security services that play an absolutely critical role in ensuring that Canadians can feel safe in their homes with respect to terrorist acts, and that they have a government that is genuinely moving forward on this file.

The former prime minister had a majority government from 2011 to 2015. However, when we think about those security service agencies, the ones that are on the front lines, we will find that in the time of that majority government from 2011 to 2015, there were some serious cuts, such as on the RCMP in excess of $500 million. Over a half billion in terms of financial resources was taken away from our RCMP while there was a Stephen Harper majority government. There was $390 million taken away from the Canada Border Services Agency. We had serious cuts that went into the millions for CSIS. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority also had $150 million-plus in terms of cuts.

Therefore, I find it somewhat hypocritical of the official opposition to try to give the impression that this government is not moving forward on this important file, when the Conservatives sat idly back and could have done so much more. Instead of dealing with it in a proactive fashion, they administered serious cuts to the services that assisted the government and our society in ensuring that terrorism was being treated in a more serious fashion.

We have heard a lot today about the Yazidis. Again, when I sat in the opposition benches, we heard very little. We did not hear the Conservatives while they were in government talk about the plight of the Yazidis. No one should be surprised that we can count on one hand the number of Yazidi women, victims, who came under the former regime. However, within three years, we have increased that number from under five to well over 1,000. The government understands the importance of this issue.

In the motion that we are debating today is a quote from Nadia Murad from her book. Members will know that Nadia is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is a wonderful quote from a book she wrote that encapsulates what I believe is the sentiment of people around the world, which is that we want to ensure that there is a sense of justice, that this criminal behaviour that has been taking place will not be put to the side, that it will not be forgotten, and that we will seek and find those individuals who have taken these sorts of hideous actions against human rights and human beings.

I believe that people would do well by reading what Nadia has written, because there is so much in her wonderful modern-day hero's book.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

October 22nd, 2018 / 5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Levitt Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of York Centre, I have had the opportunity to meet with a number of recent Yazidi immigrants who came in under the program that the hon. parliamentary secretary mentioned. Their stories are horrific. I had the opportunity to attend a rally in the middle of the summer where I got to meet Yazidi families who still have family members over there who are suffering in the most awful ways. I just want to reflect and comment on the bravery of Nadia Murad giving voice to so many people in the Yazidi community.

Canada has been at the forefront of dealing with this population that has been devastated by terror. Can he reflect on the opportunities we have given so many in that community, how Canada can continue to do more and is committed to standing with the Yazidis by ensuring that we help where we can?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, because I would like to go right to a quote, the short answer is that well over 1,000 victims of Yazidi heritage now call Canada home. The stories are many and horrendous in nature.

Let me quote Nadia, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as cited in today's motion:

I dream about one day bringing all the militants to justice, not just the leaders like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but all the guards and slave owners, every man who pulled a trigger and pushed my brothers’ bodies into their mass grave, every fighter who tried to brainwash young boys into hating their mothers for being Yazidi, every Iraqi who welcomed the terrorists into their cities and helped them, thinking to themselves....

There is no way I or anyone could really give justice in explaining the types of situations that hundreds of thousands of these women had to endure. However, at the very least, we should do what we can. I believe that Canada's government is doing what it can by opening our doors and trying to provide that comfort and strong international leadership on what is a very important file.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clear something up.

I think the way the Liberals and Canadians use the word “radicalization” is dangerous. Let me explain why. It is a way to deny an important reality. One hundred and ninety Canadians have travelled overseas to commit acts of terrorism and contribute to a political movement.

Let us not forget that there are concrete ideologies based on arguments that can seem rational and objective to some. They want to create an Islamic state, and there is a political will to achieve that goal.

Some of those 190 Canadians went there not because they were reckless, had a troubled soul, or had been radicalized or brainwashed. We need to acknowledge that, on the contrary, some of them were fully conscious of what they were doing and knew exactly what they were going to be doing there. Their actions were objective and rational. They wanted to be part of a political movement that is probably anti-capitalist, anti-liberal democracy, and even anti-Christian.

My colleague from Winnipeg North needs to realize that some Canadians went there not because they were crazy, mentally ill or radicalized, but for rational reasons, because they were against our political system.

What does he have to say to that?

How would he suggest that we deal with these individuals?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I understand the term “radicalization”. I know what it means. Most Canadians can comprehend and understand the fact that we have individuals in Canada who are radicalized. They leave Canada, they work with terrorist organizations and engage in all sorts of horrendous and appalling activities.

I will be very clear. Under the Harper regime, no returning terrorist was actually ever charged. None, zero, to be very clear. That is the difference. We have looked at ways not to only arrest and charge the individuals, but also actually to get convictions.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to debate the motion moved by the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

We are all here to debate an issue of utmost importance: national security.

One thing is absolutely clear: leaving Canada to join a terrorist organization overseas is utterly reprehensible. Our goal is to arrest these people, charge them, and bring them to justice so that they may ultimately be convicted of their crimes.

Members of Daesh and other terrorist organizations must face severe consequences for their reprehensible actions. Anyone who commits atrocities and returns to Canada must face the consequences of their actions and be prosecuted under Canadian law. One thing is for sure: we will keep Canadians safe by not repeating past mistakes, like those of the Harper Conservatives, who are still using rhetoric to scare Canadians rather than taking concrete measures to fight terrorism.

I would also like to clarify one fact. As the government has stated, we are aware that Canadian citizens are being held in Syria.

However, it is important to note that reports describing an agreement to bring these Canadians back to Canada are completely false. I am pleased to have the opportunity to offer an explanation to the House and reiterate that no such agreement was ever negotiated or ever even existed. It is equally certain that Canadian officials absolutely did not make any promise to bring these individuals back to Canada. It is completely false and inappropriate to suggest otherwise.

It is also important to note that the Canadian embassy in Syria has been closed since 2012 and that Canada has no diplomatic presence in that country. It is impossible for us to provide such services on the ground. We must also take into account the fact that Syria is a very dangerous and volatile environment. Multiple military operations led by states and other organizations are currently under way in several parts of the country. That makes the situation on the ground very dangerous and the level of risk extremely high.

We would never take any measures that could put the lives of our personnel in danger. That is precisely why Canadian officials do not travel to Syria.

Our priority is always to protect and ensure the safety of our Canadian officials abroad. As the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has said over and over, the dangers and risks associated with sending Canadian officials into the field would be completely unacceptable.

Given that Canada has absolutely no diplomatic presence in Syria, and considering the extremely difficult situation on the ground, the Canadian government has no direct access to the individuals being held in Syria. This means that our ability to provide consular services to Canadians in Syria is extremely limited.

However, when individuals being held in that area choose to reach out to Canadian consular officials, they have a duty to respond to them. It is important to note that it is in the interest of our national security to gather as much information as possible concerning the identity and location of those individuals.

I hope my colleague will share our view and agree that our priority should be to protect Canada. I also hope he will agree that locating these Canadians who decided to travel abroad to join a terrorist organization is vital to our national security.

However, it is clear that if these Canadians return to Canada, they will have to face the consequences of their completely irresponsible actions. That is why Canada's law enforcement actively pursues investigations and lays criminal charges when the evidence is there.

When there is not enough evidence to lay charges, the Government of Canada has other counterterrorism tools it can use to respond to threats. They include investigations, surveillance and monitoring, intelligence gathering and lawful information sharing, peace bonds, the no-fly list, revocation of passports, and legally authorized threat reduction measures.

I would also like to remind the House that the best way to protect communities is to address the situation from both sides and to be proactive. That means we need to ensure that our law enforcement agencies use all the enforcement measures at their disposal while supporting prevention and deradicalization programs.

That is why our government established the new Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence in order to support local initiatives that fight extremism in any form, crack down on terrorist propaganda and online recruitment efforts, intervene early to keep young Canadians from going down the path of extremism, and help families and communities affected by radicalization. The centre also supports research in order to develop an evidence base about what approaches work best to combat radicalization in the Canadian context.

The centre also facilitates the sharing of best practices and supports research to develop an evidence base about what works best to combat radicalization in the Canadian context. According to Dr. Lorne Dawson, an expert at the University of Waterloo, all the G20 nations are convinced of the need to move into prevention programming because, in the long term, it is our best bet. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem. It is too big and pervasive around the world.

Unfortunately, Canada has a lot of catching up to do because, according to Dr. Dawson, the previous Conservative government had little or no interest in following up on this. During its final term, the Harper government cut over $1 billion from Canada's security services. That includes $530 million from the RCMP, $390 million from the Canada Border Services Agency, $69 million from CSIS, $42 million from the Communications Security Establishment and $171 million from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

I would also like to reiterate that when these people come back to Canada, we do take serious measures, and our actions prove it. Since we took office, criminal charges have been laid against four terrorists who came back to Canada. Two have been convicted, and the cases of the other two are still before the courts. Our police officers and prosecutors are actively seeking evidence to support further prosecutions.

Some people who return from engagements with terrorist groups may be the wives and children of Daesh fighters. In those cases, as in every case, Canada's security agencies will examine the threat, take the measures they deem appropriate from a security perspective and lay charges if there is evidence to support them.

In closing, I would like to remind members that the Government of Canada condemns the horrific and cowardly acts of Daesh and takes the threats posed by travelling extremists and individuals returning to Canada very seriously.

Our top priority is the safety of Canadians, and that is exactly what our government is working on tirelessly.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. He closed by saying that his government would take prompt action by implementing strict and serious security measures to deal with returning terrorists who fought against Canadian soldiers and threatened the lives of our representatives abroad who were wearing the Canadian uniform and risking their lives to defend the principles of freedom.

Does he believe that offering poetry classes is in keeping with taking a very hard line with these terrorists?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for his question. I do not agree in the least with his comments.

I would like to point out that our government has introduced public safety legislation. I would also like to highlight the importance of being proactive on this issue. A prevention strategy is key to preventing radicalization.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

René Arseneault Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what my colleague from Alfred-Pellan thinks about the Conservative opposition's chest thumping, as it claims to be protecting Canada's borders from the terrorists that return here.

The Harper Conservatives cut the budget of our security agencies by more than $1 billion. Not once did this Conservative government follow through on prosecuting or charging a terrorist returning to Canada. Since this current government was elected, four such terrorists have been prosecuted.

What does my colleague think about this hypocrisy from the official opposition?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Indeed, we need concrete measures to prevent and combat terrorism. More importantly, we have to be able to enforce these measures, and this is what our security agencies are doing across the country.

I also want to remind the House that the previous Conservative government made massive cuts of over $1 billion to Canada's security agencies. This includes a $530-million cut to the RCMP, a $390-million cut to the Canada Border Services Agency, a $69-million cut to CSIS, a $42-million cut to the Communications Security Establishment, and a $171-million cut to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

We are doing the opposite. We are here to take action and implement good measures to combat terrorism.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the things the member said in his speech is that they, meaning the ISIS terrorists who come back to Canada, must face the consequences of their actions. That is a direct quote from the member opposite.

I am curious. If they must face the consequences of their actions, and I agree with that statement very much, I wonder how he would respond to a scenario that took place in Toronto in June. A young Yazidi woman who has two young children was on a bus in Toronto and came face to face with her ISIS terrorist, a militant who was active overseas and has now been brought to Canada. He sold this woman into slavery, raped her multiple times, put her through excruciating torture and now she was face to face with him on a bus in Toronto. He is not an individual who has gone through due process to be prosecuted for his crimes.

How would the member opposite respond to that?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for her question. Hatred knows no borders and can take many shapes.

Members of terrorist groups must face severe consequences for the atrocities and inhumane actions they have committed. Our security agencies are doing their work, despite over a billion dollars in cuts by the Harper Conservatives. Our utmost responsibility and priority is to keep Canadians safe, but we will do this by remaining true to our values, respecting human rights and trusting in our legal system. We will certainly not repeat the mistakes of the Harper Conservatives, who opted for a divisive, inefficient position that only ignited fear in Canadians. We are putting our actions where our mouths are.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak this evening. I want to acknowledge the people of Beauport—Limoilou watching us in real time or watching a rebroadcast on Twitter or Facebook.

Dear citizens, this evening we are debating a very important motion on a topic that is very sensitive for all Canadians given that we are talking about other Canadians. We are talking about Canadian combatants who have joined the Islamic State since 2013. More than 190 Canadians have made the solemn decision to join the ranks of the Islamic State, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes fully consciously. We condemn their decision to go overseas to join Daesh, better known as the Islamic State, which shrank in size considerably following the western coalition attacks. The group is located primarily in Syria and Iraq, in the Middle East.

These 190 Canadians decided to go overseas to join the Islamic State, which fights western countries and their values, including liberal democracy and gender equality. These are values that are dear to Canadian parliamentary democracy.

Today, the member for Winnipeg North and a number of his Liberal colleagues stated that these 190 Canadians were radicalized on the Internet, by reading literature or by ISIS propagandists on social networks. The Liberals are telling us that we should help Canadians who went to fight against Canada's military members and liberal democracy. Who knows. Perhaps they went to fight in order to one day destroy Canada's political system because they espouse different views. Every time, the Liberals tell us that we need to take pity on them and hold their hands because they were radicalized.

Today, we have moved our motion to address the following reality. Some of them were radicalized. However, I would venture that the vast majority of Canadians who went overseas to join Daesh did so of their own volition and for reasons that are rational, objective and politically motivated and that they believe are good reasons. They did not do so because they were alienated or radicalized. They perhaps want to destroy liberal democracy and gender equality around the world. They had several reasons for joining ISIS. They are not necessarily crazy or alienated.

How are we going to deal with those Canadians who return to Canada? I am not talking about those who left because they were suffering from mental illness or alienation, but rather those who went to the areas where ISIS attacks and counterattacks were taking place, and went of their own free will, to fight Canadian soldiers and soldiers of our allied military partners.

Today the Liberals are saying that the Conservatives are inventing numbers. Journalist Manon Cornellier, a director with the parliamentary press gallery, is highly regarded in the journalism community. She is very professional. In her article in Le Devoir this morning, she writes:

Some 190 Canadians are active in overseas terrorist groups such as Islamic State, also known as Daesh, mostly in Syria and Iraq. About 60 have returned to Canada, but only four have faced charges to date.

A professional journalist, employed by a highly respected newspaper that has been around for decades in Canada, must check her sources and facts before publishing any articles. Ms. Cornellier is reporting exactly the same figures as the official opposition. These are concrete numbers: 190 Canadians left; 60 of those terrorists, who have deliberately committed horrific crimes like raping women and killing children, have returned to Canada; four of them have faced criminal charges; and no one knows where the other 56 are.

What we are asking for is perfectly reasonable and normal in a country governed by the rule of law like Canada. We are asking the government to bring forward a plan within 45 days for determining the whereabouts of the 56 terrorists, both known and unknown, and others who may be coming, finding out what they are doing, and making sure that in the days, weeks or months to come, they are formally charged for what they did. Many of them did what they did for objective, political reasons. They were on a kind of campaign or crusade that went against Canadian and international law.

I will continue quoting from Ms. Cornellier article's in Le Devoir:

Daesh meets the definition of a terrorist organization, and its actions meet the definition of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Under the international law that Canada helped formulate, a country can prosecute anyone who committed such crimes and is physically present on its territory, regardless of where the acts were committed. Furthermore, Canada passed its own universal jurisdiction law in 2000 after ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It used that law in 2005 to prosecute Désiré Munyaneza for crimes against humanity for his role in the Rwandan genocide.

This is not a first. She also writes:

According to Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Canada must not allow Canadian fighters to return to Canada or be repatriated without holding them responsible for the atrocities they helped perpetrate. They must be prosecuted to deter others from committing such crimes.

In other words, Ms. Cornellier and the executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies are saying exactly what we, Her Majesty's loyal opposition, are saying: these crimes must be punished by the courts.

Here is one final excellent quote from her article that shines a light on what we are saying today:

Investigations and the gathering of admissible evidence are indeed difficult, but the government is responsible for finding a solution. It must devise a legal process that operates in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and overcomes the unique constraints that interfere with punishing these crimes. Without that, there can be no justice, and barbaric acts will continue to go unpunished.

That was written by Manon Cornellier, who is with a rather left-wing paper, Le Devoir, and is a director of the Parliamentary Press Gallery here in Ottawa.

That was not the Conservatives talking. It was a professional journalist who provided the same figures we did and who, like us, says that these 190 Canadians who participated in attacks in Syria or Iraq with ISIS committed barbaric acts. She is saying that the government must absolutely bring these people to justice when they return to Canada, that it is a matter of fundamental principles and Canadian history.

I would like to read the motion we moved today and that the Liberals have agreed to support. That said, they have decided to support our motion on a number of occasions and then failed to produce any meaningful action. The motion reads as follows:

That the House support the sentiments expressed by Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who in her book entitled The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, stated: “I dream about one day bringing all the militants to justice, not just the leaders like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi but all the guards and slave owners, every man who pulled a trigger and pushed my brothers’ bodies into their mass grave, every fighter who tried to brainwash young boys into hating their mothers for being Yazidi, every Iraqi who welcomed the terrorists into their cities and helped them, thinking to themselves, Finally we can be rid of those nonbelievers. They should all be put on trial before the entire world, like the Nazi leaders after World War II, and not given the chance to hide.”; and call on the government to: (a) refrain from repeating the past mistakes of paying terrorists with taxpayers’ dollars or trying to reintegrate returning terrorists back into Canadian society; and (b) table within 45 days after the adoption of this motion a plan to immediately bring to justice anyone who has fought as an ISIS terrorist or participated in any terrorist activity, including those who are in Canada or have Canadian citizenship.

That is the motion that we moved this morning and that we will soon be voting on.

Starting next week, if possible, we want the Liberal government to focus on bringing perpetrators of genocide and terrorist acts to justice and ensuring that courts have access to evidence gathered against suspected terrorists.

We want the Liberal government to keep Canadians safe from those who are suspected of committing acts of terrorism and to take special measures, like our previous Conservative government did in the wake of the terrorist attacks that took place here on Parliament Hill and nearby in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. We responded by bringing forward Bill C-51.

We want the Liberals to encourage greater use of the tools to place conditions on those suspected of committing terrorist acts or genocide, as we did with Bill C-51.

We want the Liberals to institute processes for bringing perpetrators of atrocities to justice, since the current process is too slow, fails victims and prevents them from going home.

Lastly, we want the Liberals to support initiatives like those proposed by Premier Doug Ford, to ensure that terrorists returning to Canada are restricted from taking advantage of Canada's generous social programs as part of their reintegration.

In my riding, every weekend, whether I am at a spaghetti dinner or going door to door, my constituents ask me how it is possible that the Liberal government's primary goal continues to be helping people who are not yet citizens or helping Canadians who have fought against our own soldiers.

In Canada, above all we should help Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet or to find employment, as well as those having a hard time joining the workforce because of disability or other reasons.

We hope that beyond their support for our motion, the Liberals will come up with a real plan to address the problem of returning Islamic combatants, those Canadians who sadly decided to fight our values and our country.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 6:15 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, all questions necessary to dispose of the opposition motion are deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I expect if you would canvas the House, you would find unanimous consent at this time to see the clock at 6:30 p.m.

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Do we have the unanimous consent of the House?

Opposition Motion—TerrorismBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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

Foreign AffairsAdjournment Proceedings

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, in May, I asked the government a specific question about how the Liberals respond to foreign policy challenges. In particular, I compared their response to events that took place in Gaza and events that took place in Iran. The striking contrast between the government's response in these cases was and is quite revealing.

In response to events in Gaza, the Liberals called for an independent investigation into those events. What happened in this case was the so-called return march, where at a Hamas-organized event, people tried violently to cross the border and go into Israel. There was a response from the Israeli military, and there was debate internationally about the nature of that response and the appropriateness of it.

Of course, like any free democracy, Israel subjects itself to criticism and has its own domestic investigative mechanism to review the kinds of activities the armed forces undertake. However, the Liberal government made a choice at that time, in its response, to call for an international investigation, implying a lack of trust in the domestic mechanisms that existed.

Meanwhile, around the same time, there was a Canadian citizen who was killed in an Iranian prison, and the government said in response to this that it wanted the Iranian government to conduct an investigation.

My simple question for the parliamentary secretary is why in one case, in the case of our friend and ally, a free democracy, it called for an independent international investigation, and why, in the other case, it called for a domestic investigation. We did not hear an answer then, and I would like to hear an answer from the government now.

Foreign AffairsAdjournment Proceedings

6:15 p.m.

Karen McCrimmon Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, our government has an unwavering and steadfast commitment to the security of Israel and its right to live in peace.

Canada and Israel have enjoyed a continuous and mutually beneficial partnership that has advanced the shared values and interests of our two democracies for almost 70 years. This has been irrespective of which Canadian political party is in power. This continued support has been a vital aspect of Canada's bilateral relationship with Israel. It means that when we need to have a frank and honest discussion with Israel, we can do so as friends.

It is incumbent upon the members of the House not to politicize this issue. Making support for Israel into a political football to throw back and forth undervalues the importance of Canada's relationship with Israel.

There is no better recent example of our strong ties than the essential support that Israel provided, along with other partners, as part of the operation to rescue more than 400 brave White Helmets family members from Syria this summer. This was a collaborative effort that we undertook together to save the lives of humanitarian workers who had frequently braved the dangers of putting themselves in harm's way to help Syrian civilians. As a result, they were targeted brutally by the Assad regime. By working together, Canada and Israel were able to help many escape the forces of the Syrian government.

Our government also works to co-operate closely in areas such as public security and defence, innovation and education, trade and investment. In 2018 alone, the Ministers of Public Safety, Transport, International Development and Trade Diversification have all visited Israel.

We have also made further efforts to strengthen our commercial relations. Israel is a long-time trading partner and our free trade agreement has contributed to better opportunities for businesses and economic prosperity for people in both of our countries. With the inclusion of new elements on small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as labour and environmental protections, the signed modernized free trade agreement signals our commitment to growing these opportunities.

I want to be very clear on one point. Without hesitation, we strongly condemn all acts of terrorism, including those by the terrorist organization Hamas. The actions taken by Hamas are entirely reprehensible and we firmly reject them. It is despicable that Hamas used terrorist acts as a means for achieving political ends.

From trade and investment to security and to culture, the arts and science and technology, the Canadian-Israeli partnership has grown stronger every year under our government. We remain a committed friend of Israel.

Foreign AffairsAdjournment Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary said a lot of good things, but the implication of her opening comments, that because we are a friend of Israel, we should not ask questions about the government policy with respect to Israel is absurd.

As the opposition, it is our job in the House to ask the government questions about particular decisions it makes. By asking questions about policy decisions and statements the government makes, we are not in an unhealthy way politicizing an issue. We are engaging in constructive democratic debate. When the government fails to answer questions, it is not engaging in constructive democratic debate.

I did not ask the parliamentary secretary to talk about, in a general way, how great Israel was. That is a great exercise for another time. I asked a specific question about the times in which the government calls for an independent investigation and occasions in which they trust domestic investigative mechanisms.

Will the parliamentary secretary clarify whether the government trusts Israel to do an independent investigation? If the government does not, then why did it trust Iran to do an independent investigation?

Foreign AffairsAdjournment Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.

Karen McCrimmon

Mr. Speaker, our government supports Israel's right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries. We also support the right of Israel to protect the security of its citizens from attacks.

Our government is continuing the long Canadian tradition of remaining close friends with Israel. I hope the Conservative Party will realize that this steadfast friendship, based on our strong, growing bilateral relations, is too important to be used to try to score political points. Instead, we should be committed to furthering that relationship.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise tonight in adjournment proceedings to revisit a question that I asked on May 29 of this year. To read it now is not only to have déjà vu, and I am certainly not ever going to say “I told you so”, but it is really a rather interesting exchange.

On May 29, I asked what the Government of Canada was thinking. I said that “the Government of Canada apparently just bought a pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion”, which Kinder Morgan had paid $550 million for. However, the main point of my question was that there were 15 different court cases that had not yet been resolved and, “When the Federal Court of Appeal rules, if the court rules that the permits are invalid, what is the government's plan?”

The response by the then Minister of Natural Resources who was quite certain that my question was entirely hypothetical. Looking at the history of what the government had actually done, he said, “We do know that through this process, there was unprecedented consultation with indigenous people.” What we now do know is that the government should have paid a bit more attention to the risks it was taking with public funds for a project that was still before the courts and which had not yet been found to be in possession of valid permits. We now know that those permits were invalid and that the consultation with indigenous peoples violated the Constitution.

The real question for tonight's adjournment proceedings is why on earth the Government of Canada persisted and continued with the purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the 65-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, for $4.5 billion. As a result of the court case that I referred in question period in May, all the permits were quashed on August 30. Less less than 24 hours later, on August 31, the Government of Canada proceeded to hand a cheque for $4.5 billion to Kinder Morgan.

Some might think the government had to do that because they had a contract of purchase and sale of the pipeline. I went through that contract of purchase and sale carefully, and there was no closing date in it. There was something called the “outside date” by which if we did not finish the contract and did not provide the money, the whole contract would be null and void. That outside date was December 31, 2018, a date that has not yet arrived.

There was no reason in law, contract law or otherwise, to give Kinder Morgan a cheque for $4.5 billion for a 65-year-old pipeline, the purchase of which did not create a single additional Canadian job, did not bring any wealth to Canada and for which we vastly overpaid. Why did the Government of Canada go ahead and give that cheque on August 31, particularly—and this is significant—that had the government lawyers spent some time reviewing the Federal Court of Appeal case, it would be very clear to them that the court found that not only did the the Government of Canada violate indigenous rights, so too did Kinder Morgan.

As a matter of contract law, with the fundamental breach of all of the conditions that were in place when the Government of Canada recklessly, foolishly, hypocritically, given its commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies, offered up $4.5 billion, why did we not study the Federal Court of Appeal case and get out of the purchase of a 65-year-old pipeline? To this day, especially given the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we must immediately reduce our emissions, why are we still thinking that we should spend $10 billion more to expand the pipeline?

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:25 p.m.

Paul Lefebvre Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member from Saanich—Gulf Islands for her question. It gives me an opportunity to remind Canadians how we got to this point with regard to the Trans Mountain expansion project and tell them what we plan to do now.

Our investment in the TMX is actually an investment in Canada's future. It is an investment that will create good jobs across the country, open access to new global markets and ensure that Canada gets fair prices on the international market when it sells its valuable resources. Those a just a few reasons why our government approved the TMX in the first place. We did so after careful consideration and the most extensive public consultations and engagement sessions with indigenous people ever conducted as part of an energy project in the history of Canada.

Now, the Federal Court of Appeal has found that our assessment process is an improvement over previous processes and that we acted in good faith. It has also found that we need to improve our efforts in two main areas. First, the National Energy Board should have included the potential impact of increased marine shipping in its review of the project. Second, the Crown failed to adequately discharge its duty to consult with indigenous people.

Our government respects the Federal Court of Appeal's decision, and we are already taking steps to follow its direction. This includes instructing the NEB to reconsider its recommendations concerning the effects of increased project-related marine shipping.

As part of this process, our government will be appointing a special marine technical adviser to the NEB to ensure it has the expertise and capacity to deliver the best advice. Our government will also be presenting the NEB with detailed information on our recent actions to preserve Canada's oceans, coastal communities and marine life. These efforts include measures to protect southern resident killer whales off the coast of British Columbia and a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan that represents the single largest investment of its kind in Canadian history.

Our way forward also involves relaunching phase 3 consultations with all 117 indigenous groups affected by the project, and doing so in an efficient and meaningful way. This includes appointing a former Supreme Court Justice, the Hon. Frank Iacobucci, as a special representative on legal and constitutional matters.

This is how we are moving forward the right way. This is how we will build a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future for Canadians. This is how we will build a Canada that works for everyone.