Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was great.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Kitchener—Conestoga (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Correctional Service Canada November 29th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm or deny the allegation, but certainly we will look into it and report accordingly.

Terrorism November 28th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, that is so outrageous it will not even get a response.

The Solicitor General has said many times that we will not discuss the names of specific entities that may or may not be listed because to be listed is very serious. The work that is being done to list an entity is a very thorough and deliberate process. We do not list entities based on opposition allegations nor newspaper reports.

Terrorism November 28th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House the Solicitor General announced the names of six new additions to the list, including Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He also said that the listing of entities was a work in progress.

If the member opposite wanted to be helpful, instead of criticizing the government, he should be thanking the men and women who do such good work in ensuring that Canadians are safe and secure in this great country of ours.

Restorative Justice Award November 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, this week Correctional Service of Canada and communities throughout the country are celebrating Restorative Justice Week. Restorative justice focuses on repairing the very serious harm done to communities by crime.

Last night at the Edmonton Institution for Women, two Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Awards were presented to citizens of this country who are making a difference by reaching out to offenders and victims of crime. The first went to Martin Hattersley, an Edmonton lawyer and an ordained priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the second to the Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Association of Langley, British Columbia.

The CSC established the award in 1999 to recognize Canadians who demonstrated through their work or lifestyle ways of transforming human relationships by promoting communication and healing between people in conflict, be they victims, offenders, colleagues, families or neighbours.

I urge all members to join me in congratulating the recipients of the Ron Wiebe award.

Leonard Peltier November 19th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I would certainly respond by saying we always continue to work very hard not to put at risk any of our people, or anyone from the international community for that matter.

As I stated in my earlier remarks, we certainly as a country and the RCMP, the Ottawa Police Service and other interested parties have a strong mandate to provide security and safety measures for people in Ottawa, certainly in Ottawa--Vanier and people beyond the national capital region. We have an obligation to provide that safety and security. Those obligations stem from not only domestic, but international obligations that exist for us in an area that is the capital of a country, in this case Canada.

It is fair to say too that the RCMP continues to re-evaluate the threat assessment and adjusts security requirements as warranted by those circumstances. The RCMP and others continually monitor this process and will continue to do so in the best interests of all concerned.

Leonard Peltier November 19th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Ottawa--Vanier for the question, because it is important and we as a government need to respond accordingly.

I want to assure all members of the House that the RCMP takes the security of all Canadians very seriously. The role of the RCMP is to ensure safety and security for all internationally protected persons in Canada according to a number of domestic and international obligations. Of course that includes those residents here in the national capital region.

I have been advised by the RCMP that security measures in place are commensurate with the existing threat assessment. The RCMP continually re-evaluates threat assessments and adjusts security requirements as warranted by the circumstances. That is an ongoing process.

There are currently various security measures for the U.S. embassy which take into consideration the safety of the international community as well as the community at large. They include measures in and around the area to control traffic.

I am informed that the traffic re-routing on Clarence Street as well as the barricades in question provide maximum safety for that part of the city. Following the implementation of the security measures around the U.S. embassy, the RCMP in consultation with the Ottawa Police Service, which is responsible for the traffic flow on city streets, met and consulted with local members of Parliament, the city of Ottawa, business owners and residents of lower town in Ottawa.

I understand that U.S. embassy officials have also met with local residents and business owners in the area and are attempting to reach a mutually acceptable solution which will in fact maintain security around the embassy. Senior members of the RCMP also continue to work with law enforcement officers at the U.S. embassy and city of Ottawa officials in regard to this matter.

The RCMP and its law enforcement partners continue to re-evaluate the perceived threat assessment and the level of security. In consultation with members of the community, they also continue to monitor the impact of security measures on the community. The security measures will continue to be adjusted in response to those requirements for security, not only in and around that area, but other areas as well.

It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on any specific security measures undertaken by the RCMP or its partners, but suffice it to say that there is an ongoing monitoring process. As I pointed out, we need to meet domestic and international obligations when it comes to these kinds of threats, either perceived or real.

Question No. 21 November 18th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-17, the public safety act.

Specifically I would like to address section 4.82 which would amend the Aeronautics Act. This is an improvement over an earlier proposal in Bill C-55 because it addresses a number of concerns, not only of parliamentarians and people in the House, but also the Privacy Commissioner.

At the same time it is a very important provision for public safety. It will give our law enforcement and security agencies an effective and timely tool to improve transportation security and safety for all Canadians. How will it do this? It will require airlines, which already collect personal information about passengers, to share it when requested with specifically designated RCMP and CSIS officers.

Let me assure the House that designated officers cannot use the information for unrestricted purposes. Their use will be strictly limited to the purposes of transportation, security and counterterrorism. This makes sense because the RCMP requires information about passengers to deliver an effective air carrier protection program.

In practical terms the RCMP needs to know if there are potentially dangerous passengers on flights so that it can assign aircraft protective officers to cover them. Likewise, CSIS needs the information to identify known suspected terrorists before they board a plane. I do not think it would be in the interests of Canadians to deny the RCMP and CSIS access to this information if it could avert a terrorist incident or protect Canadians from potential harm.

We have removed the identification of persons subject to outstanding warrants as an authorized primary purpose for obtaining passenger information as it was set out in Bill C-55. However during the course of analyzing passenger information to check for terrorists and other high risk persons, the RCMP would be able to notify the local police if they identified a fugitive wanted for a serious crime such as murder.

This change specifically responds to concerns raised by hon. members and the Privacy Commissioner that accessing air passenger lists to identify persons with outstanding warrants for serious offences goes beyond the counterterrorism intent of the bill.

In keeping with public expectations, the RCMP would still be able to take action in the interests of public safety. If the RCMP happened to identify a dangerous wanted criminal or terrorist, it would then be able to notify the local police so it could be apprehended before they could harm someone else. The public would not expect anything less from the RCMP.

We must not lose sight of the fact that an arrest warrant is essentially an order that is issued in situations where the justice or the court believes it is necessary in the public interest to do so. What is more, it commands peace officers to arrest the person and to bring him or her before the justice or the court to be dealt with according to law. Without this provision we would be placing RCMP members in a very difficult position by preventing them from assisting in the execution of serious warrants they may discover in the context of analyzing passenger data for transportation security purposes.

I would like to take this moment to assure hon. members of the House that this authority would in no way give the RCMP blanket permission to arrest and detain just anyone. Before any passenger could be arrested, the RCMP and any other police force for that matter would have to take reasonable steps to positively identify the person named in the warrant.

That brings me to the second change, which is to narrow the types of offences for which warrants can be executed. Only warrants for offences which are punishable by five years or more in prison and which are identified and specified in a schedule to be listed in a regulation will be subject to disclosure.

Finally, the hallmark of Canada's approach to national security is collaboration among departments and agencies at the federal and provincial level, industry, parliamentarians, citizens rights groups and in the international community, especially the United States. The joint resolve of these stakeholders is one of the reasons why Canada remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to live.

To ensure that air carriers have the authority to collect and use information about individuals obtained from the government and to search for information about them for specific purposes, a consequential amendment to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, PIPEDA, is proposed. This amendment would ensure the effectiveness of the data sharing regime proposed by Bill C-17.

The PIPEDA was developed to ensure that privacy and enable law enforcement agencies to protect the safety of Canadians and support a competitive and innovative marketplace. This same balanced approach has led to this amendment which would maintain the overall integrity then of intelligence activities in a changed security environment.

The amendment to section 4.82 needs to take into account Canadians' privacy rights as well as their protection against terrorism. That is why this proposal makes very strict privacy safeguards and as such is well worth considering.

All passenger information would have to be destroyed within seven days unless it was reasonably required for the restrictive purposes of transportation security or the investigation of terrorist threats. When we consider there are thousands of flights a day in Canada, it makes good sense then to give the RCMP and CSIS the time they need to analyze passenger information they have accessed before planes actually depart.

To ensure accountability and transparency, written records would have to be kept then to justify intentional disclosure of any passenger information. This would enable review agencies such as the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the Inspector General for CSIS or the Privacy Commissioner to readily examine records for compliance with the law. The RCMP and CSIS would each be required to conduct an annual review of information retained by designated officers. If retention could no longer be justified, the information would have to be destroyed.

In closing, section 4.82 is what Canadians want and I believe that sincerely. It will ensure that law enforcement and national security agencies can improve transportation and national security and work effectively with our international partners. It will do this while maintaining privacy rights which as all members of the House know are also very important.

We have taken into account concerns expressed about proposals in the previous legislation. We have listened and we believe we have struck the right balance. After all, I believe Canadians want and expect from parliamentarians and those of us in the House to strike the right balance when it comes to privacy and the rights of Canadians and also security and safety for all Canadians.

Official Languages November 1st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP of course operates in the national capital region and is fully committed to official bilingualism and providing services in both official languages. The RCMP complies with provincial legislation regarding the issuance of tickets. The RCMP continues to do a good job for all Canadians.

Diabetes Awareness Month November 1st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, November is Canadian Diabetes Awareness Month. Since the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, at the University of Toronto by F.G. Banting and C.H. Best, Canada has been recognized as a world leader in the search for a cure for diabetes.

Today, Canada is once again on the leading edge of diabetes research. The Edmonton Protocol has the medical world abuzz as a possible new treatment for this terrible disease. Diabetes afflicts more than two million Canadians, both young and old.

During November a number of events, fundraisers and educational activities will be taking place to highlight the fact that diabetes is a major health care issue in Canada. Celebrations include World Diabetes Day which occurs on November 14 and marks the birthdate of Dr. Banting.

Hopefully one day soon Diabetes Awareness Month will be a thing of the past because by then we will have found a cure.

Child Abuse Prevention Month October 11th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and the people of Canada that October is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

As members of Parliament, individuals and communities, we must act to prevent child abuse. We must intervene when we know or suspect that a child is being threatened, hurt, neglected or sexually exploited.

Neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse are all forms of maltreatment. They violate our children and they violate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Canada is a signatory.

The Government of Canada partners with other levels of government and non-governmental organizations on initiatives to support families and prevent child abuse. Included in these initiatives are the federal family violence initiative and community based programs such as the community action program for children, aboriginal head start and the nobody is perfect parenting skills program.

We must all do our part to protect Canada's children. They are a great asset for all of us.