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42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 310

CONTENTS

Thursday, June 7, 2018




House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148 
l
NUMBER 310 
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1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Commissioner of Lobbying

    I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 11 of the Lobbying Act, the report of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

[English]

    I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the year 2017-18.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), these reports are deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Suspension of Sitting 

    The interpretation is not working. I think we had better pause.

     (The sitting of the House was suspended at 10:07 a.m.)

  (1015)  

Sitting resumed  

    (The House resumed at 10:16 a.m.)

 
    

[Translation]

Information Commissioner

    I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to Section 38 of the Access to Information Act, the report of the Information Commissioner for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.
    While I am on my feet, I move:
    That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
    Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
    Some hon. members: Yea.
    The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
    And five or more members having risen:
    The Speaker: Call in the members.

  (1055)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 738)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Alleslev
Amos
Arseneault
Arya
Ayoub
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baylis
Beech
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Bossio
Bratina
Breton
Brison
Caesar-Chavannes
Carr
Casey (Cumberland—Colchester)
Casey (Charlottetown)
Chagger
Chen
Cormier
Cuzner
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeCourcey
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Di Iorio
Drouin
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Eyking
Eyolfson
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser (West Nova)
Fraser (Central Nova)
Fry
Fuhr
Garneau
Gerretsen
Goldsmith-Jones
Gould
Graham
Hardie
Harvey
Hébert
Hogg
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Khalid
Khera
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation)
Lebouthillier
Leslie
Levitt
Lockhart
Long
Longfield
Ludwig
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Mihychuk
Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs)
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Nassif
Nault
Ng
O'Regan
Ouellette
Paradis
Peschisolido
Peterson
Petitpas Taylor
Philpott
Picard
Poissant
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rioux
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Rudd
Ruimy
Rusnak
Sahota
Saini
Samson
Sangha
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sikand
Simms
Sohi
Spengemann
Tan
Tassi
Tootoo
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Whalen
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Wrzesnewskyj
Young

Total: -- 154

NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albrecht
Anderson
Aubin
Barlow
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benson
Benzen
Bergen
Bernier
Berthold
Bezan
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boulerice
Boutin-Sweet
Brassard
Brosseau
Calkins
Cannings
Caron
Carrie
Choquette
Clarke
Clement
Cooper
Cullen
Davies
Deltell
Diotte
Doherty
Donnelly
Dubé
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Hardcastle
Harder
Jeneroux
Jolibois
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kusie
Lake
Laverdière
Lloyd
Lobb
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Malcolmson
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
Motz
Nantel
Nicholson
Obhrai
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Poilievre
Quach
Rankin
Reid
Richards
Sansoucy
Scheer
Schmale
Shields
Shipley
Sopuck
Sorenson
Stanton
Stetski
Strahl
Sweet
Thériault
Tilson
Trost
Vecchio
Wagantall
Warawa
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weir
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 100

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

National Security Act, 2017

    The House resumed from May 28 consideration of the motion that Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, we are now at second reading of Bill C-59, an omnibus national security bill that the government introduced on June 20, 2017.
    At the time, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness decided not to give Bill C-59 second reading and sent it directly to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. He said that committee meetings were needed to get additional information in order to improve the bill, so that is what we did.
    During the committee's study of Bill C-59, 235 amendments were proposed. The Conservative Party proposed 29 and the Green Party 45. The Liberals rejected all of them. Four NDP amendments and 40 Liberal amendments were adopted. Twenty-two of the Liberal amendments had more to do with the wording and with administrative issues. The Liberals also proposed one very important amendment that I will talk about later on.
    The committee's mandate was to improve the bill. We, the Conservatives, undertook that work in good faith. We proposed important amendments to try to round out and improve the bill presented at second reading. The Liberal members on the committee rejected all of our amendments, even though they made a lot of sense. The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security held 16 meetings on the subject and heard from a number of witnesses, including people from all walks of life and key stakeholders in the security field. In the end, the government chose to reject all of our amendments.
    There were two key points worth noting. The first was that under Bill C-59, our security agencies will have fewer tools to combat the ongoing terrorist threat around the world. The second was that our agencies will have a harder time sharing information.
    One important proposal made in committee was the amendment introduced by the Liberal member for Montarville regarding the perpetration of torture. Every party in the House agrees that the use of torture by our intelligence or security agencies is totally forbidden. There is no problem on that score. However, there is a problem with the part about torture, in that our friends across the aisle are playing political games because they are still not prepared to tell China and Iran to change their ways on human rights. One paragraph in the part about torture says that if we believe, even if we do not know for sure, that intelligence passed on by a foreign entity was obtained through torture, Canada will not make use of that intelligence. For example, if another country alerts us that the CN Tower in Toronto is going to be blown up tomorrow, but we suspect the information was extracted through some form of torture, we will not act on that intelligence if the law remains as it is. That makes no sense. We believe we should protect Canadians first and sort it out later with the country that provided the intelligence.
    It is little things like that that make it impossible for us to support the bill. That element was proposed at the end of the study. Again, it was dumped on us with no notice and we had to vote on it.
    There are two key issues. The national security and intelligence review agency in part 1 does not come with a budget. The Liberals added an entity, but not a budget to go with it. How can we vote on an element of the bill that has no number attached to it?
    Part 2 deals with the intelligence commissioner. The Liberals rejected changes to allow current judges, who would retire if appointed, and retirees from being considered, despite testimony from the intelligence commissioner who will assume these new duties. Currently, only retired judges are accepted. We said that there are active judges who could do the work, but that idea was rejected. It is not complicated. It makes perfect sense. We could have the best people in the prime of their lives who may have more energy than those who are about to retire and may be less interested in working 40 hours a week.

  (1100)  

    In part 3 on the Communications Security Establishment, known as CSE, there are problems concerning the restriction of information. In fact, some clauses in Bill C-59 will make capturing data more complicated. Our intelligence agencies are facing additional barriers. It will be more difficult to obtain information that allows our agencies to take action, for example against terrorists.
    Part 4 concerns the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the privacy issue often come up in connection with CSIS. A common criticism of Bill C-51 is that this bill would allow agencies to breach people's privacy. Witnesses representing interest groups advocating for Canadians' privacy and people whose daily work is to ensure the safety of Canadians appeared before the committee. For example, Richard Fadden said that the agencies are currently working in silos. CSIS, the CSE, and the RCMP work in silos, and the situation is too complex. There is no way to share information, and that is not working.
     Dr. Leuprecht, Ph.D., from the Royal Military College, Lieutenant-General Michael Day from the special forces, and Ray Boisvert, a former security adviser, all made similar comments. Conservative amendment No. 12 was rejected. That amendment called for a better way of sharing information. In that regard, I would like to remind members of the Air India bombing in 1985. We were given the example of that bombing, which killed more than 200 people on a flight from Toronto to Bombay. It was determined that this attack could have been prevented had it been easier to share information at the time.
    The most important thing to note about part 7, which deals with the Criminal Code, is that it uses big words to increase the burden for obtaining arrest warrants to prevent terrorist acts. Amendments were made regarding the promotion of terrorism. Section 83.221 of the Criminal Code pertains to advocating or promoting the commission of terrorism offences. The Liberals changed the wording of that section with regard to unidentified terrorist offences, for example, ISIS videos on YouTube. They therefore created section 83.221.
    That changes the recognizance orders for terrorism and makes it more difficult to control threats. Now, rather than saying “likely”, it says “is necessary”. Those are just two little words, but they make all the difference. Before, if it was likely that something would happen, our security agencies could intervene, whereas now, intervention must be necessary. It is a technicality, but we cannot support Bill C-59 because of that change in wording. This bill makes it harder for security agencies and police to do their work, when it should be making it easier for them.
    We are not opposed to revising our national security legislation. All governments must be prepared to do that to adapt. Bill C-51, which was introduced at the time by the Conservatives, was an essential tool in the fight against terrorist attacks in Canada and the world. We needed tools to help our agents. The Liberals alluded to BillC-51 during the election campaign and claimed that it violated Canadians' freedoms and that it did not make sense. They promised to introduce a new bill and here it is before us today, Bill C-59.
    I would say that Bill C-59, a massive omnibus bill, is ultimately not much different from Bill C-51. There are a number of parts I did not mention, because we have nothing to say and we agree with their content. We are not against everything. What we want, no matter the party, is to be effective and to keep Canadians safe. We agree on that.
    Nevertheless, some parts are problematic. As I said earlier, the government does not want to accept information from certain countries on potential attacks, because this information could have been obtained through torture. This would be inadmissible. Furthermore, the government is changing two words, which makes it harder to access the information needed to take action. We cannot agree with this.

  (1105)  

    Now the opposite is being done, and most of the witnesses who came to see us in committee, people in the business of privacy, did not really raise any issues. They did not show up and slam their fists on the desk saying that it was senseless and had to be changed. Everyone had their views to express, but ultimately, there were not that many problems. Some of the witnesses said that Bill C-59 made no sense, but upon questioning them further, we often reached a compromise and everyone agreed that security is important.
    Regardless, the Liberals rejected all of the Conservatives' proposed amendments. I find that hard to understand because the minister asked us to do something, he asked us to improve Bill C-59 before bringing it back here for second reading—it is then going to go to third reading. We did the work. We did what we were supposed to do, as did the NDP, as did the Green Party. The Green Party leader had 45 amendments and is to be commended for that. I did not agree with all her amendments, but we all worked to improve Bill C-59, and in turn, to enhance security in Canadians' best interest, as promised. Unfortunately, that never happened. We will have to vote against this bill.
    Since I have some time left, I will give you some quotes from witnesses who appeared before the committee. For example, everyone knows Richard Fadden, the Prime Minister's former national security adviser. Mr. Fadden said that Bill  C-59 was “beginning to rival the Income Tax Act for complexity. There are sub-sub-subsections that are excluded, that are exempted. If there is anything the committee can do to make it a bit more straightforward”, it would help. Mr. Fadden said that to the committee. If anyone knows security, it is Canada's former national security adviser. He said that he could not understand Bill C-59 at all and that it was worse than the Income Tax Act. That is what he told the committee. We agreed and tried to help, but to no avail. It seems like the Liberals were not at the same meeting I was at.
    We then saw the example of a young man who goes by the name Abu Huzaifa. Everyone knows that two or three weeks ago, in Toronto, this young man boasted to the New York Times and then to CBC that he had fought as a terrorist for Daesh in Iraq and Syria. He admitted that he had travelled there for the purposes of terrorism and had committed atrocities that are not fit to be spoken of here. However, our intelligence officers only found out that this individual is currently roaming free in Toronto from a New York Times podcast. Here, we can see the limitations of Bill  C-59 in the specific case of a Canadian citizen who decided to fight against us, to go participate in terrorism, to kill people the Islamic State way—everyone here knows what I mean—and then to come back here, free as a bird. Now the Liberals claim that the law does not allow such and such a thing. When we tabled Bill C-51, we were told that it was too restrictive, but now Bill C-59 is making it even harder to get information.
    What do Canadians think of that? Canadians are sitting at home, watching the news, and they are thinking that something must be done. They are wondering what exactly we MPs in Ottawa are being paid for. We often see people on Facebook or Twitter asking us to do something, since that is what we are paid for. We in the Conservative Party agree, and we are trying; the government, not so much. Liberal members are hanging their heads and waiting for it to pass. That is not how it works. They need to take security a little more seriously.
    This is precisely why Canadians have been losing confidence in their public institutions and their politicians. This is also why some people eventually decide to take their safety into their own hands, but that should never happen. I agree that that must not happen. That would be very dangerous for a society. When people lose confidence in their politicians and take their safety into their own hands, we have the wild west. We do not want that. We therefore need to give our security officers, our intelligence officers, the powerful tools they need to do their jobs properly, not handcuff them. Handcuffs belong on terrorists, not on our officers on the ground.

  (1110)  

    Christian Leuprecht from Queen's University Royal Military College said that he respected the suggestion that CSIS should stick to its knitting, or in other words, not intervene. In his view, the RCMP should take care of some things, such as disruption. However, he also indicated that the RCMP is struggling on so many fronts already that we need to figure out where the relative advantage of different organizations lies and allow them to quickly implement this.
    The questions that were asked following the testimony focused on the fact that the bill takes away our intelligence officers' ability to take action and asks the RCMP to take on that responsibility in CSIS's place, even though the RCMP is already overstretched. We only have to look at what is happening at the border. We have to send RCMP officers to strengthen border security because the government told people to come here. The RCMP is overstretched and now the government is asking it to do things that it is telling CSIS not to do. Meanwhile, western Canada is struggling with a crime wave. My colleagues from Alberta spoke about major crimes being committed in rural communities.
    Finland and other European countries have said that terrorism is too important an issue and so they are going to allow their security agencies to take action. We cannot expect the RCMP to deal with everything. That is impossible. At some point, the government needs to take this more seriously.
    After hearing from witnesses, we proposed amendments to improve Bill C-59, so that we would no longer have any reason to oppose it at second reading. The government could have listened to reason and accepted our amendments, and then we would have voted in favour of the bill. However, that is not what happened, and in my opinion it was because of pure partisanship. When we are asked to look at a bill before second or third reading and then the government rejects all of our proposals, it is either for ideological reasons or out of partisanship. In any case, I think it is shameful, because this is a matter of public safety and security.
    When I first joined the Canadian Armed Forces, in the late 1980s, we were told that the military did not deal with terrorism, that that was the Americans' purview. That was the first thing we were told. At the time, we were learning how to deal with the Warsaw Pact. The wars were highly mechanized and we were not at all involved in fighting terrorism.
    However, times have changed. Clearly, everything changed on September 11, 2001. Canada now has special forces, which did not exist back then. JTF2, a special forces unit, was created. Canada has had to adapt to the new world order because it could also be a target for terrorist attacks. We have to take off our blinders and stop thinking that Canada is on another planet, isolated from any form of wickedness and cruelty. Canada is on planet Earth and terrorism knows no borders.
    The G7 summit, which will soon be underway, could already be the target of a planned attack. We do not know. If we do not have tools to prevent and intercept threats, what will happen? That is what is important. At present, at the G7, there are Americans and helicopters everywhere. As we can see on the news, U.S. security is omnipresent. Why are there so many of them there? It is because confidence is running low. If Americans are not confident about Canadians' rules, military, and ability to intervene, they will bring everything they need to protect themselves.
    That is why we need to take a position of strength. Yes, of course we have to show that we are an open and compassionate country, but we still need to be realistic. We have to be on the lookout and ready to take action.

  (1115)  

    He said that we should condemn torture, but then he said that we should use information obtained by torture. That is shocking. Could he clarify that? If he is against torture, then he must necessarily be against using information obtained by torture.
    Mr. Speaker, I must admit that is a very sensitive point. I agree. I never said that I was in favour of torture. On the contrary, we are fully against the use of torture. However, it is important to understand that when we get information from another country and not from one of our agencies it is harder to know how it was obtained. What we are saying is that if this information warns us that there will be an attack in a week or two, we will take that information and prevent such an attack to protect our citizens. Then we can talk to that country and pursue a remedy, making it clear that torture is unacceptable. However, I cannot turn down information from a foreign country when Canadians might be at risk. I cannot say that I will not accept that information.
    Mr. Marco Mendicino: That is a slippery slope.
    Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus: I know it is, but then when will the government talk to China and Iran and tell them to do something about their human rights record? It is the same thing.
    We are not advocating the use of torture. However, if it turns out that information that could help save Canadians was regrettably obtained through torture in another country, we will save Canadians and then address the situation. I realize this is a delicate situation, but I would never let Canadians die by refusing to take information.

  (1120)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge that I also spend time with the member on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. What we have learned quite a bit about in that role are the difficulties and complexities around terrorism and the issue of people becoming radicalized. We understand that it is a complex issue that we must deal with very carefully.
    However, what I really want to talk about is the fact that when I was knocking on doors when I was campaigning, people across Canada were disheartened about Bill C-51. It absolutely put people who wanted to speak about issues they felt were really important at so much risk.
    I am just wondering how we can reconcile the reality of making sure that we look after the security of this country with making sure that people have the right to speak up on issues that matter to them in Canada.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    We did indeed take several trips together for NATO meetings. During these trips, we learned that the 27 other member countries have the same kinds of concerns and that terrorism is a serious problem.
    I spoke about Bill C-51 a bit in my speech. I know there was talk about how Bill C-51 is an attack on privacy rights. During the 2015 campaign, the Liberals and New Democrats made a lot of speeches against Bill C-51.
    This is why the Liberals introduced Bill C-59, but at the end of the day, it is not much different from Bill C-51. The parts that were changed, as I mentioned, are the parts essential to obtaining strategic information against terrorism. At the end of the day, my colleague must not be happy with Bill C-59. I think the bill is acceptable, but it also lacks some fundamental elements.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by my colleague across the floor in relation to this particular debate, but I took particular exception when he made reference to the Liberals using Bill C-51 as a political tool in the last election. The reality of the situation was that the Conservatives brought forward that piece of legislation in a timely manner to specifically start pitting Canadians against each other, driving division among Canadians. Liberals actually took a very difficult position, a position that said, “Yes, we need to give the resources and tools necessary, but at the same time, we need to protect Canadians' rights.” It was a position that was very difficult to explain and to take politically.
    I take great exception to the fact that the member made that particular comment.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague from Kingston should talk to his Prime Minister, who, as the leader of the second opposition party, voted in favour of Bill C-51. We must never forget that intervention is required in some situations.
    At the time, the Conservative government had to enact legislation quickly to make tools available to our law enforcement agencies. Let us not forget that when intervention is needed, as it is at the border these days, action must be taken. The problem has been going on for a year and a half, but the government is not doing anything. Put us in power, and we will fix the problem.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague gave a very balanced speech. He totally understands the issues. The hypocrisy from the member from Kingston is unbelievable. His leader supported Bill C-51, and now they all try to pretend it never happened, which is not the case.
    I would like to talk about pre-emptive detention. It is a preventative arrest tool in the Criminal Code that enables police to arrest a suspect without a warrant so long as the arresting officer believes an arrest would be crucial in preventing a terrorist act, and the case would be presented before a judge immediately. We are all well aware of the case of Aaron Driver, on August 10, 2016, in Strathroy, Ontario. With this tool, police were able to move quickly and prevent Driver's attempt to detonate explosives in public spaces.
    If this legislation had been in place in 2014, we all know that Corporal Cirillo would still be alive as would Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent from Quebec. I would like the member to comment on that and the damage that has been done, or at least the limits that would be put on police, with this being removed in Bill C-59.

  (1125)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    My colleague's question is about the main purpose of Bill C-59, which is to keep Canadians safe. When our security agencies are limited in what they can do, that can compromise Canadians' safety. I do not want to be accused of fearmongering and divisiveness, but that is just the reality of the situation.
    The Conservatives' 26th amendment to Bill C-59 would have replaced those two little words, “is likely”, with “is necessary”. That changes everything. That is the kind of change that makes a difference because it gives our officers the mandate to intervene and keep people from dying.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
    I would like him to compare Bill C-51, which has been abundantly criticized, with Bill C-59 before us today. Obviously, we are all in favour of protecting our fellow Canadians, but we are facing a relatively new threat, since many terrorist attacks are not planned, controlled and ordered by a terrorist organization, but are rather thought up and carried out by a radicalized individual.
    What was set out in Bill C-51 to help fight radicalization, and what is now set out in Bill C-59 to remedy the same problem, which is getting worse?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his very good question.
    Once again, we are dealing with the complex issue of threat management. In Canada, there are groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS that announce their demands; we can intercept communications and prevent attacks. However, there are also people who become radicalized at home in their basement. Bill C-59 includes no mechanisms to prevent this type of situation.
    That is why we want to be able to question people suspected of plotting an attack based on information they might have sent or looked up, and make a preventive arrest if necessary. If there is no problem, so much the better, and if there is one, we could save lives.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise to speak to Bill C-59, which has been led by the Minister of Public Safety.
    As has been stated on many occasions, the objectives of the bill truly represent historic reform in the area of public safety and national security. They include fixing many of the problematic elements under the former Bill C-51, which had been debated quite extensively in the chamber; making significant leaps forward with respect to accountability for our national security and intelligence agencies; bringing Canada's national security framework into the 21st century so our security agencies can keep pace with the state of evolving threats; and ensuring the communications security establishment has the tools it needs to protect Canadians and Canadian interests in cyberspace.
    Before I move into the substance of my remarks, the bill has received wide praise by academics and stakeholders across the continuum for the way in which it strikes the balance between ensuring that the rights of Canadians are protected under the charter, while at the same time making quantum leaps to protect our national security and sovereignty.
    Today I will focus my remarks on the component of Bill C-59, which would make certain amendments to the Criminal Code and, in particular, with regard to some of the amendments that Bill C-59 would usher in as it relates to terrorist listings.
    An entity listed under the Criminal Code falls under the definition of a terrorist group. “Entity” is a term that is broadly defined in the Criminal Code, and includes a person. Any property the entity has in Canada is immediately frozen and may be seized by and forfeited to the government. To date, more than 50 terrorist entities have been listed under the Criminal Code.
    I will briefly outline the current listing process in the Criminal Code in order to set the stage for the amendments proposed by Bill C-59.
    In order for an entity to be listed under the Criminal Code, first, the Minister of Public Safety must have reasonable grounds to believe that either (a) the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in, or facilitated a terrorist activity; or (b) the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity. The Minister of Public Safety, upon forming such a reasonable belief, then makes a recommendation to the Governor in Council that the entity be listed.
     The Governor in Council makes the ultimate decision to list, applying the same criteria which is used by the Minister of Public Safety. Once an entity is listed, it may apply to the Minister of Public Safety to be de-listed. If the minister does not make a decision on whether to de-list within 60 days after the receipt of the application, the minister is deemed to recommend that the entity remain a listed entity. The entity may seek judicial review of that decision.
    In addition, two years after the establishment of the list of terrorist entities, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Public Safety must review the list to determine whether there are still reasonable grounds for the entity to be listed as an entity. This review must be completed 120 days after it begins. The minister must publish in the Canada Gazette, without delay, a notice that the review has been completed.
    Compared to other issues examined in the public consultation on national security areas, this one generated less feedback. Online responses were roughly evenly divided between those who thought the current listing methods met Canada's domestic needs and international obligations and those who thought they did not. However, Bill C-59 proposes changes to various aspects of the listing regime that are meant to increase efficiency, including substantive changes to the two-year review process.
    I will first address the substantial changes that Bill C-59 proposes to the two-year review process.
    Reviewing all of the entities on the list at the same time every two years is an onerous process. As more entities are added to the list, the greater the burden placed on the government to complete the review within the required time period. Bill C-59 proposes to alleviate some of this burden in two ways. First, it proposes to extend the review period from two years to a maximum of five years. Second, it proposes that instead of reviewing the entire list all at once, the listing of each entity would be reviewed on a staggered basis.

  (1130)  

    For example, Bill C-59 proposes that when a new entity is listed, the entity would have to be reviewed within five years from the date that it was first listed and within every five years thereafter. This kind of flexibility would also be built into the time frame as to when the notice of the review of the entity would be published.
    Other proposed amendments focus on applications to delist. Ensuring that all delisting applications are dealt with in a procedurally fair manner requires engagement with the applicant prior to the minister making a decision. This includes providing the applicant with the opportunity to review and to respond to much of the material that will be put before the minister.
    This engagement with the applicant can take time. Therefore, Bill C-59 proposes to extend the 60-day deadline within which the Minister of Public Safety must make a decision to delist to 90 days, or longer if agreed to in writing by both the minister and the applicant.
    Another proposal is to amend Bill C-59 to ensure that where an entity has applied to the Minister of Public Safety to be delisted and the minister decides not to delist, then the minister's decision need not be further approved by the Governor in Council. In such a case, because the entity has already been initially listed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the minister, the minister will be confirming that the test for listing the entity continues to be met. However, if the minister does decide to delist the entity, then the final decision on the matter on behalf of the government will rest with the Governor in Council.
    Bill C-59 also proposes a change in relation to changing the name or adding aliases of a listed entity. If a listed entity changes its name or begins to operate under a different alias, the current listing process requires that the Minister of Public Safety seek the approval of the Governor in Council to add the new name or alias to the list of terrorist entities. The delays inherent in this process can negatively impact the government's ability to freeze the property of terrorist groups in a timely manner, thereby preventing our capacity to reduce threats to our national security.
    It is therefore proposed to allow the Minister of Public Safety to be granted the authority, by regulation, to modify the primary names of already listed terrorist entities and to add and remove aliases of entities already on the list. Similar changes have been made by the United Kingdom and Australia to their listing processes.
    Another proposed amendment seeks to make a change to the verb tense in one of the thresholds for listing. The second threshold for listing, which is found in paragraph 83.05(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, requires reasonable grounds to believe the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist entity. In other words, it is phrased in the present tense.
    Entities listed under this threshold whose property has been frozen following their original listing may, after two or more years, no longer be able to act on behalf of a terrorist entity as a result of their property having been frozen. Therefore, even if an entity still has the desire to support a listed terrorist entity that has carried out or facilitated terrorist activity, it can be argued that the current present tense test is no longer met. Bill CC-59's proposal to change this threshold to the past tense will resolve the problem.
    Finally, the mistaken identity provision, which exists in the law now, was intended to be used by entities that might reasonably be mistaken for a listed entity because of having the same or a similar name. However, the current provision can be read as permitting any entity to make a request for a certificate confirming that it is not a listed entity, even if its name is not remotely similar to any entities on the list.
    The proposed legislation will clarify that a certificate can only be issued for reasonable cases of mistaken identity; that is, where the name is the same as or similar to that of the listed entity.
    The listing of terrorist entities is a tool that has been used by Canada, the United Nations, and other countries in our fight against global terrorism. Improving the efficiency of such a regime, as I have outlined in these amendments, while keeping it fair, can only enhance the safety and security of all Canadians.
     I hasten to add that it is one of the many measures which are included as part of Bill C-59, which I said at the outset of my remarks, have been the focus of extensive consultations, have been the focus of extensive study by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, have been the focus of extensive debate in the chamber, and have received the wide critical praise of many individuals in academia, and stakeholders.
    We have good evidence-based, principled legislation in Bill C-59, and we look forward to its passage in the House.

  (1135)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am obviously going to disagree with the hon. member. I especially disagree with his point that there has been a lot of debate in this chamber. That is not true. On May 28, we had one day of debate. This bill was reported back to us from the committee only on May 3, and yesterday the government moved time allocation on it once again, so there has not been a lot of debate. Any type of public consultation outside the House is not a substitute for debate in this chamber. We should be debating it here, to give an opportunity to members of Parliament to speak to it.
    I want to ask the member about the Criminal Code provisions that are being amended by the government in Bill C-59, specifically the ones about the counselling commission of terrorism offence and the way terrorist propaganda is defined. Some of the platforms being used right now to spread terrorist propaganda are YouTube, Facebook, and a lot of other ones, including parts of the dark web. I am deeply concerned that these provisions will actually not cover them because they are often not specific enough in how they speak about Canada. The Islamic terrorists, specifically the radicals, use wording such as “western infidels”, which includes Canada and many of our partner nations. They target us by using very bland language, but they may be here in Canada counselling others to take radical or violent actions against Canadians.
    Does the member not believe that the modifications being made by the government, as proposed in this piece of legislation, will not cover the use of YouTube and other social media in the spread of terrorist propaganda?

  (1140)  

    Mr. Speaker, I respectfully disagree with my colleague. One has to look very closely at the definitions of terrorist activity to see that they are sufficiently broad to capture the kind of mischief and unsanctionable expression that he is worried about.
    If there is one thing I do agree with in his question, it is that we do need to be taking a closer look at social media and the various platforms that have evolved over the last number of years. It is for that reason that I encourage him, when budget 2018 comes back to the House, to support that budget, which includes additional investments and resources going to our public safety and national security apparatus so we can identify that type of expression, which is not sanctioned under the charter and should indeed be investigated by public safety, national security, and law enforcement actors so that we can root it out and prevent that kind of terrorist activity.
    Bill C-59 strikes the right balance, protecting free speech while appropriately identifying speech that would cross over into terrorist activity.
    Mr. Speaker, I was in the House in the last Parliament when the Conservative government brought in Bill C-51, which contained a number of provisions that were direct infringements on Canadian civil liberties and privacy rights. I was also in the House when the Liberals shamefully voted in favour of that bill. That bill did not strike the right balance, as was admitted by my hon. colleague when he said that Bill C-59 does strike the right balance. It is quite ironic that the Liberals stand here today acknowledging that Bill C-51 violated Canadians' rights but they voted for it.
    The New Democrats, when presented with legislation in the House that violates Canadians' privacy, civil liberties, and human rights, stand up against it. We stood up against it in the last Parliament, and we are standing up against it now, with Bill C-59.
     The New Democrats have at least four major concerns with this bill. First, there is nothing in this bill that repeals and replaces the current ministerial directive on torture, to ensure that Canada has an absolute prohibition on torture or using information gleaned from it. Second, we want to make sure that the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has full access to classified information and oversight power. Third, we want to make sure that no warrant issued by CSIS will authorize a breach of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Finally, we want to make sure that this bill enshrines the bulk collection by CSIS of metadata containing private information on Canadians as not relevant to investigations.
    I wonder if my hon. colleague can address any or all of those four points of concern by the New Democrats.
    Mr. Speaker, let me begin by assuring my hon. colleague that the Minister of Public Safety has said on numerous occasions that at no time will any government actor operating within public safety or national security, in those spheres, be authorized to undertake any action that would run afoul of the charter. That assurance is firm. It is solid. It is consistent, because we place the charter at the pinnacle of every single action we take when it comes to defending the sovereignty of this country.
    With regard to the many other questions the member raised, I will just touch on two. I am proud to say that this government was the first ever to introduce legislation to create a national security committee of parliamentarians. For many years, this had been called for, and we were the government to take historic action. That committee is now up and running. It is being chaired by the hon. member for Ottawa South, who is doing a great job.
    As a result of that, we are enhancing accountability and transparency when it comes to the kind of oversight that is necessary, so that when government actors are taking measures to protect our national security, they are doing so in a way that strikes a balance between protecting individuals' rights under the charter and protecting all Canadians.

  (1145)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak to a very important bill, Bill C-59, dealing with what really is the first responsibility of government, to attend to the security needs of Canadians. Sometimes we have an instinct of taking our security for granted in this country. We are blessed to have a strong security apparatus of committed professionals around us. On a daily basis, they are dealing with threats that those of us who are civilians or regular people do not see and do not have to know about. However, when we debate matters like this, we should be sensitive to the reality of the security threats we face and the need to always preserve the strong security infrastructure that protects us. The absence of direct experience with security threats should not lead individuals to think they do not exist.
    I had a meeting recently with people from the Yazidi community, and they shared an experience with me. A person from their community who was a victim of Daesh had sought refuge here in Canada, and that person actually encountered and recognized someone from Daesh, here in Canada. Members know that there are returning fighters from Daesh, but the image of someone coming to Canada to seek refuge, as many people do, coming to Canada to escape persecution of different kinds, and then coming face to face in this country with the persecutor is something that should give members great pause as we think about the steps we take to ensure our security. We need to make sure that Canada is indeed a place where we are safe and where those coming here as refugees and immigrants know they can be safe as well, that they are getting away from their persecutors and will not encounter those same people here in our country.
    Therefore, we need to be diligent about this. When the opposition raises questions about how the government is taking care of our security, let us be clear that it is about the need for the government to do its fundamental job. Sometimes we hear the challenge back from the government that this is somehow about creating fear. It is not. It is about ensuring our security. That is why we ask tough questions and challenge government legislation in cases where it fails.
    Bill C-59 makes changes with respect to the framework around national security and makes some rule changes that those of us in the opposition are quite concerned about. First is the issue of communication between departments. People would have a reasonable expectation that different departments of government would work together and collaboratively share information. If protecting the security of Canadians is the primary, fundamental job of the government, then surely government departments should be working together. Often, on a range of different files, we hear the government talk about a whole-of-government approach. It seems to be approaching the level of one of its favourite buzzwords or phrases. Security seems the most obvious area where we would have a whole-of-government approach. We know that the inquiry into the Air India bombing, a terrible act of terrorism where many people lost their lives, determined that this evil act was preventable, but there was an issue of one agency keeping information from another.
    Certainly, when we see these kinds of things happening, we have to ensure that provisions are in place for the appropriate sharing of information, and yet the bill limits the ability of government departments to share data among themselves that could protect our national security. If the government already has data that could be used to prevent acts of terrorism or violence on Canadian soil, it is not only legitimate but important that we establish a framework whereby different government departments can share information with one another. That is certainly a concern that we have with this legislation.

  (1150)  

    Another concern we have is that Bill C-59 would remove the offence of advocating and promoting terrorism and change it to counselling terrorism, which has a narrower sense, rather than the more general offence of advocating and promoting terrorism. On this side of the House, we feel that it should be fairly clear-cut that advocating and promoting terrorism, even if that falls short of directly counselling someone to commit an act of terrorism, should not be allowed. If somebody or some entity promotes acts of terrorism or violence against civilians to disrupt the political order and create terror, we think that this clearly goes beyond the bounds of freedom of speech and there is a legitimate role for the government to stop that.
    Recognizing the threats that we face and the need to protect Canadians, and the fact that this is the primary job of the government, it is hard for me to understand why the Liberals would amend the legislation to dial back that wording. This is another concern we have raised and will continue to raise with respect to Bill C-59.
    The legislation would also make it more difficult to undertake preventative arrest, in other words for the police to take action that would prevent a terrorist attack. In the previous legislation, the standard was that the intervention be “likely” to prevent a terrorist attack, and now that would be changed to refer to whether the intervention is “necessary” to prevent a terrorist attack. That is a higher bar. We all agree in the House that if it is necessary to arrest someone to prevent a terrorist attack, that arrest should take place. However, I think most Canadians would say that if somebody is in the process of planning or preparing to commit a terrorist attack and the assessment is made that arresting that person in a preventative way is likely to prevent a terrorist attack, it is reasonable for law enforcement to intervene and undertake the arrest at that point.
    We are talking about very serious issues where there is the possibility of significant loss of life here in Canada. I referred to Air India, and there are other cases where Canadians have lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks. There was the shooting at the mosque in Quebec City, which happened during the life of this Parliament, as well as other incidents that some people would define as terrorism, depending on the qualification.
    The tools that law enforcement has in place and the ability of law enforcement to share information among different entities, to undertake preventative arrest, and to prosecute somebody who, though not having committed an act of terrorism, is involved in the promotion of terrorist acts, are likely to have a real, concrete impact in terms of whether these types of events will occur in the future.
    I also do not think that these standards in any way threaten people's fundamental rights and freedoms. It is the idea that government departments should be able to share information, that people cannot actively promote terrorism, and that somebody who is likely to be prevented from a terrorist action by being arrested should be arrested. I do not think law enforcement intervention in these already relatively extreme cases is in any way a violation of people's fundamental rights and freedoms.

  (1155)  

    We need to have a commitment to preserving both our security and our freedom. We in the opposition believe that we can do both. However, the government is taking away important and useful tools that should be available in the pursuit of the safety and security of Canadians, which, as I have said before, is the primary job of government.
    On that basis, we were concerned and proposed a number of amendments at committee, which unfortunately were not adopted. Therefore, at this stage, we are going to be opposing Bill C-59.
    Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, I was able to participate in hearing expert witnesses and studying this bill at first reading, which is an unusual thing to be able to do. It gave us a great opportunity to review this legislation.
    One thing most clearly addressed the issues raised by my constituents when I talked to them about the previous incarnation of the legislation brought forth by the previous Conservative government. It had to do with the lack of oversight. They felt there was no transparency in the way the legislation had been set out in the previous framework.
    I would like to ask my friend this. Does he not see tremendous improvements in this legislation, due to the fact that we have multiple layers of very well-thought-out, transparent ways of having oversight and review of decisions made by our national security agencies?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague does a disservice to the systems of oversight that have long existed in this country and have generally been very effective. Through this legislation, the government proposes to make some changes to that structure through its new national security and intelligence review agency. I would point out that in proposing this new administrative mechanism for oversight, the government has not been able to present to Parliament the projected administrative costs associated with the reporting under this system.
    Our concern is this. When it comes to national security, we are not seeing increases in funding from the government, yet we are seeing the adding on of administrative burdens. We are concerned that resources will be taken away from other aspects of defending our security. Obviously, we all agree in this House that oversight mechanisms are important. This bill proposes a different one from the ones that have existed in the past under successive governments. However, the government is not discussing or revealing the costs of those, nor is it providing new funding for them. That should really raise some red flags for Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
    I must say that, since we began debating Bill C-59, I have had a hard time getting a handle on the Conservatives’ position on several issues, in particular on the issue of torture.
    The New Democrats are resolutely against the use of torture to obtain information, not only because it is inhumane, but also because history has shown time and time again that information obtained by torture is rarely reliable and often totally untrue. Earlier I heard some of his colleagues say that the Conservatives are also against torture, which I am happy to hear. However, they are prepared to use information from other countries that may have been obtained through torture.
    Is the Conservatives’ approach really to do indirectly what they refuse to do directly?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. My party and I are very much opposed to torture. We go further than that. We take a very strong line against other countries in challenging them on human rights abuses, to a degree that I do not think we see from the current government.
    For example, let me take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my own private member's bill, Bill C-350. It would, for the first time, make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to receive an organ that has been harvested from a person without his or her consent. A similar bill, Bill S-240, is working its way through the Senate and will likely come to this chamber before my private member's bill.
     I suspect that my friends in the NDP will have no problem supporting either of those bills, but we have yet to hear from the government as to where it stands on this. Therefore, there are many issues around torture and fundamental human rights where we need to see some progress. I hope we will see support on those pieces of legislation dealing with organ harvesting, which is a form of torture.
    The government has not yet signalled one way or the other how it is going to vote, which is interesting. It should be an easy, clear-cut issue. However, sometimes the things we think are easy and clear-cut do not seem as clear-cut from that side. Nonetheless, I am hopeful there is a consensus here that torture is totally unacceptable, and that we need to take the steps we can to address it.

  (1200)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and speak to such an important piece of legislation. I do not say that lightly. While we were in opposition, Stephen Harper and the government of the day brought in Bill C-51. Many Canadians will remember Bill C-51, which had very serious issues. I appreciate the comments coming from the New Democrats with respect to Bill C-51. Like many of them, I too was here, and I listened very closely to what was being debated.
    The biggest difference between us and the New Democrats is that we understand very clearly that we have to ensure Canadians are safe while at the same time protecting our rights and freedoms. As such, when we assessed Bill C-51, we made a commitment to Canadians to address the major flaws in the bill. At a standing committee on security, which was made up of parliamentarians, I can recall our proposing ways to address the whole issue and concerns about the potential invasion of rights and freedoms. It went into committee, and it was a really long debate. We spent many hours, both in the chamber and at committee, discussing the pros and cons of Bill C-51.
    What came out of it for us as the Liberal Party back in 2015 was that we made a commitment to Canadians. We said we would support Bill C-51, but that if we were to form government we would make substantial changes to it.
    That is why it is such a pleasure for me to stand in the House today. Looking at Bill C-59, I would like to tell the constituents I represent that the Prime Minister has kept yet another very important promise made to Canadians in the last election.
    We talk a lot about Canada's middle class, those striving to be a part of it, and how this government is so focused on improving conditions for our middle class. One could ultimately argue that the issue of safety and rights is very important to the middle class, but for me, this particular issue is all about righting a wrong from the past government and advancing the whole issue of safety, security, freedoms, and rights.
    I believe it is the first time we have been able to deal with that. Through a parliamentary committee, we had legislation that ultimately put in place a national security body, if I can put it that way, to ensure a high sense of transparency and accountability from within that committee and our security agencies. In fact, prior to this government bringing it in, we were the only country that did not have an oversight parliamentary group to look at all the different aspects of security, rights, and freedoms. We were the only one of the Five Eyes that did not have such a group. New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. all had them.
    Today, Canada has that in place. That was a commitment we made and a commitment that was fulfilled. I look at Bill C-59 today, and again it is fulfilling a commitment. The government is, in fact, committed to keeping Canadians safe while safeguarding rights and freedoms.
    We listen to some of my colleagues across the way, and we understand the important changes taking place even in our own society, with radicalization through the promotion of social media and the types of things that can easily be downloaded or observed. Many Canadians share our concern and realize that at times there is a need for a government to take action. Bill C-59 does just that.

  (1205)  

    We have legislation before us that was amended. A number of very positive amendments were brought forward, even some from non-government members, that were ultimately adopted. I see that again as a positive thing.
    The previous speaker raised some concerns in terms of communications between departments. I remember talking in opposition about how important it is that our security and public safety agencies and departments have those links that enable the sharing of information, but let us look at the essence of what the Conservatives did. They said these agencies shall share, but there was no real clear definition or outline in terms of how they would share information. That was a concern Canadians had. If we look at Bill C-59, we find more detail and clarity in terms of how that will take place.
    Again, this is something that will alleviate a great deal of concern Canadians had in regard to our security agencies. It is a positive step forward. Information disclosure between departments is something that is important. Information should be shared, but there also needs to be a proper establishment of a system that allows a sense of confidence and public trust that rights and freedoms are being respected at the same time.
    My colleague across the way talked about how we need to buckle down on the promoting and advocating of terrorism. He seemed to take offence to the fact that we have used the word “counselling” for terrorism versus using words like “promoting” and “advocating”. There is no doubt the Conservatives are very good when it comes to spin. They say if it is promoting or advocating terrorism, that is bad, and of course Canadians would agree, but it is those types of words. Now they are offended because we replaced that with “counselling”. I believe that counselling will be just as effective, if not more effective, in terms of the long game in trying to prevent these types of actions from taking place. It will be more useful in terms of going into the courts.
    There is no doubt that the Conservatives know the types of spin words to use, but I do not believe for a moment that it is more effective than what was put in this legislation. When it comes to rights and freedoms, Canadians are very much aware that it was Pierre Elliott Trudeau who brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are a party of the charter. We understand how important that is.
    At the same time, we also understand the need to ensure that there is national safety, and to support our security agencies. It was not this government but the Stephen Harper government that literally cut tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars out of things such as border controls and supports for our RCMP. This government has recognized that if we are not only going to talk the line, we also have to walk the line and provide the proper resources. We have seen those additional resources in not only our first budget, but also our second budget.
    We have ministers such as public safety, immigration and citizenship, and others who are working together on some very important files. When I think of Bill C-59 and the fine work we have done in regard to the establishment of this parliamentary oversight committee, I feel good for the simple reason that we made a commitment to Canadians and the bill is about keeping that commitment. It deals with ensuring and re-establishing public confidence that we are protecting freedoms and rights. At the same time, it ensures that Canada is a safe country and that the terrorist threat is marginalized as much as possible through good, sound legislation. That is what this is.

  (1210)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague's speech. One of the things Bill C-59 would do is restate what is already Canadian policy, and that is that we do not torture, and we do not use information that comes from torture.
    I want to ask the member a hypothetical question, and that concerns our Five Eyes partners, which are the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, with Canada being the fifth. If the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness came into information via one of those Five Eyes partners that, in fact, a terrorist threat to Canadians was imminent, but the minister could not satisfy himself that the information had not come from the use of torture, how would the member respond if he were the minister? What kind of advice would he give the minister? Would he intervene and prevent that terrorist act from taking place, or would he step back and say, “I'm sorry, but I can't”, because of this policy Bill C-59 now articulates more accurately?
    Mr. Speaker, my friend across the way talked about the Five Eyes countries. There was a heated debate. I remember it quite well, because I was on the opposition benches. I appealed to government member after government member, asking why they would not recognize the valuable work the Five Eyes countries do. One of the things four of the five have done is establish a parliamentary oversight group that is able to deal with all forms of terrorist threats and potential threats in ways in which issues can be resolved. Time after time, no matter how many times I asked the question or who I was asking, whether it was a minister or a backbencher, not one of them said that we should participate and have parliamentary oversight like the four other countries.
    As opposed to answering a hypothetical question, I would encourage my Conservative friends to look at this legislation as legislation that reflects what we believe Canadians want to see, and they should support it, because it is good legislation, just like the legislation that established Canada as one of the five countries that now has an oversight committee. The oversight committee is something I believe would be in a much better position to deal with the issue the member has raised.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, based on my current understanding of Bill C-59, the Liberals want to create a legal framework to authorize the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to store sensitive big data or metadata on completely innocent Canadians, something the Supreme Court has come down on in the past.
    As proof, consider the testimony of Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who said:
    We have seen real cases in which CSIS had in its bank of information the information about many people who did not represent a threat.
    I have the same question as the commissioner, who asked the following as part of his testimony: is that the country we want to live in?

  (1215)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the type of society I would like to live in is one in which we have a security parliamentary group that can actually sit down and review actual issues, such as what the member has brought forward. If that security group, which has representation from all political parties, makes a determination and comes up with recommendations after talking with the different security and public safety agencies and departments and is able to resolve something in a positive fashion, I am all for it.
    I am also very supportive, as I indicated in my comments, of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I believe that this security agency of parliamentarians is also very supportive of that.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Bill C-59. Listening to our Liberal friends across the way, one would assume that this is all about public safety, that Bill C-59 would improve public safety and the ability of our security agencies to intervene if a terrorist threat presented itself. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Let us go back and understand what this Prime Minister did in the last election. Whether it was his youth, or ignorance, he went out there and said that he was going to undo every single bit of the Stephen Harper legacy, a legacy I am very proud of, by the way. That was his goal.
    One of the things he was going to undo was what Bill C-51 did. Bill C-51 was a bill our previous Conservative government brought forward to reform and modernize how we approach terrorist threats in Canada. We wanted to provide our government security agencies with the ability to effectively, and in a timely way, intervene when necessary to protect Canadians against terrorist threats. Bill C-51 was actually very well received across the country. Our security agencies welcomed it as providing them with additional tools.
    I just heard my Liberal colleagues chuckle and heckle. Did members know that the Liberals, in the previous Parliament, actually supported Bill C-51? Here they stand saying that somehow that legislation did not do what it was intended to do. In fact, it did. It made Canadians much safer and allowed our security agencies to intervene in a timely way to protect Canadians. This bill that has come forward would do nothing of the sort.
    The committee overseeing this bill had 16 meetings, and at the end of the whole process, there were 235 amendments brought forward. That is how bad this legislation was. Forty-three of those amendments came from Liberals themselves. They rushed forward this legislation, doing what Liberals do best: posture publicly, rush through legislation, and then realize, “What have we done? My goodness.” They had 43 amendments of their own, all of which passed, of course. There were 20-some Conservative amendments, and none of them passed, even though they were intelligently laid-out improvements to this legislation. That is the kind of government we are dealing with here. It was all about optics so that the government would be able to say, “We are taking that old Bill C-51 that was not worth anything, although we voted in favour of it, and we are going to replace it with our own legislation.” The reality is that Bill C-51 was a significant step forward in protecting Canadians.
     This legislation is quite different. What it would do is take one agency and replace it with another. That is what Liberals do. They take something that is working and replace it with something else that costs a ton of money. In fact, the estimate to implement this bill is $100 million. That is $100 million taxpayers do not have to spend, because the bill would not do one iota to improve the protection of Canadians against terrorist threats. There would be no improved oversight or improved intelligence capabilities.
     The bill would do one thing we applaud, which is reaffirm that Canada will not torture. Most Canadians would say that this is something Canada should never do.
    The Liberals went further. They ignored warnings from some of our intelligence agencies that the administrative costs were going to get very expensive. In fact, I have a quote here from our former national security adviser, Richard Fadden. Here is what he said about Bill C-59: “It is beginning to rival the Income Tax Act for complexity.” Canadians know how complex that act has become.
     He said, “There are sub-sub-subsections that are excluded, that are exempted. If there is anything the committee can do to make it a bit more straightforward, [it would be appreciated]”. Did the committee, in fact, do that? No, it did not make it more straightforward.

  (1220)  

    There is the appointment of a new intelligence commissioner, which is, of course, the old one, but again, with additional costs. The bill would establish how a new commissioner would be appointed. What the Liberals would not do is allow current or past judges to fill that role. As members know, retired and current judges are highly skilled in being able to assess evidence in the courtroom. It is a skill that is critical to being a good commissioner who addresses issues of intelligence.
    Another shortcoming of Bill C-59 is that there is excessive emphasis on privacy, which would be a significant deterrent to critical interdepartmental information sharing. In other words, this legislation would highlight privacy concerns to the point that our security agencies and all the departments of government would now become hamstrung. Their hands would become tied when it came to sharing information with other departments and our security agencies, which could be critical information in assessing and deterring terrorist threats.
    Why would the government do this? The Liberals say that they want to protect Canadians, but the legislation would actually take a step backwards. It would make it even more difficult and would trip up our security agencies as they tried to do the job we have asked them to do, which is protect us. Why are we erring on the side of the terrorists?
    We heard testimony, again from Mr. Fadden, that this proposed legislation would establish more silos. They were his nightmare when he was the national security director. We now have evidence from the Air India bombing. The inquiry determined that the tragedy could have been prevented had one agency in government not withheld critical information from our police and security authorities. Instead, 329 people died at the hands of terrorists.
    Again, why are we erring on the side of terrorists? This proposed legislation is a step backward. It is not something Canadians expected from a government that had talked about protecting Canadians better.
    There are also challenges with the Criminal Code amendments in Bill C-59. The government chose to move away from criminalizing “advocating or promoting terrorism” and would move towards “counselling” terrorism. The wording has been parsed very carefully by security experts, and they have said that this proposed change in the legislation would mean, for example, that ISIS propaganda being spread on YouTube would not be captured and would not be criminalized. Was the intention of the government when it was elected, when it made its promises to protect Canadians, to now step backward, to revise the Criminal Code in a way that would make it less tough on terrorists, those who are promoting terrorism, those who are advocating terrorism, and those who are counselling terrorism? This would be a step backward on that.
    In closing, I have already stated that the Liberals are prepared to err on the side of terrorists rather than on the side of Canadian law enforcement and international security teams. The bill would create more bureaucracy, more costs, and less money and security for Canadians.
    When I was in cabinet, we took security very seriously. We trusted our national security experts. The proposed legislation is essentially a vote of non-confidence in those experts we have in government to protect us.

  (1225)  

    Finally, the message we are sending is that red tape is more important than sharing information and stopping terrorism. That is a sad story. We can do better as Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, it is really interesting to have a discussion around how we manage freedom and fairness and the rights of Canadians. How do we create the conditions for fairness in the country? How do we help support the middle class and those working hard to join it? How do we give economic fairness to people? How do we make environmental fairness the order of the day? What about gender equity fairness?
    As well, there is the question of how we treat people through the fairness of our laws and the administration of our laws. The bill before us seeks to provide that type of fairness by ensuring that the oversight of our laws is not a political process.
    It does not sow fear and division. It does not put Canadians against Canadians. It really looks at how we can share information among security agencies and how we can enforce the rule of law without entering into politics of fear and division.
    Could the hon. member dive a bit more into the politics of fear and division that the previous government was so good at?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of the question. The politics of fear and division are coming from members on that side.
    When we talk about fear and division, let us talk about terrorism. Terrorism is about fear and division. It is about striking fear into the hearts of citizens in Canada and in fact all people around the world.
    The member began his discussion by talking about fairness. We are talking about a bill that is supposed to address terrorism. It is about security. It is not supposed to be about fairness in the first place. Imagine—here we are trying to find a balance of fairness between terrorists and our Canadian citizens.
    Canadians who are watching this debate right now have received a very clear message: that when it comes to national security, when it comes to fighting terrorism, those Liberals are way more interested in talking about fairness. We as Conservatives are talking about security and protecting Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the challenges always is how to make sure we keep things safe and secure for Canadians while respecting their rights as law-abiding citizens. We should always have this kind of important debate in the House, because it really speaks to the core of who we are as Canadians.
    I want to quote the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who said on November 22, 2016:
    Think of the recent judgment by the Federal Court that found that CSIS had unlawfully retained the metadata of a large number of law-abiding individuals who are not threats to national security because CSIS felt it needed to keep that information for analytical purposes.
    These are not theoretical risks. These are real things, real concerns. Do we want a country where the security service has a lot of information about most citizens with a view to detecting national security threats? Is that the country we want to live in?
    I would like the member to speak to that.

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her thoughtful question. It is an important one.
    Canadians very much value their privacy, and today's use of metadata represents a significant risk to privacy in Canada. I want to assure my colleague that I strongly support efforts to ensure that data, including metadata, that is not critical to protect the national security of our country should be kept private. There are significant challenges to doing that today, especially with the use of social media. It is something that all governments have to take seriously.
    That said, at the end of the day, when a bill like Bill C-51 is brought forward—a bill that undermines our national security by making it more difficult for government departments and government agencies to speak to each other to ensure that they have the critical information required to protect Canadians—we have a problem. That is why I am critical of Bill C-59.
    Bill C-51 established a very good environment within which our security agencies could do the job Canadians have asked them to do. Again I note that the Liberals who are being critical of that bill today actually voted in favour of it back then.
    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak in support of Bill C-59. It has been very interesting to listen to the speeches, especially the last one, because they really exemplify why people in my community were so concerned about the way the previous government handled our national security issues and framework. It really epitomizes the concerns. Canadians were looking for balance, and that is what we brought back in Bill C-59, rather than fearmongering.
    I will read an important quote, based on what we have heard. Professor Kent Roach provided a brief to the committee on November 28, 2017, in which he stated:
    Review and careful deliberation is not the enemy of security.... There are no simple solutions to the real security threats we face. We should be honest with Canadians about this stubborn reality. All of us should strive to avoid reducing complex laws and processes to simplistic slogans. These are difficult issues and they should be debated with care and respect to all sides.
    With that in mind, I will speak to this bill.
    This important piece of legislation proposes a range of measures that represent a complete and much-needed overhaul of Canada's national security framework. I was proud to sit as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that reviewed this bill. We heard from expert witnesses and put forward amendments to improve this proposed legislation. The bill was referred to committee at first reading, which increased the scope of our review, and our committee took this responsibility seriously. Taking into account what I said about not taking on a partisan tone, I want to commend all of the members from all parties who served on that committee, and the chair, because we worked very well together on this bill.
    There are two aspects of Bill C-59 that are particularly important to me and my community. First, vastly improved and increased oversight mechanisms would be put in place to review the work of our security agencies. The oversight would increase the accountability and transparency of these agencies, and this should give us all great confidence in the framework put forth in this proposed legislation.
    The second part of this bill that responds to issues raised by people in my community is the improved framework for the management of the Secure Air Travel Act. In particular, I am talking about concerns raised by parents with children who were subject to false positive name matches on what we call the “no-fly list”, as well as adults who were subject to false positive name matches. They came to me with their concerns, and I have been happy to advocate on their behalf.
    The introduction of Bill C-59 followed unprecedented public consultations held in person and online. Thousands of Canadians answered the call and shared their thoughts and opinions on a range of topics related to national security. In my community, I hosted a consultation at Jimmy Simpson Community Centre, which was facilitated by my colleague, the member for Oakville North—Burlington. The input from that meeting was provided to the minister as part of the consultation, which led to the tabling of the bill. I really need to emphasize that one of the primary concerns raised by people was a lack of oversight and a need to ensure that charter rights were being respected.
    Across the country, not just in my community, tens of thousands of views were heard, collected, documented, and analyzed as part of what our government would put together as a response, and citizens, parliamentarians, community leaders, national security experts, and academics provided valuable input that played an important role in shaping this bill. I would like to commend the study on our national security framework carried out by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, which formed a valuable part of that input. I was not part of the committee when that study was done, but it was a very important background document for the committee as it studied this bill.
    Canadians were clear about one thing when they were consulted in 2016: they expected their rights, freedoms, and privacy to be protected at the same time as their security, and that is the balance that I referred to at the outset of my speech. More specifically, Canadians want to protect our freedom of speech, which is a fundamental freedom in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and they want to be protected against unlawful surveillance. I strongly believe that the proposed measures in Bill C-59 would meet those expectations.

  (1235)  

    Let me begin by speaking about the oversight brought forth in Bill C-59.
    The result of the public consultations undertaken in 2016 showed a strong desire from Canadians for increased accountability and more transparency on national security. Also, the weakness of our existing oversight mechanisms had been noted by Justice O'Connor in the Arar commission. One of the commission's conclusions was that the review of our security agencies was stovepiped, meaning that the review was limited to each individual agency and there was no overarching system of review. The commission suggested that there be bridges built between existing review bodies. Getting rid of this stovepiped review is one of the most important aspects of this bill.
    Bill C-59 builds upon the first cross-agency layer of oversight, which was adopted by this place with the passing of Bill C-22, which created the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. The committee has begun its work and is an important means of providing that overarching review.
    The legislation we are debating today proposes the creation of a new, comprehensive national security review body, the national security and intelligence review agency, the NSIRA. This new review body would replace the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner. It would also take on the review of the RCMP's national security activities, currently done by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
    A significant benefit of the proposed model is that the new review body would be able to review relevant activities across the Government of Canada, rather than just being able to look at one agency. This model recognizes the increasingly interconnected nature of the government's national security and intelligence activities. The new body would ensure that Canada's national security agencies are complying with the law and that their actions are reasonable and necessary. Its findings and recommendations would be provided to relevant ministers through classified reports. It would also produce an unclassified annual report to Parliament summarizing the findings and recommendations made to ministers.
    I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Public Safety and National Security when he appeared at committee about one aspect of the oversight I would like to see added. On this point, I am referring to the review of the Canada Border Services Agency. The minister assured us at committee that this aspect is being worked on by our government, and I will continue to advocate for this important addition.
    Before leaving the issue of oversight, I would also like to note that the legislation proposes to create an intelligence commissioner to authorize certain intelligence and cybersecurity activities before they take place. This is an important addition that speaks to many concerns raised by people in my community about wanting proper checks and balances on our security agencies.
    Another issue that I mentioned at the outset that was very important to people in my community was the challenges faced by people who have children with a name that creates a false positive when it matches a name that is on the no-fly list. These families are unable to check in for a flight online, which can result in missed flights if a plane is overbooked, but more importantly, these families feel stigmatized and uncomfortable being stopped in the airport for additional screening based on the false positive.
    This legislation, along with funding that was made available in the last budget, would change that system. I was pleased to ask the minister when these changes could be put into place. He advised us it would take about three years to make these necessary changes, but it is something that gives hope to many people in my community, and I am happy to see it being done.
    These are only a few of the measures in Bill C-59 that show tremendous improvements and respond to the issues raised by people in my community. I am very happy to be here today to speak in favour of the bill.

  (1240)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have so much to say and so little time to say it. I appreciate everybody's view and the comments that have been made. However, I will speak from some experience. I remember where I was on September 11, 2001. As many members know, my previous role was in aviation. I worked with security groups all around the world with respect to protecting our borders. I was involved in inter-agency discussions on how to make our industry, airports, marine ports, transportation systems, and country safe.
    We live in a different world. The reality is that people have these flowery views because those who work behind the scenes protect us. There are things that we do not know are going on because those security groups are able to have that information and make those arrests or stop those events from happening before anybody even knows about it.
     I listened intently to my hon. colleague from across the way. However, with all due respect, I come at it from a very real and knowledgeable background. We need to give every tool possible to those agencies and groups that have been tasked to protect us. Bill C-59 would not do that. It would take away those tools and would make them work more in silos. Why? I honestly do not understand.
    Mr. Speaker, I could not disagree more with what my friend across the way said. I am not presuming that there are no security risks out there. What I am talking about is balance.
     We are in a country that respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are in a country that respects privacy. These are important principles. Therefore, yes, we absolutely must defend security, but we must also take into account the fundamental rights that Canadians want to protect.
    This does not just come from me. I will quote Professor Forcese, who stated this in Maclean's:
...changes proposed in C-59 are solid gains—measured both from a rule of law and civil liberties perspective—and come at no credible cost to security. They remove excess that the security services did not need—and has not used—while tying those services into close orbit around a new accountability system....

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I especially appreciate the member's dedication to the no-fly kids and the challenges those families face when they try to travel and having their name screened as being a dangerous one. I cannot imagine walking into an airport and having my three-year old being accused of something as terrible as this.
    However, I would like some clarity on is this. An amendment was proposed by the NDP to ensure individuals had access to the existing pool of special advocates so they could defend themselves against secret evidence they did not always have access to, but was being used against them. How does the member square that? Families need to know that. Waiting three years is a long time. Understanding why they are being stopped is really important, as well as having the advocacy and support to move forward. Why did the Liberals not support this amendment?
    Mr. Speaker, the proposed changes to the Security Air Travel Act deal with one of the problems of the existing system right now, and that is the fact that the system is managed by airlines, oddly enough. This brings it back to government so government can handle it responsibly and respond to the questions and concerns people may have. We have all of the overarching layers that are introduced through this legislation to put in the necessary levels of oversight. We have to look at all the different layers that have been put into place. With all of them, people's concerns can be matched.
     I appreciate that my friend from across the way understands the concerns of these families.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-59, which relates to issues of national security and how we deal with people suspected of terrorist acts.

[English]

    This issue is quite different from those usually addressed. Usually, I have to talk about public finance. It is quite easy to say that the Liberals are wrong because they have a deficit and that we are right because we oppose deficits, which is very clear. In that case, this is very touchy. We are talking about so many great issues, and this issue should be addressed without partisanship. For sure, it is not easy.

[Translation]

    That is why this really should be a non-partisan issue. This will not be easy, because obviously people are sharply divided on how this information should be dealt with in order to stop terrorism and how terrorists should be dealt with.
    Bill C-59 is the current government's response to Bill C-51, which our government had passed. I remind the House that the Liberals, who formed the second opposition party at the time, supported Bill C-51, but said that they would change it right away once in power. It was supposedly so urgent, and yet they have been in power for two and a half years now, and it has taken the Liberals this long to bring forward their response to the Conservative Bill C-51 in the House of Commons.
    As I was saying earlier, some questions are easier to answer, because they are based not on partisanship, but on your point of view. For example, when it comes to public finances, you can be for or against the deficit. However, no one is arguing against the need to crack down on terrorism. The distinctions are in the nuances.
    That is why the opposition parties proposed dozens of amendments to the bill; sadly, however, with the exception of four technical amendments proposed by the NDP, the Liberals systematically rejected all amendments proposed by the Conservative Party and the Green Party, and Lord knows that there is an entire world between the Conservative Party and the Green Party.
    This bill is meant to help us tackle the terrorist threat, whether real or potential. In the old days, in World War II, the enemy was easily identified. Speaking of which, yesterday was the 74th anniversary of the Normandy landing, a major turning point in the liberation of the world from Nazi oppression. It was easy to identify the enemy back then. Their flag, leader, uniform and weapons were clearly identifiable. We knew where they were.
    The problem with terrorism is that the enemy is everywhere and nowhere. They have no flag. They have a leader, but they may have another one by tomorrow morning. The enemy can be right here or on the other side of the world. Terrorism is an entirely new way of waging war, which calls for an entirely new way of defending ourselves. That is why, in our opinion, we need to share information. All police forces and all intelligence agencies working in this country and around the world must be able to share information in order to prevent tragedies like the one we witnessed on September 11, 2001.
    In our opinion, the bill does not go far enough in terms of information sharing, which is necessary if we are to win the fight against terrorism. We believe that the Communications Security Establishment, the RCMP, CSIS and all of the other agencies that fight terrorism every day should join forces. They should share an information pipeline rather than work in silos.
    In our opinion, if the bill is passed as it is now, the relevant information that could be used to flush out potential terrorists will not be shared as it should be. We are therefore asking the government to be more flexible in this respect. Unfortunately, the amendments proposed by our shadow cabinet minister, the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, were rejected.

  (1250)  

    We are very concerned about another point as well: the charges against suspected terrorists. We believe that the language of the bill will make it more difficult to charge and flush out terrorists. This is a delicate subject, and every word is important.
    We believe that the most significant and most contentious change the bill makes to the Criminal Code amends the offence set out in section 83.221, “Advocating or promoting commission of terrorism offences”. This is of special interest to us because this offence was created by Bill C-51, which we introduced. Bill C-59 requires a much more stringent test by changing the wording to, “Every person who counsels another person to commit a terrorism offence”. The same applies to the definition of terrorist propaganda in subsection 83.222(8), which, in our opinion, will greatly restrict law enforcement agencies' ability to use the tool for dismantling terrorist propaganda with judicial authorization as set out in Bill C-51. Why? Because as it is written, when you talk about counselling another person to commit a terrorism offence, it leaves room for interpretation.
    What is the difference between a person and a group of people; between a person and a gathering; between a person and an entity; or between a person and an illicit and illegal group? In our opinion, this is a loophole in the bill. It would have been better to leave it as written in the Conservative Bill C-51. The government decided not to. In our opinion, it made a mistake.
    Generally speaking, should we be surprised at the government’s attitude toward the fight against terrorism? The following example is unfortunate, but true. We know that 60 Canadians left Canada to join ISIS. Then, they realized that the war was lost because the free and democratic nations of the world decided to join forces and fight back. Now, with ISIS beginning to crumble, these 60 Canadians, cowards at heart, realize that they are going to lose and decide to return to Canada. In our opinion, these people are criminals. They left our country to fight Canadian soldiers defending freedom and democracy and return to Canada as if nothing had happened. No.
    Worse still, the Liberal government’s attitude toward these Canadian criminals is to offer them poetry lessons. That is a pretty mediocre approach to criminals who left Canada with the mandate to kill Canadian soldiers. We believe that we should throw the book at these people. They need to be dealt with accordingly, and certainly not welcomed home with poetry lessons, as the government proposes.
    Time is running out, but I would like to take this opportunity, since we are discussing security, to extend the warmest thanks to all the employees at the RCMP, CSIS, the CSE and other law enforcement agencies such as the Sûreté du Québec in Quebec and municipal police forces. Let us pay tribute to all these people who get up every morning to keep Canadians safe. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 4,000 or more police officers from across Canada who are working hard in the Charlevoix and Quebec City regions to ensure the safety of the G7 summit, these people who place their life on the line so that we can live in a free and democratic society where we feel safe. I would like to thank these women and men from coast to coast to coast that make it possible for us to be free and, most importantly, to feel safe.

  (1255)  

[English]

     I will have to phrase my question in English because I want to be very specific about this. Within this context in particular, we all know that because a single Muslim may be a terrorist does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists. In the same way, we know that a single individual who threatens to kill a member of Parliament does not mean that all members of that person's group are terrorists.
     In the context of counselling terrorism or counselling violence, would the member agree that if you encourage organizations and individuals to attack a government, who through their actions specifically say and give their name to it and threaten to kill members of Parliament, which has happened with the emails we have all received in the last few weeks, that the organizations involved are counselling terrorism?
     It is true there are gun owners who are threatening to kill members of Parliament and there are members of your party encouraging gun owners. I am not saying that all gun owners are terrorists by any stretch, any more than you are saying that all Muslims are terrorists. However, when we get into a situation of counselling terrorism, if there are gun owners who threaten the lives of MPs, would you not agree that something needs to change in the way conversations about politics, terrorism, and violence happen in this country, and that those activities should not be criminalized, but rather that the political party involved should temper the conversation and bring it back to a real one so that all people are not tarred with the same brush?
    I want to remind the hon. members to use the third person and talk through the Speaker. I am sure the hon. member was not referring to my party, because I am neutral. I am the Speaker.
    I will pass it on to the hon. member from Louis-Saint-Laurent.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have had the privilege of representing Canadians, first, in the National Assembly, and now here, in the House of Commons, for almost 10 years now. What a shame it is to hear such an appalling statement from a Liberal MP. This is the second time it has happened, as I was targeted by such a statement a year and a half ago. I had a private discussion with the hon. member who accused me unjustly. Linking gun owners who assault members of parliament to a political party, and then saying that no such link was implied even though the words were said, is neither dignified nor honourable.
    I will answer the question directly. If an unscrupulous person threatens to kill someone, it is the duty and responsibility of the police to investigate the situation and put the rogues in jail, where appropriate. In any case, we should not link that person to a group, then another, and another, until we get to a political party, as the hon. member in question did in such appalling fashion.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what my hon. colleague thinks about the much-discussed no-fly list and the problems it is causing. Canadian citizens, in particular children, who have the misfortune of having the same name as people on the no-fly list, are currently in a situation where they either cannot fly or risk being denied boarding. They can find themselves in a difficult situation. We asked for emergency measures to deal with this situation, and we are still waiting for the government to do something to remedy the issue of children banned from air travel.
    What are my colleague's thoughts on that?

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Drummond for his relevant and appropriate question, in contrast to the comment I heard a few minutes ago from the Liberal member from Toronto.
    The point the member raised is very important and it touches on what was said earlier about the bill. Unfortunately, our work too often happens in silos. Police forces have to be able to share information. We certainly must not amalgamate information in this situation. Just because you are the brother, neighbour, or cousin of a criminal, it does not in any way mean that you are necessarily a criminal. However, this requires that the authorities have the correct information. Do police forces always have all of the information? Not necessarily. This is why we want to make it so that information can flow, as it would through a pipeline, instead of being stacked up in silos. We think that, in the case the member raised, the more that information can be shared and sent to other police authorities, the more police forces and the appropriate anti-terrorist units will be able to work together, collaborate and share information. This could stop bad decisions from being made.
    [Member spoke in Cree]

[English]

    I am very pleased to have this opportunity to speak to this historic piece of legislation. The people of Winnipeg Centre were very concerned before the last election in 2015 about the manoeuvres of the Harper government with Bill C-51 and all of the things that it did to undermine our national security. We are committed to keeping Canadians safe while safeguarding rights and freedoms. After the largest and most transparent public consultation process on national security in our country's history—there were 58,933 online submissions, 17,862 email submissions, and more than 20 in-person events—I am very proud to see that our government has introduced this national security act in 2017 to undo and repair the damage done by the Harper Conservatives with Bill C-51.
    I would like to thank the committee for its diligence in bringing forth amendments recommended by stakeholders, which have truly strengthened this bill. A collaborative approach was certainly our major intent when the government took the rare step of referring the bill to committee prior to second reading. I believe we need to thank the Privacy Commissioner, the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and individuals like Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach for their helpful testimony before the committee, which helped to ensure that the bill is the best and as sound as it could be.
     Indeed, it is thanks to these many months of close scrutiny that we now have a new component of the bill, the avoiding complicity and mistreatment by foreign entities act. To be clear on this point, Canada unequivocally condemns in the strongest possible terms the torture or other mistreatment of any individual by anyone for any purpose. It is contrary to the charter, the Criminal Code, and Canada's international treaty obligations, and Canadians will never condone it. As members know, directions were issued to clarify decisions on the exchange of information with a foreign entity that, with public safety as the objective, could have the unintended consequence of Canada's contributing to mistreatment. As a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I feel it should always be foremost in our mind that these things can sometimes occur. Thanks to the committee's work on this bill, the new amendment would enshrine in law a requirement that directions be issued on these matters. They would be public, they would be reported on annually, and they would strengthen transparency and accountability.
    I would also like to thank the committee and all those who testified for their important scrutiny of the privacy-related aspects of Bill C-59, particularly as they relates to the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act. Importantly, amendments would now cause institutions receiving information under the information sharing act to destroy or return any personal information received that does not meet the threshold of necessity. These are both welcome changes.
    As a result of many months of close scrutiny, we have legislation that will ensure that privacy interests are upheld, clarify the powers of our security agencies, and further strengthen transparency and accountability beyond our initial proposals. This is important. It does not mean that legislation is forced upon people, but that we can actually ensure that legislation is strengthened through the work of this House in a collaborative process, which is a significant change from four years ago. These proposals, of course, also reflect the tens of thousands of views we heard from the remarkable engagements we had with Canadians from coast to coast to coast online and in person.
     As I have noted, we followed up on our commitment to continue that engagement in Parliament. In sending the bill to committee before second reading, we wanted to ensure that this legislation is truly reflective of the open and transparent process that led to Bill C-59's creation. The bill is stronger because of the more than 40 amendments adopted by committee that reflect the important stakeholder feedback.
     As we begin second reading, allow me to underline some of the bill's key proposals. Bill C-59 would strengthen accountability through the creation of a new comprehensive national review body, the national security intelligence review agency. This is a historic change for Canada. For the very first time, it would enable comprehensive and integrated scrutiny of all national security and intelligence activities across government, a whole-of-government approach. I should note that Justice O'Connor can be thanked for the first detailed blueprint of such a review system nearly a decade ago, and that this recommendation has been echoed by Senate committees and experts alike.
    The government has taken these commitments even further. The creation of a new agency would mean ending a siloed approach to national security review through a single arm's-length body with a government-wide mandate. It would complement the work of the new National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, the multi-party review committee with unprecedented access to information that would put us in line with our Five Eyes partners and what other nations do around the world.

  (1305)  

    Through our new measures, Canadians will have confidence that Canada's national security agencies are complying with the law and that their actions are reasonable and necessary. The establishment of an intelligence commissioner would further build on that public confidence. The commissioner would be a new, independent authority helping to ensure that the powers of the security intelligence community are used appropriately and with care.
    I was pleased to hear that the committee passed an amendment that would require the commissioner to publish an annual report that would describe his or her activities and include helpful statistics. Indeed, all of these measures complement other significant new supports that would promote Canadians' understanding of the government's national security activities.
    These include adopting a national security transparency commitment across government to enable easier access to information on national security, with implementation to be informed by a new advisory group on transparency. Transparency and accountability are crucial for well-informed public debate, and we need them now after a decade of darkness under the Conservatives. Indeed, they function as a check on the power of the executive branch. As members of the legislative branch, it is our job to hold the executive branch to account. They also empower Canadians to hold their government to account.
    I am confident the proposals that have been introduced in the form of Bill C-59 would change the public narrative on national security and place Canadians where they should be in the conversation, at its very heart, at its very centre, at the heart of Canada, like Winnipeg-Centre is the heart of Canada.
    We also heard loud and clear that keeping Canadians safe must not come at the expense of our rights and freedoms, and that previous efforts to modernize our security framework fell short in that regard. Indeed, Canadians told us they place great value in our constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. These include the right to peaceful protest, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. They also told us that that there is no place for vague language when it comes to the powers of our security bodies or the definitions that guide their actions.
    Once again, because we took the time to listen to Canadians in the largest public safety consultations ever held in Canadian history, and talked to stakeholders and to parliamentarians, we can now act faithfully based on the input we received. First, we all understand that bodies like CSIS take measures to reduce national security threats to Canada. Our proposals clarify the regime under which CSIS undertakes these measures, they better define its scope, and they add a range of new safeguards that will ensure that CSIS's actions comply with our charter rights.
    However, to be clear, the amendments in Bill C-59 have not diluted the authority CSIS would have to act, but rather have clarified that authority. For example, the bill would ensure that CSIS has the ability to query a dataset in certain exigent circumstances, such as when lives or national security are at stake. Even then, there are balances in place in the bill that would mean that these authorities would require the advance approval of the intelligence commissioner.
    The amendments by the committee would also strengthen key definitions. For example, they would clarify terms like “terrorist propaganda” and key activities like “digital intelligence collection”. All of these changes are long overdue and are of critical importance to this country.
    National security matters to Canadians. We measure our society by our ability to live free of fear, day after day, with opportunities to thrive guided by the principles of openness, equality, and fairness for all. However, Canadians are not naive about the context in which we find ourselves today in a changing environment and a changing threat landscape.
    It is incumbent upon us as parliamentarians to be vigilant, proactive, and thorough in making sure that our national security framework is working for all Canadians. That means making sure that the agencies protecting us have the resources and powers they need to do so. It also means making sure that we listen to Canadians, and making them a partner in our society and security. It also means building on the values that help to make our country safe, rather than taking away from them, and understanding that a free and open society enhances our collective resilience.
    On all fronts, Bill C-59 is not just a step in the right direction, but a giant leap forward for Canada. I proudly stand behind this legislation. Once again, I would like to thank all members of the committee who have done important work.
    [Member spoke in Cree]

  (1310)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this is a giant step for Canada. Bill C-59 is an omnibus bill. It is 138 pages long. While we were at it, we could have settled the whole issue around the totally unacceptable ministerial directive on torture once and for all.
    For some time now, we have been urging the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal and replace the 2010 ministerial directive on torture. We need to make sure that Canada upholds the total ban on torture and, more specifically, does not, under any circumstances, make use of intelligence that foreign countries may have obtained through torture.
    Unfortunately, the new directive introduced in 2017 does not ban the RCMP, our spies, or our border agencies from using intelligence that was obtained through torture in other countries.
    Why make an omnibus bill, a giant step for Canada, but not ban the use of intelligence obtained through torture?
     Mr. Speaker, the bill is indeed very big, but it deals with just one subject: national security. It was vital that we take the time to thoroughly study the issue, and that is what we did. The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security heard from security experts who gave testimony setting out their point of view and explaining how important it was.
     This is no small matter. It can be divided into several smaller components, but it is important to have a big-picture perspective of national security. We must not compartmentalize. For decades, the various elements of our security were compartmentalized, with a little bit here and a little bit there. We need to gather all these elements together to see the big picture.

[English]

    Craig Forcese from the University of Toronto and expert Kent Roach said in an article that the bill represents “...solid gains—measured both from a rule of law and civil liberties perspective...at no credible cost to security.” They also said that “...[It] rolls back much of the unnecessary overkill of the Harper era’s Bill C-51.”
    University of Toronto expert Wesley Wark, said that “If Canada can make this new system work, it will return the country to the forefront of democracies determined to hold their security and intelligence systems to account....”
    That is testimony from expert witnesses at committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre not only for his intervention today but for his service to Canada in his work with the Canadian Armed Forces and for the services he provides his community, regardless of the background of a person. Regardless of their economic status and regardless of where they are coming from and the challenges they are facing, he does defend them and provides a voice for them in Ottawa.
    I wonder if the hon. member could share the impact that legislation like this can have on marginalized people, marginalized groups, and people who are otherwise discriminated against.

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, in Winnipeg Centre, this was a huge concern just before the last election. People were very concerned, because a lot of people in Winnipeg Centre like to have peaceful protests. They like the opportunity to stand up and voice their opinion, and many indigenous people want to stand up and protest.
    I remember when I was with the Idle No More movement in shopping malls on Portage and Main, which our mayor is looking at opening up. We were nervous in the indigenous community that the government would use the old legislation to destroy and take away our civil liberties, our civil rights, our freedoms, which are guaranteed under the charter. We were worried that it would use legislation and that we would have to go through the court system for decades to try to win those freedoms back.
    This legislation tries to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the threats that we face in the modern world that we know exist on security fronts in a changing environment, and on the other hand ensuring that we can protect those civil liberties. It means that if marginalized groups, indigenous groups, and average Canadians decide to go out in the streets and protest for the things they hold most dear, the issues they believe in, it would not be criminalized and treated as a security threat but welcomed, because we need informed protest in our society. We need people who participate in our democracy. It is important that everyone have that opportunity and that it be protected.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is important to rise to speak to this fundamental bill. As I mentioned earlier, at 138 pages, Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters, is a real omnibus bill. Unfortunately, there are still problems with this bill. That is why we are going to have to oppose it. It does not meet all our expectations.
    We opposed Bill C-51. We were the only ones to support compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in order to safeguard Canadians' rights and freedoms in 2015. The Liberals and the Conservatives voted for that bill, which was condemned by all Canadians. That is the reason why the Liberals later stated in their campaign that the bill made no sense and that they would rescind it if they were elected. They have finally woken up three years later. Unfortunately, the bill does not deliver on those promises.
    There are elements missing. For example, the Liberals promised to fully repeal Bill C-51, and they are not doing that. Another extremely important thing that I want to spend some time talking about is the fact that they should have replaced the existing ministerial directive on torture in order to ensure that Canada stands for an absolute prohibition on torture. A lawful society, a society that respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the UN Charter of Rights, should obviously not allow torture. However, once again, Canada is somewhat indirectly complicit in torture that is happening around the world. We have long been calling on the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal and replace the 2010 directive on torture to ensure that Canada stands for an absolute prohibition on torture. More specifically, we want to ensure that, under no circumstances, will Canada use information from foreign countries that could have been obtained using torture or share information that is likely to result in torture. We have bad memories of the horrors endured by some Canadians such as Maher Arar, Abdullah Almaki, Amhad Abou El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin. Canadians have suffered torture, so we are in some way complicit. It is very important that we resolve this problem, but unfortunately, the new directive, issued in October 2017, does not forbid the RCMP, CSIS, or the CBSA from using information that may have been obtained through torture in another country.
    The new instructions feature not a single semantic change, since they authorize the use of information obtained by torture in certain cases. That is completely unacceptable. Canada should take a leading role in preventing torture and should never agree to use or share information that is likely to result in torture in other countries around the world. We should be a leader on this issue.
    There is another extremely important file that I want to talk about that this bill does not address and that is the infamous no-fly list. This list and the unacceptable delays in funding redress mechanisms are regrettable. There is currently no effective redress mechanism to help people who suffer the consequences from being added to this list. Some Canadian families are very concerned. They want to protect their rights because children are at risk of being detained by airport security after mistakenly being added to the list, a list that prevents them from being able to fly.

  (1320)  

    We are very worried about that. We are working with No Fly List Kids. We hope that the Liberal government will wake up. It should have fixed this situation in this bill, especially considering that this is an omnibus bill.
    Speaking of security, I want to mention two security-related events that occurred in Drummond that had a significant impact. The first was on May 29 and was reported by journalist Ghyslain Bergeron, who is very well known in Drummondville. A dozen or so firefighters from Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey were called to rescue a couple stranded on the Saint-François river. Led by the town's fire chief, Pierre Blanchette, they headed to the area and courageously rescued the couple. It is extremely important to acknowledge acts of bravery when we talk about the safety our our constituents.
    I also want to talk about Rosalie Sauvageau, a 19-year-old woman who received a certificate of honour from the City of Drummondville after an unfortunate event at a party in Saint-Thérèse park. A bouncy castle was blown away by the wind, and she immediately rushed the children out of the bouncy castle, bringing them to safety. Not long after, a gust of wind blew one of the bouncy castles into Rivière Saint-François. Fortunately, Rosalie Sauvageau had the presence of mind, the quickness, and the courage to keep these children safe. I mentioned these events because the safety and bravery of our fellow citizens is important.
    To come back to the bill, I must admit that there are some good things in it, but there are also some parts that worry us, in particular the new definition of an activity that undermines the security of Canada. This definition was amended to include any activity that threatens the lives or the security of individuals, or an individual who has a connection to Canada and who is outside Canada. This definition is pernicious and dangerous, because it will now include activities that involve significant or widespread interference with critical infrastructure.
    The Liberal government just recently purchased the Kinder Morgan pipeline, a 65-year-old pipeline that the company originally bought for $500,000. The government bought it for the staggering price of $4.5 billion, with money from the taxes paid by Canadians and the people of greater Drummond, and claimed that it was essential to Canada.
    Does that mean that the Liberal government could tell the thousands of people protesting against this pipeline that they are substantially obstructing essential infrastructure?
    We are rather concerned about that. This clause of the bill creates potential problems for people who peacefully protest projects such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline. That is why we are voting against this bill. The Liberals have to go back to the drawing board. We must improve this bill and ensure that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is upheld.

  (1325)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP is being downright silly. To give the impression that the Liberal government would even bring forward legislation that would not allow for peaceful demonstrations is just silly.
    Quite frankly, it was a Liberal Party that put the rights and freedoms in our charter back in the early 1980s. It also put forward legislation that put together a group of parliamentarians to protect our rights and freedoms. There is nothing wrong with peaceful demonstrations. We have fought for that for many years.
     Having been a member of the force and having had many discussions with war veterans in the past, I do not quite understand why the New Democrats have taken the position to not support the legislation. If that is the only reason they will vote against the legislation, they should go back to the drawing board and get a better appreciation of the legislation and what it would advance.
    I voted in favour of Bill C-51 because I believed there needed to be a balance. This government committed to fix Bill C-51, and this bill would do that. It would improve the bill. Could the member expand on why he believes peaceful demonstrations would be disallowed under the legislation?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Winnipeg North should watch his language.
    I think I delivered a very respectful speech, I did not attack anyone in the House, and I stated the facts. People are entitled to disagree with their colleagues, but that is no reason to be disrespectful. In fact, I believe it is against the rules of the House.
    That being said, if my colleague is so eager to defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then why does the ministerial directive still allow the possibility of using information obtained by torture? Why was this not resolved in 2017 when it could have been?
    That is my question for him, but I stand by the fact that this bill creates more opportunities for protesters to be arrested or considered criminals. That is what it says in the bill, and I say that respectfully, not in an unpleasant way as he did.

  (1330)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there is an aspect of the bill with which the New Democrats have had some trouble. The NDP tried to move an amendment that would remove the threat reduction powers of CSIS. My colleagues may recall that CSIS was created out of a recommendation from the Macdonald Commission, which stated that intelligence-gathering should be separated from policing. CSIS and the RCMP, historically, have had a lot of trouble working together.
    Would my friend agree with me that by allowing CSIS to keep this threat reduction power, the potential exists that CSIS may inadvertently harm an RCMP investigation? Instead of that, we should leave threat reduction powers to the RCMP and encourage CSIS to be an intelligence-gathering agency and work more constructively with the RCMP.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right.
    In fact, that is why the NDP called for the creation of a national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians. Such a committee would have had access to all classified information and full oversight authority, which would have helped a lot. We also do not want CSIS and the RCMP to have mandates that allow them to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or other Canadian or international laws. In addition to removing the directive on torture, those three measures would have improved the bill enough that we could have voted in favour of it.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to the bill. Bill C-59 is legislation that our government committed to prior to the last election. It came from a very disconcerting perspective that Canadians had with regard the legislation passed by the former government, Bill C-51.
    Bill C-59 would enhance Canada's national security, while safeguarding the values, rights and freedoms of Canadians. That is very important. The bill before the House today would uphold our commitment to fix the problematic elements of the former Bill C-51, notably by tightening the definition of “terrorist propaganda”; protecting the right to advocate and protest; upgrading the no-fly list procedures; and ensuring the paramountcy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It would also strengthen our accountability and transparency by creating the national security and intelligence review agency and a position of intelligence commissioner. These would complement the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which was created by Bill C-22.
    In addition, Bill C-59 would also bring our security and intelligence legislation into the 21st century. Much of that legislation was written in the 1980s, before the revolution of information technology, which has transformed the national security and the intelligence landscape. Bill C-59 would ensure that our agencies could keep pace with evolving threats and to keep us safe, and that our laws would also keep pace in order to protect Canadians' rights and freedoms in the digital world.
    Canadians had asked for the bill. It is what Canadians wanted. It is the result of being able to modernize our national security system in the country, doing so with the input of Canadians and many experts from across the country.
    Today, I am pleased to speak about the proposed amendments in the bill to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which is included in part 8 of the National Security Act of 2017. Through this set of amendments, our government is taking action to ensure that all youth, who are involved in the criminal justice system, are afforded the enhanced procedural and other protections provided by Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.
    Before addressing the substance of the proposed amendments, I would like to provide a bit of background about the Youth Criminal Justice Act so people understand this federal law. We call it the YCJA, and it is the law that governs Canada's justice system for youth. It applies to young people between the ages of 12 to 17 who commit criminal offences, including terrorism offences. They are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
    The act recognizes that the youth justice system must be separate from the adult system and it must be based on the principle of diminished moral blameworthiness of youth. It emphasizes rehabilitation and reintegration, just and proportionate responses to offending, and enhanced procedural protections for youth. The act also recognizes the importance of involving families, victims, and communities in the youth criminal justice system.
     The YCJA contains a number of significant legal safeguards to ensure that young people are treated fairly and that their rights are fully protected. For example, as a general rule, the privacy of youth who are dealt with under the YCJA is protected through publication bans on their identity and significant restrictions to access to youth records. Young people also have enhanced rights to counsel, including state-provided counsel, and the right to have parents or other guardians present throughout key stages of the investigative and judicial processes.
    While many aspects of the criminal procedure are similar in the youth and adult criminal justice system, the YCJA establishes distinct legal principles, projections, and options for dealing with youth who are alleged to have committed a criminal offence.

  (1335)  

    If a young person is charged, all proceedings take place in youth court. As I previously noted, while youth court proceedings are open to the public, the YCJA imposes restrictions on the publication of a youth's identity.
    In addition, the YCJA establishes clear restrictions on access to youth records, setting out who may access the records, the purpose for which youth records may be used, and the time periods during which access to the records is even permitted.
    Generally speaking, the penalties that are set out in the Criminal Code do not apply to youth. Instead the Youth Criminal Justice Act sets out the specific youth sentencing principles, their options, and their durations. There are a broad range of community-based youth sentencing options and clear restrictions on the use of custodial sentences.
    As we turn to Bill C-59, it is important to recognize that there have been very few cases in Canada in which a young person has become involved in the youth criminal justice system due to terrorism-related offences. Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that when this does occur, the young person is afforded all of the enhanced procedural and other protections under the Youth Criminal Justice Act as other youth criminals are afforded.
    Part 8 of Bill C-59 would amend certain provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act to ensure that youth protections would apply in relation to anti-terrorism and other recognizance orders. It would also provide for access to youth records for the purposes of administering the Canadian passport order, which I will explain a bit further in a few moments, and would be subject to the special privacy protections set out in the act. This would eliminate any uncertainty about the applicability of certain provisions to a youth for whom a recognizance order is being sought, including provisions relating to a youth's right to counsel and to detention of the youth.
    In addition, there is currently no access period identified for records relating to recognizance orders, so the YCJA would be amended to provide that the access period for these records would be six months after the order expires.
    In addition, Part 8 of Bill C-59 would amend the act to specifically permit access to youth records for the purpose of administering Canada's passport program. The Canadian passport order contemplates that passports can be denied or revoked in certain instances of criminality or in relation to national security concerns.
    For example, section 10.1 of the Canadian passport order stipulates that the Minister of Public Safety may decide to deny or revoke a passport if there are reasonable grounds, including that revocation is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, or for the national security of Canada or a foreign country or state. Basically, the amendment would allow the Canadian passport office to access this information. Of course it would still fall within the privacy regulations of the country, but it would allow the office to assess an application and to determine if a youth would still be a security threat to Canada.
    Canadians can be assured that our government is addressing national security threats, while continuing to protect the democratic values, rights, and freedoms of Canadians. We feel that along with other elements of the national security reform package that has been put forward by our government, these laws reform measures and demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that our laws are fair, that they are effective, and that they respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    As my colleagues look through Bill C-59, they will note that tremendous effort has been made on behalf of the minister and many in Parliament to ensure that the legislation responds to the safety and security needs of Canadians in a democratic way, in the way that Canadians have asked.
    The bill has been through many hours of consultation. It has been through many hours of debate both in committee and the House of Commons. People from each end of the country have had an opportunity to provide feedback into the reforms of Bill C-51, which is now compiled as Bill C-59.
    The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service Act ensures there is accountability of Canadian security and intelligence services for all Canadians. This legislation responds to what Canadians have asked for and it is supported by experts who study this field within Canada.

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, I was looking in the dictionary. It was interesting, having a chance to go through the dictionary. “Repudiate” means to “refuse to accept or be associated with”. The Canadian public repudiated the security policies associated with the Harper Conservatives, because they did not consult or talk to Canadians. They used old ways of thinking and put forward Bill C-51, which Canadians repudiated.
    I was wondering if the hon. member for Labrador could talk about how this bill is going to improve our national security, how it is striking a balance, and how the consultations with thousands upon thousands of individuals from across Canada, including experts, actually improved it. It would make sure that we strike a balance, and not between the extremes of no security and the harsh measures put forward by the Harper Conservatives. The bill would actually strike a balance in our national security, ensuring the safety of Canadians and the protection of our most dear and protected value: our freedoms.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from Winnipeg Centre for his question and for his remarks on this bill, which were very comprehensive.
    It goes without saying that this bill is our way of keeping our promise to Canadians to fix Bill C-51, which was brought forward by the Harper government and has been problematic in many ways.
    A lot of people would say that this is taking a giant leap forward in terms of accountability for our national security and intelligence agencies. That is what we should be doing in the 21st century: modernizing this legislation. What the bill is also doing is protecting our democratic freedoms and our ability to have peaceful protests, to stand up for what we believe in this country without fear of prosecution.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to offer our hon. colleague an opportunity to perhaps clarify or change her comments. Maybe the microphone was not working. We were having technical difficulties earlier, so maybe I heard this wrong.
     I believe, in her preamble, our hon. colleague said that Bill C-59 was modernizing legislation from the 1980s. We know that especially after 9/11, this type of legislation was definitely up to date.
    Mr. Speaker, what I said was that much of the legislation we were dealing with was written in the 1980s. If we go back through the previous legislation, members will see that many of those things were on the books as they related to national security and intelligence in the landscape of Canada. What this bill is doing is bringing us into a different era.
    It will ensure that our agencies can keep pace with evolving threats to keep us safe and that our laws would also keep pace to protect Canadians' rights and freedoms in a digital world. Bill C-59 speaks to those intricate pieces.
    Mr. Speaker, it is passing strange to hear the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre go to a dictionary definition of “repudiate” in the context of Bill C-51. Last I checked, to repudiate something means to reject it, not to vote for it. The Liberals voted for Stephen Harper's Bill C-51. While the Conservatives may have cheered, Canadians did not.
    Could the member tell us what has changed since the Liberals voted for Mr. Harper's Bill C-51, the bill that did not get the balance correct between civil liberties and the need for security? Could the member tell us what is significantly different about this bill and maybe why her colleagues voted for Bill C-51 in the last Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, maybe I can best speak to this by quoting the experts from the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto, who said that this is the biggest reform of Canadian national security law since 1984 and the creation of CSIS. We have needed this for a while. They said that there “are solid gains—measured both from a rule of law and civil liberties perspective—and come at no credible cost to security”.
    The bill is supported by Amnesty International, civil liberties groups, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. These are the people who are standing up to support this to ensure that there is a balance between the safety and security of Canadians and our right to democratically act in a way that we feel is important.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to bring this to the top of the hour and to bring forward some general remarks on this piece of legislation. Not having been a member of the committee, I find it refreshing to take a look at this matter and to provide some perspective on it.
    There are two ways to look at bills such this. We can look at the very detailed technical aspects, and we can look at a philosophical overview. In this speech, I will attempt to provide a bit of a blend of the two approaches.
    One of the problems I have when I look at this legislation is that it has seemed to come forward with the general concept that our security forces, the RCMP, CSIS, and the Communications Security Establishment, have too much authority, too great an ability to disrupt and take activities to go forward to fight terrorism. The philosophy of this legislation seems to be to take steps to actually restrict our security organizations from implementing steps to go forward to fight terrorism and threats to our national security. I am fairly concerned about that, because it seems to be a habit of the government to take political nuance from what is happening in the United States and to apply that to Canada.
    I understand by talking with a lot of voters and other people that they often confuse legislation and activities in the United States with what we do here in Canada. Our legislation and our activities are fairly different. There is a section in this legislation that indicates and makes clear that the government and the security forces do not engage in torture and activities like that. Of course, Canadian security organizations never have.
    Looking at things such as that in the legislation, I begin to think that perhaps the government was responding to perceptions of what was happening in the United States. That is an important thing for Canadians to realize. What happens in other countries does not necessarily happen here, even though we may hear about things on the news and assume that they affect our country as well.
    With that in mind, let me express a few concerns I have about this legislation. One of the things the legislation does is make it more difficult for government organizations to share information internally between one department and another and between one organization and another. That is a concern Canadian parliamentarians have had for many years. If the organizations' security apparatus become too siloed, and the information becomes too internalized, organizations that need the information cannot act upon it. This is fairly well documented and well known in Canada because of the great tragedy of the Air India disaster, when the RCMP was unable to get all the information around to everyone who needed it.
    This is concerning, because it seems that we are taking a step back from previous legislation, in which we tried to have organizations, security personal, and police who needed the information have access to information from other departments. That is very much concerning.
    I understand the concern that information will be misused or that information will be inappropriately obtained, but I think it is probably better to look at whether the information is necessary and whether it is appropriate in the first place. That may be the point the government should perhaps concentrate on in its legislation. If the information is necessary, valid, and properly obtained, it should be shared widely and easily so that the information can be applied for our security.
    Another major concern I have with this legislation is the change on advocacy and the promotion of terrorism. This is one of those areas where I understand that there are difficulties between very robust freedom of speech and crossing the line over to what is advocating for terrorism, which is advocating for the destruction of our society.
    I am very concerned about this, because here is the problem. This problem also ties in with the ability to disrupt, and I will talk about that later on. We need, in our society, to be able to get ahead of terrorism and terrorist activities before they actually cause the loss of life, before they cause damage to our institutions.

  (1350)  

    This is why we need to have fairly robust measures in our legislation to block the advocacy and promotion of terrorism. There are organizations that come very close to the line. Everyone knows what they are implying, without their explicitly stating that terrorism is good and necessary, whether directly against Canada or other places in the world. We know they are indicating to people what they want them to do. They use this to help raise funds and support, helping to build a cause that most Canadians would find repugnant. That is why I find it distressing that the government has watered-down these provisions in this legislation.
    I would urge the government members to think very carefully about this, because we need to be able to stop terrorism before it happens. We need to be able to cut off the funds, political support, and the philosophical and public relations activities of terrorist organizations before they actually get to a point where they can damage our society.
    That ties into my next concern about this legislation, which is the restriction on threat disruption. I think the latter is fairly commonsense to most Canadians when they look at it. We would like to our security organizations, our police forces, to be able to interfere and stop an event before it happens. I know that some members of the NDP have expressed concerns that this power should perhaps not belong with CSIS, but with the RCMP. However, here is the problem. If CSIS or the RCMP has information that something is going to happen imminently, they need to be able to move fairly quickly and rapidly, and not have to worry about the administrative procedures on how to get there. This is something that I have great concerns about.
    I am going to make a couple of quick recommendations in the two minutes I have left about what the government could perhaps concentrate on in future legislation, or in related legislation, that would help our security. Number one, the government should concentrate intensely on the technological aspects of cyberwarfare, cyberterrorism, and things like that going forward, not just by private sector actors but also by state actors, as we have seen in other countries. This is becoming increasingly important and of increasing interest, and I would urge the government to take a look at the necessary steps to increase support for that, to look at legislative steps to get more tools, funding, and support to deal with those issues.
    Finally, the government needs to look at the potential of Canada's having a foreign intelligence service getting ahead of threats before they come to Canada. We talk about globalization, and it is in many ways good. We can travel to more places. We have trade between Canada and other parts of the world, but increasingly when it comes to security issues, we are in a position where we, as Canadians, cannot really look to our own borders. We need to begin to think abroad. We are one of the few major powers in the world that do not have a foreign intelligence service. It is something that I recommend the government do. There are other recommendations and other things in this legislation that my colleagues have gone through, which I recommend the government take to heart.
    Again, my major concerns about this bill are with its philosophical approach. This bill criticizes and implies that our security system is overly weak. I do not agree with that. I think the RCMP, CSIS, and the members of the Canadian security establishment have done a good job protecting our country, and I think the legislation by the previous government went in the right direction. Therefore, I urge the government to reconsider many of the changes it introduces in this legislation.

  (1355)  

    The hon. member for Saskatoon—University will have five minutes of questions asked of him when we return to debate on Bill C-59.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Supply Management

    Mr. Speaker, dairy producers are worried that supply management will be sacrificed at the NAFTA talks. Their concern is understandable, because the government has been talking out of both sides of its mouth.
    Here in the House, the Liberals say they will concede nothing. In contrast, in an interview with an American broadcaster, the Prime Minister said he would be flexible. There is a world of difference between conceding nothing and being flexible.
    The G7 kicks off tomorrow, and the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with President Trump. We know Mr. Trump had some sharp words about supply management this week.
    I want the Prime Minister to resist taking the easy way out. I would remind him that the House unanimously adopted a motion calling on the government to protect the integrity of supply management during NAFTA negotiations. The Prime Minister must keep his promise to our dairy producers.

[English]

Inverary Inn

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today with truly sad news. A landmark in Cape Breton, the Inverary Inn, was destroyed in a massive fire last night. Many in the House and visitors from around the world are familiar with the inn. The Liberal caucus gathered there just a few years ago and had a wonderful retreat along the Bras d'Or lakes.
    The Inverary Inn was opened in the late 1800s as a three-storey house. During World War II, the estate was purchased and founded as the Inverary Inn after Scottish Inverary Castle. The inn expanded over time, but always kept its Scottish charm. Alongside the MacAulays, many dedicated staff contributed to an unforgettable experience for their guests. I was 16 years old the first time I experienced the warmth and hospitality of the inn delivering eggs from our family farm. My wife Pam and I had many wonderful stays at the inn.
    Our thoughts are with the MacAulay family and the people of Baddeck with this difficult loss, but I know Baddeck, a resilient community, will overcome this devastation.

  (1400)  

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal carbon tax harms Canada's agricultural industry and unfairly penalizes rural communities, a reality that the Liberal agriculture minister continues to disregard. Instead, the agriculture minister declared that most farmers fully support the Liberal carbon tax and went so far as to say that farmers got exactly what they voted for. It is unclear what evidence the minister has to support that statement.
    One would be hard pressed to find a single farmer in my riding of Battlefords—Lloydminster who supports the carbon tax. My constituents are concerned that it undermines their competitiveness and hurts their already-strained bottom line. On top of that, contrary to the Liberal government's claims that it is working together with provinces, it refuses to acknowledge the merits of a made-in-Saskatchewan plan to tackle climate change.
    The Liberal government needs to listen to the serious concerns of farmers and rural communities, drop its punitive carbon tax, and work in co-operation with my province of Saskatchewan.

Doug McDonald

    Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to Doug McDonald, a wonderful member of our Liberal family, who passed away on May 22 in Vernon, just shy of his 79th birthday.
    Doug and I served on the federal Senior Liberals' Commission in B.C., he as policy chair and I as president. Doug was a catalyst, someone with a fine mind and a gentle but firm and focused disposition, who guided substantial policy resolutions from B.C. seniors to adoption at our 2014, 2016, and 2018 Liberal conventions, resolutions such as “Reclaiming and Sustaining Canada's Healthcare”, which have helped build our platforms and, through them, improve life for all Canadians right across our country. Quietly, efficiently, and effectively, this intelligent, thoroughly gentle man made a difference, from his days managing energy research with the Government of Alberta to his unretiring retirement in B.C.
    We thank his wife Rae and his wonderful family from the bottom of our hearts for sharing Doug with us.

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to my motion, Motion No. 195, a motion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.
     Despite the fact that the iconic image of the strike is an overturned streetcar, the remarkable feature of the strike was that with about 30,000 workers on strike, the Central Strike Committee effectively ran the city peacefully for six weeks. The purpose of the strike was simply to secure the right to bargain collectively, and it ended only after the strike leaders were arrested on trumped-up charges and an act of state violence killed two workers and injured many more. The strike showed how readily the powers of the state can be co-opted by the rich and powerful to suppress the legitimate demands of working people. However, it also showed the power that workers have when they stand together in solidarity, a power that would be used to win the labour standards we now enjoy across the country today.
    The battle to protect and expand those standards continues. I call on Parliament to recognize the strike for its role in inspiring workers across the country to demand a better life for themselves and their neighbours.

Community Builders of the Year Awards

    Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the pleasure of attending the United Way Centraide annual Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala. The 2018 recipients were a group of amazing organizations from across Ottawa who support our community.

[Translation]

    One of the recipients was EcoEquitable, a dynamic Ottawa—Vanier charity that supports social and economic integration for those in need, especially immigrant women. This Vanier charity just completed its biggest order yet, producing conference bags made of recycled materials for visiting media at the G7.

[English]

    This small environmentally friendly charity is having a real impact in my community and will soon have a footprint around the world. I ask that members join me in congratulating EcoEquitable.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is attempting to reduce penalties for many serious crimes in Canada. His proposed changes are part of Bill C-75, which contains more than 300 pages of sweeping changes to the Criminal Code. I am concerned about the number of very serious offences that would now be eligible for much lighter sentences, or even simply fines. These offences include acts related to terrorism; assault; impaired driving; arson; human trafficking; and infanticide, the killing of infants. These lower sentences send the wrong messages to criminals, victims, law-abiding Canadians, and society.
     When virtue takes a back seat to lawlessness, Canadians rely on a strong justice system. Deterrents are necessary. It is a cause for concern that our Prime Minister is changing our Canada from a nation of virtue to one of virtue signalling.
    Conservatives will continue to stand up to the creeping changes attacking our social and justice systems. We will continue to place the rights of victims ahead of the offenders.

  (1405)  

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, film director Oleg Sentsov entered the fourth week of his hunger strike in an Arctic hard-labour penal colony 5,000 kilometres from his native Crimea. He is slowly starving to death to raise awareness of 74 Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar political prisoners who have been abducted to Russia and put on show trials for their opposition to Russia's military annexation of Crimea.
    Sentsov's case is being championed by European and Canadian cultural figures, yet when a journalist asked President Putin about Sentsov, he snapped that Sentsov was part of a terrorist community—this from the president whose military invasion of Ukraine has killed 11,000, whose pilots bomb civilian markets and hospitals in Syria, who shields those who shot down MH-17, and who poisons and assassinates opponents and journalists.
    It is time to use the Magnitsky law and sanction Sentsov's abductors, torturers, prosecutors, and show-trial judges.

[Translation]

Portugal Day

     Mr. Speaker, on June 10, the Portuguese diaspora around the world celebrates Portugal Day. Among the many things we celebrate, the culture and language that have shaped us are what brings us all together.
    I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to the several thousand Portuguese who settled in Canada and who brought with them suitcases filled with much more than just wine or natas.
    More than anything, a Portuguese person who lives abroad is someone who exports their Portuguese identity and way of life to the world.
    The contributions that Portuguese people make in the countries that welcome them are well known and generally very appreciated. As a member of this big family that is our diaspora, I wish us all a bom Dia de Portugal.

[English]

Ponoka Stampede

    Mr. Speaker, on June 26, the town of Ponoka, Alberta will open its doors to the entire world as the Ponoka Stampede begins. The Ponoka Stampede is the largest Canadian Professional Rodeo Association-approved rodeo, and one of the top 10 rodeos in the world.
    The best cowboys and cowgirls in North America travel to the Ponoka Stampede to compete on the finest rodeo stock for over half a million dollars in prize money. This year's theme is the Canada 2019 Winter Games, and we are very honoured to welcome Catriona Le May Doan as the parade marshal.
    The Ponoka Stampede is proudly Canada's largest seven-day rodeo and has some of the best rodeo action to be seen anywhere. Whether one likes barrel racing or bull riding, chuckwagons or wild pony races, one should head to Ponoka between June 26 and July 2. There is something for everybody. Yee-haw.

Inclusivity Award

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to pay tribute to a champion for accessibility, Tyler Barker. Tyler was recently awarded the Town of Aurora's 2018 inclusivity award. He has long been a tireless advocate for issues of accessibility, not just in Aurora but across York region. He has dedicated his life to breaking down barriers.
    He serves as chair of Aurora's Accessibility Advisory Committee and has been instrumental in ensuring that accessibility is top of mind for all, whether it be where we shop, in our library, or in helping to create the first fully accessible park in Aurora. Tyler would be the first to tell us that more needs to be done. His inspiring leadership, passion, and commitment will ensure that progress continues.
    I thank Tyler for his dedication to our community. He has helped make it a place for all. I congratulate him on the award and encourage him to keep up the great work.

  (1410)  

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, in Toronto, June is one of the most beautiful months of the year. It is the month when we celebrate that our city is the safest and best place in the world to fall in love. It is Pride Month.
    No matter who people are, how they express their gender, whom they love, how they love, or why they love, Toronto is the place to be, because we are celebrating people and their love this month. It is so much fun that now all of Canada has joined in, but let us face it, Toronto's Pride celebrations are the biggest and the best on the planet.
    Whether it is people's first Pride or their last, whether they are marching or dancing down the street, whether they are watching from the sides or on TV, whether they are a mayor, a premier, a backbencher, or a member of cabinet, it makes no difference. Someone can be a school trustee and attend Pride. People should come and celebrate as a family, bringing their brother, sister, mom, and aunt.
    On behalf of Pride Toronto, I invite one and all to the city of Toronto to celebrate and feel the love. Also, people should not forget their squirt guns.

Girls' Education

    Mr. Speaker, with the 2018 G7 summit starting tomorrow, we call on the government to make girls' education and empowerment an important theme. All parties in this chamber support greater access to education for women and girls throughout the developing world. There is a huge gap in girls' education as humanitarian work transitions to long-term development. In fact, millions of girls are missing out on education in the most volatile regions of the world.
    Due to gender inequality, girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to be cut from school in countries where there is a crisis. Today, we add our voice to the many NGOs calling for greater investment in the education and empowerment of girls. We also call on the government to put clear goals and targeted measures in place to ensure the success of the initiatives that are put forward.
    Girls deserve the same access to education that boys enjoy. Today, we are calling on the government to play a key role in making sure that girls are empowered to achieve the greatness that is held within them.

Senate Appointment

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House today to congratulate Dr. Mohamed Ravalia from Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador, on his appointment to the Senate.
     Dr. Ravalia fled apartheid in Zimbabwe over 30 years ago to find his new home in Canada.
     His passion for rural health care has made him an exemplary family physician and academic, specializing in primary care reform, care of the elderly, and chronic disease management. As a senior medical officer at the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre, Dr. Ravalia has worked tirelessly to provide residents of Newfoundland and Labrador with optimal medical care and support. He also serves as assistant dean for the Rural Medical Education Network of Memorial University.
    He has many other accomplishments as well, including the Canadian Family Physician of the Year award, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Order of Canada.
    I ask members to please join me in congratulating Dr. Ravalia on his appointment as the representative of the great province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Senate.

World Oceans Day

    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is World Oceans Day.
    Oceans generate 80% of our oxygen, provide us with food, and regulate our climate. It was Canadians who first proposed World Oceans Day at Rio's Earth Summit in 1992. However, 26 years later, the issues are more overwhelming than ever: climate change, plastic pollution, open-net salmon farming, illegal fishing, and habitat destruction.
    This year's theme is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.
    Canada's New Democrats support our colleague from Courtenay—Alberni and his motion, Motion No. 151, which calls on the government to implement a national strategy to combat plastic pollution. Canada has no national policy, no regulations, and no mechanisms to prevent plastics from entering our waters. That is why Canadians are taking action, organizing beach cleanups, banning plastic bags, and saying no to plastic straws. It is time the federal government take action by supporting Motion No. 151 and implementing a national strategy. Let us come together today to protect our oceans for tomorrow.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not like anyone suggesting that his way may not be the best way. When one of his bills was almost defeated, he wanted to take away every tool the opposition has to hold government accountable. When he did not like the questions being asked in the House, he tried to change the system so he had to show up at work only once a week. When he could not impose an electoral system that benefits the Liberals, he decided to change the fundraising rules. His latest plan is to limit how opposition parties can use donations from Canadians but increase the amount of foreign money that can be spent to influence our 2019 election.
    On this side of the House, we believe in fair, democratic processes for all Canadians, not cheap tricks and cover-ups that favour the Liberals and their friends.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Visit of President of France

     Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Quebec Liberal caucus, it is an honour to rise in the House to say how pleased we are to welcome the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, to Canada. Our countries have had a strong relationship for a long time as a result of our shared history and language and also our very strong economic ties. President Macron's visit shows that we both want to continue to work together to strengthen the middle class, to help those working hard to join it, and to build more inclusive economies. Given the current international context, especially the rise of populism, the co-operation of our two countries is more necessary than ever to defend the values of peace, security, diversity, and multilateralism, which are the foundation of our liberal democracies. On this Gaspé day, and on behalf of the people of Gaspé, Quebec, and all Canadians, I hope President Macron will have a productive visit in Canada.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the possibility of the U.S. president imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum should not have come as a surprise to anyone. The president first announced them back in March. He then exempted Canada in May, and then again in June.
    Why in the world was the Prime Minister not ready to immediately impose retaliatory tariffs when the U.S. president imposed his on us?
    Mr. Speaker, last week our government announced strong measures to defend Canadian steel and aluminum workers and the industry. This includes $16.6 billion in reciprocal trade restriction measures against U.S. goods, including U.S. steel and aluminum.
     This is the largest trade action Canada has taken since the Second World War, and it is essential that we get it right. Over the next few days, we invite all Canadians to look at the list of proposed tariffs and provide feedback to help create the best possible retaliation list.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government had months to prepare for this, but it did nothing. Steel and aluminum workers and their families are being hurt by these tariffs right now, but instead of having a plan ready to immediately deal with these punitive measures, the Liberals have been more focused on things like raising taxes on Canadians and giving billions of dollars to Texas oil companies. Talk about misplaced priorities.
    Will the government commit, today, that all monies collected from our retaliatory measures will go directly to those who are impacted by this trade war?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. colleagues that we have the backs of our steel and aluminum workers. We find that the decision made by the United States is totally unacceptable, and we have made that very clear. To invoke national security as the grounds on which to do this is absolutely preposterous.
    We will defend the interests of our aluminum and steel workers, and our Canadian steel and aluminum industry.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing that would have helped is if we had ratified the CPTPP. Mexico has ratified this agreement, and Japan is well on its way. Again, instead of passing CPTPP legislation, the Liberal government has been more focused on ramming through legislation that would reduce penalties for terrorists, child molesters, and drunk drivers. Again, talk about misplaced priorities.
    Why are the Liberals taking so long to bring this free trade agreement into force?
    Mr. Speaker, CPTPP ratification is a top priority for our government, and we are working relentlessly in order to introduce the legislation before the House rises for the summer.
    The CPTPP would provide unparalleled benefits for hard-working Canadians and their families. We have worked hard to improve the deal, and we have made real gains for the middle class. We are now looking to work with all parliamentarians in the House on this important legislation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House are actually in favour of the trans-Pacific partnership. In fact, it was under our leadership that an initial treaty was signed, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the member for Abbotsford. The problem is that it has yet to be implemented in Canada.
    My question for the government is quite simple. Why is it that the agreement has yet to be implemented even though it has been signed and approved, and we all agree on it? The government has been dragging its feet and has yet to introduce legislation on the matter.

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our negotiations to conclude the CPTPP. We have also managed to achieve real gains in various sectors, including everything from culture to intellectual property to automotive. As we have said, and as the minister indicated in the House of Commons again yesterday, we will be introducing a bill to ratify this important treaty. I hope all our colleagues in the House will support us in ratifying this treaty.
    Mr. Speaker, the U.S.'s frontal attack on our steel and aluminum industry is completely unacceptable. In retaliation, the Government of Canada announced a series of measures last week to counter the American initiative. My question for the government is very simple and the answer will affect all steel and aluminum workers, including those in Lac-Saint-Jean, the Saguenay, and more specifically La Baie.
    Will the government commit to using the money it obtains from additional tariffs on American products to help the aluminum industry and its workers, including those in La Baie?
    Mr. Speaker, last week, we announced strong measures to protect our steel and aluminum workers. We clearly said that we will be there for them. Steel and aluminum are extremely important industries for Canada. We do not accept the decision made by the United States for the absolutely ridiculous reason of national security. We will be there to defend the interests of our steel and aluminum workers.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, this G7 summit will give the international community an opportunity to compare the seven countries. I can say that Canada does not come off very well on the environmental front.
     The Liberals promised to end subsidies to the oil and gas industry, but after three years in power, Canada still has the highest oil and gas subsidies in the G7. The Prime Minister will have a golden opportunity to fix that this weekend.
    Will he use the G7 summit as an opportunity to announce an end to these subsidies by 2020?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of what we are doing for the environment to tackle climate change and plastic pollution.
    Creating a charter on plastic pollution is a top priority for the G7 leaders' meeting. We are working very hard with all the countries to make sure we are doing what needs to be done. We need to stop plastic from reaching the oceans. We are facing a major problem, and we are going to do everything in our power to fix it.
    Mr. Speaker, I call that wilful blindness. The government still finances the oil and gas industry to the tune of $1.5 billion a year. That is $1,500 million in subsidies to the oil and gas industry.
    A champion of the environment would invest now to create green jobs for our workers and our children. The Prime Minister lost all credibility on the environment the day he decided to buy a 65-year-old pipeline with $4.5 billion of taxpayer money.
    What kind of apology will the government make at the G7?
    Mr. Speaker, we will not apologize, because we do stand up for the environment and for jobs. We are doing what we have to do. Canadians expect us to combat climate change and plastic pollution and to grow our economy.
    We have created 600,000 jobs. This is the biggest job growth Canada has ever seen. We will continue to do this every day. I am working very hard to combat climate change, protect the environment—

[English]

    The hon. member for North Island—Powell River.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is more concerned with looking like a global climate leader to the other G7 leaders than with actually being one here at home. Instead of eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels, the Prime Minister will now spend over $10 billion to build a new pipeline. Experts agree that the Liberals, instead of keeping their promises to meet the Paris emissions targets, are nowhere near to meeting their commitments.
    Here is a suggestion. How about if the Prime Minister spends a little less time worrying about how he looks to world leaders and more time actually being a leader here at home?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, let me explain what we are doing to tackle climate change here. We are putting a price on pollution across the country. We are making historic investments in clean technologies. We are phasing out coal. We are making historic investments in public transportation.
    We are going to continue doing what we promised to Canadians, which is meeting our international agreements, and we are going to continue pushing abroad. We can do both. We can talk and chew gum at the same time, and that is what we are going to do.
    Mr. Speaker, do you remember the Kyoto protocol? I certainly do. That was the climate change agreement that the previous Liberal government signed and then completely abandoned. Later, Liberal insiders said they ratified it purely as a PR stunt and they never had any intention to act on it.
    Now the environment commissioner is saying the government is nowhere near meeting the Paris targets. I, for one, am getting completely tired of these sequels. Canadians want to know and deserve to know if this is just another Liberal PR stunt.
    Mr. Speaker, let me explain again what we are doing. We spent one year working with the provinces and territories to come up with the first-ever serious plan to tackle climate change and to meet our international agreements. After a decade of inaction under the previous government, we have stepped up. We are putting a price on pollution, we are phasing out coal, and we are making historic investments in public transportation. In Ottawa, our investments in LRT will see the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in our city's history.
    We are investing in clean technology. We understand that we need to do it for our—
    Order. The hon. member for Carleton.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the environment minister for pointing out the funds that John Baird and I secured for the local transit contract here in Ottawa.
    The Liberals would be well served if they followed our approach to taxes as well. During our government, they went down, particularly for modest- and low-income people. Under the Liberal government, taxes have gone up for 81% of middle-class taxpayers.
    How much will this carbon tax cost the average Canadian family?
    Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased that we announced the funding for the second phase of LRT in Ottawa. I am actually happy when we work across party lines. I would really be happy if, across party lines, we would tackle climate change, because we owe it to our kids and there is a huge economic opportunity.
    I fail to understand why the party opposite will not take serious action on climate change and will not take seriously the fact that our kids and grandkids will hold us responsible. They are missing out on the $23-trillion opportunity of clean growth.
    Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to watch John Baird announce the first phase of Ottawa's light rail and I was very pleased to also announce the second phase myself. I was actually flattered to see the minister reannounce that second phase a year after we did.
    However, let us go back to taxes. If only the minister could follow our approach on taxes, which was to put more money in the pockets, particularly of low- and middle-income taxpayers. Can she tell us today how much her carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I am afraid I have to remind hon. members, the member for Banff—Airdrie and others, that each side gets its turn. I think they know each side gets its turn. I would ask them to listen when the other side has its turn.
    The hon. Minister of Infrastructure.
    Mr. Speaker, the previous government had a very bad habit of making announcements without even knowing where the money was going to come from. That is exactly what they did with transit investment in Ottawa, without even knowing or having any money in the budget.
    What we have done is put forward a $25-billion investment in public transit, under which we are funding Ottawa's second phase, because we know where the money—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1430)  

    It was so quiet earlier.
    Mr. Speaker, funding for both phases of the Ottawa transit were provided under the previous Conservative government, and it was set aside within the budget framework, within the context of a balanced budget.
    The Liberals' deficit is twice what they promised. Taxes are up on 80% of middle-class taxpayers, which is another broken promise. Before they make a third broken promise in a row, will Liberals tell us how much the average Canadian family will spend on this carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, I would like to repeat that on the second phase of LRT, there was no money. We were the ones who actually made the commitment to invest in public transit.
    We know that climate change is real. We know that it has a real cost. We know there is a huge opportunity for economic growth and jobs. We are very proud that we are taking action on climate change.
     I would like to ask the other side, because I would like to know, what the Conservative Party's plan is to tackle climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, one successful part of the plan that actually saw greenhouse gases go down under the previous government was a public transit tax credit that gave savings to people who made responsible decisions to get on public transit and protect the environment.
    The Liberals raised taxes on those same environmentally conscious passengers on our public transit. It was one of many tax increases that have led to an $800 tax increase on the average middle-class family. How much more will those families pay under the new Liberal carbon tax?
    Order. I would ask members, including the member for Niagara Centre, not to be interrupting when someone else has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to hear the member opposite announcing on this day that he supports what the Ontario Liberal government did, which was to actually phase out coal. That was the biggest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our country's history.
    We know we need to take serious action on climate change by phasing out coal, putting a price on pollution, and making investments in green technology, but once again, as everyone wants to know, what is the Conservatives' plan?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Order. That is totally inappropriate. I do not think members want to live in a place where they cannot hear other points of view. I do not think anyone in the House believes that.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, dairy, egg, and poultry producers are quite concerned about what the Prime Minister said on NBC. When he meets with Quebec farmers, he says he is defending supply management, but when he crosses the border, he says the opposite. He said that Canada was flexible on supply management. In Quebec alone, 6,500 farms depend on supply management.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us, yes or no, whether he conceded market shares to the Americans by so-called protecting what will be left of supply management?
    Mr. Speaker, once again our government is firmly committed to protecting the supply management system. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the 41 members from Quebec and all members of the Liberal Party are unanimous: they support and believe in supply management. I assure my colleagues that we will protect the supply management system.
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister should talk to her Prime Minister because what he said on NBC was very clear. He is going to be or already has been—we do not know for sure—more flexible when it comes to the Americans' demands regarding supply management. That is not surprising. Simon Beauchemin, a key adviser to the Prime Minister, clearly supports making concessions on supply management.
    I have one very simple question. Do the Liberals intend to protect, and I mean fully protect, supply management without making any concessions, yes or no?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, once again, our government is firmly committed to protecting supply management. The 41 members from Quebec and all Liberal MPs support and believe in the supply management system. Our Prime Minister and our Minister of Foreign Affairs are defending this system.
    The Conservatives do not agree on the subject. Believe it or not, the Leader of the Opposition put the member for Beauce, who strongly opposes supply management, in charge of economic development.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, you might be surprised by some of the things that appear in electoral platforms. For instance, the Liberals promised to put an end to oil subsidies. It is on page 40 of the Liberal platform. Is that not surprising, especially given that, here we are three years later, and they have done nothing? Canada is dead last in the G7 on that. We are worse than Donald Trump.
     My question to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change is quite simple. What was the total amount of subsidies given to oil companies last year? Obviously, the answer should be a number. I do not want her to say that it is important. We want a number.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, phasing out inefficient fuel subsidies is a G20 commitment, and Canada is part of that commitment. We have already taken significant steps in budget 2016 and budget 2017, and we will continue to do that, as it is our international commitment and what we believe is good for the Canadian economy.
    They cannot answer how much, Mr. Speaker, because they do not know, yet a report out today shows that Canada ranks dead last in the G7.
    Imagine the irony. As devoted as Donald Trump is to the oil and gas sector, he has to tip his little red cap to the Liberals because they are even worse. These climate champions went out and bought a 65-year-old leaky pipeline for $4.5 billion of our money.
    Let us do some Liberal multiple choice: Was that money (a) a bailout, (b) a subsidy, (c) a really dumb idea, or (d) all of the above?
    Mr. Speaker, none of the above, and none of the above because Canadians who care about the future of the oil and gas industry as part of a strategy for the Canadian economy know that to be competitive, we want to expand our export markets. Rather than sending 99% of oil and gas exports to one country, the United States, we are opening up the export markets. That is only part of why this pipeline is good for Canada and good for indigenous peoples. It is good for the environment too because of $1.5 billion—
    The hon. member for Calgary Midnapore.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been telling Canadians that it will cost them $4.5 billion to buy the old Trans Mountain pipeline. Today we have learned that this is not actually the final price. It may cost Canadians much more, and that is without a single inch of new pipeline being built.
     When will the Prime Minister quit hiding what his failures are really going to cost taxpayers?
    Mr. Speaker, the failure was the inability of the Harper government to build one kilometre of pipe to new markets. That is the failure. The Conservatives had 10 years to do it and they could not. The reason they could not was because they refused to understand that investments in the environment enable us to build infrastructure. We on this side of the House are very proud of our ability to create jobs and protect the environment at the same time.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claimed that the cost of the pipeline would be $4.5 billion. We now know that it is not true, that it is just a guess. Canadians could be on the hook for a lot more than $4.5 billion for the existing pipeline, never mind the construction costs for the new pipeline.
     When will the Liberals come clean and tell Canadians how much it will cost?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member and the Conservative Party believe that this is a commercially viable project, because they have been promoting this project from the first day we took our seats in the House of Commons, promoting it every day aggressively, unwaveringly. However, now because we have done what they could not do, they do not know where to go with this.
     We know where we are going. We are going to get the pipeline built, we are going to protect the environment, and we are going to consult indigenous peoples.
    Mr. Speaker, last year foreign direct investment in this country was the lowest in over a decade. Nowhere is that disaster more real than in Alberta. Tens of billions of dollars of potential oil and gas projects are being scrapped. There is massive divestment by international oil producers.
     The Prime Minister's answer to this disaster? A buy-out and drive out of Kinder Morgan. When will the minister quit attacking the industry so it can begin the process of recovery and rebuild investor confidence?
    Mr. Speaker, when is the hon. member going to stop badmouthing the economy of Alberta? Let me give an example. Employment is up 3.5%. Earnings are up 6.9%. Wholesale trade is up 16.3%. Manufacturing is up 25.5%. Exports are up 46.5%. We believe in the people of Alberta.
    Mr. Speaker, investment in Canada's energy industry increased nine out of 10 years under the previous Conservative government. Today, we have hit a decade low, with $100 billion in investment losses and major divestments from Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips totalling nearly $30 billion. Now Kinder Morgan is fleeing Canada in the face of the Liberal plan to phase out our oil sands.
    Canadian energy investors are now creating a record number of new jobs outside of Canada as the Liberals block energy projects at home.
     With investment at record lows and energy jobs fleeing Canada, why does the natural resources minister keep pretending this is the best he can do?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has never been stronger, and there has never been a better time to invest in Canada. We have a strong, stable, and predictable business environment that is open to business, investments, and trade.
    When foreign investors look at Canada, they see an open, diverse, highly-skilled, and well-educated workforce that is inherently global. This is Canada today, and we are making sure that foreign investors know it.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister is asking leaders to commit to zero-waste plastics at the G7, hosted by the government, the meeting will not even be a zero plastic waste event. Canadians from coast to coast are calling on the Liberals to protect our oceans and ban single-use plastics at home.
     Tomorrow is World Oceans Day and Canadians know we need action to combat plastic pollution in our waterways now. The Liberals have said they know that this is a critical problem, so when will they finally do something about it?
    Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree with the member opposite that we have a huge problem. If we do not take action, by 2050 we are going to have more plastic waste in our ocean by weight than fish. Every minute we are dumping the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic waste into the oceans. This single-use plastic that we are throwing out has a value of between $100 billion and $150 billion. We need to do better.
    We are pushing a plastic waste charter in the G7 context. We are also developing a national strategy for plastics in Canada. We are seeing in Canada that municipalities are stepping up, municipalities like Vancouver, like Montreal, banning—
    The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, in Canada, the Liberals love to claim to be defending supply management, but in the United States, the Prime Minister said there could be some flexibility in the area.
    A true leader is someone who stands up for Canadian dairy farmers, someone who keeps his promises, someone who is ready to tell the G7 that he will fully defend our supply management system, without any concessions.
    Is there anyone here in the House today, besides the NDP, who is ready to fully defend our supply management system without making any concessions?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague that our government, our entire caucus, is committed to defending supply management. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the 41 MPs from Quebec unanimously support the protection of the supply management system.

[English]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

    Mr. Speaker, for residents in my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, CBC/Radio-Canada is an essential part of their lives, providing them with local news, Canadian stories, and high-quality Canadian productions.

[Translation]

    We all remember how the Harper government slashed CBC/Radio-Canada's budget.
    Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House what our government is doing to keep our public broadcaster strong?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Tobique—Mactaquac for his question.
    Now more than ever, our government firmly believes in the importance of our public broadcaster. When we talk about CBC/Radio-Canada, we cannot help but remember the Conservatives' legacy.

[English]

    The Conservatives slashed funds at the CBC, were at war with it, and did everything to weaken our public broadcaster. That is their record. Our record is reinvesting $675 million and appointing a CEO from the sector, the first woman, as head of this very important institution.
     We will ensure that what the Harper Conservatives did never happens again, because they would, if given the chance.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has proclaimed that Canadians need not worry about 30,000 people entering Canada illegally. He says everything is under control.
    However, border services officers have told us that they were instructed to cut interrogation time down from eight hours to two, that between 10% and 15% of illegal crossers do not return for their second interview, and that nobody knows where in the country those people are now.
    Why is the Prime Minister refusing to talk about this problem at the G7?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government remains unwavering in our commitment to protect the safety of Canadians and to keep our borders secure. Irregular border crossers are thoroughly screened and do not get a free ticket to remain in Canada. In fact, the budget included $173 million to support security operations at the Canada-U.S. border and to ensure we could continue to securely and effectively process asylum seekers.
     We are continuing to ensure that Canadian law is applied and that our international obligations are respected.

[Translation]

    More meaningless words, Mr. Speaker.
    Now let's talk about the Minister of Immigration, who is right over there. It almost looks like his intention has been to make it easy. He gave three provinces $50 million to stop complaining; he built a costly welcome centre for illegal migrants in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle; and now, he has set up a transportation system to take illegal migrants wherever they want to go. That is right, wherever they want to go.
    The minister says all the right things, but his actions only confirm his hypocrisy and disingenuousness.
    Where is the Minister of Immigration's plan?
    I must remind the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles that, under the Standing Orders, it is not permitted to point out the presence or absence of a member. I think he knows that.
    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, to be frank, my colleague has been spouting all sorts of nonsense about irregular migrants every day in the House.
    We have implemented a strong program in co-operation with the provinces. We are working with the provinces on a triage system. We have rolled out the initial compensation packages for the provinces. I would like our colleague opposite to ask more constructive and less negative questions about asylum seekers because we are all working together on this important issue.

  (1450)  

[English]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have no plan and the Prime Minister is failing our Canadian Armed Forces. This week we have learned things are so bad that our soldiers are being ordered to return their rucksacks and their sleeping bags to be used by others. Now we have learned that the cost of building the joint supply ships has skyrocketed another billion dollars over budget and the forces will not even take the first delivery until probably sometime in 2023.
     How can Canadians trust the Prime Minister to deliver on navy ships when he cannot even buy enough sleeping bags for our troops?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous Conservative government, which failed to support defence, we are ensuring that the Canadians Armed Forces have the proper equipment and training to be able to carry out the important missions they are asked to fulfill.
    The Canadian Armed Forces redistribute the equipment to make sure that their members have the equipment they need when they need it. Our recruitment initiatives have been successful and have strengthened the army reserve. These new recruits will need even more equipment than those who are on postings or involved in training exercises.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, these partisan attacks do not change the facts on the ground. We are proud of our procurement record, which includes five C-17 Globemasters, 17 C-130 Hercules, 15 Chinook helicopters; and we initiated the contract for the Asterix interim supply ship, which, by the way, was on time and on budget despite the best efforts of the Liberals to kill that deal. We will put our record against their record any day of the week.
     How is it possible for those incompetent Liberals to mess it up so badly when it comes to military procurement?
    Mr. Speaker, we are very proud that we are getting ships built and we are getting fighter jets for our troops. We know our armed forces desperately need the equipment to do the really difficult jobs we ask of them.
     We have plans. We have a ship that is already built. We have ships that will be built by the end of this year. We are delivering our fighter jet interim fleet, starting the beginning of next year. We will take no lessons from the Conservatives on how to do defence procurements.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the government has begun negotiations with the United States on the future of the 54-year-old Columbia River Treaty. During the original negotiations, more than 2,000 people were forced to relocate as rich farmland and valuable riparian areas were sacrificed, and indigenous people did not have their voices heard at all.
     Now it is 2018 and despite the government's promises for a new relationship with first nations, they are not being offered a seat at the table. Will the government take immediate action to ensure that first nations are at the table for the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty?
    Mr. Speaker, our objective in these negotiations is to ensure that the Columbia River Treaty continues to be mutually beneficial for Canada, the United States, and the indigenous groups involved in the area. We have been working closely with British Columbia, first nations, and stakeholders to ensure that all interests are heard and articulated. We will also address the environmental issues they have raised and the interests of the first nations. The aim is to renew this agreement well into the 21st century.
    We will work hard to ensure that benefits are optimized for Canada, British Columbia, first nations, and the local communities.

Asbestos

    Mr. Speaker, 96% of Canadian workers in construction and the skilled trades are potentially exposed to asbestos in the workplace. We have known for more than 30 years that asbestos is a carcinogen and that its toxic fibres are a leading cause of workplace-related death in Canada. Despite the announced ban, there is no national standard for testing, handling, and removal of this killer substance.
    Will the government implement a comprehensive strategy for asbestos removal to protect all workers and all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, in fact, the member would know that this government has deemed asbestos to be out of the realm of our trade.
    We are working with all stakeholders. There was a meeting held recently here in Ottawa that brought all stakeholders together, labour and health leaders, and that strategy is absolutely under construction. We will be looking forward to tabling something very soon.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, with summer upon us, Canadians are gearing up to head out to the great outdoors, and it appears they are better equipped than our Canadian Armed Forces. Thanks to the Prime Minister's failure of leadership, our troops now face a shortfall of equipment when it comes to sleeping bags. How can the Prime Minister justify deploying our troops to a war zone in Mali when he cannot even outfit our troops for a trip to cottage country?

  (1455)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment, training, and support they need to allow our men and women in uniform to fulfill their important mission at home and abroad. The “Strong, Secure, Engaged” policy will ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have the right equipment and the right training to fulfill their mission. After 10 years of underfunding and cuts to the armed forces by the previous Conservative government, we are determined to ensure that our men and women in uniform are better equipped and better prepared.

[English]

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue their attack on Canadian farmers and the Canadian agricultural industry. First it was a new Canada food guide and front-of-package labelling, calling milk and meat products unhealthy. Now they are attacking feed distributors.
    The Liberals are eliminating the ability of retail stores, like feed stores and farm supply outlets, to sell feed mixed with antibiotics in any form to anyone. These businesses have sold these products to farmers safely and effectively for years.
    When will the Liberals stop their attacks on Canadian agriculture?
    Mr. Speaker, I assure my hon. colleague that what we have done has been a major asset to the Canadian agricultural sector.
    As my hon. colleague is well aware, the former Harper government cut close to $700 million from the agricultural sector. We will make sure that farmers have the seed they need.
    My hon. colleague is fully aware that the seed has to be certified.
    Mr. Speaker, if I wait for an answer from my good friend across the way, my hair will be white or have fallen out before I get a straight answer.
    These new regulations will become effective in December of this year. There is still time for the Liberals to do the right thing and cancel these changes.
     Farm supply and feed stores are an essential aspect of the delivery of feed to farms across Canada. These businesses are the lifeblood, as the minister should know, of many rural communities. These changes will take away their ability to sell products that they have been selling without any issues for generations.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question, but I cannot do a thing about his hair.
    However, I can tell him one thing we will do, which is to make sure that the agriculture and agrifood sector is supported by the government. We will make sure that we have science. We will also make sure that the CFIA will always ensure that any seed that is permitted for planting in this country will be certified.
    I am sure that my hon. colleague is not indicating that the regulatory process should be jeopardized.

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, the government's public transit infrastructure investments are building stronger communities across Canada, including in my riding of Davenport. These investments are much needed and are critical to ensuring that commuters can get to work, school, and appointments quickly, safely, and in an environmentally friendly way. Can the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities please update this House on the public transit investments the government is making in Toronto?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Davenport for her advocacy on this file.
    We know that investing in public transit is a shared responsibility. That is why we are investing more than $934 million for the purchase of more than 1,000 new buses for the TTC, as well as the repair of hundreds of old buses. This investment will enhance transit service to millions of commuters across Toronto.
     Investing in public transit is an integral part of our government's efforts to grow the economy and build a strong—
    The hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière.

  (1500)  

[Translation]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, as if it was not enough that she spent $8 million of taxpayers' money to sharpen her skating skills, now we learn that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is spending recklessly again. She refused to listen to her officials during a stop in Seoul last April, which was unrelated to the objectives of the trade mission to China.
    What did it cost us this time to indulge the Minister of Canadian Heritage's whim when she stopped in Seoul for her own personal pleasure to have us dance to K-pop?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague really should be a member of the Union des artistes because he has a really nice voice.
    Our government has decided to reinvest in the arts sector, whereas the Conservatives made massive cuts and were at war with the cultural sector. We have also reinvested $125 million in a cultural exporting strategy, which we will need given that the sector is worth more than $55 million and has more than 630,000 jobs. We believe in the cultural sector. We know it can be exported anywhere in the world and we will continue to support—
    The hon. member for Trois-Rivières.

Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, the committee responsible for reviewing the Rail Safety Act conducted broad consultations and submitted its report. Many of the recommendations in that report require immediate action on the part of the minister. What does the minister want to do in response? He wants to set up round-table consultations with the stakeholders who participated in the initial consultations to find out what they think of the consultation process and the report on those consultations.
    Seriously, when will the minister take responsibility and stop throwing—
    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for giving me the opportunity to thank the three people who did an excellent job reviewing the Rail Safety Act. I am very proud of the fact that we released the report a year ahead of schedule. I am sure my NDP colleague knows we are not like the Conservatives. We recognize the value of consultation. We will continue holding consultations until we feel Canadians have been adequately consulted. Then we will make decisions.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, our government proudly published its new defence policy one year ago today. “Strong, Secure, Engaged” is an ambitious and realistic defence policy that will allow the Canadian Armed Forces to be equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.
    Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence inform the House of the many accomplishments of our new defence policy one year after it was announced?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for his question.
    We worked hard on developing a policy that was both ambitious and realistic and we consulted Canadians who told us clearly that we must take care of the well-being of the men and women of the armed forces and their families.
    Unlike the Conservatives, we promised to increase defence spending by 70% over the next 10 years in order to ensure Canada's protection, the safety of North America, and to pursue our commitment in the world.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Palestinian ambassador to France acknowledged recently that Iran “is fully financing and pushing the Hamas demonstration”. Iran is spreading violence and terror throughout the region, determined to force other people to attack Israel. The government has said that it is a friend of Israel, even while it is singling Israel out for criticism, but will it be as tough on Iran? Will it call for an independent investigation into Iran's role in instigating this violence? Will it?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member opposite knows full well that it has been the long-standing position of consecutive governments, both Conservative and Liberal, in Canada that we are an ally and friend of Israel, and a friend of the Palestinian people.
    We absolutely deplore the actions of Hamas and its incitement to violence. It has been designated as a terrorist organization in this country since 2002, and this government maintains that position and abhors the actions that Hamas takes. We are also extremely troubled by the situation that recently occurred in Gaza and have called for an independent investigation.

  (1505)  

[Translation]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the price of gas in Quebec is approaching $1.50 a litre. When consumers fill up at the pumps, they are the ones getting hosed.
     On May 29, Pierre Moreau, Quebec's minister of energy and natural resources, wrote the Minister of Economic Development to ask if he was planning to take further action to ensure that the gas market is fair, efficient, and competitive.
    Could we hear the answer?
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I disagree with my colleague, because we have a very good process in place.

[English]

    The process that we have is actually being led by the Competition Bureau, which enforces the Competition Act. They look at price fixing, price maintenance, and the abuse of dominance in the market with respect to gasoline prices. The bureau, in the past, has made investigations. Thirty-nine individuals in 15 companies were charged for their role in a gasoline price fixing conspiracy in four local markets in Quebec. We will continue to monitor the situation. I am confident in the Competition Bureau's work.

[Translation]

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government throws Quebec under the bus all year long, but when election time rolls out, something magical happens.
    On May 25, the Liberal member for Lac-Saint-Jean went out to announce $700,000 for Saguenay businesses. I do not imagine they will be adding that to their electoral expenses. The problem is not the investment itself, it is the timing. It is quite simply unacceptable.
    Did the government attempt to influence the Chicoutimi byelection using public money?
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, we introduced Bill C-76, which will create a pre-election period before the general election. We have also made commitments as a government, since the government cannot run ads in the 90 days preceding a general election.

[English]

Natural Resources

     Mr. Speaker, buying the 65-year old Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan shows the kind of brilliant business acumen of buying up all of Blockbuster's assets while Netflix takes off. I am wondering when we will see the contract of sale. We know there are apparently 121 pages of fine legalese that could help us stop the sale before its closing in August. When will the contract be made public?
    Mr. Speaker, the Trans Mountain expansion project has significant commercial value. This transaction represents a sound investment opportunity for Canada. With that said, the transaction to purchase these assets will close later this summer and we will make more information available, as appropriate.
    Also, the hon. member knows that we have invested $100 million in smart grids, $182 million in energy efficiency buildings, another $182 million in electric vehicles, and $2 billion in a low-carbon fund. The list goes on and on.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, in response to my second question, the Minister of Transport said I was spouting nonsense, when the point I was making in my question was based on the facts.
    I would like the Minister of Transport to tell me which of my facts are false and which facts he considers nonsense.
    I thank the hon. member but that sounds like a matter of debate.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for me to table in this House documents that would indicate the cost to the average Canadian family of the Liberal carbon tax. The documents are blacked out, but I would like to table them for the House's edification.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the documents?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: The hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, just for clarity in my questions, I did not realize it at the time, but from the answer from the agriculture minister, he obviously thought I was talking about registered seed. I do not know why. However, I was talking about antibiotics in feed, and I just wanted to make that clarification.

  (1510)  

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. government House leader if she can let us know what we are going to be doing here tomorrow, and then what else we will doing next week.
    Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue with the report stage debate on Bill C-69, the environmental assessment act.
    Following this, we will turn to Bill C-75, the justice modernization act, and Bill C-59, the national security act.
    If time permits, we shall start debate at report stage of Bill C-68, the fisheries act, and Bill C-64 on derelict vessels.

[Translation]

    Tomorrow morning, we will begin third reading of Bill C-47 on the Arms Trade Treaty. Next Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are allotted days. Also, pursuant to the Standing Orders, we will be voting on the main estimates Thursday evening.
    Next week, priority will be given to the following bills: Bill C-21, an act to amend the Customs Act; Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters; Bill C-64, the wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels act; Bill C-68 on fisheries; and Bill C-69 on environmental assessments.
    We also know, however, that the other place should soon be voting on Bill C-45, the cannabis act. If a message is received notifying us of amendments, that will be given priority.

[English]

Privilege

Proceedings in HUMA Committee—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on May 24, 2018, by the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove concerning proceedings at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
    I would like to thank the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove for having raised this matter, as well as the hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster for her comments.
    In raising the matter, the member for Langley—Aldergrove explained that the appearance of three ministers, who were at the committee to discuss the main estimates for the department of Employment and Social Development, was interrupted by a series of votes taking place in the House. According to the member, the chair of the committee had promised that committee members would be able to question the ministers after they returned from voting. However, after the committee meeting resumed and the ministers finished their presentations, the chair adjourned the meeting, leaving committee members unable to put any questions to the ministers. This, the member alleged, constituted a contempt of the House.

[Translation]

     As I said when the matter was first raised, committees are masters of their own proceedings. The Speaker’s jurisdiction does not normally extend into committee matters, unless the committee sees fit to report one to the House. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, at pages 152 and 153 states:
    Speakers have consistently ruled that, except in the most extreme situations, they will hear questions of privilege arising from committee proceedings only upon presentation of a report from the committee which deals directly with the matter and not as a question of privilege raised by an individual Member.
    Furthermore, on March 23, 2015, my predecessor said at page 12180 of the Debates:
    This is not to suggest that the Chair is left without any discretion to intervene in committee matters but, rather, it acknowledges that such intervention is exceedingly rare and justifiable only in highly exceptional procedural as opposed to political circumstances.

  (1515)  

[English]

    In my consideration of this alleged question of privilege, I assessed whether if this was indeed a highly exceptional procedural matter. Distilled down to its basic elements, it seems to me that this is a dispute as to the procedural correctness of how the meeting was conducted and, as such, is a matter that should be managed by the committee itself.
    As an option, the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove can still raise his grievance with the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. For this reason, I cannot agree that the incident constitutes a prima facie question of privilege.
    I thank members for their attention on this matter.

Privilege

Standing Committee on Finance—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Carleton on May 31, 2018, concerning the alleged intimidation of a potential witness by the office of the Minister of Finance.
    I would like to thank the member for raising the matter, as well as the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for his comments.
     According to the member for Carleton, the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, CAMIC, received two phone calls from the office of the Minister of Finance, which he claimed were intended to stop them from raising their objections to Bill C-74, either by meeting with parliamentarians or by appearing before committee. He surmised that these comments, which he characterized as threatening, might be why this association did not even express an interest in appearing as a committee witness.

[Translation]

     In addition to questioning the timeliness of this question of privilege, the parliamentary secretary framed the matter as one of debate and contended that actions of a civil servant have not historically qualified as breaches of privilege.

[English]

    The issue of timeliness is one that the Chair has raised on several occasions recently since it is a requisite condition that members must heed. In this instance, it is a valid issue to be raised again. This question could have, and should have, been brought to the attention of the House much earlier. The article from The Globe and Mail, dated May 15, 2018, in which the member for Carleton is quoted, suggests that he was aware of this matter as early as May 15. Additionally, it could have been raised at any point since May 22, when the House returned from a break week. The fact that the member for Carleton gave notice of his question of privilege a full week prior to actually rising in the House to make his case also suggests that he could have done so earlier.

[Translation]

    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, explains at page 145 what is expected of members in this respect, when it states:
    The matter of privilege to be raised in the House must have recently occurred and must call for the immediate action of the House. Therefore, the member must satisfy the Speaker that he or she is bringing the matter to the attention of the House as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the situation.
    In the past, Speakers have chosen not to pursue further on a matter when it is not apparent that it is being raised at the earliest practicable time.

[English]

    In fact, Speaker Sauvé determined, on March 1, 1982, in a ruling found at pages 15473 and 15474 of Debates, that a question raised by a member was not a breach of privilege, as it had not been raised at the earliest opportunity. She stated:
     The first problem I have with this question of privilege is that it does not appear to have been raised at the earliest opportunity....
     I must therefore decline to accord this matter precedence over the regular business of the House, particularly in view of the fact that it does not appear to have been raised at the earliest opportunity. This requirement is not a mere technicality, but indeed in some respects a test of the validity of the complaint.
    Today the Chair can only come to the same conclusion. This matter was clearly not raised at the first opportunity; the member did not meet this requisite condition, and therefore the Chair will not comment further on it.
    I thank all hon. members for their attention.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1520)  

[English]

Impact Assessment Act

     The House resumed from June 6 consideration of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    The hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster has five minutes remaining in her speech.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise again today to finish my remarks. I started them at five minutes to midnight last night, so I am glad that I have this opportunity to continue.
    I want to remind my colleagues that Kinder Morgan never asked for a single dollar of taxpayers' money. It asked the government to provide certainty that its pipeline could be built. Even though the Liberals approved the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, they sat on their hands and did not champion it. Kinder Morgan was not given the certainty it had asked for. Instead, it got delay after delay. That failure led to the nationalization of the pipeline, and as I have said, it has come at a significant cost to Canadian taxpayers.
    Of the bailout, Aaron Wudrick, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said it is “both a colossal failure of the [Prime Minister's] government to enforce the law of the land, and a massive, unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers.”
    Pipeline projects can be built without taxpayer money. The former Conservative government approved 4,500 kilometres of new pipeline through four major pipeline projects.
    The role of the government should be to ensure that projects that are scientifically determined to be safe for the environment, and in the interests of Canadians, receive approval. Through low taxes and a clear and less burdensome regulatory system, the government could achieve some success. More than halfway through their mandate, the Liberals have not learned that lesson. That is why Trans Canada pulled out of the energy east pipeline project.
    That was not the only energy sector loss. The Liberals' poor management of our energy sector has chased away over $80 billion of investment. As I am sure every member in this place will remember, just recently the Liberal government passed the oil tanker moratorium act through the House. This legislation, when enacted, will prevent an entire region from accessing economic opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
    Chris Bloomer, president and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said, “Projects require clarity and predictability, and once approved should not be subject to costly delay tactics that thwart Canada's economic and social prosperity.” It is really quite a simple ask from Canada's energy industry. It wants to know the rules, know that they are fair, and know that they will not change erratically.
    Bill C-69 would not provide that assurance to those working in the energy sector. First, it would provide a slew of ministerial and Governor in Council exemptions that could be used to slow down the approval process. It would also add a planning phase to the process, a brand new process that would be an added 180 days.
    The legislation we have in front of us does not provide me with any measure of confidence that it would decrease project timelines or improve certainty for investors. Rather, it would do just the opposite. This legislation would not make investment in Canada more appealing. Rather, it would make it more complicated and more uncertain.
    Bill C-69 proposes increased consultation and would expand the criteria to be considered in the assessment of a project. It would seek social license, but it would not increase scientific analysis of the project.
    Let us not forget the fact that the minister would have a veto right at the end of the planning phase. This would certainly not instill confidence in investors. It would tell potential investors that decisions on the approval of a project could be decided on a political whim.
    We have to also remember that this is happening while the United States is cutting regulations and lowering its taxes. Canada has lost significant business investment. We cannot afford the cost of increased regulation and increased uncertainty. This legislation would not strike the appropriate balance between protecting the environment and growing our economy.
    This legislation, like the Liberal government's policies, is flawed. It would propose new regulatory burdens that, when combined with other measures the Liberals have introduced, such as the carbon tax, would drive investment away from Canada.

  (1525)  

    If Canada wants to compete globally, we need to lower taxes and streamline the regulation system. We need a government that works with Canadians and not against them.
    Bill C-69 would result in a loss of jobs, a loss of economic growth, and a loss in global competitiveness. I cannot support the Liberal government's continued efforts to undermine Canada's long-term prosperity.
    Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to catch some comments from the hon. member for Carleton on the radio the other night, and it brought up a very clear question about how the Conservative Party would handle a situation like this. I got a very clear message from the member that it would basically use all the constitutional powers of the federal government to simply drive it through, which sends a signal to the provinces about the character of a potential government in dealing with issues on which a province and the federal government may disagree. Therefore, I would ask the hon. member whether she would subscribe to the notion of simply driving it through.
    Mr. Speaker, it is quite interesting that I am being asked this question right now, because in Saskatchewan, the province I am from, we have a made-in-Saskatchewan climate plan. It is a plan to tackle climate change. We did that, and the Liberal government will not allow Saskatchewan to do that. Instead, it is forcing the Government of Saskatchewan to tax the people of Saskatchewan, when they do not want that tax. I find that ironic, because I do not see this government respecting provincial jurisdiction whatsoever.
    Madam Speaker, we are debating Bill C-69, which is an omnibus bill that affects the new Canadian energy regulator, which was the National Energy Board; the Impact Assessment Act, which was the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; and the navigable waters act. Having practised environmental law for most of my life, I do not suppose she will believe me when I tell her, but I will try to tell her, that this bill is incredibly weak and does nothing to make development more difficult. It cannot possibly drive away investors unless they only want to put their money in countries where environmental assessment meets the minimum standards of rigour that Canada used to have between the early 1970s and 2012.
     I do not suppose she is reassured, but I am voting against Bill C-69 because it is absolutely weak. I wonder if she has read it in detail and recognizes that it keeps in place most of what the previous government had done.
    Mr. Speaker, I find my colleague's question very interesting because of what just happened with Kinder Morgan. The government made it such an uncertain area of investment that it had to pay off Kinder Morgan to build the pipeline, or else it will not be done. I am not going to accuse the government of not building the pipeline. It has not been done yet. We have not seen anything happen to promote that, except that the government has thrown taxpayers' money at companies that will take that investment elsewhere.
    Mr. Speaker, on Kinder Morgan, the government has solved a problem that did not exist. It is not that we did not have a company to own the pipeline or a company to build the pipeline. It is that we did not have governmental approvals for the pipeline. Today we still do not have governmental approvals for that pipeline. That is exactly why I suggested that the government should use its constitutional powers to take control of the permitting process for all aspects of the project, which would be to the net benefit of Canada, as is provided for in section 92 of the British North American Act.
    The fact that the Liberals have not done that means not only that we might not get the pipeline expansion but that we might be on the hook for billions of dollars for that failure. Could the member comment on whether this nationalization of a 65-year-old pipeline was in the national interest?

  (1530)  

    Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity to read something written by a Canadian citizen. It is their opinion of the government buying a pipeline worth $4.5 billion. That person said that governments should not be in the investment business. The government's role is to encourage and create environments for others to take risks, they emphasized. The government should be there to provide a social safety net for the most vulnerable, not investing taxpayer money in projects that private investors already have money for.
    I am receiving emails and phone calls from residents in my riding who are very upset that the current government is using their tax dollars to spend on a $4.5-billion pipeline that investors were already willing to do.
    Part 3 is the section of the bill that makes amendments to the Navigation Protection Act. This section of the bill continues the Prime Minister and the Liberals' assault on common sense laws and regulations that promote jobs and economic growth. The only people calling for the changes proposed in the bill are those opposed to resource projects that create economic development and jobs. They are representatives of the same people who have been protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline, the pipeline the Liberals recently purchased for $4.5 billion in taxpayers' money.
    It is rather ironic that the Liberals are burning the bridge, so to speak, with the very voter pool they had hoped to pacify with the bill.
    Bill C-69 proposes to change the name of the Navigation Protection Act to the Canadian navigable waters act. While seemingly cosmetic, this change reflects a substantial refocusing of the act on the protection of waters rather than the protection of navigation.
    Canada is a large country, the second largest in the world. In the 1800s, waterways were often the primary means of transporting goods across our vast geography. The legislative forerunners of the Navigation Protection Act were designed to protect the navigability of waterways for the sake of our economy.
    With the advent of Canada's rail and road systems, as well as our transportation system, Canada's transportation system has become less reliant on water navigation. However, that said, waterways remain an important element of our transportation system in many regions of the country.
    As I said a moment ago, the changes in Bill C-69, including changing the act's name, demonstrate the Liberals' complete disregard for the original intent of the Navigation Protection Act, and instead reflect their misguided attempt to virtue signal in order to obtain the obscure idea of social licence. Without definition or boundaries, social licence is no more real than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
    The Liberals' fixation on this abstract idea is costing Canadians dearly. Again, just consider the $4.5 billion, and counting, that the Liberals have spent to buy the old Trans Mountain pipeline. Now consider the substantial changes to the Navigation Protection Act contained within this bill.
    The current Navigation Protection Act includes a schedule of waters to which the act applies. This schedule was created by the previous Conservative government because we realized that not every seasonal creek, tiny river, or stream was used for the purpose of commercial navigation. We also realized that these seasonal creeks or tiny rivers were already protected by other environmental legislation and that when economic development was planned on or near them, it was duplicative and redundant to make these projects subject to the NPA when in fact these small bodies of water were not used for navigation.
    Our changes were strongly supported by a broad range of stakeholders and organizations across Canada. They ranged from the construction industry, to the resource development industry, to municipalities and their associations. These organizations recognized that Canada needed prudent, careful environmental laws and regulations, but not duplicative ones. They realized that applying the NPA to projects where navigation was not a consideration was a waste of time and money and led to increased project costs.
     On this point, the opposition by municipal organizations and the construction industry was highlighted to parliamentarians at the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities when we undertook a study in 2016 of the former Conservative government's changes to the NPA. The genesis of that study by the committee was very interesting and should be noted.

  (1535)  

    What prompted the committee's study of the NPA was twofold. First, I believe there was a misguided eagerness on the part of Liberal and NDP MPs to do the bidding of the Prime Minister, rather than focusing on the real issues, which would have had a more meaningful and positive impact on Canadians and our economy. The committee's study of the NPA was a case of the legislative branch taking its marching orders from the executive branch.
    Second, and connected to my first point, the transport, infrastructure and communities committee undertook the study of the NPA as a result of an inadvisable letter from the Minister of Transport, co-authored by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, which was sent to the chair of the transportation committee. In this letter, the Minister of Transport, in effect, directed the committee to undertake this study to provide political cover for introducing changes to the previous Conservative government's legislation. Add to that the fact that the instructions contained within the Minister of Transport's ministerial mandate letter directed him to reverse the changes that were made when the NPA became law.
     By directing the committee to undertake the study, the minister was foisting upon a parliamentary committee an instruction that he, himself, had been given. It is no wonder, then, that the conclusions of the committee study were pre-determined. To this day, I find this invasion by the executive branch into the workings of a committee of the legislative body to be a very egregious act on the part of the Minister of Transport and this Prime Minister.
    Getting back to Bill C-69 and the new provisions it contains, if passed, the bill will maintain the schedule of waters to be covered by the bill, but it will change the rules and regulations for any work on any navigable water listed in the schedule. Additionally, the bill will create new rules and regulations that will apply to all navigable waters, not just those listed in the schedule.
    When I say “navigable water”, it is important to note that this term is code for any body of water or seasonal stream that can float a petroleum-produced canoe or kayak. These new rules include providing an opportunity for the public to express concerns over a work's impact on navigation.
     While noble in concept, we all know that this new provision has the potential to be abused by individuals and organizations ideologically opposed to certain projects. This bill is about undoing the good work of our previous Conservative government for spite, rather than implementing policy for the good of the country.
     In conclusion, I believe that Bill C-69 is a bad bill and completely unnecessary. While I have only touched on a small part of this bill, I know that its other elements, which my colleague, the member for Abbotsford and others have articulated, will have an equally damaging effect on the Canadian economy and the investment environment in Canada as a whole. This damaging bill is just another piece of bad policy that is causing investment and job creators to look at other countries and/or leave Canada.
     It is my sincere hope that the Liberals will reconsider what they are doing to Canada's economy and reputation with misguided pieces of legislation like this one.

  (1540)  

    Mr. Speaker, at the outset of her speech, the member said she believes that legislation, or amendments to legislation, today, in 2018, should reflect the original intent of legislation from over 100 years ago.
    I appreciate that original intent is an important component, but as the member knows, society evolves, concepts evolve, and that at the time the original act was passed, the notion of the environment did not exist. If we had spoken to somebody back then about the environment, they would have looked puzzled.
    Today the environment does matter. The new bill, in terms of assessing projects, will look at impacts on water levels. As a member of Parliament whose riding went through terrible flooding last spring, I would like to ask the member whether she believes that that added component of looking at impacts on water levels is a good thing?
    Mr. Speaker, the Navigation Protection Act and its predecessors were created to protect navigation, not to protect the environment. We have many other pieces of legislation that protect the environment, including the environment of our lakes, rivers and oceans.
     I do not believe I said that the changes to the current act were meant to reflect what was happening when our country became a nation. I was speaking to the Navigation Protection Act and the changes we made in 2012.
    Mr. Speaker, I heard my friend's comments loud and clear with respect to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Canada had the legislation since 1867, originally under our first prime minister. It remained virtually unchanged until the very significant changes in 2012.
    My friend and I will disagree. The omnibus budget bill, Bill C-45 in the fall of 2012, really did damage to our ability to protect navigable waters across Canada. This version in Bill C-69 represents a real improvement. The tragedy is that although the Minister of Transport has done a really good job in repairing that damage, because the impact assessment law does not create a requirement for a review of permits being given by the Minister of Transport, the whole system remains rather shattered, as it was by the budget bill and Bill C-38.
     Has she looked at the definition and not recognized that this new definition in Bill C-69 does in fact take into account that waterways that can be used only part of the year and are not actually used for human navigation will not trigger any governmental involvement in navigable waters?
    Mr. Speaker, we would have noted this. A schedule was put in place when the previous government made changes to the act. What the current government has done is kept the schedule and has now indicated that every other waterway will also be subject to the same regulations as the waterways on the schedule. Therefore, it begs the question as to why we have a schedule if it will encompass every waterway in the country.
    I will quote what my colleague, who was the lead on this bill made, had to say: “The proposed Impact Assessment Act adds a new planning phase that extends consultations and provides the Minister with the power to kill a project before it has been evaluated based on science.” It gives the minister the discretion to add whatever waterways to the schedule even though it seems a little redundant should he choose to use that discretion.

  (1545)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have heard from many farmers and ranchers in rural Canada about the changes in Bill C-69 and the impact they will have, especially when it comes to working on their own land. When they are working in spring runoff areas, little waterways and ditches, they will be forced to work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, even if someone cannot even get a raft or a balloon down that waterway. They are going to be treated like the last pirate of Saskatchewan is going to be sailing down the plain in his ship. It is going to cause a lot of burden and red tape for these farmers when they are trying to produce food and work on their land.
    Could my colleague talk about the impact the changes in Bill C-69 will have on the agriculture sector?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the very good work he does on behalf of our producers and agriculture across our country.
    When I made my remarks, I commented that it was important to note that “navigable water” was a code for any body of water or seasonal stream that could float a canoe or a kayak. I think that is very concerning to farmers across our country, certainly in Saskatchewan.
     We heard from SARM when we were studying the bill at committee. It was deeply concerned about the implications it would have for farmers and municipalities to do the work they needed to do in order to continue to provide for Canadians and to provide services to the people they represented.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have this opportunity to join the debate on Bill C-69. It is an opportunity that unfortunately many colleagues in the House will not be able to have. We are currently debating it under time allocation, so we have a limit of five hours to debate it.
    I want to walk the House through a little history lesson.
     If we go back to the 2015 election, the Liberals, particularly the Prime Minister, made a lot of promises during that campaign. One of them was a repeated promise that if the Liberals were elected, they would immediately restore a strengthened federal environmental assessment process. They made a commitment that they would not approve any projects without first enacting that strengthened assessment process to ensure decisions were based on science, facts, and evidence, and that they would serve the public interest.
    In fact, the Prime Minister made a visit to British Columbia. He came to Vancouver Island to the community of Esquimalt on August 20, 2015. People will know Esquimalt, because that is the home of the main Pacific naval base for Canada. He was asked specifically about the promise in the context of Kinder Morgan. He said, quite clearly, that the Kinder Morgan pipeline review process would have to be redone under stronger and more credible rules.
    However, what we have before us today, with Bill C-69, is a gargantuan bill, clocking in at 364 pages. It is too little too late, because we are now debating a bill after the government has approved Kinder Morgan and after it has announced the purchase of the pipeline.
    The bill comes to us roughly 28 months since the Liberals were elected. I have heard other members of Parliament express in this place that the bill should have gone to three separate committees. It should have gone to the transport committee, the natural resources committee, and the environment committee so each of those collective bodies, with the experience and knowledge that members attain while working on them, could have studied the constituent parts and called forth the appropriate witnesses.
     Instead, one committee was entrusted to this monumental task, this herculean task. I know the efforts of the member for Edmonton Strathcona in listening to the evidence and in trying to put forward amendments to see that the bill lived up to the promises the Liberal government had made. Unfortunately, due to the time constraints and the Liberal members on the committee not really listening to her, most of those amendments were defeated, and here we are at the report stage of the bill.
    I also want to go back to the time before Bill C-69 was introduced. The Liberals keep on saying that Kinder Morgan did go through a renewed review process. Well, let us just examine what they in fact set up.
    The Liberals had set up what was known as a “ministerial review panel”. In fact, that panel admitted that it lacked the time, the technical expertise, and the resources to fill the gaps in the National Energy Board process. It ended up with little more than questions that remained unanswered. They kept no public records of hearings, admitted that the meetings were hastily organized, and confirmed that they had a serious lack of public confidence in the National Energy Board and its recommendations.
    I attended one of those meetings when it came to Victoria. I remember the room unanimously coming out against Kinder Morgan. It was kind of a slapdash piece of work.
    Despite all of the setbacks of the ministerial review panel, its members still came out and acknowledged that Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline proposals could not proceed without a serious reassessment of its impacts on climate change commitments, indigenous rights, and marine mammal safety. Therefore, they, in a sense, were acknowledging the huge problems that existed with this project.
    The Liberals keep on openly wondering why there is such passionate opposition to this project, specifically in British Columbia where the risks are very much concentrated. It is because people did not have faith in the previous process. Many of them were lured to vote Liberal. They had hoped that the new Liberal government would actually live up to its promises.

  (1550)  

    Instead what they got was a ministerial review panel, judgment passed by the Liberal government before the facts, and now this bill, Bill C-69, which still has many problematic elements. One of the big ones is that the Minister of Environment will still have an arbitrary right to monitor environmental projects. It leaves them open to political influences instead of scientific evidence.
     Governments come and go. We may have an environment minister in one government whom the public can trust and know that the person's heart is in the right place, but if a new government comes in that has completely different leanings and gives that kind of power to ministers, it can sway its decisions according to which way the political winds blow. That is not the way to enact strong, scientific, consensus-based decision-making.
    I want to start framing this debate a bit more in the context of Kinder Morgan and the very fact that the government has made promises to get rid of subsidies to the oil and gas sector, that we are now last in the G7, and that the government has tried to strive to a 2025 goal.
     The Liberals have paid $4.5 billion for a 65-year-old pipeline, one that exports diluted bitumen, and this is just the cost of the existing infrastructure and not of anything that will come from it. I hear members from all sides talking about a national energy strategy, but this pipeline serves foreign interests. It is not accumulating the best value for our product.
     Diluted bitumen is the lowest grade of crude we can export. That is why it fetches the lowest prices. Expanding Kinder Morgan's capacity will not change the price. I see no incentive and I have seen no evidence that customers will be willing to pay more for the same product just because we can ship more volume. The existing pipeline exports 99% of it to California, so I would like to see evidence of all the buyers from Asia lining up at the door. They are currently not buying what Kinder Morgan is exporting today.
    The Liberals like to use a favourite phrase that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. There are a few things that are wrong with this. It supposes that the environment and the economy are equal partners. That is not the case. I would argue that there is a relationship, but the economy is very much the junior partner. When we start affecting our environment, when we start polluting the waterways, and we see the effects of climate change, the economic ravages that can have far outweigh any of the benefits we can get.
     There are economic opportunities in keeping in line with our environmental goals if we start to make the right investments into renewable energy. We have to see the way the world is going. This is 2018, and there is a trend. I want our country to take advantage of the economic opportunities of the 21st century economy, not invest in something that rightfully belongs in the 20th century.
     Along the way, we have to be speaking to current energy workers. We have to ensure they come along with us. Everyone acknowledges that the oil sands will not stop production tomorrow, but we need to have a plan where we talk about the just transition of those workers to bring them with us into the new energy economy, so Canada is best placed for the 21st century.
    I also want to talk about the Liberals' vote for Bill C-262 last week and how little those commitments mean this week.
     The member for Edmonton Strathcona tried repeatedly, both at committee and now at report stage, to insert language into Bill C-69 that would live up to what Bill C-262 would do. Bill C-262 seeks to bring the laws of Canada into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. If we look at all the report stage motions, we can see that the member for Edmonton Strathcona has tried to insert language in there that acknowledges the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and acknowledges the Constitution Act, 1982 and all of our commitments. I have been questioning Liberals repeatedly on this. Will they at least have some consistency and vote in support of those amendments, following their support for Bill C-262?
    This bill is too little too late. There are gaps in it that we could drive a bus through. While we appreciate some elements of the bill, we have to look at the whole thing.

  (1555)  

    When it is this large, there are just far too many negatives. They outweigh the positives. That is why the NDP is going to withhold its support for the bill. We were hoping for a lot more, and frankly, so were the Canadian people.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the member's speech. He delivered it with great clarity.
    It is often very difficult to ascertain exactly what subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are, because in some cases investments made with the help of government are aimed at greening that industry. That counts as support, I suppose, for a greener economy. However, often when people talk about the way we subsidize the fossil fuel industry, what they mean is that the industry is not paying for the externalities, for the contributions it makes to greenhouse gas emissions. Would the member not agree that the government's intent to place a price on carbon across the country is one way of eliminating probably the most important fossil fuel industry, which is the fact that we do not really yet have a polluter pay principle when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my Liberal colleague across the way that we need to put a price on pollution. That is why, when we were debating Bill C-74, we were very much in support of separating the new carbon tax act out of that bill so it could be properly studied at its own committee. That way, the government could have done the House a service in bringing forward the appropriate witnesses who could have laid clearly on the table the evidence that this approach works.
    My Conservative colleagues also have concerns that need to be addressed. I very much acknowledge that there are farmers and certain low-income individuals and industries that are still very fossil fuel dependent, so we need to construct the tax in a way that acknowledges the current fossil fuel users and helps them transition out of that situation. We need to structure the tax in a way that provides some benefit to low-income people while in the overall picture we try to transition our country to a fossil fuel-free future.

  (1600)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for my colleague. We work very well together on the agriculture committee. He touched on something when he pointed out that although we are talking about Bill C-69, this really is about a larger narrative.
    The government is making making significant decisions that will impact almost every aspect of our economy, whether it is energy, farming, ranching, or small business. As we have seen over the last few days, and certainly over the last couple of weeks, the Liberals are trying to ram these decisions through with little to no consultation either from members or from Canadians who are going to be impacted by this decision.
    I would like my colleague to talk about some of the things he is hearing in his constituency about the impact, or about the frustration from his residents as a result of the decisions being made by the Liberal government with no consultation with Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend from Foothills. I enjoy working with him as well. I return the compliment.
    When we look at how the Liberal government has treated the parliamentary process over the last few weeks, it has again lived up to another broken promise. The Liberal government came to power with a promise to respect how Parliament works, thus ensuring that members of the opposition and the constituents we represent would get to raise our voices. There has been increasing use of time allocation on huge bills, including the justice reform bill, a democratic reform bill, and an environmental assessment review bill. Limiting debate to five hours really does a disservice not only to us but to the Canadian public we represent.
    The Liberals were elected with 39% of the vote. We in the opposition collectively represent 61% of Canadians. They deserve to have their voices heard, and we should not be paying the price for the Liberals' mismanagement of the parliamentary calendar over the last few months.
    Mr. Speaker, many people in Vancouver Kingsway have great concerns about the government's purchase of the Kinder Morgan pipeline with $4.5 billion of their money. We know as well that the pipeline itself will cost at least another $7.5 billion to build and another $3 billion in indemnities. We are talking about using at least $15 billion of taxpayer dollars to build expanded fossil fuel infrastructure.
    If Canada has to meet our Paris Agreement commitments and if our job is to reduce fossil fuel emissions and greenhouse gas emissions, can the member square that idea with the notion of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure by using the Kinder Morgan pipeline to triple bitumen exports through the port of Vancouver? Also, could he comment briefly on whether he thinks it is reasonable for the government to be in its third year of government and still not have any price on pollution?
    Mr. Speaker, I think my friend from Vancouver Kingsway has hit on the point: This decision to expand Kinder Morgan makes a mockery of the government's climate change commitments if we look at some of the key facts and figures associated with climate change and the economic costs that will come to Canada.
     We are seeing increased natural disasters, flooding, droughts, forest fires. These all have very real impacts on the Canadian economy. Over the next few decades, they will far outweigh the kinds of economic impacts anyone hopes to gain from approving projects like this. I would argue that the greatest economic input comes from looking ahead to the end of the 21st century and where we want Canada to be at that point and starting to invest in those technologies today.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to debate Bill C-69.
    It is obvious that Bill C-69 would ensure that major private sector pipelines will never see the light of day. This Liberal Bill C-69 will forever be known as a black death to the oil and gas sector, killing jobs from coast to coast to coast. The Liberal government has enacted a series of anti-resource policies and has sent signals that discourage economic growth. The hikes in tax rates, increased capital gains taxes, which entrepreneurs are averse to, and the carbon tax all affect investment in Canada. We have witnessed that Liberal policies and lack of action on the energy file have chased over $80 billion out of our country, taking with them hundreds of thousands of jobs.
    When I was first elected, anyone across the country who was willing to work could find a job in Alberta. Those willing to work hard, often more than 40 hours a week, could support their families, send their kids for post-secondary education, and still save for the future. Small businesses across Alberta were also booming from the economic activity that the industry brought into almost every town and community in the province. That is not the case today. An oil crash later, a provincial government change, and a federal government change have all Albertans concerned for their future.
    The global price of oil will always fluctuate, but what many Canadians do not know is that we do not receive the price per barrel that is commonly reported. The price reported is the North American benchmark, West Texas Intermediate. Our oil is traded as Western Canadian Select. The difference between the two prices is about $34 a barrel, on average. The good news is that pipelines can help to close that gap in prices. The more access we have to markets other than the United States, the better the deal we can obtain.
    Instead of supporting the building of these pipelines, the Liberal government has introduced regulation after regulation to cripple the industry and deter investment. Today we are talking about the unpopular move that the Liberal government has struck against the west and our oil industry by robbing the National Energy Board of most of its powers through the creation of the Canadian energy regulator.
    The National Energy Board has served as a world-class regulator for the natural resource sector since its creation in 1959. Since then, it has reviewed and approved major energy projects across Canada. Over the last decade, the NEB has approved the pipelines Alberta desperately needs, which made it a target for political interference. When the Liberal government took power, the natural resource minister's mandate letter called on him to “Modernize the National Energy Board to ensure that its composition reflects regional views and has sufficient expertise in fields such as environmental science, community development, and Indigenous traditional knowledge.”
    While the government believes Bill C-69 would complete this mandate, I would like to cover how this bill would drive investment out of Canada.
    One of the changes the bill would bring in is the establishment of timelines. The government claims that there will be timelines of 450 days for major projects and 300 days for minor projects, respectively, pursuant to subclauses 183(4) and 214(4). While many Conservatives are in favour of timelines for projects, the devil is in the details, and unfortunately we did not have time or enough witnesses at our round tables to go over these details. The application process can be dragged out, and that will not be considered in the timelines. The lead commissioner will be given the ability to exclude time. Lastly and most importantly, the minister can approve or deny an application before it even gets to the assessment phase. We only have to look at the cancelled northern gateway pipeline to see that the government has no problem putting national interests on hold and dismissing a pipeline for political reasons.
    I am also concerned about the changes to the NEB standing test. Currently, individuals and organizations directly affected by the project or capable of providing valuable knowledge are heard by the National Energy Board. The new rules would allow anyone to participate and be heard. This would ensure that groups who oppose all energy projects across Canada will be given a bigger voice. Groups outside of Canada will be given a voice as well, and they do not have our best interests at heart.
     I can only imagine what our global competitors think of this legislation. It would give them the opportunity to fund groups that will oppose every project that has the ability to threaten their market share. To think that this will not occur in the future is foolish and short-sighted.

  (1605)  

    Briefly, I would like to bring your attention to the projects that have died under the Liberals' watch.
    The Prime Minister imposed offshore drilling bans in the Northwest Territories without notice to the territorial governments, which killed exploration and future development, and the Petronas-backed NorthWest LNG megaproject on the west coast was cancelled. The Liberal government has ever-changing policies and roadblocks, which led to the cancellation of energy east. The Liberals also cancelled the Conservative-approved pipeline project known as the northern gateway, which would have brought our oil to tidewater. They legislated the northern B.C. coastline tanker ban, which will ensure projects like the northern gateway and Eagle Spirit will never be possible.
    In addition, many Canadians and experts are concerned over the purchase of a 65-year-old pipeline at twice its book value, but the biggest concern is the current condition of the pipeline.
    Some of the questions I have are these: What is the life expectancy of the 65-year-old pipeline? What is the projected cost of the maintenance and upgrade of the 65-year-old infrastructure? Will the newly created crown corporation be self-sufficient or end up like the CBC, dependent on taxpayer handouts? Will the construction of the twinning of the pipeline be subject to Bill C-69? Did the government assume all liability from Kinder Morgan, including liabilities from the past?
    We should all recognize that the natural resource sector has brought tremendous wealth to my riding, all of Alberta, and Canada. The oil sands alone have brought $7.4 billion to the Canadian economy outside of Alberta: $3.9 billion to Ontario, $1.3 billion to British Columbia, $1.2 billion to Quebec, $333 million to Newfoundland, $143 million to Manitoba, $142 million to Saskatchewan, $96.7 million to Nova Scotia, $50.8 million to New Brunswick, $11.4 million to the Northwest Territories, $6.3 million to Prince Edward Island, $1.6 million to Yukon, and the list goes on. These figures include everything from especially made overalls to high technology for reducing global emissions.
    Members need to consider that if we keep our resources in the ground, as environmentalist David Suzuki wants us to do, we are not saving the environment; we are just moving resource development to countries around the world that have lower safety standards and lower environmental protections. I believe that if resources are needed, it is better that they come from here and not from human rights abusers and dictators.
     I know that many members of Parliament have voted for regulations of every type and will continue to do so. What they need to consider before voting on this bill is that we are part of a global market. Right now we are competing with countries across the world to sell our goods and attract investment.
    We only need to look across the border to see a government intent on bringing in billions of dollars of investments and the jobs that come with them. Since taking office, the Trump administration has given the energy industry a tremendous amount of confidence to invest by cutting regulations and taxes. Future natural resource jobs in my riding, in Alberta, and across Canada are at stake if this bill passes, and that is why my Conservative colleagues and I stand against this bill.

  (1610)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my friend from Fort McMurray—Cold Lake. I am a little puzzled, and I wonder if he could share with us the current numbers for employment and business activity.
    In Hamilton, we are very proud to have one of the lowest unemployment rates of all Canadian cities, at 4.2%, and we have two new orders of 1,000 grain cars each from CN and CP at the railcar facility in my riding. Those grain cars will be applied to the economy of the west.
    I have limited knowledge of northern B.C., and my friend will know why. The unemployment rate in the cities I have some familiarity with dropped drastically over the past year or so, to half of what it was. Could my friend be clear on just what the employment activity is like in the Fort McMurray—Cold Lake area?

  (1615)  

     Mr. Speaker, I can tell you which industries are doing great and flourishing. The Food Bank is up 340%, which is wonderful. We have overcrowded homeless shelters. We have families living in cars because they cannot afford their mortgages. That is our reality. Just because your region is doing well, that does not mean mine is—
     An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    We sometimes switch from a third person to a second person scenario. I do try to stay alert to those times when the “you” word is used in a rhetorical sense, as opposed to when it is directed to a particular member. Having said that, I do try to let members finish their thought, and if I sense that an intervention is required, I will do that.
    The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I wanted to differentiate between two regions. If members want to take issue with it, they can send me an email. I would appreciate that.
    However, I am looking at businesses shutting their doors. We have businesses that base their business model on certain criteria that are not there any longer. Our economy in Fort McMurray—Cold Lake is suffering. We have to look at getting our product to market, and the pipeline is very important. It is unfortunate, but I believe we are going to have ribbon-cutting and then a new study, and nothing is going to happen for years.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, if the member wants to talk about the economy and jobs, let us do that. It is estimated that governments around the world will invest $5,000 billion in clean, renewable energy by 2030. That translates into many good and well-paid jobs.
    In the meantime, what is Canada investing in? We just invested $4.5 billion in a pipeline. We are investing in non-renewable energy, dirty energy, with existing jobs that unfortunately will not last very long.
    Does my colleague not think that we should instead have a greater vision, one that will have more longer term benefits for the people of his region, and not the short-sighted vision of investing in non-renewable energy?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, why can green energy and carbon-related energy not go hand in hand? Eventually, one industry will overtake the other, but it is going to take time. Currently, there is a great demand for oil. We have abundant oil. It is a very important part of our economy. Let us invest in both.
    I do not believe that taxpayers should be on the hook to get this done. We have private corporations willing to put the pipeline in, but the Liberal government did nothing for a long time, not clearing the way for the private sector to get this pipeline constructed.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise here today to speak to Bill C-69, one of the most important attempts to modernize our environmental protection laws in Canada.
    In large part, I think it was meant to deal with some of the actions of the Conservative government, which gutted a lot of our environmental protection laws in the previous Parliament through changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, et cetera. We dealt with fisheries in Bill C-68, but Bill C-69 is an answer to try to fix some of the other acts that were radically changed by the previous government.
    I have to say, off the top, how disappointed I am that the government not only brought in this bill as an omnibus bill, a huge bill, well over 300 pages long, but it moved time allocation in the first debate after only two hours. It moved time allocation on the bill yesterday as well. This is a bill that really should get fulsome debate. I am disappointed that not only did the government move time allocation, but it took so long to bring in this bill.
    The NDP originally asked the Speaker to rule this an omnibus bill so that we could deal with it separately. The government agreed that we could vote on the navigable waters section separately. We also asked that the bill be split up for committee study. The first section, on the impact assessment, is ideally suited for study by the environment committee. The central part, which deals with the National Energy Board and the Canadian energy regulator, belongs with the natural resources committee. The navigation protection section, obviously, should have gone to the transport committee.
    That division of labour would have provided for a thorough and efficient study. Instead, the whole bill was thrust onto the environment committee, where, with impossible deadlines, many important witnesses could not testify. I was contacted early on by a consortium of Canadian scientists who had studied this and wanted to present evidence before the committee. This was not a single scientist; these were a lot of the important environment scientists in Canada. They were denied access to the committee simply because, I imagine, there were too many witnesses trying to testify before the committee in those tight timelines.
    At committee, the NDP submitted over 100 amendments, none of which were accepted. Tellingly, the government submitted over 100 amendments of its own. This tells me that the legislation was clearly rushed into the House and should have been written with more care.
    The Liberals are hashtagging this bill #BetterRules, but the Canadian Environmental Law Association, the legal experts who arguably know more about this subject than most Canadians and most politicians, has said that this legislation in neither better, nor rules.
    I will quote from a briefing note prepared by Richard Lindgren of the Canadian Environmental Law Association:
    [T]he IAA is not demonstrably “better” than CEAA 2012. To the contrary, the IAA replicates many of the same significant flaws and weaknesses found within the widely discredited CEAA 2012....
    [T]he IAA does not establish a concise rules-based regime that provides clarity, consistency, and accountability during the information-gathering and decision-making process established under the Act. Instead, the key stages of the proposed impact assessment process are subject to considerable (if not excessive) discretion enjoyed by various decision-makers under the IAA.
    At the most fundamental level, for example, it currently remains unclear which projects will actually be subject to the IAA.... [It] contains no benchmarks or criteria to provide direction on the type, scale, or potential effects of projects that should be designated under the new law.
    I would like to spend a little while speaking more to the second part of the bill, the energy regulator section.
    This section disbands the National Energy Board and creates a new but rather similar body called the Canadian energy regulator. The section opens with a preamble and a statement of purpose. Surprisingly, in this day and age of a brave new world of energy, neither makes reference to linkages between energy and climate. In fact, there is no mention at all of climate in this entire section.

  (1620)  

    Much of the public work of the old NEB was about regulating pipelines. One could easily come to the conclusion that this is a case of closing the barn door after the horses have left, since it seems unlikely that the new regulator will ever have to review an application for a major new oil pipeline.
    The Minister of Natural Resources has risen countless times in this place declaring that the government has restored confidence in the energy regulation system, and that is why the Kinder Morgan pipeline can be built. Unfortunately, he is deeply misinformed.
    A couple of months ago, I met with Dr. Monica Gattinger of the Positive Energy group at the University of Ottawa, who studies this very issue of public confidence in energy issues, and Nik Nanos, whose polling firm had asked Canadians about that confidence. Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Nanos found that public confidence in the Canadian energy regulation system was at an all-time low. If we thought it was low during the Harper government, it has continued to decline, and now only 2% of Canadians have strong confidence in the energy regulation system. That lack of confidence is shared by members of the public on both sides of the issue: it is lowest in both Alberta and British Columbia. It results in situations like the Kinder Morgan impasse. I should mention that the last time I heard the minister speak on this subject, he did admit that confidence was suddenly a problem in this area.
    The Liberals promised during the last election to put the Kinder Morgan proposal through a new, stronger review system, but instead sent a three-member ministerial panel on a quick tour along the pipeline route, giving communities, first nations, governments, and the concerned public almost no advance warning to prepare their presentations. No record was made of the proceedings.
    Despite the serious shortcomings of this process, the panel came up with six questions that it said the government would have to answer before making its decision about Kinder Morgan. I will mention only the first three.
    First, can the construction of the Trans Mountain expansion be reconciled with Canada's climate commitments?
    Second, how can pipeline projects be properly assessed in the absence of a comprehensive national energy strategy?
    Third, how can the review of this pipeline project be squared with the government's commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?
    I would suggest that none of these questions was answered, even in part, before the government made its decision to approve the Kinder Morgan expansion, and none of them were answered before the government bought the pipeline, which was actually the old pipeline. This leaves a lot of questions about how the government is to regulate itself in getting that pipeline built.
    Amazingly, none of those questions are properly answered in the legislation before us, which comes two years after the Kinder Morgan decision. After the government has accepted Bill C-262, which calls for government legislation to be consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, there is no mention of this in the body of Bill C-69. Only after much pressure did the government agree to put it in the preamble, where it would have no legal effect.
    We need to restore the confidence of Canadians in our energy regulatory system and in our environmental impact processes. Without that confidence, it will be increasingly difficult for Canadian companies to develop our natural resources, which are at the heart of our national economy.
     The Liberals continue to pretend they are doing good, but they are all talk and no action, or as we say in the west, all hat and no cattle. We need bold action to build a new regulatory system that gives voice to all concerned Canadians.

  (1625)  

    Mr. Speaker, I was listening carefully to what my hon. colleague was saying. It raises the question of how we go forward. Clearly, the intent of the work that was done, partially in the committee on which I sit, was to try to improve public confidence and strike a balance between what the Conservatives had tried to do and had not done very well, and what was necessarily needed.
    If we were to follow what we have heard from the NDP so far, would we basically be what I would call a banana republic—i.e., build absolutely nothing, absolutely nowhere, at any time, because the hurdles the member suggests we would have to clear in order to build something like a pipeline would be impossible?
    Mr. Speaker, let us go back to the polling done by Positive Energy. It found that Canadians have very low confidence. Nanos Research found that Canadians felt that the way to move forward was to listen to first nations peoples and to communities. We have to listen to those people and put their messages into our decisions, and that will restore Canadians' confidence.
    For instance, a lot of people across the country are concerned about Kinder Morgan and how it squares with our climate action plan. The government talks a good talk about taking action on climate change, but in reality it could move forward much more boldly. It could have put that $4.5 billion into climate action. A lot of Canadians would have more confidence in the oil and gas industry if they knew it were squared with our climate action. That is the way we have to go.

  (1630)  

    Mr. Speaker, as much as I want to join in the conversation and keep discussing climate, in looking at Bill C-69 I really want to make a point and ask the hon. member for his commentary.
    We had an expert panel on EA. The government spent over $1 million to get its advice, and that advice was very clear: the projects subject to review must include much more than the large controversial projects, and we must ensure that all areas of federal jurisdiction are covered. Smaller projects can do serious environmental damage. I want to ask my hon. colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay about this, as he has an extensive scientific background. Smaller projects are not going to be caught at all by Bill C-69.
     This is about the review of a couple of dozen projects a year, all big ones. That is a fatal mistake for a federal government to make. It will be fatal to our environment. Smaller projects can destroy a species and wipe out a key ecosystem, and we will never even know about it. That is what I would like to ask my hon. colleague to comment on.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government did a lot of consultation on this legislation, and that is a good thing, I suppose. It did delay the introduction of the bill. As the member said, the advice from all that consultation was largely ignored. This kind of action does not help to gain public confidence in our regulatory systems or in our impact assessments.
    I hear complaints from industry about some industries being subject far more often to these impact assessments, the mining industry especially, than other industries, like the oil and gas industry, which is largely exempt. That is how we sow the seeds of discontent on many sides.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, earlier, in my question to a Conservative member from Cold Lake, I stated that billions and billions of dollars are being invested in renewable energy around the world and those investments are creating good jobs. In Canada, however, we are still investing in non-renewable energy such as petroleum. Then my colleague asked why can we not invest in both.
    I will put that question to my NDP colleague: why should we not invest in both?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are going to invest in both, to some extent, but if we are going to put up government investment, we should invest for the future. We just bought a pipeline for $4.5 billion. Pipelines are infrastructure and they are meant to last for as long as 50 years.
    We should have invested in the energy of the future, in renewable energies. We agreed on the world stage to stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry, to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, and yet Canada has become the biggest world subsidizer of fossil fuel.
    We are moving entirely in the wrong direction.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, Justice; the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Child Care; and the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Foreign Affairs.

[Translation]

    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.
     Mr. Speaker, this is a first for me. I am using my tablet to deliver my speech. We all need to row in the same direction, and every Canadian must be part of the effort to protect our planet. Today I am pleased to rise to debate Bill C-69, an act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
    We believe in taking action and building on what we have already done to ensure that Canada remains an environmental leader. Those of us on this side of the House believe that. As I often say, the Liberal Party likes labelling the Conservative Party as anti-environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will keep saying that as long as the Liberals keep slapping a label on us that in no way reflects how hard Conservative men and women are working for the environment.
    My Green Party colleague called this bill incredibly weak earlier today. This, from a party whose primary focus is the environment. I find this surprising coming from that member, but I completely agree with her. I agree that this massive bill is weak and unacceptable, and it does not meet the objective of protecting the environment for our children and grandchildren.
    I am a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and I want to work. This committee has good intentions, and we would like to implement measures to improve the environment. However, I would guess that this government probably forced the chair, who is from the governing party, to pressure the committee to introduce a bill quickly. This is irresponsible.
    It is irresponsible because the environment is important to all Canadians and to the members of the Conservative Party of Canada. These kinds of actions are unacceptable.
    I will explain what happened in committee. We received 150 briefs totalling 2,250 pages within a month and a half. Fifty organizations appeared before the committee, 100 were not able to appear but submitted briefs, and 400 amendments were moved, including about 100 by the Liberal Party of Canada.
    I would like to point out that, just like all Canadians, all MPs are human beings. If we want to do a good job, we need time to do research and to read, so that we are not saying just anything. We have to be rigorous and conscientious. If this government really intended to put together something to protect the environment, it would not have acted this way.
    On another matter, in the 2015 election campaign, the Liberal Party of Canada had this to say on page 39 of its platform:
    Canadians want a government they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy. Stephen Harper has done neither. Our plan will deliver the economic growth and jobs Canadians need, and leave to our children and grandchildren a country even more beautiful, more sustainable, and more prosperous than the one we have now.

  (1635)  

    It seems important to them to talk about Stephen Harper, who was our prime minister and someone I am very proud of. What was our economy like when the Liberal government took over? It was doing very well. We introduced a balanced budget in 2015, and we left the Liberals with the tools they needed to keep it going, but this spendthrift government managed to create a structural deficit.
    The 2019 election cannot come soon enough. This government is going to run a deficit of over $80 billion during its term, so let us hurry up and put the Conservatives back in power so that we can provide sound economic management.
    With regard to the previous Conservative government's supposed failure, as I mentioned, here are some of the practical measures that it put in place. The Liberals like to say that we are anti-environment, but that is completely false. I will set out the facts and give concrete examples.
     We created the clean air regulatory agenda. We established new standards to reduce car and light truck emissions. We established new standards to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and their engines. We proposed regulations to align ourselves with the U.S. Working Group III standards for vehicle emissions and sulphur in gasoline. We sought to limit HFCs, black carbon, and methane. We established new rules to reduce emissions from carbon-based electricity generation. We implemented measures to support the development of carbon capture technologies. We implemented measures to support the development of alternative energy sources. We enhanced the government's annual report on the main environmental indicators, including greenhouse gases. We, the big bad conservatives, even abolished tax breaks for the oil sands. In 2007, we invested $1.5 billion in the ecotrust program. It was not a centralist program like the Liberals tend to introduce. Rather, it was a program that worked well with the provinces.
    Do you know who sang our praises? Greenpeace, that is who. Wow. We must not be as bad as all that when it comes to the environment. Maybe someday the Liberals will realize that we Conservatives are not here to destroy the planet.
    I would like to point out that I, a Conservative MP, established a circular economy committee in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. Why would I waste time doing that if I were anti-environment? That is real action. In my view, and in the view of all the witnesses I had the privilege of hearing at the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, Bill C-69 is unacceptable. The witnesses told me and the rest of the committee that this bill is nothing but the usual Liberal window dressing.
    I am obliged to say that I personally, along with the other members of the Conservative Party, cannot accept this bill. We want to move things forward, but the government across the aisle does not.
    We are willing and able to contribute and help the people across the aisle implement proactive, productive, efficient, and rigorous measures. However, it takes time to do that. Let us give ourselves the tools we need to respect the environment instead of defiling it. Let us implement a process that will protect the environment.
    In their electoral platform, the Liberals said they wanted to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren. First of all, environmentally speaking, this bill accomplishes nothing. Secondly, financially speaking, we are going to mortgage the lives of our children and grandchildren. That is unacceptable.
    On that note, I know my time is running out. I am now ready to take questions from my colleagues here in the wonderful House of Commons.

  (1640)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his fine speech. He is always so full of energy and enthusiasm. He had an opportunity to talk about what he sees as positive things that happened under the Conservative government. I work with him on the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, and we have a good rapport. However, we do not agree on the ideology and key principles that separate the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.
    Canadians are very smart, and they saw how the Conservatives work. One thing Canadians really wanted was a pipeline to transport our oil from its source to markets all over the world. Since we came to power, the Conservatives have been asking us incessantly to guarantee a way to get our oil to market. They were in power for 10 years and did not build a single kilometre of pipeline.
    Can my colleague tell us why the Conservatives were unable to solve this problem for 10 years?
    Perhaps he should be congratulating us on ensuring the success of this major project while also making changes to protect the environment.

  (1645)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my excellent colleague from Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, whom I like as a person. We have the privilege of sitting together on the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. He is quite a character, and we get along well because we are both very expressive.
    What he needs to understand is that we left private enterprise to do its job. We put the necessary measures in place so that oil companies could make investments. We do not believe that the party in power promised voters during the election that it would nationalize the oil sector.
    The Liberals claim to have created jobs. They did not create any jobs, they added something that already existed. They merely protected jobs. Instead of investing $4.5 billion in a pipeline, I would have liked them to invest in sustainable development, innovation, and green technologies. That $4.5 billion is now stuck in a pipeline.
    To me it is unacceptable to invest in something that has no added value. Let us not forget that the second pipeline that is supposed to run alongside the Trans Mountain pipeline has not yet been built.
    My colleague needs to understand that it makes no sense to invest $4.5 billion in this pipeline.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is good to hear my colleague's very passionate speech about the environment.
     In the previous government, the Conservatives took away the final say in the decision-making process on these projects from the regulator, the National Energy Board, and gave it to cabinet. Bill C-69 would entrench that in law, and would expand it. The minister would have tremendous discretion, throughout this document, at every step of the regulatory process. Does he agree with that decision to give the minister so much discretion?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay for his question. We had breakfast together this morning to talk about an environmental issue, and it was great. We were invited by people who care about the environment.
    The committee was told that this bill is worthless and will not improve the process. I have to tell my colleague that I agree with him. This bill accomplishes nothing and gives the Minister of Environment even more powers. She has final say, but her Liberal buddies and the government will be giving her instructions to approve a pipeline project or other environmental project.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately it is not an honour for me to rise to speak to Bill C-69, which would create some burdensome regulation and red tape and add additional uncertainty to our natural resource sector.
    Over the last few months, we have seen the impact the policies of the Liberal government on this industry and the jobs that go with it.
    Bill C-69 has not even gone through the House yet, has not been given third reading, but we have already seen the ramifications of it. The private sector has seen the writing on the wall and is divesting itself of their interests in Canada: Statoil, Shell, BP, and certainly Kinder Morgan, which has made a substantial profit from the Canadian taxpayers of $4.5 billion on the purchase of an existing pipeline. As part of those companies divesting themselves of their interests in Canada, they have also taken $86 billion in new investment and new opportunities to other jurisdictions.
     Let us be clear: these companies are not going to stop investing in the energy sectors, but they are going to stop investing in the Canadian energy sector. They are taking those dollars to other jurisdictions. They are going to be investing in places like Kazakhstan, Texas, and the Middle East, not in Canada. Unfortunately, we will suffer the consequences when it comes to our economic opportunities.
    I want to take an opportunity to clarify something we heard again in question period today. The Liberals keep touting themselves as somehow building a pipeline to tidewater. All this $4.5 billion has done is purchased an existing pipeline. It does not remove any of the obstacles to the building of the Trans Mountain expansion. In fact, the Liberal purchase of this pipeline, which we heard is closer to $2 billion in market value than $4.5 billion, does not build one inch of new pipeline to tidewater. They should be very clear that this purchase does nothing. It removes none of the obstacles that the provincial Government of B.C. has put forward. It does not remove any of the protesters who will be blocking the construction of the pipeline. It does not remove any of the judicial challenges that opponents of the pipeline have put forward.
    When the Liberal Prime Minister had opportunity to show some leadership, stand with Canada's energy sector, and use section 92 of the British North America Act, the constitutional tools he had to ensure the project was done, he did none of those things. This will cost our economy thousands of jobs.
    I want to make another thing very clear, and I think my colleagues across the floor do not quite understand this. These jobs are not for wrench monkeys and roughnecks, which are also extremely important, as they are the backbone of our energy sector, but they are for highly skilled individuals. They are engineers, geophysicists, and geologists. I have spoken to many of them in western Canada. Some of them have been without jobs for more than two years. These are highly skilled individuals who will go to other areas of the world to find work, and they will not come back. It will be very hard to attract these highly skilled individuals back to Canada.
    I have spoken about the impact this has had on western Canada. I have certainly spoken to many of these unemployed energy sector workers in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C. However, the Liberal government also needs to understand that the implications of its decisions on the energy sector ripple right across the country. I would like to talk about just one example.
    A General Electric plant in Peterborough, Ontario, made turbines for the pipelines across Canada. General Electric had announced plans to expand that facility should energy east, Trans Mountain, or northern gateway be approved and move forward. However, when energy east was killed on a political decision by the Liberal government, and after the foot-dragging and mismanagement of the Trans Mountain decision, General Electric announced it would close its plant in Peterborough, costing 350 jobs.
     Therefore, the ramifications of the Liberal decisions, lack of action on Canada's energy sector, and the Prime Minister saying we are going to phase out the oil sands have real consequences across the country. These 350 jobs in Peterborough, Ontario, are now gone because of the Liberal decision on the energy sector. These families in Peterborough are now going to have to find new work.

  (1655)  

    I do not think our colleagues across the floor really do understand that. In fact, the Liberal member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha supported killing energy east and supported Bill C-69. She is not fighting for her own constituents. She is not fighting for the jobs of those families in her own riding. The Liberals are making an ideological decision to listen to the vocal minority of activists.
    Even today, my colleague from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek talked about how great things were in Hamilton because it was building all these grain cars. I am not too sure how all these new grain cars help the energy sector. They will not be hauling oil in grain cars because we do not have a pipeline. Maybe he is anticipating that the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have lost their jobs in the energy sector are all of a sudden going to start farming. I do not think that is a real solution.
    The solution is standing behind our energy sector, championing it and the jobs it creates and the social infrastructure it supports. That is the direction we should be supporting, not trying to find new jobs for those who have lost their positions. These are very well-paying middle-class jobs across the country, jobs that have now been lost in places like Fort McMurray, Calgary, Leduc, and certainly in Peterborough, Ontario, because of these ideological decisions. Bill C-69 would simply make matters worse.
    We have heard from stakeholders and employees in the energy sector. They say that one of the most important drivers of investment in Canada has been that confidence, that reliability, and that regulatory certainty in Canada. Bill C-69 would do everything it possibly could to dismantle that certainty in our regulatory process.
    The process is being politicized. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change would have the sole responsibility to decide whether a project would be for the greater good or in the national interest. One person, one minister, would have that decision.
    Let us say an investor or a large energy company has an opportunity to apply for a project in Canada. It goes through all the regulatory processes and does all of its environmental assessment studies and financial assessments. However, as part of Bill C-69, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change will have the authority to say no even before it has its foot in the door. Even if it has passed all those environmental assessments, even if it has the support of first nations and communities along the way, even if it is proven to be in the national interest, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has the authority to say that it is not something the government supports. That is what happened with energy east. The government put so many double standard burdens upon that project that there was no way the stakeholder would go ahead with it. That is what we are seeing as part of this process.
    I spoke earlier about the ramifications this had on the sector and how we saw a government make ideological decisions, not decisions made on consultation with Canadians, not decisions based on science, not decisions that are fiscally based, and certainly not decisions based on economics. For example, let us look at agriculture.
     This week or last week the Minister of Agriculture said that the vast majority of Canadian farmers supported the carbon tax. That was patently false, and we have heard that it is false. The Liberals are making decisions contrary to what Canadians are asking them to do. That is where this becomes extremely frustrating.
    Farmers have reduced their use of diesel fuel by 200 million litres a year. Our energy sector now takes a third of the carbon footprint to produce one barrel of oil than it took 10 years ago. Members are going ask why the government is not investing in renewable energy and fossil fuels. Who do they think has been doing all the investing in renewable resources? It is our fossil fuel companies. Those are the ones which have the funds to invest, and they have been doing it for decades.
    Why does the taxpayer have to be doing this when the private sector has already been doing it, and doing it successfully for decades? What the sector is asking for is for the government to get out of its way. It wants the government to let it do what it has been doing successfully, better than anybody in the world for generations. It just wants to do its job and get back to work.
    Mr. Speaker, there was certainly a lot in that presentation. I am not so sure, though, what was relevant to the topic at hand. If we are here to debate a bill and find ways to make it better so it achieves the goals and objectives we collectively, as a nation and certainly as a government have set out, what would be the three key things my hon. colleague would like to put forward to strengthen the bill to ensure it achieves what the Conservatives believe it should achieve?

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    Mr. Speaker, I find it a little ironic that the member is asking what we would like to put forward. The Liberals should give us a chance to have a fulsome debate and discussion on these bills, rather than ramming them through with time allocation.
    Are they listening? I do not believe they are. Conservatives put forward amendments on Bill C-69 that they refused, as well as on every other bill. I have just one piece of advice on how to strengthen Bill C-69: scrap it.
    Mr. Speaker, in his speech, the member spent some time talking about the discretion the minister would have with this bill, and that is certainly one of the big concerns the NDP has: the rampant discretion at every step of the way in impact assessments.
    I have to note that it was the Conservatives who brought in that ministerial cabinet discretion when they changed the way the NEB operated. It used to