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View Bruce Stanton Profile

Question No. 1153--
Ms. Françoise Boivin:
With regard to Edgar Schmidt v. The Attorney General of Canada, as of March 31, 2015: (a) how many hours have public servants devoted to this legal challenge; (b) how much money has the government spent on the challenge; and (c) what resources has the government employed with respect to the challenge and how much money has been allocated to each of these resources?
Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege or litigation privilege, the federal crown asserts that privilege and, in the following case, has waived that privilege only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs.
The total legal cost is approximately $175,021.30.

Question No. 1158--
Ms. Elizabeth May:
With regard to the government’s actions to combat climate change: (a) what is the progress on the development and implementation of regulations on the oil and gas industry according to the sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that is listed on the government’s www.climatechange.gc.ca website; (b) when does the government expect to introduce regulations on the oil and gas industry; (c) what factors are being considered by the government to develop regulations on the oil and gas industry; (d) what stakeholders are being consulted by the government to develop regulations on the oil and gas industry; (e) how many meetings with oil and gas industry stakeholders has the government held since it first began developing the regulations; (f) including the cost of consultation meetings, staff, and any other expenses not mentioned above, what has been the total cumulative cost to date of developing the oil and gas regulation policy; (g) will the government meet the Conference of Parties' (COP) 21 process deadlines outlined in decisions 1/CP.19 and 1/CP.20 to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) “well in advance” of the twenty-first session of the COP; and (h) why was the government not ready to submit its INDCs by the first quarter of 2015, the decisions suggested deadline?
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), through its sector-by-sector regulatory approach, the Government of Canada is working to ensure that it achieves results for Canadians and the environment. This approach will result in real emission reductions, while maintaining Canada’s economic competitiveness and supporting job creation opportunities for Canadians.
With respect to the oil and gas sector, as announced on May 15, 2015, Canada intends to bring forward regulations aligned with recently proposed actions in the U.S. to reduce the potent greenhouse gas methane from the oil and gas sector. Actions in this area lead to significant reductions in emissions while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive.
With regard to (b), as the regulations are still being developed, it would be premature to comment further.
With regard to (c), the Government of Canada is focused on an approach for GHG regulations that will reduce emissions while continuing to create jobs and that will encourage the growth of the Canadian economy. Because of the integration of the Canadian and American energy sectors, action in this area would be aligned with the proposed actions in the United States to ensure Canadian companies remain competitive within the North American marketplace.
With regard to (d), Environment Canada has engaged other governments and met with representatives of oil and gas industry associations, and oil and gas and related industry companies. Environment Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and work co-operatively with provinces and territories to reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector.
With regard to (e), since October 2011, representatives from Environment Canada have met with or had teleconference calls with industry stakeholders approximately 80 times to discuss aspects of the development of GHG regulations for the oil and gas sector.
With regard to (f), Environment Canada has no database that records project-specific staff time costs. Based on readily available information, Environment Canada’s estimated total cumulative costs to date of developing the oil and gas regulation policy is approximately $638,000. This does not include salary costs for the full-time EC staff.
With regard to (g), the answer is yes, the Government of Canada announced its intended nationally determined contributions, INDCs, on May 15, 2015.
With regard to (h), Canada submitted its contribution well in advance of COP 21 as agreed to in the negotiations. The first quarter of 2015 was not a deadline.
View Ed Komarnicki Profile
View Ed Komarnicki Profile
2015-05-28 17:30 [p.14318]
That, in the opinion of the House, all Members of Parliament should be allowed to vote freely on all matters of conscience.
He said: Mr. Speaker, my motion has a number of significant points that I am asking the House to support: first, that the motion apply to every member, regardless of rank or position in the House or party, and on all matters that come before the House captured by this motion whether in the nature of private members' motions or bills, government bills, motions or other legislative initiatives; second, that members be allowed to vote freely, meaning without order or demand by party leaders, House leaders, whips or anyone else in the party structure, to vote in a certain or particular way on pain of censure or sanction if they will not; and third, that this would be so in matters of conscience.
There may be a great deal of debate and some difference of opinion on what are matters of conscience. I can, however, say with a great deal of confidence that matters relating to life, more particularly to the termination of life at any time from the point of conception to the point of natural death, would easily fall within that definition. Whether or not to terminate before death naturally occurs, or to terminate a life before it fully becomes a living being or while it has the potential to be a living being is certainly a matter of conscience, as may be a number of other matters falling somewhere between these two.
In my view, a matter of conscience would arise out of a religious, moral or ethical issue that has to do with one's inner sense of what is right or wrong. The right to freedom of conscience is represented in all international conventions concerning human rights. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948, states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. There is no question that one's conscience is and ought to be sovereign.
In fact, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, commonly referred to as the charter, states, in paragraph 2, with regard to fundamental freedoms, “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion”. This fundamental freedom is found alongside those freedoms that we cherish: freedom of expression, freedom of the press, peaceful assembly, and freedom of association. In fact, the first words in the preamble in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives rise to potential conscience struggles that may occur when interpreting laws or even with respect to charter matters when it states, “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”, is bound to bring the rule of law, the supremacy of God into conflict at times.
When it comes to matters of conscience, Sir Thomas More said it best when he had to make a decision whether to obey God's law as he saw it rather than man, that one should be most cautious not to offend his conscience than anything else in the whole world. Of course, his head was taken off and placed on the Tower Bridge in London as the price for not offending his conscience.
An email made public, sent to the member for Papineau, the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, by former Liberal members of Parliament also made the point well when they stated in part:
We, the undersigned, former Liberal Members of Parliament, are concerned about your recent pronouncement that people who hold a particular view on a given moral issue, as a matter of conscience, cannot be Liberal candidates for the position of M.P. unless they agree to park their consciences at the entrance to the House of Commons and vote directly opposite to their fundamental beliefs, as directed by you.
In the House, the Conservative Party has on a number of occasions allowed for free votes, and that is the way it should be. The party policy also states very specifically in section 7 that the party believes in restoring democratic accountability in the House of Commons by allowing free votes. It states all votes should be free, except for the budget, for obvious reasons, main estimates, and core government initiatives.
On issues of moral conscience, the Conservative Party acknowledges the diversity of deeply held personal convictions among individual party members and the right of members of Parliament to adopt positions in consultation with their constituents and to vote freely.
The Supreme Court of Canada's decisions on the recent Lee Carter, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, et al. decision, commonly referred to as the Carter decision, which related to end-of-life issues, and R. v. Morgentaler, commonly referred to as the Morgentaler decision, related to abortion, fall into the category where actions taken in the House should be the subject of free votes. In each case, the court relied on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and gave the House the benefit of the court's view on the charter's application.
The Carter decision essentially referred to section 7 of the charter, which reads:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
The decision said that it would require legislation allowing for physician-assisted death for a competent adult who clearly consents to the termination of life and has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition. I may not agree with the court's logic in the use of section 7, but it has said that and it has said that Parliament needs to address that.
The type of legislation, the substance of the legislation and the views of the members may vary. Many members may struggle in deciding in good conscience whether or not they should support that piece of legislation, another piece of legislation or something in between. However, when it comes before the House for a vote, it should be a free vote.
Similarly, in the Morgentaler decision, the court decided in essence that the Criminal Code provisions then existing regarding abortion offended the same section 7 rights. The court was also of the view that it was Parliament's prerogative or obligation to put forth legislation, not theirs, that would balance this right with the rest of the charter that would provide for the protection of the unborn. In fact, section 1 of the charter states:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
It is all conditional. This clearly indicates that there must be a balancing of interests, or at least a consideration of interests, if one truly wishes to rely on the charter.
Justice Wilson, on page 183 of the Morgentaler judgment, stated:
The precise point in the development of the foetus at which the state's interest in its protection becomes "compelling" I leave to the informed judgment of the legislature which is in a position to receive guidance...from all the relevant disciplines. It seems to me, however, that it might fall somewhere in the second trimester.
She based her views squarely on the charter, so I feel that it is safe to say that the protection of the unborn is a charter consideration relating to the unborn requiring legislative action by Parliament. She specifically left open the entirely different question of whether the unborn is covered by the word “everyone” in section 7, so as to have an independent right to life under that section.
There is no doubt that members feel strongly on matters such as this, relating to issues of life. Some would feel strongly that life is sacred and that they should not be required to vote for any legislation that is against their conscience if it takes or allows for the taking of such life after conception and before natural death. These may be absolute positions, but on all matters of life, there may also be positions somewhere in between, where honest, sincere and good thinking members will, I am sure, struggle with their decision and differ in their views. Ultimately, however, they should all be free to vote with their conscience.
By allowing members to vote freely, it presupposes that members of differing points of view and different persuasions, personal convictions and religious beliefs are allowed to run for public office and to be elected by constituents. To say, as the leader of the Liberal Party, the member for Papineau, stated, that anyone who has a view other than what is commonly referred to as a “pro-choice” view cannot run for the office of a member of Parliament or, at the very least, would not be given a free vote on the same issue runs absolutely contrary to this motion, as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Indeed, it would run against the fundamentals of democracy, where issues should be debated freely and then voted upon.
The very definition of “Parliament”, which I have taken from How Parliament Works, by John Bejermi, stems from the French parler, meaning “to speak” or “to discuss”. “Parliament”, then, or this House is a meeting place where the representatives of the people can speak, discuss, criticize, argue and express their opinions publicly on all matters of state.
In Canada, therefore, we have a system called “parliamentary government”. It is regrettable that because of the positions taken by leaders like that of the Liberal Party, some of the press, the media, and others, we cannot have a good or reasonable debate on these issues, with contrary points of view, without it seeming to be something unusual, unacceptable, or in bad taste. It is most unfortunate. This has to change in this House. For too long we have felt that difficult issues should not be moved, debated, or discussed in Parliament, many times simply because we have strong views on the subject and do not want to entertain anything else. That is not what democracy is about.
When it comes to matters of conscience, there should be nothing that causes an MP to vote contrary to his or her conscience, for if members are forced to cross that line, they have violated who and what they are and what they believe in. I dare say that it is self-evident that no one should be required to do that. Their conscience is sacrosanct, inviolable, and should not be impinged upon, for indeed if it can be, what value is the opinion or vote of those members going forward and what reliance can be placed upon them. I think most Canadians and most constituents would expect no less from their members, even if they disagreed or had a different point or a different position. If the majority of constituents disagree, they should then elect a new member.
In fairness, these issues should not be raised time and again ad infinitum. There should be some rules around that. I personally like one of the rules that regulates whether a private member's bill or motion such as mine is votable. Does it involve issues that have already been considered in the session? If it does not, it can go forward. A new session could give rise to new debates.
Many have said that Parliament should use the charter section 33 “notwithstanding” clause to allow for an act or provision thereof to operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or section 7 of the charter. Although this option is available, it is something, in my view, that ought to be used sparingly and only in exceptional circumstances. That said, we cannot cherry-pick which part of the charter we like and which to disregard.
I found it interesting that the member for Papineau and leader of the Liberal Party was quick to put forward a motion, voted upon on February 24, 2015, asking the House to recognize the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter, which ruled that the prohibition on physician-assisted dying violated a section 7 charter right and stated that Parliament has a responsibility to respond to the Supreme Court ruling.
I did not see that same vigour and immediacy in requesting that this House respond to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in Morgentaler indicating that it is for Parliament to decide at what point the state's interest arises and becomes compelling so as to provide some protection for the unborn.
Indeed, the member asked that a special committee be appointed, with the usual parameters, and that the committee report on an expeditious basis to the House. Yet when the member faced the motion presented by the member for Kitchener Centre, which also asked that a special committee of the House be appointed to review the Criminal Code declaration of when a child becomes a human being and report to the House, the member for Papineau and leader of the Liberal Party voted against it.
I found it somewhat hypocritical when the member for Papineau and leader of the Liberal Party said on one hand that we need to ensure that we are charter compliant and respect the rights and privileges we may have under the charter when it comes to an issue of pro-choice but then voted against the protection of a right or privilege under the charter when he did not agree with it, as in the case where the court said that it is up to Parliament to draft legislation protecting the rights of the unborn. It is like respecting the decision of the Supreme Court when one likes it and not respecting the Supreme Court and the charter when one does not like the decision. We cannot be selective when it comes to charter rights unless we are prepared to use the “notwithstanding” clause.
In the same email sent to the member for Papineau and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada by former Liberal members, they made this point quite well when they stated:
Second, since your edict singles out the issue of being opposed to abortion, but only that issue, it clearly discriminates against a select class of people, namely those who oppose abortion, and no one else, such as those who might oppose, or be in favour of, say, assisted suicide. We believe that such discrimination is a clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2 (a) which guarantees everyone, even Liberal Members of Parliament, “freedom of conscience”, and (b), which guarantees everyone, even Liberal Members of Parliament, “freedom of thought, belief...and expression”.
In my view, we need to get off the premise that some subjects are off limits for debate. We should have legislation go forward, agreeing that this is precisely the place where hard and difficult decisions must be made, accepting the fact that members may have to struggle with their conscience to support a particular position. In the interest of democracy, justice and good government, we want all members to vote on these issues freely and without impediment. I am hopeful and expect that not only my colleagues on this side of the House but all members of Parliament will see fit to support Motion No. 590.
This motion is straightforward and unambiguous. Matters of conscience for obvious reasons should be subject to free votes. I think it is a timely motion, especially given the most recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Carter case and the languishing ruling on the Morgentaler case, which so far parliamentarians have not been able to face head-on or even in a peripheral way.
View Bernard Valcourt Profile
Mr. Speaker, it is strange to see a member rise in the House of Commons and argue that the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms do not protect aboriginal rights in Canada. That is utter nonsense.
The fact is that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was endorsed by Canada as a blueprint that we respect but that is nevertheless subject to Canadian law. If the NDP wants to make Parliament's decisions subject to veto by a particular group, that is not okay.
View Charlie Angus Profile
Mr. Speaker, I think what is very disturbing in this all-out attack on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is that the leader of the party that founded and brought forward the Charter of Rights and Freedoms stands up and says that he will not defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it would be difficult for him. It does not matter that it is difficult for all the Canadians who lose their rights and freedoms.
I remember Pierre Elliott Trudeau from when I was young. He would never shy away from standing up in a fight for individual liberties, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
Why does my hon. colleague think that the Liberal Party over in the corner has become such a spineless shadow of a once-proud party?
View Ryan Leef Profile
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-05-05 15:43
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to engage in this debate. Before I do, I will let the House know that I will be splitting my time with the hard-working member for Edmonton Centre.
I have before me the bill. One of the important pieces of Bill C-51 comes in the preamble of the bill. It says:
Whereas activities that undermine the security of Canada are often carried out in a clandestine, deceptive or hostile manner, are increasingly global, complex and sophisticated, and often emerge and evolve rapidly...
We have an obligation in Parliament to ensure that when we ask our law enforcement agencies and our security intelligence services to deal with these ever-evolving, complex and changing threats, we provide them the mechanisms to do so. To ask them to keep up with the evolution of these threats and the sophistication of them with one hand tied behind their backs is irresponsible as a government, unfair to them and unfair to all Canadians.
To assure everyone, and the Canadians participating by watching this debate, in the preamble itself and embedded throughout the 63 pages of Bill C-51, all of which I have read, studied and gone over multiple times, it states that information that is relevant to “the security of Canada is to be shared in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the protection of privacy”. That is embedded in the very beginning of the legislation and it is consistent throughout the bill in a number of the sections. I am sure I will have time to go over those with some of the questions members may pose for me.
Canadians want strong action to deal with the jihadi terrorists who exist today globally and who are affecting our country. That is exactly what we would do with the anti-terrorism act, 2015 and why I am proud to support it.
The bill would do four concrete things. It would create a mechanism for internal government information sharing for the purpose of protecting national security. It would modernize the passenger protect program that is colloquially known as the “no fly list”. It would criminalize the production and dissemination of jihadist propaganda. It would also give CSIS some new tools to stop terrorist threats before they end in tragedy.
The fact is that the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies. Canadians are being targeted by terrorists simply because they hate our society and the values it represents. Jihadi terrorism is not a human right; it is an act of war.
It is why our government has put forward measures to protect Canadians against jihadi terrorists who seek to destroy the very principles that make Canada the best country in the world in which to live. That is also why Canada is no longer sitting on the sidelines. Some of us would prefer that we do that instead of joining our allies in supporting the coalition in the fight against ISIL. Our government believes it is not right to sit on the sidelines, that we have an obligation and a duty to act, and we will.
Our government has increased resources available to our police by one-third and we have allocated more resources to CSIS, the RCMP and CBSA by almost $300 million to bolster our front-line services in our efforts to counter terrorism. Our government will continue to ensure that our police forces have the resources they need to keep Canadians safe.
I would like to focus my remarks on the new powers for CSIS to disrupt threats before they happen. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, some of these changes are very much common sense.
Oftentimes CSIS agents are positioned to intervene at an early stage because they primarily operate in the pre-criminal space when the terrorist attack is being planned. However, shockingly, in current day agents are prohibited from taking any action to disrupt those plots. They can only collect information.
I will read a quote from Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He said in committee, “It's amazing to me that disrupting is currently prohibited. Remember, disrupting doesn't mean you're arresting these individuals. You're not violating their personal property rights. You're just taking them out of commission. You're actually disrupting a plot”.
I think to all Canadians, it would seem common sense, that when our security intelligence services have information that they have reasonable grounds to believe there is a terrorist plot in the making, they would then have the ability to somehow disrupt that plot.
Sometimes that kind of action boils down to things as simple as approaching parents and speaking with them about a family member or a child who CSIS believes is becoming radicalized. Imagine, present day, when our security intelligence services knows this information, there is no provision in law for them to go into the home, engage in discussion and then engage in a plan to deal with that information and stop the radicalization to prevent it from manifesting itself further. I think Canadians would be alarmed to know that information could not allow our security intelligence services to take a simple step of talking with families or people in our country to prevent a terrorist threat.
We might hear instances where they currently do that, but that is in the context of their present mandate of intelligence gathering rather than actual threat disruption. These are examples of threat disruption that do not require a warrant and are currently legal for anyone to do. It would not make sense for CSIS officers to require warrants in order to ask parents to speak to their children or engage in conversations in online chat rooms, which are becoming more and more the mode of communication in our present day technological world.
As clearly outlined in the bill, CSIS would need a judicially-approved warrant for anything that would infringe on the rights of an individual or any activity that could be contrary to law. Furthermore, the judge would need to be convinced that such powers were reasonable and proportional to the threat. In fact, in those sections there are more than four stages of approach that officers have to go through prior to those warrants being authorized. Those stages are far more onerous and detailed than any other provision in criminal law that a regular law enforcement officer needs to go through. How do I know that? I have done those myself as a law enforcement officer.
The provisions contained in the bill in terms of the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency first even reaching the approval stage to take that matter before a judge is one full stage. The officers then have to demonstrate to a judge that all of the conditions would be met for a warrant to be authorized. There are no less than eight conditions for that step to take place. The judge then has the opportunity to accept or deny that request or ask for greater information and modify it. If a warrant is authorized by the judge, CSIS officers who have sought the warrant then have to ensure, under legislation, that the conditions for which the warrant was granted still exist prior to taking any action. Therefore, there are four different levels with multiple conditions under each level to ensure effective and proper oversight of the granting of any action.
I know the opposition wants to fearmonger and suppose that now CSIS can all of a sudden get warrants to interrupt and access the information of Canadians or stomp all over their rights. This is a four-stage process, including final judicial review, that puts onerous and legislative conditions on CSIS officers.
I know I have limited time left, but I know Bill C-51 would ensure the right balance between the protection and preservation of the freedom of Canadians, while at the same time ensure that our law enforcement and security service agencies have the tools they need in a modern context so they can stop these threats that, as I mentioned in the preamble of this bill, are ever-evolving, global in nature and changing daily. It is our obligation as a responsible government to ensure they have the tools to do their job to keep Canadians safe, while preserving everybody's collective freedom.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the member's speech. He seems to have forgotten that it was a Liberal government that brought in the anti-terrorism act and he seems to have also forgotten that two or three years ago, the Liberal opposition supported the reintroduction of preventative arrests, which had sunsetted under the anti-terrorism act.
My question has to do more with how we ensure that any bill meant to protect the safety and security of Canadians is effective in the sense that it would not create an abuse of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which would then lead to the bill being challenged and weakened. That is a problem. When we have a bill that aims to achieve something, if it is then challenged and struck down by the courts and weakened, we have not achieved our objective.
I think it is very important that measures be taken to ensure that the bill would be solid against a challenge.
I would like to hear why the member feels the bill will not be challenged and that the courts will always agree with the bill, in all aspects.
View Dan Harris Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to raise a couple of contradictions. The member talked a fair bit about principles and about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Just at the end she was saying that the Liberal Party is there to protect both privacy and the charter. However, we know that Bill C-51 is actually an attack on the charter and the rights and freedoms of people yet the Liberal Party is supporting it. We also know that, in terms of the reasoning behind the Liberal Party supporting this, the Liberal leader said, while he was in British Columbia, that the Liberals were supporting the bill to not give the Conservative government a stake to whack them over the head with during the election campaign. That is not taking a principled stand.
With the changes to privacy and information sharing there is also the potential for a large database of information on law-abiding Canadian citizens to end up being stored in one location for some potential nefarious use down the road. In Toronto, we are dealing with something very similar to that with the issue of carding, where many individuals are being stopped by the police for no reason and having their information taken down. I would like to ask the member her opinion on that behaviour.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2015-05-04 17:27 [p.13410]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague because Bill C-51 is really dangerous. It does nothing to make our society safer and also violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and federal legislation.
I would like to ask her if they are also troubled in the official opposition by the numerous security experts who have testified that not only will the bill trample on our rights, but it fails to put in place measures that would actually make us safer. In fact, many security experts have testified that the bill would make us less safe in confronting a terrorist threat.
View Sadia Groguhé Profile
View Sadia Groguhé Profile
2015-05-04 17:28 [p.13410]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
Of course we are extremely worried because this bill is silent on the subject of protecting our rights. The current government has introduced a bill that will not only make it harder to protect our rights but will completely fail to achieve its objective, which is to fight terrorism in meaningful ways.
Let us not forget that, once again, we are debating Bill C-51 under time allocation. That means our rights as MPs and parliamentarians are being set aside.
Once again, this bill is indefensible. The experts have told us that over and over. It is time to listen to them.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2015-04-24 10:30 [p.12980]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her excellent discourse and her hard work with respect to this difficult situation. As she mentioned, even the Conservative witnesses who were called opposed this bill, and the vast majority of the witnesses were called by the Conservatives.
It is passing strange what we have heard from the Liberals. The Liberal leader is an example and we have to make mention that the only reason he was voting for the bill is because he was worried that the Conservatives would use his opposition to the bill in a future campaign against him. That is what he said. Those are not our words, they are his, and the polling at the time was supportive of Bill C-51.
I have seen many bills pass through this House in my 11 years, but I have never seen a bill for which constituents were coming to me mentioning the number and the name of the bill and suggesting that we need to do everything we can to stop it.
My question is very direct. What exactly is it today that the NDP are trying to do in order to stop this terrible attack on our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as has clearly been demonstrated by former Supreme Court justices, former prime ministers, and virtually every security and constitutional expert that we were able to hear from?
View Rosane Doré Lefebvre Profile
View Rosane Doré Lefebvre Profile
2015-04-24 10:32 [p.12980]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley, who raised some very important points.
What we are trying to do with respect to Bill C-51 is a matter of principle. We are a party of principles, and nothing could make us vote in favour of a bill that violates our rights and civil liberties as much as Bill C-51 does. We are people of principle.
Early on, the polls did not support our position, not at all. We stood up anyway. Our leader, a very principled man, stood up and decided that, no, we would not support something that is an attack on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and an attack on our fundamental rights. Frankly, this is partisan politics.
This is putting partisanship before principles, which we will never accept. We will not get involved in the Conservatives' game or the Liberals' when our rights and civil liberties are being attacked.
I am proud to stand up today with my caucus colleagues to once again support the amendments we are proposing. The government needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a solution that works for all Canadians, instead of introducing a botched bill like Bill C-51.
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2015-04-21 14:20 [p.12832]
Mr. Speaker, now 60 Canadian business leaders are speaking out against the Conservatives' Bill C-51:
...this proposed legislation will undermine international trust in Canada’s technology sector, thereby stifling the kinds of business our...companies can generate....[O]perators of online platforms...[fear the] risk of criminal sanction for activities carried out on their sites.
With senior business leaders now siding with the NDP against the Conservatives' Bill C-51, will the Prime Minister finally withdraw this attack on Canadians' rights and freedoms?
View Stephen Harper Profile
Mr. Speaker, we know that the NDP has never supported one serious anti-terrorism measure ever, in any Parliament in this country. The reality is that these measures are strongly supported by Canadians.
These measures parallel the kinds of authorities that other national security and police agencies have in other countries. As a matter of fact, it is absolutely unacceptable that websites or the Internet would be used for terrorist recruitment purposes. It should be a crime, and it will be a crime when this legislation passes.
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2015-04-21 14:22 [p.12832]
Mr. Speaker, all of civil society is opposed to Bill C-51, and rightly so. Scholars have shown that it violates our rights and freedoms, environmentalists are worried about their freedom of expression, and now corporate leaders are saying that it is bad for business. The only ones who support the Prime Minister are the members of the Liberal Party.
Why does the Prime Minister refuse to listen to reason? Why is he ignoring everyone and and why in this case is he ignoring even the most respected business people in the country?
View Stephen Harper Profile
Mr. Speaker, most Canadians support the government on this.
However, the Liberal Party can read the polls. That is the reality of the situation. We expect a strong response. Our law enforcement agencies, like those of other countries, have the powers necessary to counter jihadist forces. That is essential, and we will continue to act to protect Canadians.
I would also like to commend the police in Montreal for the arrests they have made and the work they have done in response to these incidents.
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