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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 18:40 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the efforts of the minister and his staff in bringing forward what I believe is a substantial piece of legislation. It provides a sense of security for Canadians and at the same time provides rights that can be traced right back to our charter.
In the last federal election, we made some serious commitments to Canadians about making changes to BillC-51. Bill C-59, in part, deals with Bill C-51. I look at the legislation before us as another way the government has delivered some of the tangible things it said it would.
Could the member comment regarding that aspect of the legislation, which I know is important to all Canadians? As a personal thought, it is nice to see the legislation going through this final process.
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View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2019-06-11 18:59 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, I have a good deal of respect for Craig Forcese and his opinion. However, there have been a couple of developments over the past two years since the bill was originally drafted, with the number of illegal migrants who have come across the border. This has created some security concerns. I know a great many of them have criminal records. The other one would be with the government not requiring visas for Mexican nationals. There are rumours and allegations that the Mexican cartels are operating more freely in Canada than they used to.
In light of those two developments in the last two years, does the bill adequately address those two situations and does it give our law enforcement the proper tools they need to do their job?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 19:46 [p.28958]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to give a little ad at the beginning of my speech. Tomorrow is an important day. June 12 is Philippines Independence Day. I want to invite all members from all sides of the House to come out after their caucus meetings and walk across the street from West Block to SJAM to participate in the Filipino heritage event.
I want to add my thoughts in regard to Bill C-59 and I will approach it in two ways. First I will speak to the process that has brought us to the bill before us today and then I will provide thoughts in regard to some of the content of the bill itself.
To say that the issue of security and freedom is a new debate in the House of Commons would be a bit of a stretch. I can recall the debates surrounding BillC-51 several years ago when Stephen Harper was the prime minister. He brought in that piece of legislation. At the time, the Liberal Party, as the third party, actually supported that legislation.
However, we qualified that support in a very clear way. We indicated throughout the debate that there were some fundamental flaws in BillC-51, and that if we were to ultimately win in the election of 2015, we intended to bring forward some changes that would rectify some of those fundamental flaws.
I can recall the hours of debate that took place inside the chamber by members of all political parties. I can remember some of the discussions flowing out of the committees at the time. There was a great deal of debate and a great deal of controversy with the legislation. Even while campaigning during the last federal election, it was a topical issue for many people. It dealt with issues of an individual's rights versus having that sense of security. I always made reference to the fact that Liberals understand how important individual rights are. That is one of the reasons I often highlight that we are the party that brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
If we take a look at the original BillC-51, even though the principles were very admirable and we supported it and voted for it, even though at the time we received some criticism, we made it very clear that we would make changes.
This is the second piece of legislation that has attempted to make good on commitments we made to Canadians in the last election. I really enjoy is being able to stand up in this place and provide comment, especially on legislation that fulfills election commitments, starting with our very first bill, BillC-2. That is a bill I am very proud of, and I know my caucus colleagues are very proud of that bill. It concerns the tax break for Canada's middle class. There is the bill we are debating today, Bill C-59, the second part of a commitment we made to Canadians in the last federal election, which talks about the issue of public safety and privacy rights. Yet again, we have before us another piece of legislation that ultimately fulfills another commitment we made to Canadians in the last federal election.
I mentioned that I wanted to talk a bit about the process. In bringing forward Bill C-59, I do not think we could come up with a better example of a minister who has really understood the importance of the issue, or who has gone far beyond what any other minister in the Stephen Harper era ever did, in terms of consultation.
Even before the bill was introduced, we received input from thousands of Canadians, whether in person or through the Internet. We also received input from members of Parliament, particularly from many of my Liberal caucus colleagues. We were afforded the opportunity to share with the minister and the caucus some of the issues and concerns that came out of the last election. A great deal of consultation was done. The minister on several occasions indicated that the comprehensive dialogue that took place allowed for a substantial piece of legislation at the first reading stage.
Shortly after that, the bill was sent to committee prior to second reading, which allowed for a more thorough discussion on a wider scope of issues. The bill was debated at report stage and then at third reading. It was sent to the Senate, which has sent back amendments, which is where we are today. That process indicates that we have a government, as the Prime Minister has often indicated, that thinks the roles of our standing committees and the Senate can improve legislation. We have seen many changes throughout this process. This bill is a stronger and healthier piece of legislation than it originally was at its first reading stage.
I wanted to give that bit of background and then do a comparison regarding why the government had to move closure just an hour ago. I want to make it very clear to those individuals who might be following the debate, whether it is on Bill C-59 or other pieces of legislation.
We have an official opposition party that is determined to work with the NDP, and I often refer to it as the unholy alliance of the Conservatives and the New Democrats. They work together to try to prevent any legislation from passing. They will do whatever they can to prevent legislation from passing. It does not take much to do that. At the end of the day, a few members can cause a great deal of issues to prevent legislation from passing. There is no sense of responsibility coming from the opposition side in regard to working hard for Canadians and recognizing the valuable pieces of legislation that would be for the betterment of our society. In fact, those parties will put up speaker after speaker even on non-controversial legislation, because they have no real interest in passing legislation. If it were up to the Conservative opposition, we would still be debating BillC-2. The opposition members have many different tools, and they have no qualms about using them. Then—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 19:56 [p.28959]
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Madam Speaker, let me cite a few examples. On the one hand, the combined opposition, that unholy alliance, will be critical of things like time allocation. The members will be critical because the government has prioritized bills and we want to pass them through. However, when it is a priority bill for the New Democrats, they have no problem saying that they want time allocation. They have supported time allocation.
When it comes time to get down and work hard for Canadians, we have the Conservative Party that will adjourn debate. The Conservatives will adjourn the House because of their unwillingness to spend time in a constructive way. The examples are endless. We remember the budget debate. I would not fault members if they do not remember the budget debate. That was when the member for Carleton stood in his place and literally talked out the whole clock. There was only one member who was allowed to speak to the budget, because the Conservative Party at the time wanted to allow its partners, the New Democrats, at least one opportunity to speak. One Conservative member talked for 14 and a half hours straight.
I raise this because the opposition members consistently do what they can to prevent legislation such as this from being able to move on. Then, they get upset if we use the tools that advance the interests of Canadians. The hypocrisy there—
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 19:58 [p.28959]
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Madam Speaker, I am sorry if I am hurting some feelings on the other side. I recognize that the truth hurts at times, but that is the truth. Everything that I have said is true.
The opposition members can continue to play games all they want. I can assure them that they can stay in the gutter. They can try to put in all of the preventive measures that they want. They can attempt to adjourn the proceedings of the day all they want, but this government and this Prime Minister are committed to working day in and day out, right to the very last day for Canadians.
We will continue to be focused on bringing forward good, positive legislation, making a difference in the everyday lives of Canadians, whether it is through a legislative measure that we have today or the many budgetary measures that we have brought in. We know that our agenda is in fact having a positive impact on the lives of Canadians every day, and we are not scared to work hard.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 20:00 [p.28959]
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Madam Speaker, it is obvious that we have hit a nerve on the other side.
Let me focus on Bill C-59, which is a very important piece of legislation. If there were a part that I would highlight, it would be the national security intelligence review agency, an agency that would be more holistic in its approach. As opposed to having a review agency for the RCMP and a review agency for CSIS, we will have one review agency that ultimately has the responsibility for all of those security organizations, thereby ensuring we do not have independent silos all over the place.
This is really good stuff. I would encourage the members opposite to vote in favour of this legislation. Let us pass some legislation today.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-07 12:24 [p.28761]
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Madam Speaker, I was here when the minister made his statements in regard to the necessity of this legislation and explained exceptionally well why we are at the stage we are at.
My question is related to the bigger picture. The member made reference to BillC-51. There were a series of changes that were required. We are seeing part of that in the legislation; it is only a component of it. The legislation also addressed one of the biggest things lacking in Bill C-51, and that was the parliamentary oversight committee, which put us on par with other Five Eyes nations. I think this is good, substantive legislation that is in Canadians' best interests, from a security and privacy perspective. Both issues are being addressed.
Would the member not agree that it is time we actually saw this legislation passed?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-07 12:54 [p.28765]
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Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Given that the government has six times the number of members as the Conservative Party has, if anyone is slumbering, I would suggest it might be the Conservatives.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-07 13:14 [p.28768]
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Madam Speaker, I was here when Stephen Harper brought in BillC-51. We voted for it, even though we recognized back then that it needed significant changes, and part of this legislation deals with some of those changes. We brought in legislation earlier dealing with what was a major flaw in Bill C-51, which was not having the parliamentary oversight committee. This government rectified that problem. We made a commitment to Canadians.
The difference between us and the Conservatives is that we look at individual rights and charter rights and privacy as being as important as security and safety, and in fact we can do both at the same time. This legislation is a good example.
When my friend was talking about the no-fly list, it was as if the Conservatives know how to get it right, when in fact BillC-51 set up the environment that put many children onto the no-fly list. It was Stephen Harper who complicated it and made it more difficult, such that more children were put on the no-fly list.
In the future, are some of my colleague's proposed changes going to rectify the problems that Stephen Harper put in, which in good part this legislation and previous legislation have already addressed?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-18 17:08 [p.21171]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud the minister for his efforts in trying to pull everything together. When we sat on the opposition benches during the debate on BillC-51, a great divide was being created. Canadians had serious concerns about their rights and freedoms. At the same time, there was the issue of wanting to feel safe in changing times.
Could the minister provide his thoughts on how important it was to strike the right balance? In particular, could he give some attention to a previous legislation he brought forward regarding the parliamentary standing committee that was there to protect the rights of Canadians?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-18 17:56 [p.21178]
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Mr. Speaker, when the member was in the official opposition a number of years ago, and we were the third party at the time, there was a fairly significant debate that took place with respect to BillC-51. Our Prime Minister made it very clear to Canadians, unlike the New Democrats, that we saw merit in Bill C-51. However, the commitment was that if we were elected, we would fix BillC-51. There has been a great deal of consultation in every region of our country. There are two pieces of legislation, this one being the second part of it, that deals with and brings an end to BillC-51. It fulfills an election platform commitment by this Prime Minister.
My question to my friend and colleague across the way is this. Does he recognize, and I am sure he does, that the NDP amendments went absolutely nowhere when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister? He might not like it, but it is quite possible that there were some problems with the amendments that the NDP were proposing. The point is this. Does he not agree that this is a commitment that the Liberal Party made in the last election, and that this legislation, in good part, is fulfilling that commitment?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-18 18:02 [p.21179]
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Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in my colleague across the way. No matter what, they have their narrative, and that is the narrative they are going to stick to. They do not let the truth confuse them.
Let me give the House a specific example of exactly what the member just said. He said that the Minister of Public Safety said that it was all about balance. The member does not quite understand why the minister said it is about balance. From an NDP perspective, it is not about balance, because there is give and take. I listened to what the Minister of Public Safety said. He said it was not strictly about balance; it is about getting the right mix. That is what the minister actually said. That member accused the Minister of Public Safety of being all about balance.
The NDP members do not have an open mind. They have a closed mind with respect to this issue. They are still sore from the last federal election, quite frankly.
Canadians understand that there needs to be the right mix in dealing with their safety and their privacy rights. We are the party of the charter. I will wrap myself around the Charter of Rights. I am proud of the fact that it was a Liberal government that brought in the charter.
I wonder if my colleague across the way would withdraw his comments about the mix, because the Minister of Public Safety made it clear that it was about getting the right mix, contrary to what the member just finished saying.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-18 19:51 [p.21194]
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Madam Speaker, this is one of two pieces of legislation that would assist the government in fulfilling an election promise: making changes to BillC-51. The other piece of legislation dealt with the parliamentary oversight committee. I realize it is the other component of the legislation. I would be interested in the member opposite explaining specifically why the Harper government would not have included that in Bill C-51. I know the member was involved in those days with Mr. Harper.
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View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2018-06-18 20:12 [p.21197]
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Madam Speaker, the member and I worked together on the public safety committee when BillC-51 was discussed. I am intrigued this evening in this House, listening to the debate, by how many times Bill C-51 is referenced. I can only assume that it is referenced because it is the gold standard, and the Liberals are trying to improve on that.
I want to ask my hon. friend from the NDP a question. True to his position at that time on BillC-51, as I think he has very clearly articulated again this evening, the NDP have an overly aggressive position and ideology on rights and freedoms versus security. I do not think he got the balance quite right. I think we nailed it in Bill C-51. He and I do not agree on that, but we are still friends.
I think it was the member for Malpeque who lobbied very hard on the part of the Liberals, saying that we needed an oversight committee to complement BillC-51. I am wondering if the NDP member could comment on that a little further and on whether that has been achieved in this bill. The Liberals agreed at that time with BillC-51. They supported it. They voted in favour of it. Their one concern was an oversight committee. I want to know if they have really fixed that.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-06-18 20:15 [p.21197]
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Madam Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety talked about how important it is that we get the right mix. I believe that within this legislation, there is the right mix of dealing with human rights and protecting the public from potential threats down the road.
What is interesting is that on the one hand, we have the Conservatives saying that they are going to vote against this legislation, because they believe that we are giving too heavy a balance or mix toward civil rights. We have the NDP members sticking with their outright opposition to anything and everything about BillC-51, saying that we have not gone far enough.
If we look at what we have presented, which is fulfilling an election commitment, it seems to me that we have the right mix. I think Canadians will recognize that. Maybe it is not hand in hand, but it is ensuring that we are safe in our communities and that our rights and freedoms are protected at the same time.
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