June 21, 1984

LIB

David Berger

Liberal

Mr. Berger:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Is the Hon. Member referring to the amended Bill which contains the word "by violence"? I am not sure whether his quotation made reference to those two words.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

That is not a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Vincent Martin Dantzer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dantzer:

Mr. Speaker, I agree that that is not a point of order. However, I am not referring to the old legislation. I am referring to the new one. I am well aware of the differences.

Be that as it may, this clause will be opposed. There are many separatist organizations out west. They are sincere in what they mean. They are running around rose-bushes and things of that nature. I do not agree with them, but I certainly agree with their right to exist. Just because of their political philosophy, they should not be investigated by a security service. In that regard this is the worst legislation we have ever had in the country. Our citizens certainly do not need political dissent triggering intrusive investigations. That is the one thing we do not need.

The definitions are far too broad. If anything in the Act is bad, it is Clause 2. The entire Bill could be cleaned up in a few areas. The Government could readily do this. I know the Government will say in reply that it has done so, but if we look at the last paragraph in Clause 2, it reads: but does not include lawful advocacy, protest or dissent,-

Then it continues:

-unless carried on in conjunction with any of the activities referred to in paragraphs (a) to paragraph (d).

In other words, the Government does not want to exclude anything. That is the meanest bit of doubletake in draftsmanship I have ever seen.

I understand that I have a minute remaining. I plead once more with the Government to withdraw the Bill or to accept some changes so that it could at least be more acceptable to Canadians.

June 21, 1984

Security Intelligence Service

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Gaston Gourde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Gourde:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a few questions to my colleague. First of all, I sincerely hope that, after the intervention of my colleague from Laurier (Mr. Berger), he did not mean to imply that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service would be unable to investigate, should any kind of organization seek to undermine Canada's constitutional regime through violent means. I do hope that is not what he meant, because that would pave the way for anarchists in Canada. I wish he would comment on that first part.

The other thing which has me worried is that it is somewhat difficult to find out just where the Progressive Conservative Party stands with respect to the creation of a civilian intelligence agency. The House knows the position of the Canadian Government: in light of the Mackenzie, McDonald and Pit-field reports, it proposes the creation of a civilian security intelligence service independent from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Then we have the New Democratic Party which is openly against the RCMP and its alleged activities and which, in the same breath, wants the RCMP to continue to work in the field of intelligence security. And then, the Progressive Conservative Party, which brings me to this question: can anyone tell us in clear, unequivocal and specific terms just what the position of the Progressive Conservative Party is?

In committee, it sounded as if they were against the creation of a civilian security intelligence agency, and yet four Progressive Conservative senators sat on the Pitfield committee and only one was against the creation of a civilian security intelligence agency.

What I would like to know is, what is the exact position of the Progressive Conservative Party, and what is the position of the Members of the Progressive Conservative caucus? Does their position differ from that of the caucus of senators, if indeed there is such a thing? And how can we reconcile the position expressed by the Progressive Conservative Party critic of the Solicitor General with the statements made by the Hon. Member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) who tends to favour the creation of a civilian security intelligence agency?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Vincent Martin Dantzer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dantzer:

Mr. Speaker, I of course cannot speak for the Senate, the other place. I can say that the position that our Party has put forward has been consistent and clear. First, we recognize that there is a need for a service of the kind proposed in this Bill. We say ideally that service should be located as it is now, within the ranks of the RCMP. I think that answers the question. Is that what the Hon. Member wanted clarified?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I will preface my question with a comment. I find it rather interesting that there is not a single member of the Liberal Party who is prepared to stand and defend this Bill other than the Minister and his

Parliamentary Secretary. I find that a most revealing indication of the nature of the real support and commitment to that legislation, the fact that during the entire period-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

Order, please. I allowed the first phrase, but I am afraid the Hon. Member cannot continue. He must direct his remarks to the speech made by the Hon. Member for Okanagan North (Mr. Dantzer).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the remarks of the Hon. Member for Okanagan North (Mr. Dantzer). Having sat with him in committee, I know that his personal views are very strongly in opposition to this legislation. Perhaps the Hon. Member might enlighten the House and, through the House, Canadians. I know that the Hon. Member has very strong views, but if his Party feels so strongly about this legislation, why did it not make any effort whatsoever to join with me as the representative of my Party in committee in attempting to block passage of this Bill? It was obvious that the Government was not prepared to accept any serious amendments. His Party was, unfortunately, silent on the predecessor Bill C-157. I wonder if the Hon. Member could enlighten the House as to why it was that at that crucial time, when perhaps the Conservative Party could have joined with the New Democratic Party in really going all out to block this attack on civil liberties, they stood by.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Vincent Martin Dantzer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dantzer:

Mr. Speaker, I am quite aware that one's perceptions of events are coloured by the position in which one is standing. The Hon. Member who asked the question sees a far different role for my Party than I see. We have opposed this legislation at every opportunity, including the long, long hours in committee. In this House we had speaker after speaking opposing this legislation. In fact, we put up more speakers than the NDP. We will continue to oppose it.

I fail to see how the Hon. Member can take the position he has unless it is purely for political capital. I would think that his interest in opposing this Bill is such that he would not attempt to make political capital out of it. This Bill is too important for that sort of thing. The Conservative Party recognizes that and opposes it most strenuously.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, certainly the record of that Party in committee will speak for itself. I take it from what the Hon. Member for Okanagan North is saying that, given the fact that the Conservative Party in the Senate has the ability to prevent this legislation, which we know is not amended as the Government refused to accept any amendments of substance, and there is only one week left on the parliamentary timetable before we rise on June 29, his Party will in fact match its tough rhetoric in this place. Is he prepared to indicate that Conservative Senators will take the action that they must take in order to block this Bill from proceeding? It is now up to them.

The only way that this attack on civil liberties of Canadians can be stopped is if Conservative Senators in the other place wake up to their responsibilities and block the Bill. Unless they co-operate with the Government in the Senate, that is exactly

June 21, 1984

what they can do. Perhaps the Hon. Member for Okanagan North can indicate whether his Party is going to stick to its principles and to its guns and do what it can in the Senate to block this Bill, or is it going to let it slide through in the Senate?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Vincent Martin Dantzer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dantzer:

Mr. Speaker, my response must be the same as it was to the Hon. Member on the Government side. I do not speak for the other place. I know that in this House our Party has demonstrated its opposition to this Bill and we will continue to do so.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada for one more very short question.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Gaston Gourde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Gourde:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Burnaby (Mr. Robinson) said earlier that there had not been any major change. Is the Hon. Member who has just spoken willing to admit that Bill C-9 represents a greatly improved Bill C-157, considering that something like 40 amendments were tabled in January, 1984, that even before the Committee began its clause by clause discussion, seven amendments had been tabled by the Minister, and that further amendments were moved afterwards even though these amendments certainly might not be as important? Is the Hon. Member willing to admit that we now have before us a greatly improved Bill C-157 and that a great majority of witnesses have said so?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Vincent Martin Dantzer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dantzer:

Mr. Speaker, of course I am prepared to admit that Bill C-9 is better than the first one the Minister brought forward, which was an insult to the intelligence of Canadians. The Minister continues to point to that fact and I admit that. I also admit that there are a few minor improvements to the Bill from when it was first presented; but no substantial amendments were made to this Bill in the House of Commons committee.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The period for questions and comments has expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

Simon Leendert de Jong

New Democratic Party

Mr. Simon de Jong (Regina East):

Mr. Speaker, as we debate the last stage of Bill C-9 I cannot escape the sense of sadness and melancholy that I feel. After sitting and voting until five o'clock this morning, I think the nerves of all of us are frayed and we feel physically and emotionally exhausted. I believe that is true for all Members of the House.

Despite all of the efforts displayed by the combined Opposition, the Government has refused to budge. We have used almost every instrument that is available to an Opposition to impress upon the Government our fears and uncertainties about the security legislation. The Government has refused to consider seriously any and all of our representations.

Security Intelligence Service

Members of the two opposition Parties do not oppose this legislation because we wish to score some political points or play some political games. We have a very genuine fear that the secret service agency to be established by this Bill will pose serious threats to the civil liberties of Canadians and hamper genuine and legitimate dissent. We are not alone in our fears. Church groups, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and all of the provincial Attorneys General share our fears. Yet the Government continues to ignore these very real fears. It abuses it majority by blocking amendments, by imposing closure and by ramming this Bill through the House.

I am still genuinely puzzled why the Government insists it needs such wide powers over the lives of individual Canadians. Government Members, and particularly the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan), have not proven that a state of anarchy or insurrection exists in Canada. They have not shown that a threat exists with which the Government does not already have the means to deal. Why when does it need a secret police service with more powers than any other police force that exists in any democratic country? Are there greater threats being made by terrorists or subversives in Canada than in the United States, Italy, Germany or Great Britain? Certainly the Government has not even attempted to prove that this is so. Why then is the Government so insistent on getting this legislation through the House without any amendments?

Some Liberal Members have stated that Bill C-9 is what the McDonald Commission recommended. However, that is entirely false. Government Members have claimed that this Bill will rectify the injustices and illegal acts that were committed during the Quebec crisis. Sadly, I find this argument to be an example of Orwellian doublespeak. It was this Liberal Government that imposed the War Measures Act and that determined the manner in which it would deal with the FLQ threat. History has now shown that the Liberal Government overreacted. To absolve themselves of their collective guilt, Liberal Members have attempted to make the RCMP the scapegoat, and they have used the McDonald Commission report as an excuse to make legal all of the illegal acts that occurred. It is cynical, it is Orwellian, and it is repugnant to reasonable men and women.

I am still at a very genuine loss to understand why the Government wants this legislation so badly now. Perhaps some time in the future we will discover the real reason why this is so. We cannot accept the half-baked arguments that government Members have proposed as justification for this legislation. There is another reason for this, which we do not know. Another reason exists in the background of which Canadians are not aware. Hopefully, at some point in history, the complete truth will be known why the Government wanted this legislation so desperately at this time.

Why have we been so adamant in our opposition to this Bill? First, as many Members on this side of the House have indicated, and as others who have brought forward briefs and presentations have also indicated, the definitions in the Bill are much too loose. For example, the definition of what constitutes

June 21, 1984

Security Intelligence Service

a threat to the security of Canada is so loosely worded that all sorts of very legitimate political organizations and activities can be considered a threat to Canadian security. On the domestic front it could mean that unemployed workers who are involved in demonstrations, farmers who are going into bankruptcy and using tractors in demonstrations, and peace groups and activists involved in peace marches and in collecting petitions, could all be defined as a threat to the security of Canada.

We are not saying that those groups will be defined in such a way, but we are saying that there are enough holes in this proposed legislation that one individual person obsessed with his notion of the nature of Canadian society could decide that these farm groups, work groups, and peace groups constitute a threat to Canadian society. As such, the people involved in those organizations can have their telephones tapped, their medical records and taxation records looked into, their homes broken into at any time of the night, and they can essentially lose their basic civil liberties as Canadian citizens.

The second reason why we are so afraid of this piece of legislation is the nature of the powers it gives to this agency. The powers are much too wide. They are frightening. They are repugnant to Canadian traditions and to the Canadian way of life. For the Government even to dare to enter Parliament with a type of legislation that gives these powers to a group of men and women should be an unthinkable act. Yet this Government has, in the dying days of this Parliament, done just that.

The third area with which we are concerned is the area of accountability. If we need a secret service agency with wide powers, then at least we must do everything possible to make certain that that agency has some accountability. If we are at all concerned that this agency does not get away with itself, then we must put in place a method of checks and balances so that this agency can be accountable and so that the men and women who are in charge of this agency are accountable to people outside the agency. The accountability provided for by this legislation is much too weak, and in fact, hardly exists at all.

Government Members will, of course, say that this agency cannot get away with itself. We cannot accept that argument. There are too many examples of bureaucracies under this Liberal regime running away with themselves. The most recent and glaring example of this is, of course, the recent controversy surrounding Revenue Canada. It is a Department which has no real policing powers or policing mandate, yet it created an entire internal police network that rode roughshod over individual civil liberties of the Canadian people.

We are very much afraid that this security agency can run away with itself in the same fashion. We are very much concerned that a secret police bureaucracy can be created that will no longer be held accountable to its political masters. The history of the Liberal Government in this country should be a fair warning to all of us that this indeed can happen.

Administratively the Liberals have shown themselves to be quite incompetent. They cannot even hold their own bureaucracy in check. How well can the present Solicitor General, with his great brilliance, be able to hold in check the monster he is creating? I have a personal admiration and respect for the Solicitor General as a human being, but I have no confidence in the Solicitor General having the smarts to be able to control the secret service agency which he is creating. In fact I would suggest that he is the very opposite-relatively incompetent on that matter.

We have challenged the Government to hold an election on this issue. We have told the Government that if this is such an important item it should come out of the closet, go public and tell the Canadian people exactly why we need this agency and why these policing powers are necessary. What threats exist to the security and well-being of the people of Canada? Of course government Members react to that suggestion by laughing at us.

Going through the process of the debate on this legislation at second reading, and now third reading, the one area which I find particularly saddening is the lack of media attention and concern about this Bill. Surely it is the duty of the media to inform Canadians on all matters which directly affect them. Surely the legislation with which we are dealing today has tremendous impact on the fundamental freedoms of Canadians.

The debate on this Bill should have been front-page news. All of the arguments should have been reported, pro and con. Had we had more attentive media and had the media insisted that the debate on this Bill be a high item on the social agenda that Canadians would read and talk about, the Government would have accepted more amendments. Had the media played their role, the Government would never have been allowed to get away with introducing closure. In fact, had there been an attentive media, more Liberal Members of Parliament would have stood to justify the legislation. Unfortunately, the media have not played their true and important role in this matter.

In a very few days this Bill will receive Royal Assent and it will be law. We can only hope and pray that the men and women who will have unprecedented powers over their fellow Canadians will use those powers judiciously and wisely. I hope that they will not cynically dismiss the fears and concerns of the churches, the provincial Attorneys General, and the civil liberties unions, as just the outpouring of a bunch of touchies and feelies. I hope these men and women will not ignore what members of the Opposition in the House of Commons have been saying. After all, we are the representatives of the people. I fervently hope that these men and women do not become consumed by their own visions of what Canadian society should be, and that will not be allowed to harass and intrude into the private lives of Canadians whose visions are different from theirs.

We face a very uncertain future. It is a future of tremendous technological changes. Many of these technological changes will endanger the private rights and security of Canadians.

June 21, 1984

The computerization of medical and legal files, electronic banking, border transfer of data, and some of the most sophisticated electronic devices to listen to conversations, are readily available on the market today. All these new devices and all these new social institutions will restrict individual privacy. We expected legislation which would protect individual Canadians rather than legislation which will help to facilitate the invasion of the privacy of individual Canadians.

As Canadian society moves into the future, it will encounter different social and economic changes and upheavals. Some individuals will be displaced. Today we see hundreds and thousands of men and women who are not able to find work. In today's Globe and Mail there was an article about the slave trade in Calgary. Men gather in a block area, and people drive by in trucks and vans to pick up unemployed men and hire them as labourers for a day. Those men do not have any protection in terms of working conditions or minimum wage standards.

Every day in the City of Vancouver there are four or five block-long line-ups of young Canadian men and women who are waiting to get a sandwich because that is- their only source of food. Indeed, these are difficult times for many Canadians. These are times in which it is inevitable that some will get angry at the conditions in which they have to live their lives. For these people to have a secret service agency on top of that, will drive some of them underground. I predict that the existence of a secret service agency will create the opposite effect than what was intended by this Bill. It will create more subversives. It is like a mirror image-the one creates the other. When Canadians fear that they can no longer advocate the changing of the conditions in which they and their fellow citizens must live, and that they are afraid that a secret service agency will spy on them because they are advocating some change in the power and in the economic structure of this country, then they will feel that they must go underground. The one does create the other.

As we move into a very insecure future, this piece of legislation will not help us to find a new and just future for Canadian men and women. It will have the opposite effect. It is a sad day for this Parliament. This great democratic institution will pass into law a Bill which limits and restricts democracy. Democracy is the most fragile of flowers. The experience of men and women in the history of our democratic race is a very recent experience. It is a very fragile flower indeed, which is being attacked by changing conditions as we move into the future. I am afraid that what the Government has proposed and what it is asking us to pass in this session is a Bill which will help destroy that flower. In the name of attempting to protect it, the very mechanism which it is creating to protect democracy becomes a threat to democracy. The Government has been unwilling to listen to us and to take seriously our fears and representations. It has been adamant in pushing this Bill through the House. I must return to the question-Why?

Security Intelligence Service

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

There follows a ten-minute period for questions or comments.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Gaston Gourde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Gourde:

Questions or comments, Mr. Speaker. Earlier, the Hon. Member referred to the fact that he had challenged us to call an election on the basis of Bill C-9, to establish a Canadian Security Intelligence Agency. I have now been sitting in this place for a little over three years. If we had acted on the recommendations of the New Democratic Party, we would have had, if I am not mistaken, at least three general elections. I came here during the debate on the constitutional review when we were challenged to call a general election. Last year, I followed very closely the Crow rates review process. Once more, we were challenged to call a general election. We are now debating the establishment of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and, once more, we are challenged to call a general election.

Well, I will reply to the Hon. Members that we shall certainly be calling a general election within the next few weeks and I challenge them to have a fraction of the results that the Liberal Party will get since it will form the next Government.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Gérald Laniel

Liberal

Mr. Laniel:

I think that half of them will no longer be here!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Gaston Gourde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Gourde:

Mr. Speaker, after my trip to Regina and Vancouver in Western Canada last year, I was able to see how isolated the NDP Members are in their ivory towers and how far they are from the people, because last year, mayors in the Vancouver area criticized them for having made a great many more representations on behalf of some of their own Members than on behalf of the people in their constituencies. At that time, the Hon. Member for Burnaby-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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June 21, 1984