June 10, 1993

IND

John Patrick (Pat) Nowlan

Independent Conservative

Mr. Pat Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to participate in this debate. I do so with all appreciation and sensitivity to my colleagues from Atlantic Canada.

I have to say in the frankness of Parliament there are many Atlantic Canadians, not just on the Island, not just friends on the Island, but Canadians in other parts of Atlantic Canada who do not favour the fixed link for a

variety of reasons.

I want to declare my bias right at the start. I am philosophically against the fixed link, before getting into all the studies, before getting into the dollars and cents of this so-called contract out, build a bridge and 75 years down the road it has to be repaired. We talk about tolls. There are going to be tolls. That is my fundamental bias before getting into the facts and figures. That is where I am coming from.

June 10, 1993

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I understand some of the debate going on, having good friends from P.E.I and there are members from P.E.I. in the House. No one will really know until if and when it is ever built how it is going to change the character of the Island.

As far as I am concerned-not being a native of the Island it may be a little easier for me to say-but I do resent some of the remarks made by the hon. member from Hillsborough whom I do respect. I do resent some of his remarks that members not from Atlantic Canada who raise questions in the House of Commons perhaps do not have the right to raise those questions. They have that right by the very fact that it is a bill before the House of Commons. It involves members from across the country and it involves the taxpayers of Canada.

One of the biggest shams of this bill is the business and charade that it is not going to cost the taxpayers any money. That is absolutely patently false. If the government had come clean on this public relations aspect of this bill many moons ago perhaps I would not feel quite as compelled to give another viewpoint from Atlantic Canada that it is not all peaches and cream in Atlantic Canada. I am not going to talk any more about the sociological aspects.

I used to practise law in British Columbia. I have a couple of children living there now. People may wonder why my friend from Cariboo-Chilcotin in British Columbia is pushing the fixed link, other than the fact that he is the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Public Works.

That member knows as anyone who lives in British Columbia knows, when you start to talk about the economics of links there is a lot more. This is coming from a person from Atlantic Canada where perhaps I might be criticized a little. However, there is a lot more economic sense in developing some of the plans to link the mainland of B.C. with Vancouver Island which is a high growth area of Canada than the sterile fixed link in an area that does not have as much growth.

I give full credit to the members who spoke from Hillsborough, Egmont and Cumberland-Colchester-a colleague of mine from Nova Scotia who has been doing a great job from his point of view-in making sure the

fixed link comes forward and gets into the House and through the House into creation.

I point out to all those people, especially to my friend from Cariboo-Chilcotin who was not here at the time, that there is another sham around here. It is not just the sham in dollars that every taxpayer has the right to ask about. The member from Hillsborough should not complain that members have raised questions about the fixed link because taxpayers are involved.

There is a great shell game on the cost of the subsidy that is supposed to pay for the bridge. Even the studies the hon. member for Cariboo-Chilcotin mentioned show the big difference between the subsidy actually being paid out and the subsidy being computed to help Strait Crossing build the bridge, supposedly without any taxpayers' dollars.

Mention was made of the ferry workers and where they are going to fit into it. Well, we can talk about other aspects of this matter in terms of the fish stocks and the fish beds that are going to be affected but there is another sham here.

One of the times the matter of the fixed link was on the floor of the House and had a little flurry of activity was back in the sixties. There is a member from Moncton here whose mother was the member from Moncton and has a gold-plated shovel. Perhaps it is appropriate to have a shovel when talking about the fixed link. However she actually helped dig the foundation of the causeway around Moncton. All the studies up until that time had the causeway as the answer to join up P.E.I.

You can go to Moncton today. You can travel down there in the summertime. You can go over on the ferry. You might have to wait a while, but at least you have the character of an island. You will not get this Coney Island fixed link where people are going to build their substations and their offices on the mainland, scoot over to the island, do their little business and then scoot off.

Anne of Green Gables is going to become the ghost of Cavendish beach if this fixed link goes through. Even the Japanese will not be hoodwinked into visiting the character of the Island and staying a few days and making-

June 10, 1993

well, not making love, but in effect getting acquainted with Anne of Green Gables, and certainly getting excited by Lucy Maude Montgomery and her story. What are they going to do now? They are going to take their diesel buses we see outside the House of Commons and they are going to diesel onto the Island, shake hands with Anne of Green Gables and get off the Island before the sun goes down. That is what might happen.

There is a sham in the figures. There is a sham about politics. Perhaps I can understand the government's point of view to get the bill through. That is another thing. Perhaps in an election government candidates will say they are doing this and maybe other candidates too, but I just do not know if that is going to work.

What really bothers me about this whole aspect regardless of some of the rhetoric that I have used in these few minutes is that Canadian taxpayers have been inundated-look at poor Premier Bob Rae, look at any premier you want-with fiscal restraint. The thing about fiscal restraint is we are not supposed to have megaprojects.

In an interesting article in The Financial Post Diane Francis is starting to question equalization. I read it and I hope to get a letter off to Diane Francis because she certainly forgot a little history.

The Rowell-Sirois commission said that Atlantic Canada deserves equalization to help offset the high tariff policy that built up industry in Ontario. There was a fellow named C.D. Howe who killed the shipbuilding industry in Atlantic Canada and took it up the St. Lawrence River to the Saguenay because they were afraid of German U-boats. There are those types of things in history and Diane Francis did not really get into them.

My concern is with the good sincere Canadians, taxpayers all, from coast to coast who with equalization helped Atlantic Canada address some of its problems because it does not have the economic growth. Would they agree to look at a fixed link? I think this might be the last straw. In effect Canadians, all taxpayers who have good projects in their areas, are going to ask why we are building a billion dollar bridge which was not part of the study, as other members have said. Tb be frank, as far as I am concerned, if we are going to have a fixed link,

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build a tunnel. However, I do not know what the cost of that would be.

Mr. Speaker, I see you are giving me the high sign that I have one minute left. Seriously, as a federal member of Parliament, I sympathize with my colleagues from P.E.I. as members of Parliament. I understand the division on the Island.

However, I am very concerned in this time of fiscal restraint that taxpayers are going to wonder about the credibility of a government that goes ahead with this type of project. All over the land they see local projects not as big as a billion dollar bridge, but other projects be they in the cities or the country, be they day care or helicopters, and they wonder: How can a government go ahead after all the talk about a fixed link from Confederation on and at this time build a fixed link?

That will have implications for Atlantic Canada which makes it important for Atlantic Canadians to know about some of the shams in this bill.

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Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Langlois:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

I declare the motion carried.

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Motion agreed to.


CRIMINAL CODE


The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-126, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Young Offenders Act, as reported (with amendments) from a legislative committee.


SPEAKER'S RULING

PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

There are three motions in amendment at the report stage of Bill C-126, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Young Offenders Act.

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Motion No. 1, standing in the name of the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby, although presented as clause 2, clearly takes the form of a preamble, even using the same wording as a preamble. Paragraph 705 of the sixth edition of Beauchesne states that it is not permissible to add a preamble to a bill by way of amendment. I must therefore declare Motion No. 1 inadmissible.

Motion No. 2, standing in the name of the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby, will be debated and voted upon separately.

Motion No. 3, standing in the name of the hon. member for Moncton, will be debated and voted on separately.

I shall now propose Motion No. 2 to the House. MEASURE TO AMEND

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LIB

Mary Catherine Clancy

Liberal

Ms. Clancy:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. When you come to Motion No. 3 in the name of the hon. member for Moncton, I understand there is unanimous consent to allow me to move that amendment in his absence.

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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Halifax to move the amendment when we come to Motion No. 3?

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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby) moved:

Motion No. 2.

That Bill C-126 be amended in Clause 2 by adding immediately after line 25 on page 3 the following:

"(2.1) Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no person engaging in the conduct outlined in subsection (2) shall be deemed to have been acting without lawful authority if the conduct occurred at or outside a workplace during a labour dispute."

She said: Mr. Speaker, during the clause-by-clause debate on this bill there was some discussion around removing legitimate labour disputes from this bill. I am pleased to have an opportunity to discuss this once again in the House as I reworded the amendment.

When the witnesses appeared at the legislative committee on Bill C-126, many of them recommended that legitimate labour disputes be exempted from this bill. The Government of Ontario, the Canadian Labour Congress, the National Union of Public and General Employees, the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, METRAC, the National Association of Women and the Law, the Criminal Lawyers' Association and the Canadian Bar Association stated that the provision was too broad and could potentially apply to labour disputes.

My colleague from Mission-Coquitlam found the Library of Parliament's research branch had issued a paper arguing that the bill as presently drafted could very possibly be used in labour disputes.

There are examples of how particular actions can be excluded from a bill of this kind. In New Jersey, California and other American jurisdictions anti-stalking laws specifically exempt legitimate labour disputes. We must remember that there is already legislation on the books to deal with intimidation, threats or violence that may occur during a labour dispute. These provisions already exist.

In the absence of any statement within this new law of what its purpose is, I am concerned that in legitimate labour disputes, in some jurisdictions, authorities may attempt to use this law to intimidate those engaged in what is legal activity.

I proposed a similar amendment at the legislative committee but unfortunately it was voted down. I sincerely hope that since members of this House have had time to reflect on the importance of this amendment, they will see fit to support it this time.

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PC

Rob Nicholson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rob Nicholson (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister of State (Agriculture)):

Mr. Speaker, I have not changed my mind about the appropriateness of having this in the bill. I would ask the House to turn down the suggestion and vote against the motion as proposed by the hon. member.

If we look closely at the wording, it says among other things that "no person shall be deemed to have been acting without lawful authority if the conduct occurred at or outside a work place during a labour dispute". It would have the effect of completely removing any labour

June 10, 1993

dispute from the criminal harassment sections. I think that would go too far. Even though for the most part union activity is lawful and conducted according to provincial laws, I do not think Canadians would want a blanket exemption.

It would mean that no matter how much a person was harassed and had reasonable cause to fear for his safety during a labour dispute he would be unable to avail himself of the criminal harassment provisions. I should point out that not all labour dispute activity is lawful. This amendment would make a violent, illegal strike into a lawful labour dispute activity.

I think it goes too far. I can think of all kinds of different areas of activity in Canada that would have as much claim to an exemption as this. I do not think most Canadians would like to make an exception to the criminal harassment provisions no matter how much they believe in union activity and the rights of unions to strike and picket.

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NDP

Joy Langan (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Ms. Joy Langan (Mission-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my colleague, the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby. I congratulate her on her private member's bill which led the government to finally open its eyes and realize how desperately we need this kind of legislation in Canada to protect women from fear. It will also protect women from well-founded fear of violence when they have been stalked. Until now they have really had no recourse and have never been taken seriously by this Parliament, the law, law enforcers and the community.

I very much support this bill. I want to make that absolutely clear. As a woman in Canadian society I resent being afraid. I resent having to change my activities. As a woman in public life I resent having to be even more concerned about ensuring that I take precautions to walk, move and live in this country in a safe way. I resent the fact that I, or any woman in this country should be in a position where we often feel fearful, look over our shoulders and wonder just what is going on in terms of whether someone is unduly watching, following or stalking, under the definition in this bill.

I want to speak today about this amendment. I refer to the comments made by my colleague opposite, the previous speaker, who said he had concerns about this amendment so he has changed his mind about it. The

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member might want to look at the original amendment given in committee by the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby that the government voted against in committee. It was not as broad as this amendment but this amendment had to be worded more broadly to have it accepted by the House as an amendment today.

The hon. member talked about the fact that he did not want to see a wide open situation created where violent illegal strikes would be given a blank cheque. Right now we have a situation where non-violent legal strikes are forced into becoming violent legal strikes through lack of support and protection for those on the picket line. Therefore, I think it is stretching the imagination and certainly catering to those who would like to see no rights for trade unions and workers on the picket line to say this kind of an amendment would create a situation where violent, illegal strikes could take place.

There is already legislation on the books that outlines and determines the legality of picketing and what is legal or illegal on the picket line. Let us take one tiny step beyond the legalities and niceties and talk about how this bill, which is designed to protect women and everyone in this country from stalkers, can be used against workers when they take legal economic action against their employers.

I have been told on a number of occasions and certainly we have been told in the Library of Parliament document and the research that was done for us there is a good possibility that this bill could be interpreted and used as a threat over the heads of those on legal picket lines. Many people have told me that a Crown attorney would never proceed with charges regarding a picket line under this bill but I am not talking about charging people. I am talking about using this bill to threaten and intimidate people on legal picket lines. I am talking about being charged by an RCMP officer or a city police officer while on a picket line.

Quite possibly the Crown attorney would never proceed with the charges, but using this bill, making those threats on the picket line and even charging people on the picket line create fear and a situation where people who are going about very legal business in this country under the law can be intimidated into abandoning their very legal picketing.

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We are talking about threats here. We are talking about a bill where we are trying to eliminate threats to Canadians and situations where Canadians are threatened. We refuse to look at other jurisdictions that already have this bill and have experienced the results and benefits of this kind of bill.

In the United States numerous states have exempted trade unions from this bill and it is not a country that has the kind of respect for the labour movement we have here. We are talking about trade unions going about the legal business of picketing in a legal dispute. We are not giving a blank cheque for people to run amok here. We are talking about legal picketing. It is the right of all workers in this country to withdraw their labour and not have a bill like this hanging over their heads intimidating them so they will abandon their right to strike or picket.

I urge this House to really think about what it is doing. The government is introducing a law in the dying hours of this Parliament, unfortunately without the kind of discussion with Canadians and particularly women we would have liked to have had.

It is a law we need and a law we all believe we need, but by giving rights and protection for the common good of Canadians we are insidiously creating a threat to a very large group of people in this country. One-third of Canadian workers are organized and we are taking away the right for them to go about their legal business as trade unionists and use their legal rights for their own economic benefit and pursue collective agreements.

I urge members opposite to once again consider the amendment put forward by the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby and approve this amendment.

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NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Deputy House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a brief remark on this.

I begin by commending everyone who has been involved in developing this legislation, particularly the member for New Westminster-Burnaby who initiated this process through a private member's bill. Many citizens, some of them in my riding, initiated this process by lobbying me as a member of Parliament and other

members of Parliament and levels of government to do something about the vulnerability of women in particular to stalkers.

We have had a severe problem in Winnipeg in the last little while with this and a number of women have been killed by stalkers. The people of Winnipeg know only too well the urgency of the legislation we have before us.

It is nice to see that sometimes Parliament can act with a certain amount of expediency. I hope the government will see fit to accept the amendment that has been moved in order to make it clear that this bill cannot be used for purposes of intimidation in labour disputes. I think the Criminal Code deals adequately with those possibilities in other ways.

Even if that is not the case, it is still well and good that we should pass this legislation. It is an improvement on what we have. I think particularly of a woman in my riding, Mrs. Jensen, whose daughter was killed by her boyfriend after she had been harassed for quite a while. I know she will be happy today to see that the political process does work and that we are able to pass this kind of legislation. I hope it will prevent those kinds of tragedies in the future.

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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is the House ready for the question?

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?

Some hon. members:

Question.

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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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June 10, 1993