March 1, 2011

NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to rise on behalf of not only the New Democratic Party but the people of Timmins—James Bay and speak to Bill C-42.

Under Bill C-42, the Conservative Party has decided to allow the private information of Canadian citizens who fly to the Dominican Republic or Cuba, not even entering the United States, to be given to U.S. Homeland Security. This information includes credit card information, personal information and who a person is flying with and it is without even telling the people about it. Homeland Security will then make the decision whether those Canadians will be allowed to board their flights.

This is a very disturbing bill, but it speaks to a deeper issue. When I go home to Timmins—James Bay, people tell me that Ottawa is broken. They tell me that the politics of Ottawa favours the insiders, the bagmen, the senators and the pals of the ruling party. They wonder how the government could be so out of touch with the needs of average Canadians.

So the people back home know, when they travel with family and friends to the Dominican Republic, their government has never bothered to tell them that it will take their private information and give it away.

If the Conservative government was an honest government, and we know “honest” and “Tory” does not really fit in the same sentence, it would go back to the Canadian people and tell them that part of the deal is to sell out their privacy because it thinks there is a greater good. That would be a discussion we could have at the Tim Hortons or with our church groups, but the Conservative government does not do that. It is trying to force this bill through, shouting about national security and the war on terror.

Let us go back to where the war on terror started. It was not hosers in flip-flops and tank tops with lobster-red skin coming home from Cuba in March who decided they would take a plane and fly it into the towers. It was not Canadians from Mississauga or Red Deer who decided they were going to attack our number one trading partner and the people of the United States. The Canadian people were there on 9-11 helping the American and international flights by allowing them to enter Canadian airspace so those people could be looked after. We were an ally, as we have always been.

Who started the so-called war on terror? They were people who were invited into the United States, who were vetted by the United States government, who bordered domestic flights and took control of those flights and caused that horrific day of tragedy.

Yet there is no attempt by Homeland Security to get the information of people on domestic flights in the United States where this terrible act of terror happened. It is asking the Canadian government, the Conservative Party, to do that. To be fair, I am sure our trading partners have sized those guys up from the get-go. They figure they will get what they ask for, because on the so-called war on terror, we are all supposed to give up something.

We have given up all manner of rights and privacy to stop this so-called war on terror. We have seen 85 year-old ladies at the airport getting manhandled or six year-old kids getting patted down and we have been told that this is important, that these basic rights have to be suspended.

The rule of law is based on the right of people to confront their accusers. It is based on the fundamental right of privacy of a person. These rights are given away in the bill.

We need to look at history and other places where there has been a war on terror. Think of England in the 1970s with the terrible bombing campaign by the IRA. It was considered okay to suspend massive civil liberties then. What happened? Poor Mrs. Maguire, her four children and their relatives were dragged off to prison for 113 years because the government of the day cowed the opposition into saying that civil rights, basic rights of privacy had no place in a so-called war on terror. We have to do better. We have to talk about this bill and we have to go to the public.

It brings me to the second point of my conversation today which is the hypocrisy of the government. The Conservatives said they would do things differently. They said they would clean up the Senate. What did they do with the Senate? They filled it with party hacks and fundraisers.

The Conservatives tell Canadians they are tough on crime and yet two of those senators, bagman Gerstein and campaign manager Finley, are now up on charges. Two senators whose basic job is to raise money and work for the Conservative Party on the public dime are now being charged. What is the government's position on criminal charges brought against two Tory bagmen senators is that it is an administrative error. It is the hypocrisy of this.

The old Reformers back home must be rolling over that the government which said when it came into power that it would clean things up is not only as cynical and rotten as the previous government, and that is saying something, but that it has filled the Senate with people who are under criminal charges and it is letting them stay there and continue to work on the public dime.

We see the hypocrisy of the Conservative Party. This is the government that said it would stand up for Canada. What did it do? The Conservatives went to the U.S. and negotiated a bill. It is important for people to know what is in the bill, because it is a government that will run attack ads, smear people and trash their reputations and go on about fictitious iPod taxes, but it does not have the guts to run radio ads in anybody's riding saying, “We are taking your personal private information and we are giving it to the United States”. That is what happens when people vote for a Conservative government. It does not tell people that. It is running with smoke and mirrors and all kinds of side issues, any hot button it can find to get people back at the Tim Hortons riled up.

It should rile people at Tim Hortons that the government goes to the U.S. and agrees that the information on the passenger name record set up with the travel agent, which includes people's credit card information, where they are staying, who they are travelling with and all the booking information, can be given to another country to keep, and it could be traded with any other country. People do not even have to go to a country. They could be just flying over it. The Conservatives would sell that information and not have the decency or the honesty to tell the people of Canada that this is what they are doing.

It is within this agreement that no person may know what information is being held by the United States and he or she is not in a position to correct that information. It is like Kafka gets caught up with the bullies and the fundamental issue of rule of law is the ability to challenge the accusations. We know from the war on terror that is not what happened. We saw what happened to Mr. Arar, how he was pulled out, thanks to our allies in the United States, sent overseas and tortured, and how hard it was to clear his name. Even with his name cleared, he cannot be taken off the so-called no-fly list, this black hole list, as my colleague from Winnipeg Centre said, that people are put on.

What do we need to do? Number one, we need to get rid of the Tories. That is a reasonable solution. We have to get rid of them because they do not represent Canadians. They do not represent what is good, so let us get rid of them.

Number two, we need to look at legislation and read the fine print. We see in bill after bill it is a government that stands up and shouts at opposition members and tries to bully them, and it is pretty successful usually with the Liberals. The Conservatives bully opposition members and tell them not to read the fine print, but just sign. If the opposition members do not sign, they are enemies of the state, they are soft on crime, they are some kind of pinko pervert. The Conservatives will throw whatever they can.

However, our fundamental job in the House is to read the fine print so we can go back to our constituents and tell them that in the bill, the government that told them it would stand up for them has taken their personal information, their basic right to privacy and given it away. They do not even have to ever travel to the United States, but they might be flying over it some day, maybe on a flight from Winnipeg to Toronto. They might be within their own country and that information could be traded away. It allows foreign countries access to Canadians' privacy for data mining. It is highly problematic.

What do we need to do in order to have a proper bill for safety? We need to work together to ensure that we have bills that protect the best interests of our citizens and not simply sell out to the lowest common bidder.

I will be more than pleased to take any questions or comments as this is a fundamentally important element to the democratic process

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Linda Duncan

New Democratic Party

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton—Strathcona, NDP)

Madam Speaker, as ever, my hon. colleague is cogent, down to earth and speaks the plain truth on behalf of the citizens that he represents so well. I consider it a privilege to share the House with him.

A number of members who have spoken to this bill today have raised the concern about the violation of our basic rights in this country. What needs to be stated even more strongly is that these are entrenched constitutional rights. They are in the Constitution. This is not just some kind of folksy platform idea that maybe we have basic rights and opportunities in this country, the right to mobility, the right of security of the person, the right to have the principle of fundamental justice and due process applied to citizens.

I wonder if the member would like to speak about what direction this bill is taking us in and whether it is an underhanded way of trying to undo our basic constitutional rights.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague has raised a very important point. We are talking about something fundamentally profound to a functioning democratic society, which is that the constitutional rights guaranteed to citizens cannot be arbitrarily taken away.

We have seen how the government will break whatever rule, rip up whatever agreement and break any law it can get away with, but the fundamental constitutional rights of individual citizens cannot be compromised. This bill has arbitrarily compromised it.

I am very concerned because the government refuses to even tell Canadians. It is trying to bully the opposition into allowing this. Once these fundamental constitutional rights of people are broken, then we can no longer say that those rights exist.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

Madam Speaker, there was some excellent testimony at committee about this bill and I want to make sure the voices are heard in this debate.

Dr. Mark Salter, a professor at the University of Ottawa, stated:

Governments want this information so that they can build profiles of not just risky passengers but safe passengers as well. Research clearly demonstrates that in the United States and the U.K., government agencies are trying to collect as much data about travellers as possible.

He went on to say:

--I think it is dangerous to sacrifice our privacy and our freedoms for the dream of zero risk or perfect security. This particular measure—

Speaking about Bill C-42:

—does not provide additional security for the aviation sector, and it places an additional burden on Canadian citizens who are flying...

Canadians' data should not be hostage to the most paranoid regime that an air company chooses to fly over. The proposed change to these data protection regulations to include overflight states dramatically increases the vulnerability of Canadians' data while offering no means of redress or appeal.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague can comment on the situation where experts testify before the transport and public safety committees that roundly condemn this bill from stem to stern and yet the government does not pay any attention to that expert evidence and plows ahead.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Charlie Angus

New Democratic Party

Mr. Charlie Angus

Madam Speaker, it is fairly straightforward. When we talk about data being held hostage by a paranoid regime, we are describing the Conservative Party. It attacked the long form census first claiming it had thousands of emails and then it was hundreds. Then it said there are a few people somewhere who think there are black helicopters in the sky spying on us, which might be the Conservative base, and that as long as one person in Canada has any kind of privacy concern, it will strip away an internationally recognized census and planning bureau, which it did. Yet with this bill, it trades away all Canadians' right of privacy and basic constitutional rights for a dime. In fact, not even a dime, it will do it for free.

When we talk about paranoid regimes playing hostage with our data, voila, the Conservative Party of Canada.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Joe Comartin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor—Tecumseh, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I must admit that I rise with some concern having to follow the eloquence and passion of the member for Winnipeg Centre and now the member for Timmins—James Bay. They are always a little intimidating to follow because of their eloquence and oratorical skills, quite frankly.

The member for Timmins—James Bay is suggesting intelligence, and I am going to take issue with him on that, not with regard to the member for Winnipeg Centre but for the member for Timmins—James Bay. The eloquence and oratorical skills are clearly there, which are skills that are sorely lacking in the House in many ways.

This is the second time this week I have spoken to this bill. I spoke yesterday on the same bill, but at that time I was specifically speaking to the contents of the bill. I will come back to that in a few minutes, but I want to address some comments on the reason I am allowed to speak the second time, as have so many of my caucus members, which we would not have been allowed to do according to the rules of the House but for a typical bullying manoeuvre by the government. What it did was this. Late yesterday afternoon it brought a motion to the House, which certainly is within its rights to do, which had in effect the purpose of shortening debate on the bill. That was moved yesterday by the House leader, but what that did was re-open the debate.

We are allowed not only to speak against why debate should be continued. We are also allowed to explain the significance and importance of Bill C-42 to the Canadian people and their basic rights which are fundamental to the democracy that is Canada. Quite frankly, it is ironic. Had the Conservatives not brought that motion, the debate probably would have ended sooner simply because we would have run out of time in terms of the number of speakers we had who wanted to speak to this.

I want to make the point very clearly that our caucus is utterly opposed to this bill because of the breaches of privacy and also because of fundamental rights that will be affected very negatively by this law if previous patterns in the United States follow. Our caucus is absolutely opposed to the bill. A large number of caucus members have insisted on being given their opportunity to speak to the bill to express the reasons why they and their constituents are opposed to it.

To some extent, I have to thank the Conservatives for giving us this opportunity to speak more. Yesterday I was limited to 10 minutes, with five minutes of questions and comments. I am getting a second chance because our time for the 20 minute speeches had lapsed.

This is a criticism of both the government and the Liberal official opposition. Both parties have stood in the House at various times, both at second reading and again at third reading, and argued that we had to pass this because it was being demanded by the United States. This is particularly true of the Liberals but also of the Conservatives, that they have tried to somehow rationalize their support for the bill on the basis that we know there is potential for problems. Both sides of the House, the government party and the official opposition, have, in their more honest moments, admitted that. There is real potential for abuse to the Canadian citizenry. We hear repeatedly the line, “We will take care of that down the road”. That is grossly irresponsible on the part of any parliamentarian. We are talking about basic privacy rights and also the high risk to other fundamental rights, human rights and civil liberties.

There is no reason to believe that it will not happen given the history of the U.S. no-fly list and the way the Americans have abused both their own citizenry and some of ours in the past. There is no reason to believe that it will not occur again.

What is happening here, if this bill goes ahead, is we are exposing many more thousands of Canadian citizens and residents to their names ending up on that no-fly list and the process being used against them.

One of the real problems with this legislation is the regime in the United States that deals with the no-fly list. We know, and this came up at committee repeatedly, that the no-fly list in the United States is full of errors. We always hear of the reality of the now deceased Ted Kennedy's name being on it. The former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Bill Graham, was on the no-fly list. We have heard from my colleague from Winnipeg Centre that he is on the list.

The point being is that it is obvious that those people do not pose, in any way, a threat to the United States, and certainly are not a terrorist threat. In many other ways they may pose a threat to some of the policies of the United States, but that is okay in a democracy. People are allowed to have that voice.

The problem is people like that, and many more, get their names on the no-fly list and there is essentially no way of getting their name off. There is no way for it to happen. For the average person, the process does not exist. If those names came off the list, if Mr. Graham's name came off, or if Mr. Kennedy's came off, it was because there was some political person somewhere who said that it was really dumb and that maybe those names should be taken off, and then some official somewhere was directed to get their names off the list. We have no idea how that happens.

As I said in my speech yesterday, I have been working for the better part of a year on behalf of a prominent citizen in the Windsor area. It is going to be extremely damaging if it ever comes out that his name is on that list. I can say with absolute honesty and frankness that I have tried every single angle, including political routes, and have had no luck in getting his name off the list. We cannot even figure out who is ultimately going to be able to do that.

We have had other cases. The member for Vancouver East had one three, four or five years ago. It was for someone who was from Ontario, but who was on the west coast. It dealt with flying into the United States on business and then flying home. When this person gets to the airport in Vancouver, he is told, “Sorry, you're not allowed on the plane. Your name is on the list”. There was no explanation as to which list it was at that time. We subsequently learned, quite frankly from information from one of the clerks at the desk, that it was the U.S. no-fly list.

He has not been able to get his name off this list. So any flights that he takes now in Canada, he has to be sure that he is not in any way going through U.S. airspace because he will not be allowed on the plane.

It is a system that is rife with abuse. It is a system that is also grossly inefficient. It does not work. That is the bottom line. Yet, we are being told here, both by the Conservatives and the Liberals, “You have to vote for this because our American neighbours who we all know are great negotiators are saying that is the only way we are going to allow you to fly through our airspace”.

It is interesting in that regard. That threat has been outstanding. It was supposed to be in effect at the end of December, if this bill did not go through, and all flights flying through U.S. airspace would be cut off. Here we are at March 1 and our planes are still flying.

We have to continue to call the Americans' bluff and say that we are not going to do this, that if they clean up their list and implement some meaningful protections within that system, so that people whose names get on the list erroneously can get them off in an efficient, quick way, then we will negotiate with them as to whether we are going to allow this information. But before that, this bill should be voted down.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Jim Maloway

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his presentation today on the bill.

We have been listening for at least two days now to speeches and presentations on this bill and we have yet to hear from any government members. If we were able to hear from government members, we could at least ask questions of members of the government who have negotiated this deal and who are bringing it in. However, we are left asking questions basically of ourselves. We are not getting any answers from any of the Liberals or the Bloc members, who have simply rolled over and followed the Conservatives on this issue.

Speaker after speaker for our party have listed all the problems with this negotiation. There is no reciprocity. There is no attempt to even get reciprocity on the issue. That would have slowed down the process a lot. It would have got us probably a better deal. We got an exemption, but in a way the exemption simply defeats the purpose of the bill. We are flying point to point in Canada, for example, Toronto to Winnipeg or Toronto to Vancouver, and we are flying over American airspace, we are flying right over all those sensitive installations, buildings and big cities that they are worried about, and it does not seem to be a problem. It is only if we are flying to another country over U.S. airspace that we have to give this information. So, there are a lot of questions here that are really unanswered.

In terms of PNR issues, we have best practices with agreements with other countries that we follow. They could have taken that wording and used it in this deal. They did not do that. Hence, the very poor approach at negotiating here.

This is a really bad deal. I think the Liberals should smarten up; the Bloc should smarten up. They should pull back a bit and start asking more questions. We should renegotiate the whole thing because the flights that were supposed to stop on December 31 have not.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Joe Comartin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Joe Comartin

Mr. Speaker, one of the other questions, if I can add to the list, is, why do we not have a clear, in writing, binding agreement that says if this information is going to be shared, it is not to be shared with anybody other than the United States?

At committee, we saw some of the examples of the abuse. We have situations where we are passing on information as to where we are travelling, what hotels we are staying at, what tours we are taking. There are all sorts of information where corrupt or anti-democratic governments are quite prepared to use violence against their citizenry to use that information to track if we are having meetings. Let me use Colombia as an example. If I am going to Colombia to meet with some of the labour movements there who are generally targeted by that government and by the paramilitaries, and that information is passed on to the government, it certainly can be leaked and often is leaked to the paramilitaries. So, the people I am meeting with are now in danger. I could go on with any number of other examples.

So that, again, is a pre-condition. If we are going to share this information with our closest ally, our closest ally has to absolutely guarantee, with no exemptions, that this information stays in its country, within its services, and is not passed on to other countries.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Roch Tassé, from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, described it this way:

After running a risk assessment for each passenger using data mining technology, Homeland Security in turn issues a boarding pass result back to the airline. The result instructs the airline to issue a boarding pass, deny permission to travel, or issue an enhanced screening requirement. These regulations give the U.S. access to a whole subset of information on air passengers who are not entering the U.S. but merely overflying its airspace. Furthermore, this information can be shared among at least 16 U.S. agencies and with foreign governments. The program gives the government of a foreign country a de facto right to decide who gets to travel to and from Canada,--

Now, I ask my hon. colleague to tell us, is this really what Canadians want? Do they want, when they decide to fly to Mexico or Latin America, a foreign government determining whether or not they get issued a boarding pass and determining whether they can fly?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh has less than 30 seconds.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Joe Comartin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Joe Comartin

Mr. Speaker, obviously, I will answer quickly.

No, that is not what Canadians expect. They expect their rights to be protected, their privacy to be protected, and their ability to move around the globe in a safe fashion to also be protected; none of which is guaranteed in this legislation at all.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Paul Dewar

New Democratic Party

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in opposition to Bill C-42. It is clearly an important bill when we look at what is at stake.

There used to be a solid core of supporters and even members within the Conservative Party who prided themselves on the issue of privacy protection. That seems to have been lost recently. It has been pawned off at times, and I give the example of the bizarre and unusual case of the census conundrum.

The government has said that it wants to make sure that the privacy of citizens is protected. It has said that citizens should not feel obligated to tell the government how many bathrooms they have in their domain and other personal information. When asked how many people had actually complained about this, the government said one was enough. We are still not sure who that one person is. Some people think it might have been someone in the minister's backyard.

The point is this is not about the census and people know that. We in this Parliament are bound by the provisions for protection. We have the oversight. The problem with this bill is that we would be handing over Canadians' right to privacy to another government.

The government has talked about not being able to pony up the money for the database for the collection of this information. Not only will information be handed over to another government but that information will be held by that government and we will not be able to get to it.

I really want to underline the importance of the intervention made by my colleague from Windsor. I have had case after case right here in the nation's capital involving people who have been denied entry into the United States. When our government is asked what can be done, we are pointed to homeland security in the United States.

I do not know if the same situation exists in Saskatchewan, but I do know that people right across this country have been faced with it. If a constituent is on a no-fly list, his or her member of Parliament will probably talk to the minister or someone in his department. They are told that this is something that the department cannot handle. This is under the oversight of homeland security in the United States. After a very long route through voice mail, we can bring forward the case but that is the end of it. We will not be heard again.

Right now we have problems with regard to Canadians being able to freely travel abroad, particularly south of the border, and we have not figured that out yet. The government has been very silent on this during this debate. The government is going to oblige the United States when asked for this information, but we have not even figured out how to get someone's name off a no-fly list.

Constituents are scratching their heads and wondering why they cannot cross the border into the United States. They cannot figure out a way to get their name off the no-fly list. The government is about to open this up even further by sharing data through Bill C-42. It does not make sense.

Where is the consistency within the Conservative Party that used to stand up for privacy? This is not about the census. This is not about how many bathrooms there are in somebody's house. This is about a person's ability to travel abroad without the fear of being put on a no-fly list or without the sharing of personal information. That is what we are talking about here. We are talking about providing credit card information. We are talking about providing the date of birth of a Canadian citizen.

This reminds me of the debate in the House on Bill C-31 to reform the Canada Elections Act, when Liberals and the Bloc wanted to support an amendment to that bill and to streamline electoral practices by putting birth dates on the list.

Members may remember this. There was a strong debate in committee. I asked Ms. Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner, to come before committee to get her opinion on whether she thought having birth date information on an electoral list was a good idea. At the time I was not supported by the Liberals, Conservatives and the Bloc, who said that we had already heard from Ms. Stoddart. The problem was we had heard from Ms. Stoddart before the amendment was put forward.

I wrote to Ms. Stoddart and asked her opinion, as Privacy Commissioner, about having one's birth date on the electoral list.

Mr. Speaker, you will know, having been in a couple of campaigns, that the electoral list is shared widely. To have that kind of private information, with people's dates of birth, on a list that is circulated so widely is asking for trouble. Allowing others to take people's information from the electoral list to apply for a credit card or to do the other things that data miners do opens up many doors.

At the time, Ms. Stoddart got back to me and the House and said she had grave concerns about this compromising Canadians' privacy. Eventually, thankfully, that bill was dropped, but it was about to go through the House. It is the NDP Party that stood against that flagrant abuse of Canadians' privacy.

Again, I go back to the Conservatives and ask what happened. They used to be the ones who talked about protecting privacy. Now it is only about whether people have to say how many bathrooms they have in their homes. That is the line in the sand now.

What about when someone travels abroad? What about when someone's data is collected and captured by another country? Does that not matter any more to the Conservatives? Is it simply a matter of shrugging and saying this is the way we do things now? I want to underline that because this is a government bill.

To my friends in the Bloc and the Liberal Party, reviewing things after five years is not going to do what is needed, or even within two years or a year. If it is bad legislation now, do not pass it. When they vote for this bill, they are blessing this process. It is too late a year later, when a constituent asks how his or her information got into a database in the United States, to say we were told that it would not happen, that we trusted this would be a process our officials would keep their eye on. That is not good enough.

Today opposition members have an opportunity to say no to this bill. It is not about saying we do not want to negotiate with our friends south of the border. It is in fact saying that we should negotiate with our friends south of the border, which we did not do.

I am surprised that both the Liberals and the Bloc have decided this bill is okay. I say this because I know many of them and know that their constituents will be concerned about privacy. I am sure many of their constituents have been on the no-fly list and have not been able to get their names off it. I am sure many members have had to deal with those cases.

At the end of the day, I return to the issue of whether this is a good deal for Canadians. I say it is not: it puts our privacy in peril. If that is the case, then we as New Democrats say no to this bill. We need a better deal and we say no to Bill C-42.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Don Davies

New Democratic Party

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I want to read something that was said by the leader of the official opposition earlier this month. He stated:

Mr. Speaker, a perimeter security deal that has harmonization of entry and exit standards will confer on the U.S. government unprecedented amounts of information about Canadians. I do not think the Prime Minister is being straight with Canadians about this issue. The deal would impose U.S. homeland security standards on this side of the border.

Why is the Prime Minister even contemplating the surrender of Canadian privacy rights to U.S. homeland security?

The leader of the official opposition appeared to suggest to Canadians that he cared about their privacy rights and stood against the surrender of Canadian privacy rights to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and yet we see the spectre of the Liberal Party of Canada preparing to vote in favour of this bill that would do exactly that.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague can comment on that horrendous act of hypocrisy.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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NDP

Paul Dewar

New Democratic Party

Mr. Paul Dewar

Mr. Speaker, I would join the Leader of the Opposition in my concern about the perimeter talks. One of the concerns we have is about the SPP. We have not seen anything come before Parliament. He is quite right to underline the concerns that Canadians have about that. We and other members of the opposition, the Bloc, share the same concerns.

The thing that is hard to understand is what we do know.

We do not know the details of the perimeter talks because the government has not brought forward details of what is being discussed and what is at stake. We hear things. We hear about energy being shipped south, about supplies that we have not been told about and at what cost. We hear about standards for border security, products, food, etc.

However, we do know about this bill. Hopefully, the Leader of the Opposition has read this bill or had someone advise him about it. Unlike the perimeter security deal, we know about this one, and this one is going to compromise Canadians' privacy. This is not abstract, but concrete. This will give up Canadians' privacy to our friends south of the border.

Therefore, I would tell my colleague from Vancouver that we really do want to encourage the Liberals to look at this. In all sincerity, if they are concerned about privacy and sovereignty, there is an easy choice: vote no to Bill C-42.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker

It being 5:30 p.m. the House will now proceed to the consideration of private member's business as listed on today's order paper.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Strengthening Aviation Security Act
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The House resumed from November 24 consideration of the motion and the amendment..


CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona has five minutes left to conclude his remarks.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Tree Day
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NDP

Jim Maloway

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today in response to the motion by the member for Ottawa—Orléans.

I listened to the member's last go-round on November 24 last year. I know the mover of the motion, the member for Ottawa—Orléans, has done a lot of work on this motion. He made a very impassioned speech last go-round about his involvement in the issue.

He pointed out correctly that the forest products industry is a major generator of employment in Canada, that it is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for over 600,000 jobs in Canada. It has annual revenues of over $50 billion. It actually represents 2% of the GDP of the country. The member points out that Canada is the largest, most successful forest products exporting nation in the world.

Over the course of his remarks, the member also talked about his involvement in planting trees, his family's history of planting, and that of his son.

I talked about the situation we have in Manitoba right now with our boreal forest and the argument about whether the Bipole III power lines should go down the east side of the Manitoba lakes or not. I pointed out that it was his provincial party, the opposition in Manitoba, that was favouring this move to run the power line down the east side of the area. The Manitoba government is trying to turn the area into a preserve.

The member said he would check with Dorothy Dobbie, whom we both know. I have known Dorothy for many years. I actually know her husband and her kids. She, too, is quite involved in forestry and gardening issues in Manitoba, and certainly on a national stage as well.

I do applaud him because for many years we have had a very poor attitude towards natural resources in this country, but I am not going to say all over the world, because we have much evidence of the Europeans and Scandinavian countries back in the 1970s having a very positive attitude toward reforestation. People could not clear-cut over there. Trees had to be replaced as they were harvested. Every tree harvested had to be replaced.

We were not doing that here. As a matter of fact, we were just finding out this last week that the Ontario government and other governments were spraying Agent Orange through the forests of northern Ontario. Now the young workers who are were standing there getting the spray on them when they were teenagers are in their 50s and developing cancers and other health problems tied to this Agent Orange problem.

That is certainly the attitude we had during those years. The forest companies had their tracts of land, and their attitude was that they were going to spray the trees. They would load up airplanes with Agent Orange, mix it all up and spray it to kill what they considered to be trees of inferior quality. I would hope that we would not do things like that today and not try to harvest the best trees in the forest at the lowest possible cost. That is the way we used to look at things.

I am really pleased that we are changing our minds, little by little. We owe it to the environmental movement that has pushed us along. I am really pleased to see there are Conservative MPs who are taking a real interest in this, because the Conservative Party has not historically been overly concerned about the environment relative to our party over here. They have been known as pro-development and in favour of mowing the forest down and worrying about it later.

Even Conservatives can change. I am not suggesting that the member opposite has made any changes, because I think he has been solid from day one on this particular issue. However, it has not been normal for me to see a lot of Conservatives really actively concerned. Maybe they were concerned, but they were not actively promoting these kinds of issues—

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Tree Day
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker

Order please. There being no further members rising, I will go to the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans for his five minute right of reply.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Tree Day
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CPC

Royal Galipeau

Conservative

Mr. Royal Galipeau (Ottawa—Orléans, CPC)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to conclude the debate on my motion to establish a National Tree Day.

For the people of Ottawa—Orléans, I thank them for the opportunity to serve them and to represent them in the Parliament of Canada. It is with their support that I am able to stand in this place, in their place, today to speak to this important motion.

The residents of Ottawa—Orléans are the beneficiaries of a rich natural history. Orléans was, and to a great degree remains, a deep farmland with old trees and a great natural presence. Though continued growth has made new development a recurring pattern, one can always witness vibrant urban forests, parks lands and, of course, trees.

It is such a pleasure to take the journey that brought us here today with Michael Rosen and the professional staff and dedicated volunteers of Tree Canada.

In the first hour of debate, I alluded to the support of Mr. Rosen's organization for Motion M-575. Tree Canada has continued to be most helpful, and I understand they have even sent letters—on recycled paper, of course—to each member of this House seeking their support also. I once again thank them for their work.

Every member of the House knows, and it is henceforth recorded in the history of this place, that Tree Canada provides a vital service to our country and to its people. They have had a role in planting and maintaining over 76 million trees.

This motion comes as a product of a vision. As I previously told the House, I plant a tree each year during National Forest Week. I have done that since my days as a Boy Scout. I have also planted some 52,000 trees outside this celebratory week, and my children have planted 23,000 trees so far.

We do not just talk about the environment. We actually look after our own carbon footprint, and we have done it for generations.

It is my hope that this motion will create a day where others will be inspired to acknowledge the importance of the tree and take the time to plant one, or many, of their own.

Tree day will be the only exclusive day to recognize one of Canada's greatest assets: its trees. As I mentioned before, the tree is a symbol of Canada's historic, economic and environmental success. Our friends to the south celebrate their Arbor Day and soon we will celebrate Canada's own national tree day.

By passing this motion, the House will ask Canadians to spend just one day reflecting on the link between their lives and that of the tree. Canadians will dedicate trees, plant trees, learn about trees and appreciate the historical impact the tree has had on Canada’s economic success as a nation.

I understand that all parties in the House are fully aware of the importance of this motion and have extended their support. I thank them. It is then fruitless to continue encouraging them to support this motion when it seems that I have already laid a convincing case.

So, I will take just a few moments to thank some people who have helped this motion become a reality.

I thank the hon. members who have participated in this debate, my friend, the jovial member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, and the learned member for Elmwood—Transcona.

I also want to thank the fiery member for Honoré-Mercier and the member for Trois-Rivières.

As well, I thank the member for Windsor West and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.

I thank Craig Huff, the late manager of the city of Ottawa Forestry Services, his successor, David Barkley, the students of Good Shepherd Catholic School, the 1st Blackburn Scouts, 3rd Orléans, 4th Orléans, 8th Orléans and the 14th Gloucester.

And the Scouts of 25th St. Gabriel, 31st St. Joseph, and 55th Ste. Marie.

Finally, I thank my own staff, Lynne Bernard, Amanda Iarusso, Rebecca Lee, Andrej Sakic, Gina Vilsaint, Amanda Weir and Colette Yelle.

I also thank my senior assistant, Kyle Simunovic, who keeps the trains running on time.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   National Tree Day
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March 1, 2011