June 2, 2015

CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton)

Order, please. It is now my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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?

Some hon. members

Yea.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Nay.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

The recorded division is deferred until later today at the end of government orders.

The House will resume with the remaining business under routine proceedings. We are currently under the rubric of motions.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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NDP

Isabelle Morin

New Democratic Party

Ms. Isabelle Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to present 12,000 signatures from residents of Laval and surrounding the airport of Montreal. The airport of Montreal wants to expand to have screening and distribution facilities on the golf course of Dorval. The residents are against that proposition.

The residents absolutely want to conserve a green space that is essential to the people of Dorval, a space where seniors can play sports, go for walks and socialize. It is important for our community.

Some 12,000 people signed this petition, and we are still gathering petitions. It is important for the Minister of Transport to understand that this is a major issue for the West Island of Montreal.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Airports
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to present a petition that has been signed by several Prince Edward Islanders, including many in the riding I represent. The petitioners are extremely concerned about the erection of a cellphone tower on top of a range lighthouse owned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This cellphone tower is 250 metres away from an elementary school, in a residential area. There was absolutely no consultation with the residents, because the rules for this tower allowed for there to be no consultation. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon the government to change the rules, so these things cannot be done in secret, and to stop the construction of this cellphone tower in a residential area of Charlottetown.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Cell Towers
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NDP

Raymond Côté

New Democratic Party

Mr. Raymond Côté (Beauport—Limoilou, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition calling on the government to exempt feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, from the GST.

As it says in the petition, these products are essential to the lives of women and this tax adds a disproportionate financial burden.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Matthew Kellway

New Democratic Party

Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, I spoke to students in Ms. Kasserra's class at my old high school, Frontenac Secondary School in Kingston, Ontario. I spoke to the kids about the death of 1,100 garment workers under Rana Plaza when it collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The students took it upon themselves to circulate a petition that calls upon this House to remember that wherever workers are in the world, they have a right to work in healthy and safe workplaces and to return to their families every night. They also call upon this government to endorse the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

I want to thank the kids for their concern and initiative. I also thank Ms. Kasserra for inviting me into her classroom, proof again that the impact of great teachers extends well beyond their classrooms.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Workers' Rights
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition, which is signed by several hundred people. It refers to many home children, child migrants and their descendants who were victimized by an immigration policy that unfairly and systemically uprooted families and sought to essentially sever basic extended family ties.

The petitioners ask for an official apology, which has already been delivered by the governments of Britain and Australia. The home children, child migrants and their descendants are deserving of a similar apology from the Government of Canada for its role in the said program

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Immigration
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NDP

Paulina Ayala

New Democratic Party

Ms. Paulina Ayala (Honoré-Mercier, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition signed by a hundred or so people who want feminine hygiene products to be tax-free.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
Sub-subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

James Bezan

Conservative

Mr. James Bezan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton)

Is that agreed?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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The House resumed from May 12 consideration of Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.


NDP

Matthew Dubé

New Democratic Party

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Chambly—Borduas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to speak to the very important Bill S-4. It concerns the sharing of personal information in the digital age. It deals mainly with the way in which we legislate against companies responsible for the loss or sharing of information. We know this is a very sensitive issue because we are in the digital age where more and more personal information is found online. We think first of banking information, and also of information that sometimes seems not that important, but that is nevertheless part of peoples' private lives. It is information that we share on social networks, such as photos.

This covers all kinds of of complex issues, such as copyright, that we have addressed in the House since the last election, and the dissemination of information pertaining to national security. We had an important debate on this issue during the debate on Bill C-51. We learned that information technology companies, or startups, had concerns about some of the bill's provisions.

Of course, we are all familiar with the infamous story of Bill C-30, where the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness at the time told us that we stood either with the government or with child pornographers. This example shows just how big an issue we are dealing with and the Conservatives' poor record in this regard.

First, I would like to mention something very important and very simple: the obligation to review the privacy legislation every five years. Obviously, this is very important given how quickly technology changes. Unfortunately, such a review has not been implemented. A number of bills were introduced in this regard, but they died on the order paper when the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament. There was, of course, Bill C-30, which is a whole other story, and there was also the bill introduced by my colleague from Terrebonne—Blainville. That bill, which the government refused to support, sought to implement a robust privacy review process, give more power to the Privacy Commissioner and have clearer legislative provisions.

Bill S-4 includes similar provisions. However, they do not go far enough and there are still worrisome loopholes. One of the grey areas that I am particularly concerned about has to do with organizations, such as banks, that could share private information. These organizations are required to report a loss of personal information to the Privacy Commissioner only “if it is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that the breach creates a real risk of significant harm to an individual”. That may seem clear, but when it comes to legislative measures, we can see that there is a lot of leeway in how this provision of the bill is worded. The company could decide that no one's privacy was really violated and that there was no risk of harm to the individual and simply not report the privacy breach.

One of the flaws in this bill is the requirement for a court warrant, which my colleague from Terrebonne—Blainville brought up earlier and which she included in her bill. The Supreme Court recently ruled that any invasion of privacy by the government and any request that the government makes to a private company that is in possession of our information require a mandate. There is no such requirement in this bill, which is extremely worrisome. That is why I made the link earlier to Bill C-51 and the debate on Bill C-30, which did not end up taking place because we managed to get the government to back down. The government seems to be on the wrong track and does not seem to take privacy seriously.

Its record is a great example of that. How many times does the House need to hear criticisms about mismanagement at the Canada Revenue Agency, for example, during question period or at every possible opportunity, whether it is when bills are introduced and petitions are presented or at press conferences?

This department is in possession of the most sensitive information on Canadians, such as their social insurance numbers and their tax information. The department has been the victim of data breaches, and the government does not seem to be taking any responsibility. That makes it hard for us to trust that the government will require private companies to comply with high privacy standards when it is not capable of doing so itself. This situation is extremely worrisome.

We know that this is a complex issue because more and more things are done online. As far as matters of national security are concerned, we know that as legislators we have work to do. We wanted to propose amendments to ensure that this bill went further and complied with the Supreme Court decision. Like a number of witnesses in committee, we question the constitutionality of this bill in its current form.

If I am not mistaken, the 18 amendments the NDP proposed were all rejected. True to form, the Conservatives did not listen to any of the testimony or pay any regard to the amendments proposed by all the parties. The amendments proposed by the NDP were all based on what the public had to say and on the very hard work of my colleague from Terrebonne—Blainville, who was trying to get suitable provisions for 2015, not 2000. Technology changes and so does our reality, and we have to adjust accordingly.

In this context, there are a number of troubling aspects. First, this bill was introduced in the Senate, which, naturally, we criticize every chance we get. The Minister of Industry made an announcement about how he wants to proceed in the digital age, but instead of introducing this bill in the House himself, he introduced it in the Senate. That is one problem.

The second problem is that the Conservatives wanted to skip second reading and send the bill straight to committee. That is not a bad idea in and of itself. The NDP has asked for the same in order to study certain extremely complex files.

For example, we asked to take this approach for Bill C-23, which we called the “electoral deform” bill. Since the government wanted to go straight to committee, we thought it was willing to accept amendments and listen to witnesses, but that did not happen.

The third problem concerns another of the government's bad habits: the honour of the 97th time allocation motion was bestowed on Bill S-4 in order to limit debate. Unfortunately, at this rate, the Conservatives will have moved 100 such motions by the time the election is held. To be blunt, that is pretty shabby.

Although it is important to protect Canadians' privacy and to do what it takes, in 2015, to implement an approach appropriate for the digital age, recent Supreme Court decisions have cast doubt on the constitutionality of this bill.

This bill does not go far enough, and since the government wants to limit debate and does not accept the amendments and the work done in committee, we cannot and will not support this bill. I am very pleased to rise in the House to say that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the ability of corporations nowadays, through the digital area, to accumulate information and the type of information collected. Whether it is through our financial industries or through a lot of groups that sell merchandise over the Internet, there is a great deal of information about virtually everyone in Canada. The government needs to put into place safeguards to protect the identity and other related issues.

Perhaps the member might want to provide more of his thoughts with respect to the important role that government can play in protecting the interests of Canadians who engaging with the Internet and different types of transactions more and more everyday.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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NDP

Matthew Dubé

New Democratic Party

Mr. Matthew Dubé

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.

There is a lot of information circulating, and our world is changing quickly. The challenge for us as legislators is to stay on top of all these changes.

Sometimes some information that seems innocuous can pose a threat to our privacy. An IP address, for example, can identify the location where we accessed the Internet, the device we used and what we did with it. All manner of information is hidden, and sometimes we are not even aware that it exists.

One aspect of this problem can be addressed through public education. However, as my colleague mentioned, the government has a responsibility to protect Canadians.

A private company with personal information about a citizen has an obligation to protect it. Sometimes, despite great efforts, this information can be lost or even stolen.

The government itself could ask for this information for reasons of national security. That is why the courts need guidelines that must be spelled out in the law to ensure that the government cannot simply extract this information from companies.

If that information is stolen from companies or if they lose it, there has to be a way to ensure that the Privacy Commissioner is informed and has the right tools to take action and protect people.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Digital Privacy Act
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June 2, 2015