IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ on flawed & dangerous government Bill C-51

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, même si les conservateurs ont restreint le nombre des témoins et coupé court les débats en comité, nous avons pu entendre de nombreux témoignages d'experts de partout au pays qui ont quasiment tous confirmé ce que nous disons depuis le début, soit que les conservateurs font fausse route en refusant d'écouter les critiques sur le projet de loi C-51.

    Pourquoi le gouvernement conservateur s'entête-t-il à faire adopter un tel projet de loi alors que même leurs propres témoins demandent des changements majeurs à la loi?

    L'hon. Peter MacKay (ministre de la Justice et procureur général du Canada, PCC): Monsieur le Président, tout d'abord, la raison pour laquelle nous avons présenté ce projet de loi, c'est pour protéger les Canadiens, pour protéger notre pays. Or on a maintenant un processus en comité. Il est nécessaire de continuer d'écouter les témoins et les personnes qui se sont présentées à ce comité. Nous avons respecté ce processus.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, do not take our word for it, 90% of Conservative witnesses said that changes were needed.

    Bill C-51 is so flawed that even the former head of CSIS intelligence says that more oversight is needed. Unlike the minister, he understands that when CSIS is being given sweeping new powers, it needs increased oversight and review to go along with them. It is a very simple concept.

    Will the minister accept our amendments to improve oversight, as 95% of all witnesses and 90% of Conservative witnesses have recommended?

    Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at what some of the witnesses have actually said. This is from Ms. Raheel Raza, President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow. She said:

Legislation is important to combat radicalization. We need better tools to track jihadists who travel overseas.

Let us listen to what Mr. Ray Boivin, the former assistant director to CSIS, had to say. He said:

Bill C-51 will be a very effective tool and way to get jihadist propaganda off the Internet.

    These are the voices of the experts who are saying Bill C-51 will be an important way in which this government can continue to protect Canadians.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, almost every single one of them said more oversight is needed. The Conservatives are just not listening. That is the kind of answer that means the more Canadians hear about the bill, the less they like it.

    Conservatives should really listen to the witnesses, including prominent first nation witnesses. Everyone, from National Chief Perry Bellegarde to tribal councillors and activists, have been clear that Bill C-51 poses a real threat to the ability of first nations to defend their rights and title.

    Why is the minister refusing to acknowledge that Bill C-51 threatens first nations' rights and why such disrespect to first nations?

    Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC): Mr. Speaker, like so much of the rhetoric coming from members opposite, that is absolute nonsense. This is a bill not designed whatsoever to impact or effect peaceful protest or those who may take issue with government.

    This is a bill aimed directly at giving our security agencies the necessary support, tools, legislation and resources to go after people who are directly targeting Canada. Those are terrorists: those who have in the past and may in the future impact directly on the safety of Canadians inside and outside our country. That is why we are bringing forward the legislation. That is why we are participating in an important international mission.

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