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National Security—Terrorism

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

On Tuesday, I asked about those two people charged in Richmond Hill for possession of explosives. Knowing that Minister Goodale said that it was a local affair, even though we know the FBI is involved, in your answer you said:

I think that there is an obligation on all our parts to ensure transparency within the bounds of appropriate concern for the safety and security of Canadians.

Speaking of transparency, I would like to ask you about another incident. On May 10, a fuel tanker truck crashed into an Air Canada plane at Toronto Pearson Airport. Five people were injured. It could have been much worse considering that gasoline was spilled.

That could be considered an accident, even though the driver is now facing charges of dangerous driving. What is concerning, however, is the information reported in The Globe and Mail:

A spokeswoman for Peel Regional Police said the truck hit the plane three times . . .

Senator Harder, you will have to admit that they had to be a pretty bad driver to accidentally hit a plane three times.

A reasonable person could imagine the possibility that the driver did this purposely. In the spirit of transparency that you say you support, could you tell Canadians why this matter should not be considered a national security concern?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for her question. I will obviously make inquiries but, again, in fairness to what I said, transparency must be balanced with the obligation for national security and the protection of Canadians. I’m not saying for a moment that precludes a greater disclosure of information, but simply that I have to be informed first.

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