Evidence of meeting #53 for Justice and Human Rights in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was tribunal.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Ian Fine  Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Susheel Gupta  Acting Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
  • Diane Watts  Researcher, REAL Women of Canada

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

I know that in a matter of rights going back to 2005, the Canadian Human Rights Commission did actually acknowledge that a section 67 repeal that was going to extend the Canadian Human Rights Act to first nations communities should at least consider consulting with first nations peoples in relation to the changes that were going to face their communities.

Would you agree that that was a good idea in relation to that implementation?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I can't recall specifically what we said with respect to consultation and obligation. If you have it there, I'm happy to hear it, but I don't recall exactly what we said about the duty to consult. I believe we discussed it in the context of the government's duty to consult. I'm not sure we discussed it in relation to the commission's duty to consult.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Do you think it would be a good idea to have a transition period for this bill so that first nations communities could transition accordingly, much like what was done with the section 67 repeal that occurred?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I really can't comment on that. I really don't know the answer to that question. The law would apply, as I say, to first nations communities as well as to all other Canadians. I really haven't thought about whether or not a transition period would be required in this situation.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

But you would agree it was a good idea for the section 67 repeal? Of course, many first nations leaders called for it and in the end it was put into the bill. I believe it was a three-year transition period. Do you think that's an appropriate timeline?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

For the purposes of that bill and for the purposes of the repeal of section 67, we did support that transition period, yes.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Would you support a transition period for a bill like this?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I really can't say. I really can't speculate on whether we would or we wouldn't support that.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

I'm just going back to the topic of consultation. I have spoken with the Assembly of First Nations. They haven't yet had a chance to think about this bill.

Perhaps the mover could speak to it as well. I know he's not in the hot seat today. Nonetheless, in my conversations with the Assembly of First Nations, they hadn't yet heard from the mover and were unaware of the context of the bill in terms of the effect it would have on their communities.

Should this pass, do you think it would be something your organization would engage in, consulting with them to get a better sense of how their communities would interact with this legislation?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

Given that it is not our bill—it's a member of Parliament's bill—I don't know whether we would engage in that unless called upon by Parliament to do so.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Thank you.

Madame Boivin.

November 27th, 2012 / 4:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

My thanks to our guests for being here.

I almost got a feeling of déjà-vu with Ms. Watts. I do not think that anyone else here was at the meetings of the special committee on same-sex marriage, but I had the great pleasure to be part of that committee in 2005. I heard those kinds of remarks a lot, and I will not go back over Mr. Casey's comments because they were quite clear.

That said, I appreciate your questions, Mr. Bruinooge.

My questions go more to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

If I am not mistaken, the intent of this bill is to add an expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and to amend a few little sections of the Criminal Code. Do you see it the same way as I do?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I am sorry, I do not understand the question. Could you repeat it?

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

The purpose of Bill C-279 is to:

extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives

It's to add an expression. At some point we had “l'expression sexuelle”. With the amendments, we'll be talking about gender and identity. We understand each other. That's the purpose of the bill.

You understood this?

4:15 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

To add two new grounds to the list of prohibited grounds in the Canadian Human Rights Act.