House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Starred Questions
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Return tabled.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Routine Proceedings

September 18th, 2000 / 3:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, no agreement could be reached under Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) regarding consideration at committee stage of Bill C-3, an act in respect of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other acts.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting of the House a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stages.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Shame, shame.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I have received two applications for emergency debates. I received two letters today. The first one I received was from the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough and the second one was from the member for Roberval. I will hear the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough first because it deals basically with the same subject. I will then hear the hon. member for Roberval.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this Progressive Conservative request is to augment and buttress the arguments that were made earlier by my friend from Roberval. This is completely associated with the same issue, the growing crisis of organized crime in Canada.

There is probably not a single member of the House or very few Canadians who are not aware of what is taking place throughout the country. This is not in any way meant to torque up the debate but to bring it into a tangible form in the House where we can discuss these issues as we should in the Parliament of Canada.

There is an emerging crisis with respect to Asian triads, east bloc Mafia, traditional crime families and biker gangs who are infiltrating our communities throughout the country. I say for my friends in Quebec that this is not just a Quebec issue. This is something we are seeing in an acute way in the province of Quebec around Montreal in particular but there have recently been reports of biker turf wars happening in Kingston, Ontario. It is happening on the west coast to a large degree.

Kingston, Ontario is the area with the highest concentration of federal prisons in Canada yet there are no deterrents for what is taking place. Potential criminals are being released from these prisons right into the waiting arms of organized crime families.

The RCMP commissioner raised this issue in his earliest remarks when he was appointed to that position. Two weeks ago new RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli stated that organized crime organizations have drafted plans to use bribes to destabilize the country's parliament. This is happening to a significant effect and is something we have to address in this place. It is something the Government of Canada has an innate responsibility to deal with by bringing it to the forefront through a debate where we can discuss methods to approach organized crime in a significant way, the resources required and the strategy in terms of legislation. The provincial attorneys general are similarly calling for it.

We urge the government to act and to act swiftly. I urge the Chair to deem this emergency debate necessary. I would be prepared to move the motion.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Usually when we make interventions they are quite concise. I have read the letters from both members.

I invite the hon. member for Roberval to make his request.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the murder attempt on journalist Michel Auger in Quebec last week was the latest in a series of unfortunate events, to say the least, that have led us to make the following statement: some 150 persons have been assassinated in the course of the biker war in Quebec in recent years.

The attempt on Mr. Auger was the limit and makes it clear just how much organized crime and criminal organizations have become an unacceptable presence in our society—a presence that of itself is unacceptable—but of a significance today that makes all the more unacceptable the action they have taken, what they are doing and what they will do in the years to come.

Last year, my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot was threatened because he reported the cultivation of marijuana on farms in his region. Last week a journalist was attacked because he wrote about organized crime. Sometimes—according to a federal report—judges are threatened. This points to the extreme importance of the matter. There is no place better than the House of Commons to consider this issue.

The criminal code must be amended and put at the disposal of the forces of order and justice whatever means they need to get these criminals, these people belonging to criminal gangs, sentenced. Let us not forget—and it is regrettable to say—that most of the proceedings initiated against these people have met with failure because it was too hard to come up with the evidence. There is vast evidence, and reference to the charter of rights and the use of arguments of all sorts mean that the legal system can no longer produce the evidence.

Accordingly, we sincerely believe that the federal parliament must not only debate this matter. We would have liked to have the House of Commons vote on this so as to be perfectly clear, to have each member asked to rise and say what he or she thinks of this matter: should the federal parliament and the Government of Canada amend the criminal code? That is what we thought, but we would agree to there at least being a debate of this issue, to our sharing viewpoints and to this helping the government decide and respond to this urgent request from the people of Quebec.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The issue raised today is a very important one, both for the House and for our country as a whole.

I have listened to the two members who have intervened, the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough and the member for Roberval. This issue is of such importance that I will allow an emergency debate. It will begin at 8 p.m. this evening and continue until 12 a.m. There will be an emergency debate on the matters which were brought up by the two members who spoke in the House.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, now that you have given your ruling in this matter, I wish to move the following motion, and there was consultation, at least with certain party leaders. I tried to meet with most of them during the last few minutes.

I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, the debate pursuant to Standing Order 52 commence at 6:30 p.m.;

That proceedings pursuant to Standing Order 38 be suspended;

That, during the said debate, no member may speak for more than 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute question-and-comment period, provided that the Standing Orders respecting the division of speaking times shall apply; and

That, during the said debate, the Chair shall receive no call for quorum, dilatory motion or request for unanimous consent, and that when no member rises to speak, the House shall adjourn until the next sitting day.

The reasons we are moving these slight amendments is so that debate can begin immediately at 6:30 p.m., using the standing order that often applies to evening debates. I think you will find that there is unanimous consent.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of clarification. The Chair allowed debate to take place. I think there was an offer for a motion to be tabled by the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

Is it then the Chair's opinion that this motion, when tabled, would be votable?

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

No, in my view we will have a debate with some modification if it is accepted, but there will be no vote.

I am in receipt of a motion. It basically says that instead of beginning at 8 p.m. we will begin at 6.30 p.m. and all the usual rules for this type of debate will apply.

Does the hon. member have permission to put the motion?

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Request For Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

The Speaker

There will be an emergency debate tonight. It will begin at 6.30 p.m. and will deal with bikers.