House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was moved.

Topics

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-3, an act in respect of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other acts, as reported (without amendment) from the committee.

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11:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Before consideration of report stage of Bill C-3 commences, the Chair wishes to make some comments about the process on this debate.

Just before the deadline for submissions to the notice paper last Friday, hundreds of motions to amend Bill C-3 were tabled with the journals branch. By working all weekend, we were able to produce a supplement to the notice paper containing these motions.

Because the text was first produced on Saturday, the computer has generated September 23 as the date appearing on each motion. Members are asked to ignore this technical anomaly and to rest assured that all motions appearing in the supplement to the notice paper were duly received before the 2 o'clock deadline on September 22.

There are 3,133 motions to amend Bill C-3. Members will understand that considering all these motions will require a great deal of time and care. I am prepared to make a preliminary ruling that debate begin, and you will be informed of my final ruling as soon as possible.

There are, as I indicated, 3,133 motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-3. The motions will be grouped for debate as follows.

Group No. 1 will include Motions Nos. 1 to 75, 98, 184 to 186, 192, 257, 264 to 276, 311 to 319, 359 to 361, 629 to 646, 698 to 712, 927 to 936, 1,009 to 1,011, 1,295, 1,424, 1,515 to 1,517, 1,624 to 1,628, 1,647, 1,648, 2,213, 2,214, 2,255 to 2,261, 2,275 to 2,299, 2,305 to 2,322, 2,241, 2,528 to 2,540, 2,551 to 2,553, 2,563 to 2,570, 2,573 to 2,579, 2,584 to 2,594, 2,600 to 2,607, 2,616 to 2,625, 2,628 to 2,636 and 2,642.

Group No. 2 will include Motions Nos. 76 to 97 and 99 to 123.

Group No. 3 will include Motions Nos. 124 to 183, 187 and 188.

Group No. 4 will include Motions Nos. 189 to 191, 193 to 256, 258 to 263, 277 to 310, 320 to 358 and 362 to 380.

Group No. 5 will include Motions Nos. 381 to 628, 647 to 697, 713 to 926 and 937 to 955.

Group No. 6 will include Motions Nos. 956 to 1,008, 1,012 to 1,294, 1,296 to 1,423, 1,425 to 1,514, 1,518 to 1,599.

Group No. 7 will include Motions Nos. 1600 to 1623, 1629 to 1646, 1649 to 2212, 2215 to 2254 and 2262 to 2274.

Group No. 8 will include Motions Nos. 2,300 to 2,304, 2,323 to 2,420, 2,422 to 2,527.

Group No. 9 will include Motions Nos. 2541 to 2550 and Motions Nos. 2554 to 2562.

Group No. 10 will include Motions Nos. 2,571, 2,572, 2,580 to 2,583, 2,595 to 2,599, 2,608 to 2,615, 2,626, 2,627, 2,637 to 2,641, 2,643 to 3,029.

Group No. 11 will include Motions Nos. 3030 to 3133.

I will now submit the motions in Group No. 1 to the House.

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11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This matter was scheduled to come before the House, I believe, on Wednesday of this week and that was changed late last week.

I was in my riding on Friday and as a result some amendments that I had submitted never saw the light of day at the committee hearing and were submitted by the member for Kamloops. As the justice critic for the party, I am prepared to speak to those amendments today but I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House that my name be substituted for the name of the member from Kamloops as the mover of those amendments.

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11:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member's name to be substituted for that of the hon. member for Kamloops on those motions?

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11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, on this point of order, as you have ably outlined, we have heard now that the report stage of Bill C-3 will be before the House. It will be a hotly contested bill. Officials of the House have been inundated with notices of proposed amendments. The government itself has been so inept at the handling of the bill that it also has over 100 amendments to a bill with only 199 clauses.

There are so many proposed amendments by other members that the parliamentary website has not been able to publish these notices with the regular notice paper. As of 8.30 last evening I was unable to find the questions that might be before the House this morning and yet the government expects all members to be here prepared to debate this substantial bill.

Moreover, I am equally concerned that Canadians have not been informed about what the possible amendments to the bill will be. This is a very important bill and arguably the most important bill that we will see before the House in this session.

We are in real danger. We are close to undertaking a secret proceeding around a very public bill. We are in this position for several reasons. We are in this quagmire because of arrogance and incompetence on the part of the government and its inability to have any form of compromise.

It is not the job of the Chair, I would suggest, to in any way make up for or explain the incompetence of the government and yet it is my submission that there is a basic duty on the Speaker to maintain an orderly process in the House. The Chair must do this in an orderly fashion when members are not able to access the basic information on the questions they will be ordered to debate and decide upon. This is not an orderly proceeding. This is a sabotage of parliament.

Standing Order 76.1(5) gives the Speaker an unfettered power to select amendments for the report stage. To date the Chair has been reluctant to use that power.

It is obvious that the House of Commons in this session has started down a path on which none of us should be willing to be accessories.

At the instigation of the Reform Party's amendments on the Nisga'a treaty, we now see copycat tactics that the Bloc used during the clarity bill and now C-3. The House is being turned into a disorderly House because the Chair has failed to maintain an orderly process.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, Standing Order 10 demands that the Speaker maintain order. Standing Order 76.1(5) reads as follows:

(5) The Speaker shall have power to select or combine amendments or clauses to be proposed at the report stage—

The Chair is empowered and, I would suggest, impliedly ordered to do so.

These two orders of the House are sufficient to allow the Chair to put a stop to this tactic that is leading the House of Commons into disrepute. A repeat of the voting circuses that we have seen here are unnecessary. It will not lead to an improvement of the bill and it is not an orderly proceeding.

The bill received no clausal examination at committee. Everyone here should be ashamed of what happened at the committee on this bill, particularly the Minister of Justice and the Queen's Attorney General of Canada. This is not the way we should be considering bills in parliament. We are seeing once again that the committee stage is being flouted. This is not the way to pass laws and dumping these amendments now before the House of Commons without any real examination at the committee, none whatsoever, nada, is a complete abuse of parliament.

Under these circumstances all of us must examine our conduct and our consciences if we are to proceed. The Speaker, I would suggest, and I say this with greatest respect, is not a mere decoration in this place. The Speaker has a duty to the entire House and the entire country to make parliament work and to make parliament relevant. The Speaker has the power to put a stop to this sabotage of democracy. It is time for the Speaker to do that job. This place will grind to a smoking, screeching halt if we continue down this road.

First, I suggest the Speaker should vigorously use the power and the office he has to select amendments.

Second, the House and the public should have adequate notice as to what selected questions of debate will be in this place.

Third, the government should get its act together and bring in a clean bill incorporating the changes that it earlier muddied with its own amendments.

Fourth, instead of trying to ram everything through the House of Commons and reacting to dilatory tactics with an iron fist, the government should admit that it made a serious mistake with this bill, change the order of business today and stop treating the House as if it were its own private play toy.

Some in this place will tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the House got itself into this mess and that it will get itself out of this mess. I state to you quite seriously that for every hour that the House debates in needless, ritualistic voting as a dilatory tactic, the House diminishes itself in the eyes of Canadians and other democratic nations.

The Speaker has the power to prevent this from happening. It is the Speaker's duty to do so and the House of Commons and Canadians generally expect the Chair to act in a way that will bring the House credit instead of disrepute. By proceeding in this fashion the chair and the Speaker are being rendered to that of a bingo caller. This is not to be permitted. This should not be an attack on parliament, which it is. It is necessary and it is incumbent upon the Chair to act decisively in this fashion.

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11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the point of order raised by our hon. colleague, the House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, for all intents and purposes, it contains a number of elements, and I am totally in agreement with some of them but not with others.

When the House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party says that the Chair did not use his power, his prerogative to select amendments, I believe he is wrong. The total number of amendments tabled with journals branch is far higher than the figure of 2,133 you gave earlier. In other worlds, the Chair did exercise its discretionary power to select certain amendments and reject others.

The House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party took the trouble to point out that the essential reason for our finding ourselves in this situation today, and for a similar situation in the past, is the lack of openness of the government, its stubborness and its partisan manipulation of this parliament.

The government imagines it can use its majority in the House to impose anything it wants on this parliament. This closed-minded rigidity goes so far as to propose to us a bill so badly put together than even the government needs to amend it. It alone has proposed over 150 amendments to a bill than does not even contain 200 clauses.

This is indication that the government ought to have softened its position and agreed to withdraw its bill and to make the necessary changes. Instead of doing so, which would have forced it to admit it had made a mistake, it has decided to go ahead and to force parliament to examine its bill, imperfect as it is.

Here we have before this parliament today a far from perfect bill at report stage, with this government itself having to propose 150 amendments to it. As we have said and often repeated, this bill is not just imperfect in form but in substance as well.

While the reasons the government has decided to examine this bill may be justified in some areas of the country, they are certainly less justified in Quebec, where we have come to terms with juvenile delinquency by means other than those the minister is proposing today.

I respectfully submit to my colleague, the House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that, with a bill erring in substance and not simply in form, it was to be expected that we would move amendments to correct not simply the form of the bill, but its substance as well. Not surprisingly we are tabling a great many amendments.

I repeat that it is very disrespectful toward the Chair to claim that it has not made a ruling, that it has not exercised discretion in excluding a number of amendments, because it has.

I would also be concerned that the Chair is being autocratic and discretionary to an extent beyond that permitted under the standing orders of the House and in deciding on the relevance of the amendments, as it has up to now.

If the House leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is right in saying that a tendency is developing to use report stage as a dilatory tactic in the passage of bills, it is not the opposition parties who are to be blamed. I would respectfully submit to him that he should not criticize the opposition parties for using this tactic but place the essence of the blame if not all of it squarely on the shoulders of the government, which for all intents and purposes compels the opposition parties to use such dilatory tactics because the government is not playing fairly or working constructively in its efforts to use this parliament for partisan purposes.

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11:25 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I think the standing orders and the usual practices in the House have all been complied with by the government. The Speaker made a decision and we should proceed with that decision. We should not reflect on the decision of the Speaker.

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11:25 a.m.

Reform

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is rather amusing to listen to the House Leader of the Conservative Party talk about closure when it was his party that was one of the biggest abusers of this method of governing in Canada.

My party always respects the decisions by the Chair and we will respect the decision you make in this matter today.

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11:25 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I just want to speak briefly on this point of order. I think it is once more regrettable that the House finds itself in the situation it is in as a result of what transpired in committee and the inability of people to move amendments in committee. We can point fingers as to whether or not it was the government's lack of receptivity to changes in the legislation or a particular opposition party's position with respect to the bill.

The fact remains that we now have before us a very undesirable situation: a committee process in which people were not able to move any amendments. Therefore it is impossible for any of us to claim that the bill received the kind of attention that it should have on a clause by clause basis. Now we are potentially faced with one of these voting marathons again.

Whatever the case may be, I think there is a larger argument to be made. Perhaps now is not the time to make it, in the heat of battle, so to speak, but it is an argument I have made before and I think others have made before. There should be more power given to the Speaker to act in the interests of the whole House and in the interests of the general reputation of parliament when procedural things like this present themselves.

Now whether the Speaker wants to use this context to initiate a new interventionist approach by the Chair is something that the Chair itself will have to deliberate upon, but we do have a cumulative crisis of legitimacy with respect to how we deal with report stage. If there is anything that the Chair could do in this respect, I would urge the Chair to consider it or to consult with the House leaders or others as to how this might be achieved.

In the meantime, we have to proceed with what we have before us and I would urge the House to do that.

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11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order please. The Chair is about to rule on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough and the Chair really appreciates the comments of other members on this issue.

The Chair has given a ruling in respect of the admissibility of the amendments. Of the 3,100 or so that were submitted, I am told 156 have been rejected as not in order and will not be proposed to the House in the course of the debate.

It must be remembered that from 1964 to 1968 we adopted a number of rules that have changed the practice in this House concerning amendments at report stage by including a new debate at the report stage of bills, after a standing committee of the House tables its report on a bill.

I know hon. members are aware of the fact that these changes to the rules were made. At that time certain discretion was given to the Chair in the standing orders and there have been amendments to that from time to time in the years since. But I think it is fair for hon. members to know, and I am sure all hon. members do know, that the Chair has exercised its discretion in certain ways throughout the period from 1968 until now, so we have 30 years of practice in this House of dealing with the admissibility of amendments at report stage.

What we have today, which we have had before, and not just on the three bills where we have had a significant number of votes, is a deliberate choice by members of the House to submit amendments that, based on Speaker's rulings in the past, are in order. What has happened on this occasion is that a large number of amendments have been submitted that, based on previous rulings by the Chair, are in order.

It is not for the Chair to adopt the solution proposed by the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, that is, to exercise powers that are there in the rules, that have never in fact been exercised before, and that in fact have been exercised but in different ways than what we are faced with today. Members have chosen to draft amendments to get around rulings that Speakers have made as to their discretion under Standing Order 76 and they have done it apparently in compliance with those previous decisions which, in my view, are binding on the Chair today.

The procedure and House affairs committee, after the two other voting marathons we have had, has considered the issue and chose not to come up with any amendments to the standing orders reflecting their consideration and reflecting the difficulties that we encountered. The duty of that committee is to make suggestions for changes.

I do not think that the Chair is required to define a new procedure here today.

If the House wishes to make changes in the rules or wishes the Speaker to exercise his or her discretion in another way, I think that can be done through the procedure and House affairs committee, not on a point of order in the House. Accordingly, I must reject the point of order.

I propose to put the motions in Group No. 1 to the House.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting the title.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting the preamble.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 3

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 10 on page 1.

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11:35 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 4.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing lines 1 to 34 on page 1 with the following:

“WHEREAS members of society share a responsibility to address the developmental challenges and the needs of young persons and to guide them into adulthood;

WHEREAS communities, families, parents and others concerned with the development of young persons should, through multi- disciplinary approaches, take reasonable steps to prevent youth crime by addressing its underlying causes, to respond to the needs of young persons, and to provide guidance and support to those at risk of committing crimes;

WHEREAS information about youth justice, youth crime and the effectiveness of measures taken to address youth crime should be publicly available;

WHEREAS Canada is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognizes that young persons have rights and freedoms, including those stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights, and have special guarantees of their rights and freedoms;

AND WHEREAS Canadian society should have a youth criminal justice system that commands respect, takes into account the interests of victims, fosters responsibility and ensures accountability through meaningful consequences and effective rehabilitation and reintegration, and that reserves its most serious intervention for the most serious crimes and reduces the over-reliance on incarceration for non-violent young persons;”

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11:35 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 5

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 1 with the following:

“meaningful consequences that take account of the principles of denunciation and deterrence and through effective reha-”

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 6.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 1 with the following:

“its most serious measures for the most”

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 7.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by deleting lines 11 to 14 on page 1.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 8.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by deleting lines 15 to 18 on page 1.

Motion No. 9.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 26 on page 1.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 10.

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing lines 21 and 22 on page 1 with the following:

“young persons should, through approaches, take reasonable steps to”

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 11

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 34 on page 1.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 12

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 28 on page 1 with the following:

“d'offrir soutien et conseil à ceux”

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 13

That Bill C-3, in the preamble, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 37 on page 1 with the following:

“droits, et qu'ils bénéficient”

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 14

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 1.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 15

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 16

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 5 and 6 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 17

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 7 to 11 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 18

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 12 to 18 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 19

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 21 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 20

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 22 to 24 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 21

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 25 to 27 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 22

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 28 to 37 on page 2.

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11:40 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 23

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended a ) by replacing line 30 on page 2 with the following:

“paragraph 41(2)( n ), ( n .1), ( p ) or ( q ), means the pe-” b ) by replacing line 37 on page 2 with the following:

“under paragraph 41(2), ( n .1), ( p ) or ( q ).”

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 24

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 1 and 2 on page 3.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 25

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 6 on page 3.

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11:40 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 26

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 3 with the following:

“leged to have committed an offence and includes extrajudicial sanctions.”

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 7 to 9 on page 3.

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 28

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 9 on page 3 with the following:

““justice” means a justice referred to in section 20.”

Motion No. 29

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 9 on page 3 the following:

““justice” means a justice of the peace or a provincial court judge, and includes two or more justices where two or more justices are, by law, required to act or, by law, act or have jurisdiction.”

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11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I simply wish to make a brief correction.

From the outset, you undertook the rather fastidious task of reading all the amendments that were duly and legitimately tabled regarding Bill C-3. We are going to begin the report stage study of this bill today. We have, of course, the list of the amendments that are on the order paper but we are told that it is impossible to get copies of the bill.

How can we parliamentarians seriously be expected to do our job in the House if we cannot get copies of Bill C-3? Is it possible to see that we get copies before carrying on?

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11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Each member received a copy of Bill C-3 after first reading, and there are other copies available here in the building. We can get some for the members if there is a problem. Each member's office was sent at least one after the bill was tabled in the House.

No changes were made to the bill during its examination in committee. I believe the committee report contained no amendments, so it is the same bill. Copies are, I believe, available now at the table. If there is a problem for any members in this connection, we can get more. There are some here.

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11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did indeed get a copy of the bill, but you will understand that when a bill is a complicated at this there is more than one person in each MP's office working on it. There being more than 3,000 amendments, you will understand that more than one person in each office is working on such an important bill.

Today the members in this House are going to vote on the amendments without even having the original tool in hand, Bill C-3. For there to be democracy there must be information.

I myself asked a page for a copy of the bill and I do not know whether he found one or not. Some other members of my party did the same and were told there were no more available.

Before resuming work on this bill, I would point out that there is such a thing as a photocopier and if necessary photocopies can be made. We must have Bill C-3 in our hands so that we can seriously pursue our work on it.

I know that you are in agreement with us on this, Mr. Speaker.

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11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm has been a member of this House for a long time and he knows full well that when a bill is being debated in the House there are always copies of the bill available at the table. Today is no exception.

I invite the hon. member to approach the table and get a copy of the bill if he needs one. There are several copies at the table.

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11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand what you are telling me, but what I fail to understand is that you are telling us to go get copies of the bill ourselves while you are reading the amendments, when we have asked the pages to provide us with copy and were told that none were available.

Maybe a few adjustments need to be made here.

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11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I understand that the members have now received copies of the bill. There are many copies available.

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11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 9 on page 3 the following:

““justice” means a justice of the peace or a person appointed or authorized to act by an Act of the legislature of a province, by whatever title that person may be designated, who has the power and authority of two or more justices, including two or more justices of the peace, to act or who are, by law, required to act or, by law, act or have jurisdiction.”

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11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, regarding the remarks made by my colleague from Berthier—Montcalm and in response to what you told him, I went to get the seven copies of the bill that were at the center of the table, I distributed them, and we are still missing three copies. Would it be possible to get at least three more copies and maybe more if other members of the House want some?

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11:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

As I indicated earlier, each member received at least one copy of this bill, probably two, after its introduction in the House. There will be more copies available here, but it is the members' responsibility to bring their own copies of the bill to take part in the debate.

We have many copies of the bill. It will take some patience and some time, but I am sure members will eventually receive another copy of the bill here today.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 31

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended a ) by deleting lines 10 to 12 on page 3; and b ) by deleting lines 41 to 43 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 32

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 18 on page 3.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 33

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 26 on page 3.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 34

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 30 on page 3.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

moved:

Motion No. 35

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 42 on page 3 and lines 1 to 11 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 36

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended a ) by replacing line 32 on page 3 with the following: a ) an offence committed, or alleged to have been committed, by a young person who has attained the age of fourteen years, or, in a province where the lieutenant governor in council has fixed an age greater than fourteen years under section 60.1, the age so fixed, under one of the following” b ) by replacing lines 4 and 5 on page 4 with the following:

“, or alleged to have been committed, by a young person after the coming into force of section 61 and before the young person has attained the age of fourteen years, or, in a province where the lieutenant governor in council has fixed an age greater than fourteen years under section 60.1, the age so fixed, if at the time of the commission or alleged commission of the offence at”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 37

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 40 to 42 on page 3 with the following:

“slaughter), (iv) section 268 (aggravated assault), (v) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm), or (vi) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault); or”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 38

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 2 and 3 on page 4 with the following:

“adult is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than two years committed”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 39

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 12 to 20 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 40

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 26 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 41

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 35 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 42

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 36 and 37 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 43

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 36 and 37 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

moved:

Motion No. 44

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 40 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 45

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 40 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 46

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 39 and 40 on page 4 with the following:

“in the commission of which a young person causes or attempts to cause serious bodily harm.”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 47

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 41 to 43 on page 4.

Motion No. 48

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 41 to 43 on page 4.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

moved:

Motion No. 49

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 41 to 43 on page 4 with the following:

““violent offence” means an offence under section 235 of the Criminal Code or an offence set out in Schedule I or II to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 50

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 44 and 45 on page 4 and lines 1 to 7 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

moved:

Motion No. 51

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 5 with the following:

“pears to be ten years old or older, but less than sixteen years old and, if the context”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 52

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 1 on page 5 with the following:

“pears to be ten years old or older, but less”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 53

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 2 and 3 on page 5 with the following:

“than eighteen years old and includes any person who is”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 54

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 4 on page 5 with the following:

“peine imposée à l'adolescent, qu'il doit pur-”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 55

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 8 to 14 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 56

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 15 and 16 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 57

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 17 and 18 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 58

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 22 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 59

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 31 on page 5.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 60

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 29 and 30 on page 5 with the following:

“to perform in that province any of the duties or”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 61

That Bill C-3, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 32 to 34 on page 5.

Motion No. 62

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 3.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 63

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 11 on page 6.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 64

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended a ) by replacing lines 1 to 11 on page 6 with the following: a ) the youth criminal justice system is intended to

(i) prevent crime by addressing the circumstances underlying a young person's offending behaviour,

(ii) rehabilitate young persons who commit offences and reintegrate them into society, and

(iii) ensure that a young person is subject to meaningful consequences for his or her offence in order to promote the long term protection of the public.” b ) by replacing lines 15 to 24 on page 6 with the following:

“(i) a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration,

(ii) fair and proportionate accountability that is consistent with the greater dependency of young persons and their reduced level of maturity,

(iii) enhanced procedural protection to ensure that young persons are treated fairly and that their rights, including their right to privacy, are protected, and

(iv) timely intervention that reinforces the link between the offending behaviour and its consequences;” c ) by replacing line 33 on page 6 with the following:

“young person given his or her needs and level of development and, where appropriate,” d ) by replacing line 40 on page 6 with the following:

“needs of aboriginal young persons and of young persons with special

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 3 and 4 on page 6 with the following:

“(i) preventing crime by addressing a young per-”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 66

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 8 on page 6 with the following:

“his or her offence that take account of the principles of denunciation and deterrence, and”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 67

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 12 to 24 on page 6.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 68

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 19 to 22 on page 6 with the following:

“(ii) procedural protection of the rights of young persons to be applied consistently with the need to hold young persons accountable and to ensure that they accept responsibility for their actions, and”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 69

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 25 to 41 on page 6.

Motion No. 70

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 42 to 44 on page 6 and lines 1 to 22 on page 7.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

moved:

Motion No. 71

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 9 on page 7 with the following:

“(ii) victims shall be treated with courte-”

Motion No. 72

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 15 on page 7 with the following:

“(iii) victims shall be provided with”

Motion No. 73

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 7 with the following:

“shall, on request, be given an opportunity to participate and”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

Noon

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 74

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 26 on page 7.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

moved:

Motion No. 75

That Bill C-3, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 26 on page 7 with the following:

“subsection (1), bearing in mind that the principle set out paragraph (1)( a ) is to be considered the paramount principle set out in that subsection.”

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 98

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 8.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 184

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 21.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 185

That Bill C-3, in Clause 21, be amended by deleting lines 40 to 42 on page 16.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 186

That Bill C-3, in Clause 21, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 3 on page 17.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 192

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 24.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 257

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 28.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 264

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 30.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 265

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 25 and 26 on page 24.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 266

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 26 and 27 on page 24.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 267

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 33 to 38 on page 24.

Motion No. 268

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 39 to 44 on page 24 and lines 1 to 6 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 269

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 4 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 270

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 5 and 6 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 271

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 7 to 18 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 272

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 24 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 273

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 25 to 29 on page 25.

Motion No. 274

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 40 on page 25.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 275

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 41 to 46 on page 25 and lines 1 to 4 on page 26.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 276

That Bill C-3, in Clause 30, be amended by deleting lines 5 to 12 on page 26.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 311

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 33.

Motion No. 312

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 5 on page 30.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 313

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 12 on page 30.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 314

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 18 on page 30.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 315

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 21 on page 29.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 316

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 22 to 26 on page 29.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 317

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 30 on page 29.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 318

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 36 on page 29.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 319

That Bill C-3, in Clause 33, be amended by deleting lines 37 to 42 on page 29.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 359

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 35.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 360

That Bill C-3, in Clause 35, be amended by deleting lines 37 to 41 on page 33.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 361

That Bill C-3, in Clause 35, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 8 on page 34.

Motion No. 629

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 50.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 630

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 37 to 43 on page 53.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 631

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 44 to 47 on page 53 and lines 1 to 10 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 632

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 11 to 18 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 633

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 27 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 634

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 28 to 35 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 635

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 36 to 38 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 636

That Bill C-3, in Clause 50, be amended by deleting lines 39 to 44 on page 54.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 637

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 51.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 638

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 10 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 639

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 8 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 640

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 9 and 10 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 641

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 11 to 19 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 642

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting line 16 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 643

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting line 17 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 644

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 18 and 19 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 645

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 22 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 646

That Bill C-3, in Clause 51, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 25 on page 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 698

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 55.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 699

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 14 to 19 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 700

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 16 and 17 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 701

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 18 and 19 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 702

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 39 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 703

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 26 to 30 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 704

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 34 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 705

That Bill C-3, in Clause 55, be amended by deleting lines 35 to 39 on page 60.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

Motion No. 706

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 56.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Pursuant to Standing Order 76(2), notice has also been received from the hon. member for Quebec East.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 707

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 9 to 12 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 708

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 17 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 709

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 20 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 710

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 26 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 711

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 31 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 712

That Bill C-3, in Clause 56, be amended by deleting lines 32 to 37 on page 61.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 927

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 77.

Motion No. 928

That Bill C-3, in Clause 77, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 25 on page 76.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 929

That Bill C-3, in Clause 77, be amended by deleting lines 26 to 30 on page 76.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 930

That Bill C-3, in Clause 77, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 40 on page 76.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 931

That Bill C-3, in Clause 77, be amended by deleting lines 33 to 38 on page 76.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 932

That Bill C-3, in Clause 77, be amended by deleting lines 39 and 40 on page 76.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 933

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 78.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 934

That Bill C-3, in Clause 78, be amended by deleting lines 41 to 45 on page 76 and lines 1 and 2 on page 77.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 935

That Bill C-3, in Clause 78, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 10 on page 77.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 936

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 79.

Motion No. 1009

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 89.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1010

That Bill C-3, in Clause 89, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 48 on page 83 and lines 1 and 2 on page 84.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1011

That Bill C-3, in Clause 89, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 11 on page 84.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1295

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 94.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1424

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 99.

Motion No. 1515

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 105.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1516

That Bill C-3, in Clause 105, be amended by deleting lines 42 and 43 on page 103.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1517

That Bill C-3, in Clause 105, be amended by deleting lines 44 to 48 on page 103.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1624

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 111.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1625

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 112.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1626

That Bill C-3, in Clause 112, be amended by deleting lines 36 and 37 on page 108.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1627

That Bill C-3, in Clause 112, be amended by deleting lines 38 to 44 on page 108.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1628

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 113.

Motion No. 1647

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 117.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 1648

That Bill C-3, in Clause 117, be amended by deleting lines 33 to 37 on page 110.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2213

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 120.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2214

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 121.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2255

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2256

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 10 to 12 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2257

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 13 and 14 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2258

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 15 and 16 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2259

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 21 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2260

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 22 to 27 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2261

That Bill C-3, in Clause 126, be amended by deleting lines 28 to 30 on page 123.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2275

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2276

That Bill C-3, in Clause 129, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 18 on page 125.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2277

That Bill C-3, in Clause 129, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 18 on page 125.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2278

That Bill C-3, in Clause 129, be amended by deleting lines 19 to 27 on page 125.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2279

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 130.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2280

That Bill C-3, in Clause 130, be amended by deleting lines 32 to 35 on page 125.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2281

That Bill C-3, in Clause 130, be amended by deleting lines 36 to 38 on page 125.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2282

That Bill C-3, in Clause 130, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 5 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2283

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 131.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2284

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 14 to 23 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2285

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 17 and 18 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2286

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 19 and 20 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2287

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 21 to 23 on page 126.

Motion No. 2288

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 24 to 28 on page 126.

Motion No. 2289

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 29 to 42 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2290

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting line 34 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2291

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by replacing lines 35 to 38 on page 126 with the following:

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2292

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 39 and 40 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2293

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 41 and 42 on page 126.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2294

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 16 on page 127.

Motion No. 2295

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting line 11 on page 127.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2296

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 12 and 13 on page 127.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2297

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 14 and 15 on page 127.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2298

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting line 16 on page 127.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2299

That Bill C-3, in Clause 131, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 19 on page 127.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2305

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 133.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2306

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 134.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2307

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 9 to 12 on page 128.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2308

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 22 on page 128.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2309

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 29 on page 128.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2310

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 35 on page 128.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2311

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 36 to 43 on page 128 and lines 1 and 2 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2312

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 3 to 9 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2313

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 10 to 12 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2314

That Bill C-3, in Clause 134, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 16 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2315

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 135.

Motion No. 2316

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 43 on page 129 and lines 1 to 4 on page 130.

Motion No. 2317

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 24 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2318

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 25 and 26 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2319

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 29 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2320

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 30 to 36 on page 129.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2321

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 37 to 43 on page 129 and lines 1 to 4 on page 130.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2322

That Bill C-3, in Clause 135, be amended by deleting lines 5 to 8 on page 130.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2421

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 139.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2528

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 156.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2529

That Bill C-3, in Clause 156, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 16 on page 142.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2530

That Bill C-3, in Clause 156, be amended by deleting lines 6 to 9 on page 142.

Motion No. 2531

That Bill C-3, in Clause 156, be amended by deleting lines 10 to 12 on page 142.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2532

That Bill C-3, in Clause 156, be amended by deleting lines 13 to 16 on page 142.

Motion No. 2533

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 157.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2534

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 158.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2535

That Bill C-3, in Clause 158, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 38 on page 142.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2536

That Bill C-3, in Clause 158, be amended by deleting lines 39 to 42 on page 142 and lines 1 to 9 on page 143.

Motion No. 2537

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 159.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2538

That Bill C-3, in Clause 159, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 23 on page 143.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2539

That Bill C-3, in Clause 159, be amended by deleting lines 24 and 25 on page 143.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2540

That Bill C-3, in Clause 159, be amended by deleting lines 26 to 28 on page 143.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2551

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 161.

Motion No. 2552

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 162.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2553

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 163.

Motion No. 2563

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 165.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2564

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 166.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2565

That Bill C-3, in Clause 166, be amended by deleting lines 14 to 16 on page 147.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2566

That Bill C-3, in Clause 166, be amended by deleting lines 17 to 30 on page 147.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2567

That Bill C-3, in Clause 166, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 44 on page 147.

Motion No. 2568

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 167.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2569

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 168.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2570

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 169.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2573

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 171.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2574

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 172.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2575

That Bill C-3, in Clause 172, be amended by deleting lines 14 to 26 on page 149.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2576

That Bill C-3, in Clause 172, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 22 on page 149.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2577

That Bill C-3, in Clause 172, be amended by deleting lines 23 to 26 on page 149.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2578

That Bill C-3, in Clause 172, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 31 on page 149.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2579

That Bill C-3, in Clause 172, be amended by deleting lines 32 to 35 on page 149.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2584

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 174.

Motion No. 2585

That Bill C-3, in Clause 174, be amended by deleting lines 9 and 10 on page 150.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2586

That Bill C-3, in Clause 174, be amended by deleting lines 11 to 14 on page 150.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2587

That Bill C-3, in Clause 174, be amended by deleting lines 15 to 17 on page 150.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2588

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 175.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2589

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 176.

Motion No. 2590

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 177.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2591

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 178.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2592

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 179.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2593

That Bill C-3, in Clause 179, be amended by deleting lines 5 to 17 on page 152.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2594

That Bill C-3, in Clause 179, be amended by deleting lines 18 to 31 on page 152.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2600

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 181.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2601

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 30 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2602

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting lines 31 to 33 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2603

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting lines 34 to 41 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2604

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting line 36 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2605

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting lines 37 and 38 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2606

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting lines 39 to 41 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2607

That Bill C-3, in Clause 181, be amended by deleting line 42 on page 153.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2616

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 184.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2617

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 185.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2618

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 187.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2619

That Bill C-3, in Clause 187, be amended by deleting lines 36 to 42 on page 155 and lines 1 and 2 on page 156.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2620

That Bill C-3, in Clause 187, be amended by deleting lines 5 to 19 on page 156.

Motion No. 2621

That Bill C-3, in Clause 187, be amended by deleting lines 20 to 28 on page 156.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2622

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 188.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2623

That Bill C-3, in Clause 188, be amended by deleting lines 32 to 40 on page 156.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2624

That Bill C-3, in Clause 188, be amended by deleting lines 43 to 48 on page 156 and lines 1 to 8 on page 157.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2625

That Bill C-3, in Clause 188, be amended by deleting lines 9 to 17 on page 157.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2628

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 190.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2629

That Bill C-3, in Clause 190, be amended by deleting lines 29 to 35 on page 157.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2630

That Bill C-3, in Clause 190, be amended by deleting lines 36 to 42 on page 157 and lines 1 to 3 on page 158.

Motion No. 2631

That Bill C-3, in Clause 190, be amended by deleting lines 40 to 42 on page 157.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2632

That Bill C-3, in Clause 190, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 3 on page 158.

Motion No. 2633

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 191.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2634

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 192.

Motion No. 2635

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 193.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

moved:

Motion No. 2636

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 194.

Motion No. 2642

That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 197.

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the motions in Group No. 1 of amendments to Bill C-3. This is a very complex bill and we had to look at it very closely to get the government to reconsider, and particularly to show the government that it was making a mistake in wanting to pass Bill C-3 at all costs.

The experts in the area of young offenders do not understand. I parenthesize here to state that not one of the experts from Quebec who appeared before the committee supports the minister's bill.

None of the experts working with the Young Offenders Act on a daily basis can find a single reason for the minister to want to amend the Young Offenders Act at all costs and ram through the bill criminalizing the young people who are having problems with the law. The only reason would be a political one, to try and win votes in western Canada.

Since the creation of the Canadian Alliance, the government opposite has been trying to build an image for itself in western Canada, the image of a party that it more to the right, a party more and more like the Canadian Alliance Party. It has taken the Young Offenders Act and the young offenders as hostage to bolster its image in western Canada on the eve of a federal election.

Everyone knows that I made spoke hours on end in committee, and even reached out to the minister, suggesting that, before completely changing a legislation that has proven its efficiency over the past 15 to 20 years, she should stop the proceedings of the committee and tour the provinces to examine their youth policies, and come and see what we are doing in Quebec, where the crime rate is the lowest in Canada because the Young Offenders Act is enforced properly in Quebec. The present Minister of Justice recognizes it, as does her predecessor, the current Minister of Health, who was the Minister of Justice at the time, the legislation is very well enforced in Quebec.

I was telling the current Minister of Justice that, if she made comparisons and looked at the Young Offenders Act closely, she would be able to see if there was any reason whatsoever to change it.

With my 27.5 hours of speeches in committee over the past 11 months, I have tried to give the minister time to go and see for herself, particularly in Quebec, what was being done.

She did not see fit to take a little time to consult and to check how the act is implemented in Quebec. She did not check either in the other provinces, with the result that we find ourselves today in front of a very complex piece of legislation. The minister has attempted to sprinkle here and there certain notions she picked up along the way either in my speeches or in the briefs presented to the committee by witnesses who came from Quebec to tell her she was on the wrong track.

As a whole, the bill remains complex. Given its goals, it is unenforceable.

I never said nothing should be done to try to improve the enforcement of the Young Offenders Act, quite the contrary. An extensive study conducted in Quebec in the 90s resulted in the Jasmin report, which concluded that the blame did not lie with the act, but rather with its enforcement.

Although it is enforced properly in Quebec, there is always room for improvements. Had the Young Offenders Act been enforced properly in the other provinces, in particular in western provinces such as Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, they would not be clamouring for changes to the Young Offenders Act now. These provinces where it is enforced the least have the highest detention rates, the highest youth crime rate, and an increasing number of young re-offenders. This shows that the problem is not the act, but its enforcement, as I have been saying for weeks.

One of the good elements in the existing Young Offenders Act is that it is tailored to their specific needs since a 14, 15, 16 or 17 year old cannot be expected to have the same responsibility as a 30 or 40 year old adult.

Section 3 of the existing Young Offenders Act, under the heading declaration of principle, says it very clearly. It contains the major thrusts for dealing with young persons in trouble with the law, and trying to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into society.

The ultimate aim is to help a youth with a problem to become an anonymous citizen and to integrate into society as a citizen, as if he did not have any legal problem or any criminal problem. The aim is really to try to see to it that this youth might someday pay income taxes, get married, have children and get integrated very anonymously into society. In Quebec, we see it as a long term investment and believe that protection of society will be increased if this youth does not re-offend and does integrate into society.

As I said in the declaration of principle, in section 3(1) of the Young Offenders Act and the following sections, there was all that was needed to guide the court so that a judge hearing a case could consider a youth with a criminal problem as a particular case. The judge could deal on an individual basis with young people with criminal problem.

Everything necessary was there in the declaration of principle. I do not want to read it all for my time is limited, although I could speak for several hours more since the subject is close to my heart, but, only to remind hon. members of a few elements found in the declaration of principle, I will quote this “While young persons should not in all instances be held accountable in the same manner or suffer the same consequences for their behaviour as adults, young persons who commit offences should nonetheless bear responsibility for their contraventions”.

Further on it provides that “because of their state of dependency and level of development and maturity, they also have special needs and require guidance and assistance”. A little further on it says, “depending on circumstances, the needs and facts of a youth's childhood, which might explain his behaviour, must be taken into account once again”. The thrust in this declaration of principle was to provide alternative measures for young people.

There was everything in this declaration of principle. The minister axed this declaration. She said no to Quebec, which is properly applying the Young Offenders Act. She made a sort of omnibus preamble. It contains all sorts of things that are not integrally part of the bill like section 3 of the act is.

In the series of amendments in Group No. 1, there is one by the minister that will complicate things even further. It is an amendment to the preamble, when what counts is how the courts will apply it, especially the interpretation the supreme court gave of the special needs of adolescents dealing with a problem of crime within the context of rehabilitation and return to society especially.

I will to close by saying that the major difference between Bill C-3, which we are studying today, and the Young Offenders Act lies in the fact that the act referred to needs, whereas the minister with her bill now wants to talk about the gravity of the offence. She is putting the offence at the centre to enable a judge to impose a sanction, as the minister puts it in the bill. This is unacceptable.

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1:05 p.m.

Erie—Lincoln
Ontario

Liberal

John Maloney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to debate Bill C-3, the youth criminal justice act.

As the cornerstone of the Government of Canada's youth justice renewal strategy Bill C-3 provides for a fair and effective youth justice system that involves young people, families, victims and communities. This legislation modernizes the youth justice system and builds stronger links with other programs and services that help children and youth.

Experience has shown that the current youth justice system is not working as well as it should. More must be done to prevent youth crime in the first place, to develop meaningful responses to youth crime when it does occur, and to emphasize rehabilitation and reintegration so that youth who do get into trouble with the law can turn their lives around. Working toward these three key objectives is the best way to ensure the protection of society.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights I have had the benefit of hearing from many Canadians with insightful ideas about youth justice. The Government of Canada has been listening. As a result of the input received from the thoughtful witnesses who appeared before the committee on Bill C-3, and through consultations with provincial and territorial governments, professionals, the legal community, academics, aboriginal groups, voluntary and stakeholder groups, and young people and their families, the government is proposing amendments designed to improve upon the approach in Bill C-3.

The proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act sets out the purpose of the youth justice system through its principles. The new principles reinforce that the criminal justice system for youth is different from the one for adults. Bill C-3 emphasizes preventing crime, ensuring meaningful consequences for offending behaviour, and rehabilitating and reintegrating a young person as the most effective way to contribute to the long term protection of society.

A number of witnesses who appeared before committee put forward suggestions that seek to clarify further the principles in the bill, some of which have been accepted by the government. For example, we are proposing the inclusion in the principles of a reference to the importance of timeliness in dealing with youth offending behaviour. We are also proposing a provision specifically requiring judges to take into account a young person's individual needs and level of development.

Another amendment to the principles would stipulate that measures taken should respond to the needs of aboriginal young persons. In addition, while the importance of treating victims with courtesy, compassion and respect, and of providing them with information about proceedings and an opportunity to participate and be heard, a proposed amendment would enshrine the interests of victims in the preamble of the legislation. We would also propose emphasizing in the preamble the importance of making information about the youth justice system publicly available.

Bill C-3 makes a distinction in the way we deal with the small number of youth who commit the most serious violent crimes and the vast majority who commit less serious offences, providing more effective measures for dealing with both.

Bill C-3 gives the police more tools for dealing with youth in their communities in order to try to turn youth around before they get on to commit more serious crimes. Greater police and crown discretion early in the process will lead to meaningful, effective and faster resolutions of the majority of less serious cases. The formal court process and custody will be used to deal with the more serious crimes.

We have heard concerns expressed about the definitions of non-violent, violent and serious violent offences in Bill C-3. Some have indicated that the definitions may lead to confusion as to what comes within a certain category of offence. To remove any ambiguity the government proposes to delete the definitions of non-violent and violent offences from the legislation.

The difference between a non-violent and a violent offence is obvious and therefore these terms do not need to be defined in legislation. In addition, we would improve the definition of serious violent offences by replacing the phrase “creates a substantial risk of serious bodily harm” with a reference to “attempts to cause serious bodily harm”. These proposed amendments should provide greater clarity to the categories of offences.

We know that it is important to involve others in the youth justice system in order to improve upon understanding and to provide support for victims, youth, families and communities in responding constructively and meaningfully to offending behaviour.

Among other things Bill C-3 specifically encourages conferences at many stages of the proceedings. Some conferences may involve bringing together professionals such as child care workers, school psychologists or others who are already involved with youth to seek advice and ensure continuity of services. Others may be in the nature of sentencing circles or family group conferences involving victims, offenders and their families.

While conferencing has been strongly endorsed, some are concerned about the lack of definition in the bill. Therefore we are proposing amendments clarifying who may hold a conference and giving provinces and territories scope to regulate non-judicial conferences.

A number of witnesses also expressed concerns about youth ending up in the criminal justice system when their problems and needs could be more effectively dealt with through the child welfare system. A proposed amendment to Bill C-3 would recognize that a judge can make a referral of a young person to child welfare authorities for an assessment. While this is something that judges already have the authority to do, the amendments would encourage a link between the two systems in appropriate cases.

A major flaw of the Young Offenders Act is that it does not include sufficient provisions for safe, supervised reintegration into the community. Bill C-3 aims to better support the young person's reintegration back into the community, which protects the public by guarding against further crime.

The bill provides that periods of incarceration will be followed by periods of supervision in the community. To ensure “truth in sentencing” and clarity for the young person at the time of imposing the sentence, the judge will state in open court the portion of time that is to be served in custody and the portion to be served in the community. Breaching conditions of community supervision could result in the youth being returned to custody.

Generally the reintegration scheme has been strongly endorsed. Some, however, have expressed concern about requiring that the period of supervision in the community be half as long as the period of custody in all cases. Under a proposed government amendment, where a young person rebuts the presumption for an adult sentence on a presumptive offence, judges will have the discretion to set the periods in custody and the periods in the community. This will allow more flexibility in dealing with those who receive youth sentences for the most serious violent crimes.

A number of witnesses have raised concern about the admissibility of statements made by youth. The legitimate concern of the police and others that the exclusion of youth statements for technical reasons under the Young Offenders Act brings the administration of justice into question needs to be addressed.

Bill C-3 currently permits a judge to allow the introduction of a statement that has not been taken in accordance with the requirements set out in the bill if the admission of the statement would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute. In order to clarify the intent in drafting this provision, the government is proposing an amendment specifying that this applies only to technical breaches and that statements will only be admitted if the admission would not bring into disrepute the principle of enhanced procedural protections for youth.

An important concern about the Young Offenders Act has been voiced by both the police community and victims groups. The existing law does not allow for publication, without a court order, of information that would identify young victims or witnesses who are involved in a young offender's case, even where the victim or witness and his or her family want the information to be published. This means, for example, that parents of a deceased child victim of a young offender do not have the right to publish the name of their son or daughter without facing criminal sanctions.

A proposed amendment to Bill C-3 would correct this situation by allowing a young victim or witness to have his or her identity published with parental consent, and in the case of a deceased young victim, by allowing parents to publish or cause to be published information identifying their deceased son or daughter.

Finally, many of the proposed government amendments are aimed at enhancing the clarity and reducing the complexity of Bill C-3. These amendments include improvements to drafting language in the bill and the consolidation of certain clauses in order to streamline the legislation. In addition, at the request of the provinces and territories, the Government of Canada is proposing a number of technical amendments aimed at facilitating the administration of the new legislation.

The new Youth Criminal Justice Act is built upon the values Canadians want in their youth justice system. Canadians want a system that prevents crime by addressing the circumstances underlying a young person's offending behaviour. They also want a system that seeks to rehabilitate young persons who commit offences and reintegrate them into society. The system must also ensure that a young person is subject to meaningful consequences for his or her offence. Canadians know this is the most effective way to achieve the long term protection of society.

Our new approach also responds to the concern of Canadians that the youth justice system has to do a better job of instilling values such as accountability, responsibility and respect. The system must also be more responsive to victims needs, encourage young people to acknowledge the harm done and provide restitution where appropriate.

I am confident that Bill C-3 will provide Canadians with the kind of youth justice system they want and deserve.

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1:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to comment on what we are doing here today. The longer I am around this place, the more I become convinced that most of what we do here borders on being a sham.

The public is given the impression that legislation is drafted pursuant to the needs of Canadians. The government presents legislation, and parliament reviews and improves it as necessary. Supposedly that is part of what we are doing today. I seriously question how effective our review and improvement can be under the circumstances.

Bill C-3 was first introduced in March 1999. The justice committee was assigned to review it, and after listening to interested parties of expert and lay witnesses, to consider necessary changes.

Members of the justice committee from all parties, including the government, decided that a number of alterations were needed to Bill C-3. One particular member of the committee decided that rather than put all the substantive amendments forward for consideration, he would filibuster the committee in an attempt to force the government to consider only his wishes for change.

That was his right, Mr. Speaker. Please do not get me wrong. That was his right under the rules. I certainly understand that there are tools and procedures available to opposition parties and members to try to get their point across. However, where the committee, as representative of this place, failed in its duties is when it was given its marching orders, so to speak. A closure motion was issued to the effect that the committee was to be given only 10 hours of further debate, and then it had to report back to the House of Commons.

At that point, with all due respect, the chair of the committee had an obligation to take control of the committee, close down the debate on the filibuster, and move to the clause by clause consideration of the many proposed amendments. Having the committee return the bill to the House without any change whatsoever has in effect left this place without the value of the committee's time and effort of review. The House is in the same position it was in almost two years ago. What a waste of time, especially on a bill that was supposed to be a top priority of the government.

To further compound my consternation over the operation of this place, we then have the manner in which the whole process at the report stage of the legislation has unfolded. The committee reported back to the House on Bill C-3 last Thursday, September 21. Because of the government's scheduling, amendments had to be filed with journals branch by Friday at 2 p.m.

It is only now, on Monday morning, the day of the debate at report stage, that we can even see the amendments proposed into groupings as assigned by the clerk. After years of delay and after months and months of waste, we are provided with a bill without the benefit of committee recommendations. After years of delay and after months and months of waste, we are now in a type of overdrive to process the legislation almost overnight. Regardless of any individual political perspective, I would argue that the public is definitely not well served by this process, at least in the way it has unfolded with Bill C-3.

It truly amazes me that this place can be mired in quicksand and be going absolutely nowhere, and that it takes an imminent election to force the government to move. What disappoints me the most is that even when the government does move, it exhibits little consideration, if any, for our citizens. Although I do not wish to jump to any conclusions, my intuition tells me Bill C-3 will be passed virtually intact, with little difference from the questionable version of the supposed new youth justice law as presented by the government back in March 1999.

I may be proven wrong, but debate in this place at this stage will likely have little, if any, influence on the legislation. Regardless of the arguments presented by interested Canadians and by members of this place, it appears that it was always the intention of the government to merely go through the motions. There was never any real intention to listen to or even seriously consider other viewpoints calling for substantive change. This legislation, if it passes from this place in its current form or with little change in substance, will be a travesty to Canadians.

Just to address some of our amendments that are proposed in this grouping, our Motion No. 35 would eliminate a presumptive offence. Under our amendments we are doing away with the whole concept of presumptive offence, serious violent offence and the interpretation problems of the government's legislation over just what will be determined to be a violent offence.

Under our proposals there are to be just two categories of offence, namely violent offences and non-violent offences. Violent offences are defined as those within a list of named offences. The list has been taken directly from the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

Violent offences will be those that federal legislation already uses to determine safety concerns when considering how to treat adult offenders. By following this list we are being consistent, we are being all inclusive, and we are being transparent so that Canadians citizens, our courts, and offenders will know why and how our youth justice process will operate.

There will be no guessing. There will be no extensive legal argument. If an offender is charged with a specific offence on the list, that offender will be processed in a predetermined manner. The courts still retain all the powers and discretion to apply specific circumstances to each specific case. If the offence is not on the list, the offence will be classified as a non-violent offence.

Our Motion No. 44 would similarly eliminate the definition of “serious violent offence”. There would be no presumptive offence designation; there would be only non-violent and violent offences, as I spoke to before. We have a “serious violent offence” designation, but only if the crown attorney makes application and the court sees fit to endorse the information. We have an overly restrictive list of presumptive offences. Under our proposal, violent offences are specifically listed. No interpretation will be necessary.

Again Motion No. 49 speaks to the whole issue of violent offence and presumptive offence. Leaving the terms undefined will not ease the difficulty; it will just put the problem into the courts to be interpreted. This will be costly and will delay justice once again as the legal argument is made and the appeals have to be heard. It is the responsibility and obligation of parliament to present laws that do the job. We should not put off these problems on to the courts.

Our proposals at least attempt to clarify what will be a violent offence and what will be a non-violent offence.

The present definition within the legislation states “An offence that causes or creates a substantial risk of bodily harm”. That definition will keep lawyers and judges busy for years to come and is open to various interpretations. Just like conditional sentencing, it will bring criticism and dissatisfaction from our citizens when it is limited in scope.

Easy questions of fraud upon the elderly will obviously be determined to be outside this definition, but many of our seniors may well be hurt much more seriously on being defrauded of their life savings than if they were hit over the head and robbed of their cash on hand.

What happens to the offence of sexual assault? Will an offence be determined to be violent if the victim does not fight her aggressor? Will it be a violent offence if the purse snatcher is successful in grabbing the purse from a senior citizen without knocking her over? Where will the line be drawn between what is a violent offence and what is non-violent?

The definition proposed by this amendment clearly lists the offences to be included within the category of violent offence. We avoid these interpretation difficulties, we avoid the cost and time of legal argument, and we bring greater certainty to our laws.

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Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the amendments before the House on Bill C-3.

Let me begin my remarks by saying this is a bad piece of legislation. It is a bill the government has typically brought forth after seven and a half years of promising it would try to fix our youth criminal justice system.

Let us be frank. What we have seen happen here is the government has tried, in its typical form, to do all things to all people to fix this situation. As a result it will please no one. As a result, we have a piece of legislation that is unworkable, cumbersome, complicated and confusing. At the end of the day it will make worse a system that is already struggling and not working. It will make the situation worse for Canadians, worse for youth, worse for parents, worse for police, and worse for all those in the system who are struggling to make it work.

One of the initial underpinnings of the criminal justice system, coupled with the usual protection of the public and coupled with elements and philosophies of rehabilitation, was deterrence and denunciation for those who cross the line, those who choose in their wisdom to act in a way irresponsible and contrary to the laws of the land.

This bill, like others we have seen brought forward, is completely devoid of any reference to deterrence, of any reference to the fact that society, the public, and the government have a right to express their dismay with those who choose to break the law. This is not to say we should ever go too heavily in that regard, but it should be there. Courts use it. Lawyers refer to it. Judges have it at their disposal to mete out as part of a sentence references to the word “deterrence”, general and specific deterrence. That is meant not only to aim this sort of justice at the offender, but also to send a message to those who choose to act in a like fashion. This bill is devoid of that concept. It is devoid of that philosophy.

My loquacious friend from the Bloc has taken it upon himself—and as has been referred to, it is his right to do so—to express his outrage on behalf of his party. He says on behalf of his province that this is the only way he can get his message heard. It is a sad comment that here we are now debating in a summary fashion on the floor of the House of Commons amendments to this bill, which is perhaps the most important we will see in this session of parliament.

We heard from witnesses from across the country, many of whom expressed extreme reservations about the way in which the bill has been tabled. The government has admitted its failure in putting forward over 150 amendments to its own bill, which only has 199 clauses. That is an absolute condemnation by the Department of Justice of its own work.

What has happened is that the opposition has had to resort to extreme measures. I believe this has now gone over the top. This has now gone far beyond what was intended as a statement in terms of trying to bring the government back to the centre, back to a point where there can at least be reasoned discussions as to how we compromise, how we bring about some feeling that we can at least bring about legislation that will be responsible, that will respond to the needs of Canadians but will also respond to the lack of resources that exists.

That as an underpinning in this legislation is telling Canadians they should do more. It is telling the people in the system they should do more with less. It is saying “We are going to give you the ability through legislation to do more counselling, to do early intervention, for police to now sit in the living rooms of Canadians with their children to discuss how it is that we remedy these problems of young people who have gone astray”. At the same time there is not a single commitment, not even a reference to the fact that police, parole boards, counsellors, social services, anyone involved in the criminal justice is going to receive further resources, further back-up, a further strategy even to adjust and to react to an escalating situation of more violence among young people.

Perhaps most startling, Mr. Speaker, and you would be aware of this as someone who follows the criminal justice system, is the escalation of violence among young women. It is something that has caught the attention of many Canadians that to their shock and horror this is happening. It is happening across the country. It is not limited to cities. It is happening in rural Canada as much as it is in our cities.

This entire piece of legislation is such an inadequate response to the problems that exist. It is such a convoluted, cumbersome, bureaucratic, red tape response that it is going to make the system worse.

Much of the commentary on the bill and the debate in the House in the coming days and weeks, if it comes to that, is going to point out a lot of the technical problems that exist with the legislation. One of the problems I hasten to point out is that it creates in essence new procedures that are already not working in the adult system.

I am speaking specifically of preliminary inquiries. Ironically the justice department envisions a system where we may limit the use of preliminary inquiries in some instances. That is already being done in some jurisdictions. The new territory of Nunavut is collapsing the justice system to make it more efficient and streamlined. What are we doing as a result? We are taking the same systems that are failing and pulling them into the new youth criminal justice system.

Similarly we are taking a system that was never intended to be used for violent offences that pertain to sexual assaults—I am talking of conditional sentences—and lo and behold what do we find? Yes, wait for it, the justice department in its wisdom has decided to bring conditional sentences into the youth criminal justice system. Once again it is applying them to crimes which they should not be applied to and judges are being given that discretion. In fairness, judges have to listen to the arguments, they have to listen to the constitutional submissions that will be put forward by lawyers. Lo and behold once again there is a gaping hole in our justice system, something that is not working for adults, and we are bringing it like a plague into the youth criminal justice system.

I mentioned preliminary inquires. It is also introducing a parole system for young people. If there was any redeeming feature in the old Young Offenders Act it was that when a judge specified a young person was going to be incarcerated in the worst of all circumstances, when there was no other alternative available, a young person would receive a sentence and would do every day of that sentence. There was the confidence that the young person would do every stick of time that the judge in his or her wisdom decided was appropriate.

What are we going to see now? We are going to see a parole system foisted on the young offender system. Now young people are going to be released at the discretion of an official who is working within the system. I do not mean to cast aspersions on the entire system or whitewash this problem, but we have seen problems in the adult system, such as the 50:50 release plan that was put in place by the former commissioner of corrections. We have seen a philosophy where we have to get people out of the prison system, even putting people at risk on occasion. Lo and behold the justice department through these amendments, through this bill intends to put in place a system that will undermine this concept.

I hesitate to use the words truth in sentencing, but at least there was an indication that when a person received a sentence he or she would do that time under the old Young Offenders Act. That will be wiped out, completely taken out of existence by the amendments the new bill has brought in.

That is not to say we should not allow judges to use discretion. Surely we have to support judges in their very difficult duty in a very difficult time. Crime is becoming more complicated. It is becoming more pervasive certainly in different areas. We know for a fact that young people are becoming involved in crime at an earlier age, which is another amendment I will hopefully speak to later in the debate.

The minister stated the intention when this bill was introduced and reintroduced in her many comments outside the House, through the public forum of the press gallery as opposed to on the floor of the House. If the intention is truly about early intervention, if it is truly about borrowing the concepts of restorative justice, better community involvement, more involvement of parents, more involvement that focuses on reconciliation with the crime, with the offender, with the community that has been offended, why would we want to prevent the ability to bring young people in at the earliest stage?

This is not to suggest that crime is rampant among very young children that are outside the parameters of the Young Offenders Act, that is to say under the age of 12. This summer there was a recent example of a young man, 11 years old, who walked into a bank to rob it. Under the current system there is no mechanism to respond to that.

If we can transfer youth to adult court, we should be able to transfer children to youth court. The minister has completely closed her mind to this. She has not responded to the wishes of the provincial attorneys general. She has not responded to the wishes of reasoned individuals who have put forward evidence that this should happen. It is indicative again of a closed mind, holier than thou approach, an approach which says “We will bestow upon the country the system that we feel is appropriate”. It is wrong. It is not going to work. Hopefully throughout this debate we can demonstrate in opposition that there are reasonable amendments that should take place for the legislation to work.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Before the House resumes debate, I know there are a lot of popular members in the House who receive telephone calls, but I remind hon. members that cellular telephones are not permitted in the Chamber.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in response to some of the comments made and to discuss some of the amendments moved in this large group of amendments. It is important first of all that we come to some kind of understanding as to how we arrived at this point today.

My colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough said we are debating amendments to what may be the most complex piece of legislation to come before the House of Commons in this setting. Indeed, one colleague who has been here a lot longer than I have told me that this was the most complex piece of legislation after the Income Tax Act.

The bill was introduced in the last session of parliament. It was then unfortunately numbered Bill C-68, not a popular bill number for the Minister of Justice. It went before committee and there was some discussion at first reading. Then for whatever reason, it was determined that parliament would prorogue and the legislation died. It came back as Bill C-3. It has had a long life.

Those watching and those who read Hansard will know that the Minister of Justice was questioned time and time again on this bill. Members asked when it would be brought forward by the government and they were told it would be in a timely fashion and it was. Unfortunately the debate has not taken place in a timely fashion.

Sadly, when this complex piece of legislation was in committee, there was no opportunity to debate the necessary and important amendments that have been placed before the House by different parties. Those amendments fall in different camps and different areas. On behalf of the New Democratic Party I moved 20 amendments, all of which I thought were reasonable and sensible, some of which would have been healthy to debate at committee. My colleagues from the Conservative Party moved another 40 or so. We will not talk about what some of those were because they are not in this group of amendments.

Let me say that there were problems with this bill on the day that it was announced. I outlined the problems and I had hoped that by the time the legislation came to the House some of those problems would have been resolved. We now know that there was an opportunity to resolve them.

I think the thrust of the bill is that the Minister of Justice has attempted to appease both those who want tougher sentences for children and those who call for restorative justice. It is a difficult balancing act.

There are some good measures in the bill that deal with extrajudicial sentencing. By extrajudicial measures we mean ways to deal with young people who find themselves in trouble with the law on their first or second offence, not a serious offence, who in many instances are acting out against society. There are provisions in the bill that allow the community to get involved in a restorative justice sense, to help work with a young person. The problem is that the provinces are to administer the criminal justice system.

At the federal level we pass the legislation dealing with the criminal code and the criminal youth justice act. It is then left to the provinces to administer the law we create. Part of the problem with the bill is that the resources will not be there to put in place the extrajudicial measures that might be so helpful to young people who find themselves in trouble with the law for a first or second time.

I do not know of one attorney general at the provincial level across the country who thinks the resources allocated by the federal government will be sufficient to put in place those measures.

I remember when the Young Offenders Act, which we are replacing, was first introduced. We ran into the same problem. I was practising in the courts in those days. On many occasions a young person would come before the judge and the judge would not want to send the young person to jail. The act had provisions for other measures but the province had no money. What was written on paper and what was provided for in the law were not put into effect by the provinces. When I questioned the Minister of Justice on this she felt that the resources were adequate and given the tight financial circumstances we found ourselves in as a nation, there were no more resources.

We know now there was a $12 billion surplus. It has gone to pay down the debt because it was not allocated for any of the other programs that might have found the money useful. I submit that putting in place this comprehensive piece of legislation and asking the provinces to take on the administration of it, those provinces could have used some of the resources the government found itself with. It would ensure that young people who come into conflict with the law would at first instance have the benefit of working with their community and the community would have the resources to work with them.

After all, we are all responsible for the children in our country. All of us are responsible for the children in our community. When a child breaks the law it is a call to all of us to respond. Poorer communities will not be able to take advantage. Poorer provinces, especially the have not provinces, and there are more of them than the have ones, will not be able to take advantage of some of the good, proactive measures that are in Bill C-3.

The other thing the Minister of Justice did in an effort to calm members of what was then the Reform Party was to make the law tougher, if that is the word one wants to use, at the other end. In the bill is legislation which allows a judge to send 14 year olds to do adult time if necessary. Under the previous legislation it was rare; an adult sentence would not be imposed on a young person unless he or she was over 16. This bill goes a little further than that. It allows the court to sentence a 14 year old to adult time for certain types of offences or if the judge feels it is necessary.

My colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough has talked about judicial discretion. That is where I disagree with him, and I do not disagree with him often.

When we are dealing with young people in particular, no one is in a better position to understand the type of sentence that young person needs than the judge who has heard all the evidence, has seen the parents in court, has seen the victim in court, has seen, sometimes, the victim's parents in court, and has access to all kinds of information from social workers and doctors. No one has that information except the judge.

Surely if we are going to provide judicial discretion in any area of the law, that judicial discretion should be used in the case of young offenders. I have worked in the criminal court system and the criminal youth justice system for a long time. The complexity of those cases can be understood only by the judges.

There has been a shift, but before I go on to that I want to respond to the case that was raised, about the 11 year old who went in and committed a bank robbery. I submit that the appropriate measures were taken. That was a young boy. He did not know what he was doing. What became clear in the investigation was that there was an adult who directed this boy to do something. Surely the person to be charged is the adult. If we are going to start elevating 11 and 10 year olds to the criminal justice system, then I wonder where we stop.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Pampers in the courtroom.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Mancini Sydney—Victoria, NS

Yes, Pampers in the courtroom.

There is a strange conundrum here. When we are dealing with crime what we know under the rule of law is that to be convicted of committing a crime one must have a knowledge of what it means to commit the crime. That is an adult concept. We do not let 14 year olds drive cars. We do not let 12 year olds go into the liquor store. We do that because we know they do not possess the necessary judgment. Yet some members of the House are prepared to send them to jail. I have serious questions about that aspect, but my time is up.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say it is a privilege to speak to Bill C-3, but seeing where we are today it is less than a privilege to address the problems we are having with the bill.

I want to go back in time a little. Since being elected in 1993 I have been working on issues of justice. In 1995 or 1996 I met a fellow whose name was Cadman. He had lost his son. His son was murdered by a young offender. I heard him speak many times, in British Columbia in particular, about the need for change. I thought he was a good speaker who was certainly dedicated to the issue.

When it came time to look for nominees for the 1997 election, I approached him. I said that if he wanted to go further with this issue, why not become a member of parliament, go into the House of Commons and make a change? Today that person is the hon. member for Surrey North, who is somewhat frustrated, as we could hear a little while ago. He has headed up the Young Offenders Act for us from the day he came into the House in 1997.

I know a lot of emotions about this run through his mind, and I think back to the meeting we had in a restaurant in Langley. I said that if he became a member of parliament he could make substantial changes and all the things that happened to Jesse would at least be the start of major change in the years ahead.

What do I find? I find that for at least the last decade Canadians have been looking for changes to the Young Offenders Act. For the past seven years we have had a Liberal government in place and for seven years we have had no substantive changes to the Young Offenders Act.

Here we are, before an election, rushing through the House of Commons a bill effecting changes to the Young Offenders Act. I must say that in many cases the changes are poor at best. They leave out a lot of things that many witnesses who came before committee have asked for and will not get.

This bill was tabled two years ago. One could hardly say it has been rushed, but what has been rushed is that at the last minute we find some 3,000 amendments before us, some 150 of them made by the government to its own legislation, some 50 amendments made by the Canadian Alliance and on and on. With that many amendments, the legislation obviously is not good enough.

One could say that perhaps with all the amendments accepted we could make an omnibus change bill and things would get done and would change for the better, but there are some serious things in this bill that will not get changed. One wonders why, after its seven long years in office, the substantive things we are looking for will not get finalized by the government.

Why not allow the publication of the names of young offenders convicted of serious offences? That is not included in the bill. It was discussed and recommended by probably the vast majority of witnesses who came before members of the House of Commons. In the final analysis this was ignored by the government.

Why not carry over youth records to adult records? So many times I have been involved with inmates who have committed other crimes after they have been released from prison. We look for their records. We see what is behind these individuals. When we talk to corrections people all we get is a shrug of the shoulders. They say that they did not know the individual was as bad as that. They say that the other part of his history was as a young offender and they do not know about that. They are not allowed to know. They are not allowed to put it on his record. People like me or the police cannot see it. It is as simple as that.

Why not allow the carrying over of youth records? What is wrong with that? Why, after the government's seven years in office, does this issue continue to get ignored? Why, after this bill is passed by a majority government, will it not be included? We all know that it will be a long time before the government again tables legislation on the Young Offenders Act.

Why not include young offenders who are aged 10 to 15? What is wrong with that? Time and again the government has been told about the need to get 10 and 11 year olds not necessarily incarcerated but onto a path to try to change them when they do get into trouble. What is wrong with that? Why did it not get addressed?

It is interesting to see that with all these amendments before us, many of them coming from the Bloc, which is stalling for time to make it difficult for the government because that party is upset at the bill, there are changes in the bill that are necessary. My fear is that they will get tossed out by the government because there are so many amendments to the bill.

I agree with the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough on his point of order this morning. He asked the Chair to have a look at this situation. We are going to be looking at amendments to the bill that are really just wasting time.

It is important that the House understand the need to have changes to the Young Offenders Act. We have been demanding them for well over a decade. The Liberals are into their seventh year of responsibility for the act. Still, at the end of the day we will be faced with nothing substantive. What do we do when we get to third reading and find that all we are dealing with is the shell of what we wanted?

I think it is time for the government to call an election. I think it is time that we put issues like this before the people. In my opinion the government has a poor track record on many things, but the one thing in justice that it will be hauled up on is the lack of substantial action on the Young Offenders Act, something we have all been looking for.

I apologize to the member for Surrey North. I thought he could come to the House and get substantial changes to something that he wanted very badly, like the rest of Canadians. It is just too darn bad that the Liberal government is not listening.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, it is almost 2.00 p.m. Before I recognize the next speaker, we will now proceed to statements by members.

The Late Hon. Jacques Flynn
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, former Quebec senator Jacques Flynn, who was the leader of the Conservative Party in the Upper Chamber for 17 years, died in Quebec City on Thursday, at the age of 85.

Mr. Flynn was called to the bar in 1939. He was elected member of parliament for Québec-Sud in 1958 and became deputy speaker of the House in 1960. Among other positions, he held the job of Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. Later on, he also became Minister of Justice and Attorney General, in June 1979.

Mr. Flynn was known as a person of great judgment and wisdom. His knowledge of the country and his understanding of Quebec were also appreciated. Mr. Flynn retired from the Senate in 1990, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

We wish to offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Flynn's family.

Roy Romanow
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the retirement of a long time fixture on the national stage, the hon. Roy Romanow. How could we ever forget the historic role he played in the debate on repatriating the constitution 20 years ago?

Mr. Romanow has wisely called for a new generation of politicians to step forward. As an MP who is stepping down at the next election, I agree. We may have disagreed on many issues in the past, but I certainly share his view that it is time for new leadership, not only at the provincial level but at the federal level as well. Sayonara , Roy.

Roy Romanow
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I am glad the hon. member tried another language.

Arthritis Month
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to remind this House and all Canadians that September is arthritis month.

Arthritis is a serious disease that threatens the independence and quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Canadian men and women. In fact, over four million Canadians suffer from one form or another of arthritis, which is one of the most widespread chronic diseases in Canada and the number one cause of long term disability.

There is no cure for arthritis and the direct and indirect costs of this disease are enormous. Public awareness campaigns and a healthy life style can help relieve certain damaging effects of arthritis.

Quality of life for these four million Canadians and their families is dependent upon the efforts of government and non-government stakeholders to address issues related to our practice of patient care.

Health Canada will continue its longstanding collaboration with arthritis organizations dedicated to helping Canadians manage the impacts of this disease.

I ask the House to join me in wishing the Arthritis Society a very successful month.

McWatters Mining Company
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, open-pit production at the McWatters mining company's Sigma-Lamaque complex, scheduled to take place over a period of 15 years, will respect the population and the environment, promised CEO Claire Derome.

The vast majority of residents of Val-d'Or who attended the unveiling of the McWatters conservation plan said they were satisfied with the measures the mining company would be taking to protect the people and the landscape of Val-d'Or.

I was present at the first meeting and I know that McWatters and all employees of the mine at Val-d'Or will keep every one of their promises.

Olympics 2000
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to pay tribute to Mathieu Turgeon of Unionville, Ontario, an awesome Canadian athlete who won an Olympic bronze medal in the Sydney Games.

Born in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Mr. Turgeon competed in the first ever Olympic trampoline competition. He shares his experience and success with Karen Cockburn, another dedicated Canadian who also earned a bronze medal in last Thursday's women's trampoline event.

A kinesiology student at York University, Mr. Turgeon is sure to have a bright future on and off the trampoline. I am sure all of us in the House join Mr. Turgeon's family and friends in congratulating him on his outstanding performance in Sydney. All Canadians can take pride in this great Olympic moment. We are proud of him. Way to go, Mathieu.

Hepatitis C
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is two years since Joey Hache presented a petition to the Prime Minister with over 30,000 signatures calling for compensation for all those victims of hepatitis C from tainted blood.

While other kids were out that summer enjoying themselves, having a good time playing sports, Joey chose to ride his bicycle across the country to raise awareness of this issue. He is sick himself with hepatitis C.

The Prime Minister chose to take a narrow legalistic definition of those who are sick with hepatitis C who would be compensated. He turned his back on Joey Hache and he turned his back on many other victims of hepatitis C.

I have had an opportunity to talk with many Liberal caucus members and I know they did not agree with that stand. It is a shame he took that stand.

One politician in Canada took a different stand. Mike Harris decided that he would compensate all victims of hepatitis C and he did that unilaterally. Once again it is a shame that Joey Hache, as a teenager, has to stand as the conscience of the Prime Minister on hepatitis C.

Olympics 2000
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, Canada won a bronze medal in the women's eight rowing competition at the Sydney Olympics. It was an incredibly emotional moment.

The team of rowers included Buffy Alexander from St. Catharines, Ontario; Laryssa Biesenthal from Walkerton, Ontario; Heather Davis from Vancouver, British Columbia; Alison Korn from Nepean, Ontario; Theresa Luke from Mile House, British Columbia; Heather McDermid from Calgary, Alberta; Emma Robinson from Winnipeg, Manitoba; and coxswain Lesley Thompson from Toronto, Ontario. For most of these women it was a repeat performance to the podium, having won either a bronze or a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

These athletes have managed to reach such heights thanks to their extreme hard work, dedication and sacrifices. I am sure all members join me in congratulating them and thanking them for the honour they bring to Canada.

Sydney Olympic Games
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, three bronze medals for some real high flyers: they were won by 10-metre diver Anne Montminy, and trampolinists Karen Cockburn and Mathieu Turgeon, in a sport making its debut at the Olympics.

Our thoughts now turn to the Lareau-Nestor men's tennis doubles team, which has already captured one silver medal and could pull off a gold later this week, to young Quebec diver Alexandre Despatie, to the personable kayaker Caroline Brunet, and to cyclists Lyne Bessette and Geneviève Jeanson.

The Bloc Quebecois pays tribute to each of these athletes for their discipline and tenacity, their unwavering commitment to their dream, and their desire to be in top shape in order to deliver their best performance and bring home a much-coveted medal.

Kay Walters
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, sadly Mrs. Kay Walters of Vancouver, B.C., passed away recently. Her devotion to helping the poor, caring for the sick and advancing minority rights are fine examples for all Canadians.

Through her work at the Jewish Community Centre, the Canadian Arthritis Research Institute and her constant support for arts and cultural organizations, Kay Walters touched many lives. She was a wonderful wife to Dr. Max Walters and a loving mother to David, Lorne and Mona.

I salute Kay for all the love and kindness she brought to our community. She will be deeply missed.

Correctional Service Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I spent this summer truly looking forward to returning to the House of Commons and to reports of a new, improved Correctional Service Canada minus Ingstrup, but memories of the previous era continue and the solicitor general has no one left to blame.

Correctional Service Canada still seems to be falling short on the fundamentals. I had always thought that the concept was to remove criminals from society, but here I have a report where a convicted drug trafficker, housed in the most violent offender section at Millhaven, was able to set up a home office for himself. Using a cell phone he successfully imported Colombian drugs into Toronto as well as planned a Rambo-like escape using military weapons.

It must be simple to smuggle drugs when a body cavity search fails to notice a cellular phone. It must have been one of those super small flip phones. My lesson for the solicitor general is that it is time to tear down Correctional Service Canada and rebuild the whole system, not build on yesterday's mistakes. By the way, that is not why they are called cell phones.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I spent the summer canvassing my riding of Hamilton Mountain, talking to my constituents about the issues that concern them the most.

In overwhelming numbers they were most concerned about the future of our health care system. They not only wanted more money for health care, but they wanted leadership from government.

The government delivered both. In my riding constituents wanted to know why the opposition is so pessimistic about the future of the country. They told me that their families are better off today than when we took office in 1993 and that their futures have never looked brighter.

The Liberal government is delivering the leadership Canadians expect and deserve. Congratulations to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health.

Roy Romanow
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the dean of Canadian premiers has just announced he will be stepping down. Throughout a lifetime in politics, Saskatchewan's Roy Romanow has always demonstrated personal integrity, dedication to duty, and that there is nothing more noble than public service.

He joined the NDP during the 1962 strike by doctors over medicare. During 11 years Mr. Romanow was Saskatchewan's deputy premier on tumultuous issues including repatriation of the Canadian constitution and provincial control over natural resources.

In 1987 he was acclaimed leader of the Saskatchewan NDP and elected premier four years later. Although his government inherited the largest debt deficit per capita that any provincial government ever faced, within four years his cabinet and the hard working people of the province had cleaned up the mess and Saskatchewan was able to introduce new progressive social programs dealing with child poverty in particular.

Premier Roy Romanow remains a great New Democrat and a great Canadian.

Human Resources Development Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, Confection Haut de Gamme Industrielle de Québec is a co-operative recently set up by 21 women after three years of efforts by a number of partners in the community. Most of these women had been on social assistance and they took a nine-month course on the use of high tech equipment for the production of top-of-the-line clothing.

An officer of Human Resources Development Canada was involved in the creation of this project and deemed it acceptable in all aspects for the Canada jobs fund program. Now the department has refused to hand over the $105,000 earmarked for the project, claiming that these women were being paid when they were in fact on training. Although departmental representatives have acknowledged the error, they have refused to reverse the decision and to pay out the amount planned.

This decision has placed the future of the co-operative in jeopardy. Would the federal government prefer to see these 21 women back on employment insurance or welfare? Is this the new face of federal government compassion?

House Of Commons
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, we heard it again from educators and students in Manitoba and British Columbia. People want national leadership and they believe that the federal government should provide that leadership. These Canadians want leadership in higher education; others want national leadership in health care; and others in employment standards. Many believe that we should have national standards in water quality.

I urge all parties in the House to behave like federal parties. It is our job to act in the national interest for all Canadians. It is not our job to think of only one region or one group or to actively set one region against another. Canada is stronger than the sum of its parts. It is our job to keep it so.

Police And Peace Officers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, over 4,000 peace officers, their families and friends gathered on Parliament Hill to participate in the annual memorial service. What began in 1978 as a special service for police officers killed in the line of duty has expanded to honour all those in the law enforcement community who make the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives in the preservation of justice, safety and stability.

This year, as before, was marked with the tragic loss of five additional lives. The names of Charles Mercier, Daniel Rowan, James McFadden, Mark Nieuwenhuis and Margaret Eve were added to the honour roll and will be carved in stoic granite stones on Parliament Hill in the memorial pavilion at the rear of the Chamber.

The faces of the family members and the officers assembled reminded us all of the sad reality of the moment. As the bagpipes pierced the autumn air yesterday and the shots of the two gun salute rang out, those assembled were reminded once again how much we owe our law enforcement community.

Those who bravely and voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to protect and serve our country are truly heroes and we will never forget them.

Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Limoges Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Prime Minister on his recent visit to Windsor and Essex county on Thursday, September 21, 2000.

The Prime Minister was very well received both at the official announcement of a new $500 million investment in research and development by Daimler Chrysler and later that evening at a Liberal Party fund raising dinner.

A sold out audience of over 1,000 people gave the Prime Minister an enthusiastic reception as they heard him speak passionately about issues that concern all Canadians, including a balanced approach to debt repayment, the continuing need to lower taxes and to make important investments in health care, education and children. Bravo.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the election must be getting close. The Liberal ads are getting bigger and better.

The minister of agriculture stubbornly refuses to admit that all his multi-million promises to Canadian farmers are not worth the paper his press releases are printed on. Farmers wait months for responses to their requests for assistance after spending hundreds of dollars getting them prepared by professional accountants.

I suggest to the minister that his programs are too complex for the people who need help. As it is, 58% of the claims in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, two of the hardest hit areas, are rejected. Ninety per cent of claims for 1999 remain unprocessed. I suggest to the minister that his programs are too complex for the people he has running them.

On Friday the minister stated that the full commitment of $600 million had been disbursed for 1998. That is not so. In fact that is the total including the 40% provincial contribution; a couple of dollars short. Of the promised 1.7 billion federal dollars only 41% has gone out to the few farmers who have been able to fight through the government red tape.

Clearly it would be enlightening to have all Canadians check the facts on this government.

Pharmaceuticals
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, drug prices are the fastest growing costs in our health care system. We now spend more on drugs than we do on the salaries of doctor.

In 1993 the Liberals promised to reduce drug prices. Instead they broke those promises and left the pharmaceutical companies with a 20 year patent protection on their products even though a generic company can often produce the same product for a fraction of the cost.

This situation has turned into the greatest corporate rip-off in Canadian history worth billions per year in unnecessary costs to our health care system and putting billions into the pockets of drug companies, the Liberal Party's corporate friends and sponsors.

What was a problem in 1993 is now an emergency. We hear of seniors who must choose between paying their rent and paying for their drugs. We hear of seniors who cut their daily medication in half to make their prescription last longer.

Incredibly we are now hearing of people being forced to move from province to province, shopping for the best deal, the best coverage to meet their health care costs. So much for national standards and so much for a national pharmacare plan. It is another Liberal broken promise, this time one that costs more than just money. It costs—

Pharmaceuticals
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

We will now proceed to oral questions.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am excited today. There is a whiff of democracy in the air because some Liberal MPs are beginning to speak out against the practice of the Prime Minister of not letting them vote for their constituents.

Will the Prime Minister inhale this fragrance of freedom, send a signal, and stand to say that he will not punish his MPs in any way if in 24 hours they vote for the Canadian Alliance motion to lower taxes? Will he keep them free from punishment?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last seven years there were a lot more free votes on this side of House than on the other side.

I would like to say that while the hon. Leader of the Opposition was with the Government of Alberta he was asked for a free vote on same sex benefits at that time as was permitted in Ontario. He said this was Alberta and it was not on the agenda. His answer was no.

A few months ago there was a request for a free vote on Bill C-11. Some MLAs of the Conservative Party wanted a free vote. He went there to make sure that there was not to be any.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely wrong. A very hon. premier just resigned today and I truly respect that man. He was right when he said that we needed a new generation of leaders. The reason for that is obvious with that response.

Will the Prime Minister, who disagrees with his finance minister on the high marginal rates of taxes and who now disagrees with his MPs, do one of two things? Will he either resign because he has no support over there or call an election based on his record of being the highest taxing leader in the G-7 countries?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago he was for an early election. Over the weekend he was not for an early election. Now he is for an early election again. This gentleman flip-flops so much that we are having fun on this side.

I tell him that Canadians know the person I am, a politician who has served Canada for more than 37 years. I will never be afraid to go in front of the Canadian people with my record and the record of the Liberal government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is an exciting record. In the olympics of high taxation Canadians deserve the gold medal for having to carry the heaviest weight of taxes of any of the G-7 countries.

Will the Prime Minister do something about the fact that for people to move from low income to middle income it is the greatest and most difficult leap of any of the G-7 nations because of the high marginal rates? Will he lower these rates?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget the Minister of Finance reduced the rate for middle income earners in Canada. We did that in the last budget.

We have reduced taxes for three years since we balanced the books. We balanced the books. We had a $42 billion deficit. Now we have a surplus. We have started to reduce the national debt. We have started to reduce the income tax for people. We have invested in health and in universities.

I am telling the House that Canadian people are quite satisfied with the performance of this government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since he will not answer the question on whether he will protect his MPs if they vote for the people, and since he will not do anything about marginal rates, will he answer a question related to his own advisory committee on science and technology which said that brain drain was continuing in the country?

Young people, entrepreneurial people, hard working people continue to leave. A year ago he said let them leave if they want to leave. Is that still his answer today?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have acted in a very responsible fashion. Of course some people from Canada will go abroad for opportunities and some will come from abroad to Canada.

When we created the chairs of excellence program we were praised because thousands of the best brains would stay in Canada or would come here because this government is looking at the future. We are very proud of our record on that program.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the court of public opinion I find the Prime Minister in contempt of the people for not answering these questions. I have no further questions for this unco-operative witness.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

I will ask the Minister of National Revenue if he has run the econometric models to show that we can lower taxes and still maintain the surplus needed to take care of the debt and social welfare—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I had presumed that the hon. Leader of the Opposition had finished his question because I could not hear it. We deserve to hear both the question and the answer in question period.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think I can answer the hon. member. We did not just make promises, we have begun to cut taxes.

Everyone knows that the program we put forward will cut personal income taxes of the people of Canada in the next few years by an average of 23%. For example, people with two children earning $60,000 a year will have their income tax cut by 35.6%. This is what the government is doing, we are reducing taxes. At the same time, we are reducing the debt and we have invested a lot in health care. I see the Minister of Health smiling, he was very happy to—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's budget surpluses were predictable. If nothing is done, this money will be invested according to the whim of the Minister of Finance without any discussion or his making his intentions known.

Does the Prime Minister not see a need for his government to present a mini budget in order to deal with emergencies such as employment insurance, the price of gasoline and especially reductions in income tax?

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a tax reduction program. The Minister of Finance has said himself that the additional resources we have received will enable him, at the appropriate time, to lower taxes more quickly than expected. This is good management. Fortunately, we had revenues higher than we expected, because the economy is doing much better than foreseen, and everyone should be pleased at this, including the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that we said last year there would be $11.5 billion in surpluses, and the Minister of Finance was expecting $3 billion. I am convinced that he knew as well as we did. The problem is that he does not want this debate. The government is making promises without substance.

Does the Prime Minister not see the need for a mini budget so that we have more than just election promises with no guarantee that they will be kept when the time comes?

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since July there have been reductions in taxes that will total $4 billion over the year and that will benefit taxpayers. Perhaps we could speed up the process even more.

Exactly two weeks ago, we decided to inject $21 billion over five years, that is, more than $4 billion annually, into health services in Canada. The hon. members were totally in agreement. That means that, of the $12 billion announced, $8 billion has been already allocated. That is two thirds.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should look at the next five years, not the past year. The forecasts of his Minister of Finance apply to the next five years.

In the first four months of the current fiscal year, the federal government has accumulated an $11 billion surplus, compared to last year. By the end of the year, the surplus will exceed $21 billion, while the Minister of Finance anticipated a $4 billion surplus.

Does the Prime Minister realize that if a mini budget is not tabled in the coming days regarding the allocation of these new surpluses, the Minister of Finance will do as he did in previous years and will allocate all the unexpected surpluses, the hidden surpluses, to debt reduction, without any debate on current major and urgent social issues?

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that, under the law, when there is a budget surplus at the end of a year, that surplus is used to lower the country's debt.

The hon. member should be pleased that a government which faced a $42 billion deficit when it took office was able, over the past three years, to pay more than $20 billion off the national debt. That had not happened in 50 years.

The hon. member should be pleased, because future generations will benefit from this reduction of the national debt. He should congratulate the government.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, a government that forces people to take to the streets to fight for their rights because of the drastic cuts made to their employment insurance benefits does not deserve any congratulations.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, in the coming months, any surplus that was not anticipated by the Minister of Finance in the last budget will be allocated to the debt, even though there are urgent needs relating to unemployment, gasoline prices and excess taxes? The money that the Minister of Finance has in his pockets is money that is no longer in the taxpayers' pockets.

Will the Prime Minister ask that a mini budget be tabled by his Minister of Finance, who keeps hiding the real figures from us?

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance always presents an economic report to the House of Commons in the fall. This report presents the situation at the half way point during the year. The minister will make such a presentation again this year.

Things are going well, but I should point out to the hon. member that, for example, we allocated substantial amounts of money for health, even for the current year. Right now, all the provincial governments can buy equipment which they would not have been able to buy if an agreement had not been reached two weeks ago.

We co-operate with everyone to invest in health, to reduce taxes and also to provide a very good administration.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Today, we learned that certain pediatricians in Montreal are charging up to $60 a shot for standard vaccines that protect our children against the usual childhood diseases.

What does the minister have to say about this troubling state of affairs? Will he tell us what he is going to do to put a stop to this practice?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I intend to raise this matter with Quebec's health minister.

I have asked my officials to investigate to ensure that the principles of the Canada Health Act are being respected everywhere at all times.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last spring the health minister said with respect to queue jumping and user fees for operation rooms in Montreal “We're looking into it”. With respect to queue jumping and user fees for cataract surgery in Calgary he said “We're looking into it”. Now we learn that privatization has taken another step forward, this time targeting our kids.

Where is the government? How many families will have to pay $500 for their kids' vaccinations before the government is willing to take action?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, less than two weeks ago, on September 11, the premier of Quebec joined with all other premiers and the Prime Minister to reaffirm their confidence in the Canada Health Act and their adherence to the principles in the Canada Health Act. I have every confidence that the minister of health of Quebec will work with this government to ensure that in the case cited by the hon. member those principles will be respected.

I have always believed and I believe today that the best answer for those who would want access to private parallel health services is to reinforce the public system so there is no market for private services. That is what we are doing.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the subcommittee on organized crime is set to resume its study. However, recent events and publicity tell us the time is getting short.

Canadians and police are very concerned about the government's inaction on organized crime and the new RCMP commissioner has as much as told us so.

The subcommittee's work, although valuable, will take far too long and there is an election looming. Will the Minister of Justice introduce legislation now to provide law enforcement with legislation to enhance investigative techniques and to protect vital information and evidence for Canadians?

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions in the House, we are working with the province of Quebec and all provinces and territories. We are working with the RCMP and provincial and local police forces. In fact, we are very much at work in terms of looking at possible legislative changes to ensure that law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges have the laws and the tools necessary to deal with organized crime.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to want to reassure the House. But what is clear is that the subcommittee is beginning its work.

Is the Minister of Justice telling us that, instead of waiting for the subcommittee to submit a report to the House for debate here in order to introduce a new bill, she will agree very quickly to introduce an organized crime bill in the coming weeks? Could she give us a valid and verifiable timetable?

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I know the subcommittee on organized crime is hard at work. Certainly the work it does will help us and enhance not only our work in the federal government but the work being done in conjunction with the provinces and law enforcement authorities.

As soon as that work is done we will take whatever steps are necessary, be it on the legislative side, the resource side or the investigative tools side, to ensure that we can effectively deal with organized crime.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, after two months of dithering the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has finally taken a few tottering steps toward protecting the few remaining lobster in Miramichi Bay, but he is still in hot water. Lobster catches are below historical levels across the maritimes.

The minister's failure to protect lobster stocks in Miramichi Bay, Malpeque Bay and in St. Mary's Bay means that things will be even worse for fishermen next year. After Burnt Church, negotiating fisheries' agreements will be even more difficult than ever.

Looking ahead to next year, what is the minister's plan to deal with this mess he has created and is he prepared—

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me first say that the lobster fishery has been managed extremely well. In fact, lobster fishermen over the years have greatly benefited from the excellent management of the lobster fishery.

In terms of Miramichi Bay, I am happy to inform the House that our enforcement action resulted in 1,351 traps being removed from Miramichi Bay to protect the resource, without confrontation and without conflict. I think that is good news. We can now continue our work to protect the resource. I have always said that conservation is our number one priority and we will continue to make sure the resource is protected for all Canadians.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us not forget the 40,000 pound quota and perhaps 300,000 pounds taken out of the bay.

The minister never had a plan to deal with the fallout from the Marshall decision. He brought in a couple of negotiators, gave them $160 million and wished them luck. He brought in Bob Rae and just hoped for the best.

Without a plan, the minister has put lobster stocks, livelihoods and entire communities at risk. Fishermen want to know now what the minister's plan is for ending this mess he has created and if he is prepared to bring that plan before parliament.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, our plan was very clear. I went to the fisheries committee and outlined our plan. Our plan was also brought forward to the fisheries ministers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. They were very supportive. It was about bringing aboriginal communities into the fisheries and improving the lives of aboriginal communities. That is why we had 29 agreements with aboriginal communities. We have built the foundation to move forward, to create hundreds of jobs and real opportunity for aboriginal communities.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are three ways for a government to dispose of unexpected surplus funds: It can do nothing, as has been done on numerous occasions, and then the money goes directly on to the debt; it can take piece-meal decisions, in which case the money is spread around to win votes; it can bring down a mini budget, hold an informed debate on the problems facing society, and then take proper managerial decisions.

Which of these three is the government going to choose?

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, over the past seven years, the Bloc Quebecois has called five times for a mini budget.

I can say with confidence that Canadians did not need the last mini budget nor do they need a mini budget today. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that while we underestimated our revenues by 3.6%, the province of Quebec has raised its revenue forecast by 3.8%. This is a national and an international phenomena. It is a good news story.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe my question deserved a rather more serious response, since it addressed a basic problem.

We have always known the Liberals have a tendency to throw money around all over the place for the purpose of winning votes, of improving their visibility with the taxpayers.

What we would like to know, and this seems reasonable to me, given the major social problems confronting our society and the surplus the Minister of Finance was not expecting—a 300% error—is what they are planning to do? I feel this is a reasonable question and deserves a reasonable answer.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has stated that we are big spenders. I would like to remind him that, when we formed the government, total departmental expenditures were $121 billion.

Now, after seven years of Liberal administration, the figure for government expenditures is $115 billion.

I would challenge the hon. member to find another government in the world that is spending less on programs after seven years in power than was being spent when it assumed power.

Crime Prevention
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to the Kingston city police, 47% of all convicts released from federal prisons are committing new crimes. According to the National Parole Board and Correctional Service Canada, they report between 5% and 15% of freed inmates go on to commit new crimes. I choose to believe the police.

My question for the solicitor general is, which of these two statements should Canadians believe, the police or the National Parole Board?

Crime Prevention
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly aware of this report. Neither Correctional Service Canada nor the National Parole Board were involved. We are evaluating both reports.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, young Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French cannot celebrate their birthdays anymore. They were only 14 and 15 years of age when Karla Homolka helped torture and murder them. The newspapers are now showing Homolka celebrating her birthday in formal attire while serving time with other violent sex offenders.

My question is for the solicitor general. Where is the justice in all this?

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, like most Canadians I am disgusted by this crime. However, no matter how we feel, Correctional Service Canada has a role to play. There must be punishment for the crime and attempts at rehabilitation. That is exactly what is taking place.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has intimated that he could reduce the GST in order to fight the significant increase in the price of gasoline.

Has the minister really compared the impact of a reduction in the GST to the solution we proposed, namely, a reduction in the excise tax, especially since the GST is refunded to truckers and transport companies in any case. Their solution for truckers is zero, not one cent more in their pockets.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the GST was under debate by the Alliance Party just recently. However, our government is looking for a comprehensive approach to this issue. The GST, for example, with respect to truckers, is fully rebated when they apply for the GST credit. In addition, if we look at the federal excise tax it is 4 cents a litre for diesel but in Ontario it is 13.5 cents and in Quebec it is a similar amount.

We are working very diligently on the problem. It is a problem for Canadians. We want to have the right solution that gets in the hands of consumers, not in the hands of the oil companies.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question is what will they do for the truckers if it is not to be this solution and there is none?

The situation is not going to be resolved with verbiage. What are they prepared to offer? We want them to lower the excise tax by 10 cents a litre immediately for consumers and 4 cents a litre for diesel. Why are they not doing something?

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, two months ago, the Minister of Finance, here in the House, proposed to the provinces that they work together to find solutions to this problem.

However, as far as I know, the minister did not get many calls from the Quebec minister of finance.

We have a situation where we are trying to work toward giving significant relief to Canadian consumers. To do that we have to have the provinces involved at the table, not just saying things but actually being part of the solution.

Youth Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been demanding changes to the Young Offenders Act for well over a decade now. After seven years, the government brings in minor changes which will not satisfy young people, the police, victims, or anyone else in the country.

Why is it that the government refuses to bring in substantive changes to the Young Offenders Act?

Youth Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member and many others in the House know, we have been debating the issue of youth justice in the country for two and one-half years.

As part of our new youth justice strategy we have new youth justice legislation. It is before the House for debate now. Unfortunately there have been those who have attempted, dare I say, to distort or obstruct the process of honest debate on all sides of the House.

I would say to the hon. member that on this side of the House we believe we have a balanced package.

Youth Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me give the House an idea of what the minister thinks is balanced.

Left out of this are changes such as allowing young offenders' names to be published when they commit violent crimes, carryover of youth records to adult criminal records, and allowing young offenders to include ages 10 to 15 years.

The Canadian Alliance would bring in these particular changes. Why will the Liberal government not? Maybe it is time we had an election to see who is closer in touch with the people.

Youth Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is suggesting that we should criminalize 10-year old children, we on this side of the House profoundly disagree with him.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is showing tremendous insensitivity to the plight of people who have been at the mercy of its EI regime for years now.

But the governing party paid the price throughout eastern Canada in the 1997 election.

Does the minister understand that in these resource regions there are many more seasonal workers without jobs than jobs available and that this has nothing to do with their willingness to work but that it is a simple question of the absence of available jobs for them? Period.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we believe that the best employment insurance program is a job.

Thanks to our interventions and our partnerships across the country, we are making progress. Two million more Canadians are working today than were working when we were elected in 1993.

Having said that, I have had the pleasure of sitting down with representatives of seasonal workers from Newfoundland, the interior of British Columbia, New Brunswick and Quebec. We are looking at their proposals and if the employment insurance program needs to be improved, we will make changes.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has announced the government's intention to develop a new regulatory process for Canadians to access marijuana for medical purposes. Some Canadians who suffer with illnesses like AIDS, cancer and other conditions already have access through the current process.

I would like the Minister of Health to outline for us what he is proposing to improve the system for the future because Canadians who are suffering today need this.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, since last June when I announced in the House that we would make marijuana available on compassionate grounds for medical purposes, Health Canada has allowed 70 persons to use marijuana in that way.

Since that time we have had the benefit of a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal with respect to the exercise of discretion. We announced last week that we have the intention of creating a set of regulations which will be in place we hope by next summer to put on a formal basis the criteria and the circumstances under which that discretion will be exercised, compassion for the sick.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has finally made a commitment to return some of the money that it removed from health care but it still cannot get its priorities straight. Although the Liberals will not be increasing the transfers for health and social services until next year, they have lots of money to advertise how wonderful they are at spending taxpayers' money on health care.

Can the minister please explain why the government is spending money on advertising and not on health care?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, first let me welcome the hon. member to her new role as the health critic for the Canadian Alliance. It is not a position that kept her predecessor very busy. In fact we did not get many questions on health from the Alliance at all. It is a little self-conscious about its position on an issue about which Canadians feel so strongly.

I am delighted that her first question allows me the opportunity to talk about the extraordinary agreement reached among 14 governments just a few days ago of over $23 billion in additional transfers to renew and restore Canadian health care across the country.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we need more doctors. We need more specialists. We need more nurses. We need more hospital beds. What do the Liberals give us? They give us more advertising.

When will the government put a priority on health care rather than on its public relations exercises?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member is new on the job. I think she has missed the central point.

The central point is a historic agreement. All heads of government in the country put on paper common ground with respect not only to substantial increases in funding, but a concrete action plan toward shared priorities, including more doctors and nurses, better equipment, information technology and an accountability system to make sure taxpayers know how that money is spent. That is a great achievement.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Earlier the minister was asked what his long term plan was for dealing with the situation at Burnt Church and the other consequences of the Marshall decision and he did not answer the question. He referred to the 29 agreements that he has signed with bands in the area but what he never says is that these agreements will expire in March. We have a right to know and the Canadian public has a right to know what is the minister's long term plan, looking beyond the expiry of those agreements and the very difficult situation that will still obtain in that particular area of Canada.

What is the minister's long term plan and will he share it with the House of Commons and the Canadian public?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the federal government made a commitment of $160 million as an initial investment in bringing the aboriginal community to participate in the fisheries. That is working well. We are once again talking to the aboriginal community on a band by band basis to start working on it next year.

At the same time, my colleague the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is looking at a process with all the Atlantic policy congress chiefs to consider the long term issue because the Marshall decision goes beyond fishing. It says fishing, gathering and hunting. He is working on the long term issue and the larger, broader agenda. I am making sure we are working with individual—

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I hope the government realizes that what is happening in Burnt Church is symptomatic of a larger dissatisfaction on the part of aboriginal people across Canada with the way the government has dealt with the aboriginal file and all the outstanding claims with respect to land, et cetera.

What is the government's response today to the call by the churches for the establishment of an independent aboriginal land rights commission? This is something we have been pushing for and others have been pushing for. It seems to me that this would be a big step in the right direction to restore some confidence on the part of aboriginal people across Canada that this government indeed intends to move on this particular file.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I think it is well known that the government has made an offer to the Atlantic first nations not once, not twice, not three times, but four times to come to the negotiating table.

It really takes more than just our government. It takes the provincial government and it takes the first nations. We wait for them when they are ready to come to the table to talk about aboriginal and treaty rights.

Vietnam
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific.

Recently Brampton resident Tran Thi Cam returned to Canada following her release from prison in Vietnam.

We all agree that this ordeal has been a terrible tragedy for the family and has set back our relations with Vietnam.

Could the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific tell us how the government intends to move forward from this terrible tragedy?

Vietnam
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Richmond
B.C.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, I personally have been working on this file for a few years for Mrs. Tran. Since the terrible tragedy of the execution of her daughter, Canada has acted firmly and strongly against the Vietnamese government.

As a result the top leaders of Vietnam appreciate the problems they have in their country. Also they regret all their actions. They have fulfilled all the conditions we have set out. In particular now there is greater co-operation between Toronto policemen and the Vietnamese government on drug trafficking.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government has not only taken a scalpel to our Canadian health care system, it has also gutted funding for post-secondary education. For example, the U.S. federal government invests $500 per post-secondary education student. The Liberal government in Ottawa invests only $144 per post-secondary education student.

Will the Prime Minister change his attitude toward post-secondary education and start investing sufficient funding so that this country can be a leader again?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to respond to the question. It offers me the opportunity to highlight the advances we have made.

We have increased the funding for the university granting councils. We have created the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and have introduced 2,000 21st century research chairs which will make Canada the envy of the world. We have expanded health research through the Canadian institutes of health research and have made the networks of centres of excellence a permanent program.

There has not been a government in the history of Canada with as proud a record on post-secondary education as this one.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister forgot to mention the enormous debts of the students going to university today. That is what he forgot.

According to a report by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, college and university campuses throughout the country are in terrible shape because of the tremendous lack of infrastructure funding. It estimates the cost of urgently required work at more than $1.2 billion.

Is the minister responsible for infrastructure prepared to create an infrastructure program for Canada's college and university campuses in order to meet the urgent needs?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, the reason we now have an infrastructure program is that, through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, municipalities across the country have asked the government to create a municipal infrastructure program.

This is where most citizens' priorities lie, with a special emphasis on green infrastructures, because air and water quality are of vital importance to all Canadians, and this is where our government must place its priority.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be no end to the Liberal shameless vote buying with other people's money. Now that he is about to call an election, the Prime Minister has decided to increase EI payments to seasonal workers who already earn a comfortable annual income.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, worse is that the increase will come straight from the pockets of struggling low income workers, needy EI claimants and employers who pay job killing premiums.

Why do the Liberals think they can get away with such blatant manipulation of Atlantic Canadians?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows when we started, the premiums were $3.07 and now they are down at $2.40. It shows what we have done.

And for enlightenment, I checked in Alberta because we have received a lot of complaints about investments. I have a list of about 19 golf courses in Alberta that have received money due to the good office of the Leader of the Opposition today.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Québec.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development issued a very unfair ruling for seasonal workers who lost their jobs between July 9 and September 17 in the Lower St. Lawrence, North Shore, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and Charlevoix regions.

How can the minister allow a double standard whereby workers who lost their jobs after September 17 will get 32 weeks of benefits, while those who lost their jobs in the two preceding months will only be entitled to 21 weeks of benefits? Let us hear the minister's definition of fairness.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed we listened to the concerns of seasonal workers in that part of Quebec. That is why we implemented a phasing in of the changes to the employment insurance boundaries.

That is also why we are implementing transitional measures, precisely for the men and women to whom the hon. member makes reference. That too is why we are working in the community, myself and the Minister of National Revenue, with employees and employers to find new opportunities for the men and women living in that part of Quebec. I wish the hon. member would join us in that endeavour.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has said that the government would deal with the issue of post-secondary student debt to the extent of its resources.

Last week when the minister was boasting about having $12.3 billion more than he had expected, why did he not act to reduce the level of student debt that has increased on his watch? Is it that the minister has had a hard time keeping his promises, or is it that he agrees with the Leader of the Opposition that student debt is just a personal problem?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke North
Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the last few years the government has taken strong action to relieve some of the burden on students with their debts by elongating the period in which they can pay the loans and by deductibility of interest.

At the end of March this year we had a $12.3 billion surplus which automatically goes against the debt. That means that as a result of the payment of the debt in the last two budgets, we are saving $1 billion a year in interest costs. That is to the benefit of all Canadians.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Reform Party that is totally heartless when it comes to seasonal workers, I would like to ask the Prime Minister when he will bring about changes to the employment insurance program so seasonal workers in our communities can feed their kids during the wintertime and all year round?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Again, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes a good point. Men and women in this country want to work and they want to work year round. That is why, in the hon. member's region and the region surrounding her area, my officials are working with employees and employers to find new opportunities so that Canadians can work all year round.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Waterloo—Wellington
Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia raised a point of order last week to which I would now like to respond.

I would like to emphasize that during question period I was not reading from or directly quoting the SIRC report, which is a classified report, as the House knows. I can advise the House that the solicitor general has asked the Security Intelligence Review Committee to make as much of that report available as possible, subject to any national security concerns.

The solicitor general has advised me that he will be tabling the resulting report as reviewed by the Security Intelligence Review Committee once that is available.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

As I understand it, after a review with the clerk, the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia asked for the production of documents. Now the parliamentary secretary is responding that he did not quote from an official document. By our rules, there would be no need to lay these documents upon the table.

I do not know how the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia could have more information at this time, but if he does, I am willing to listen to him.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I might request that you might want to take a look at Hansard for that particular day. I do not have a copy handy with me this second, but in the parliamentary secretary's response he said point one, point two, point three and it says this, it says this, it says this. We will not know whether or not he was quoting from the document until the document is tabled.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

What we have is one hon. member claiming one thing and another hon. member saying that it is not a document. As your Speaker, I must of course abide by the rules of the House and respect and believe, as we always do, all hon. members. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, we have a statement made by the hon. member that he did not quote. Therefore, we will let it rest at this point.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 15 petitions.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, reports from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the 39th Canadian regional conference which was held in Prince Edward Island from July 15 to 21, 2000.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Mr. Speaker, to comply with the requirements under Standing Order 34, I have the honour today to present the annual report of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group which took place between May 19 and 23, 2000.

Needless to say, there were five ongoing working groups that worked between those periods of time. They dealt with e-trade, transborder issues, crime across the border and all those things that deal on a day to day basis with our relations with our friends in the United States.

I have the honour of presenting this report. It is such an important committee that I would ask that every member of the House should belong to it.

Holidays Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-496, an act to amend the Holidays Act (Christmas Day).

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of my bill is to make Christmas Day into a heritage day holiday and not just a religious holiday.

One of the sad things is that so many Canadians who are not Christian cannot celebrate Christmas Day. By making it into a legal holiday, we celebrate the fact that Christmas Day is not only a religious holiday, and indeed is not a religious holiday to many, but is part and parcel of being Canadian. This goes back to the very early days of Canada to our ancestors who in the wilderness when the winter was upon them sat and huddled around the fire, drank, ate and felt fellowship and good cheer. That is part of the Canadian tradition. My bill, I hope, will enable those people who are not Christians to celebrate Christmas with the rest of Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by well over 900 people who are exasperated by gasoline prices and are asking that the federal government do something about it, such as funding research projects on alternative energy sources, and exercising its international influence so that the oil cartel lowers prices.

I believe this is an excellent petition and I endorse it.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today in the House to table a petition calling on the Canadian Parliament to enact an immediate moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides in Canada until such time as these chemicals have been scientifically proven to be safe for the health and quality of life of Canadians.

It is my pleasure to present this, particularly as I have a private member's bill that calls on the same issue.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also have a second petition which has been signed by 25 residents of Canada calling on the Canadian government not to support the U.S. national missile defence, NMD program, which the U.S. wishes to operate in the North American Aerospace Defence Command by NORAD.

The petitioners call on parliament to declare that Canada objects to the national missile defence program of the United States and that parliament play a leadership role in banning nuclear weapons and missile flight tests.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition calling upon parliament to quickly pass legislation making it mandatory to label all foods that are totally or partially genetically modified.

This petition is in addition to the considerable number of petitions tabled in this House with the hope of a favourable response to our request. This one is signed by 437 people.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will be answering Questions Nos. 100 and 101 today. .[Text]

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

What is the breakdown and ratio of funding that the CBC is receiving in the current fiscal year 2000-01 from the Canadian television fund and Telefilm for the production of documentaries, feature films, children's programming and drama, showing not only national figures but regional figures by province and also a breakdown by name of production company and/or individual independent producer; and how do these figures compare with those for the last three fiscal years?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

The Canadian government provides the Canadian television fund (CTF) an annual contribution of $100 million. The fund assists in the production of high quality programming in English, French and aboriginal languages for broadcast in prime time.

The Canadian television fund is a private not for profit corporation, with a 16-member board of directors drawn from the public and private sectors. The CTF makes its decisions independently from government on who will receive funding.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation does not receive funding. Rather, CTF contributions go to private producers whose programs are licensed and broadcast by the CBC.

The list of funded projects by genre and by producer are posted to the CTF website (www.CanadianTelevision Fund.ca) and are published in the fund's annual report, also posted to its website. 2000-01 data is unavailable as the decision making process is still under way. Figures include all CTF numbers, including those administered by Telefilm Canada through its participation in the fund. We expect the final 1999-00 data early this summer when the CTF presents its annual report. Interim lists are on the CTF website.

Please find attached a table showing national and regional figures, financial and percentage, by province for the CTF and CBC-SRC triggered projects for the years 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99. This information is provided by the CTF.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

With regard to the new funding announced for CBC Radio: ( a ) how much and what percentage of the total of the new funding for radio went to the province of Quebec and French radio; ( b ) what is the percentage for CBC radio in French and CBC radio in English of the total funding package; and ( c ) what is the breakdown and ratio in funding for the aforementioned during the last three fiscal years?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

The government provides the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with a parliamentary appropriation to provide a national public television and radio broadcasting service for all Canadians in both official languages. This service is primarily Canadian in content and character.

As a crown corporation operating independently from government, the CBC is not required to provide details of its expenditures beyond those which are contained in the audited financial statements of its annual reports.

(a) The Canadian Broadcasting corporation does not break down its funding by province; rather its funding is allocated to French and English radio and television, and administrative and other services associated with its production, programming and distribution.

Effective April 1, 2000 the corporation has announced an increase to the base funding for its radio services of $10.2 million. This new funding is being shared roughly 60:40 between the English and French radio services respectively and will be directed at enhancing and enriching the quality of their program schedules as well as for new initiatives designed to extend CBC's radio services to more Canadians. These latter initiatives are currently under developement by both the English and French language radio services.

(b) and (c) CBC's English and French language radio services have a combined annual funding platform of roughly $260 million. This represents close to 20% of CBC's total annual spending for its operations including specialty services.

Of the $260 million spent annually on CBC's radio services, roughly 60% goes toward funding CBC's two English language radio services: Radio One and Radio Two. The remaining 40% funds La Première Chaîne and La Chaîne Culturelle, CBC's French language radio services. As a percentage of CBC's total funding package, therefore, this equates to close to 12% being spent on CBC's English language radio services and 8% begin spent on CBC's French language radio services.

This funding relationship does not migrate much from one year to the next as can be seen from the following which has been extracted from CBC's annual reports for the respective years provided:

($ Millions)—1996/97—1997/98—1998/99 English Radio—$167—$156—$157 % of total funding—12.1%—12.6%—12.4% French Radio—$101-$98—$104 % of total funding—7.5%—8.0%—8.1% Total Radio—$268—$254—$261

*Excludes funding for downsizing and revenue from one time special events such as the Oympics.

Amounts for the 1999-2000 fiscal year will be available once the CBC's annual report is tabled before parliament early next fall.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

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

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Before we get to orders of the day, I have a notice concerning Private Members' Business. I have received notice from the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite Patrie that he is unable to move his motion during private members' hour on Tuesday, September 26, 2000.

It has not been possible to arrange an exchange of positions in the order of precedence. Accordingly I am directing the table officers to drop that item of business to the bottom of the order of precedence. Private members' hour will thus be cancelled and the House will continue with the business before it prior to private members' hour.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-3, an act in respect of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other acts, as reported (without amendment) from the committee; and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill C-3, which hon. members will recall is the former Bill C-68, which was introduced in 1997, unfortunately only to die on the order paper when the last federal election was called.

I recall that when I spoke to that bill at that time I commented that the Liberal Party was reforming itself by adopting such an attitude. Bill C-3 is a complete repeat of Bill C-68 as tabled in the House. What I should perhaps say today is that the Liberals are alliancing themselves, if that is the right word.

The Liberal Party is getting chummy with the Canadian Alliance, drifting to the right, I would say, because its ship literally veered off in that direction. I think it is a fundamental error for the Liberal Party to drift so far to the right on a bill such as this.

As recently as this past weekend, I read that the hon. Minister of Public Works, that great Liberal Party organizer in Quebec, the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, was saying that one of the four fundamental pillars of the next election campaign would be compassion.

I would like to understand, and I would like to hear the minister's explanation of how they plan to show any compassion when they propose to lock up young offenders as young as 12, 13 or 14 years of age. Where is the compassion in that? Is that what compassion is? Maybe this is the Liberal version of compassion. It is not, however, the Bloc Quebecois's idea of compassion, nor that of Quebec.

I am anxious to see how my Quebec colleagues from the federal Liberal Party will vote on this. I am anxious to see them vote one by one, and to hear them explain their vote to their constituents. Some things are fundamental: there is a systematic and generalized opposition to this bill in Quebec.

The Coalition pour la justice des mineurs opposes it, among others, and it seems important to me to mention it. I will name all those who oppose the bill, and you will see that there are even people from outside Quebec who oppose it. Everyone who wants to defend minors in Quebec is on this list. Let us not be fooled. Liberal members, including members from Quebec, are getting ready pass this bill. It must be made clear that these members will vote against all the members of the coalition that I will mention here.

There are the Commission des services juridiques, the Conseil permanent de la jeunesse, the Centrale de l'enseignement du Québec, Jean Trépanier, of the Criminology Faculty of the University of Montreal, the Community Legal Center of Montreal, the Fondation québécoise pour les jeunes contrevenants, the Institut Philippe-Pinel and the Association des directeurs de police et pompiers du Québec. These people are in a good position to know what they are talking about. They are constantly in contact with this type of clientele and they say that this bill would not work and should not be passed.

Also included on this list are the Conférence des régies régionales de la santé et des services sociaux, the Association des centres jeunesse du Québec, the Crown Prosecutors' Office—that is the Justice Department of Quebec—and the Association des CLSC et des CHSLD du Québec.

We must also realize that they are in daily contact with these people and understand that what exists today in Quebec is much more valuable than what the minister wants to introduce and force down the throats of all Quebecers.

Marc Leblanc of the École de psychoéducation, the Regroupement des organismes de justice alternative du Québec, The Child Welfare League of Canada, The Canadian Criminal Justice Association, the Association des avocats de la défense du Québec, the Société de criminologie du Québec, Dr. Jim Hackler of the Department of Sociology of the University of Victoria, Tim Quigley of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Marge Reitsma-Street of the University of Victoria, and the British Columbia Criminal Justice Association are all part of the coalition that is telling the Minister of Justice today that she is headed the wrong way. Many Canadians and practically all Quebecers are opposed to this legislation. This is easy to understand because the bill before the House is strictly political.

Before examining a bill and voting on it, we, as lawmakers, must first know if such a measure is needed. There is no need for such a drastic law in Quebec. Members need only look at the statistics. Youth crime is decreasing, but there is more to it Statistics show that the further one goes east the more one notes a drop in youth crime.

In other words, the youth crime rate in Quebec is lower than in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. The reason is that: Quebecers consider the youth justice system more as a rehabilitation process. We have to get the young offenders back into society. This bill before the House does just the opposite. It would throw these young people in jail. And as everyone knows, prison is a school for crime.

In prison, 14 year old kids are living among older criminals for whom it is perhaps harder to get back into society because of their age. For a 40 or 50 year old man who has been a killer all his life, rehabilitation is less likely. Of course, Quebec will try to give him a chance, but the most important thing is to give young offenders the opportunity to redeem themselves. Throwing them in jail with hard core criminals would defeat the purpose. Statistics show that Quebec has a higher rehabilitation rate among young offenders because we have come to realize that these young people need support and supervision, not jail time.

I mentioned earlier a major coalition and all its members. But there is also another very important element that must be mentioned. Not one of the 125 members of the Quebec National Assembly supports this bill. I have here a motion I consider important which was adopted by the Quebec National Assembly on November 30, 1999:

That the National Assembly request that the federal Minister of Justice suspend the legislative process with respect to Bill C-3 in order to make a better assessment of the implementation by the provinces of the measures provided for in the Young Offenders Act and ascertain that Quebec will be able to keep its strategy based on the needs of the young, with an emphasis on crime prevention and rehabilitation.

Obviously, the basic principles in the motion are rehabilitation and prevention. These notions should prevail much more frequently in our society. We should stop investing money to deal with just the consequences of crime. With the minister's proposal, we will have to invest a lot of additional money. It is expensive to put people in prison, and even more expensive when we deal with young offenders because, with this bill, they will probably end up in prison several times during their lifetime.

Also, this does not take into account the international impact. There are United Nations conventions dealing with juvenile delinquency and the protection of children. The government is totally disregarding that, because these conventions say that within a justice system the young person must come first.

As I have been explaining for the last 10 minutes or so, we have proved that it works in Quebec. Social reintegration is possible and we rehabilitate young offenders. We do not condemn them to be criminals for the rest of their lives.

This is why, naturally, I will support all the amendments. Judging by the number of amendments on the table, it is clear that the bill is totally inadequate. We have had to move 3,000 amendments to improve it.

Let us pass all these amendments. If it is not possible, we will definitely vote against the bill at the third reading stage. It is not too late for the minister, however. It is not too late for my Quebec colleagues, the Liberal members from Quebec. They can still set an example for once and pay attention to the heartfelt cry of the people of Quebec.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 when I first came to the House one of the first speeches I was able to deliver was on the Young Offenders Act.

In 1993 there was a cry from the public throughout Canada to do something about this act which after 10 years of being in place, having been brought into the House in 1984, had proven to be not a very effective means of dealing with young people. If a 350% increase in violent crimes means it was successful then there is something wrong with that success.

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3:25 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My apologies to my worthy colleague. Our colleague is recognized as the House expert on this subject. I think it most unfortunate that we do not have a quorum here to listen to him.

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3:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands has called quorum.

And the count having been taken:

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3:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

We have quorum.

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3:25 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, here we are in the year 2000 and nothing has changed.

When we came here in 1993 I was informed that the top priority at that time was the Young Offenders Act. In fact the previous Minister of Justice called for a meeting with me and one of my colleagues to discuss the Young Offenders Act because it was such a high priority. Yet it did not go anywhere. There were submissions from across Canada from thousands and thousands of Canadians. There were submissions from all parties in the House of Commons. There was a strong cry to do something about the Young Offenders Act, and here we are still tinkering around with this issue.

The previous justice minister did nothing. It appeared to me quite obvious after a little while that the idea that the Young Offenders Act was top priority was nothing more than smoke and mirrors and just talk, because they tinkered with it and did nothing. Then the new justice minister came in in 1997 and again it was a top priority. What did we get? A glossy print of a new thing called the youth justice system, a glossy print of tinkering around, not truly bringing any significant changes to the Young Offenders Act.

Then along comes the day we are to have a discussion on it, and we find out the act has gone through a justice committee for days and days, being filibustered most of the time, and nothing has changed in it. It has not been amended. It has not been changed at all. Now we are looking forward to voting this week on something like 3,000 amendments the Bloc has presented. The Bloc is opposed to this particular bill for certain reasons, but we are opposed to this bill for totally different reasons.

The one thing that puzzles me is the cry from the Quebec population, who through various polls have indicated that 70% to 80% of them are calling for tougher measures in the Young Offenders Act. They want something done but the Bloc is presenting the opposite. That is not very good representation.

What really amazes me is hearing the Liberals and the Bloc talk about what they are going to do with young offenders. They spend minutes and then hours talking about the criminal element, the ones who commit the crimes. They make no mention of the victims. Once again, as with all legislation regarding justice, the victims are shoved in the background. The criminals are brought to the foreground; we talk about them and what we must do.

We talk about the successful justice system we have. That is the one where Karla Homolka lets herself in and out of her cottage and dresses up in an evening gown and has a birthday party. She is able to do all the things the victims can never do. Yet that is our wonderful justice system. We must concentrate on Karla Homolka. We cannot concentrate on the families and on the victims of these people.

We talk about 10 year olds being brought before the courts and being run through a system to deal with the problems they have. The NDP and the Liberals scream, oh my goodness gracious, 10 year olds. I spent 32 years in the business of working with young people in a schoolhouse. Believe me, 10 and 11 year olds know right from wrong, as do a lot of 8 and 9 year olds, and maybe even younger ones.

I am a strong believer in prevention. We had excellent programs for trying to detect young people at risk. We tried to catch them early in life so we could deal with them properly and through the right channels, in the hope that we could prevent them from ever entering the crime scene. There are two fine towns in my riding, Strathmore and Airdrie, that have excellent youth justice committees. They are working hard to prevent crime and help these people, but we need legislation. When someone crosses the line and prevention methods do not work, something has to be done. What is that something to be?

I have heard the suggestion that we should listen to the United Nations, the wonderful United Nations that says we have to learn to teach people to be more sensitive, that we have to sensitize our children. Maybe we have to sensitize them to Hollywood and to TV and all the violence that goes on there. I do not know what the United Nations means by saying that we have to sensitize our children to all of these issues.

The whole problem is getting worse, not better. All the rhetoric and all the reports they talk about do not indicate at all that it is getting better, yet the government claims it is doing a wonderful job. It is not happening. It is now 2000. Since 1993 it has gotten worse. It continues to get worse. Nothing is happening.

I want to read into the record a letter that I received from Theresa McCuaig. She is the grandmother of Sylvain Leduc. Members may remember the terrible tragedy that took place in Ottawa. She says:

Along with other family members victims of horrific youth crimes, on three separate occasions we have addressed the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights concerning youth crimes. I truly wonder if anyone knows how difficult and embarrassing it is, to sit in front of a group of strangers to share our ugly stories and the grief we feel over our murdered and maimed children. Did you know that as we walk into that room, we are filled with hope that the people we are addressing will hear us and make our world right again? We do not ask for much, simply the protection of future victims and hopefully some justice for them. We sometimes cry and tremble inside as we re-live the horrors of our children's pain or death for you. We feel like we're begging for the common sense changes needed to our unjust laws. At the time, we feel soothed and are impressed that you, our government members, actually take the time to hear us. We leave the room tapping each other on the back, convinced that what we've said will really make a difference.

I've followed the committee's progress, watching its members working hard in preparing their many recommendations to the new youth justice act. I was impressed with their hard work and was appalled that the committee was given only 10 hours to debate their recommendations. Apparently no one cared to hear what we had to say. Regrettably, none of us were heard.

With all its inadequacies the new youth justice act will be debated this week. I'm told that those who have grave concerns will debate it forcefully. Regardless, I know in my heart that the act will be passed simply because those who oppose it are outnumbered.

Among we insignificant `little people' it is whispered that the bill is quickly being pushed through to make it look good for the upcoming election that will soon be announced.

In the future, I suggest you do not bother asking victims to come humiliate themselves by testifying in front of the justice committee. The resulting pain and disappointment added to our great grief are just too difficult to live with.

I feel that our testimony had about as much impact on our government as our victim impact statements have in the courtroom. None!

To the members of the justice committee who have worked so hard on this bill, I offer you my heartfelt sympathy and can appreciate your great disillusionment and disappointment.

Regards, Theresa McCuaig, Sylvain Leduc's grandmother.

The victims are not being heard. Canadians are not being heard. We have been here for seven years and it has not happened. It is time the government got off its duff and started to do something right.

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3:35 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I note again that the Liberals are showing their utter contempt for the House, as they usually do. I would ask for a quorum, please.

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3:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands has requested a quorum count.

And the count having been taken:

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3:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

We have quorum.

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3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, usually I begin my speeches by saying that I am pleased to speak on an important bill. This time, although it is an important bill, I am not at all pleased to speak to it. Why? Because this bill is an aberration.

The government is in a much greater hurry to go after 14 year olds than organized crime. How long have my colleagues from Berthier—Montcalm and Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert along with the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and all its members been fighting for more effective measures against organized crime and reinforcement of the criminal code more consistent than the reinforcement and amendments to it in 1997? They are fighting for real anti-gang legislation and, if necessary, the use of the notwithstanding clause. Well, no.

On the other side of the House they are hedging because they are not interested in going after the real criminals. Pursuing the real criminals does not necessarily bring in votes. However, pursuing young children and thereby meeting the demands of the former Reform Party, now comprised of Alliance members, is more profitable. They think they will be able to win more seats in the west in the next election with a certain right-looking vision.

In so doing, the Liberals are completely overlooking one thing, namely the well-being of teenagers and their ability to be rehabilitated and returned to society. The Liberals are advocating caning, not rehabilitation for these young offenders.

During oral question period, I was surprised to hear the minister say that some members have tried to distort the debate. She was referring to opposition members, particularly Bloc Quebecois members. I remind the minister that she was the first one to distort the discussion by turning a deaf ear to the consensus throughout this debate and by moving over 200 amendments without having had the courage to defend her bill and the 200 amendments that she moved in the House a few months ago.

The hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm, who is doing an extraordinary job on this issue, managed to achieve a consensus among Quebec's major stakeholders in the area of young offenders' rehabilitation. He invited the minister many times to appear before the justice committee, precisely to justify the thrust that she was giving to the new young offenders legislation. But the minister declined.

Someone has been distorting the discussion since Bill C-3 was first introduced, but it is the Minister of Justice herself. She has ignored everything. Above all, and we will not let this drop, she has ignored the needs of troubled adolescents. Instead of a bill that addresses needs, there is a call for caning. Needs are no longer important to the Liberal government. The needs of a 14-year old adolescent who has lost his way are no longer important. What is important is throwing him in jail. That is important for winning western votes.

The government talks about the flexibility in the bill. I have read and reread it and listened to all the explanations of the member for Berthier—Montcalm, for whom I have tremendous respect, as well as of all those who spoke to this bill. There is no flexibility, and one of those who offered his opinion was a spokesperson for the Coalition québécoise d'opposition au nouveau projet de loi sur les jeunes contrevenants. He said, and I quote:

The provinces' supposed flexibility in enforcing the legislation is no more than a series of limited powers dependent on the crown attorneys. Nowhere in this bill is it stated that the provinces may implement their own model.

So much for flexibility. Furthermore, it is very strange that a government wants to change its young offenders legislation, which works when properly enforced. Extraordinary results can be achieved with the existing legislation, when it is properly enforced. If there is one place in Canada where the Young Offenders Act is being so enforced, it is Quebec. In Quebec, we have had the best results of all of Canada.

Since 1991, the youth crime rate has dropped 23%. Quebec has its lowest youth crime rate in 20 years. We also have the lowest indictment rate, the lowest conviction rate and the lowest custody rate.

It goes to show that when the Young Offenders Act is enforced properly, when the focus is on rehabilitation and on the needs of young offenders, it works. It works very well and we have proved it. And in those places where the act was not enforced properly, the results are totally the opposite of what we have seen in Quebec.

Let us look, for example, at the situation in Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. It is incredible. The conviction rate and the custody rate per 100,000 inhabitants show that the Young Offenders Act was not enforced properly. Those provinces have conviction rates and custody rates that are considerably higher than the national average. Their rates are very high compared to what they are in Quebec. All the stakeholders in Quebec think this bill is useless and extremely dangerous. As far as reintegration is concerned, this bill is way off the mark.

Reference is made in this bill to publishing the identity of offenders. How can one think that publishing the names of young offenders will help them re-enter into the community? For one thing, does publication not make the illegal act committed look good in the eyes of other young people?

How can we, while claiming to want to help them and meet some of their needs and talking about social reintegration, allow young people to see their reputations tarnished by having their identity published and whatever offence they committed be glamourized, so to speak, in the eyes of their peers? It was totally unacceptable to introduce such a bill.

Moreover, most of those who condemned the Liberal government's behaviour said the bill was so complicated that, even if one were in agreement with it, it would be an extremely difficult bill to enforce.

In particular, the bar association's recent brief indicated the following—which confirms what I said earlier—on page 63:

The wording of clause 41 and the following clauses is so complex that experts had tremendous difficulty understanding those clauses. They have to be rewritten, because it must be remembered that this legislation is addressed to adolescents.

When Quebec bar association experts have difficulty interpreting what the minister means and, moreover, there is a solid consensus in Quebec to the effect that this is a bad piece of legislation, we have a problem.

The hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm asked for an opting out provision, whereby a province would be able to opt out with full compensation, so that Quebec, which properly enforced the Young Offenders Act and which achieved spectacular results with the rehabilitation of young offenders, could eventually be fully exempt from these new provisions and continue to use an approach that has so far given such good results.

The minister rejected that request from the coalition, from all the major stakeholders in Quebec.

Yet, as I said, youth crime has continuously been dropping over the past 20 years, and in Quebec in particular we have achieved incredible success, with the result that our youth crime rate is now much lower than elsewhere in Canada, because we did things right.

We respected the spirit of the Young Offenders Act, whose purpose is not to marginalize young offenders for the rest of their lives by dragging them before adult courts without any consideration and without taking their needs into account. Rather, we looked at the alternative and tried, whenever possible, and most of the time it is possible, to rehabilitate young offenders and return them to society.

When I spoke about unanimity in Quebec, I should have mentioned that the supreme court also voiced the opinion that the Young Offenders Act should not be seen as the counterpart of adult criminal laws. Even Mr. Justice Antonio Lamer made this point, and emphasized that the Young Offenders Act took into account the very specific needs of adolescents and that it was not necessary for a new law to be the mirror image of the criminal laws for adult offenders.

There is a coalition in Quebec, which has made representations to the minister, with the assistance of the member for Berthier—Montcalm, using shock arguments, arguments set out in the documents of the Minister of Justice, which show beyond a shadow of a doubt that, if the Young Offenders Act is properly enforced, no rod is necessary. We do not need a new act. The one we have is fine. It needs to be properly enforced, but it should not be used for electioneering, as the minister is now doing.

We hope that the House will approve our amendments, that the minister will listen to reason or that the government will ensure that this bill dies on the Order Paper before a federal election is called.

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3:50 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, again we are in the House talking about the Young Offenders Act.

When we first arrived here in 1993, I remember the hon. member for Wild Rose mentioning that one of the big reasons we came here was to see what the government was doing in regard to young offenders. It seems to go on forever.

We can throw blame and shift it around all we want. I just listened to the member from Quebec state that all we believe in is the whipping post. He said that Quebec instituted legislation that that works really well. Well, according to 77% of Quebecers, particularly those who have been victims of the Young Offenders Act, they want the act toughened up a whole bunch. I would bet, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is at least 77% in the rest of Canada.

We have heard the government, time after time, stand in the House and say that its number one priority is for the safety and well-being of law-abiding citizens but time after time it has failed the law-abiding citizens. The Young Offenders Act is just the tip of an example of what is going on.

There are many reasons for this. One of the significant causes for the failure of the Young Offenders Act and youth criminal justice is the lack of significant funding to properly deal with young offenders. There is a federal-provincial agreement to split the costs 50:50 for youth justice. Under the Constitution Act, 1867 the federal government is responsible for the criminal law through section 91. Through section 92 the provinces are responsible for the administration of the criminal law. Much like this government's shenanigans with health care, it has been playing games with young offenders funding. Rather than maintaining its 50% responsibility, the federal government has been slowly allowing its participation to erode to the extent that recent estimates of its contribution places it closer to 20% to 30%.

The government will argue that it recently allotted an additional $206 million toward youth justice. However, as is typical of the government, particularly the present finance minister, figures are always used to make larger numbers. Let us take a look. The $206 million is over three years. That is less than $70 million a year. Those funds do not cover the present shortfall in funding to the provinces and they will not cover the additional cost of this new piece of legislation. Again the government comes out with numbers that do not match reality.

We have a government, as we have had governments before, saying “We will be the parent. We will look after your children”. How it did this was by forcing both parents out to work. When that happened the children had nobody at home to look after them when they came home from school. The name that was used for them, and I think is still used, was “latchkey kids”. Where have our young people been learning while their parents were working? Was it in the parks? Yes, they have learned very well how to shoot dope, how to pull break and enters and, in some cases, assault, and they have learned how to rob. When the parents decided to crack down and put some law and order and discipline into their lives the government stepped down on the parents. The government has has taken the rights of parents through something called the charter of rights for children.

There is an old saying “You reap what you sow”. This is what we get. We have young offenders now who know they will get away with just about anything. They will serve soft time if they serve time at all. The most they will probably get is probation and, in many cases, not abide by it. I say this because I have talked to students at various schools.

Young people in grades 7, 8 and 9 have said to me “Mr. Stinson, we are afraid to go to school, afraid to go out at night and afraid to hang around with our friends because of the gangs that intimidate us. They take our clothes when we go to school and our lunches because they know nothing will happen to them”. There will be no severe penalty and probably no penalty at all. We have case after case of repeat young offenders going into different communities. Why? Because the public is not allowed to know their names. They are protected. Our neighbours do not even know what their children are up to.

The hon. member for Wild Rose quoted letters from victims who classified themselves as insignificant little people. When they came as witnesses before the committee they felt abused by their own politicians.

Members have to wonder exactly what we were put in this place to do when we have people going out of committee feeling that way. Something has to be done. We have tried study after study. We have listened to what I like to call the bleeding hearts of Canada tell us that soft love works and yet violent offences by youth are up 365%. Same on the government members who sit on the other side and say that their programs work when we have a 365% increase in violent offences by young offenders.

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3:55 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Where?

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3:55 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

The member from Quebec asks, “Where?”. That is a good question. Where does it work, as members are sitting around their tables? I have to wonder.

Let us take a quick look at what is happening today. We hear government members saying that 15 and 16 year olds are not adults and that 10 and 11 year olds do not know right from wrong. We all know full well that 14, 15 and 16 year olds know exactly what they are doing when they commit a violent act. We know that and yet we want to keep going down the same old road of doing nothing and studying the situation.

I want to speak to a personal experience I had before entering politics. My mother had the unfortunate experience of being stabbed and left for dead by a 14 year old and his 15 year old sister. They were caught and had to go before the court. The court asked them what had motivated them since there was no robbery and no intent. Their answer to the court was “Who cares?” That is the attitude that is out there. We have a very small minority of young offenders saying “Who cares and even if I do care what are you going to do about it because the laws protect me and not the victim”.

I began my speech today saying that the government's first and foremost responsibility was for the safety and well-being of its law-abiding citizens. Who needs our help and protection more than the young people of Canada? Who needs our help more than those 6, 7, 8 or 9 year olds who want to walk to school in safety and are afraid of children their own age or just a little bit older because our system does not have the penalties which those predators of our children deserve.

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4 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, at the request of our justice critic, the member for Berthier—Montcalm, who for the past few years in this House has been trying to make sure that pieces of legislation dealing with young offenders are the best, and in keeping with the fact that young people are not the criminals they are believed to be in some parties.

In this regard, I would like to remind the member who spoke before me of a few statistics he is trying to hide because, somehow, he agrees with the government's approach, which is not based on a fair and reasonable appreciation of what is really going on across Canada, especially in Quebec, and which shows to what extent the reform brought about by the justice minister and her government is purely political and is a vote-seeking initiative. It seems that it will have to be implemented before an election is called, which looks like it could be very soon.

The minister's very own statistics, which appear in a fact sheet dated March 1999, show for instance that between 1991 and 1997, the charge rate for young people dropped by 25%, and that the charge rate for violent crimes among youth has decreased by 3.2% since 1995.

According to the most recent statistics, the crime rate fell for the sixth consecutive year in 1997. The 5% drop resulted in the lowest police-reported crime rate since 1980. This decrease applies to most offences, including violent crimes which seemingly would justify a tougher approach and legislation, especially sexual assault, for which the rate fell by nearly 1%, robbery, which dropped 8%, and homicide 9%.

Violent youth crime is still on the decline. Fewer charges are laid, yet the government wants to pass new legislation and get rid of the Young Offenders Act; it actually wants to repeal it even though it has proven to be effective when implemented properly, like the Government of Quebec has done in recent years, and when a real effort is made to show the kind of compassion the courts and those responsible for enforcing legislation passed by parliaments to deal with young offenders ought to have.

As a matter of fact, the Bloc Quebecois tried to stop and will continue its fight to stop the federal government from passing legislation that, according to all stakeholders in Quebec, will in no way solve the problems nor help those who must not only sentence young people, but also try to rehabilitate them and facilitate their social reintegration.

The Bloc Quebecois has succeeded in creating awareness among all stakeholders dealing with young offenders. Not one of these stakeholders supports this bill.

On the contrary, all groups joined in a coalition around our party to indicate to the minister that this legislation should be withdrawn, that it is not good for Quebec or the rest of Canada and that, as it is, the existing Young Offenders Act meets our needs and provides the necessary tools to prevent youth crime or to ensure that crimes are punished and that rehabilitation and social reintegration of young offenders are not threatened.

For the benefit of all Canadians and especially of young offenders, the Bloc Quebecois will continue to plead for this legislation to be withdrawn or at least for it to provide an opting out clause, since not only the players I mentioned earlier and my colleague from Saint-Jean listed oppose the bill, but all Quebec MNAs unanimously adopted a resolution to that effect. They all wanted to indicate to the government that they do not want this legislation to apply to Quebec.

In this sense, the right for Quebec to opt out would be a lesser evil if, as some members say, Canadians they represent elsewhere in Canada want stricter and more restrictive legislation for young offenders.

For the purpose of this debate, I would like to add a more personal note that I find interesting as an international law professor. The bill itself makes reference in its preamble—I am referring to one of the preamble's last paragraphs—to the fact that Canada is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since Canada has ratified that convention, the bill must meet Canada's obligations stated in the convention.

This convention forces member states to get Canada to make a commitment to the international community as a whole, as this convention is one of the few treaties to have been signed and ratified by almost all the members of the international community.

More than 180 of the 191 states, within the international community, have ratified the treaty. Canada appears to be ignoring one of this treaty's basic provisions that says that one of the most important considerations in any decision concerning children, and also teenagers who are still children, is the best interests of the child.

As we know, this bill does not seem headed that way, since it focuses more on the protection of society, which should not be neglected of course, on the protection of victims, than on the best interests of the child, a notion that has the same importance in our human rights law as in international conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In this connection, I would like to remind hon. members that article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which codified the rule of best interest of the child is one which Canada has invoked specifically, claiming that the Young Offenders Act respected that principle.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child reminded Canada, when it tabled one of its reports on the application of the convention, that the principle of best interests of the child should be better reflected in Canadian internal legislation. This is far from the case with this piece of legislation we have before us.

It is important that I finish my presentation. I would like to point out in closing that in the Jasmin report in Quebec—a totally remarkable report on young offenders—within and beyond the law, an appendix titled “Adolescence, from turbulence to independence” concludes with the words of a psychologist, Louisiane Gauthier, which are very much worthwhile quoting to this tribunal of the people that is parliament:

From the time a child leaves his mother's body until he becomes a member of the social body, the identity he will construct for himself will reflect the significant adults whom he encounters. These adults, by the authority of membership in the generation of those who begat him, are the beacons that light the way for the child, through their kindnesses, their mores and their rules. Adults provide him with the ability to respond to the major questions encountered in life.

We in this House are adults, let us act as adults. Let us give precedence to the best interests of the child. Let us not pass this legislation which this government wishes to have us pass.

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4:10 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand and contribute to the debate this afternoon on Bill C-3.

I thought it was interesting that when the minister responded to a question today she said that the Young Offenders Act had been under debate for the past two years. I thought she must have been sleeping in the 35th Parliament. The debate on the Young Offenders Act was one of the first things we dealt with when we entered the House in January 1994. There had been a nationwide request for submissions on the Young Offenders Act in the late fall of 1993 and the justice committee tried to move that agenda forward in the 35th Parliament. I believe we were successful only in forcing the federal government to bring a very weak piece of legislation at the time into the House which dealt with nothing that was identified by Canadians as a problem with the Young Offenders Act.

It would appear that Bill C-3 is another lackluster attempt by the federal government to deal with the concern of Canadians with the Young Offenders Act and its inability to deal with the changes in our society and where young people find themselves.

It is not just adult Canadians who have identified the problems with the Young Offenders Act. It is the young people who have indicated to my colleagues and to myself that they do not feel at all protected by the Young Offenders Act. There is no significant penalty being paid by young people who choose to live a life that is less than desirable.

I sympathize with the Bloc in that Quebec does have a much better system for early intervention than we will find anywhere else in the country. Early intervention is certainly not something that replaces the Young Offenders Act. It is something that should work with the Young Offenders Act. It is something that should continue to be used and supported in the province of Quebec and hopefully in other provinces.

In my province of British Columbia we have a program in a number of communities that deals with first time offenders or young people who show that they are getting into the wrong choices. Two of the communities in my riding have that program. The process is to bring them into the program for counselling, to work with the parents and their schools and to try to give these young people, who have made a bad choice or perhaps got mixed up with the wrong group of friends, an opportunity to change the direction in which they are going without having a criminal record.

That is not what a young offender act is all about. A young offender act, although it can deal with some of these alternative measures for first time offenders and for young people who are not criminal in nature or who are not going to be repeat offenders, should have other ways to deal with that. A young offender act deals with young people who have chosen to go in a direction that is not acceptable to society. They need to know very strongly and very clearly that their actions are not acceptable and there is a penalty to pay to behave that way.

That has not happened in the past. With the present Young Offenders Act under which we now operate there is not a clear definition of what a young person can get away with. I think young people are asking for that clear definition.

Once again the government has brought in a piece of legislation that does not give those kinds of clear definitions. I have noticed that again there is a reluctance to understand there are 11 year olds in society who are part of the group of young people that have chosen to violate the law and do things that are abhorrent to society. Unfortunately those 11 year olds are not dealt with.

If the government thinks that they are dealt with under the social services and child protection acts of the provinces, surely the statistics out there would indicate that is not the case. The provincial governments do not have the resources or the ability to make sure those young people get appropriate treatment.

It has also been brought to my attention over the course of this debate that the federal government has once again reneged on its commitment to fund the services for young offenders to 50%. If the federal government is to bring in legislation that puts the onus on the provinces to deliver a service with the understanding that there would be financial contributions of up to 50% of cost, why does it never meet that commitment? Whether it is in health or the young offenders act, why is the federal government not meeting a commitment it is making to the provinces to fulfil an obligation that is there?

If these young people are brought into the system and are treated, perhaps we will not have an increase of 360-odd per cent of violent offences by young people. If a young person breaks the law repeatedly, does not pay any significant price for doing so and then goes back into the school environment holding himself up as a tough dude who will continue that kind of behaviour, why would we expect anything different?

We on this side of the House and others in society are asking for the government to acknowledge that there are young people out there who need substantial support because they do not mean to be doing whatever it is they are doing and are being led astray. There are also some young people out there who are not nice and whose intentions are not to be good citizens of society. Those young people also have to be brought into a system where they know what will happen to them, what the lines are and what the punishment will be. It has to be substantial enough that they change the direction in which they are going.

It is quite obvious to many of us when we see what happens in society. If young people are not given opportunities to readdress where they are going with educational opportunities, counselling or whatever they might need when they are young offenders, chances are they will be in the system when they are adults. We have seen it. Anyone who has had any exposure to the prison system has seen that many individuals in that system started at a young age and were young offenders.

A lot of it is because they never had to pay when they were young people. The concern we have in the House is that we are not distinguishing between young people who make a bad choice and violent offenders. In this piece of legislation there is reference to alternative sentencing, which means something other than incarceration, being applicable to violent offenders.

We saw in the sentencing legislation brought down under the criminal code a couple of years ago that violent offenders are now being given alternative sentences, which means something other than incarceration, and put back or left out in society because there was not a clear definition in the legislation which said a violent offender should be treated differently than an ordinary non-violent offender. The legislation for young offenders allows that same abuse of the system.

We have had numerous cases brought before the House of how it is not working in the adult system. Why would we repeat the same mistake in the Young Offenders Act when we have identified that mistake in adult legislation in the criminal code?

Although there may be the odd provision in the legislation that is supportable, for the most part it should not supportable by individuals in the House. It is another weak attempt by the Liberal government to brush the issue aside and say that it has dealt with it. We will be revisiting the same issue, mark my words, in another couple of years because the government has not addressed it any more now than it did in 1995-96 when it brought in its previous legislation on the Young Offenders Act.

It would be nice if the government would be a little more willing to listen to the witnesses who appeared before the committee giving constructive suggestions and if it would listen to opposition members and actually do something meaningful to readdress the Young Offenders Act.

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4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

There is a correction to the Speaker's ruling regarding report stage of Bill C-3. Earlier this day the Chair delivered its ruling on the groupings of motions for debate at report stage of Bill C-3, the youth criminal justice act, and explained that a further decision would be forthcoming on the voting pattern for each of the motions in all groups.

At that time the Chair neglected to mention that Motion No. 123, standing in the name of the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, could not be proposed to the House because it was not accompanied by a recommendation of the Governor General.

Standing Order 76.1(3) requires that notice of such a recommendation be given no later than a sitting day before the beginning of report stage consideration of a bill. Consequently Motion No. 123 will not be selected and will be removed from the notice paper.

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4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak to a bill which impacts on society as a whole and Quebec society in particular.

From the various speeches, it is obvious that we are far from achieving any consensus as far as the application of Bill C-3 is concerned. The Canadian Alliance would like to go further and the government is proposing a bill without allowing us to express ourselves freely on the impacts of this bill on society as a whole.

It is so sad to see how much the government is playing party politics, how it is using all of its powers to ram through a bill that is absolutely not adapted to the solutions and the position of Quebec. It is a bill which has not been studied and has not received the support of several groups in Quebec, a bill which runs counter to the objective of decreasing the crime rate.

It is a bill that should be the object of some very strong speeches to explain to the public the impact of the application of such a bill in Quebec. Those opposed to it in Quebec see this as a useless and dangerous bill, which has no positive effect as far as the reduction of the crime rate is concerned.

Nowadays, the solutions for returning to society a youth who has committed a violent crime are to make sure that this youth is able to reintegrate into the community, based on our assessment of his needs.

The minister wants to restore public confidence in the youth justice system. I have doubts as to the minister's objective because, to obtain a few votes in the next election, she is bowing to demands in her own riding instead of taking into consideration the effects this bill will have on youth in particular.

Experts from Quebec, people on the front lines who are fighting against youth crime, have criticised this bill. One only has to think of criminologists, social workers, police forces, lawyers and the Coalition pour la justice des mineurs. This coalition is made up of 22 associations or individuals such as le Conseil permanent de la jeunesse, la Centrale de l'enseignement du Québec, le Centre communautaire juridique de Montréal, la Fondation québécoise pour les jeunes contrevenants, Institut Philippe Pinel, l'Association des chefs de police et pompiers, la Conférence des régies régionales de la santé et des services sociaux, l'Association des centres jeunesse du Québec, l'Association des CLSC et des CHSLD du Québec, Marc Leblanc of the École de psycho-éducation de l'Université de Montréal, the Regroupement des organismes de justice, the Canadian Criminal Justice Association and the Société des criminologues.

I could name a lot more who are saying no to the minister and to her project, because it is does not carry unanimity, and especially because it goes against the objectives of Quebec, that being the rehabilitation of young offenders.

Quebec, as had been said, has no interest in a repressive approach such as the one favoured by the New Canadian Alliance, the former Reformers. A change of name does not mean a change of mind. The Bloc Quebecois wants to explain these facts to the population, because some have said that the justice system is ineffective. The statistics for Quebec are very clear: the law is enforced and the crime rate has fallen rather than risen.

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4:25 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The animals seem to have escaped from the zoo. Could we have a quorum count, please?

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4:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I should not have recognized the hon. member because he is obviously not in his seat. What took place a moment ago did not actually take place.

However, I want to point out that I would not have responded to a quorum call in any event. While we can certainly ask for a quorum call, I do not think it is appropriate to refer to hon. members in any circumstance in a deprecating way.

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4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, we did note the absence of the members across the way, government members who do not seem to be concerned. Those Liberal members from Quebec are not here to defend the situation in Quebec regarding the implementation of Bill C-3. We will remind them of this fact during the election campaign. We see them applauding the decision of the Minister of Justice to act in a totally inadmissible way through the introduction of Bill C-3.

Obviously, this bill has not garnered unanimous support and it does not take into consideration the different actors in criminal justice and in the area of young offenders rehabilitation. They want to lower the age from 16 to 14 years and Reformers would like to reduce that from 14 to 12 years and drag these young people before a tribunal for adults. These children rather need guides in society in order to be rehabilitated. We all know that an adult criminal eventually goes back into society after having spent some time behind the bars.

We must look at the type of rehabilitation offered to those who do not have an acceptable behaviour, whether they have committed violent or non-violent crimes. This does not mean that we accept the kind of crime they have committed, but I believe we should give them a chance to return to society. Otherwise, it would mean that we would be keeping them behind bars all their life for the crimes they have committed.

Members of the Canadian Alliance say that society must show its disapproval of these people by punishing them more harshly. To send young people to prison where they meet more hardened criminals, without giving any thought to their rehabilitation, is like sticking one's head in the sand and not see that the individual will be released shortly and have to live in and deal with society.

If this young person has not had all the support he or she needs to behave appropriately in life then society has to have some concern for their rehabilitation. The young person must not be further marginalized. We must look instead at the adolescent's urgent needs so we can provide some help.

In Quebec, we know about personalizing treatment. We have to talk about this. How do we help a young person who has committed an offence? After committing the offence, the young person must undergo a process of rehabilitation. The bill does not permit this.

For example, if a young person appears before an adult court, the period before sentencing would be too long. It is a fact that this period is vital to the individual's rehabilitation. There is a very long time, as we know, between the time of proceedings and of sentencing. The young person could easily divorce himself from his offence. There is no agreement on the approach proposed by Bill C-3.

Under this bill, the face of juvenile justice will gradually change with the new principles. The minister should have looked at the impact of the way the Young Offenders Act is applied in Quebec and the drop in the crime rate. We know that Quebec sets the example in the treatment of young offenders.

A number of briefs were submitted by, among others, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. These briefs point out that it is dangerous to treat minors like adults and that rehabilitation will become increasingly difficult for a young person who has committed an act of violence, which is certainly reprehensible, but whom we should nevertheless try to rehabilitate.

The minister refuses to budge. She did not allow us to review the full impact of this legislation. It is regrettable that, today, we must oppose this bill so strongly to show how this is not the right way to do things.

While she may appear to be flexible, the minister is not at all flexible regarding the implementation of this bill. Things will be done on a case by case basis. Young people in particular will not get adequate help on time to be rehabilitated.

The bill includes a series of limited powers held by crown attorneys. This is not what Quebec had hoped for. Quebec was in favour of including an opting out clause, to allow us to proceed the way we already do in the area of youth crime.

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4:30 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to Bill C-3, the youth criminal justice act. I am pleased because it matters to the people of my riding of Prince Albert. They are concerned about youth crime and about this legislation. They are concerned.

We have a federal penitentiary in the city of Prince Albert. We have at least three other provincial jails in the riding. People know about youth crime, adult crime, all kinds of crime, crime committed by people on parole who should not be on parole, the whole gamut. It affects my riding a lot, so I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak.

This bill is meant to replace the Young Offenders Act, as we all know, but that act is so bad that it has been characterized by the Minister of Justice herself as “easily the most unpopular piece of federal legislation”. This legislation, after it comes into effect, will probably get the same title. It will be right in there with the firearms legislation.

When the government announced a new youth criminal justice act, it claimed it would be a top priority. Yet it has taken five years for the government to get this legislation to second reading, let alone to committee, report stage, third reading and proclamation. If that is a priority, I do not know how the government would characterize anything less than that.

Many of the youths for whom this legislation was crafted are no longer youths. They are already into the adult system. They have had no help from this legislation at all, as if it would help. Not only has it taken five years to get here, but all of the problems the Alliance has pointed out along the way are still in there. It comes with all those glaring weaknesses. It pleads for meaningful amendment, not what the Bloc envisages, which would simply be to return to the old Young Offenders Act.

The Canadian Alliance anticipates that the time spent here on debate and on amendments at report stage and at third reading will be thoroughly wasted, as the governing Liberals appear to be deaf to any reasoned arguments to make changes. There are reasons I say this.

How have the Liberals handled this piece of legislation to date? First of all, Bill C-3 contains very little of what witnesses presented during the 1996 and 1997 justice committee hearings. After almost a full year before the committee and after a significant number of testimonies from witnesses, the committee referred the bill back to the House without a single word changed, if one can imagine that. The time and effort the members of the justice committee spent listening to the witness presentations and preparing amendments for committee were thoroughly wasted.

One of the most significant causes of failure of the Young Offenders Act and youth criminal justice to date is insufficient funding to properly deal with young offenders. There is a federal-provincial agreement to deal with that; it is 50:50. They are supposed to split the cost of youth justice, with the federal government picking up half and the provinces covering half. The federal government is responsible for criminal law through section 91 of the constitution. Section 92 gives provinces the responsibility for administration of criminal law. Rather than maintain its responsibility, the federal government has been slowly permitting its participation to erode. Recent estimates of its contribution place the amount in the range of 20% to 30%.

Those in the health field will find this a familiar story. The government will argue that it recently allotted an additional $206 million toward youth justice, but that $206 million is over how long? Three years. That is less than $70 million a year, and that amount does not cover the present shortfall in funding to the provinces and will not cover the cost of this new legislation.

When we turn to the legislation itself, we see that uniformity of youth justice right across Canada is at risk with this bill. Before the Young Offenders Act we had the Juvenile Delinquents Act. One of the major criticisms of that act was that it permitted the provinces to vary the way in which they operated within the criminal law process. If a young person commits a crime just over the provincial border, that young person may find himself in a more difficult situation or an easier situation just because of the location of the crime. That does not make sense.

Because of the complaints about and criticism of the proposed youth legislation, primarily if not solely by the Bloc, Bill C-3 permits many of the problems of the Juvenile Delinquents Act to return to this legislation.

There has been no adjustment of the age categories. Youths of 10 or 11 years old who commit crime are still not to be held responsible for their actions.

Let me make it clear that the Canadian Alliance has never advocated locking up all 10 and 11 year old offenders. What we are saying is put them in a system so that the courts can review the circumstances and decide the proper method of getting each young person who is in trouble back on the right track.

The government continues to leave young offenders to child welfare, and often the welfare authorities do not have the resources to properly deal with children in desperate straits. Some violent children cannot be controlled without more serious and professional treatment facilities.

On Saturday night in my riding I spoke with a young father who is just frustrated to death with the youth criminal justice system. He is at his wits' end. Parents cannot even force their 12 year olds to be accountable to them. If the courts do not deal with them properly and have the proper resources, if the parents do not have any authority and social services let them go, what is the result? It is a young person who has too much authority, no idea of accountability, and no one to account to for his or her actions or for even what the courts lay out as steps to get this kid back on track. It just is not right.

The Canadian Alliance and many Canadians believe a younger age would be an age where the best opportunity for rehabilitation could take place. It will not occur, however, if there is no accountability for that age group, just as this father said. This is the age group that could be helped the most if they were included in the legislation. This would be real, authentic rehabilitation, and it would place young offenders into programs that could have a positive impact on their lives.

As a side benefit, and this father also made this point, it would identify homes where children are not being given the love, support, and structure they need to develop into law-abiding citizens. In fact it was his contention that neglect is a form of abuse. They could get the help they need when they need it and where they need it. Should that not be the desire of everyone here? Our official opposition justice critic has pointed out that society is not being protected and that this piece of legislation will just change nothing.

If we take a look at crimes committed by 16 and 17 year olds, we see it is a huge problem. This age group constituted over 70,000 of the 135,157 cases heard before the courts between 1991 and 1996. That amounts to well over half the juvenile cases. Of those cases, one might expect to see a significant number raised to adult court, but actually only 385 cases were heard in adult court. Perhaps more significantly, only eight of the 163 charged with murder were transferred out of the juvenile system. Should not this government, should not any government, be making a serious effort to address the particular problem in the legislation it brings to the House of Commons?

We will give the minister a little credit. She seems to have taken note of first time non-violent offenders in this legislation, and for that we are grateful. However it is difficult to understand why she chose not to exclude repeat and violent offenders from lesser forms of punishment. Young people who appear before the courts on a regular basis, who are regular clients, need to be dealt with in a serious manner to impress upon them the fact that society does not condone their actions. This is an issue we will have to deal with. We can deal with it here and now before the bill is enacted, or we can wait for the consequences in society and then deal with it here later on.

If we look at the central message of this piece of legislation we see that preventing crime, meaningful consequences for criminal actions, rehabilitation of the offender and reintegration into society are the principles of the bill. The first principle alone could keep a person speaking all day. We could talk about why kids get in trouble with the law in the first place. It has been studied endlessly.

We read in the declaration of principles, subparagraph 3(1)(a)(i): “preventing crime by addressing the circumstances underlying a young person's offending behaviour”.

That is the crux of this piece of legislation. We are looking for accountability and responsibility for an individual's actions on society. The main point is accountability and we are not seeing it in this legislation.

What made the Young Offenders Act unpopular in the first place continues in the new bill. We can hear members muttering about that over there. The final word is that the bill will not serve those for whom we believe it was written.

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4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate on Bill C-3, which deals with young offenders.

It is a very important bill because we must never lose sight of the fact that it deals with a key segment of our society, namely our young people who will take our place in the future. Some of these young people may be experiencing problems that bring them into our justice system.

First of all, I want to commend my colleague from Berthier—Montcalm for all the work he has done on this issue. He pleaded his case before the justice and human rights committee for 27 hours non stop, trying to convince the government, trying to get through to the minister who refuses to bring fundamental changes to her bill.

The member for Berthier—Montcalm deserves our appreciation because he has worked hard on Quebec's behalf, with a clear mandate from Quebecers and with a strong desire to protect Quebec's fundamental interests on this issue, which goes straight to the heart of Canada's problem and which brings to the fore the constitutional debate that has been going on in this country for 150 years. We must be conscious of the fact that this debate is now reaching a critical point because it touches a very important aspect of our life as a society. So, again, I commend the member for Berthier—Montcalm for his work.

However, we cannot say the same for the government House leader who, in response to the reaction of the Bloc Quebecois, which is defending itself with the means at its disposal, those permitted under the rules of parliament, i.e. introducing amendments, the House leader who, in his great generosity and foresight—we give him his due—said, and I am reading from an article in the September 23 issue of the Nouvelliste , which was in turn based on a Canadian Press story:

The House leader reacted strongly to the Bloc Quebecois tactics “It is an abuse of the rules of the House. Canadians will not be impressed”.

He estimated that this marathon debate could once again be expensive for the House of Commons, particularly because of the overtime paid parliamentary employees. “It will cost $3 million to defeat the Bloc Quebecois amendments. This abuse of procedure has become almost institutionalized. It is shocking and must be changed. But, in the meantime, it is Canadian taxpayers who are footing the bill”.

It is disgraceful for someone with the responsibilities of House leader to react in this way. He is an experienced parliamentarian. He knows just how helpless parliamentarians and parliament are before government when it wishes to steamroller such a bill through. He knows the weakness of parliamentarians. The only course left to us is to take extreme measures, as the Bloc Quebecois has done in this case, through the member for Berthier—Montcalm, by introducing amendments which will bring home the seriousness of the situation to the public.

The high-minded House leader talks to us of $3 million dollars. How much did the Liberal-generated debates on the privatization of Pearson cost? How many millions? How many hundreds of millions? What was the bill for the whole helicopters and frigates saga? The helicopters are too big for the frigates and the frigates are too small for the helicopters. What did that cost. How many other similar examples can be cited?

Just to enforce this new legislation for the next three years will cost Quebec $69 million, $23 million annually. And the government is worrying us about the $3 million it will cost to defend the Canadian democracy that it is so quick to boast about to other nations.

To reduce the debate to such a level is a total disgrace, given the responsibilities and experience of the government House leader. We should keep repeating that it is unacceptable. He must be desperate to resort to such an argument. It is the logic of the weak.

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4:50 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

He is a sorry figure.

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4:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Yes, the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell is a sorry figure.

This is a very important debate for the young people who stand to be directly affected by this bill. The whole process will change. I also mentioned that the debate deals with a constitutional issue.

It is an important debate for our youth, because this bill will completely change the way things work right now. It is a totally new approach. And as in many other areas, the position of Quebec, as a distinct society, as a nation, is different than that of the rest of Canada.

The focus in Quebec is on prevention. Quebec relies on rehabilitation. Canada prefers a more punitive and correctional model. These are two totally different approaches and the federal government comes trampling in to impose its process on us. If it wants to impose it on the English-speaking provinces, it is its right, its choice. But when it tries to impose it on Quebec, it must realize that the opposition being voiced by the Bloc Quebecois is only the tip of the iceberg.

If I have enough time later on, I will list the members of the coalition. The Bloc Quebecois is but the tip of the iceberg. In Quebec, nobody is supporting the federal government at this time. The Bloc Quebecois is doing a great job of opposing the bill through the hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm, and we will continue to fight for as long as the government lets us and does not impose a gag order as it is wont to do too often, in view of its claims to democracy.

This is a big substantive issue, because our whole philosophy is being changed. Instead of talking about prevention, they want to punish and emphasize the seriousness of the offences of the young, and they minimize their reintegration capacity. Until now, in Quebec, our preferred approach has been to build on the principle that the individual who has made a mistake can be rehabilitated if we give him the support he needs and keep his name and the whole matter confidential. In so doing, we believe the young offender will go to school, have a family and lead the life of a law abiding citizen. All of this is being destroyed by this government and especially by the Minister of Justice.

This is also a serious constitutional issue. There are lessons to be drawn from this. I have just explained how Quebec is on a different course. It would be quite possible—and it has been requested—that Quebec be exempted from this legislation, which could be enforced in other provinces if they so wish.

As for Quebec, it should be recognized as distinct, and the Prime Minister and member for Saint-Maurice should keep the commitment he made in the aftermath of the referendum, when he described Quebec as a distinct society. He still boasts about that once in a while, but he does nothing about it.

He is not keeping his commitment when it comes to either young offenders, or the millennium scholarships, the wildlife species at risk, or health care, which is a provincial jurisdiction. It is an empty shell, which is the reason why it should not be forgotten.

The Bloc Quebecois voted against the motion because we knew it was nothing but smoke and mirrors and that it would be an empty shell. The Prime Minister shows it is indeed so every time he misses the opportunity to recognize his own people, the Quebec people, as a distinct society, not only in Quebec, but throughout the world.

No, it is too far in the past, it is asking too much of the Prime Minister, the member for Saint-Maurice.

But this is catching me off guard, I did not think it would happen so fast. I say it again, the Bloc Quebecois' opposition is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole of Quebec is behind us. The National Assembly voted unanimously, that is members of the Parti Quebecois, the Liberals, the ADQ, all of them voted unanimously denouncing the federal government's attitude.

The only support it has in Quebec these days are Quebec MPs in Ottawa. They are the only Quebecers who support this bill. We would hope that at least one of them, maybe the member for Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies, would rise and tell the government to stop trying to enact Bill C-3.

Even the Supreme Court of Canada, in previous judgements, voiced its opposition to the spirit of the bill. The same goes for United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Commission. Even the former Minister of Justice who became the Minister of Health, made comments at the time which run counter to this bill, which hopefully will be defeated. Hopefully the government will come to its senses and for once agree with the Bloc Quebecois because we know we are right.

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4:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are considering Bill which C-3 is an important piece of legislation. It has lots to do with crime among youth. As all of us in the House know, there has been mounting public pressure on the government to give Canada effective laws to deal with youth crime.

I emphasize that the vast majority of Canadian youth offer a bright hope to our society for the future. The vast majority of youth in the country are people of whom we can be proud, people on whom we can base some good hopes for the future. They are fine young people who are working hard to be an effective and contributing part of society while learning skills that will eventually allow them to lead society.

It is important for us to emphasize that we are dealing with laws directed to a very small minority, but a minority that places the majority of youth at substantial risk and in fact risk to the public at large.

Just on the news yesterday there was a report of a severe beating of a 14 year old or 15 year old youth in Edmonton who was set upon by other youths. A gang connection is suspected. What the police had to say really struck me as so bizarre. The police said he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I am sure that was no comfort to the pain and suffering the young person had to endure at the hands of lawless youths.

It is very important that we protect our children, families and youth from crimes and violence by their peers and others in society.

When she took the justice portfolio after the last election, the minister said that bringing in changes to the Young Offenders Act was her highest priority. That was in 1997. Well here we are on the eve of an election, and an election may be called in less than a week from today, and legislation is being rushed through parliament against huge opposition. Legislation to do with youth justice is being rushed through parliament against grave concerns expressed by numerous experts. Legislation is being rushed through parliament with 150 amendments put forward by the government that have not even been considered by the proper committee of the House. This is no way to deal with the highest priority of the justice minister. I say shame on her for being so ineffectual and derelict in her duty in bringing forward what she says is her highest priority.

Before the last election the justice committee conducted months of extensive cross-country hearings to get Canadians' wishes on what changes they wanted to see to the Young Offenders Act.

Yet we are told by those on the justice committee that most of their work, these months of work, was simply ignored by the justice minister in the bill. In fact the bill has been widely criticized for its ineffectiveness.

On the surface many of the provisions Canadians have been asking for were included but closer examination has disclosed not just to members of the opposition but to members of interests groups, to experts, to the witnesses before the committee that many loopholes in the legislation will result in undesirable and unanticipated exceptions.

I would like to spend a few minutes talking about the worse faults in the bill. Although alternative measures for first time non-violent offenders recommended by the official opposition are in the bill, those measures are open to repeat and violent offenders. In other words, repeat and violent youth offenders may not have any meaningful consequences for their actions. Alternative measures are writing an essay, making a poster or doing a little community service, very minor responses to what can be serious and even violent crimes. This whole area of alternative measures has already proven to lead to incredible injustice within the adult system, for example no jail time at all for rape.

We are facing the same unfairness, the same anomalies now available in the youth justice system. We wonder whether the justice minister watches what is going on when she simply repeats and expands on the mistakes she has made in previous legislation.

The second fault is that adult sentences, while they may be warranted, will rarely apply to the actions of violent and serious young offenders. Adult sentences will apply only to four categories of offences: murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault.

There will be no adult sentences for sexual assault with a weapon, hostage taking, aggravated assault, kidnapping and a host of other violent offences. Whereas the justice minister is saying hard core youth criminals can be severely dealt with as adults, the truth of the matter is that in almost every case that will not happen. That is a serious flaw in the bill.

The third flaw in the bill is there is no way to deal with serious offenders under age 12. The minister rose in the House today and asked with horror and contempt in her voice why we would want to make criminals out of 10 year olds. The simple answer is no one wants to do that, but the sad fact is that there are sometimes extremely serious crimes committed, even murder, by 10 and 11 year olds. There needs to be a way for society to deal with that in a meaningful fashion.

In addition, having every person under 12 exempt from any responsibility or accountability in our criminal justice system simply invites them to be exploited by adult criminals. We are actually putting young people, children under 12 at risk by refusing to have them brought into the system.

I agree with my colleague from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough who said this morning that if circumstances sometimes warrant youths being transferred to adult court, they also sometimes warrant children being transferred to youth court. That just makes perfect common sense and will benefit everyone in society including the children in question.

The fourth flaw is that the bill will result in a patchwork, uneven, unequal youth justice system because every province will administer it differently. Someone who may be right across the border from another young offender or may travel from one part of the country to another will have completely different measures and processes to deal with their offences.

That simply does not make sense, especially when the government reacts with total horror at the thought that there may be different standards of health care across the country. However it brings in measures that will bring completely different standards of youth justice across the country. I wonder where the consistency is with the government. There is not very much.

My time does not allow me to continue with the flaws in the system. I have already mentioned four serious flaws with the legislation. I appeal to the government to stop the insanity of pushing through badly thought out, widely criticized legislation and to get it right because our children and our society deserve much better than what we have in the bill.

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5:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that I rise in the House to speak to this bill on young offenders. I have done so at the various stages. I find myself here again today, at the report stage, repeating things that have been said many times, but the government seems too stubborn to understand them.

The bill before us does not deal with a new federal or provincial issue. An act dealing with young offenders has been in effect for many years. That act even went through a number of amendments a few years ago, and these amendments have resulted in a number of improvements to the current act.

Therefore that act, which has been in force for many years, has had tangible results on youth crime reduction. Indeed, since 1991, for the last nine years, the rate of youth crime throughout Canada went down 23%. This is an excellent result. The federal budget has greatly increased, which is not a good result. But youth crime in Canada has been reduced by 23% in nine years.

The legislation that is currently in force is giving good results. In English, there is a saying that goes like this: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Indeed, we have an act that is effective, and what is the federal government getting ready to do? It wants to scrap it. It wants to replace it with a piece of legislation about which everyone in Quebec says “It is not going to work. It will not give results. It will make things worse”.

The proposed legislation is based on some very wrong assumptions. They are assuming that, if an act imposes heavy sanctions on reprehensible behaviour, those liable to commit such acts will think twice before doing so. Between you and me, Mr. Speaker, who among us in this chamber of members of parliament and legislators, outside of those with a legal background, can say what the sentence is for going out and breaking a car windshield? I do not. I am not even interested in knowing. Most of the people of Canada and of Quebec probably do not know, nor do they want to. I have no desire to break a car windshield, but not because I am afraid of the law. I am a peace-loving person, able to settle life's problems by normal means.

A child, a teenager will be no more aware of the law than I. The fact that we are going to make speeches here in this place and that the government is going to toughen up certain measures is not going to scare him or her out of the idea of doing something wrong. Most children are normal and will not do such a thing.

For a variety of reasons, some children have behavioural problems and are going to commit some act that they will come to regret. Legislation is not going to make them stop and think, when they do something wrong on an impulse.

I was going to make a comparison, a rather poor one, but one that comes to mind. This approach is akin to sweeping dust under the rug. The child, the adolescent, commits some reprehensible act and, rather than help him with rehabilitation, we send him to prison and put him away, “Go on, dirt under the rug”. Yes but, let us stop and give that some thought. One day, this young person will return to society. Do you think he will be a better citizen for having been shoved under the rug for a time? Absolutely not.

If we the public are to enjoy quality of life, we must give our children appropriate care. The existing law provides for this. The one being proposed would not permit it any more.

In Quebec, we do more in rehabilitation even. Our program in Quebec is further ahead than that of anywhere else in North America. In Quebec, the juvenile crime rate is the lowest in North America. The process of rehabilitation is the best in North America. The rate of recidivism is the lowest in North America.

The recipe works. The moral is, since we have a recipe that works, the federal government says “Dump it. Let us make sure we have a recipe that will not work”. This is what we have before us. It is not just the member for Portneuf or the members of the Bloc Quebecois saying this. This is what associations, organizations and intermediate bodies are saying throughout Quebec and Canada.

In Quebec there is a consensus. The Quebec bar has criticized this bill. In the national assembly, all the parties together, unanimously, have criticized it.

Here, the Bloc Quebecois, through its actions in parliament, speaks on behalf of everyone in Quebec when it says “This bill must not be passed as it stands”.

If the people in the rest of Canada want to treat their children this way, I find it unfortunate, but that is their business. For the love of heaven, do not impose that approach on the people of Quebec. For the love of heaven, do not force Quebec into this unsuitable mould you are going to impose on your families and your children.

What we are asking is very simple. We want Quebec treated in a manner worthy of its values, its experience and its children.

All we ask is to have added to the bill a little clause to the effect that “This law does not apply to Quebec. The existing law will continue to apply”, so that our successful results will continue to be a fact of life for Quebecers.

If Canada wants to go through with that unfortunate measure, so be it. Perhaps in a few years, when it sees this 23% reduction go the other way, it will realize it made a mistake, but we do not want to pay for the stupid mistake that is being made.

If I were Mr. Bouchard, I would hold a referendum on behalf of children and I would say “We do not want to stay in a Canada that will force us to treat our children in an such a shameful manner. Let us get out of this country”.

If the bill is passed in its present form, it will be yet another reason, and a good one, to hold a referendum to achieve Quebec's independence, so that we can live in accordance with our own values, so that we can treat our children properly, something which the rest of Canada does not seem to be able to do.

It would be so simple for the rest of Canada to go its way and to let us go ours. We do not want to impose our views on anyone and we do not want anyone to impose their views on us, particularly when it comes to our children.

My time is up. I hope the government will hear this call and will exempt Quebec from the provisions of this bill.

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5:15 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak to the bill, as I have in the past. I appreciate that we are in the first group of amendments. I will keep my comments general with respect to the youth criminal justice act.

I want to state at the outset that prior to being elected as a member of parliament I did practise law. I did a fair amount of work in the youth criminal courts. It was a real eye-opener. I want to put this premise at the very beginning: every single youth who ends up in our youth courts will end up back in the community, whether they have committed a lesser offence or are incarcerated. At some point in the continuum they will all end up back in the community. We have to keep that in mind so that we can help them help themselves and be integrated back into the community.

My greatest concern with the new youth criminal justice act is that we have taken the old Young Offenders Act and repackaged it. We have put some new wrapping paper and ribbons on it and given it a new name but by and large we have not made the substantive changes that are necessary.

I will give a few examples. I want to emphasize that in my experience I have seen a lot of troubled children with horrific backgrounds who end up in our court system. Trying to stop them from becoming career criminals and going through a revolving door is another problem in itself. The focus has to be on ensuring they do not end up back in our courts. How do we help them? How do they become productive members of society?

I call it a tough love approach. I think we need to deal with these people. When these young offenders are institutionalized, the people at those facilities need to have the tools and resources they need to do the job, as so often they do not, such as the right counselling and drug programs. The goal at the end of the day is to make sure these young offenders are taught discipline and respect for society. I think that can be done.

I heard the Minister of Justice say today during question period that we want to send 10 year old children to jail. In very serious offences that will be necessary. That is what we are pushing for.

There are cases where 10 and 11 year old children absolutely need to be institutionalized to get the help they need. I mean that sincerely. If we do not send them away when they are committing really serious offences at a very young age, it is a problem. In most cases they come from terrible backgrounds. The best thing we can do for those young children when we institutionalize them is to make sure that they get the programs and the counselling they need. I would say based on my experience that at least half of them have fetal alcohol syndrome. There are all kinds of problems.

I heard the Minister of Justice say in question period today that we have no compassion, no feelings, and that we want to send 10 year old children away. I believe in my heart that it is the right thing to do if we are going to get them the help they need. That is just one example.

Adult sentences under this new youth criminal justice act are for only very specific offences: first degree murder, second degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault. That is why I say we have only repackaged the old Young Offenders Act.

There are many other offences, such as assault causing bodily harm, that are extremely violent offences. There are property offences such as breaking and entering and home invasion. These are very serious offences. We also need to look at these offences. I call it a tough love approach. We need to deal with these young offenders and make sure that this is not a place they want to come back to, that they learn respect and discipline. We will only be helping them.

There are other areas I would like to see addressed that are not. One is with respect to the whole area of legal aid. I watched young offenders who were given lawyers under the legal aid program. One of my concerns is that we are sending the wrong message. Many of these people are striving for attention. They get their own lawyer and think that is cool. They walk into the courts and it is “I have my lawyer with me.” We do not do them a service. There are other ways in which that could be much better addressed. I do not see this legislation as addressing any of that.

I want to emphasize that at the end of the day our goal is to help these people, because every single one of them, at least at this point in their lives, will be back in society. We want to make sure that they are not just being institutionalized. If they need psychiatric help, counselling, anger management or schooling, we want to make sure that all of it is happening while they are in these institutions, that they are not just going through a revolving door. I want to emphasize that I do not believe in my heart that the bill is doing any of the things I am talking about. It is important that we focus on providing what I call tough love.

Youths used to come up to me and say they did not mind going to jail for two weeks. Some of them actually kind of liked it. What they used to absolutely hate was curfews. Under section 7 of the old Young Offenders Act there was a provision whereby a curfew could be enforced by parents. In other words, if a young offender breached that curfew the parents, as legal guardians, had an obligation to report that breach. Obviously they could not control that child, but they had to report the breach to the authorities. That person would then be picked up at a later date and brought back before the courts.

If, along with other conditions, we made curfews mandatory for many offences, that would go a long way toward helping these children, as I call them, with their problems. We need to take a tough approach. It does not have to be a mean approach, but it has to be a tough approach up front so that young offenders get discipline and guidance and learn to respect society.

Home invasion and break and enters are not even mentioned in the act with respect to adult offences. Other than sexual assault, those are some of the most intrusive invasions into one's personal privacy. These are very traumatizing for victims and affect their lives for years. These young offenders, these children, who are committing these terrible offences need to be dealt with swiftly, not by taking a year to go through the process, and without the adjournments. They need to be dealt with very swiftly. They have to realize that society will not tolerate these actions. They have to learn that there are consequences. We will be helping those children to become much more productive members of society and to have a much better life in the future. That is a good approach.

I know that members from the Bloc oppose this vehemently and seem to want to take a lesser approach. I do not share that view. I am not talking about a mean approach. I am talking about an approach whereby offenders learn respect for and discipline in society. The institution becomes a place they do not want to go back to. While offenders are institutionalized, those institutions must have the resources to help offenders to help themselves. Those who do not want to be helped will have to learn that there are serious consequences and that those actions will not be tolerated in society.

To summarize it in a sentence, I see this youth criminal justice act as just a repackaging of the old Young Offenders Act. It has a new outside, but by and large it is almost the same as what we have.

The substantive changes that are required are not there. There is not the commitment on funding that is required to make sure that the resources are available for these institutions in order to actually help these people help themselves. For those reasons, I will not be supporting this new act. I look forward to this debate. Hopefully there can be some amendments that will help to move us in this direction.

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5:25 p.m.

Algoma—Manitoulin
Ontario

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, after listening to my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands and my colleague from Portneuf one gets a good sense of the divide that has come to this difficult subject of youth justice. That is why I believe the government has in this bill found a balance between the two sides of the divide that I think all Canadians will ultimately appreciate.

I would like to focus on one of the most important areas of the bill, that is, the area dealing with youth custody and supervision. Although one of the main objectives of the bill is to ensure that custody is not overused, it will of course still be used in appropriate cases, such as those of violent offenders and repeat offenders who have not complied with previous community sentences.

The bill contains a number of significant changes to ensure the youth custody system operates so that youth who serve time in custody do not return to the community in a situation that is worse than when they left.

Underpinning the whole bill is the belief that young people can be rehabilitated and successfully reintegrated into the community. The focus of every custody sentence will be on reintegration, on ensuring that public protection is increased by measures aimed at assisting the young person so that he or she will not reoffend. This reintegrative approach is in everyone's best interest.

One of the most significant changes is the requirement that every period in custody is to be followed by a period under supervision in the community as part of the sentence. The judge, when imposing time in custody, will clearly state in open court the portion of the sentence to be served in custody as well as the time to be served in the community under supervision and subject to conditions. This is a very important requirement as it increases the transparency of the youth justice system and makes it clear that a part of the sentence to be served is to be served in the community.

This increases public confidence in the system, as a decision as to when the youth should return to the community is stated in open court by the judge. The judge will also make it clear that a youth who is serving the community portion of a sentence must comply with conditions and that if they do not they can be brought back into custody to serve the remainder of that sentence.

Before discussing the supervision period in more detail, I would like to speak in support of the government motion that would provide for increased judicial discretion in setting the community portion in relation to the most serious offences.

Under the bill, young people can receive youth sentences consisting of a period of custody followed by a period of supervision in the community. This can occur either through a custody and supervision order that sets the time in the community at one half the time in custody or through specific sentences whereby the judge sets the proportion in custody and in the community. The bill currently provides for this judicial discretion in regard to youth murder sentences and intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision sentences.

The government amendment would provide for judicial discretion to set the community portion of the sentence in a manner that is similar to that for murder sentences, where the offence is the attempt to commit murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault. These offences, along with murder, are the most serious violent offences. It is appropriate that a judge have discretion in setting the custody and community portions in these serious cases, as well as for murder.

I would like now to turn in more detail to conditions that apply to the young person serving the community portion of a sentence. The bill contains a list of mandatory conditions, such as keeping the peace, good behaviour, and reporting requirements, that apply to a young person while under supervision in the community. Further, the bill provides that additional conditions can be imposed which address the needs and manage the risk of a particular young person.

The supervision and support in the community will be provided by youth workers. The extent of the contact with youth will depend on the individual case. It will vary according to the needs of the youth, degree of risk posed and the program for support and supervision that is put in place.

The conditions to be imposed cover a full spectrum and include: (a) conditions to establish structure in the youth's life, such as school attendance, place of residence, employment and curfews; (b) conditions that prohibit factors associated with the youth's offending behaviour, such as not associating with members of a certain youth gang or abstinence from drugs or alcohol; and (c) conditions that encourage law-abiding behaviour, such as attending substance abuse programs, counselling or participating in community service programs.

Elements of support would also be encouraged by the youth worker to assist the youth's reintegration, including such things as family counselling, finding educational and employment opportunities, mentors and community supports for the youth.

I would like to speak in support of proposed government amendments which clarify and reinforce that the period under condition in the community is not just for the purpose of supervising the young person to see whether or not he or she complies with the conditions, but also to provide support to the young person and to help meet their needs during their critical transition from custody to the community.

When a young person fails to comply with a condition while under supervision in the community, reviews will be conducted which may mean a change in conditions or which can mean that the young person may be apprehended and brought back into custody. After a review by the youth justice court the young person can be ordered to serve the rest of the community portion in custody. There is an onus on the young person in this situation.

Each sentence with a custody and supervision portion is made subject to the possibility that the young person will not serve the community portion if they present a serious risk of endangering the community. The youth justice court may order that the young person remain in custody for a period not exceeding the remainder of the sentence, if it is satisfied that the young person is likely to reoffend before the expiry of the sentence by causing murder or serious harm to another person or for sentences other than murder where the conditions that would be imposed on the young person in the community would not adequately protect the public against offences against the person.

A judge will make it clear to everyone at the time of sentencing that if a court considers the young person to be a danger to the public, he or she will not be released into the community to serve the community supervision portion of the sentence but will continue to serve the whole sentence in custody.

Looking at part 5 of the bill, we find, for the first time, a legislative statement of the purpose of the youth custody and supervision system as well as the principles that guide it. The emphasis is on contributing to the protection of society through safe and humane custody and supervision and through programs that assist the young person in effectively reintegrating into the community.

As I noted earlier, reintegration is a key component of the bill and supports the protection of society by reducing recidivism through guidance and support of a youth during the critical period when he or she returns to the community.

Also, among the amendments tabled by the government is one that will make it clearer that the principles in the declaration of principles should be taken into account when it comes to making a decision on the custody and supervision order.

Another measure that supports the reintegration of youth is the bill's requirement for a reintegration plan. When a young person goes into custody, a youth worker will work with the young person to plan for his or her reintegration into the community, through preparation of a reintegration plan that sets out the most effective programs for the young person in order to maximize his or her chances for successful reintegration into the community. When the young person is serving the community portion of the sentence, a youth worker will supervise the young person and provide support and assistance to the young person in respecting conditions and implementing the reintegration plan.

It is clear that the custody and reintegration provisions of the bill, strengthened by the amendments proposed by the government, will work in practice to increase long term public protection by assisting in the reintegration of a young person into the community following custody. It is for these reasons that I am pleased, along with my colleagues, to support the bill, because after all, it does indeed put the young person first.

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5:35 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have not had the chance to speak to this bill before, and the many parliamentary duties I have to perform almost prevented me from studying it closely.

It is not as a legal expert or as a person who is knowledgeable in this field that I want to take part in this debate today, but as a father of five. It is not easy to know what goes on in a young person's head, particularly if that person has suffered from socio-affective problems, maternal deprivation or other problems of that kind.

I would like to tell a little story. One day, I went hunting with my four year old son and we had a flat tire. For those who know a little bit about cars, I took the bolts from the wheel and put them in the hubcap, which I left on the road. While I was removing the wheel, my son took the hubcap containing the bolts and threw it as hard as he could into the woods. What was he thinking? I was not very happy, but it is hard to predict what a child will do.

As our colleagues from the Alliance, we are all appalled when we hear about a criminal act or a brutal assault like the one that happened in England a few years ago when two boys aged 10 or 11 killed a two year old boy. Of course we were all appalled. We see these kinds of things once in a while.

However, is revenge society's right? Rather, should it not act to protect itself and individuals, especially when they are as pretty as my party's assistant whip? Kidding aside, society must protect itself. But should it bear a grudge? Should it punish, and vengefully so? I believe we are heading in the wrong direction when we claim society should exact some kind of vengeance on individuals, in particular young people, since they are at issue today.

I did not read or see the statistics, but I heard them and they tell me, and all the experts and those versed in this area, that in Quebec youth crime has really dropped. Earlier the member for Portneuf very convincingly said that youth crime fell by about 23 p. 100. This is worth noticing, and I believe we should stay the course.

I had the opportunity to work with someone who made a mistake when he was young, he killed someone. Fortunately it happened in the early 50s. He spent several years in prison, and when he came to work with us in Sept-Îles, on the North Shore, he kept it a secret, he talked to no one about it. Unfortunately, it became known, eventually, which was a real heartbreak for this man who was sincerely sorry for what he had done in the past and wanted to keep it a secret. He claimed he had paid his debt to society, and I believe he had. He behaved in an exemplary manner, was a hard worker, but had made a mistake when he was young, and he was the first one to be sorry about it.

We are living at a time of rapid communications, when we can fax a photograph. Some 20 years ago, the RCMP and the QPF had bought a publicity slot during Hockey Night in Canada to show what was the ancestor of the modern fax machine. They wanted to show how it was possible, with the methods of communication then available, to send the picture of someone wanted in Halifax to Vancouver in record time.

With the amazing speed of all these methods of communication, imagine what will happen if the name of a young person who has made a mistake and often regrets it immediately is released to the public. How will he escape the condemnation of the community if the facts of an affair are made public by the media? Only one avenue remains. If he wishes to rebuild his life, he could perhaps leave the country.

Society protects itself and I am not against it being able or wanting to do so. But this bill goes further than protection. We have not asked that heinous and highly reprehensible crimes be allowed to go unpunished. That is not what the Bloc Quebecois is calling for. It is simply asking that all the chances be put on the side of those young people who can be rehabilitated.

What I find surprising is that Canadian Alliance members, whom I respect, are asking elected representatives to lower costs, taxes, just about everything. Now that they have an opportunity to take up the call for less, they are calling for more.

It is expensive to keep young people in prison, and experience has shown that those who end up there are more hardened criminals than those who were spared. Spending 10, 12 or 15 years of one's life drinking coffee, playing billiards and being bored does not do anything for one's compassion. Prison is the best school for crime. We all know that. I am not saying anything new to the members opposite.

We want to keep our youth out of there as much as possible, in order to save those who can be saved. I believe this will be better for society. The role of justice is not to take reprisals, to play the role of avenger and to substitute itself to victims. Justice must administer matters in the best interests of the public.

I am surprised, and all the more so when I see the government House leader attack us in the newspaper by saying that the Bloc Quebecois has chosen a path which will cost the House of Commons a lot and that he would not have done that.

I would simply remind him that the cancellation of the privatization contract of the Pearson airport was supposed to cost $225 million. I believe this is what it has cost for Air Canada alone. The last time we checked, I believe the amount had already reached $700 to $800 million. I also remind him of the cancellation of the famous helicopters, which the government now plans to buy once more. How much did that cost?

The government House leader says nothing about those issues. He blames the opposition because it does its work, because its opposes a measure which will be totally unjust and harmful to our youth. The present system already works well in Quebec, where the government administers justice in accordance with the established constitutional order. Why not let the government administer the system the way it does, since it does it so well?

I support my colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois. Even if I am not very familiar with this kind of legislation—we each have our qualities and weaknesses—being more skilled in economic matters.

I support them on this issue. We should never allow ourselves to be guided by grudges or by vengeance, which are bad advisers.

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5:45 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, like everybody else, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-3, which is the final response by the government to what we said during the 1993 election when we said that the Young Offenders Act had to be toughened up. We talked about it and hammered on it. We ranted and raved in this place to bring about changes to the Young Offenders Act.

Then we got the new Minister of Justice, the hon. member for Edmonton West. In 1997 when she was appointed the Minister of Justice, she said “Right on. We are going to bring in changes to the Young Offenders Act”. Here it is the fall of 2000, seven years after the Reform Party and now the Canadian Alliance began talking about the fact that we need changes to the Young Offenders Act and finally we have a document in front of us.

If one has been reading the papers and listening to the rumours, there could be an election before this bill is passed and we would be right back to square one. That would not be quite so bad because then we would be on that side of the House. We would make sure that a young offenders act was introduced in short order. It would be a clear instruction to the young people in our country that we do not like to mess around with kids. We are going to instruct young kids who think they can mess around with the laws of the country and that they can abuse people and commit property crimes and so on that young people should not be doing these things.

A short sharp lesson to young kids at that impressionable age sometimes can speak wonders and can get them right back on the straight and narrow. That sums up the position of the Canadian Alliance: something short, sharp and productive that lets young people in Canada know we want them to be good, productive, dare I say taxpaying citizens, rather than a drain and a drag on our society as we have to incarcerate them and haul them through the court process month after month. It drags on. Sometimes by then they have even forgotten why they are up in front of the judge. They scratch their heads and say “Oh, yeah, I remember. Gee, that was a long time ago, wasn't it?”

That is unfortunately how our justice system works. It takes months and months and sometimes years and years before the young kids get before a judge. And what do they get? A little smack on their fingers and a reprimand from the judge saying “Excuse me, but we really do not like you doing that. Can you please refrain from that kind of behaviour from here on in. Off you go and be a nice little kid from here on in”. And they laugh as they go out the door.

There is lots wrong with the Young Offenders Act. While the Minister of Justice says that she has made some changes and recommendations in the bill, from our perspective it is woefully inadequate.

We heard the minister say today that there is no way that she would touch 10 and 11 year olds, but we know that 10 and 11 year olds need to be brought under some kind of supervision when they get totally off track. They need to be advised even at 10 and 11 years that there is good behaviour and bad behaviour.

Talking about bad behaviour, there are the amendments tabled by our colleagues on this side of the House, notably the separatist party, the Bloc Quebecois. The number of amendments tabled by the Bloc Quebecois looks to be about 50% more than the total bill itself judging by the thickness of the document. I think they are playing games.

We are serious about changes to the Young Offenders Act. We think this is a serious issue. The country thinks it is a serious issue. The Bloc members obviously do not think it is a serious issue because they have tabled irrelevant amendments. They filibustered the bill in committee for 10 hours so that there was no intelligent legitimate debate. Unfortunately that is the type of debate we get from the Bloc Quebecois, without intelligence and without relevancy.

I am looking at one page of their amendments. It seems that in their some 3,000 amendments they suggest that each and every clause be deferred for three years, five years, ten years before coming into force and that the minister report on each and every clause every year, second year, five years, or whatever it is. If that was their intelligent intention, they could have called for the Minister of Justice to table a report in the House on the operation of the Young Offenders Act, but obviously the way that they are doing it is not for the benefit of society. It is not for the benefit of the people who are victimized by young kids. It is not for the benefit of young kids who need to be brought under the Young Offenders Act. They have done this strictly for their own political gain. That is why I would hope that after the next election there are a lot fewer Bloc members in the House than there are today.

I am looking at Bloc Motions Nos. 2231, 2232 and 2233. Motion No. 2231 calls for the deletion of lines 1 to 13. It gets rid of the whole clause. Motion No. 2232 calls for the deletion of lines 5 to 8. The next motion calls for the deletion of lines 9 to 13. There are three motions dealing with the same issue. That shows the petty political games our Bloc friends are playing with a serious issue.

The Canadian Alliance is concerned about safe streets. We are concerned about safe communities. We are concerned about ensuring that Canadian society continues to be respected as one of the best in the world.

We hear in the crime capitals in the United States, for example New York City, that crime is down 10% to 20%, that murders are down 10% to 20%. In the United States serious inroads into crime are being made. They are tough on crime. Perhaps there is a correlation there that the Liberal Party and the government have missed. If we are tough on crime, if we punish crime, then people get the message. They should not do it and it should not happen again. That is not with disregard to rehabilitation.

There are myriad reasons for crime. We cannot point to one single issue: broken families, alcohol, drugs, lack of education, cultural problems. There are myriad reasons that people resort to crime. One of them is a lack of education and the capacity for people to live, work and prosper in this complex technological world we live in. The other one is the lack of moral instruction to differentiate between what is right and wrong.

We have heard in other debates in the House about the fact that we cannot talk about morality. Then we find that young children cannot differentiate between what is right and what is wrong, and what society considers to be respectable behaviour and what society considers to be behaviour that is reprehensible.

Somewhere along the way, through our soft and fuzzy and pat them on the head and ask them not to do it again concept, we have lost the notion that we have to teach our kids the difference between right and wrong. We have to teach them how to survive and prosper and take advantage of the complex technological world we live in. Other issues enter into it but these are the types of things we need to work at.

The rehabilitation of young criminals pays dividends for the rest of the young child's life. We can take someone who is falling off the rails and keep them on the rails, keep them productive and a contributing taxpaying member of society. Compared to someone who is a continuous drain, the rewards and benefits are immense.

Unfortunately the minister has fallen far short in this bill. We wish we had more time to debate it. I would love to have more time to debate it but let us get this bill in place before the election.

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5:55 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased also to speak to this bill. I must say that I made a special effort to be present today because I believe that it is extremely important for me to comment on this bill.

To begin with, I would like to congratulate the Member for Berthier—Montcalm. I have watched him these last few month and I know he has done a considerable amount of work on this bill. In our caucus, he has kept us correctly and adequately informed. In committee, he has moved and debated many amendments and tried to play a positive role. He has done an extraordinary job and I wish to congratulate him.

I followed the debate from its start. We all know that Bill C-3 is a rehash of Bill C-68, which died on the order paper when parliament was prorogued. We started all over and the bill was examined for a long time in committee.

I was elected in 1993. During my first mandate I was my party's critic for training and youth, even though I am a little older today. I met with youth groups who were anticipating the bill. Their concern was its approach, which was different from the one used in Quebec. Consequently, I have been aware of the problem for a long time.

As a former service director in the field of recreational and community activities, I remember the approach in Quebec, which favoured community work instead of imprisonment for delinquents; municipalities and recreational services made much use of this approach, which has proved very effective in Quebec.

Let us talk about statistics. It must be said that Quebec has the lowest youth crime rate in North America. As mentioned by the member for Portneuf, that rate has not increased since 1991 under the existing legislation. Usually when a new bill is introduced it is in response to a growing problem. In this case, the youth crime rate has decreased by 23%. Where is the logic?

I went back to read what the former justice minister, who is now Minister of Health, used to say on this issue. For a long time, during question period, he used to answer that he did not think it was a good approach, that the existing legislation was effective, as evidenced by a decrease in the youth crime rate.

Why this sudden change? The new minister comes from an area that seems to focus more on this issue. We just have to listen to the speeches made by members of the Canadian Alliance. There was a time when they talked about youth violence every day.

The Minister of Justice, wanting to be re-elected in her part of the country, probably decided that she should change direction and take harsher measures with regard to young offenders.

Let us talk about one particular aspect of the bill. The main change is that from now on 14 and 15 year old offenders would be considered as adults under the criminal code. They would be incarcerated and treated as adults. As if incarceration were the answer.

I will make a comparison. Australia is now hosting the Olympic games. We see that the Australians are doing very well; granted, they are at home. We also see that the Canadians are not doing so well. We realize that our efforts are perhaps misdirected. As a recreation professional and a former director of leisure activities, I have always thought that the educational approach, participation in different activities and the avoidance of idleness are a good solution. The more the young are busy, the less prone they are to commit crimes.

This bill goes against common sense. I am not surprised by this position. Members of the Alliance, who represent a specific area, have a certain position, and it perhaps is a reflection of their constituents' concerns, and I can respect that.

As the hon. member for Portneuf said earlier, it is obvious in this regard and so many others like the education of the young, that we have two nations in Canada. In Quebec, a perfect consensus has emerged between all stakeholders. I think it is worth repeating their names.

The Commission des services juridiques, the Conseil permanent de la jeunesse, the Centre communautaire juridique de Montréal, the Fondation québécoise pour les jeunes contrevenants, the Institut Philippe-Pinel, the Association des chefs de police et pompiers du Québec, the Conférence des régies régionales de la santé et des services sociaux and all its members, the Association des centres jeunesse du Québec, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, the Bureau des substituts du Procureur général, and the attorney general herself, Linda Goupil, who happens to be the MNA for my riding, are all against this bill. Incidentally, the minister did all she could to oppose this bill.

Quebec's solicitor general adopted the same approach against this bill; the Association des CLSC et des centres hospitaliers du Québec, the Regroupement des organismes de justice alternative du Québec, The Child Welfare League of Canada, The Canadian Criminal Justice Association, the Association des avocats de la défense du Québec, the Société de criminologie du Québec, the 125 members from all parties in the Quebec National Assembly are all opposed to this bill. There is a perfect consensus in Quebec.

Nothing illustrates this better than the fact that no Liberal member from Quebec has yet risen during this debate to speak in favour of the bill, because they know that parents, young people and youth organizations in their ridings are all opposed to this bill. But, because of the party line or the impending election, they keep quiet, if they show up at all in the House.

I can see one Liberal member from Quebec, but his colleagues are not in the House. They cannot bear to listen to what we have to tell them. They would rather stay in their offices than hear Bloc members, who are really speaking for Quebecers on this issue. They prefer to stay away. They do not wish to speak on this issue. They are not true representatives of Quebecers. It is time for a change and it will change soon.

The member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik has just come in, he is getting closer. The government House leader said that we were only wasting public funds.

The finance minister's last budget provides for $343 million more over three years, supposedly for crime prevention, but most of it is for this bill.

However, a closer look shows that the present government still owes the Quebec government $87 million for its application of the current legislation since 1989. What a scandal. How does it dare say it intends to spend more while it is not even able to pay its debts, while it refuses to pay the Quebec government for what it is doing very adequately. This is unacceptable.

One last point, since my time is almost up. Some are saying that the Bloc Quebecois is playing petty politics over this. This is absolutely false. There is a consensus. I will not repeat the list, as it is a long one. Thousands of our constituents who talk to us about this cannot believe that the government wants to do this.

To conclude, let us not forget our young. Is it the right approach to lock up 14 year olds to rehabilitate them into society? It is the right approach, since, as everybody knows, prison is the best school for crime?

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6:05 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are back again debating the Young Offenders Act or, as it is now called, the youth criminal justice act.

I want to say a couple of things about our youth. The first thing is that we can very clearly distinguish the two kinds of youth. The vast majority of youth are law-abiding young people much like their parents or adult friends, and indeed most people in Canada, who are struggling to try to make their way in life. They want to look forward to the future with some hope but they do worry about their personal safety when they go out at night, when they wait at a bus stop or when they interact with other young people.

We also have a very small minority of young people who choose a life of crime, to break the laws, whether it is a lesser crime, such as property offences, or more serious offences.

The thing that most concerns me and Canadians is what I would call a lack of respect. I have heard over the past number of months my new leader, the leader of the Canadian Alliance, talk about respect and the need to instil respect not only in this institution in the way we do politics and government but the need to instil respect at every level.

What concerns me the most is the lack of respect young criminals have for the law, private property, other people's rights and, sadly and tragically in some cases, even the lack of respect for other human life.

However, I will focus for a moment on the young people themselves. If we are going to address the need for young offenders' legislation, what is now called Bill C-3, the youth criminal justice act, we have to talk about the young people in the sense that they are the most vulnerable because they are the most at risk from their peers. Who interacts with young people more than young people themselves?

I can speak from experience in that regard in that I have three young children. I am very fortunate to have three beautiful young children: a son who is 17, a daughter who is 19, and my oldest daughter will be 22 within a month. I am extremely fortunate that they have never been victims of crime. I thank God every day of my life that they have not been victims of crime, because I cannot imagine a greater pain for any parent or grandparent than to have a young person they are related to become a victim of crime.

The great failing of this bill is that it does not address the fundamental issue of the protection of the vast majority of our young people, who as I said are law-abiding citizens, our youngest citizens, the future leaders of our nation. The bill in its present form will not address that fundamental issue in any meaningful way. It will not hold young criminals accountable and responsible for their actions, and it will not protect the vast majority of our youngest citizens who are law abiding.

If I were to sum up the bill, right at the outset I would have to say it is a colossal waste of time, energy, and effort and a betrayal of the trust and faith the Canadian people put in their elected parliamentarians.

We have to take a look at the history of youth justice, or what the government chooses to call youth justice. For my entire lifetime as a politician, which admittedly is not all that long I have been speaking and writing on this issue. I was only elected in 1993 so it has been about seven years now. I am fortunate that, with the co-operation of the newspaper in my riding of Prince George—Peace River, I have been writing a weekly column for over seven years. I have probably written a dozen times on this single issue of youth justice and the need to reform the Young Offenders Act to accomplish those two important goals: to hold young criminals accountable and responsible for their actions while at the same time respecting the rights of and the need to protect the vast majority of young people who are law abiding.

To me it is a bit of a sad testament that all of us, regardless of what party we are from, have had to talk and talk and talk about this issue for so long with so very little happening. In the last parliament a lot of work was done by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights as it travelled across the country holding hearings. Dozens, hundreds, of Canadians participated in those hearings. They came as witnesses willingly. They gave up their own time to come and relate their feelings about this important issue to parliamentarians, in the hope that something would change. That was back in 1996 and 1997.

The present justice minister was appointed following the election of 1997, so she has been in this position now for over three years. She said her number one priority was to bring about these changes. Finally in March 1999, almost two years after she took the office, she introduced Bill C-68, not to be confused with the infamous Liberal gun registration bill. Of course that bill died on the order paper when parliament was prorogued in the fall of 1999, and it was reintroduced as Bill C-3.

Clearly what Bill C-3 means to people and what it proves to people is that the government simply is not listening. It is not listening, and what clearer way to demonstrate that. Bill C-3 is the Liberal effort at youth justice. There are the 3,133 amendments to Bill C-3. What is important is not that there were so many amendments, because obviously political opposition parties will use the process of amendments as a delaying tactic, or that the Canadian Alliance put forward roughly 50 amendments to Bill C-3 which were well thought out and well intended. What is really notable is that the government put forward 150 amendments to its own bill. This must indicate how badly flawed its legislation is when it had to bring forward 150 amendments.

What frightens me is that Bill C-3 and its amendments, undoubtedly because of the sheer enormity of the task ahead of us as parliamentarians to try and sort through over 3,000 amendments, will be passed by the government because it has a majority. I suspect it will bring in time allocation, as it has countless other times, and will ram a bill through the House that it very well knows is deeply flawed. It will then be up to the courts to try and deal with the mess later. What an absolutely ridiculous way to pass legislation.

What do Canadians want? I believe it is not a long list. Canadians want sentences to fit the crime. They want violent criminals removed from society. They want effective crime prevention programs in schools to save younger children brought into the system so they can get the help they need. They want older teens and violent criminals to face adult court. They want the names of violent and sexual assault criminals to be published so that everyone knows about them. They want the rights of victims to be paramount to that of the criminal irrespective of age.

The reality is that Bill C-3 does not contain any of the priorities that Canadians want to see addressed with the reform of the Young Offenders Act.

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6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the time when the Liberal Party could describe itself as a social democrat party is long gone. Everybody remembers the time when Prime Minister Trudeau bragged about being a social democrat and introduced in parliament many bills taking into account the concerns of those members of parliament who were sincerely interested in their constituents.

How did the Liberal Party become a right wing party almost overnight and to everybody's surprise? I submit that the change can be explained by the imminence of an election. On the eve of an election, the Liberal Party has the unfortunate habit of spending indiscriminately and of adopting specific ideas to try to please different groups, be it from the west, from Quebec or from the maritimes. That is what the Liberal Party does.

This has to be said, and people have to know and remember it. Quebec's approach young offenders is much more humane and more focused on rehabilitation. Curiously enough, the area of Canada where the repeat offence rate is the lowest is Quebec, where we take these young people, we work with them, we help them, we support them and we try to put them back on the right track. The members opposite like to say how beautiful and great Canada is, but as for young offenders, it is Quebec that gets the best results.

Why should we, as lawmakers, change what is being done in Quebec to implement a Canadian model that is more rigid? Is there an hon. member in this House who can explain to me what principle dictates that we should legislate the wrong way around? They do not care about what works, while they should. I say this not to play party politics, but to inform our viewers. We should take a look and ask ourselves some questions. Where is the situation best dealt with? Is there a place in Canada where we get better results?

It just so happens that Quebec gets better results with young offenders. There are statistics and data supporting this, and the approach is different. Would it not be smart to follow the example of the government that has the best results? Would hon. members not be commended for taking Quebec's approach? They could decide that, since the results are better, they could improve their system.

Well, no, they make it harsher. Not only do they make it harsher in the rest of Canada, to please voters in western Canada who share this view, which is really inconceivable, but they also want to influence Quebec's system. They want Quebec's system to become harsher.

Did anyone ever see a government that legislates the wrong way around more than this one? The government will go even further. In the one place that gets the best results, the government will ensure that the same rules will apply as in the rest of Canada. We do not want the lowest common denominator. We do not want it.

The government House leader made the unfortunate mistake of saying that we were wasting the money of the House of Commons with all our amendments.

Here is the government House leader's reasoning on the Bloc Quebecois amendments “All your salaries, the electricity, the fact that parliament is kept open, this is a waste of money”. However, when the 200 amendments introduced by the Minister of Justice, because she did not do her job right, are being examined, this is not a waste of people's money. Interestingly, for the Liberal government—I hope that citizens who are listening will take note—when Bloc amendments are being examined, we are wasting the government's money; when Liberal Party amendments are being examined, this is good. I am baffled.

If we listen to the government, if we follow such reasoning to its logical conclusion, let us close parliament, let us stop talking about all these things, because we are wasting money.

We will have this debate because we deeply believe that for a 14 year old who is sentenced to a minimum of about 15 years in a penitentiary, that is a very long time. We know how sentencing works for very serious crimes. An offender with a life sentence will spend 15 or 20 years in a penitentiary.

Is there a parent in Quebec or in the rest of Canada who does not understand that his child, a 14 year old, could end up in a federal penitentiary for 15 or 20 year, if convicted of a serious crime committed out of youthful aberration, out of total carelessness or because of a more serious problem? Is there anyone listening tonight who believes that when he is released at 29 or 34, the young offender sentenced when he was 14 years old will have any chance at all of becoming a normal citizen? No one thinks so.

We are being asked to scrap human beings. We are being asked to destroy their lives. Out of rage, or lord knows what mental process, they are asking us in Quebec to abolish a rehabilitation program which is, by far, giving the best results in Canada, and to replace it with a system that will put 14 year old children—it could be your son, my son or my daughter—behind bars, in a penitentiary, until they are 30.

This means a life completely thrown away, an unspeakable reprimand, an indescribable approach, which has nothing to do with patience, tolerance or the capacity a society has to support its deviant members and to turn them into responsible citizens. That is what we have done with young offenders in Quebec, and we have succeeded in 98% of the cases. We must not forget that.

This is not a political issue, it is a human issue. All the associations in Quebec that take an interest in these issues are unanimous, not because they support the Bloc Quebecois, not because they are all mean separatists, but rather because they are human. They have an open approach, believe in what we do, and want to save human beings, not destroy their lives. They are profoundly convinced that our past is a guarantee of our future, and they believe in good faith that Quebec may have a contribution to make to the rest of Canada in terms of rehabilitating offenders.

I am asking her colleagues to think about it. I am also asking our colleagues of the other parties to do so. She said it dozens of times in the House, and everybody heard it. It was in the debates of the House, in Hansard . We heard it and people who usually listen to us heard it. She repeated it on all television stations, in all the newspapers of Canada and said it many times to my colleague, the hon. member for Berthier—Montcalm, who was questioning her. She said “The bill is good. The member does not understand it. Quebec does not have to apply this bill that way. It will be able to apply its system, as it did in the past. The bill will not compel it to use the new system”.

However, the member for Berthier—Montcalm, who is a lawyer, a jurist, a serious man who has given it thought and discussed the issue with people from Quebec, disagreed. He told the minister over and over again “This is not true. This is not what we are being told. This is not what the judges are telling us. This is not what the lawyers are telling us. We cannot all be insane in Quebec. There must be someone who is right somewhere. The minister has to be wrong”.

Yet the minister kept saying “Quebec will not have to enforce this act. There is no problem. It will not change the system in place. It will only give the rest of Canada the means to satisfy its needs”.

I am asking members opposite, particularly the Liberal members from Quebec, in front of all the people watching us if what the minister has been repeating dozens of times in the House is true, why does she refuse to add a short sentence in the bill to the effect that Quebec will not have to enforce the act. She has said so in this House. Why not write it down, then?

Let me say in front of the cameras to the people in Quebec and the rest of Canada, that I have personnally offered to the government House leader to have the bill passed in less than 30 minutes if he were to agree to include in the legislation one little sentence that the minister must have repeated 10, 15 or 20 times in the House, to the effect that the system in Quebec will not be affected and Quebec can choose to ignore this legislation. If the minister were to put this in the bill, we would pass it.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
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6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Our right to opt out.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
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6:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

If our right to opt out is not upheld, the government will be leading Canada right where we want it to go. Some day, no one in Quebec, not even the federalists, will have a reason to stay in this federation.

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6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It being 6.30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow, pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.30 p.m.)