House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has raised an important issue. Would it not be a much better scenario if we were actually debating in the House not this bill but legislation that would actually assist aboriginal people with their appalling conditions and actually look at the recent report that just came out that showed us that there is a massive overrepresentation of aboriginal people in our judicial system? We could then look at the systemic discrimination and oppression that takes place.

If we had that kind of debate, we would be doing more to help our judicial system than we will ever do with a bill like this.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the citizens of Calgary Centre-North to address criminal justice legislation that I view as extremely important to, in particular, the safety of women and children in my community.

I am astounded to be in the House and hear the NDP in particular talking about this as an issue of cooperation and healthy communities. This bill is directed at punitive measures toward the most dangerous sexual predators in our society. That is what we are talking about. I have no idea what they are talking about at that end of the House with respect to healthy communities. These are individuals who are sexual predators and who are incorrigible and this bill attempts to deal with them in a way that will make our streets safe for women and children.

What in heaven's name the NDP is talking about, I do not know.

I would like to say at the outset that we should all be proud of the work that the Minister of Justice has done with respect to this bill. These are sentencing reforms that are long overdue in our country. Our Minister of Justice has taken the initiative and has brought forward sound legislation that reflects the appropriate balance, and I commend it to the House.

I feel strongly about this legislation. It is necessary because there is a lack of balance in the existing law in Canada, which is not acceptable to the people of Canada as represented by their elected representatives in the House of Commons, as it relates to the sentencing of dangerous offenders.

I think it would be useful for members of that party to realize that the genesis of this legislation is in a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Johnson decision. Frankly, that decision is one of the more controversial decisions in recent times by the Supreme Court of Canada. It reflects a tension between the legislative branch and the judicial branch relative to sentencing provisions.

Now this is not the first time this tension has existed. Previous parliaments attempted to reform the dangerous offender provisions in 1995 and 1997. The Johnson case is a complex case and much has been said about what it may say and what it does not say. However, the way in which that decision has been interpreted by the lower courts is to impose upon the Crown a burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a dangerous sexual predator cannot be successfully managed in the community. That is a burden which is very difficult to overcome and, frankly, some would argue that it is a burden which is impossible to meet.

I think the opposition parties need to be aware, and the NDP in particular, that the consequence of that decision has been a precipitous drop in terms of both dangerous offender applications in our country and also dangerous offender convictions. That is unacceptable.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The minister will have 17 minutes after question period to finish off his remarks.

Justice
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, on this side we know what the opposition parties really mean when they say they will compromise. They mean that they will say one thing during an election and do the opposite in Parliament.

All parties ran campaigns promising to get tough on crime but it seems only this Conservative government is willing to get tough on criminals. The opposition parties want the guy who burned down a person's house to spend his so-called punishment in his house, watching the big screen TV that he stole from the neighbour.

This is the same bunch who will spend taxpayer money to institutionalize our preschool children but are afraid to see car thieves and arsonists behind bars lest we cause them some discomfort.

Every member is entitled to his or her opinion but in the opinion of most Canadians, the regime that gave prisoners the vote, cable TV, Internet access and a union for filing complaints against embattled corrections officers is the regime that has to go.

It is time to scrap the idea that it takes a village to raise a child but the village cannot know there are convicted pedophiles living next door.

Peel Environmental Youth Alliance
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the hard work of PEYA, the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance.

PEYA is a network of youth from across the region of Peel determined to make a difference by improving our environment. They have worked in our schools and in our communities to show us that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is possible.

I recently met with members of PEYA regarding their climate change declaration, a declaration I wholeheartedly support. In its declaration, PEYA makes it clear that the effects of climate change will not only be seen in our thermometers but will also be felt in our wallets.

PEYA is concerned with climate change and puts forth some concrete suggestions which should be considered. They include new renewable energy strategies, the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and educational reforms to make younger students more aware of the environment.

I hope all members will join me in congratulating PEYA and supporting its cause.

Older Workers
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of regions in Quebec are affected by the crisis in the forestry sector. In less than a month, five forestry companies in my riding have announced that they will be shutting down. Some 2,000 workers have been victims of mass layoffs, not to mention the many indirect jobs that will be lost.

For the past several months the Bloc Québécois has been calling for the implementation of a real income support program for older workers. These victims of mass layoffs aged 55 and older will have a hard time retraining in another field because often they have little education. A financial assistance program to allow them to bridge the gap between the end of their employment insurance benefits and the beginning of their pension, would prevent them from going into poverty.

It is high time that the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development lived up to her responsibilities and announced the implementation of such a program for all industries and for all of Quebec.

Government Programs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Statistics Canada issued a report saying that the rate of violent victimization in Canada's north is almost three times the rate for residents in the rest of the country.

The government needs to take action to help northerners, action by supporting a better society, but the government does not understand how to make the lives of Canadians better, which is why it cut funding to literacy programs, volunteer groups and the Status of Women.

These programs are not fat to be trimmed. They are part of a foundation for a better society. Rather, the government wants to see more unemployment due to high illiteracy, fractured communities without essential volunteers and women without leadership to protect them. All of this will increase the amount of violence in the north, not decrease it.

Cutting these programs will only increase violence and suffering among northerners. It seems that the Conservative government just does not care.

Juvenile Diabetes
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I just finished meeting with a group of brave children and their families who face the daily struggle against the disease of type 1 juvenile diabetes.

Forty-five children from across the country, including a constituent of mine, beautiful four-year-old Amy Buchanan, are on Parliament Hill today. These children all live with the challenges of this disease.

I would like to honour these children and all the children of Canada, who endure this illness that affects every aspect of their lives, for their courage and their perseverance to not let this disease rob them of their dreams.

What families living with diabetes need is hope; hope for a future without this disease.

I am proud to say that my wife and I recently chaired a fundraising effort in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country that raised over $80,000 for diabetes research. It is through the generosity of caring Canadians that we will reach our goal to understand and one day beat type 1 juvenile diabetes.

By working together, the mission is possible for a made in Canada cure for diabetes.

Terrorism
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge the government to continue the work of the previous Liberal administration and implement a cost sharing program to help at-risk targeted communities offset the costs of securing their places of worship and community centres.

The freedom to worship and to attend community, religious and cultural events without fear is a hallmark of being a Canadian.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where safety is not always guaranteed. The threat of terrorism has necessitated certain communities to take steps to ensure the safety of their congregants and participants, often at great financial expense.

Whether it be a synagogue, a church, a gurdwara, a mosque or a cultural centre, it is imperative that the government help with the protection of these institutions. By developing and implementing a security cost sharing program, it will be taking one more important step to doing so.

Robert Thomas James Mitchell
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Robert Thomas James “Jim” Mitchell who was killed in the Panjawyi district of Afghanistan on October 3.

His life was taken when he and another soldier were working alongside their fellow comrades to clear mines and improvised explosive devices from a route for a future road construction project.

Corporal Mitchell was a father, a son and a husband who was born and raised in Owen Sound. His parents, Bob and Carol, and his brother Mark still reside there.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and to his wife Leanne and their children, five-year-old Cameron, three-year-old Brian and two-year-old Jaelyn.

Remembrance Day is just 11 days away and I encourage everyone across Canada to take the time to attend a Remembrance Day service in their community or to take a few minutes to think about the sacrifices made by our soldiers.

Along with other Canadian military heroes, we will remember and honour the life of Robert Thomas James Mitchell.

Gatineau's Municipal Arts Centre
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 23, the Maison de la culture in Gatineau won a Félix award at the ADISQ Autre Gala for the third year in a row.

It all began in 2004 when the arts centre won the Venue of the Year award for its Salle Odyssée. In 2005, it made its mark as an arts presenter. This year it won, for the second time in three years, the title Venue of the Year.

I want to congratulate the entire team at the Maison de la culture and its artistic director in particular, Julie Carrière, for her incredible work.

We are proud of those who, through their dedication, succeed in stimulating culture and making it accessible and lively in Gatineau.

Again, I offer my sincere congratulations to the Maison de la culture in Gatineau and to all those who have contributed in one way or another to its outstanding success.

Juvenile Diabetes
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, today I have the privilege of saluting a courageous 11-year-old constituent from Regina, Chloe Rudichuk. Chloe is one of 46 children from across Canada who suffer from juvenile or type 1 diabetes who are in Ottawa today with the Kids for a Cure event.

Chloe will also have the unique honour this afternoon of addressing the Standing Committee on Health. She will tell our committee about the importance of continued research for a cure and the daily struggles of being an 11-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes.

Juvenile diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to devastating health consequences. Chloe needs daily insulin injections to survive.

The exciting news is that Canadian researchers are conducting very promising research that could lead to cure therapies. Chloe will be asking us, as parliamentarians, to support her mission today to find a cure tomorrow.

I am proud to support Chloe in her mission. She is a great ambassador for the children of Saskatchewan and the city of Regina.

Family Doctor Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join my colleagues in recognizing Family Doctor Week in Canada from October 30 to November 5.

Every day, family doctors make diagnoses, treat patients, promote health and prevent illness, coordinate care and advocate on behalf of their patents.

They provide not only primary care, but also a great deal of secondary and tertiary care in many places: in their offices, in hospitals, in patients' homes, in seniors' homes and in other community facilities.

The College of Family Physicians will be holding its annual family medicine forum this week in Quebec City. Hundreds of participants and presenters will be in attendance.

I would like to personally thank all family doctors, and I invite all of my colleagues to support Family Doctor Week in Canada.

Laurent Guay
Statements By Members

October 31st, 2006 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am very proud to recognize the accomplishments of a talented young figure skater from Charny who has made thousands of Quebeckers so proud: 10 year old Laurent Guay.

Last weekend in Gatineau, he won his third gold medal in the 2007 Quebec sectionals. He competed against 20 other boys at the provincial level, setting himself apart with his combination jump, a double loop that earned him a personal best at the provincial level.

As the father of five children, I know how important it is to be present and to recognize our young people's efforts. I strongly support all those who, in pursuit of their dreams, make a considerable effort day after day to achieve their personal goals, big or small.

On behalf of all Quebeckers, I would like to congratulate 10 year old Laurent Guay of Charny once again on his determination and achievement. We wish him continued success.

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about how our veterans are being treated in this country.

Since World War I the government determined, without hearings, notification or opportunity to appeal, which veterans had the ability to look after their own finances and which did not. This left many disabled veterans and their families dependent on the government because military pay and other money owed was put into a trust fund.

The Canadian government, for decades, has not honoured its commitments to our veterans by refusing to pay out the interest from the money sitting in these government bank accounts. The government is depriving veterans.

Last year the Ontario Court of Justice ruled that this money is owed to the veterans and their families, and that the government should pay out the $4.6 billion in interest built up over the years. Those who have had to rely on the government for help after serving this country should receive any profits from the investments in their own money.

These are the men and women who selflessly served our country. This is the only fair thing to do.