House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

November 28th, 2007 / 4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Victims.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Victims. Exactly. My colleague from the Conservative Party got that right. We never hear the word “victims” from the NDP. The victims are the ones who are caught in the middle.

I would suggest that the member for Burnaby—New Westminster consider his position. Again, after all the railing against this legislation, Bill C-2, which he just finished after some 20 minutes of rambling and ranting, I am astounded by the fact of what he did yesterday when he had a chance to stand and say he is against getting tough on crime. What did he do? He stood and voted in favour of the legislation. How can that be? I ask the member that.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member for Abbotsford was asleep at the switch again, because he knows full well that the dangerous offender provisions do not do what we need to have in this legislation. Despite the fact that the NDP pushed that legislation and said to close the loophole on the six month limit, the Conservatives refused to close the loophole. So the loophole is in the legislation and the member knows that full well.

The issue is not that the Conservatives are tough on crime. They are stupid on crime, no offence, but what we essentially have here is legislation with none of the funding in place for community policing, none of the funding in place for crime prevention, none of the funding in place for addiction programs, and none of the funding that actually reduces the number of victims.

If the member had been listening, and I wish that for once Conservative members would actually listen to what is being said in this House rather than always reading from their prepared text and their talking points from the Prime Minister's Office and never deviating from that, as I say, if he had actually listened, he would have heard references at least a dozen times to victims.

To say that because the Conservatives have brought forward amendments to the Criminal Code, even if they do not do what they are expected to do, and while they have refused to provide all of the funding that actually reduces the crime rate, such as crime prevention programs and policing that they are strangling by their refusal to fund while they spend billions in corporate tax gifts, what he is doing is simply proving my point: the Conservatives are hypocritical on crime issues.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Vancouver we have a serious problem, as we do across the country, in terms of the epidemic of HIV-AIDS and other blood-borne pathogens that kill a lot of people. Some of that, of course, is driven by the sharing of needles and addictions, particularly narcotics.

I would like to ask my NDP colleague from British Columbia whether or not his party will support our party in trying to convince the government to support not only a longer term expansion for the life of the Insite supervised injection program in Vancouver, but also--

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. I made a comment earlier today about questions and comments being relevant to the bill before the House. I am afraid that I just do not find anything relating to Bill C-2 in the question. If the hon. member has a question relevant to the bill, I will allow it.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The relevance, of course, is the connection between drug use and crime. I want to ask the member again if he supports the expansion of supervised injection sites across the country and also the NAOMI project, which is a narcotic substitution program that saves lives and reduces crime.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

There is just very little in Bill C-2 regarding some of the issues the member has raised. If the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster can answer the question with some relevance to Bill C-2, I will allow him a chance to respond.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Vancouver East, who is also the NDP House leader, has been the foremost proponent of issues around Insite. I will take it through its more global context. The reality is that there are best practices around the world and the government could have learned from them.

If the government were sincere about dealing with crime issues, it would not be cutting and hacking back on funding for community policing or crime prevention programs. We know very well that $1 spent there saves $6 later on in policing costs, penal costs and justice costs. It just makes good sense from a taxpayer's point of view. It also lowers the number of victims.

If the government were sincere, it would be tackling those best practices instead of bringing forward legislation that, although it does some good things, and that is why I will vote for it, does not do nearly what is required for the government to reduce the crime rate. That is the issue. It is hypocritical, because those members are not willing to walk the talk.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to sit through a discourse from my colleague from Burnaby—New Westminster. He talked about the hypocrisy of why we are at this point in the discussions today and also about the partisan politics being played around these crime bills.

I think it is important to talk about forward-looking leadership on the prevention of crime and the things the NDP talks about. I want to quote my hon. colleague from Windsor--Tecumseh. In his speech, he talked about the five parts of Bill C-2, four of which the NDP is okay with and one we are having some trouble with. He mentioned that quite eloquently in his speech.

The most knowledgeable member of Parliament, the member for Windsor--Tecumseh, said:

--the balance of the bill had provisions in it that either we had ourselves brought forward in the last election in our platform or were prepared to support the government on because we felt that it was in the best interests of Canada. It actually either protected people or met the requirement of having to make amendments to the Criminal Code where it was long past needing these amendments....

The member for Windsor—Tecumseh went on to talk about prevention and named some of those things. A little later on, he said:

--the greater majority of this bill is a bill that we looked at and said that, yes, these are good provisions, these are provisions that make sense in terms of building a fair, equitable justice system that protects our society.

I want to ask my hon. colleague if he could give us more examples of the kinds of things that could be put in place to reduce crime, examples of the preventative measures that Canadians are asking for.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague from Vancouver Island North is concerned about criminal justice issues and she has been doing a remarkable job in the House of Commons.

She raises an interesting point. We are going back over the same legislation for I think the third or fourth time now. It is much the same legislation. The Conservatives insert it, bring it back to the House, put it in the Senate, prorogue the House, and then reintroduce it in a new form.

The Conservatives have been playing a shell game with Canadians. It is really tragic and unfortunate that they are playing this shell game around criminal justice legislation while at the same time cutting back on what are the key areas to actually reduce the crime rate. We have mentioned some of them: youth at risk programs, community policing programs, crime prevention programs, things such as safety audits for neighbourhoods and apartment buildings, and things like addiction programs. In other countries, all of these measures have led to a substantial drop in the crime rate.

The Conservative government seemingly only takes on legislation very much on the American model. Some of the legislation is good. Some of it is very poorly crafted. The end result is not going to be what it promised Canadians.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is the House ready for the question?

Tackling Violent Crime Act
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4:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
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4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Tackling Violent Crime Act
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4:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

On division.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)