House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sexual.

Topics

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I should point out that I served in the Calgary police department with the uncle of the member for Laval. I know that as a police officer Mr. Syl Demers had a lot of concerns about this issue. I think we would find most police officers feeling very much supportive of this kind of legislation.

The member for Laval brought forward several points, along with her concern over what might be some shortcomings in the bill. I do not think those shortcomings are realized and I think there is going to be far more good in the bill. The member has expressed concern about her children and grandchildren. That view is shared by just about every member in the House who has children or grandchildren.

In spite of all the shortcomings that the member might see, and I know you are supporting it, do you see any other areas that we could tighten up in the bill and that could make the environment more protective of our youngsters? I think that is the purpose of this particular bill, in addition to targeting those who want to abuse them.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would remind the member for Calgary Northeast that he should address his comments to the Chair, not directly to hon. members.

The hon. member for Laval.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Unfortunately, this bill has already been studied and passed in committee, and has now returned to the House for debate so that it can be passed. Are there still things to be changed in this bill? Maybe there will be other bills to look at. I think that now, with the amendments that have been made, this bill is good.

As I was saying earlier, I know that there are some shortcomings when it comes to the age difference for people having anal intercourse. There are certainly some shortcomings, but I am convinced that we will be able to work reasonably well with this bill. Later, if there are other things we can do as parliamentarians, we will want to do them to protect our children. I am not worried, and I am happy to see that the member for Calgary Northeast is smiling at me.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I hasten to mention that I am smiling.

I very much appreciated the member's approach. She knows that I appreciate her interventions generally on all of the subjects that she raises. I agree with much of what she said and appreciate that she was as frank as she was about the discussions she has had with her grandson and other people on this particular issue.

I have a question for her, though, in that I agree with much of what she said, but I do not agree with her conclusion because I do not support this legislation.

The problem is that I believe we have good legislation in place that deals with many of the problems of relationships and sexual relationships. I believe that we have legislation in place that protects young people from being exploited where there is a relationship of power or authority. The current law is very clear on that.

It also is very clear on issues of prostitution. It is very clear on issues related to pornography and to its production. It is very clear and very restrictive.

All that the legislation we now have before us does is criminalize a consensual relationship between someone who is 15 years old or 16 years old and someone who is five years older.

I want to ask the member about what she thinks about dragging a relationship into court and criminalizing it and subjecting it to criminal sanctions where there is an age difference of six, seven or eight years or more, where it is a consensual relationship, where it has not been exploitive, where it has not been subject to a power imbalance, and where it has not been part of pornography or prostitution.

How does criminalizing that relationship help the people who are involved in that relationship? How does it address the problems of that relationship? How does it help a young person understand what it means to be in a full, appropriate and healthy relationship? How does taking it into the courts and the criminal justice system help that young person in the long run?

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I have a lot of respect for him and he knows that.

It is true that concerns may remain about this bill. However, my colleague from Hochelaga has ensured that amendments would prevent people from being unduly prosecuted because they had a sexual relationship with someone.

We are talking about sexual relationships between a 15-year-old and a 21-year-old or between a 14-year-old and a 20-year-old. I said earlier that, when one is young, one can look totally like an adult. There are rites of passage. Some 14-year-old women have the mind of a 20-year-old and some have the mind of a 12-year-old. There is no telling.

I believe the bill has some tools to ensure there will be no witch hunts. If we think there are witch hunts, the Bloc Québécois will be the first to denounce them and to ensure that they stop, believe me. This is not what we want to do at all. We want our children to be protected, of course, but we do not want them to be unduly punished for having their first sexual experiences with someone who is a little older than them. That is not what we want.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

There are four minutes left in the question and comment period, but we will have to continue after question period.

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:

Rideau Hall

Ottawa

May 3, 2007

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bills listed in the schedule to this letter on the 3rd day of May, 2007, at 10:30 a.m.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila-Marie Cook

Secretary to the Governor General

The schedule indicates the bills assented to were Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal interest rate)--Chapter 9, Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act--Chapter 10, and Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act--Chapter 11.

Automobile Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government supports Canada's auto industry. Budget 2007 implements 16 unanimous recommendations, made by an industry committee, to rebuild the industry.

What did the NDP-Liberals do? They reneged and voted against this help for the auto sector. That is not all.

Here is what the NDP-Liberals voted for. They voted for a Kyoto target and timeline to kill 275,000 jobs and plunge us into the deepest recession since World War II, something CAW president Buzz Hargrove said would be “suicidal for the economy” and would decimate the auto sector.

The NDP-Liberals also voted for a tougher than California auto emissions standard that Hargrove said leaves the Impala as the only car built in Canada that we can sell in Canada.

They want to kill the auto industry.

Thankfully, our green plan listens to industry and labour, but members do not have to take my word for it: “I think the environment minister is right on the money”. Who said that? Buzz Hargrove.

The NDP-Liberals turn their backs while our government is standing up for clean air and auto jobs in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Department of Citizenship and Immigration is not treating people fairly in many countries.

Many of my constituents have family members who have been denied visitor visas without being given a valid reason. Some visitor visas are denied based on financial reasons, but I know they would not be denied if the ministry had read all of the attached financial documents.

Some visitor visas are denied to people who already have received them many times and have visited Canada during the time of the previous government, but now these same people, who followed all the rules before, are finding that their applications are being rejected without proper review.

This means that many Canadian families are not able to have their relatives or friends from overseas attend weddings, graduations and funerals. Even when a member of Parliament makes a personal guarantee for an applicant, the applicant still gets refused without any acknowledgement.

Canadian families are depending on the government to end the hardship. I strongly urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to take immediate action--

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the third anniversary of the Pay Equity Task Force report published in May 2004. It is sad to note that despite the broad consensus for the implementation of the report's recommendations, mainly to adopt federal pay equity legislation, the Conservative government, through its Minister of Labour, simply announced the addition of minor administrative measures to the existing legislation.

Even today, women who fall under the Canada Labour Code experience wage disparity that jeopardizes their economic security and that of their families.

The Conservative government has a very poor track record on women's issues. Discrimination against women must stop. This government is responsible for guaranteeing women's equality by adopting proactive legislation.

When will this government have the courage to follow the lead of Quebec, which has proactive legislation to guarantee pay equity for women.

Burnaby Lake
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, Burnaby Lake is smack dab in the middle of the city of Burnaby. It is key to our urban landscape, home to wildlife and a site of recreation and solitude for Burnaby's people.

As an urban lake, it is under great stress from the surrounding city. It is gradually silting in. Without a major dredging effort, it will become a swamp, an unsuitable habitat for the many species that need open water to flourish. Without open water, recreational uses also disappear.

The city of Burnaby has a plan to keep Burnaby Lake an open water lake. It has support from the GVRD and the province. Environmental approvals run out in September. The federal government has yet to agree to participate in this important project.

The previous Liberal government found money for similar projects in Liberal ridings. Surely the Conservative government can support a good project based solely on its merits.

There are strong environmental reasons to do this work. The clock is ticking. I would urge the government to approve infrastructure funding for this important project to save Burnaby Lake without further delay.

Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of attending the annual Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast this morning. It was absolutely inspiring. Besides hearing beautiful music and having representatives from all parties participate in reading of the scripture, we were all greatly touched by the story told by our guest speaker, Mr. Serge LeClerc.

In his words, Serge was the product of rape, born to a young Cree girl who was only 14 years old. His life story, with all the pain he endured during his growing up years, was painful to hear. He became involved in drugs and organized crime and spent a number of years in jail.

While in jail he was visited by a dedicated Christian who reached out to him in love. As a result, Serge experienced the life-transforming grace that can come only from God and his life was turned around. He also received a pardon from the government and is now working full time with an organization, Teen Challenge, that helps young people break free from the bondage of drug addictions.

It was a truly inspiring event.

New Democratic Party
Statements By Members

May 3rd, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House to denounce a bizarre political alliance, a sort of perverse marriage between the NDP and the minority Conservative government.

To everyone's surprise, we learned earlier this week that the member for Windsor—Tecumseh supported a series of retrograde amendments to Bill C-10. These amendments were tabled by none other than the member for Fundy Royal. Who would have believed it?

It is sad to see the NDP's enthusiastic support for such a reactionary government. This is not the first time; we all remember the travesty of the income trusts and the loyal support provided by the NDP.

There is no longer any doubt about the fact that the real opposition to the current government is the Liberal Party of Canada.

Headwaters Health Care Centre
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 3, 1997, a state of the art hospital opened in Orangeville, Ontario. The new hospital's name was Headwaters Health Care Centre. It included 108 beds and provided a range of acute care services for the town of Caledon and the county of Dufferin.

This year, Headwaters is celebrating its 10th anniversary of outstanding service and community excellence. This Saturday, the Headwaters Health Care Foundation will be hosting its annual dinner and auction in support of the centre.

Over the past nine years the volunteer committee has generated more than $1 million for the hospital to purchase new equipment. I commend the tremendous efforts of this dedicated group of volunteers who ensure that this event is such a resounding success each year.

This is an excellent opportunity for all Dufferin—Caledon residents to congratulate the Headwaters Health Care Centre on 10 incredible years of providing superior health care. I wish the centre more years of success and excellence in our community.