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

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition offered to pass all of the justice bills in quick fashion, but the government turned it down, so I am sorry. If the member would like to know a little more about that, I would refer him to the reviews in the justice committee where the experts were. If the government would like to have Bill C-22 voted on, now is the time to do it.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to this bill which I had the pleasure of developing and working on when I was minister of justice. There are a few comments that I would like to make in the course of addressing the bill.

I noted that the NDP member for Burnaby—Douglas talked about the fact that the laws in this country were already quite tough in that respect. That, of course, is not borne out by the facts at all.

I would point out, for example, the provision relating to the trust relationship dealing with children between the ages of 14 and 18. I know that was an argument that the previous Liberal government had advanced, saying that we could always rely on this. If there is an exploitation in the context of a trust relationship, the Crown can bring a charge.

What that particular section does not do is actually protect the child on the stand. The whole weight of the prosecution rests on the child to demonstrate that there was a trust relationship and that trust had been breached. Crown attorneys, police officers, and others who work with children in this context have indicated time and time again that the law was not effective. It simply does not hold those predators to account because, quite simply put, the children are the ones who are then put on trial.

The age of protection law that we are bringing in here removes that kind of onus on the child and puts it squarely on the shoulders of where it should belong and that is on the shoulders of the predator. Quite clearly, a child between the age of 14 and 16 does not have to justify that this was a trust relationship that was somehow exploited. The comments by the member were quite inaccurate.

The member for Burnaby—Douglas and the Liberal member for Vancouver Centre talked about section--

Criminal Code
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

It is with regret that I must interrupt the hon. President of the Treasury Board. When we return to the study of Bill C-22, there will be 17 minutes left to the hon. President of the Treasury Board.

It being 5:30 p.m. the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (improvement of the employment insurance system) as reported (with amendments) from the committee.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

There is one motion in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-269.

Motion No. 1 will not be chosen by the Chair because it could have been introduced at committee stage.

Since there is no report stage motion, the House will now proceed without debate to the vote on concurrence motion at report stage.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

moved that the bill be concurred in at report stage.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

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

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

All those opposed will please say nay.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Speakers' Ruling
Employment Insurance Act
Private Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

In my opinion the yeas have it.

Pursuant to Standing Order 98, a recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, May 9, 2007, immediately before the time provided for private members' business.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on April 18 during question period, I asked the Minister of Public Safety a question concerning whether or not the minister would bring forth the government's own legislation, which would abolish the firearms registry, for debate at second reading in this House and whether he would have a vote on the firearms registry. I asked him if he did in fact bring it forth if he would respect the will of Parliament once and for all.

The Minister of Public Safety simply went around the question. He did not answer it. He talked about how he has met with the president of the Canadian Police Association and that we are getting there and we are going to begin the process of seeing 2,500 more municipal officers right around the country.

There are two things here. First, the Conservatives' commitment during the last election in 2006 that they would engage and allow provinces to hire 2,500 more municipal police officers has been a big fat zero. It is a promise that this government has not kept. It has not budgeted money in its 2006 budget, nor in its 2007 budget, in order to provide extra resources to the provincial and territorial governments so that they might have money to hire more police officers at the municipal level.

Second, and even more important, this is a government that has been trying to make political hay and headlines by saying that the opposition is stalling its justice and law and order agenda. This is a government that brought in legislation last June to abolish the firearms registry, to virtually gut the firearms registry, and this government has not had the courage to move a motion to have that bill debated at second reading. It is almost a year to the day since the Conservatives tabled that legislation. Why have they not brought a motion to have this House debate their bill that would gut the firearms registry, to have it debated in this House and voted on?

If he wants to talk about Tony Cannavino, the president of the Canadian Professional Police Association, let me read for members the association's firearms registry motion: “The Canadian Professional Police Association (CPPA) supports a firearms registry system that provides accurate information on all firearms”, not just handguns, but long guns as well, “and is accessible to police officers in a timely manner to improve the safety of all police officers and community members in Canada”.

That is interesting. The Canadian Professional Police Association has recommended to this government not just to maintain the firearms registry but to ensure that all firearms are in fact registered. That is in direct opposition to what this government has attempted to do with its legislation.

However, this government will not put its pants on and put its courage behind its political decision. If the Conservatives are so certain of their political position on the firearms registry, I ask the Minister of Public Safety, as I asked him on April 18, to move a motion for second reading debate of the Conservatives' bill on the firearms registry. Let us have the debate in the House. Let us have the vote in the House. Let them abide by the results of the vote.