House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Business of the House
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

(Motion agreed to)

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-423, An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act (treatment for substance abuse), as reported without amendment from the committee.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

There being no motions at report stage, the House will now proceed without debate to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

moved that the bill be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to)

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, I will begin by thanking my colleagues from all parties who have supported my private member's bill up to this point. Because of prorogation and some things around scheduling, we have actually had two opportunities to talk about this. I have had about 15 minutes twice to discuss this and we have heard from members of all parties on this important bill.

In a few minutes, my colleague from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo will move a motion to send this bill back to committee and I support that motion.

The bill was sent back to the House from the committee without being reviewed by the justice committee for reasons that we all understand. However, I will not get into a debate on those reasons right now. I know the minister would like this bill to get a proper review before committee. I personally would like to see my bill scrutinized before committee so I could have the opportunity to answer any questions from members of other parties or my own party regarding the bill and hear what experts have to say about it.

When a private member's bill comes before committee, I am consistently asking questions about the amount of research that has gone into it. I want to ensure we are dealing with well thought out and well researched legislation. I want to ensure my own bill follows those same rules. I want people to understand what it is I am trying to accomplish and I want them to have confidence that I researched it properly and nothing was missed. For me, the idea of the justice committee having the opportunity to review this bill is important and I look forward to the opportunity to do that.

I have had discussions with members from the other parties and I understand that there is general support for going in this direction. I thank the members who I have talked to for that. I look forward to the opportunity to be before the committee and thank all members for their support for this important bill.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to speak to Bill C-423 to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act. I must say that we are strongly in favour of the private member's bill from the member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont. The Bloc Québécois sees this bill as a spark of light or a ray of sunshine.

It puts forward the idea of rehabilitation. It suggests some ways of reaching out to youth who commit offences, giving them a chance, and also giving them the opportunity to obtain treatment. In this sense, the bill mirrors the philosophy and the ideology of the Bloc Québécois. In our opinion, this way of dealing with young offenders has been seen to be successful.

As we know, Quebec is the province with the lowest crime rate because we make a huge investment in rehabilitation and in eradicating problems at the root. We help people, we work with them and provide support so that they turn their backs on crime. Therefore, I support this bill along with the Bloc Québécois.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled on the Youth Criminal Justice Act and stated that the onus would no longer be on young offenders between the ages of 14 and 18 to prove that they should not be sentenced as adults.

I must say that we are very pleased with the Supreme Court's decision and once again, I congratulate the hon., member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont on his bill.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on his bill. I am a big fan of private members' business. This is a good bill about the youth criminal justice system, particularly the aspect of substance abuse remediation.

This is an important bill but, unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation where the appropriate standing committee was unable to deal with it due to reasons beyond the member's control. I understand there is a motion coming forward to have this matter referred back to committee, since it has been deemed to have been reported without amendment.

This is clearly an issue that should have some hearings by members and by expert witnesses to make absolutely sure that, as we ask in our daily prayer, we make good laws and wise decisions.

I will be supporting the motion.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I, too, thank the member for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont for standing in the House today and signifying that a motion will be coming forward to have the bill sent back to committee. He recognizes, and I certainly concur, that when it comes to a private member's bill it is important that we go through the process. I think it is important for it to go back to committee where we can have an opportunity to study it and make revisions if necessary.

We have spoken in favour of the bill in principle, but we do have some concerns about it in terms of youth treatment and how the judicial system is involved in that.

We look forward to the opportunity of seeing the bill at committee. We will be supporting the motion today for the bill to go back to committee.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:40 p.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
B.C.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-423 is consistent with the national anti-drug strategy unveiled by the government on October 4, 2007. The strategy responds to serious drug problems faced by Canada and recognizes the importance of focusing efforts on the growing number of our youth becoming involved with drugs.

Many of the communities across Canada have indicated that youth drug use is a priority concern. For several communities, the lure of highly addictive drugs, like crystal meth, presents a real challenge for their youth.

The government has listened to concerns and with our national anti-drug strategy, we are working actively to respond to them.

Budget 2007 signalled the government's investment in the strategy, which establishes a focused approach to address illicit drug issues based on three concrete action plans: first, preventing illicit drug use; second, treating illicit drug dependency; and third combatting illicit drug production and distribution. While the strategy has only been up and running since last October, we have made tremendous progress in rolling out a number of our priorities.

Bill C-423 recognizes the role that police can play in linking youth, drug and addiction problems to those who can help on the treatment front. It provides a valuable and additional tool to help youth overcome their problems and make our communities safer.

The government is mindful that this combined effort of many will bring success to addressing our drug priorities. We are working with all those concerned about Canada's youth, both from the private and public sectors and across different disciplines like health, education and the justice system.

It is for this reason that I read into the record an amendment to the motion. I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

Bill C-423, An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act (treatment for substance abuse), be not now read a third time but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for the purpose of considering clause 1 with a view to making sure that the effects of these amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act are in the best interests of the youth who may be affected by these amendments and are considered beneficial to the people of Canada.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point order. I want to clarify that when the motion says, “for the purpose of considering clause 1”, this, in effect, is the whole private member's bill, not just one element of it. Could that be clarified?

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Vancouver East has the proper understanding of what this was intended to do.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

We will now proceed with the debate.

There being no further debate, is the House ready for the question?

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

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

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Private Members' Business

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.