House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Truth in Sentencing Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member would comment on two different points. First, as we all know, there are different rationales for the criminal justice system in terms of punishment, deterrence, prevention, the sorts of different reasons we send somebody to prison or punish them. Is the member aware of any studies the government has to show that the bill would actually do something positive by way of deterrence or prevention as opposed to simply focusing on punishment, and what are her views in terms of how this will impact in those two categories?

As well, are there any studies or information she is aware of in terms of the actual capacity of the system to handle these changes, whether we can afford it, whether enough money is being put in, whether this will require the building of new jails, and whether any of this has been thought about in adequate detail in consideration?

Truth in Sentencing Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an important question. I do not believe the government has provided any serious statistical analysis about the impact of this legislation on reduced pressure on our remand centres and our prisons. We do know from some of the statistics gathered by provincial governments that, in fact, when it comes to remands, the national average remand count has increased by more than 85% since 1990. A review in one province found that only 43% of those on remand for less than 30 days had applied for bail and that only 8% of those on remand longer than 30 days received bail. On any given day, about half of the new remanded prisoners will never even apply for bail and will be on remand status for several months.

That gives an idea of the impact of the present system on remand. It does not give any idea of what will happen in terms of our prisons and how the bill will change that. I will say this, though, finally we have to, as many have said, think outside the box. We have to think of creative release policies. We have to think of community escort orders. We have to think of dedicated gang outreach workers. We have to think of volunteer community supervisors, and most of all, we have to think about alternatives to keep kids out of jail in the first place, because surely if we want to start anywhere, it is crime prevention when it comes to the youngest in our society so that we do not have this repeat cycle through our penal system and continuation in a life of crime. That is the solution in the long run to this very serious issue.

Truth in Sentencing Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Kania Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in terms of my friend's comments, obviously the Liberal Party agrees that it is very important that we look at the root causes of crime, not just incarcerating people and making things more difficult. Frankly, once somebody comes out of prison, it is important that they are rehabilitated, that there are a number of programs put in place in prison.

One of the problems right now in terms of capacity is people who suffer from mental health issues who are in prison, and there is a staggering statistic in Ontario alone of 37% to 39%, and people in the general populace who have addiction issues. These people need treatment when they are in prison so that when they come out they can be reintegrated into society. What is happening now is, because there is not enough capacity, we are getting situations where people are being released, not early with conditions so that they will have treatment.

I wonder what my friend thinks about these continuing problems and what really needs to be done and whether she supports this aspect.

Truth in Sentencing Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me first be clear that the New Democrats, along with the Liberals, the Bloc, and the Conservatives support the bill. We support getting rid of the two for one credit and moving toward one and a half to one. However, we also know that this will not take all the pressure off the remand system and off our prison system. We have to have programs that help people once they exit the prison system. We also have to have alternatives for those at the remand level, because to sit for a long period of time in terrible conditions without training, without supports, can only cause one to continue a life of crime. So we have to be serious about rehabilitation.

Finally, it requires a government that moves beyond this very narrow approach in terms of punishment and looks at protection and prevention at the same time.

Truth in Sentencing Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

I interrupt proceedings at this time to proceed with statements by members. When the House returns to this matter, the hon. member for Winnipeg North will have five minutes remaining for questions and comments.

Justice
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, families in Calgary Northeast want our government to do whatever it takes to pass tough-on-crime legislation.

The Liberals routinely stall Conservative attempts to pass tough-on-crime laws, insulting Canadian victims and their families. Enough is enough. Canadians want action.

Families in Calgary Northeast are fed up with the Liberals and their lack of compassion for victims and their families. I call on the Liberals to wake up and to support Conservative tough-on-crime legislation. This is the very least that families and victims in Calgary Northeast deserve.

I want to thank Police Inspector Kevan Stuart for his past service to Calgary Northeast, and I also want to recognize and welcome his replacement, Inspector David Kotowski. I know that Calgary Northeast will continue to be well served by our brave men and women of the Calgary Police Service.

Conception Bay South Monument of Honour
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, we have volunteer groups in all our ridings who volunteer thousands of hours to recognize the contribution of servicemen and servicewomen to defending our rights and freedoms.

At this time I want to congratulate the members of the Conception Bay South Monument of Honour committee for their commitment to improve and restore the original war memorial in Conception Bay South. It is a tremendous undertaking and these volunteers are making great progress, and in particular, Mr. Wayne Miller, who has been spearheading the efforts to date. I thank Mr. Miller.

The memorial has been moved to a new location in town and the committee is now focusing its efforts on beautifying the grounds and providing an atmosphere that truly reflects honour and glory. The Conception Bay South Monument of Honour committee has committed to raising $750,000 for this wonderful project.

I join the residents of Conception Bay South in saying a big thank you to the Monument of Honour committee. We are proud of their efforts and commend their dedication to this project. I wish them good luck, and I look forward to seeing them at their annual fundraising golf tournament in a couple of weeks' time.

Opération Enfant Soleil Fundraiser
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 4 and 5, 17 students in secondary 5 at Polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau—10 girls and 7 boys—participated in the 30-hour cyclathon to raise money for the Opération Enfant Soleil foundation.

The 30-hour cyclathon is restricted to graduating students. In order to participate they had to train hard and maintain an academic average of more than 75% in their secondary 4 and 5 classes. This is a wonderful example of youth commitment and determination.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I congratulate these 17 young athletes, the organizers and trainers, including Joanie Loiseau who was in charge, on the 19th edition of the event.

Bravo to the students of Nicolas-Gatineau school.

World Oceans Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Oceans Day, a day to recommit to protect our oceans for the very air that sustains us, for the food that we use, and for the resources that drive our economy.

People of northwest British Columbia have lived in harmony with the ocean since time immemorial. Today, the Living Oceans Society is launching the Finding Coral Expedition, a deep-sea adventure of scientists in submarines to the very floor off British Columbia's northwest coast.

Our oceans must be managed sustainably. We should be planning and using science and leadership. We applaud this work and recognize that to understand the oceans is to come to respect and honour our planet for this generation and for generations to come.

Rodeo Builder
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to pay tribute to Jack Daines, who was honoured May 29 with an induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as a rodeo builder.

When we think of Alberta and rodeo, we think Jack Daines. He won Canadian saddle bronc titles in 1956 and 1957.

In 1961, Jack started the Daines Rodeo with the cowboy in mind. The 49th edition of the Daines pro rodeo goes this weekend. It is one of the biggest in the world. His contribution to the sport of rodeo in Canada is unsurpassed. This man is a legend.

To be inducted alongside titans in football, hockey, boxing, paralympics and athletics was a joy for Jack, but more important was joining his son Duane as a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

It has been said Jack is Alberta's Don Cherry. I like to think Don Cherry is Canada's Jack Daines. He loves his family and his country and promotes Canada every chance he gets.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Jack Daines for his induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

World Oceans Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, climate change, overfishing and pollution are a perfect storm that is killing our oceans.

To arrest this march toward extinction, we must put a price on carbon and develop an international carbon trading system that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. This would put a monetary value on carbon sinks, which would help to arrest the destruction of the two lungs of our planet: Amazonia and the Congo Basin.

We must use the Oceans Act to implement a comprehensive oceans management plan that will include establishing an effective network of marine protected areas to help restore marine populations.

We must improve source control and repair storm drainage systems which will reduce pollution.

We must list endangered fish species on SARA and phase out non-biodegradable plastics that kill more than 100,000 marine mammals every year.

Our oceans are the lifeblood of our plant. Let us now use this the first UN World Oceans Day to build and implement a plan that will protect our oceans and save life on earth.

Food Banks
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, Christmas may not be coming soon, but for some in Alberta they might be thinking differently with the snow they had this weekend. But seriously, Christmas in July is just around the corner.

The Kelowna Community Food Bank's 18th annual Christmas in July campaign serves to remind our community that the spirit of giving is needed all year round to help our less fortunate friends and neighbours. Already this year alone, the Kelowna Community Food Bank has distributed over $750,000 worth of food and products.

Through the assistance of monetary and food donations, local business partnerships, as well as the many volunteers who make the food banks run, our community food banks carry out the important work of providing families with the necessities that most of us take for granted.

Their work is even more important during these challenging economic times.

I encourage all my colleagues to bring attention to their community food banks now and throughout the year, so that they may help to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of families within our communities.

We thank the Kelowna and Lake Country food banks, and community banks across the country, for their hard work, caring and compassion. It means so much.

World Oceans Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 8, 2009 is World Oceans Day. The theme “one ocean, one climate, one future” focuses on the role of oceans in regulating climate.

Little is known about our oceans. Climate change has resulted in dramatic changes, and will continue to do so, for marine life. The diversity, richness and complexity of these vast expanses of water deserve special attention considering their fragility and role in the earth's ecosystem.

Hopefully, on this day, governments will finally realize the importance of our oceans and dedicate the necessary resources to better understand the impact of global warming and climate change. It is important for this government to show leadership and actively participate in global consultations on ocean issues in order to contribute to the Copenhagen climate change conference.

World Oceans Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we just heard, June 8 marks the first United Nations World Oceans Day. The Government of Canada strongly supports sustainable and integrated use of ocean spaces. Today, organizations and individuals around the world celebrate our oceans, our personal connection to the sea, as well as raise awareness about the crucial role the oceans play in our lives.

Coming from North Vancouver, on Canada's Pacific coast, I have spent many happy days on the ocean on board my father's boat, swimming, fishing, catching crab, and enjoying the many splendours the ocean has to offer.

Oceans regulate our climate, transport our goods, and provide us with not only food but also thousands of jobs in diverse fields. That is why it is important that our rich ocean heritage is protected and carefully managed to ensure the continual productivity and health of our ecosystems.

That is why it is important that we take time to think of what we can do to help protect our oceans.

Income Trusts
Statements By Members

June 8th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister broke his promise never to tax income trusts and imposed a 31.5% punitive tax.

He wiped out over $25 billion of retirement savings of over 2 million Canadians, particularly seniors.

He argued that pension income splitting would offset the loss, but the facts show otherwise.

In 2007, the benefit to seniors was only $163 million. As well, only 30% of seniors have qualifying pensions. If we eliminate those who have no partners or who are at the lowest tax bracket or whose partner is in the same tax bracket, then only 12% of seniors actually benefit.

The Conservatives took money from seniors with no pensions and gave a fraction of that money to high income earning seniors who have a partner with little income.

It is time for the government to be honest with seniors. It should admit its devastating mistake, apologize for misleading seniors, and repeal the punitive 31.5% tax on income trusts.