House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was property.

Topics

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order arising out of your ruling that my question did not relate to a matter of responsibility of the government.

I want to point that I was asking about Elections Canada, which, of course, reports through a minister of the Crown. There have, in the past, certainly been questions in this House about the in-and-out scheme, for example, which is under Elections Canada, that were not ruled out of order.

It seems to me that this is a matter that ought to be answered in this House. It is certainly within the power of the Prime Minister to call upon Elections Canada to investigate a matter where a political party appears to have been involved in improper activities.

Mr. Speaker, I would like your further ruling on the matter.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the point of order just raised, as the minister responsible for Elections Canada, I was listening closely. I heard the words “Elections Canada” spoken, but I did not hear a particular question about how it was conducting its affairs or anything that would be appropriate for me as minister responsible for Elections Canada to respond to. That is why I did not rise in that case. Perhaps I did not hear the question accurately. There is occasionally some tumult at that end of the House.

Mr. Speaker, I invite you to consult the blues. My hearing was obviously in accord with yours, but a consultation might be appropriate.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, you rose as soon as he asked his question. He could at least have risen to say that, but you immediately ruled the question out of order because it did not relate to the administration of government. We want to make sure that when we ask questions and a minister is responsible, he rises and tells us he is not. We already know he is not.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

As members know, the Speaker is called upon to make decisions about the admissibility of questions or statements on the fly. As I heard it, I did not hear anything related to the administration of government, but I will go back and look at the blues and look at previous questions along a similar line. I will get back to the hon. member for Halifax West with further clarification.

On another point of order, the hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Standing Committee on Transport
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities was supposed to appear before the Standing Committee on Transport. Unfortunately, the chair cancelled the meeting without consulting the committee members. We hope to be able to organize another meeting to question the minister about the supplementary estimates.

We are very concerned that our duty as opposition to hold the minister to account will be compromised. As vice-chair of the committee, I asked the minister and the chair whether we would be able to question the minister as is our democratic duty.

There are billions of taxpayer dollars are stake. We will be talking about the health of our democracy within the next two weeks. I would have to ask why the government is seemingly ducking Parliament on this very crucial matter?

Standing Committee on Transport
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, we are not ducking our responsibilities. I think there were some difficulties yesterday with the timing of votes. We will investigate it and get back to the House as quickly as possible with an answer.

Standing Committee on Transport
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I should just maybe inform the hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges that there are mechanisms through which members of the committee can arrange for meetings to take place. If he would like to ask questions about the schedule or agenda for committee meetings, he can certainly do so during question period.

However, these are not points of order for the Chair to rule on, as the Chair leaves these matters for the committee to sort themselves out in terms of when they hold their meetings and who they invite to appear before them.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of property and persons), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Winnipeg North has nine minutes left to conclude his speech.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, with this particular bill, we need to acknowledge that the citizens of our country do have a role to play when it comes to complementing that sense of security in our communities. Community policing is one of the ways in which we try to reach into our communities in a positive way to make people feel safe but there are other aspects to it.

At the beginning of my comments, I spoke to how this particular bill is not there, in any fashion whatsoever, to take away responsibilities from our policing agencies but rather is there to complement the services that we are currently receiving. It is there to provide assurances to those individuals who find themselves in difficult positions where they might require to either defend themselves or to protect their own personal property.

Over the years, we have seen more and more citizens take an interest in assisting and providing that sense of security throughout our communities, whether it is with respect to the community streets on which we walk or drive, or our shopping centres, the small store outlets and so forth. I think we can find ample examples in each one of those different types of situations where we will see the average citizen saying that they want and must play some role and be involved in making our communities a better, safer community in which to live.

I was making reference to some specific examples and I will highlight the one that deals with community streets. We have members of outreach groups who walk along the sidewalks in our communities and look for what would quite often be classified as inappropriate behaviour. We have found that it is very effective when three or four individuals walk around communities, especially around community schools. A lot of these groups will identify blocks of time that they believe are most important for them to go out into the communities. For example, one of those timed walks is after school hours. There is a great deal of interest from many neighbourhoods for them to walk around our schools in and around that time because it discourages any sort of inappropriate activity. Quite often, they will see everything from bullying to minor drug type transactions occurring very close to our school facilities. Therefore, by getting individuals, whether it be one person or a group, who are well-identified and live in or are a part of the community, involved in doing things of that nature, it discourages that sort of activity from taking place in the first place. We have citizens who are prepared to get involved at that level.

I was involved with the justice committee for many years out in the area which I represent. Although I stepped down about a year and a half ago or so, I was involved for over 10 years. When I was a full participant, and in fact at one point I was the chair of the group, we had the opportunity to get a number of volunteers who lived in the community to sit on this committee as honorary probation officers.

In that situation, if we had young offenders who might be stealing from a local store, instead of going through a court they would come before a justice committee. The big push was more toward restorative justice. We would try to bring the victim and the young offender together where the victim would have a role to play in terms of what sort of disposition or consequence should be given to that young offender for the offence that he or she caused. I see this as something that is very positive.

When victims sit down with offenders, they see first-hand that there is some justice coming as a direct result of community involvement and the fact that they are being afforded the opportunity to interact with the people who made victims out of them because of an offence, such as a theft or minor assault. This bill provides the opportunity for individuals to take direct action to protect their property and themselves.

Today more and more women are taking self-defence courses. More and more young people are engaged. Sikaran is a wonderful Filipino martial arts program. Kids as young as three and four years of age and adults are being schooled in this martial art. A good number of parents enrol their children in self-defence classes because they want to know that their children can defend themselves from an assault if they ever need to.

A member said that we need to approach this with an open mind in committee. Because of some of the changes to the wording, some might be somewhat suspicious. If someone looks at me the wrong way, raises a hand and makes an obscene gesture and I feel threatened by that, I may think it gives me the right to enter into a physical fight with the individual because I thought I was going to be assaulted. That is why we have to define such words as “reasonable”.

We have to look at specific situations, whether it is a potential physical assault or an individual protecting his or her store. A store owner who sells widgets sees that as his or her livelihood. If someone attempts to take that property, there needs to be some sort of consequence. The store owner should be able to protect his or her property and livelihood.

The vast majority of Canadians support the principle of what is being said here. I would encourage the government, once the bill gets to the committee stage, to approach it with an open mind so the member for Mount Royal and others can be afforded the opportunity to make amendments—

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I am afraid the hon. member is out of time.