House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I take note of your admonishment. I will make every effort to respect that admonishment and to adhere to the rules of the House of Commons in terms of use of sitting members' family names or first names when taking part in debates or rising to speak in the House.

I do, however, warn that it may be difficult if I am citing from an official government document and that document adheres to the written instructions of the sitting Prime Minister that the term “Government of Canada” should no longer be used; it should be his last name in front of the word “government”. It might be difficult, but I will make every effort to adhere to the rules of the House.

When I talk about Government of Canada in my debate, I will make every effort not to use the Prime Minister's name, although he has requested all public civil servants that it is no longer the Government of Canada, it is his government.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chen had to incur significant legal costs in order to defend himself under the current provisions of the Criminal Code. Thankfully, he was acquitted, as were the two other individuals who worked for him in October of 2010.

If we heed the words of the Minister of Justice, did the government at that time bring forth amendments to the Criminal Code provisions which deal with citizens' arrests? No, it did not. It had months and months in which to do so. It had two private members' bills, both sitting members, who had tabled their respective private members' bills and had offered the government to take them over, table them in the government's name and they and their caucuses would be supportive.

It is yet another example of how the government under the sitting Prime Minister, who now wants the Government of Canada to be called his government, uses real issues that can have a real impact, sometimes devastating, on citizens' lives as a political football. The Conservatives are now worried about possibly the vote in that particular section of Toronto and perhaps in other areas of Canada, so now all of a sudden the issue has become important to the them and a priority.

The Liberals will not stand in the way of getting Bill C-60 to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights quickly. If any member of the government were to stand in future debate and make that insinuation, they would be wrong and they would be making that false insinuation knowingly, because it has been stated here by the justice critic of the official opposition.

My colleague from British Columbia rose and asked a question of the minister. The minister brushed off his question. I wonder why the minister and his colleagues, whose party forms the Government of Canada--I am getting too close to violating again, I was tempted to use the sitting Prime Minister's preferred term--brushed it off.

At committee we wish to make clear and certain that there are no unintended consequences with this legislation and with the proposed amendments, so we need to ensure that the term “reasonable grounds” is clear and the reasonable time after the commission of a criminal offence or reasonable grounds that there was the commission or the attempt to commit a criminal offence and the time in which the citizen's arrest is effected is also well defined.

The other issue is we want to make sure it appears that if a citizen has reasonable grounds to believe that another individual is either committing an offence against the owner's property or the person who has legal possession of that property and effects a citizen's arrest, in some cases using reasonable force, and it turns out the person was mistaken, the individual who was presumed to be a culprit and committing a criminal offence or to have committed a criminal offence in a reasonable timeframe wherein the citizen's arrest could be effected, the person effecting the arrest is protected.

I believe it is clear that individuals are protected. If they are in fact the owners of the property or duly authorized to be in possession of the property and had reasonable grounds to believe another individual was attempting to commit a criminal offence against that property and within a reasonable time effected a citizen's arrest using reasonable force, then that person is protected.

However, clearly there is nothing in the provisions for the individual who is the subject of the suspicions and ultimately the citizen's arrest if it turns out he or she was not committing an offence. Individuals who may have been subjected to damages to their reputation or their own belongings may have civil remedies available and it will be interesting to hear the minister speak to that when he appears before committee.

I have been pretty good so far. I have avoided using the sitting Prime Minister's surname in front of the word “government”, as he has requested be done by all public servants and in any official communication going out from any government department or agency. I have been good about that, however difficult and tempting it has been.

My colleague asked the question about what, if any, protections there are for citizens who become the object of suspicion by another and placed under citizen's arrest, which turns out to be a false arrest because the individual thought to be a criminal is not and has every right to the property in question. Those are issues that need to be dealt with because we do not want to create another category of victims.

We want citizens in lawful possession of property to be able, in reasonable circumstances with reasonable grounds, to protect it. However, we also do not wish to create a category of new victims where people do not understand because we have not done the work.

It is not just the opposition. The Government of Canada will have to conduct clear educational advertising, and not like it did with its economic plan which was disguised political partisan advertising. This needs to be clear educational advertising so that everybody in Canada understands what these new provisions mean, what they allow and do not allow, and what can be lawfully done in different circumstances. Hopefully these provisions will provide very clear limits.

I will conclude by saying that Liberals have been calling for this bill for months, if not over a year, since the time that Mr. Chen was originally arrested by the police for trying to defend his property. We are pleased that the government has finally brought forth a piece of legislation. We are anxious to see it in committee so that we can ensure that it does not go beyond what it should and that it does not, in any way, shape, or form create the unintended consequence of vigilantism.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not a lawyer, and since Bill C-60 seems complex, I would like my colleague to help me understand by answering a question that came to my mind this morning.

Would this bill allow me, as a private citizen, to arrest one or more individuals suspected of committing election fraud?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may not have any legal training, but she clearly has a legal mind. I would suggest that she take a law program if she is looking to do some courses. The faculty of political science and law at the Université du Québec à Montréal would be an excellent place for that. The program is available at other Université du Québec campuses as well. I graduated from that program, and I found both the law course and the political science course to be excellent.

Since some of the charges against the two Conservative senators and two high-ranking officials in the Conservative Party—or maybe I should talk about the Prime Minister's party, since he wants to attach his name to everything—concern the falsification or production of fake invoices, maybe the management at Retail Media Group should have the offenders arrested for falsifying the company's property. Invoices carrying the company's legal name belong to Retail Media Group. But it seems that some of the charges against these four high-ranking Conservatives, including two sitting senators, have to do with producing fake invoices.

That is an excellent question.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Given the time, it might be prudent to move along with statements by members. We can resume the questions and comments after question period is over. I have a feeling that, given the amount of time left for questions, if we start more I will have to cut somebody off and I am reluctant to do that.

In the circumstances I will call for statements by members.

Cornwall Chapter of Victoria's Quilts
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a truly remarkable group of women, the Cornwall chapter of Victoria's Quilts.

I walked into St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and was greeted by a roomful of compassion. There were 40 women of all ages and descriptions working together in a labour of love to make homemade quilts for cancer patients undergoing treatments. Since its beginning in 2002, the Cornwall chapter of Victoria's Quilts has produced 1,967 quilts to provide comfort for cancer patients.

I am tremendously proud of all the dedicated volunteers of the Cornwall chapter of Victoria's Quilts and, on behalf of the 1,967 cancer patients who received this generosity, I thank each and every one of them. Each quilt carries the Bible passage, “Be not afraid, I am with you always.”

I can assure the House that this wonderful experience of last week will be with me always.

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, for nearly 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of our nation's youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs.

Serving as role models, these mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school and of having respect for family, peers and community. Each time they pair a child with a mentor, they start something incredible: a life-changing relationship built on friendship, trust and empowerment.

Witnessing the transformation of a child into a confident, concerned and motivated young person is a remarkable thing. Ushering them into adulthood, seeing them grow into a successful, responsible member of their community and society at large is even more satisfying. Proudly, it is something its staff, volunteers and donors help bring about every day.

There is no more important investment that we as individuals can make than helping our nation's children realize and share their full potential.

I and Big Brothers Big Sisters believe in the value and values of mentoring.

Elbama Winery
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September 2010, a winemaker from Saint-Amable, Martin Gemme, opened his retail shop for the first time to offer his first vintage.

Within weeks, a third of his production, 1,800 bottles in total, had been sold. Mr. Gemme's winery, Domaine Elbama, is the first such business in the Marguerite-D'Youville area and has quickly become a source of pride for the entire region.

Starting the business required a clear vision, plenty of ambition and lots of hard work. Indeed, this new vocation came as a result of crop diversion after the golden nematode infested Martin Gemme's land in 2006. Instead of giving up, he decided to innovate. With the help of Philippe Gemme, Daniel Blain and Maxime Gratton, who collaborated on the project, as well as Richard Champagne, who supplied the first vines, Mr. Gemme was able to reinvent his business. Together, they have built a successful family business. It has gotten off to an impressive start, which I hope bodes well for the future, and it remains a source of inspiration for everyone in Saint-Amable.

Air Canada
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the last few days, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has assured us that there will not be layoffs of Air Canada heavy maintenance workers. However, contrary to the minister's statements, Aveos has already posted layoff notices for some of those very jobs.

For example, in Winnipeg, 58 workers will be laid off on May 12 and another 40 workers on June 30, for a total of 98, or almost 100 people. Vancouver will lose 101 workers on May 12 and Montreal will lose 72 on June 7.

Air Canada has already had heavy maintenance work done in the U.S. and China, and Aveos has begun international maintenance work in Central America. Air Canada's heavy maintenance contract with Aveos expires in 2013.

The workers at the Canadian facilities are very concerned that, after the contract expires, Aveos and the government will not honour the intent of the Air Canada act.

Canadian International AutoShow
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marked the 38th edition of the Canadian International AutoShow, Canada's largest consumer trade show.

The auto show is an independent component of the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association which, since 1908, has been at the forefront of consumer protection and the voice of greater Toronto's 340 new car dealers.

Scotiabank recently reported that, “Canada is scheduled to post the largest increase in vehicle output across North America in early 2011...”. It also reported that, “We estimate that rising vehicle output will add roughly 1.5 percentage points to economic growth in Canada...”.

Coming from St. Catharines, I take a special pride in the auto industry and in General Motors. This year was special since the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada gave its 2011 Canada Car of the Year Award to the Chevrolet Cruz, a car built by General Motors.

I am pleased to stand in the House today to say that I am proud of our government's record of supporting the auto industry that, in turn, supports the working families who rely so heavily on it.

Shahbaz Bhatti
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in remembrance of, and to pay tribute to, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minority affairs minister who was tragically assassinated this week.

Minister Bhatti was a courageous and heroic figure who literally put his life on the line in defence of religious freedom, equality and minority rights in Pakistan. He had no illusions about the price he might pay for his courageous advocacy.

As he told me when we met just a month ago, he was under standing threats from extremists for his efforts, especially with regard to the repeal of the blasphemy laws that had been used to suppress the Christian minority and where the mere accusation can incite hatred and even death. Indeed, Minister Bhatti was already under a fatwa death threat when we spoke.

Pakistan has lost a great and courageous son of its people and we have lost a great hero in the struggle for human rights. We honour his memory best by standing steadfast against hatred and extremism as he inspired us to do.

Art from Memory Challenge
Statements By Members

March 4th, 2011 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to proudly congratulate a young university student from my riding, Rachel MacGillivray, for honouring our Canadian war veterans with a winning art piece titled “Security Blanket”. The blanket honours the sacrifice and courage of our Canadian war veterans while sharing an important piece of our collective history.

Rachel won first place in the Historica–Dominion Institute's Art from Memory Challenge by drawing inspiration from the memories of relatives who fought in World War II. She further honoured veterans by donating 20% of her prize winnings to the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre in Ottawa.

I would also like to acknowledge her parents, Campbell and Elizabeth MacGillivray, who are very proud of Rachel and who have joined me here on Parliament Hill today to celebrate this wonderful achievement.

Bernard Bureau
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bernard Bureau has received a prestigious lifetime achievement award. He won the 2010 Homage Award from the Association des camps certifiés du Québec

Mr. Bureau is the director general of Camps Espaces Jeunesse and has been heading up Camp Val-Estrie in Waterville since 1987 and Camp de Portneuf since 1994. Camp Val-Estrie is known throughout Quebec for its hospitality and its fine activities and is a model for all the vacation camps in Quebec. Every year, thousands of people go to Camp Val-Estrie and take part in its wide range of activities.

I want to congratulate Bernard Bureau on everything he has done. Mr. Bureau is contributing to the advancement and development of the tourist industry in the RCM of Coaticook and throughout the Eastern Townships.

A Night with the Riders Fundraiser
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, many of us in this chamber take being able to see and hear for granted but what would we do if this was taken away from us?

This past weekend in February, the Moose Jaw Lions Club hosted its annual A Night with the Riders fundraiser, which helped raise $20,000 for assistance dogs for the disabled in Saskatchewan. Nine members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team took part in this event.

People, like Norman Fedrau of Central Butte, who was injured in an accident and lost his sight, are grateful for the assistance they have received through this program. Through the Lions, Norman received his assistance dog, Austin, who is named after the former head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Kent Austin.

I salute our Rider nation, both for the support that it gives our team during the season and for the support it is giving now to those who need it. I hope all members will join me in supporting the Roughriders and the Lions for the wonderful work they do.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, with my former and, let me stress, future Brant MP, Lloyd St. Amand, I toured a dozen-plus abandoned or scaled-back businesses in Brantford. These closures represent hundreds of lost jobs. It was sad.

However, one person said, “Not so. We've taken over one of those plants, so it is a wonderful story”.

I congratulate Brant Screen Craft for the expansion of its company, for making use of the emptied Crane facility, and for creating jobs. That part of the story is indeed excellent.

the purpose of the tour, however, was to highlight the still far greater preponderance of losses. Being able to use the Crane facility is good but the fact that Crane had to close and all those jobs were lost is, I repeat, sad.

I have asked the folks at Brant Screen Craft to give credit where it is due. They said that their corporate tax cuts were responsible for their decision to expand and it was in fact the Liberal government that drastically reduced corporate taxes from 29% to 19%. I am glad that our years of Liberal work in making that competitive helped Brant Screen Craft.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we saw earlier this week, when the President of the Treasury Board tabled the main estimates, our government is committed to keeping taxes low and ensuring that government spending is prudent and affordable. We are avoiding reckless new spending commitments that will lead to higher taxes that kill jobs and hurt Canadian families. Our prudent approach to economic management is clearly the best choice for the Canadian economy.

In contrast, the Liberal leader wants to trigger an unnecessary and opportunistic election over the government's upcoming budget. That is not because of anything in the budget, after all, the Liberal leader has not even seen it yet. He is upset because we will not raise taxes on job creators.

The Liberals have made job killing tax hikes the centrepiece of their vision for Canada. That is a damaging vision, and we call on the Liberal leader to reconsider.