House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said that he is upset. Very often I meet with victims groups and they are upset when they believe that their thoughts, concerns and priorities are not being met or heard. I have assured victims groups that they have elected a government that listens to them and that their concerns are a priority for this government.

We were very clear in the election. We did not say if there were procedural problems we would not proceed with their concerns. We never said that. Hon. members can say that they do not like the procedure, but these bills have been debated off and on for four years. They do the right thing by victims. I suggest to the hon. member that he do the right thing for victims today. He should join with us and support this important piece of legislation.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, most of the members who are asking questions today did not hear any of that evidence. I did hear the evidence. I heard overwhelmingly from victims who stand up for this legislation.

What is interesting is that the only time this bill was time limited in committee was on a motion moved by the NDP critic. Clearly those members must have a different idea today than they did before.

I ask the minister, who stood up for victims during committee? What did the victims of crime overwhelmingly say about Bill C-10?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been very appreciative over the years that victims groups and individuals have come forward and have been so supportive of the legislation we have introduced in Parliament.

I remember when we were getting rid of the faint hope clause, a reporter asked me a valid question. She asked if we thought people would stop committing murder because they would not have the availability of an early parole date at 15 years. I said I had no idea what would possess somebody to commit premeditated murder but I knew it would reduce victimization. Victims would tell me that they were victimized all over again when the 15 years rolled around, and then 17 years, and 19 years. It is reducing victimization. That is what has been a priority for this government and it will continue to be a priority in the future.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister could comment on the comments that were made by David Daubney, a former member of Parliament who sat in caucus with the minister in Mr. Mulroney's government. Mr. Daubney is a former director of the criminal law policy section at Justice Canada. Several days after terminating his career, Mr. Daubney said to the minister that he did not agree with this bill, that fear was at the basis of much of these measures, and he did not agree that it was constitutional.

For the third time, would the minister respond to the direct question: Will he table the evidence in the House of Commons today to substantiate that he has proof that this bill is constitutional?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been very clear that the bill complies with all aspects of the Canadian Constitution, whether it be the charter, whether it be the Canadian Bill of Rights. Mr. Diefenbaker introduced that important piece of legislation in this chamber. I am completely confident that the bill meets all the constitutional requirements.

There will be those who disagree with what we are doing, but I take heart from all those who work on the front lines, people in law enforcement, ordinary Canadians and victims, who overwhelmingly say again and again, “You are on the right track. Keep it up. Do the right thing for us and for Canada”.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is odd. Earlier, I heard the hon. member saying that this bill would definitely have an impact on victims but that he did not really know if it would have an impact on criminals. I have a great deal of respect for victims, and I do not really think I have to say that, because it is so obvious. However, I am wondering why the hon. member would want to pass a bill when we do not know what effect it will have on criminals. That seems a bit illogical for a society that supports rehabilitation. I would like the hon. member to elaborate a bit on this.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

March 7th, 2012 / 5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear. This will have an impact on criminals. There is no question about that. This will have a great effect on those individuals who think it is a good idea to bring drugs into Canada and people who like to get into the child porn business, because if they get charged under this piece of legislation, they are looking at jail time.

The hon. member asked what impact it would have on criminals. I hope it has a great impact. I hope it encourages people to stay away from that business and not get involved in those kinds of activities, because there are serious consequences for getting involved in those kinds of activities.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues should know that when I first began practising law I dealt with compensation for victims of crime. I know a great deal about victims of crime.

First and foremost, they want the people who attacked them to be arrested. After that comes punishment. They want justice. But what they want most of all is to end impunity for criminals, not to impose exemplary sentences. In that regard, I would point out that putting a rope in every inmate's cell is not necessarily what victims have called for.

The Minister of Justice informed us that these laws are constitutional. However, a few weeks ago we were advised of a legal decision indicating that the omnibus bill's provisions on firearms possession were considered cruel and unusual punishment. Is that what we can hope for from Bill C-10 over the next three years, that judges will dismantle it piece by piece?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member may think it is cruel punishment to have somebody, who is part of organized crime, bringing in drugs, such as Ecstacy, to this country, which many times has the effect of killing people, and those individuals are only looking at a year or two years in jail. It is up to the courts and we provide the guidelines.

However, for people who sexually exploit children to be looking at jail time, the member may think that is cruel and unusual punishment.

I think I speak for most Canadians when I say that this is on the right track. The people who bring in Ecstacy for the purposes of killing people in this country should meet certain penalties, which is exactly what the bill delivers.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice and people on that side of the House like to talk a lot about victims. In fact, they like to portray themselves as the only ones who do actually care about victims. We on this side of the House also actually care about victims.

Members of the government made a big deal of the fact that they created an ombudsman for victims. Would the minister very briefly tell us what recommendations from the ombudsman for victims they have implemented to show that they really do care about victims.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the whole Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was created by this government. All the improvements that we have made to the victims fund, all the investments that we have made in that, are all in support of victims in this country.

The hon. member says that we like to talk about victims. The reason for that is that we stand up for victims in this country. We make their priority our priority. I am very proud to stand with a group of individuals who have made victims rights a priority. That is exactly what we will continue to do.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was very concerned when I heard the Minister of Justice make a comment earlier that he is tired of hearing from this side of the House when we have concerns with procedure in the House and that that side of the House prefers to deal with substance.

He seems to speaking at odds to his own leader, the Prime Minister of Canada, who only a month ago sat down with the first nations of Canada and agreed to move forward in a new partnership, nation to nation, a new way of procedure, and undertook that,from here on in, in all bills, all procedures and all initiatives by the Government of Canada, the Conservatives would not move forward unless they consulted in advance and accommodated the rights and interests of first nation peoples.

We have heard from the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and we have heard from many first nations complaining that this bill would simply incarcerate more first nations people who are already being prejudicially treated. What does the minister have to say in response to that?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bill focuses on criminal activity.

I want to be very clear when I talk about the whole issue of procedure. What I get from the NDP members, on a day when we are discussing this very important legislation, is that they want to adjourn the House and go home. I guess I do have a few problems with that.

This bill is very important. I stood with Sheldon Kennedy, a man who had been victimized. I do not want to have to go back and tell him that the NDP members wanted to adjourn, that they did not want to talk about the bill today and that they wanted to go home. I find that completely unacceptable.

Yes, I do want to discuss these important pieces of legislation and that is exactly what we will do.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, what we constantly hear from the other side is how the legislation would deal with that poor person who may be growing a few marijuana plants in the basement and that this is prejudicial to him or her. Perhaps the minister could re-explain to the members on the opposite side of the House how this legislation targets those who traffic in drugs.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation Motion
Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brampton West for all the support that he has given us on our crime legislation. I and everyone in the government are very appreciative. Contrary to what some of our critics would like to say about the bill, which is completely incorrect, the bill goes after drug traffickers.