House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was important.

Topics

Question No. 519
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

With regard to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB), legislated by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act: (a) for each year from 2006 to 2012, what are the number of favourable and negative decisions made by each permanent and temporary member of the Board at the (i) review stage, (ii) appeal stage; (iii) reconsideration stage; (b) for each year from 2006 to 2012, what are the number of favourable and negative decisions made by the Board for all reviews, appeals, and reconsiderations; (c) has VRAB issued any directive to its board members on how many affirmative or negative decisions members can make in a year; (d) what is the status of VRAB's publishing of review and appeal decisions online; (e) does Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) frequently analyze the reasons why VRAB has overturned decisions made by VAC and, if yes, how frequently; (f) does VRAB frequently analyze the reasons why the Board overturns decisions made by VAC and communicate these decisions to VAC; (g) for each year from 2006 to 2012, how many compassionate awards have been issued; (h) does VRAB inform veterans that a compassionate award may be another avenue for veterans who have been denied at the review and appeal level and, if so, how; (i) does VRAB inform veterans that a “Reconsideration by the Minister” could be another avenue for veterans who have been denied at the review and appeal level and if so, how do they inform veterans; (j) for each year from 2006 to 2012, how many complaints has the Board received relating to disrespectful behaviour; (k) for each year from 2006 to 2012, how many complaints has the Board received on the length of time it takes to obtain a decision by the Board; and (l) for each year from 2006 to 2012, how many complaints has the Board received on other issues?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 520
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

With regard to the disability pensions awarded by Veterans Affairs Canada under the Pension Act and the lump sum payments issued by the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-Establishment and Compensation Act (New Veterans Charter): (a) what is the total number of disability pensions, broken down by type of service-related disability; (b) what is the total number of lump-sum payments, broken down by type of service-related disability; (c) what percentage of all disability pensions are issued for service-related disabilities as outlined in (a); (d) does Veterans Affairs Canada inform the Department of National Defence of the high incidence of certain occupational/service-related injuries and payments awarded by Veterans Affairs Canada per calendar year; (e) how many disability pensions under the Pensions Act have been awarded each year from 2006 inclusive to 2012, for (i) Agent Orange exposure, (ii) atomic veterans, including those who participated in nuclear weapons tests in the United States (US) and Chalk River decontamination efforts, (iii) exposure to asbestos, (iv) exposure to depleted uranium; (f) how many payments under the New Veterans Charter have been awarded each year from 2006 inclusive to 2012 for (i) Agent Orange exposure, (ii) atomic veterans, including those who participated in nuclear weapons tests in the US and Chalk River decontamination efforts, (iii) exposure to asbestos, (iv) exposure to depleted uranium; and (g) how many veterans under the New Veterans Charter have received the following benefits each year from 2006 inclusive to 2011 for (i) Earning Loss Benefit, (ii) Canadian Forces Income Support, (iii) Permanent Impairment Allowance, (iv) Supplementary Retirement Benefit?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker Mr. Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

April 25th, 2012 / 3:30 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker Mr. Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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 third time and passed.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

When we last took up this motion before the House, the hon. member for Hamilton Centre had five minutes remaining in his speech.

The hon. member for Hamilton Centre.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, again, I appreciate this opportunity. As I only have five minutes, I will not try to mount a review of everything I said.

However, a couple of people who were flipping through the channels and heard me using certain language contacted my office wondering what exactly that was all about. Therefore, I will take just a couple of the minutes I have to address that.

I was making reference to the Criminal Code and the areas that Bill C-26 would amend and how there had been a long-standing issue with a number of aspects of that legislation. I had pointed out that one of our chief justices had said in the case of R. v. McIntosh that sections 34 and 35 were:

—highly technical, excessively detailed provisions deserving of much criticism. These provisions overlap, and are internally inconsistent in certain respects.

I have no doubt that for learned colleagues who are lawyers, that language is crystal clear, but not so much for the rest of us.

I then presented to the House a quote from Mr. Bumble of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, which reads as follows:

If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass...

I hear one of my colleagues say that it really should be “an ass.” That is the natural way to say it, but given that I was quoting, I wanted to use the exact quote as I would not want to wrong Mr. Dickens after all these years. Although that is the direct quote, there is more to it, but I thought that was the most apropos. It is a relatively well-known expression when we find ourselves in a situation that seems perfectly logical, but when we look at the law from a legal point of view it looks completely different. Therefore, we often hear people say that the law is “an ass”. It is a reference to this famous works.

The reason I brought that forward was to try to illustrate the situation that Mr. Chen found himself in when he believed he was defending his property. It is a fundamental right that people have. He believed the actions he took did not cross any legal lines. He thought he was well within his rights to do what he did to assist in apprehending someone who was stealing from his business.

Mr. Chen was initially charged with kidnapping, carrying a dangerous weapon, assault and forceable confinement. However, the kidnapping and weapons charges were dropped, but the serious charges of forceable confinement and assault were proceeded with. He was acquitted of those charges.

Although we recognize that changing laws based on one case and one instance is an area that we need to be very careful of, in this case it illustrates to us that this place and the system can work. Mr. Chen was found innocent and the guilty person was found guilty and served a sentence. Now we are in the process of changing the law so the Mr. Chens of the future will not find themselves in the horrific legal position in which he found himself.

Therefore, all in all it worked out. Hopefully, this will improve our Criminal Code and will bring more justice to Canadians.

I thank all those who worked so hard to get us to the point where the official opposition is comfortable in supporting a bill that amends the Criminal Code and that actually helps people, as opposed to the spin we get from the government on its law and order agenda. Therefore, We are very pleased to support the bill.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this bill has fairly widespread support, whether from the Liberals, New Democrats or the Conservatives. One of the most important aspects of the bill is that there has to be some sort of educational component to it. Using citizen's arrest as an example, in particular areas, such as some of the commercial streets where there are a lot of restaurants and a greater likelihood of robberies and things of that nature taking place, it is important to make sure that citizens understand what they should do in order to make citizen's arrests. I wonder if the member might comment on that aspect.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act
Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. I mentioned in my remarks yesterday that one of the concerns is that in clarifying the legislation, we may inadvertently incent the notion of vigilantism and that is something we do not want to do. I appreciate very much that the member has also focused on the important balancing act within the law and the need to balance the right of citizens to engage in citizen's arrests when the circumstances warrant, but that it does not get out of hand. We know where that could lead us. The notion of an educational component to advise citizens what their rights are under similar circumstances makes a great deal of sense. I hope that will be part of the follow-up to the bill passing this place.