Mr. Speaker, for two days in a row I have had the pleasure to reflect on Bill C-65 and now Bill C-64. The government claims these bills to be representative of what Mr. Cadman, the former hon. member for Surrey, was trying to accomplish during his tour here.
As I said yesterday with respect to Bill C-65, Bill C-64 has been altered with a few words that reflect the mushy, soft on crime Liberal attitude. The bill probably will be supported by my friends to the left, the softy Bloc. The Liberals have watered down both bills because they appear to be too harsh for their souls to comprehend.
Many years ago Mr. Cadman recognized how serious auto theft had become. It is a major problem in many cities all across Canada. Close to 200,000 vehicles are stolen every year. This bill is supposed to make it an offence to alter, or remove, or obliterate vehicle identification numbers, or VIN, on motor vehicles. That was the purpose of Chuck Cadman's private member's bill, which he presented quite some time ago in the House. However, in the opinion of the Liberal government and other softies in here who support being soft on crime, the bill was too harsh.
The government has taken Chuck's bill and added a few words. Section 377.1 states, “everyone commits an offence who wholly or partially alters, removes, or obliterates a vehicle identification number on a motor vehicle without lawful excuse”. Chuck Cadman's bill would have made the onus on the person indicted. It would not be up to the Crown to try to justify the altering of the VIN in any way, shape or form.
The government added, “and under circumstances that give rise to reasonable inference that the person did so to conceal the identity of a motor vehicle”. That sentence destroys the entire purpose of Chuck Cadman's private member's bill. It has changed his bill completely, even to the point that a number of people who were very supportive of his initial bill are not supportive of this one.
Members of Chuck's family and his campaign team back in Surrey are livid with Bill C-64. I understand that letters have been written by the campaign chairman of his committee to editors of various newspapers. Those people are livid that the government would dare change these things, water down the bills and say that Bill C-64 is in memory of Chuck Cadman. By making these alterations, the government has strongly dishonoured his memory by saying that this is Chuck Cadman's bill when in fact it is not.
It is pretty clear in people's minds that Bill C-64 will put the onus on the Crown to prove someone caught with an altered VIN intended to conceal the identity of a motor vehicle rather than to explain themselves, which was Mr. Cadman's original intention. That is a very strong point.
I was here during Mr. Cadman's tenure. Over the years Chuck fought so hard for these kinds of bills and amendments. The government consistently rejected any form of mandatory licence prohibitions similar to the type that Chuck constantly proposed.
The government ignored the recommendations related to VINs. It ignored the recommendations related to street racing. It continued to soft pedal on all of these efforts to confront crime. Mr. Cadman was definitely committed to seeing that crime fighting efforts were made law in this great country to bring more emphasis to the value of victims rather than constantly seeing perpetrators receive a lot more attention.
Today in question period even the answer that I received regarding the constant idea that the rights of perpetrators seemed to override the rights of victims in all cases indicated that there was an imbalance and that there were efforts to do something about it. When a bill on some very stringent issues regarding Chuck Cadman's ideas is watered down, that is just the opposite. Once again the focus is on the predator and not the victim. The government needs to wake up and realize that is the case.
What is even more disturbing is if this bill were amended, if it passed and became law, where would it go next?. I am really disgusted when I look at some of the things that have happened in regard to decisions that are made in the House of Commons. Let me provide some short examples.
Last week, while visiting my constituents in my riding, I ran across three people who were suffering from hepatitis C. One of them does not have very long to live. I believe some time around April the House concurred in a motion put forward by our health critic, the member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia, that would implement the recommendation in the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Health that called for compensation to all victims of hepatitis C. It was passed in the House and all victims of hepatitis C were to receive compensation.
When these three people asked me when they would get their money, I was shocked. I knew it had been approved long ago by this place. What is going on? The House of Commons made a decision that all hepatitis C victims would be compensated, yet to this date they have not been. In other words, the government of the day is refusing to take any action. It is ignoring the decision of the House.
Let me talk further about that to illustrate my worry about these kinds of bills that may pass, and even if they are amended, but do not go anywhere.
Bill C-2, the child exploitation act, has been approved by the House of Commons. It has gone where it is supposed to go. It is supposed to be implemented and become law. This is about child exploitation. Where is it? It is my understanding it is still sitting on the Prime Minister's desk and is not going anywhere. The House of Commons passed that law and it is supposed to happen. Why has it not?
We need answers to these kinds of questions. The decision on hepatitis C was unanimous. Nobody voted against it. Everybody in this place was in favour of giving the victims of hepatitis C a cheque. Today they still have not received them, and I would like to know why. After eight months, the government cannot achieve that? Are the Liberals waiting for everybody to die and then they will not have to bother with it? That is extremely disturbing.
On November 30, 2004, the House approved another motion by the leader of our party which called upon the government to take appropriate measures to sell 11,000 acres of arable land back to the families and farmers whose lands were expropriated to build the Mirabel airport. Guess what? The government has refused to comply with the wishes of the House. It has not done that.
On April 5 the House adopted a motion by the member for Red Deer, concurring in a committee report disqualifying Glen Murray's appointment as chairman of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Today, Mr. Murray still continues to chair the round table. Once again, the government completely ignored the decision of the House of Commons.
On February 15, Bill C-31 and Bill C-32 were defeated in the House of Commons. The trade minister shrugged off the defeat of these two bills that would create a new international trade department separate from the Department of Foreign Affairs. He said that the two branches of government would continue to operate independently, even though Parliament did not give its blessing to do so. Even though they were defeated, the two bills were implemented. I find this amazing. Bills that are defeated are implemented and bills that are passed are not, because they do not suit the attitude on that side of the House.
Bill C-2 on child exploitation was approved and is laying dormant. Will the Liberals get on with it? Is it too harsh? It might be.
I was at committee on Tuesday and one of the witnesses was from the justice department. Guess what one of his statements was when the department objected to a private member's bill, which had been brought forward by my colleague, regarding the penalties for the use of a gun in the commission of a crime? What did the official of the justice department say loud and clear? The bill was opposed because it was cruel and undue punishment. The punishment was too severe for people who would dare break the law in the commission of a crime using a gun. Yet the victims of these crimes never get to cry out about the harsh impacts on their lives from the actions of these perpetrators.
There is way too much of that going on, and it is no wonder. Every time a bill is brought in like Bill C-64, the outfit over there has to water it down because it is too harsh on the perpetrator. Never mind the guys who lose their cars to theft. Let us not get too harsh on those who steal them. How nonsensical can they get? Common sense does not prevail anywhere in the House of Commons. Decisions do not prevail in the House of Commons. It does not matter whether a motion passes, it does not get done.
I do not know if members would like more examples, but I have a ton of them, examples where the Liberals refuse to accept the decisions of the House. I do not know contemptible they can get.
Our health critic also had a motion in regard to the funding required to fight cancer and a few of the other serious diseases we are facing. He introduced a motion calling on the government to fully fund and implement a Canadian strategy for cancer control in collaboration with the provinces and all stakeholders. That was approved by the House, but there has been no action. Nothing is happening. The government refuses to give any effect to the motion. Why?
I am glad to see two or three Liberals here. I hope they are listening closely. Do they know of all the decisions that they took part in making but are not being done? Do they not care about the fact that hepatitis C victims are not being compensated, even though those people over there had a voice in that and voted yes to having it done? Does it not bother those members a little bit that people living in their ridings who have hepatitis C are not being compensated? Are they not bothered that the House is being ignored by whatever little group of individuals who do not care about decisions made here and that they will do it anyway?
Does it not bother those members that two bills designed to split a department were defeated and yet the government went ahead and created the two departments? Does it not bother those members the slightest little bit that these undemocratic, dictatorial decisions are going on right under their noses? Does it not make them squirm in their seats just a wee bit? If it does not, then it ought to make it really hot to sit in those seats. It is absolutely shameful.
And to hear the answer to my question today, that the government realizes there is an imbalance in our law and order and fighting of crime. That was the government's own admission in the answer. Why are we not doing something about it? We have an opportunity to get tough on crime. When we have a chance to get tough on street racing as Mr. Cadman wished, on the stealing of automobiles and the removing of VINs, why do we not do it?
When the Liberals make a statement that there is an imbalance, why does more favour always go toward the predators rather than the victims? This is constantly happening. When they make those statements, why do they allow it? Why do they want to amend those bills to make that happen again?
Why do the Liberals not fess up and look to the people in their ridings? How many people in their ridings are happy that we have a law in the land which says that adult men can have sex with 14-year-old girls? How many people in their ridings are happy about that? About 99% of the people in my riding are not happy about that at all, but that is the law and there is not the courage to change it because somebody over there does not want it to happen. Some soft, mushy idealist over there says that it would be too harsh, that we could not do it because it would make it difficult for those adult men who like to prey on young women who are kids. Like it or not, 14 year olds and 15 year olds are still kids. They are young girls just coming to the point of life where they can enjoy things, yet we dare allow the possibility of endangering them.
I know that questions are going to come up after this speech but boy, I would like some answers to come out of the mouths of those people over there before they ask the questions. I would like them to explain to me why they do not honour democracy, that when a decision is made in the House it is done. If they doubt it, I will give them a copy of the 14 things I know about that have been decided on but which have not been accomplished. They could take it up in the Liberal caucus if they wanted to, but it would not make any difference because they are puppets of a regime that refuses to honour the decisions of the House. That is what has to stop.
Then above all things, the most absolutely ridiculous, the most undemocratic decision I have ever heard of was to stifle the opposition by coming back in the fall and saying that there will be no opposition days. What a shameful, undemocratic disgrace the government brings to the House of Commons.
The Liberals ought to be apologizing to their constituents on a daily basis for their inaction on decisions made here and for their unwillingness to come down hard on criminals and help victims to a larger degree than they ever imagined. That is what a Conservative government would do and I would love to be part of that.