An Act to amend the Nuclear Energy Act (change of responsible minister)

This bill was last introduced in the 38th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in November 2005.

Sponsor

Dave Chatters  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of Feb. 23, 2005
(This bill did not become law.)

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 20th, 2005 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to debate this issue today. It certainly is timely in my case.

The distinguished member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl a minute ago referred to the crime situation as a run away rampant situation in cities. I represent an entirely rural riding in Nova Scotia. We have seen an incredible increase in vandalism, minor crimes, repeat offences, issues that make people's lives miserable. It prevents them from enjoying their own properties, and they feel insecure in their homes. I feel this.

I have been here for quite a while. I did not feel this until just within the last two years. It is coming to my riding and if it is there, it is everywhere.

However, I want to speak to Bill C-65 today and acknowledge the contribution that Chuck Cadman made on these issues. He had several issues of which he was a tireless supporter, always in the interest of other people's security and safety. He brought this concept to the House through two bills, Bill C-338 and Bill C-230. One was on misidentification of VIN numbers on vehicles a crime and the other was on street racing. At the time the Liberals opposed these bills, making all kinds of statements about them. They blew them away and said they were not appropriate.

I have a quote from the minister of justice at the time, Martin Cauchon, who in speaking to Mr. Cadman said:

Your proposed bill would result in a mandatory driving prohibition....As you are aware, the Canadian criminal justice system is premised on the notion that sentences should be individualized for each offender... Research indicates that mandatory minimum penalties do not work from the point of general deterrence and recidivism.

That is exactly what we need. The other part that has been watered down in Bill C-65, as compared to Chuck's bill, is the penalty for repeat offenders.

In a recent incident in Halifax, a young woman was killed and the driver of the car had something like 15 or 20 outstanding offences. Despite repeated offences, he still drove and he was the cause of a fatal accident. It has had a profound impact on the community. Bills like those proposed by Chuck Cadman, not like this one, would have helped prevent that.

I want to go into other issues that affect my riding in northern Nova Scotia. As I mentioned, we have seen an increase in criminal activity such as theft, vandalism, damage, cars stolen and break-ins. I want to go through three little communities in my riding that have experienced virtual crime waves for the first time in their history.

I went to a meeting in a community hall in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia about a month ago, and 80 people attended. I could not believe the stories of vandalism, theft and break-ins. I could not believe the number of people who now were scared to stay in their own homes. I also could not believe the fact that they would call the police and there was no response. Most of these people know many of the criminals and they are already on the list of offenders. However, because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, they are repeat offenders and the police have very few tools to rein in these criminals.

Stewiacke has a lack of RCMP officers now, although they used to be present. I then found out their building had been shut down because of a mould problem and nobody had done anything to resurrect the building so Stewiacke lost its RCMP presence. I raised it in the House and as a result of that, a temporary building is under construction now. Now Stewiacke will have a building and hopefully an RCMP presence to deal with these issues.

The Liberals seem to be turning the other way on all these criminal justice issues.They do not seem to be interested. It is puzzling to us why they do not care and why they allow these issues to go on and on.

Earlier this year we had an issue in Truro. It was rumoured that the northeast drug section, the most successful drug enforcement operation in the region, was to be shut down. We raised the issue in the House and I think we slowed it down and perhaps stopped the elimination of the drug enforcement section. However because the RCMP officers have been moved around it is hard to tell whether they are there or not. However senior RCMP officials have told us that they do not have the number of officers they need to provide the minimum level of law enforcement in Nova Scotia.

The other thing that came out was that when they do have a number of officers and one goes on maternity leave or sick leave, there is no allowance for the replacement of those officers. Therefore, even though they can show an allotment of officers on duty and available, they are not really there. This is another issue we raised in the House and hopefully the Solicitor General or the Attorney General will deal with this.

Another small community in my riding is Debert. We have had all kinds of vandalism there. People are afraid to go out on the streets. They are afraid for their homes and businesses because of the buildings that have been burned. They are afraid of property damage. They are afraid of threats and intimidation. The RCMP came back and reported to us that they do not have enough manpower to have the RCMP presence there to deal with these issues. They tell us that they do not have the types of vehicles they need to apprehend the criminals. They tell us that they just do not have the equipment or the people.

This is not just about street racing. It is a whole attitude on behalf of the Liberals, and I do not understand it. They are looking the other way. They do not care about these issues which are going to grow and grow, as street racing is in my riding, and then soon, hopefully, they will deal with the issues. However if they do not, we will.

Street racing is a growing issue and it is right across the country but it is not just about street racing. It is the lack of RCMP officers and the support they have. The government does not give them the support or the resources they need to hire replacement officers and new officers when they are needed. They do not have the money for the proper facilities. Stewiacke has a perfectly good building but it is empty because it cannot be maintained. People in Stewiacke are demanding that the Youth Criminal Justice Act be strengthened and that stiffer sentences for repeat offenders be applied.

This is exactly where the bill falls flat. It does not allow for stiffer sentences for repeat offenders and that is the single biggest reason why I will not be supporting the bill.

Yesterday almost all of our questions were on justice issues. It was amazing to hear the number of issues that come up around the country. We represent the whole country and everybody is experiencing these problems. We heard no answers and there was no indication that the Liberals want to deal with these issues. They are turning a blind eye to this issue and it will come back to haunt us all if we do not address it.

The RCMP needs the tools to work with. The justice system needs the tools to work with. The youth justice system needs to be strengthened. Certain crimes need mandatory sentences, as we have advocated for years. This is not just about one or two little issues. This is a whole attitude toward justice and it must be increased and strengthened.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 20th, 2005 / 1:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was interested in the questions by the member for Northumberland. I am not questioning his sincerity, but what he has tried to do is deflect the issue and in effect confuse and diffuse the issue. He has missed the main point about which we are concerned.

I think that everybody understands that Bill C-65 is the act to amend the Criminal Code to include street racing and also to make an amendment to another act. What the proposed bill will do is amend the Criminal Code by defining street racing and by specifically identifying the involvement in street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing for a number of offences. Those offences would include: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death; criminal negligence causing bodily harm; and criminal negligence causing death. It also provides for a mandatory driving prohibition order if street racing is found to be involved in one of these other factors.

We want to see this type of prohibition, but the Liberals are stopping short of what they are trying to convince the public is being done. We need to look at the history. This bill is something that was championed by a number of people in the House, but chiefly by the recently deceased member, Chuck Cadman. He had been attempting to legislate changes to the street racing provisions since December 2002. Previous versions of the bill also included Bill C-338 and Bill C-230, for those who want to explore and do some research into the background on this.

What is important is the government for years refused to accept the premise of what Mr. Cadman and others were asking for, and that was that there should be some minimum mandatory sentencing if street racing were an aggravating factor. There is no question that the whole issue of street racing seems to be a growing problem. It involves absolute disregard for the life, safety and security of other people. Our citizens across the country are asking that something be done about this.

As much as I appreciate the half step being taken, once again it is only under extreme public reaction and sustained anger over a long period of time that the federal Liberals seem to get it and want to respond. That is a constant frustration in the House, with so much legislation that is common sense, that is needed by people and that is protective of them. Unless the Liberals see in the polls that it will affect some votes, they are very reluctant to move on principle. It is always on politics and that has been a frustrating part of the progress of this. Chuck Cadman was frustrated by this lack of progress for a long time.

We understand that there may have been some background discussion, that the Liberal ministers or others in their camp may have had discussions with Mr. Cadman prior to his decease and gave him some kind of reassurance that what he had asked for,over a number of years would be granted. That may have helped Mr. Cadman in some of the decisions he was making at the time or it may not, I do not know. The Liberals only moved on this as they saw extreme anger and public reaction over a sustained period of time and the possibility of winning support for this and other votes. That is what has been frustrating.

They are pretending that this bill is everything Mr. Cadman, and others who wanted to see this progress, wanted. In fact, it is not. It falls short. It does include street racing as an aggravating factor for sentencing, but it totally ignores the very serious area of repeat offenders. The aspect of repeat offenders was an essential part of what Mr. Cadman wanted to see happen

Why are the Liberals so reluctant to get tough on crime or to get serious about serious crime? Why are they so reluctant to deal with minimum mandatory sentencing? Sometimes when we use that phrase, it can sound like we are saying a certain very serious and grievous crime deserves a minimum sentence. We do not mean to minimize it. We are saying that in many cases the judiciary has too much discretion when it comes to sentencing and too often the judges will not apply any kind of sentence to a grievous and serious crime. Therefore, it does not serve as a deterrent.

The problem, philosophically, is liberals have a great struggle in terms of their view of human nature to accept that there are times when a very serious crime deserves very serious time. Liberals tend to diminish personal responsibility when it comes to crime. They tend to say that since we are all basically born good, the only reason anybody does any bad things is because they are influenced by society, or by their mothers or fathers or by some other extraneous force. When liberal philosophy does not in general accept that there can be personal responsibility, especially when it comes to serious crime, then they are greatly reluctant to assign any imprisonment or so-called punishment to that. They say that it was not that person's fault, that they were influenced by society, or by their parents or by the car manufacturer, the car was too fancy or too fast.

We are talking about minimum mandatory sentencing for this type of serious crime or others. We constantly raise the issue of serious repeat offenders in the House. We know repeat offenders perpetrate most of the crime. We have to deal with them. Repeat offenders have to be deterred by knowing there will be a serious mandatory sentence, one that a judge cannot get around. If it does not work as a deterrent and they go ahead and repeat the crime, then at the very least they are off the streets for awhile and society is protected.

That is a clear philosophical difference between liberal thinking and conservative thinking. People have to take responsibility for their actions and that actions bring consequences. Sometimes those consequences are not pleasant, but the consequences of seeing innocent people maimed, injured or killed by irresponsible street racers are serious and must be met with serious offences and imprisonment for repeat offenders. The philosophical problem we deal with all is this liberal thinking.

We ask people to recognize that this bill is like so many areas where Liberals philosophically in their heart of hearts disagree with it, they do not like it and it makes them feel all queasy. When they see the population wants the particular law because it makes sense, they have this internal battle between feeling all queasy about demanding responsibility and consequences and the possibility of losing votes. They think about how they can capture some votes and at the same how they can ease off the queasy feeling inside them. Because they like to feel squishy rather than queasy, they take a half step, thinking that will ease the pressure. They will do it today. They will stand and say that they have the mandatory provision in the bill. They will say “There, all you vengeful people, we will put that person in jail for awhile”. It has nothing to do with revenge. It has to do with common sense, consequences and people taking responsibility for their actions.

We are asking the Liberals to take responsibility for their actions. They made a commitment to follow through on a commitment that was made to Chuck Cadman. As Mr. Cadman was representing a majority of citizens on this issue, it is a commitment to the citizens. The Liberals said that they would do something, but they have not done it. We are asking them to put in the mandatory provisions for serious repeat offenders. Do the right thing is all we are asking.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 20th, 2005 / 1:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure today to speak to Bill C-65 on behalf of my constituents of Fundy Royal.

Unfortunately the bill is held out to be an adoption of Mr. Chuck Cadman's previous private member's bills, Bill C-338 and Bill C-230, which he had been trying for years to get through the House. They were common sense legislation that would protect Canadians and innocent bystanders and make our streets safer for everyone.

However, in typical Liberal fashion, the government dragged its heels for too long, and now, insultingly, once again it is offering too little too late.

From the outset, I would like to state that this bill is flawed and inadequate. Countless people have suffered from street racing while the government did nothing. Now the government is responding, but it is responding with a typical Liberal half-baked measure.

It reminds me of a couple of other issues related to the administration of justice, which I will touch on very quickly. One is the sex offender registry. As my colleagues know, victims' groups, the police and the provinces have been calling for a national sex offender registry for years. Unfortunately, the party opposite was ideologically opposed to such a move.

When public pressure became overwhelming in regard to the fact that the protection of children outweighed any privacy rights that sex offenders might have, the government did come up with proposed legislation for a sex offender registry. It was unfortunate and ironic what the bill did in regard to the registry. People were shocked to find out that the registry was not retroactive, which meant that all of the convicted sex offenders and people who had victimized children in the past would not be included in the registry.

It left countless Canadians wondering what was the point of having a registry if it was empty, if it was a blank sheet of paper, if we had to start from scratch when we already had all this information and could protect Canadians. There was a model in Ontario that we could have followed. Ontario had a retroactive registry.

Once again, in a wishy-washy method that was designed to pander to their own ideological bent, the Liberals could not stomach having an effective registry, but because of public pressure they had to come up with something.

The other example is Bill C-2, the child protection legislation. We see this same pattern. They call something “child protection legislation” so that it sounds like a bread and butter issue. It sounds good. We are all interested in protecting children, but what we are left with in Bill C-2 is a hollow shell. We are left with loopholes that people who victimize children could drive a truck through, loopholes that the defence and the bar associations across the country will have a field day with. It is not effective. It is not precise. It does not protect children. It does not go beyond where we are today with our current legislation.

The party opposite suggests that just by throwing a name out there and saying that something is a sex offender registry or child protection legislation or, in this case, a street racing bill, somehow Canadians will be fooled into thinking the government is taking some substantive actions.

Originally Mr. Cadman's bills were tabled to address the rise in street racing. The police tell us that the practice of street racing is becoming increasingly dangerous across the country. It begs the question, then, why now? Why is the government finally wanting to take on the appearance of action? Why was something not done in the past when Mr. Cadman was introducing private member's bills that would have addressed this very issue?

It is important to note the government's earlier response to Mr. Cadman. What was it saying in the past? The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said:

Unless there is some compelling reason to specify that certain circumstances are aggravating it is better not to multiply the instances where the Criminal Code spells out that a particular way of committing the offence will be an aggravating factor. In my view, we are not seeing any such reason emerging from decisions of the trial courts and the appeal courts with regard to the four offences when street racing is a part of the circumstances of these offences.

There was a reluctance to adopt Mr. Cadman's bill. There was an effort to downplay it, to make it sound like it was not going to be effective. The Minister of Justice said, “Your proposed bill would result in a mandatory driving prohibition”.

That is what the bill called for: a mandatory driving prohibition.

The minister went on to say:

As you are aware, the Canadian criminal justice system is premised on the notion that sentences should be individualized for each offender...Research indicates that mandatory minimum penalties do not work from the point of general deterrence and recidivism.

This is the same line that we hear from the current Minister of Justice. We heard it as recently as yesterday in a response to a question. The Minister of Justice stated that mandatory minimum sentences do not work, yet we see that in other jurisdictions they are effective for serious offences. The Minister of Justice and the government are for some reason ideologically opposed to providing concrete protections for law-abiding citizens and to protecting the innocent in society.

It has been three years since Mr. Cadman first tabled his bills. All along, the government refused to support the legislation because it called for mandatory minimum driving prohibitions and increased the punishment for repeat offenders.

We could ask any Canadian if it makes sense that if someone is a repeat offender there should be an increase in the punishment. If someone is showing signs of recidivism, of being a repeat offender, should there be an increase in the punishment? The average thinking Canadian would say, “Absolutely. That makes sense”. When someone is a more serious offender, there should be a more serious consequence to the offence, yet in the past the government refused to support this legislation. I am pleased to say that the Conservatives have consistently supported these measures.

Bill C-65 proposes to amend the Criminal Code by defining street racing and by specifically identifying involvement in street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing. That makes sense. The following offences are listed: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death; criminal negligence causing bodily harm; and criminal negligence causing death.

Bill C-65 also provides for mandatory driving prohibition orders if street racing is found to be involved in one of those offences.

There we go. On the one hand, yesterday the minister stated that mandatory sentences do not work, yet in an effort to appease Canadians when there is public pressure for something, the party on the other side will do whatever it takes to appease people. So what do we see included in this bill? We see a measure that I support. There is the mandatory driving prohibition, but again it is a half measure because there is no increase for repeat offenders.

There is an irony in debating this bill today, which has the mandatory provision, when we remember that the Minister of Justice stood up yesterday and said in a blustery way that he was opposed to mandatory minimum sentences because they do not work. It just does not make sense.

Despite the positives, and there are some positives in this proposed bill, it is important to note, as I mentioned, that without serious penalties for serious crimes those crimes are going to continue. There will be no effect.

It is important to remind Canadians that in this legislation the severity of the punishment does not increase for repeat offenders. That was an essential aspect of the proposals in Mr. Cadman's original private member's bills. His bills proposed that for subsequent serious offenders there would be more serious consequences.

Bill C-65 is a half measure. After years of the government dragging its feet and speaking out against Mr. Cadman's private member's bills, it has introduced a half measure. It is a half measure that I cannot support.

We should honour the original intent of these bills, which would have been effective and would have provided serious consequences for those people who are serious offenders. We need to have some common sense amendments to this bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 20th, 2005 / 1 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Newton--North Delta to participate in the debate on Bill C-65, an act to amend the Criminal Code with respect to street racing.

Bill C-65 defines street racing as “operating a motor vehicle in a race with another motor vehicle on a street, road, highway or other public place”. Under the proposed legislation, street racing would be an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes in causing death or bodily harm by criminal negligence or by dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. A street racing offender, when convicted of these offences, would face a mandatory prohibition against operating a motor vehicle on any street from one to ten years and would follow the prison sentence. Currently, offenders face discretionary driving prohibitions if convicted of the above-mentioned offences.

Street racing has been a growing problem in British Columbia's lower mainland and has resulted in numerous high profile tragedies that have caused considerable public outcry.

In June 2000, Cliff Kwok Kei Tang, 28 years old, hit and killed pedestrian Jerry Kithithee, racing a Porsche at approximately 150 kilometres per hour.

In November 2000, Sukhvir Khosa and Bahadur Bhalru lost control of their Camaros while racing at an estimate speed of 140 kilometres an hour, and hit and killed Irene Thorpe on the sidewalk of Marine Drive in Vancouver. Both were given two-year conditional sentences rather than jail time and later Bhalru was deported.

In September 2002, Yau Chun Stuart Chan ran a red light at a Richmond intersection in his speeding Honda sports car and t-boned RCMP Constable Jimmy Ng's police cruiser. The force of the crash sent the 32-year-old constable through the back window of his vehicle, killing him instantly.

In May 2003, another street racer, Ali Arimi, was handed a conditional sentence after being found guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

In March 2004 in Surrey, an 18-year-old lost control of his muscle car at an estimated speed of 140 kilometres per hour. He demolished a bus shelter, critically injuring a 71-year-old woman. Another car was spotted fleeing from the scene.

Those were just a few examples of the many sad stories that have resulted from young people racing on the streets of the lower mainland. In recent years, these speeding cars have claimed nearly 30 known victims. People are outraged, not only by the crime but also by the lenient sentences handed out to the guilty.

Many of us in British Columbia, like my former colleague and neighbouring member of Parliament, the late Chuck Cadman, were outraged at the light sentences given to street racers. Street racing can be compared to waving a loaded gun around while blindfolded and squeezing off shots at random without any regard for other people or property.

Chuck Cadman introduced two bills, Bill C-338 and Bill C-230, dealing with street racing, neither of which went beyond committee stage. The bills were intended to prevent street racing by sending a clear message that those who endanger the public will face serious and long term consequences. As is usually the case, the government was not interested in supporting an opposition MP's bill when Mr. Cadman was a Conservative.

Almost two years ago, in October 2003, when Bill C-338 was debated at second reading, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice spoke in opposition. He claimed that the bill was inadvisable and said that if a court imposes a long period of imprisonment, the court may believe there is no need to have the offender prohibited from driving. The offender will have been off the streets and away from the wheel for a long time.

The problem with the parliamentary secretary's logic is that no one has ever received long jail terms for convictions resulting from street racing. Often house arrest is being used for street racers who kill or injure people.

The government has now turned an about face on Mr. Cadman's street racing bills. This should come as no surprise to members and to the public watching. After refusing to support my bills to protect firefighters and whistleblowers and to recognize international credentials, the government stole my concepts, introduced them in its name and started supporting them. First it criticizes an opposition bill and then it steals its concept, messes with it and then makes it a considerably weaker bill.

Bill C-65, the proposed legislation before us, is a neutered version of Mr. Cadman's past bills. Although it provides for mandatory driving prohibition and the inclusion of street racing in aggravating factors for sentencing, it fails to include the clauses on repeat offenders, which was an essential part of Mr. Cadman's bill.

Amendments to the bill should include reinstating Mr. Cadman's increasing scale punishment clauses replace subsections (a) and (b) in section 259(2.1) with the following:

(a) for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year;

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), for life;

(c) for a second offence, if neither of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years; and

(d) for each subsequent offence, if none of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment.

Illegal street racing terrorizes our neighbourhoods and kills innocent people. We must put a stop to it. Doing so will require work by all levels of government. Part of the solution may lie in increased impound fees for vehicles involved in street racing; the prosecution of street racing spectators, as has been done in the U.S.; traffic calming mechanisms; and the confiscation of vehicles after multiple violations.

The federal government, in particular, should provide more funding to the RCMP to increase enforcement and allow for the use of high tech surveillance. We must also have laws with teeth that provide a real deterrence to street racers, and steps should be taken to ensure that sentences are actually served.

When will the government realize that people who commit violent crimes should serve real time, not at home but in a prison where criminals will understand the magnitude of their crimes.

The B.C. government is already taking steps to clamp down on street racing. B.C. police seized 60 vehicles and suspended 180 driver licences. The B.C. government is doing its part. It is now time for this weak, Liberal federal government to do the same.

It is time to get tough on street racing. Street racing is something that is absolutely unacceptable and we should have zero tolerance for it. The Conservative Party supports the mandatory minimum prohibition on driving for street racing offenders and the placement of street racing as an aggravating offence.

The Conservative Party has consistently supported the efforts of Chuck Cadman in tackling this issue by supporting him on his bill. The Liberals, on the other hand, did not support his bill when he was a caucus member of the Canadian Alliance and the Conservative Party. They only decided to support legislation after Mr. Cadman voted to save the Liberal government in a confidence vote on May 19.

Bill C-65 is a step in the right direction but the government should honour Mr. Cadman's memory by amending the proposed legislation to more accurately reflect the true intentions of the bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 5:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I count it a great privilege to stand and speak to Bill C-65. The reason in particular is the way the bill has been characterized as being a tribute to Chuck Cadman. Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely false, totally false.

I had the privilege last Saturday of visiting very briefly with Donna Cadman, Chuck's wife. We did not discuss the bill, although I know she is familiar with the reasons that our party is having a tremendous amount of difficulty with the bill. I count myself as having been exceptionally privileged as having become a friend of Chuck's and I take great offence when I hear the justice minister of Canada referring to this bill as a tribute to my friend, Chuck Cadman.

I was also rather perplexed when I heard just a few minutes ago a member of the NDP refer to this bill as the essence of what he proposed. Well, the smell of a skunk is the essence of perfume, but it does not have anything to do with anything pleasant or anything related to what we would normally think of in terms of a perfume.

Bill C-65 as far as it goes is fine, but the next thing I can visualize is that the Liberals in a dishonest approach will say, “The Conservatives are not really serious about this issue. They would not even back the memory of Chuck Cadman. Look at what they are doing. They are going to be voting against the bill. It is the essence of Chuck Cadman”. It is not the essence of Chuck Cadman.

Chuck Cadman understood that while some of the parts of the bill are essential, truly the devil is in the details. Chuck Cadman had been attempting to legislate changes to street racing provisions since 2002. As some of my colleagues pointed out, again and again Chuck Cadman was rebuffed not only in this chamber, not only with the rejection of his bills, but also at the justice committee. He was constantly rebuffed by the Liberals.

I do recall at Chuck's funeral, and it was a fitting tribute to a very special man, that the minister related that in jest Chuck said that he had voted with the Liberals on the confidence motion and wondered if God would not be pleased. He said it in jest, but he worked constantly throughout his honourable time in this institution to try to bring some real change to justice. He worked honourably against the Liberals who were constantly opposed to him because they refused to do what was absolutely necessary to bring justice back to our justice system.

Currently we have a legal system in Canada, not a justice system. Chuck Cadman worked to that end.

Previous versions of the bill include Bill C-338 and Bill C-230. The government had refused to support the legislation because it called for mandatory minimum driving prohibitions and increased punishment for repeat offenders.

The Liberals are so soft on crime that they are constantly creating revolving doors. They are constantly looking to make sure that the person who has committed the crime is treated with kid gloves while the victims' families can go hang. That is a bad attitude. That is a wrong attitude. It is an attitude that the people of Surrey North, the people of Surrey, the people of British Columbia and indeed the people of Canada reject of the Liberals, that they are constantly so soft on crime.

We constantly supported the measures that Chuck Cadman brought forward. I recall a gentleman when Chuck initially came to the House of Commons, Larry Park. Larry was Chuck's legislative assistant. Larry was as committed as Chuck to these amendments to the Criminal Code. Larry and Chuck would work for hour after hour, weekend after weekend. I am sure that Donna must have wondered if she had become a widow with the amount of dedication that Larry and Chuck had to bringing these things forward.

If I am speaking with some emotion today it comes from the well of emotion that I have within me to say that this is not Chuck Cadman's bill. It reminds me an awful lot of an event that actually happened during the U.S. presidential election. George Bush's running mate was Dan Quail. When he tried to play down his youth in the vice-presidential debate by pointing out that he had as much experience as Jack Kennedy when he ran for president in 1960, his opponent, Lloyd Bentsen, pounced and said, “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy”.

I say to the justice minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, you are no Chuck Cadman, you do not understand, you just do not understand.

We want to make the following amendments. They cannot be made at this particular stage but we will be proposing them on the assumption that the Liberals will be supported yet again by the NDP for this bill to move forward.

We will be making the following amendments: for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year; for a second and subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), for life; for a second offence, if neither of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years; and, for each subsequent offence, if none of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment.

For the people who are reading this text, other than lawyers, for people who may be watching these proceedings on television right now, that sounds like an awful lot of detail. However, as I said earlier, the devil is in the detail. This is the detail that Chuck Cadman would have had in this bill.

I say again that the Minister of Justice of Canada is misleading Canadians and is misleading the House. It is regrettable that the NDP has fallen into the trap of his misleading when he tries to say that this is Chuck Cadman's bill. Chuck Cadman was a friend of mine and this is not his bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Kootenay—Columbia.

I would like to take all members of the House back to a place in my riding. It is the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Laity Street. If we had been there on Monday morning, February 28, we would have seen a man wandering in a dazed condition, aimlessly it would seem, in a state of disbelief they tell me. It was an accident scene and he was approaching reporters and people standing by wanting information. He was asking for details because earlier that morning he had received a call from the RCMP, that call that we all live in fear of, that said that his 23-year-old son had been killed in a car accident. He went to the scene to see what he could learn.

The investigation later would reveal that at 10 p.m. the night before his son was the passenger in a green Honda Del Sol driven by his 22-year-old friend. This car and a silver sports car were speeding, racing eastbound on Lougheed Highway. Shortly after it went through the intersection at Laity Street, it lost control and swerved to the left into the westbound lane and hit a Ford Taurus station wagon killing the 45-year-old woman who was driving and seriously injuring her passenger. The two young men also died at the scene.

In that moment for many, the world was forever changed. Two young men with goals and dreams, and by all accounts good kids, died in a moment of recklessness leaving behind broken-hearted families and grieving friends, and 17 and 21-year-old sons of the 45-year-old mother. The driver of the silver sports car, who by all accounts stopped, backed up, took a look at the scene, then raced off and has not been seen since. A community is forever changed when it experiences such a tragedy.

Of course we could go to other places as well. In October 2004, in Maple Ridge, there were two racing motorcyclists. One died in a ditch beside the Lougheed Highway. The uninjured rider was given a 15 day driving suspension and had his bike impounded for 48 hours. On November 13, 2000 two street racers killed pedestrian Irene Thorpe and in February 2002 they were sentenced to two years less a day of house arrest. On September 15, 2002, 31-year-old RCMP Constable Jimmy Ng was killed when his cruiser was T-boned by a street racer. The racer received 18 months, and 6 months for leaving the scene of an accident.

There are many other indicators that we could go through indicating that there is a problem. In fact, Chuck Cadman recognized that there was a problem through his private member's Bill C-230, which he introduced in October 2004, and before that Bill C-338 of December 2002 and then reintroduced again in February 2004. That one was actually debated.

There were three main initiatives in his bill. First, to amend the Criminal Code to identify street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing for the following offences: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and criminal negligence causing death.

Second, it called for mandatory driving prohibitions; and third, it had an escalating scale of prohibitions for repeat offenders.

It is interesting as I look back at Hansard to see what the government's response was to Bill C-338, which is remarkably similar to the bill that we are debating today. First of all, the government did not like specifying street racing as an aggravating factor and said it was unnecessary. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said:

Unless there is some compelling reason to specify that certain circumstances are aggravating, it is better not to multiply the instances where the Criminal Code spells out that a particular way of committing the offence will be an aggravating factor.

—unless we have a strong indication that the courts are not treating street racing as an aggravating factor for these four offences, restraint ought to be exercised in specifying that street racing become an aggravating factor.

The status quo is what he was looking for and the sister of Irene Thorpe might have offered him the compelling reasons he was looking for.

They did not like the idea of prescribed mandatory driving prohibitions. That same parliamentary secretary said:

I think there is logic in the present law, which gives the court discretion on whether to impose a driving prohibition order.

There may be logic, but the problem is what happens in practice. He went on to say:

If a court imposes a long period of imprisonment, the court may believe that there is no need to have the offender prohibited from driving at the point of release from imprisonment, which will be far in the future. In such cases, the offender will have been off the streets and away from the wheel for a very long time.

This argument is like an NHL player who was suspended just before the lockout arguing that he had done his time because he had been off the ice and unable to do any more harm for a very long time. The person he had injured would not see that as justice.

The government has always been against mandatory minimum sentences, even though it points to a few that it has allowed and even claims once in a while that they are working. I heard this argument just yesterday from the Minister of Justice.

It seems to me there are two basic arguments that the Liberals use. One is that they do not work. That is the government's main argument, it seems to me. This is arguable. In fact, if we look at the data, most of the data the Liberals consult comes from across the border and the drug laws that are in place there. They look at the drug use and so on and the measurements by those standards, and say that obviously these mandatory minimum sentences are not working so the idea of mandatory minimum sentences must be a bad idea. The question is not only about whether they work, it is about whether justice is being done. It is not the minister of social work. It is the Minister of Justice.

The Liberals do not like the idea of them because it removes discretion from judges, but it seems to me that that is the whole point. The theory is that if judges are using good judgment, we will only limit them by how harsh they can be. What about judicial trivialization, as I like to call it. If they are just not exercising good judgment and if justice is not being done, then they need to also be limited by how lenient they can be. Of course, they did not like the prescription for repeat offenders.

This brings us to Bill C-65. This bill looks remarkably similar to Bill C-338 which the Liberals opposed a couple of years ago. Bill C-65 is a government bill, so it raises at least two questions: why the change of heart and how is it different in any way from what Mr. Cadman proposed? Let us deal with those briefly.

Why has the government had a change of heart? What has changed since October 2003? We know that the government survived a crucial vote, and a crucial vote in that vote was cast by Mr. Cadman. I believe he did it in good faith based on his principles, but we know the government is not averse to rewarding loyalty, even if it us unintended, and so feels some kind of an obligation. Of course we also know that Mr. Cadman has left us.

The government has said that this bill and Bill C-64, its companion bill, are intended as appropriate tributes to his legacy. I agree with this. I agree that there should be a legacy and a tribute to Mr. Cadman. Our country and our Parliament are poorer places without him. In fact he made many contributions in my own riding. In my own community he used to come and work with our diversion program, talk to young offenders and give up his valuable time to change lives.

Let us go to the second question. How is this different? It now has street racing as an aggravating factor. Yes, that is in it. It has mandatory prohibitions, although the Liberals appear not to like it at other times. They are in here as well, but they did not include the clauses about repeat offenders and I am disappointed by that. Instead of giving us a bill in a form as developed by Mr. Cadman and which I think would have been enthusiastically supported by everybody in this House, the government has neutered the bill.

This is not a fitting tribute to the legacy of Chuck Cadman. While I support what is in it, I am disappointed by what is not in it. There needs to be more. We need to do what is necessary to amend this bill to include the repeat offender clauses, not just because it is what Mr. Cadman and his family would have wanted, but because it makes it better legislation and it is the right thing to do.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a great honour to have the opportunity to speak today on this issue of great public importance for people throughout Canada and certainly in my riding of Palliser.

I, too, would like to commend members of my party, the members for Provencher, Wild Rose and Kildonan—St. Paul, for their excellent work. I could go on and on, as there is also the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands and there are the countless members on this side of the House who are trying to do the right thing and constantly striving to force the government to get tough on crime.

I join all my colleagues on this side of the House in addressing Bill C-65, which we consider a watered down version of the private member's bill submitted by the late Mr. Chuck Cadman. His efforts to protect Canadians from the deadly act of street racing, along with his efforts at cracking down on those who repeatedly offend, should be commended. The Conservative Party has consistently supported his efforts.

Bill C-65 addresses what has become an increasing problem throughout Canada and certainly on streets such as Albert Street in Regina and Main Street in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. It addresses the specific act of street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing.

On July 21, 2005, Statistics Canada released its 2004 crime statistics, showing that my home province of Saskatchewan has the highest per capita crime rate of any Canadian province. Clearly this needs to be addressed and changed.

Mr. Speaker, I should mention that I am splitting my time today with the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, who is also a strong advocate for getting tough on crime.

Bill C-65 refers to four criminal offences that can be caused by street racing: criminal negligence causing death; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death; criminal negligence involving bodily harm; and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

Unfortunately, this bill falls short of getting tough on these crimes by falling short of getting tough on repeat offenders. That was a key component of Mr. Cadman's bill.

It is imperative that as elected members we work as Mr. Cadman did to protect Canadians from this violent crime.

In preparing for this speech today I did a quick Google search to see what interesting facts might appear on the issue of street racing in Canada. I was frightened and disconcerted when I encountered a Canadian website geared toward video games. It was a review of a game called “Street Racing Syndicate”. Video game players are told they can “race up the ranks of street credibility to fame, money and women”. This is just shameful.

In this day and age of extreme sport, it is necessary for these offenders, those who street race, those who choose to get behind that wheel, to be penalized for endangering our citizens. It is necessary for them to suffer consequences. Street racing clearly is not a game.

In Bill C-338, introduced originally in December 2002, Mr. Cadman included a clause dealing with repeat offenders. The clause amended section 259 of the Criminal Code, “Mandatory order of prohibition”, to get tough on repeat offenders and was an essential aspect of his bill.

Getting tough on repeat street racing offenders whose actions result in tragedies was dealt with in paragraph 259.1(1)(b) of his bill, which states that “for a second or subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220” of the Criminal Code, which is criminal negligence causing death, “or subsection 249(4)”, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, “for life”, which means that there would be a lifetime prohibition from driving.

Certainly that is something that would be supported if a repeat offender street racer causes such tragedy for the innocent people in our society and for their families.

Bill C-65 is a neutered version of Mr. Cadman's bill. Sentences for these offences under Bill C-65 include a mandatory prohibition on driving, ranging from one year to a maximum of 10 years, a suspended licence. What about minimum sentences for repeat offenders whose actions result in these terrible tragedies?

In his speech of March 10, 2004, Mr. Cadman referred to an incident involving an 18 year old who earlier that month had crashed into a bus shelter, critically injuring an innocent bystander. The offender had already lost his licence. His licence had already been suspended twice, but he was again behind the wheel of a car.

These offenders know that there is little punishment for their crimes. Having their driver's licence suspended does not stop them from driving dangerously. That is why minimum prison sentences are also required, I believe, given the tragedies that have happened to the innocent victims and their families as a result of street racing, a very serious crime.

As members of Parliament we are required to stand up and do something for our communities to protect Canadians. As a member of the Conservative caucus, I am pleased that we are fighting to see mandatory minimum sentences for violent and repeat offenders. I am pleased that a Conservative task force on safe streets and healthy communities has been struck to work with victims of crime, front line law officers and community workers.

In an article in the Ottawa Citizen in September of this year, the Minister of Justice was quoted as saying in reference to Mr. Cadman that “we are going to build on his private-member's bills so that when we introduce them it will reflect his concerns and his legacy”.

I would say that Bill C-65 as it is fails to reflect the legacy of Mr. Cadman. It is for this reason that, without amendments and without getting tough on repeat offenders, we will oppose the bill.

The Liberal government's approach of being lax on crime and not getting tough on crime in our society really should not come as a big surprise. I think that many members on this side of the House, many members opposite as well and the vast majority of Canadians feel that the gun registry is a colossal failure. It has cost the Canadian taxpayers $2 billion and has not prevented a single crime or saved a single life.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-65, an act to amend the Criminal Code, street racing, and to a make consequential amendment to another act. This is another bill that I am sure has the best of intentions to put forward some frameworks to address the street racing problem in our country.

Today I want to put some comments on the record about the credibility of what is happening in the House of Commons. I speak as a former justice critic for the province of Manitoba and as the mother of a police officer. I feel the government has had over a decade to make things right, to make our streets safer. The government has failed miserably on all accounts.

In our city of Winnipeg, Manitoba many honourable police officers are trying to suppress crime. The problem is the laws at hand and the lack of resources, accountability and concern for the victims of crime.

We have had bills on trafficking of persons and on the age of consent. We have had pleas time and time again in the House of Commons to shut down the gun registry and put those resources toward front line police officers.

Once again we are hearing eloquent speeches from the Liberal members across the House. They say that they will get tough on crime, that they will honour the spirit of Mr. Cadman's private members' bills and that they will make things happen. This is something that is hard to believe. People across Canada are becoming very alarmed with the criminal acts happening in our nation and with the lack of consequences for these criminal acts.

For example, in September Winnipeg dealt with a young man who had 11 convictions for speeding. He was spared jail time after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, causing the death of a 52-year-old grandmother. The trial went on and the judge was convinced he was remorseful. However, there was a granddaughter involved in that incident who was very close to her 52-year-old grandmother. That granddaughter today is very distraught about the death of her grandmother.

The present government has indicated without a doubt that it does not have the political will to put these resources on the streets to ensure that the time people spend behind bars or in rehabilitation matches the crime that has been committed. The government is definitely soft on crime.

Chuck Cadman was well known by many people. I was very moved by the letter to the editor by Dane Minor. Dane Minor was a close friend to Chuck Cadman. He felt very good when he heard that the Prime Minister had announced on the front pages of national and local papers that the Liberal government would pass Chuck's private members' bills into legislation as an honour to him. Everyone felt good about it. Chuck Cadman had travelled to this House of Commons to do what he thought was right and to ensure that things were put in place to protect the citizens of our country. He did it at a time when he was very ill, but he was a man of extreme principle. What was most important to him was not party lines but doing the right thing.

I will read for members the following from Dane Minor in a letter to the editor. He stated:

This "new" legislation from the Liberals is the same type of political stunt. [The] Justice Minister...said his government tweaked both bills—

And those are the Chuck Cadman bills, I note.

—to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and address "operational deficiencies."

What Dane Minor said about this was, “Bull!” That is what he said: “Bull!” He stated:

Chuck had one of the best legal advisors in Ottawa on his staff and his bills were well within the Charter. The ultimate ridiculousness of [the minister's] version was the reason for removing penalties for repeat offences: "because the police across this country don't have tracing or tracking records so we would know if it was a first, second or third tracking offence."

This is another incident, another blot and another black mark on the Liberal record of dealing with criminal issues in this country. The frustration of police officers on the front lines and of families of victims of crime is unparalleled.

This particular bill is attempting to deal with the issue of street racing, but in a very superficial way. It is putting words to paper, but it does not put the implementation in place that would stop street racing or give safety in the streets to the citizens who walk those streets every day.

There are many people in our Canadian mosaic who have been real leaders for the victims of crime. Let me speak of Jack McLaughlin. Jack McLaughlin is very well known in Manitoba. Jack McLaughlin is the father of a young man who was murdered. He and his family went through the terrible experience of being in a court system that had no consequences for the criminal. But the consequences for the family were huge, because that deep hole of regret and the deep anger at being powerless to change what happened weighed on the McLaughlin family in a very real way.

Jack McLaughlin started an organization that championed the cause of victims of crime. It put networks and counselling in place for victims of crime. Jack did something else and he does something else today. He goes to the Manitoba legislature and comes to the Houses of Parliament to push for stiffer sentences and consequences for criminals walking the streets and for more support for victims of crime. I applaud heroes like Jack McLaughlin who have done so much, who have taken a horrible tragedy and have done something good to make it better for families who are victims of crime.

I was very hopeful when Bill C-65 was introduced in the House of Commons, because I thought that perhaps there would be some thread of hope for some movement forward on the issues of suppressing criminal operations in Canada. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

We have heard members across the way say that they are here to listen, that they would like to hear what we have to say, that they would like to make things better and make sure our streets are safe, but when members on this side of the House say to shut down the gun registry, those members immediately say that police officers like the gun registry.

Let me tell members that the Winnipeg Police Association and the Manitoba Police Association have said very strongly, “Shut down the gun registry and put the resources into front line policing”.

In this country we are seeing crime on the rise. I am seeing it in my beautiful city of Winnipeg. I am seeing how police officers who are working so hard are not keeping up because they do not have the resources in place to do so.

We see such heroes as Chuck Cadman and Jack McLaughlin, and people like that, who have spent a lot of time trying to put forward helpful suggestions, trying to push for proper sentencing, and trying to suppress the criminal element in our country, not to mention the valiant police officers all across our nation who are combating crime on a daily basis. Yesterday a young police officer on the street discovered a grow op, I have heard, and the fact of the matter is that there were so many issues to deal with on that day the police officers could not move in on that particular grow op. There were not enough resources.

Here in the House of Commons, we do have the power to make sure that those resources are in place. How do we do that? We do that by shutting down useless programs that have become the black hole for the money, other than the scandal I mean; I am talking about the gun registry. Let us shut down that kind of thing and target those resources to the front line police officers all across our nation.

We have heard about the RCMP officers who gave their lives when they went to a criminal's property to try to protect the community and deal with some issues there. Those four very brave police officers lost their lives in the line of duty. We see so much bravery in the police force, yet there is no political will in the House of Commons to make sure that the resources are there to combat crime.

In the past two to three weeks, we have been talking about criminal issues and bills that are supposed to suppress crime. My colleagues in the House have said that we need to spread the word and advertise the fact that we are being very effective on crime. My hon. colleague across the way said that perhaps we should let young people know we are going to be watching and perhaps we should show them the consequences of crime.

Last year I was at a hockey game. A young man in front of me was talking about all the cars he had stolen the night before. He was talking to a group of other young people who thought it was a great joke. The young man was very well dressed. He seemed to have money, friends and everything, but they had stolen so many cars that night it was just a joke. It was like a contest about which car they should take next.

I think we have to renew the hope of our citizens in Canada. We have to make sure that programs are implemented and resources are put in place that will really make a difference. When I read this particular bill, Bill C-65, I remember that Chuck Cadman had been attempting to legislate changes to street racing since December 2002.

Previous versions of this bill, Bill C-338 and Bill C-230, which Mr. Cadman brought forward, were voted down. The current Liberal government refused to support the legislation because it called for mandatory minimum driving prohibitions and increased punishment for repeat offenders.

I taught school for 22 years, mostly at the junior high level, and I can tell members that if we want to educate junior high school children we should just tell them that they will not be driving for the rest of their natural-born days if they offend a second time. It is surprising how they will get to know that this is not the thing to do.

Bill C-65 is nothing but a neutered version of Mr. Cadman's past bills. Although it does provide for mandatory driving prohibitions, the inclusion of street racing and aggravating factors for sentencing, it fails to include the clauses on repeat offenders, which were an essential part of the Cadman bills.

I want to go over those particular points, those particular amendments that I feel should be included. They are:

(a) for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year;

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), for life:

(c) for a second offence, if neither of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4) during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years;

(d) for each subsequent offence, if none of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment.

In other words, these clauses are basically an increasing scale of punishment, restating Chuck Cadman's intent in the bill.

Going into my concluding remarks, I want to say that when we have bills before the House that have potential, when we have ideas put on paper coming forward in the House that could have some beneficial aspects to them, it always has to be remembered that it is only paper unless we have the resources to put in place, to monitor and to make sure that the punishments match the crimes of perpetrators on our Canadian streets.

I cannot emphasize enough that we should shut down the gun registry and put that money into front line police officers. I cannot emphasize enough that not only do our bills and our laws have to be tougher on crime, but we also have to make sure that those laws can be monitored. We have to make sure that our citizens are kept safe and that they can have the hope of being safe on our streets in Canada.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating Bill C-65, which is an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding street racing and to make consequential amendments to another act.

This bill has been touted by the government as a bill which will enact Mr. Cadman's private member's bill, the most recent version of which is Bill C-230 which he introduced roughly a year ago. Bill C-65 does not do that. Later on I will talk specifically about why it does not do that. Like so many others who have spoken here today I want to talk about the contributions that Chuck Cadman made to this place and to this country.

Chuck was a tireless fighter for the people of North Surrey and for the rights of victims of crime right across the country. One of Chuck's priorities in the last number of years was to address the growing concerns about the misuse of motor vehicles. Part of that was his private members' bills on street racing, and his actions day to day to try to make our streets safer and reduce the number of victims. It was a proactive effort.

One of the things that caused Chuck to be respected by members of all political parties is that he really was not politically partisan. He worked with people from all parties in any way he could to further a cause which was important to him, because he knew it was important to other people in his constituency and across the country. Chuck Cadman was a rare individual in this House for his ability to work in a non-partisan fashion.

Personally from time to time I would chat with Chuck and say to him, “Couldn't you just beat up on them a little more? Couldn't you just be a little more partisan? We are right and they are wrong”. That was not the way Chuck was. He gained a great deal of respect from members of all political parties because of that. He was extremely effective, partly because of his hard work and partly because he worked in a non-partisan fashion in this place. We could all learn from that.

The bill that was introduced by the justice minister includes an essential element of Mr. Cadman's recommendations, namely the provision to increase the length of any mandatory driving prohibition for repeat offenders. That is what the government is pointing to, but the government's version of the legislation really does not enact what Mr. Cadman was calling for. It is really important that we point that out.

Chuck's proposed amendments targeted street racing by introducing mandatory driving prohibitions for a number of serious criminal offences and vehicle theft, by making it a crime to tamper with motor vehicle identification numbers. Unfortunately, while over the years Chuck fought so hard for these amendments, the Liberal government consistently rejected any form of mandatory licence prohibitions similar to the type that Mr. Cadman recommended. The government ignored the recommendations relating to vehicle identification numbers which were an important part of Mr. Cadman's package.

While the Liberals continue to soft pedal efforts to confront crime, it is important to make it clear that the Conservative Party is committing to see genuine crime fighting efforts like those put forward by Mr. Cadman make it into the criminal law of Canada. Unfortunately, the two pieces of government legislation do not do that. I want to speak to Bill C-65 specifically and point out in a little more detail what this bill is intended to do.

The bill amends the Criminal Code by defining street racing and by specifically identifying the involvement in street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing for the following offences: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death; criminal negligence causing bodily harm; and criminal negligence causing death. It also provides for a mandatory prohibition order if street racing is found to be involved in one of those offences.

The intent of the bill is to prevent street racing by sending a clear message to those who endanger the public that they will face tough long term consequences. The bill also aims to make the streets safer for Canadians. The stated intent of the bill is what Mr. Cadman had in mind. A little later I will get into how we could amend the bill to make it work, but when we look at it, Chuck Cadman had been attempting to legislate changes to street racing since December 2002. Previous versions of the bill included Bill C-338, but the most recent version is Bill C-230, which is the one to which I referred.

The government refused to support the legislation because it called for mandatory driving prohibitions and increased the punishment for repeat offenders. These are measures that the Conservative Party has always supported, will continue to support, and in time, will enact, and the sooner the better.

Bill C-65 is truly a neutered version of Mr. Cadman's past bills. It is touted as being an enactment of them but it is not and I will explain why. Although it provides for mandatory driving prohibitions and the inclusion of street racing as an aggravating factor for sentencing, it fails to include the clauses on repeat offenders which were an essential part of Mr. Cadman's bill. There are amendments which could be made that would fix the bill. I would hope that the House would choose to enact the amendments, or similar amendments, so that the bill would do what Mr. Cadman intended his private members' bills to do.

The amendments would replace proposed paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection 259(2.1) with the following: “(a) for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year; (b) for a second or subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), for life: (c) for a second offence, if neither of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years; and (d) for each subsequent offence, if none of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment”.

I believe there would be a lot of support on both sides of the House for these amendments. If these amendments were enacted, I believe that the legislation would do much of what was intended by Mr. Cadman. I certainly hope there is a will in the House to do it. I sense that there is and I hope party discipline will not get in the way. Maybe this is the time for members from all political parties to decide to have a little bit of that non-partisan approach that Chuck Cadman took in his bill.

Chuck Cadman has left a very strong impact on the people of his constituency and on all of us. I certainly hope the House will recognize that by enacting the legislation he fought so hard to have enacted.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, before I get started on my comments on Bill C-65, I would like to respond to the previous speaker who said he was open to any suggestions about how we could improve policing and the courts.

He has been part of a government that has been in control of this country for the last 12 years. His government has wasted billions of dollars on a gun registry. Maybe those billions should have gone to policing. That could have stopped street racing.

The government could have done all kinds of things. All kinds of suggestions have been brought forward in the House, so as for him standing up and asking for ideas on how to do this, let me say that we have given him a lot of ideas. Taking the $2 billion that was thrown away on a gun registry and putting it toward front line police would have been a great start and it would have helped Mr. Cadman in his pursuit of more justice in this country.

Mr. Speaker, in addressing the issue of Bill C-65, I will be splitting my time with the member for Vegreville--Wainwright.

Mr. Speaker, we were talking a little about Chuck Cadman. You and I were colleagues of his. There is a reason why Chuck was successful. We all have talked about it to some degree here today. On all the issues he brought forward to the House in a personal way in his private member's bills and through his support on the justice committee and others, the fact was that when he took on dealing with an issue he was right.

His perspective, his ideas and his amendments to the Criminal Code were exactly what is needed to create a safer society for the citizens of Canada. That was his approach. He wanted to make Canadians feel safer and actually be safer in their homes and in their lives. Many of the issues that he brought forward, and the issue that brought him to the House of Commons in the first place, which he campaigned on for many years, did just that. He wanted to make changes to the Criminal Code that would bring in stronger laws and provide more deterrents just to make Canadians safer in their homes and safer on the streets.

When Chuck brought an issue forward, there were a number of things that he went through. He was very resourceful. He was very pointed. His issues were well researched. He did not bring anything forward that was not of substance and that he had not looked into from all angles. He researched the Criminal Code and consulted widely with Canadians and experts in these areas. So when he brought an issue forward, it was always one that people would take note of. We only wish the government had taken note more often of some of the things he brought forward.

He did this in such a way that there was little to argue with. He would counter all of the arguments. He would do the research. He would make sure that when he made a suggestion about an amendment to the code it would stand alone and stand the test of scrutiny. With these things in mind, Chuck would formulate ideas and changes, as he did with the bill on street racing.

He did not stop there. He had a way of managing the situation when it came to the House. We have all brought private members' bills forward, but when he brought his bills forward he would work with members of all parties. He was not afraid to consult with the party critics or committee members from all parties to see how they felt, to see if he could garner their support.

In many cases, I believe, he did alter what he was working on to some degree to make sure it gained the support of the other parties in the House. He was willing to do that. He did it in his style, which was not at all one of confrontation. His style was one of working together to come up with the best possible scenario for Canadians as a whole. That was his main mandate.

The fact is that the main function of a government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. I think that was very high on Chuck's list of important issues. He worked hard to maintain that type of focus. He felt that if we were actually going to protect Canadians, then we had better do it in a meaningful manner.

I do not appreciate the fact that people stand in the House and say that the law is the law, but then we have the justice system we do, especially when that is said by a member of the government that appoints the senior judges in this country, a government that is responsible for seeing that resources are in place to protect Canadians. As for them saying that, it is all fine and dandy, but the justice system is failing. We know that it is.

That is why we need changes such as those that Chuck Cadman brought forward, changes to strengthen laws and to have strong minimum sentencing to deter people from committing crimes.

Let me talk about what he said when he introduced his bill. I have retrieved the comments that he made back in October of 2003 on Bill C-338, the predecessor of Bill C-230. He went into all of the issues that had brought him to bringing forward the bill. There was the fact that on the streets of the big cities there had been slaughter from street racing, that innocent people had been mowed down and killed, and there was the fact that there seemed to be enough disposable income among car enthusiasts so that they could soup up these cars to do extraordinary things.

I am an old hot rodder myself; I still have an old muscle car that I tour around in and take to shows. That horsepower has to be treated with respect because it is dangerous, but these modern vehicles are something else. The technology that can be put into a very small car to make it go fast is unbelievable, and people will do it. In most instances, the people behind the wheel do not have the experience or the driving capability to handle that kind of horsepower.

The government tries to address these issues in Bill C-65, but I believe it fails because of its sentencing aspects. The basic premise of the bill, of course, is to make sure that street racing is added to the list of aggravated instances and crimes. That is the right thing to do, but in the end, as we have seen time and time again with this Liberal government, it completely fails to deliver the goods when it comes to the sentencing.

For the government to tie Chuck's name to this I think is right because this is an issue that he brought forward, but the government fails him miserably when it comes to putting forth the very essence of what he was trying to do. The fact is that the legislation the government has brought forward is going to fail and does not go as far as Chuck would have wished it to go. The bottom line in what he was trying to do was protect Canadians. He tried to send a message to the government through his private member's bill that this is exactly what the government needed to do.

We can argue all around the issue and say that the bill is on the right track, and maybe it is a small step in the right direction, but if we are going to make it work, if we are going to really have some teeth in it, then the issues and the progressive sentencing and penalties that Chuck had researched and come up with are, I believe, exactly what need to be put in the bill.

The précis the minister put out even indicates that Mr. Cadman's bill included an additional clause with progressively longer periods of mandatory driving prohibitions for repeat offenders lasting from one year to life. He indicates in his own documentation that this was not something that the government was willing to do.

Here is the quandary we always find ourselves in. A small step is good, and if it is the right direction then it is something we basically should support, but when the government totally fails in regard to the original initiative that was brought forward, then that is something we have a problem with and we cannot support.

One thing really made me pay attention here. One of the sentences that Chuck would have had imposed for a first offence was this: “for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year”.

He was saying that if the person who committed the crime were put in prison, then the driving prohibition would happen after the person came out. I think the government carried that forward, but Chuck would imposed a pretty serious sentence to start with. If people are going to contemplate street racing and they know that the result of their actions is going to put them in jail and take their drivers' licences away for one to three years on the first offence, and longer if they get a second offence or hurt somebody for life, I would say that these are meaningful sentences which would be a deterrent.

As I pointed out, when Chuck Cadman brought a bill to the House of Commons, it was well researched and well thought out. He looked at the whole scope of what effect it would have on society, not only on the perpetrator but on society in general. I believe he was on the right track with what he brought forward. I believe the government has let him down somewhat in the version it has brought forward.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 10, 2004, the hon. Chuck Cadman, member for Surrey North, rose in the House to say:

Yesterday in Surrey, B.C. just before the evening rush hour, an 18-year-old lost control of his muscle car at an estimated speed of 140 kilometres per hour. He demolished a bus shelter, critically injuring a 71-year-old woman. Another car was spotted fleeing the scene, making it obvious to all concerned that this was yet another tragic result of a street race.

As warmer weather approaches, street racing incidents will likely increase and participants are confident they will not spend a day in jail even if they kill or injure. Nationally, insurance claims resulting from street racing more than doubled between 2000 and 2002. A message must be sent to the courts that these crimes are to be treated more seriously.

I urge all members to maintain support for Bill C-338, which the House passed and sent to the justice committee. It will make street racing an aggravating factor for sentencing. If we are really serious about deterring this irresponsible criminal activity, Bill C-338 must become law before the end of this Parliament.

That is what we are talking about and what Chuck wanted us to talk about, and I believe Bill C-65 would give us the instrument to take the essence of his concerns. Bill C-338 was a bill in the 37th Parliament and he brought it back in this current Parliament, now Bill C-230. As he introduced that at first reading I thought it would be interesting just to read maybe what he was thinking the day he came back to the House and decided to put it again. He stated:

Street racing continues to kill or seriously injure innocent people in Canada.

I am reintroducing this legislation to amend the Criminal Code specifically to provide that street racing is to be considered an aggravating factor for the purposes of sentencing a person convicted of dangerous operation of, or criminal negligence involving a motor vehicle.

In addition, the bill provides that any person convicted under these provisions who was involved in street racing must be subject to a regime of mandatory national driving prohibitions ranging from one year to life, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

The bill received broad support in the last Parliament and I hope that will continue to be the case.

If members would reflect on Mr. Cadman's bill and his statements to the House, I think they would find that Bill C-65 embraces the principles that Chuck included in his bill. There are some differences but the differences are not to an extent that would cause the House some difficulty.

In fact, when I looked at Bill C-65 and I compared it to Bill C-230, and members will know because they are amendments to the Criminal Code, that the bill does not read as a story book, like here is the beginning and the end. One actually has to look at the Criminal Code and look at the context that it is in, and determine whether or not the continuity of the changes make some sense given the historic evolution of the Criminal Code.

Indeed, the Criminal Code is a very complex document. I once tried to print it out from the Internet and I think it was about a foot tall and, quite frankly, was maybe not something one would want to do too often.

One of the points Mr. Cadman raised in the bill had to do with aggravating factors. I do not think there is any disagreement in the House that street racing, where it ultimately leads to bodily harm or criminal negligence causing death, is identified as an aggravating factor in both the bills. That is not a contention.

However there also is the issue of making the prohibition of street racing mandatory.

The differences between Bill C-65 and Bill C-230 are quite stark. Under the Cadman bill, Bill C-230, the maximum penalty for the first offence is three years but under Bill C-65 the maximum penalty can be a life prohibition. It is a more serious recognition of the offence than was contemplated by Mr. Cadman.

There are four offences that are dealt with in these bills to which the reforms apply and the most frequent offences charged in cases involving street racing where death or injury results. This is where the key is. In the discussion with one of the previous speakers, it was noted for the House that street racing as an offence, where there is no death, injury or damage caused, is a provincial jurisdiction and there are laws to deal with the offence of street racing. We are not just talking about street racing in a vacuum. We are talking about street racing where death or injury results.

Obviously these offences are serious. They involve the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing death. Those are the four main issues.

The maximum driving prohibition that is proscribed in Bill C-230 for a first offence involving street racing is a three year ban. It would result in a drastic reduction of the maximum driving prohibition that is currently available under the Criminal Code. There should be a change to that and it would be a change that I am sure Mr. Cadman would have supported.

In this regard, the current Criminal Code discretionary driving prohibitions provide for a period of up to a maximum of 10 years in the case of the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death or criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The difference is that in the case of criminal negligence causing death, the existing provisions provide for a discretionary maximum period of a lifetime ban on driving.

I think the fact that we are talking about that incident of criminal negligence causing death is the example Chuck used back in the 37th Parliament and I know that it is the one that motivated him to say that enough was enough and that we needed to deal with this.

Bill C-65 maintains these current maximum driving prohibitions but it does so in the context of a new provision imposing a mandatory driving prohibition period. This aspect of a mandatory penalty has been one that has come up many times in this place with regard to criminality. I think the House recognizes that there are circumstances in which minimum mandatory sentencing may be appropriate. I have argued that in this place myself and we have other legislation in which mandatory minimums are in the laws of Canada now.

The argument about whether or not mandatory minimums are effective and are a deterrent has been passed. That is no longer the point of discussion. It is in fact in current laws and it reflects, not just that there should be a deterrent, and I understand what deterrence is, but I am not sure I understand what people say when they say that minimum mandatory sentences are not effective. They are not effective for what?

In the example of a commercial marijuana grow house operation we have been told time and time again that after a certain number of plants, all of a sudden we are talking about a commercial operation which, more often than not, is involved in other criminal activity, usually organized crime in which the money is being used to fund other criminal activity that is detrimental to society as a whole.

I do not think there is a disagreement with regard to the mandatory side. I am raising these issues because it is quite important not to get distracted by the politics or the partisanship with regard to whether or not the bill is identical. It is important that we take the opportunity to use Bill C-65 as a tool to address the items that our former colleague raised in this place so often. We should continue to consider this as Chuck's bill. I think the House would agree unanimously that it is something we want to make happen. Rather than members saying why they cannot support the bill, they should identify areas in which we could say how we can support the bill and make the bill fit a little closer. I cannot see that it is that different.

Let me move on to the second offence of the four, which is dangerous driving causing bodily harm or criminal negligence causing bodily harm that involves street racing. The maximum driving prohibition in Bill C-65 is higher than in Bill C-230 by five years. The maximum driving prohibition in Bill C-65 for the two offences just named is 10 years. It is incorrect to say that the bill is not as tough. In fact, it is in many respects tougher than what was proposed, maybe not inappropriately as well. I am sure that had the bill had the opportunity to come to the House for debate and to go to committee and be dealt with, we could have resolved some of the questions that are being raised today.

Some members are of the view that a repeat offender scheme similar to what is proposed in Bill C-230, which would create a scheme of higher maximum or minimum driving prohibitions, would be a preferred model but I am not sure. Certainly, with regard to the principle of whether or not there is a repeat offender, there is no question the courts could take that into account. I can recall being in a courtroom watching proceedings and there was a fellow who was charged with auto theft and other theft of auto parts. After they read out the litany of events on this guy's rap sheet, his lawyer argued that the rate of incidence of these crimes was going down. So that is a good thing and we should say that this guy is doing well because he is not stealing as much as he used to.

With some of the problems that we try to address, I sometimes wonder whether the courts do not take them as seriously as we do. I am not sure why but I have heard many anecdotal cases where the courts have not had the resources, or somehow have allowed cases to be thrown out, or summarily dismissed, and arguments where the courts cannot do their job.

We have a serious problem. When we do have laws and we do enforce them but the courts cannot dispose of them in the fashion that was provided for by the legislators, then why are we making laws in the first place? They are either important laws that should be enforced and adjudicated or they are not. However it appears that half of the problem or maybe more than half the problem is with the courts themselves.

I think that is a very important question and I know it crosses jurisdiction in many cases. However, when we pass laws that we ask the provinces, through their provincial police, to enforce, what do we do when they do not have the resources? Do we now have a responsibility to ensure that the laws that we make are in fact enforced?

We have so many cases of marijuana grow houses. In my own community of Mississauga South the chief of police tells me that the police cannot even follow up on all of the tips that they get from people that there are grow houses there. They cannot even investigate them because they do not have the people who are properly trained to deal with those dangerous situations. Why is that? Why is it when we know that most of the moneys that are coming out of these commercial size grow-ops are going to finance organized crime, prostitution, hard drugs, and all of these other terrible things that are placed in our society? It is because communities do not have the resources to have the policing.

I think it is evident as well in the kinds of things that we see even in Chuck Cadman's bill. There are things that we cannot do for some odd reason. I would rather say that I do not want an explanation of why we cannot do it. I want an explanation of how we can.

I always like to come to this place and talk for something and not against something. I want to talk in favour of Bill C-65 because for me it is still Chuck's bill. The arguments that he brought, the statements that he made, the passion that he brought to this place, and the inspiration that he has been not only to members in this place but to Canadians as a whole are the things that we should remember when talking about why we should make this instrument work.

We should deal with it quickly. I want to encourage members to reflect on what we are doing and why we are doing it. To the extent that we discover bottlenecks, pitfalls or some other problems, we have the ability to change them. We can change things at committee stage after second reading. We can change things at report stage if necessary.

If members are still not happy with what comes out of committee, members can pass a motion at third reading to revert it back to committee to reconsider it on certain aspects. We have tools to work with and I would rather say that we can, rather than we cannot.

I think that members are quite familiar with the bill. There is a question that has come up and I would like to perhaps rhetorically pose the question and see if I can provide the answer. It has to do with CPIC and it comes up a lot.

The question is, why is it possible to have higher minimum and maximum driving prohibitions for impaired driving but not for street racing? The answer, whether we like it or not, is that the Canadian Police Information Centre, CPIC, does maintain on the criminal record convictions for the offence of impaired driving. Therefore, it is possible to quickly see a prior conviction, given the offender notice and a higher penalty for a repeat offence, but not with regard to street racing.

That is a mechanical problem. It is a functionality problem that I think we need to consider. I know that the justice committee always has CPIC present at the table. If we are told that CPIC cannot do what we would like it to do, why do we not find out how we can do it, so that we can pass Chuck Cadman's bill?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2005 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand today to speak to Bill C-65 which deals with street racing.

It is a particular honour for myself because I considered Chuck Cadman a friend. The government has introduced Bill C-65 as a bill to honour Chuck Cadman and in his memory. It was just a few months ago when many members of the House were at a funeral in Surrey, British Columbia to remember Chuck and his fight for a safer Canada and for victims' rights.

Chuck spent the last years of his life fighting for a better and safer Canada. During that fight, while he was in Parliament, he introduced Bill C-338 and Bill C-230. The Liberal government opposed those bills. We heard the parliamentary secretary say that the reason for that was sentencing principles. The government does not believe in the principle of mandatory sentencing. It does not believe in creating legislation with teeth. Without consequences and without legislation with teeth, a disrespect for the rule of law is bred.

There have to be consequences built into legislation to be able to respect the law. The vast majority of Canadians do respect the law in Canada, but a smaller group of people do not. That creates huge problems, one being street racing.

What is a street racer? The typical street racer has changed over the generations. Right now street racing involves people with high powered cars. Their hobby is to spend their paycheques on high performance vehicles. They soup them up and then they have races. Sometimes the races are in lonely areas of the communities where there are not a lot of people around. With cellphone technology and through the Internet, they talk to one another about where they will go to race.

They have spotters who watch for police cars. If they see any, they forward a message to the people to scramble. They will have a number of people observing and having fun. There is drinking and partying going on as they are racing down the streets. This has resulted in a lot of people being seriously injured or killed.

Another form of street racing that creates havoc and deaths is the hat race. A hat race is when hot cars gather together. The owners of the cars and some of the passengers throw money into a hat. They will be given a destination and the first person to that destination wins the money in the hat. They disregard stop signs and go as fast as they can, racing through communities so they can win the money. It exciting and exhilarating to them. Their adrenalin flows as they tear through our communities.

Hat races and street races are all part of the street racing phenomenon we have been experiencing with these high performance vehicles and our technology. People are dying . In that vein, Chuck Cadman wanted to do something, so he created these two private members' bills. He fought hard for them in the House.

Canadians grieve still the tragic loss of his life. The Prime Minister spoke at his funeral. I am glad we were there to remember Chuck and acknowledge his hard work. The Prime Minister promised he would introduce bills to remember Chuck. We have Bill C-65 on street racing and Bill C-64 on vehicle theft and changing VINs, which we will speak about shortly. These two bills were really important to him. I talked with Chuck's wife, Donna, and I promised that would speak to this bill. I will report on what she said in a moment.

Bill C-65 is to honour Chuck. Dane Minor also was a very close friend to Chuck. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Surrey Now newspaper in British Columbia. I would like to read it into the record. Dane Minor was Chuck Cadman's former campaign manager who worked for years with Chuck on issues. He was very excited to hear that the government was going to honour Chuck with Bill C-65 and Bill C-64. He read an article of October 1 about “Chuck's Bill likely will be law”. When we saw that we thought maybe the Prime Minister and the government were really going to do something to finally honour Chuck. I and Dane were excited about this.

He writes:

I read [this] article...with a growing sense of disgust. Several weeks ago the Prime Minister announced on the front pages of national and local papers that his Government would pass Chuck's private member bill into legislation as an honour to Chuck. My immediate response was a positive one. It would be a fitting memorial to Chuck. Then the Justice Minister announced his watered down version. This isn't Chuck's bill in either intent or in design. It is a cynical attempt by the Liberals to use Chuck's good name while doing little or nothing to change the existing laws.

One of the things that drew Chuck into the political arena in the first place was a visit by a former Justice Minister to supposedly discuss the Young Offenders Act with Chuck. The man blew into town spent five minutes getting his picture taken shaking Chuck's hand and went back to Ottawa saying meetings with the victims showed his government cared about victims and the faults of the YOA. Chuck was disgusted and it was incidents like these that led him to become an MP to truly change things.

This “new” legislation from the Liberals is the same kind of political stunt. [The] Justice Minister said his government tweaked both bills to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to address “operational deficiencies”. [Baloney]. Chuck had one of the best legal advisors in Ottawa on his staff and his bills were well within the Charter. The ultimate ridiculousness of [the justice minister's] version was the reason for removing the penalties for repeat offenders, “because the police across this country don't have tracing and tracking records so we know if it was a first, second or third tracking offence“.

If the Liberals truly want to honour Chuck Cadman I suggest that they pass his laws as written and actually give the police the resources to find out how many previous offences there were. If they don't have the courage to do that, at least have the decency to stop using his name in a self-serving bid to gain political points.

After reading the letter, I talked to Dane. I asked him for permission to present it today. He was glad to have it read in the House of Commons.

I also talked with Chuck's wife yesterday. I asked Donna what she would like me to tell the House. She said that I should tell the government not to water down Chuck's bill. If it did, it would create Mickey Mouse legislation and it would protect the criminals.

I have a background ICBC, as did Chuck. I was in loss prevention. I worked to find out where crashes were happening, why they were happening and where the crime was happening. Chuck and I both had a passion. I feel as though I am carrying on the torch for him to fight for safer communities, particularly regarding automobiles. Chuck wanted to deal with this. It was an important issue to him.

When we talked to the public, we were encouraged to share the three e s: education, engineering and enforcement. When we have a problem in a community through policing, whether we are an engineer, a police officer or politician, if we look at the three e s, that usually will guide us into finding a solution to the problem. Let us apply the three e s to street racing.

The first is education. We educate through the school systems, through the Internet, through movies. Before a movie starts, there are trailers. In the movie theatres we see these trailers warning people that if they drive fast, the forces between 50 k.p.h. and 60 k.p.h. actually double. The impact doubles between 50 k.p.h. and 60 k.p.h.

It is often students who drive the hot cars. Through education we tell them that there are only four little pieces of rubber which hold the car to the pavement and if they drive extremely fast, the forces are tremendous and they could lose control and they could kill themselves and other people. We know that education has worked somewhat.

The second is engineering. Street racing is a problem. Some communities have put in speed humps, bumps and strips on the road. They know of some of the areas where people are racing cars and they wet the streets. They are trying through engineering design to keep street racing to a minimum and to stop it. Through education and engineering we are trying to do what we can to stop street racing.

The third is enforcement. The enforcement aspect of it is our responsibility in the House. We need to have legislation that provides a stop to street racing. It is our responsibility and that is what Chuck was trying to do, the enforcement.

Why are we opposed to it? We are using Chuck Cadman. If we want to have Chuck Cadman's memory on it, then let us have Chuck's bills which include the teeth.

There was a recent announcement on crystal meth, a dangerous drug and is now schedule 3. What are we going to get for it? No teeth. It is a phony announcement.

The child pornography bill, Bill C-2, was passed by the House. Everyone was excited because our children would be protected. Again, it appears it was a phony announcement. It has just been sitting on the Prime Minister's desk for the last five months. I asked the justice minister yesterday why it has not been enacted and why is it not legislation. He would not answer.

We now have more phony bills using Chuck Cadman. It is shameful. We should honour Chuck and pass Chuck's bill. Promises were made by the Prime Minister to honour Chuck.

We need to change this bill. We need to give Chuck's bill the honour it deserves. Chuck wanted mandatory driving prohibitions in the bill, so that if people street race, there will be consequences. He also wanted increased punishment for repeat offenders. If people get caught, there will be a consequence, which is what Chuck wanted. If they do it again, it will be a more severe penalty and a more severe consequence. Each time they reoffend, there will be an additional increasing consequence.

Chuck was right on. We need to honour his bill. Bill C-65 is a phony bill and the Conservatives will be opposing it. Let us honour Chuck and let us oppose this phony bill.

Nuclear Energy ActRoutine Proceedings

February 23rd, 2005 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dave Chatters Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-338, an act to amend the Nuclear Energy Act (change of responsible minister).

Mr. Speaker, this bill is a modification of a bill that I have had in the House for a good length of time in a number of Parliaments. Its intent is to split the responsibilities for Atomic Energy Canada Limited and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to report to two different ministries.

The bill proposes to split the reporting to a different ministry than the previous bill, Bill C-212. As there have been consultations with all parties in the House, I would ask if I could receive unanimous consent to withdraw Bill C-212, which this bill will replace.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)