An Act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals

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

Sponsor

Irwin Cotler  Liberal

Status

Not active, as of May 16, 2005
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment would amend the Criminal Code by consolidating animal cruelty offences and increasing the maximum penalties.

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

November 14th, 2005 / 4:15 p.m.
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NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the New Democratic Party supports Bill C-50. One has to wonder how many times a bill has to come before the House before it finally gets through, not only here but in the other chamber, which historically has been opposed to certain provisions of the bill. This is not its first incarnation in this chamber. I hope this is the last time we debate it here and that it passes.

The need for this bill is so obvious. I want to point out what for me was a traumatic experience this past weekend when I watched the clips of the puppy mill in the province of Quebec. It was almost indescribable. If people had not seen it on television, I do not think they would have believed how terribly these animals were being treated, housed and abused.

If it were an isolated incident, one could say that maybe it is not so obvious that we need this bill, but that is not the case. It has happened repeatedly. The worst part of this is the person operating that puppy mill under existing legislation, both provincial and federal, if convicted, at some stage very soon after a conviction could start up another operation, and one almost has to assume at some stage there would be a conviction for this conduct, whatever the charge. There is no way of prohibiting that under existing legislation.

The treatment of these dogs was horrendous. It had been going on for years. There was excrement on the floor that literally could be measured in feet rather than inches. A number of the animals had died and were rotting in the house. I can go on with these descriptions. It was horrendous and again not an isolated case.

The bill as is would have provided, as its previous predecessors, the authority for law enforcement officers across the country to both prohibit and enforce a law against such people which would be effective in preventing this kind of abuse.

We already have heard in the chamber today that it does not have unanimous support in the country. There are certain sectors that want further amendments, clarifications or protections. Those are the terminologies used. Generally the opposition to the bill is not about improving it. It is about killing it. There are certain elements and sectors within our society that want no regulation of their conduct whatsoever.

Interestingly, a number of the groups that work with protecting animals across the country have conducted surveys over the last number of years. It does not matter whether it is the urban dweller who is simply concerned about the way their pets are treated or farmers, fishers and hunters. In large majorities, every one of those sectors support the values, concepts and provisions of the bill.

Some leadership members are fighting it and trying to kill it. I have seen some of the amendments that already have been proposed. If we put them into play, we might as well tear up the bill and throw it in the garbage. The effect of those amendments is that it would exclude the ability of the bill to be used as an enforcement mechanism against wholesale parts of the community that raise and take care of animals. It would be written in such a way that it would not be applicable to certain sectors which would be excluded. Those are the kinds of amendments being proposed.

The bill has overwhelming support from individuals and community groups working with animals, spending their lifetimes, in many respects, taking care of them and protecting them. That includes most farmers, fishers, trappers and hunters. They do not want to see the animals they deal with treated cruelly. The legislation would go a great distance to deal with those individuals in our society who are not prepared to take necessary care of their animals and who are prepared, as in the case of that puppy mill, to abuse them horrendously.

I want to draw to the attention of the House an amendment that is in this new bill. It is one that I support. It should have been in from the beginning. It is as a result of representations by the first nations, Métis aboriginal community generally. It is a provision that recognizes their historical rights.

I say with some pride that there have been a number of environmental bills over the last Parliament where this provision was put in, sometimes at my instigation but sometimes at the instigation of other members of that Parliament. This is standard wording. We are trying to get it into as much legislation where there may be some encroachment on historical aboriginal rights. It is very appropriate that it is in this bill. It is one that all members of this House should support.

Beyond that, the bill has been before us on numerous occasions. We have had repeated elections that have interrupted its passage into its final form. As I said earlier, the other House has also, on occasion, tied it up and delayed it, the unelected House that really has no right to do this. This House has spoken clearly in the past that we want this type of legislation. We are acting as elected representatives for the greater number of members of our society who are saying we need this legislation.

We have not amended the Criminal Code with regard to cruelty to animals for almost 100 years. The existing legislation reflects a time that is long passed in our country. We are in a situation where there is very large support. It is support that crosses a number of sectors that deal with animals. It is very widespread and is one that we, as elected representatives, have every responsibility to get it out of bill stage and finally passed into law so it can be used to enforce protection for our animals.

Members will hear objections that the bill will somehow get hijacked by extreme radical animal rights groups. We have heard repeatedly that kind of accusation from some people who are trying to kill the bill. It is an excuse for doing away with it. There is no basis for that. If one understands how the criminal process works, the ability to use the bill by those very small number of extreme animal rights people cannot happen. There are any number of ways within the existing court system that our public prosecutors can intervene in that kind of process and shut it down if it is ever attempted.

The bill is to be used appropriately by our prosecutors to protect animals. It would not be abused. I believe that is very clear, except in the minds of those very few people who are paranoid about the potential for abuse by extreme and radical animal rights groups. This is not about that. This is mainstream legislation that the vast majority of Canadians want.

We will support the bill and we will do whatever we can to push it through the House as rapidly as possible.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

November 14th, 2005 / 4 p.m.
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Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals, and convey the Bloc Québécois' position in this respect.

Allow me to read the summary. It states:

This enactment would amend the Criminal Code by consolidating animal cruelty offences and increasing the maximum penalties.

So, the intention is to create a separate section in the Criminal Code for cruelty to animals and to increase the penalties for criminal offences committed by those found guilty of cruelty to animals.

We have heard two kinds of arguments from the Liberals and the Conservatives. That is why we are in favour of the bill being referred to committee. Efforts have to be made to ensure that there is a proper balance between protecting animals and protecting legitimate activities. In fact, that is what the Bloc Québécois has always sought in this House: to ensure that, while protecting animals, we remain able to assure the animal, farm, medical, sports and other industries that they can pursue their activities without being under constant threat of prosecution. Naturally, this is not easy, and it is much more complicated.

There have been examples such as the recent one in Quebec, where about a hundred dogs were seized. They had been so badly looked after that over half of them had to be put down. It is necessary to make it a criminal offence to raise dogs for personal use and not to respect their needs.

There are good animal breeders of course, but those involved in this industry, as well as farmers and those using animals in the medical field, or for sport such as hunting and other activities, need to feel at ease.

Here is some background information. This is the sixth time this bill has come up. It has been numbered C-17, C-15B, C-10, C-10B, C-22 and C-50. I must point out that the Senate has blocked it every time. This raises a lot of questions.

I will simply read out part of the bill, so that we can raise the questions together. The first clause is an addition to section 182 of the Criminal Code. It will therefore become 182.2(1). It reads:

Every one commits an offence who, wilfully or recklessly... (c) kills an animal without lawful excuse.

This refers to the commission of a criminal offence. The other sub-clauses are far clearer:

(b) kills an animal brutally or viciously—

(d) without lawful excuse, poisons an animal, places poison—

It is never easy to use examples such as poisoning an animal. The dictionary definition of animal is a simple one, “animal means a vertebrate, other than a human being”. We then have the following definition of vertebrate: “animal sub-phylum consisting of all organisms possessing a vertebral column made up of bony or cartilaginous vertebrae. The vertebrates are made up of the following five categories: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.” So both a rat and an ox fall within this definition.

Two weeks ago, we debated a bill on strychnine. It involved examining its use by farmers to rid themselves of rodents on a large scale. Rodents are obviously vertebrates.

Finally, in reading the definition providing that every one commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, kills an animal or poisons an animal, we might ask what the lawful excuse is. In this respect, we must refer to sections 444 and 445 of the Criminal Code, which set out a means of defence, that is, the lawful excuse. Subsection 429(2) provides that: “No person shall be convicted of an offence under sections 430 to 446 where he proves that he acted with legal justification or excuse and with colour of right”.

That assumes then that a lawful excuse is possible as a defence. It also means that a person has been charged. A person draws on the part of the Criminal Code that provides a lawful excuse because that person has been charged. The way the bill was written, it provides for lawful excuses. However, it is not very clear in the case of certain industries. We can understand then their concern about being accused voluntarily or involuntarily or frivolously and having to defend themselves.

The problem when a charge is laid is the wait until a trial is held for acquittal on the grounds of there being a lawful excuse. The trial has to be held. Problems of public perception can arise when a charge has been laid. This is sort of what the Bloc Québécois wants to do.

We support a bill preventing cruelty to animals. Never again must anything like what happened in Quebec on the weekend recur. Over 100 animals were in such terrible condition that over half of them had to be euthanized, because their master, or owner, who deserves no such recognition, was cruel to them. There must be the right to charge such a person and punish them, in the end. The problem is that it is hard to strike a balance.

That is why the Bloc Québécois is in favour of making a decision today and sending this bill back to committee. We will then have a chance to hear, we hope, as many witnesses as possible from sports associations, farming groups, the medical industry, the animal breeding industry and so on. These people could explain to us their experience of the situation.

I am sure these people do not want any cruelty toward animals either. Nonetheless, they want to be able to operate in accordance with the law and without a constant threat over their head every time an animal has to be slaughtered during their operations and for a possible suit to be filed against them. They would then be charged and their names would be in the media and in the papers. They would get only one chance to use the lawful excuse defence.

The Bloc Québécois wants to protect this balance between legitimate activities and criminal activities involving cruelty to animals. Rest assured, the Bloc Québécois will fully support this.

Not everything in this bill needs to be redefined. I will read subclause 182.2(1)( e ):

Every one commits an offence who, wilfully or recklessly—

in any manner encourages, promotes, arranges, assists at or receives money for the fighting or baiting of animals, including training an animal to fight another animal—

Of course we can all agree on this. Such discussions were held in committee. Some provisions of this bill are quite interesting. Subclause 182.2(1)( f ) reads as follows:

—makes, maintains, keeps or allows to be made, maintained or kept a cockpit or any other arena for the fighting of animals on premises that he or she owns or occupies—

Subclause 182.2(1)( g ):

—promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive animals are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot at the moment they are liberated—

I see that I have only one minute left.

It is clear that this concerns the offences set out in ( h ), which states: “being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part of the premises to be used in the course of an activity referred to in paragraph ( e ) or ( g )”, referring to animal fights and other things.

The Bloc Québécois does not question the entire bill, but rather it is a question of striking the right balance between legitimate breeding, hunting and scientific and medical research activities, meaning the animal, farming, medical and sports industries. All we want is for the workers in this industry not to feel constantly in danger of being accused of cruelty toward animals when they operate their business in accordance with legitimate and legal practices. That is the balance we are seeking. The men and women we represent can rely on the Bloc Québécois to defend the interests of animals and ensure that people guilty of cruelty to pets will get what they deserve, meaning jail time. We agree with the increased sentences proposed in the bill. All we want is a fair balance between legitimate activities and cruelty to animals.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

November 14th, 2005 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals.

It has been a great source of frustration for many Canadians that the government has been attempting to legislate changes to animal cruelty offences since 1999 without success. Several versions of this bill have wound their way through the House and Senate only to die on the order paper. The parliamentary secretary did go through those previous versions. There were concerns that the proposed amendments could have criminalized some common and lawful activities such as catch and release fishing, trapping, hunting, and even some farming practices.

We are not just talking about our friends the animals, which is how urban people might view animals, and we have lots of animal friends. I have a dog who is a friend. Animals are also used in the context of agriculture, and those animals are not necessarily our friends. We have to recognize that animals play a dual role in our society. I recall the 2% strychnine solution being argued here regarding our friends the gophers. Gophers destroy thousands of acres of land every year and kill or hurt other animals that fall into gopher holes. We have to remember that all animals are not our friends.

Throughout the debates on these bills, Conservative MPs and senators strongly expressed their desire to prevent abuse of animals, but sought legal protection for those who use animals for legitimate, lawful and justified practices. The Senate was ultimately successful in amending Bill C-10B to narrow the definition of animal and to ensure that current legal defences for legitimate practices would be maintained.

Bill C-10B was reprinted in the House of Commons as Bill C-22, and was supported by the Conservative Party in light of the Senate amendments. However, the bill died at committee in the Senate in May 2004 before the last general election.

As the parliamentary secretary has explained, this enactment would amend the Criminal Code by consolidating animal cruelty offences and increasing the maximum penalties.

One of the things we have to realize is that these changes to the Criminal Code will not make it easier to prosecute animal offences. It is very difficult to prosecute animal offences. We hear about all kinds of horrendous examples such as skinning a cat, or putting cats into microwaves, those kinds of things. The point is that these changes will not make it any easier to prosecute those types of offences. The injustice that is often done is a result of inadequate evidence to prosecute the offence.

I am not necessarily opposing these amendments. We have voted on them many times already. I am suggesting that when there is a conviction, meaningful sentences should be put in place. There have been philosophical debates about whether an animal is property or whether it is not quite a human being, as some animal rights activists would have us believe, but the point is that appropriate penalties need to be in place so that when these difficult cases are successfully prosecuted, meaningful sentences are imposed.

One of the concerns that many animal groups involved in agriculture, fishing and hunting have mentioned to me about the current bill is that it would make it illegal to brutally and viciously kill an animal regardless of whether or not the animal dies immediately. I have a lot of concerns about that particular provision because it really takes an urban person's point of view about the killing of an animal. Many urban people look at the practice of killing a particular animal as being brutal and vicious and therefore that practice should be stopped. The real point we need to consider is not simply whether it looks brutal or vicious, but whether the animal in fact dies immediately. We want to minimize the animal's pain. I think all of us are agreed on that.

I am concerned that what we are doing here is taking a key relevant factor in determining whether or not something is brutal or vicious and making it irrelevant. We need to take a look at that particular issue. That more than any other issue has raised concerns for the groups who depend on animals for their livelihood.

I have no concern about raising the penalties. If there is genuine cruelty to animals and a prosecution is successful, we need to prosecute those cases vigorously and impose appropriate penalties.

There is one thing I find remarkable about Liberals. I wish Liberals would speak as passionately about human victims as they sometimes do about animal victims. I am very concerned about human victims. This is perhaps an appropriate segue into that entire issue.

I raised in question period the issue that under Bill C-70 a judge will be able to impose house arrest on someone who rapes a woman. The minister said that there would be exceptional circumstances where that would happen. I asked him in question period today under what exceptional circumstances should people who rape women serve their time at home. I am concerned about that kind of thing.

I am concerned about brutality toward animals, but I am also very concerned about the brutality that we demonstrate to other human beings. When we catch those animals who commit crimes against their fellow human beings, we say we should leave the door open for exceptional circumstances so that the poor rapist can serve his time at home. I am concerned about that kind of thing and I dare say most Canadians are.

I am concerned about drug dealers who are peddling poisons that kill our children. I am concerned about that. Yet under the Liberals' Bill C-70, drug dealers who are repeat offenders can get house arrest. I wish Liberals would talk as passionately about keeping those kinds of animals behind bars, those who would do that kind of thing to our children and fellow citizens.

I have pointed out a very practical problem with this bill. I hope the parliamentary secretary looks at that particular issue. At the same time I would encourage the parliamentary secretary to ask the Minister of Justice what he is doing in Bill C-70 to allow vicious, brutal rapists and drug dealers who are destroying our youth and communities to get house arrest in exceptional circumstances. We were assured by past justice ministers, Allan Rock and others, that it would never happen that conditional sentences or house arrest would be used for violent offences.

I want to see some amendments to this bill. I think it is moving in the right direction. We have had this debate over and over. I remind the parliamentary secretary that he should show the same concern for human victims as he does for animal victims.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

November 14th, 2005 / 3:40 p.m.
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Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I have a comment and then I want to ask a question.

It is very appropriate, in my opinion, to introduce a bill to prevent cruelty to animals. This bill is essential. We have been talking about this since I arrived in the House of Commons. We had Bills C-10 and C-22. Now, we have Bill C-50. I hope that this bill contains many improvements. I will make what may be an unfortunate parallel. It would have been nice to see legislation banning cruelty against human beings, particularly psychological harassment, in the same way that we are now considering legislation on cruelty to animals.

My question is as follows. It is not so much how animals are killed, which is important to animal rights groups, but rather the care they receive, whether they are en route to the slaughterhouse, force-fed, given water and food, cared for, from the day they are born to the day they are slaughtered. For those who have concerns about this, is there a section in the bill that mentions protection for animals in this very specific regard?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

November 14th, 2005 / 3:25 p.m.
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Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to the provisions of Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code relating to the cruelty to animals.

The legislation has a long and notorious history in Parliament. Members will no doubt remember that the legislation has been before the House on a number of occasions over the past five years. These animal cruelty amendments were first introduced in Parliament in 1999 as part of an omnibus criminal reform bill called Bill C-17 but died on the order paper. They were later reintroduced as another omnibus bill, Bill C-15, in a subsequent Parliament. That bill was split into two portions and the portion which contained the animal cruelty amendments again died on the order paper. The amendments were next re-tabled as Bill C-10 which were again split and again the portion with animal cruelty died on the order paper. In the last Parliament, these amendments were known as Bill C-22. Today we are discussing the same amendments in Bill C-50.

The history of the bill is a long and winding road, which includes two highly unusual incidents of bill-splitting and several messages being sent between this and the other chamber. Given the occurrences of rare parliamentary procedures and ping-ponging of the legislation, a person unfamiliar with this history might come away with the impression that the legislation is still controversial and lacks broad base support.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind the members that in actual fact this House has passed this legislation several times in the last two years with support from members on both sides of the House. In addition, hon. members should recall that the legislation has a history of accommodation and compromise that has brought together groups that advocate for animal welfare, as well as groups that advocate for people whose livelihoods depend upon the use of animals. Let me explain.

Over the past five years there has been spirited and comprehensive debate about the impact of the legislation in both this House and the other place, in committees in both places, in the public domain and in the media, not to mention the innumerable meetings between stakeholders and various government officials. As a result, specific amendments have been made on a number of occasions to this bill. These were not legally necessary changes, I would submit, but were adopted by the government with a view to providing greater clarity about the issues of concern.

These accommodations did not compromise protections against animal cruelty. The end result was that a large number of industry stakeholders came to support the legislation. The ministers received the written support of a broad based coalition of industry groups, including a letter from earlier this year urging the government to re-table these very amendments just months before this bill was tabled.

This coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from the agricultural sector, animal research and the trapping industry. The legislation is not meant to and will not negatively impact on the lawful and humane animal related industries and these industries have now acknowledged that. Of course, animal welfare organizations, as well as veterinary associations, police associations and provincial attorneys general, continue to support the legislation wholeheartedly.

The only difference between this legislation and that which was last passed by this House as Bill C-22 is the inclusion now of a non-derogation clause that reaffirms the applicability of existing constitutional protection for traditional aboriginal practices. This was included after discussions between the minister and concerned senators over the potential impact of the legislation on aboriginal persons.

In every other respect, the legislation we have before us today mirrors exactly that legislation which was passed by this House many times already and which stakeholder groups on all sides of the issue urged the government to re-table.

With that brief history, let me make a few basic points about the legislation.

The first point to note is that Bill C-50 is not about new law. It is about better law. The criminal law already contains a range of offences that prohibit cruelty to animals and has since 1893, but the law is a messy jumble of archaic terminology and piecemeal amendments made on a few occasions since 1893.

The first goal of the bill therefore is to modernize, simplify and rationalize the law as well as to fill in certain gaps in legal protection. This objective is accomplished by a variety of measures, including: removing the distinctions in the law that originate from another century; removing overlapping offences; improving the coherence and functionality of the law by removing problematic language, such as “dogs, birds and other animals”; eliminating the illogical notion of “wilful neglect” that is not found anywhere else in our criminal law; and filling in gaps by creating new offences of killing an animal with a brutal or vicious intent and training an animal for the purpose of fighting another animal.

One other change that bears mentioning is the creation of a new chapter of the Criminal Code devoted specifically to animal cruelty. The new chapter would not change the legal substance of offences but would allow us to stop categorizing animal cruelty as property crime and to symbolically reflect that animal cruelty is most appropriately characterized as a gross violation of public standards of acceptable behaviour, as oftentimes it is a serious offence of violence. In fact, there is increasingly scientific evidence of a link between animal cruelty and subsequent violent offending against humans, particularly in the context of domestic violence. The women and children who are forced to witness animal cruelty know that it is not about property damage and it is time our Criminal Code recognized this reality.

The second goal of the amendments is to increase and enhance the penalty regime for animal cruelty offences. The way that society traditionally recognizes the seriousness of a particular conduct is through the penalty that it prescribes for that conduct.

Bill C-50 would make the law more coherent by clearly distinguishing criminally negligent conduct from wilful cruelty for the purposes of providing different sentencing ranges. The person who keeps too many cats and is unable to care for them all commits a different kind of criminal offence than one who skins a cat alive, and Bill C-50 would ensure that penalty ranges reflect this.

The current maximum penalty for animal cruelty, six months in prison or a $2,000 fine or both, would be increased accordingly for both kinds of crime. For intentional cruelty, which would be made a hybrid offence, the maximum penalty on indictment would be increased to five years and on summary conviction to eighteen months. For criminally negligent offences, the maximum sentence would be increased to two years.

Another change is the removal of the current two year cap on orders prohibiting a convicted offender from owning or living with animals. The length of a prohibition order would be in the discretion of the judge and he or she would make the final determination. The courts would also be given a clear power to order a convicted offender to repay to a person or to an organization, which most likely would be the animal welfare society, the costs associated with the caring for the animal the offender was convicted of abusing.

These penalty enhancements, coupled with the other set of reforms that bring greater simplicity, coherence and rationality to the laws, will work together to signal to judges, prosecutors, police and the general public that the abuse of animals is about violence and that cruelty is a matter of serious criminal law.

To be effective, good criminal law must not only provide adequate penalty ranges, it must also be clear, coherent, complete and must reflect the true nature of the misconduct and the societal values at stake. The full range of legal reforms is necessary to bring our 19th century criminal laws in this area into the 21st century.

Over the course of many years that animal cruelty amendments have been before Parliament, Canadians have consistently voiced their strong support for legislative change in this area and their expectation that the legislation will be passed without delay. I urge all members in the House to ensure that occurs as soon as possible.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

November 14th, 2005 / 3:25 p.m.
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Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberalfor the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved:

That Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals, be referred forthwith to the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

PrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

November 14th, 2005 / 3:25 p.m.
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The Speaker

At the request of the chief government whip, the vote on the motion, as amended, will be deferred until tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m.

(Bill C-50. On the Order: Government Orders)

May 16, 2005--The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada--Second reading and reference to the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

November 3rd, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.
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Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue the debate at third reading of Bill C-54, the first nations resources bill.

When this is complete, we will consider reference before second reading of Bill C-50, respecting cruelty to animals. I expect that this business will carry over to tomorrow. We will then add to the list second reading of Bill S-36, respecting diamonds and second reading of Bill C-44, the transport bill.

When the House resumes on November 14, we will return to second reading of Bill C-68, the Pacific gateway bill; Bill C-66, the energy bill; and Bill C-67, the surpluses legislation.

We will also then return to any business from this week that is unfinished and if time permits, consider second reading of Bill C-61, the marine bill.

November 15 and November 17, as the hon. member across the way would have known weeks ago had he been at the House leaders meeting, will be allotted days. On Tuesday evening, November 15, we will have a take note debate on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Accordingly, I will propose the required motion pursuant to Standing Order 53.1(1). I move:

That a debate pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 take place on Tuesday, November 15 on the subject of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

October 27th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.
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Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, unfortunately, takes the opportunity every Thursday to ask the same question, knowing the answer will be exactly the same because it is factual.

The opposition days will begin the week of November 14, and I indicated that some weeks ago to the opposition House leaders. At that point, I thought the matter had been dealt with and that we would focus on the agenda, which is important to Canadians.

We will continue with the second reading of Bill C-67, which is the surpluses bill. Should this be completed, we would then return to the second reading debate of Bill C-66, the energy legislation. We do not sit on Friday. On Monday we will commence the second reading debate of Bill C-68, respecting the Pacific Gateway. We will give priority to these bills over the next week.

On Tuesday evening there will be a take note debate on cross-border Internet drugs.

If debates on the major bills that I have referred to are completed by late next week, we will then turn to report stage of Bill S-38, respecting the spirits trade, second reading of Bill C-47, the Air Canada bill, Bill C-50, respecting cruelty to animals, second reading of Bill C-44, the transport legislation, second reading of Bill C-61, the marine bill, reference before second reading of Bill C-46, the correctional services bill, report stage of Bill C-54, the first nations resources bill and other bills that will perhaps come back from committee that we would like to get into the House for further debate.

In order to bring about that take note debate on Tuesday, I move:

That a debate pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 take place on Tuesday, November 1 on the subject of cross-border Internet drugs.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

October 20th, 2005 / 3 p.m.
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Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I find the last part of that question a little puzzling, given that the hon. member was at the meeting where I in fact outlined the opposition days. They will begin the week of November 14 and will go right to December 8. We are meeting our commitment and our obligation to provide seven opposition days during this supply period.

We will continue this afternoon with the second reading debate of Bill C-65, the street racing bill, followed by Bill C-64, the vehicle identification legislation, Bill S-37, respecting the Hague convention, Bill S-36, the rough diamonds bill, and reference to committee before second reading of Bill C-50, respecting cruelty to animals.

Tomorrow, we will start with any bills not completed today. As time permits, we will turn to second reading of Bill C-44, the transportation bill, and reference to committee before second reading of Bill C-46, the correctional services legislation. This will be followed by second reading of Bill C-52, respecting fisheries.

I expect that these bills will keep the House occupied into next week.

On Monday we will start with third reading of Bill C-37, the do not call legislation. I also hope to begin consideration of Bill C-66, the energy legislation, by midweek. We will follow this with Bill C-67, the surpluses bill.

Some time ago the House leaders agreed to hold a take note debate on the softwood lumber issue on the evening of Tuesday, October 25.

We also agreed on an urgent basis to have such a debate on the issue of the U.S. western hemisphere travel initiative on the evening of Monday, October 24.

Accordingly, pursuant to Standing Order 53.1(1), I move:

That debates pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 take place as follows:

(1) on Monday, October 24, 2005, on the impact on Canada of the United States western hemisphere travel initiative;

(2) on Tuesday, October 25, 2005, on softwood lumber.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

October 6th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I understand from the member's question that he was obviously not at the last opposition House leaders' meeting where the entire agenda up to December 15 was laid out, including the seven opposition days to which he has referred.

In terms of background, I might also suggest to the hon. member that back in 1973 when there was a minority Parliament, the House opened on January 4 and all seven opposition days were held between March 5 and March 26. Back in 1979, when the House opened on October 9, opposition days started November 6. Opposition days clearly are the purview of the government to schedule. We have scheduled all of them for the opposition parties.

The House will continue this afternoon with the second reading of Bill C-54, the first nations oil and gas bill, followed by second reading of Bill S-38, respecting trade in spirits, and report stage and third reading of Bill C-28, the food and drugs bill.

Tomorrow we will begin with Bill C-28 and if it is completed, we will proceed with second reading of Bill S-37, respecting the Hague Convention and Bill S-36, respecting diamonds.

Next week is the Thanksgiving break week and I wish all hon. members a very happy Thanksgiving.

When the House returns on October 17, we will consider second reading of Bill C-63, respecting the registration of political parties, followed by report stage and third reading of Bill C-49, the human trafficking bill, second reading of Bill C-65, the street racing bill, Bill C-64, the vehicle registration legislation, and report stage of Bill C-37, the do not call bill.

As the week continues, we will add to the list reference to committee before second reading of Bill C-50, respecting the cruelty to animals, Bill C-44, the transportation legislation, Bill C-47, respecting Air Canada, the reference before second reading of Bill C-46, the correctional services bill, and by the end of the week we hope to begin debate on the energy and surplus bills that are being introduced this week. There is also ongoing discussions about a take note debate that week.

As members can see, there is a heavy agenda and important legislation. As I said and as I laid out to the opposition House leaders at our previous meeting, in the post-Remembrance Day segment of this sitting, we will consider the business of supply and we hope to be in a position to deal with the final stages of many of these very important bills before the end of the year.

Animal RightsStatements By Members

September 29th, 2005 / 2 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the summer I was truly taken by the number of constituents, and indeed Canadians, who spoke up on the issue of animal cruelty and the lack of strength in the current legislation.

The last time these laws were changed was in 1956 and those were only minor amendments from the changes made in 1892. In fact, animals are still in our property section and are really afforded no protection. As various abuses occur, the reality is that nothing is being done.

The House has been dealing with an animal cruelty bill since 1999. We are now on our seventh incarnation of the bill. It is imperative that we take action. Bill C-50 is hopefully going to be presented to the House soon. It needs to be passed by all members of the House with great expediency. It is essentially the same bill that was passed previously. The bill that is currently before the Senate is woefully inadequate. It does not protect animals. It keeps them in the property section.

It is important to say this because there are a lot of people in the hunting community who have received false information. They have nothing to be worried about—

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

May 16th, 2005 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-50, an act to amend the Criminal Code in respect of cruelty to animals.

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