An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal procedure, language of the accused, sentencing and other amendments)

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in October 2007.

Sponsor

Vic Toews  Conservative

Status

Not active, as of June 14, 2007
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

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

This enactment amends various provisions of the Criminal Code in relation to criminal procedure, language of the accused, sentencing and other matters.

The amendments respecting criminal procedure provide for, among other things,

(a) the use of a means of telecommunication to forward warrants for the purpose of endorsement;

(b) changes to the process with respect to the challenge of jurors;

(c) a new election for the accused where a preferred indictment has been filed against him or her or where the Supreme Court of Canada orders a new trial;

(d) an appeal of a superior court order with respect to things seized lying with the court of appeal;

(e) summary dismissal by a single judge of the court of appeal when an appeal has erroneously been filed with that court; and

(f) a summary conviction trial with respect to co-accused that can proceed where one of the co-accused does not appear.

The amendments respecting the language of the accused clarify the application of provisions related to that matter.

The amendments respecting sentencing provide for, among other things,

(a) clarifications with respect to the application of impaired driving penalties;

(b) the power to order an offender not to communicate with identified persons while in custody and the creation of an offence for failing to comply with the order;

(c) the power to delay the sentencing proceedings so that an offender can participate in a provincially approved treatment program;

(d) an increase of the maximum fine that can be imposed for a summary conviction offence to $10,000 and a change with respect to the calculation of the period of imprisonment to be imposed in default of payment of a fine;

(e) the suspension of a conditional sentence order or a probation order during an appeal;

(f) in the case of a person serving a youth sentence who receives an adult sentence, clarification that the remaining portion of the youth sentence is converted to an adult sentence; and

(g) the power of a court to order, on application by the Attorney General and after convicting a person of the offence of luring a child by means of a computer system, the forfeiture of things used in relation to that offence.

The enactment amends the description of the offence of conveying information on betting and book-making so that the offence encompasses the conveying of that information by any means and makes related changes to the exemption provided with respect to the use of a pari-mutuel system.

Finally, amendments are also made to reclassify the offence of possession of break and enter instruments into a dual procedure offence.

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.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

June 7th, 2007 / 3 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, today we will be continuing with the business of supply.

Tomorrow we hope to conclude third reading of Bill C-52. In answer to the question on priorities, I would point out that Bill C-52, the budget implement bill, is the number one priority of this government. We can talk about other priorities after we see an indication that it will be heading for royal assent. If we do not have it, it will result in the loss of $4.3 billion in 2006-07 year end measures which include: $1.5 billion for the Canada ecotrust for the provinces; $600 million for patient wait times guarantees; $400 million for Canada Health Infoway; $200 million for protection of endangered species; $30 million for the Great Bear rain forest; $600 million for labour market agreements for the provinces; $30 million for the Rick Hansen Foundation; $100 million in aid for Afghanistan; $100 million to Genome Canada; and so on. It is a long list of important priorities financing that will be lost if the bill is not passed by the end of this session in June. That is obviously our number one priority.

Next week will be getting things done for all of us week when we consider a number of bills that are in their final stages of the legislative process.

The following bills will be placed under Government Orders for debate: Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which the Senate reported with amendments and which is now back before the House to receive the approval of the members, and Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal procedure, language of the accused, sentencing and other amendments).

We are awaiting the Senate's report with amendments on Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Public Service Employment Act.

Bill C-33, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, including amendments in relation to foreign investment entities and non-resident trusts, and to provide for the bijural expression of the provisions of that Act, Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act and Bill C-47, An Act respecting the protection of marks related to the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games and protection against certain misleading business associations and making a related amendment to the Trade-marks Act, will probably be passed by the House at third reading.

Discussions have taken place with the opposition parties, and there may be consent to fast-track some or all of the following bills: Bill C-59, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie), Bill S-6, An Act to amend the First Nations Land Management Act and Bill C-51, An Act to give effect to the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

There is also a possibility of quick passage of a new bill entitled “An act to amend the Geneva Conventions Act, an act to incorporate the Canadian Red Cross Society and the Trademarks Act”, which appears on today's notice paper.

There are a number of other bills I am still hoping we could get included in getting things done for all of us week, provided that they get reported back from committee, in particular, Bill C-6 aeronautics; Bill C-27 dangerous offenders; Bill C-32 impaired driving; and Bill C-44, the bill to grant first nations people the human rights that every other Canadian enjoys. First nations people expect the House to get things done for them as well, so I urge the aboriginal affairs committee to stop delaying Bill C-44 and report it back to the House early next week. It is a priority for this government.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

June 4th, 2007 / 3:25 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In accordance with the order of reference of Monday, October 16, 2006, your committee has considered Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal procedure, language of the accused, sentencing and other amendments), and has agreed on Thursday, May 31 to report it with amendments.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

May 31st, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the last point, we have already addressed that.

However, with regard to the balance of Thursday's statement, I am pleased to respond that today and tomorrow we will continue with Bill C-55, the expanded voting opportunities bill; Bill C-14, the adoption bill; Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and Bill C-45, the fisheries act.

In the last Thursday statement, we indicated that we were hoping to have this week as “enhancing the quality of the life of first nations people week” but this was cancelled by the opposition parties when they did not release Bill C-44 from committee, the bill that would give the first nations protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Not only is it being held up now but, as early as this morning in this House, the opposition obstructed our efforts to get the bill dealt with forthwith so that first nations people could have the human rights that every other Canadian enjoys. We know that if all parties would agree to proceed with that, as we saw when we sought unanimous consent, it could proceed, but some would prefer to obstruct it.

Next week will be welcome back from committee week, when we welcome business that has been at committee, including some that has been stalled there for some time. We will deal with Bill C-52, the budget implementation bill, which will begin report stage on Monday and, hopefully, we can get third reading wrapped up by Tuesday.

Following the budget bill, we will call for report stage and third reading of Bill C-35, bail reform. After that, we will call Bill C-23, the Criminal Code amendments. I hardly remember when Bill C-23 was sent to the committee by this House. That took place long before I was even House leader 228 days ago.

Thursday, June 7, shall be the last allotted day. There are a number of other bills that we would like to include in our welcome back from committee week. I still hope we can see Bill C-44, the amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act, to which I just referred; Bill C-6, the amendments to the Aeronautics Act; Bill C-27 dealing with dangerous offenders; Bill C-32 dealing with impaired driving; and Bill C-33 dealing with foreign investment, if the opposition parties will release those from committee.

May 31st, 2007 / 9:50 a.m.
See context

Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Anouk Desaulniers

The committee has already agreed to an amendment to clause 43 of Bill C-23. Henceforth, when a young offender is serving a youth sentence and is also sentenced as an adult... At present, the method of calculating sentences for adults applies to the full sentence imposed on a young offender under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. We are proposing to amend clause 43 so that adult sentencing provisions would now apply only to the balance of the youth sentence, not to the entire sentence, which makes an important different in the calculation.

Take, for example, a young offender who receives a 24-month sentence and is then subsequently sentenced as an adult. If adult sentencing measures were applied in all cases, the offender would be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds, or 16 months, of the sentence. So, if the offender has served one year of his sentence, he would have four months left to serve before becoming eligible for parole. However, if only the balance of the sentence is considered in the calculation, two-thirds of the outstanding balance equals eight months. Therefore, instead of becoming eligible for parole in four months, under the amended clause 43, he would be eligible in only eight months. The regime as such clarifies the fact that combining the two sentences does not reduce the sentence handed down to the young offender in any unreasonable way.

This was an attempt to explain clause 43 to you. Two sentencing regimes apply to young offenders. Clause 43 amends a Criminal Code provision, but we also have subsection 6(7.1) of the Prisons and Reformatories Act which covers situations in which the adult sentencing regime will apply to all sentences. Therefore, this particular provision must also be amended if the Criminal Code amendment is to make any sense.

May 31st, 2007 / 9:40 a.m.
See context

Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Anouk Desaulniers

An earlier clause in Bill C-23 amended section 145 of the Criminal Code. That particular amendment has already been adopted by the committee. However, the text of section 145 is reproduced in Form 12 in clause 45.1. Unfortunately, the wording does not reflect the proposed amendment to a previous provision in Bill C-23. If no changes are made, then section 145 of the Criminal Code would be different from the text reproduced in Form 12.

Again, this is a technical amendment. I understand that at first glance, this amendment is inadmissible because it has to do with a form not covered by Bill C-23. However, to my mind, there is a very clear link between the bill and the proposed change, in that we only want the new wording of section 145 to be reflected.

May 31st, 2007 / 9:35 a.m.
See context

Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Anouk Desaulniers

Clause 37 of Bill C-23 seeks to amend the way in which information regarding probation is conveyed to the offender. In the past, pursuant to the existing provision, the court arranged for the accused to obtain certain information whereas pursuant to the new clause 37, the court itself will be required to supply certain information to the accused, while other information will be conveyed to him by, for example, the clerk.

However, by proposing new wording for section 732.1, our intention was certainly not to modify in any way the information to be supplied to the accused, only the way in which that information is conveyed. Unfortunately, in our new version, we neglected to mention one bit of information, namely the procedure that the offender should follow to obtain changes to his probation order. For that reason, the government amendment proposes to add subsection 732.2(3) which was omitted from the new wording proposed in clause 37.

May 31st, 2007 / 9:20 a.m.
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Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Anouk Desaulniers

Here again, the proposed amendment would correct a drafting oversight with respect to the regime set out under section 568. The drafters neglected to reflect this change in section 569 which pertains to Nunavut's unique situation. Under section 568, an accused may re-elect, when a preferred indictment has been filed. We would like the same situation to apply in Nunavut, but as you know, special procedural rules apply in Nunavut because of its unified court system. Yet, we have not proposed the same changes to section 569. I understand that section 569 is not affected by Bill C-23, but we feel that for the sake of consistency and procedural fairness, this amendment should be adopted.

May 31st, 2007 / 9:20 a.m.
See context

Liberal

The Vice-Chair Liberal Derek Lee

I call the meeting to order.

We're continuing our clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-23.

We had reached and completed clause 23, coincidentally, and we're now moving to clause 24, for which there is an amendment proposed by the government.

(On clause 24)

I would invite the mover, who appears to be Mr. Moore, to introduce the amendment, and we will consider it.

I should say that we're joined today in our clause-by-clause consideration by Ms. Desaulniers and Ms. Soublière from the Department of Justice, as well as Mr. Moore, of course. Thank you.

Mr. Moore.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

May 28th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we came here with five clear priorities and we have been delivering on those priorities, or we have been trying to, except for one thing. The opposition parties continue to stand in front of our priority on getting tough on crime, on making our streets and communities safer.

I talked about mandatory penalties for gun crimes. I know that is heavy on the minds of Canadians. It was held up just at committee, not in the House, 232 days.

Let me talk about Bill C-23, the Criminal Code, 224 days and counting at committee; age of protection, 175 days at committee.

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

May 18th, 2007 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is obstructing Parliament.

Let us look at the justice agenda: Bill C-10, the mandatory penalties for gun crimes bill, a very important part of the agenda, was held up for 252 days in committee by the opposition parties, particularly the Liberals and the Bloc members; Bill C-23, the amendments to the Criminal Code, was held up for 214 days at committee by the opposition parties; Bill C-22, the age of protection bill, 175 days; the DNA identification bill, 148 days; and the conditional sentencing bill, 139 days.

IndustryOral Questions

May 17th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I understand it when I hear it from the Liberals, but I am surprised when the NDP members start being concerned about the way that things are being conducted. They think that an hour or two of debate in a committee by a Conservative is a delay and an obstruction.

Let me talk about delay and obstruction. Let me talk about some bills that were at the justice committee. Bill C-10 on mandatory penalties for gun crimes was there for 252 days. That is obstruction and delay. Let us talk about, for example, the criminal procedure bill, Bill C-23. That was at committee for 213 days. Let us talk about the age of protection bill, Bill C-22. That was held up at committee by the opposition for--

May 17th, 2007 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I'd like to move the following motion:

Whereas public concerns have been raised with regard to section 462.34(4) of the Criminal Code (Application for review of special warrants and restraint orders);

Whereas section 462.34 can by judicial order allow alleged criminals to pay their lawyers out of money seized from them by police;

Whereas this practice is not regulated by clear criteria;

Whereas there has been little public scrutiny of this practice;

It is therefore proposed that:

1. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights study section 462.34 of the Criminal Code and its application, this after its study of Bill C-23 comes to a close;

2. That the Committee dedicate a minimum of 2 sessions to this study;

3. That the Chair of the Committee report its findings to the House.

I have an amendment.

May 15th, 2007 / 4:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I have just checked. We know that for three Liberal members of the committee, there will be no problem if we continue the clause-by-clause study of Bill C-23 tomorrow, from 4:30 to 5:30. If there is a problem for the fourth Liberal member of the committee, we will try to have a replacement. If the other committee members are in agreement, we can proceed as suggested.

May 15th, 2007 / 4:30 p.m.
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Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

I think we need to finish studying Bill C-23 as quickly as possible. It is not a contentious bill. I see no problem with it.

May 15th, 2007 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Art Hanger

The same problem is going to crop up here as it did with your motion, Monsieur Ménard. It's still changing a section that is not part and parcel of the....although Bill C-23 touches on it.