An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs)

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to create new offences in relation to trafficking in human organs. It also amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide that a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible to Canada if the appropriate minister is of the opinion that they have engaged in any activities relating to trafficking in human organs.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Dec. 14, 2022 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs)
May 18, 2022 Passed 2nd reading of Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs)

May 16th, 2022 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Chair, I'm tempted to tease Mr. Zuberi and say that wasn't a very concise intervention about being concise, but I appreciate his comments.

If Mr. Oliphant will forgive me, I'm a relatively new member to this place in terms of how procedure works. I always need a refresher so I appreciate him taking the time to ensure that I'm fully up to speed. I hope we'll get to hear from him about the risks of using Google Translate. I always find it edifying when he shares that information.

My intention in saying I will cede the floor to Mr. Morantz is, of course, not to imply that I have the power to give the floor to anyone but it's more based on what I thought was the speakers list. The chair is nodding so I assume that means that though I clearly failed in describing the procedures in the most formal way it is in fact Mr. Morantz next.

I'll wrap up my comments for the moment by responding to Mr. Zuberi's point with respect to the question of topicality and the amendment and then making a couple of comments about the piece of legislation that I was going to speak to.

The amendment we're debating is an amendment to the current motion. It says:

and that this study not take place until after the completion of the committee's studies on Ukraine, Vaccine Equity and Taiwan as well as studies on legislation sent from the House of Commons; and further that it not take place until the subcommittee on agenda and procedure submits a report prescribing the manner in which the study is to proceed;

In the context of this amendment it would be fully appropriate to make arguments about the importance of the studies on Ukraine, the importance of the study on vaccine equity, the importance of the study on Taiwan, and the importance of the pieces of legislation, because that is precisely what this amendment says. It says that those three studies, as well as the legislation, should be given priority over the content of this motion. Very clearly, there are five things: Ukraine, vaccine equity, Taiwan, Bill S-211, and Bill S-233, I believe. There's another bill, S-223, that has some folks very excited so I'm careful not to mix those up. Those are the topics that we're invited to discuss in the form of this amendment.

The other piece of legislation, S-233.... Is it Bill S-223? Okay, it's Bill S-223. It's my bill and I've forgotten the number. Bill S-223 is my bill and Bill S-233 is the controversial one. I'm sorry, it's not my bill. Again, we're being precise on a Monday morning after I've taken a red eye and that's good.

Where was I here? The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. This bill is designed to combat the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It also contains a provision by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they have been involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. We know that there's organ harvesting and trafficking sadly that happens in other countries and there are limits obviously to what we can do about human rights violations that happen in other countries. But one important step we can take is ensuring that we as Canada and that Canadians individually are not complicit in those violations of human rights that take place overseas.

One of the reasons we see forced organ harvesting and trafficking is demand for those organs. If people are coming from other countries to receive an organ that was taken from someone without consent that creates a demand for organs to be taken without consent. That's where we can try to intervene on the Canadian side and confront the issue of prospective demand.

These are two very important pieces of legislation, Bill S-223, and Bill S-211. I'm hopeful that the committee will be able to get to them and proceed with them as well as the other important items on the floor.

I did have a few other things I was going to say but I will finish my remarks for the moment. I suspect next we'll hear from Mr. Morantz and I'm looking forward to his intervention and the interventions of other members as well.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 13th, 2022 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, now that the collapse of debate on this bill at this stage is secure, let me take a few moments to say a few thanks to all of those who have been involved in moving this important bill forward at this stage.

Of course, it is very important to start by recognizing the incredible life and legacy of David Kilgour. David Kilgour and David Matas were responsible for an initial groundbreaking report exposing the organ harvesting and trafficking taking place in China. David Kilgour brought this to the attention of the world, and he was a strong advocate throughout his life on this issue, leading to many other countries passing legislation on forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It was maybe a bit of a point of embarrassment that Canada, his own country, was behind some of these other countries in passing legislation.

David passed away earlier this year, so I am sorry he will not have the opportunity, at least from the vantage point of being on earth, to see what is happening. However, I believe, as I know some other members do as well, that he is still aware of what is happening and is heartily pleased by it.

I want to recognize as well the sponsor of this legislation, Senator Ataullahjan, who tenaciously put it forward in the Senate. She has been more successful than I have been. She got the Senate to pass it unanimously three times, and we have only passed it once unanimously in the House so far. As members know, in the legislative process, it has to pass in the same form in both Houses in the same Parliament. It has passed in slightly different forms in different Parliaments, but this is the same form of the bill that passed in a previous Parliament.

The bill has passed the Senate, so I think we can get this done, hopefully without amendment, because if we amend it, it has to go back to the Senate again and we would be into this whole procedure again. Hopefully the foreign affairs committee will be able to pass it without amendment. I want to again recognize Senator Ataullahjan for her tenacious work on it.

I think it is very important to acknowledge the communities that have been advocating for this. Members are aware that other members and I have often tabled petitions on Bill S-223. It is not just my office staff sitting there signing the same petition over and over again; it is members of the community who go out and collect these signatures. I know the Falun Gong community has been very active in advocating for this. Falun Gong practitioners in Canada are standing with members of their community who face organ harvesting and trafficking in China.

We have seen an increase in other communities being targeted. Uighurs, for example, are victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I want to recognize the advocacy of the Uighur community and so many other Canadians: people from the medical profession, students and people from all walks of life. Whether they or their communities are directly impacted by organ harvesting or not, they have stepped forward to be a part of these efforts and a part of this advocacy.

I am also going to mention that apparently it is Trevor's birthday. He is a staff member on the Liberal side who played an important role in helping us move this forward. I think it is important to recognize all of the staff who are involved in supporting our work here, and I wish Trevor, whom I have never met in person but am sure is a lovely fellow, a very happy birthday.

It is so heartening that we have these moments in the House of Commons when we can come together across party lines in defence of justice and human rights. Sometimes the rancour that exists on other issues gets in the way of us working together. I am a big believer that it is okay to fight hard when we disagree, but it is important to be able to bracket those fights and work together on issues that we do agree on. That is exactly what we are trying to do with this piece of legislation.

We do so because in these moments, we think of the victims and the people who have suffered horribly as a result of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I think there is an imperative for us to put aside whatever we might feel toward each other some of the time and say that people who are suffering and victims who need our defence and support are far more important than anything else that is going on. I want to thank all members who are part of this effort.

It is not done yet. We are going to go to committee, hopefully get it passed very quickly at committee, send it back here without amendment for third reading and finally have a law in Canada that makes it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without consent.

I will continue tabling petitions on this until we get the bill passed, but when it is passed, I commit to stopping at that point and tabling petitions only on other topics.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 13th, 2022 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to thank the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for tenaciously sponsoring this legislation again. He should get an award for the number of times he has appeared on this very same bill.

In the House, we all recognize the importance of this bill. We have had several Parliaments debate it. I do not think there is any argument against this kind of an amendment being necessary to the Criminal Code and to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

I did have a number of comments I wanted to make, but in the spirit of what has already been said today, I would conclude by saying that the NDP absolutely does support this legislation. It is a shame that we did not see the former Bill S-240 pass through the 42nd Parliament quickly. If people remember correctly, that piece of legislation was held up, literally yards away from the finish line, because of the procedural shenanigans that were going on in the other place, when Conservative senators were trying to hold up Romeo Saganash's Bill C-262. That ultimately prevented the Senate from voting on the House amendments to Bill S-240.

That being said, we are here now with Bill S-223. I am proud to support this bill at second reading. We look forward to seeing it get to committee, back to the House and on to the Governor General's desk as quickly as possible.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 13th, 2022 / 1:30 p.m.
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Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have to admit that I am somewhat surprised that my colleagues' speeches are so short.

I will jump right in and say that the Bloc Québécois supports Bill S‑223, the former Bill S‑204, which should have passed in the last Parliament.

Bill S‑223 explicitly makes it a crime to travel abroad to receive a transplanted organ that was removed without free and informed consent and obtained for consideration. Put simply, it prohibits individuals from engaging in a practice abroad that is prohibited in Canada.

The Criminal Code prohibits the exploitation of individuals, which includes organ and tissue harvesting. This bill provides an additional tool to thwart criminal groups and to combat organ trafficking, which speaks to the social and economic inequalities that still exist on this planet.

The Bloc Québécois hopes that Bill S‑223 will be passed quickly, as the former bill was.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 13th, 2022 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

,

seconded by the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, moved that Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

He said: Mr. Speaker, my grandfather had this expression not to “gild the lily”. That is, when something is already beautiful, there is no need to further dress it up.

We already have a consensus. I am looking forward to seeing this bill finally move into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is very moving that, on what happens to be Falun Dafa Day, a day when we remember the Falun Dafa community as being a particular victim of organ harvesting and trafficking in China, I can present this petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

I want to thank all of the members who have spoken to this important issue. I particularly want to recognize the member for Kingston and the Islands for his hard work on the file. Some members have suggested that I am behind this, but I think he deserves a lion's share of the credit.

I commend this important petition to the House, and the bill will be debated later today.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to present a petition on behalf of Canadians in support of Bill S-223, which is to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I thank my colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his good work on this. He has been a dogged supporter of this bill, which is needed because it would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian going abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

Bill S-223 has passed the Senate unanimously three times and in this House once unanimously. It is similar to my Bill C-208 being passed in the House, which was put forward by former NDP House leader Guy Caron. When I put that bill forward, there was unanimous support by the opposition at that time, and Bill S-223 also has unanimous support. As it will be debated this afternoon with the support of other parties, I am sure that Bill S-223 will finally come into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to present a petition on behalf of the Canadians who have signed it. It is a petition in support of Bill S-223. First and foremost, I want to congratulate and thank my hon. colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for bringing this forward and for his advocacy.

Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and it would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ. This is important legislation. I hope to see it pass very shortly, and I will be in support of it this afternoon.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Fraser Tolmie Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Canadians, I would like to bring this petition forward on Bill S-223. I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his efforts and advocacy on this.

We live by higher morals here in Canada, and this would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person giving that organ. We know that this has passed in the Senate three times in the exact form it is in now. We will be debating it this afternoon and, on behalf of all Canadians who have signed this, I hope we will put this into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today and present this petition in support of Bill S-223. Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

Bill S-223 has passed the Senate unanimously three times. It passed the House unanimously in 2019 in exactly the same form as the current bill. I see today that there are many recognizing the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. I would also recognize that my Liberal colleague across the aisle from Kingston and the Islands is in support of Bill S-223. As this bill comes before the House today, let us make sure it passes this time, since we are all in agreement.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, I usually rise in this place to correct the member for Kingston and the Islands for some of his words, but today I truly support them.

I am here to submit a petition on behalf of Canadians in support of Bill S-223. This is an important subject. Most Canadians would be shocked and horrified to find out that there is not a law prohibiting a Canadian citizen from leaving Canada to receive an organ transplant without the consent of the person that the organ is from.

This is an atrocious practice, and action needs to be taken. Canada is a moral country. I want to thank the member of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his advocacy and Senator Ataullahjan for her leadership on this very important issue. I beg the government to consider the petitioners' request.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to present, on behalf of many Canadians, a petition in support of Bill S-223, which we will be talking about later today. This bill seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person giving that organ.

Bill S-223 has passed the Senate unanimously three times and passed the House unanimously in 2019 in exactly the same form as this current bill. We will be debating it this afternoon, and the petitioners hope this Parliament will finally be the one that brings the bill into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today in support of Bill S-223. The people who have signed this are encouraging the government to support the bill, which is being debated this afternoon.

It has passed the Senate three times. It has passed in the House in 2019 in the same form. It seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving it.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and present a petition signed by Canadians from across the country in support of Bill S-223. I would like to flag the ongoing advocacy on this issue by the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

As previous petitioners have noted, Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and would make it a criminal offence for a person to travel abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

It is very important to note that this bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times and passed the House unanimously in 2019 in the same form as the current bill. With debate beginning today, it is imperative that all members support this bill so we can end this reprehensible and dangerous practice.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to present a petition signed by Canadians in support of Bill S-223, introduced by Senator Ataullahjan and championed by the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

This bill would make it a Criminal Code offence to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person giving the organ. The bill has passed the Senate three times and it passed the House once in 2019, in all cases unanimously. Debate is beginning this afternoon. It is imperative that we get this important piece of legislation passed as soon as possible.