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)

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2022 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of Canadians. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to expeditiously pass legislation banning forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This afternoon, this House unanimously passed such legislation, Bill S-223. I want to take this moment to commend Senator Salma Ataullahjan and the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for their steadfast leadership. They are both great champions of human rights.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 14th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill S-223 under Private Members' Business.

The House resumed from December 7 consideration of the motion 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 third time and passed.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2022 / 11:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition is in support of Bill S-223, which is a bill to prohibit forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It would also create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This bill has been before the House in various forms for the last 15 years, and it will be proceeding to a final vote tomorrow. The petitioners no doubt hope that it will finally pass into law.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 7th, 2022 / 6:10 p.m.
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Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Madam Speaker, it is indeed an honour to rise today to speak to Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to stop the trafficking in human organs. I want to thank Senator Salma Ataullahjan, who brought this bill forward in the Senate, where it passed all three readings. It is now being considered here in the House of Commons, sponsored by my colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

This bill would amend the Criminal Code to create some indictable offences for those who are engaged in illegal organ harvesting. It would also allow the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship to intercede. If it is believed that someone is in Canada as a permanent resident or here as a foreign national, they can be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they have participated, in one way or another, in the harvesting of human organs.

I have been advocating for this for quite some time. We brought forward the Sergei Magnitsky law, which passed this place unanimously in 2018. The government has failed to use it since that time, other than for the first tranche of people who were sanctioned. It was to make sure that those individuals who are committing gross human rights violations around the world were held to account and that they were not allowed to use Canada as a safe haven.

We know there has been a systematic organ harvesting program going on in China, led by the Communist regime in Beijing. They have used it on political dissidents and ethnic and religious minorities, like the Falun Gong practitioners, like the Uighurs, like Christians and others. They have gone out after them, arrested them and then forcibly removed their organs to profit from them.

We talk about gross human rights violations. It is disgusting that someone would actually take people who are being persecuted because they are a minority group or someone who does not agree with the regime in Beijing, or other countries for that matter, and arrest them, detain them and then literally rip them apart and market their organs around the world.

Bill S-223 would make sure that those individuals, if they ever came to Canada, would face our criminal justice system. They would not just be facing sanctions and be banned from Canada or have their assets frozen here in Canada, but they would face criminal prosecution here in Canada.

Let us consider someone who needed an organ transplant and knowingly used an organ that was harvested in this manner from a political dissident, from a Falun Gong practitioner or Uighurs. Right now, the Uighurs are being persecuted to the highest level. Essentially a genocide is being carried out by the Communist regime in Beijing against the Uighurs. If somebody wanted to buy one of these organs, they could be facing criminal prosecution here in Canada.

We know that this market exists. Estimates suggest that illegal organ trafficking generates $1 billion to $2 billion Canadian every year. That is sourced from 12,000 illegal transplants, predominantly coming from mainland China. That is 12,000 transplants a year. We have to put an end to this.

I had the privilege of working with the Falun Dafa Association here in Canada. It represents Falun Gong practitioners. Many of them have fled mainland China to make sure they had the ability here in Canada to have the things that we take for granted, such as freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. All of that is denied by the Communist regime in China.

They put together some great research over the years. A former colleague has put together a rather large report with the assistance of David Matas. When I say a former colleague, I mean David Kilgour, who was a long-time MP here, who always championed human rights.

They had a list of over 150 individuals who were profiting from the sale of illegally obtained organs that were harvested from Falun Gong practitioners. Last spring, I presented a petition that called on the government to look at this. It said that in the last 21 years, Communist Party officials had orchestrated the torture and killing of a large number of people who practised Falun Gong and that it was being done on a mass scale so their vital organs could fuel the communist regime's organ transplant trade. There were 14 names to sanction under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Sergei Magnitsky Law, and the government responded but never sanctioned any of the individuals named.

In October 2021, I sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs congratulating her on her new appointment and asking her to take action on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners. I asked her to look at the entire list of individuals, which said who they were, what position they held in mainland China and what operations they were involved in with regard to persecuting and arresting Falun Gong practitioners, harvesting their organs and ultimately trading those organs around the world. I first sent the 150 names to her predecessor at the time and then to her. Again, we got a response but no action was taken.

I know the bill is getting support from all sides of the House and from every corner of the chamber, but we need to make sure we step up and sanction those individuals to ensure they are not coming to Canada. We can sanction them using the Sergei Magnitsky Law. They are hiding their wealth, taking advantage of our strong banking system, taking advantage of our fairly robust real estate market and capitalizing on the illicit gains they have been able to achieve because of this illegal trade in organs.

There are Canadians who need organ transplants. We have to encourage more and more people to donate organs in Canada so that we can extend the life of those who need transplants. That way, we can also deter this illicit trade in illegally harvested human organs and make sure it does not spread to other jurisdictions. We always like to concentrate on the communist regime in China, but we know this is happening in other places in the world. There are stories of African nations, and it is not just governments doing this, but gangs and the people out there in human trafficking who are resorting to this as a way to generate illicit revenues.

We need to continue to stand on the side of the individuals who cannot stand up for themselves. We have to make sure Canada continues to be a leader on the issue of human rights.

We need to make sure that those committing these crimes can be held to account. I know Bill S-223 would go a long way in ensuring that they would not be allowed to work in Canada and would be arrested if they did, and would not be allowed to travel to Canada or they would be arrested and face charges. We also need to make sure that those who know they are purchasing organs through this gross human rights violation of illegal organ harvesting face the full cost and full force of law here in Canada.

I again want to congratulate Senator Ataullahjan for bringing this bill forward. It is something she has been working on for a number of years. It has died on the Order Paper in the past, and this is our opportunity to make sure it comes into force as quickly as possible.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 7th, 2022 / 6:05 p.m.
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NDP

Lori Idlout NDP Nunavut, NU

Uqaqtittiji, I thank my constituents in Nunavut for putting their trust in me. I will continue to work hard to ensure their needs are being met and to ensure their voices are being heard.

Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act related to the trafficking in human organs, is important to many Canadians and people abroad. This bill, if passed, could do one of three things.

The bill’s proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act could help to ensure that receiving organs or benefiting economically from this illicit trade is inadmissible in Canada. This is particularly important for developing countries where impoverished people are experiencing forced removal of organs, like kidneys and livers. This could be a strong message to countries like India and Pakistan that have corrupt agents to people in developed countries, including Canada.

The bill, if passed, could send a clear message that the government should do what it can to protect the vulnerable people who are exploited by these heinous crimes. Most importantly, the issue of organ trafficking is not a partisan one and we need to work together to get this bill passed.

We know that organs, like kidneys and livers, are being forcibly removed from many people worldwide. It is a very real problem on which the government has been needing to pass legislation for a while. It is something that, through several Parliaments, we have been waiting for substantive action on. This is the opportunity to pass this important legislation.

The World Health Organization has noted that one out of 10 organ transplants involves a trafficked human organ. This totals about 10,000 a year. We know this is a crime that disproportionately affects people who live in developing countries that do not have access to the same rights, privileges and equality under the law.

The Canadian government, by taking a firm stance on this issue, is sending a message that the trafficking of human organs is a criminal action and should be punished as such. In addition to supporting this initiative, more should be done to encourage ethical, safe organ donation domestically to alleviate the need for trafficked organs.

A total of 2,782 organ transplants were performed in Canada in 2021, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. There are more than 3,300 Canadians on waiting lists for a kidney transplant, which is almost double the number from 20 years ago, and close to a third of them are from Ontario, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Organ donation is greatly needed within this country. With such a large need within this country, it is important to have a conversation on how the Canadian health care system needs to talk about these needs. With so many Canadians needing organ donations, the illegal trade of organs in Canada continues to grow.

The people who are exploited in this trade have given testimony speaking to their experiences. There are stories of people who have woken up in a drugged haze to someone wearing a surgical mask and gloves telling them that their kidney has just been removed and that they need to take care of themselves. Often, these victims can suffer very serious, lifelong health consequences from that and because of the nature of the operation, some people have ultimately died from it.

In expressing what matters to indigenous peoples, this is an opportunity to remind all Canadians and parliamentarians of the consequences of federal government neglect in investing in first nations, Métis and Inuit health. Indigenous peoples continue to suffer elevated health indicators worse than those of mainstream Canadians.

Generally, the health care needs of indigenous peoples are not being met. Nunavut continues to rely too much on a medical travel system that does not invest well enough in the potential to invest in human resources in Nunavut and indigenous peoples across Canada. An article regarding challenges experienced by indigenous transplant patients in Canada confirmed:

Northern, remote and rural Indigenous populations are further challenged as small population sizes mean that there are significantly fewer local diagnostic and health-care services, and the distances to travel to receive these services is often challenging for patients and families, particularly when regular treatments are required.

By addressing the seriousness of this issue, and through years of discussion, this bill should be passed.

I am pleased to see that this Parliament has tried to address that by making it easier for people to sign up and become an organ donor. However, the illegal organ trade continues to grow and people continue to be exploited. The demand for organs is high and as our population ages, we certainly need to have smart and effective policy to address this issue. It is important that education on organ donation be made more accessible to Canadians.

Canada has a shortage of organs, with 4,129 patients in 2020 waiting for transplants at the end of the year and 276 Canadians who were waiting on a transplant list dying. That was up from 250 to 223 in previous years.

Indigenous children, including first nations, Inuit and Métis, experience persistent health and social inequities and face higher rates of end-stage organ failure requiring solid organ transplantation. The reasons for these inequities are multi-faceted and linked to Canada's history of colonialism and racism. Organizations and labs across Canada continue to conduct research to present their findings of inadequate health care system experiences that indigenous peoples face. With a better discussion, there is hope for the future.

New Democrats have long opposed all forms of trafficking, be it human trafficking for sexual exploitation, labour trafficking or the trafficking of human organs. We continue to fight for human rights.

We all must do what we can to protect vulnerable people. By passing this bill, Canada can send a strong message to other countries. Let us stand together in sending this message out.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 7th, 2022 / 5:55 p.m.
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Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, as members of Parliament, we have the opportunity to speak in this House about issues that are important to us. Every day, our colleagues rise to commend or denounce a situation that sometimes brings us together and other times drives us apart.

Everyone knows that I am very happy when I can jump into the political arena and debate with my colleagues from other parties. It is not news to my colleagues that I like standing up to my Liberal, Conservative or NDP friends once in a while—with all due respect, of course. That is what our job is all about: defending our ideas. Having said that, there are some issues where debate is not really appropriate, not because I want to impose my ideas, but because, very often, unanimity triumphs over difference of opinion. Most of the time, this happens when the issues relate to the protection of human rights or the well-being of individuals.

As the Bloc Québécois immigration and human rights critic, today I want to talk about the protection and well-being of individuals. I want to talk primarily about Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, trafficking in human organs, which was debated and passed in the Senate. This shows that there is consensus among Canadians and Quebeckers with respect to the cruel and barbaric practice of organ trafficking. There is already a consensus on this. Therefore, no one will be surprised to hear me say that, just like my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I support the principle of this bill.

Before continuing, I would like us to examine some notions together. Organ transplants were first performed in the 1950s and have saved countless lives. However, the demand for organs now far exceeds supply. It is estimated that legal transplants meet the needs of 10% of all patients on waiting lists worldwide. Consequently, thousands of people die each year waiting for a transplant. There is a reason why organ trafficking is on the rise. Just look at the numbers. The desperate need for organ transplants has led to a thriving criminal, transnational and lucrative market. Organ trafficking is a global phenomenon.

This phenomenon is everywhere, even though the practice is prohibited in nearly every country. It is a practice that is widely considered unethical and, sadly, it disproportionately affects the poor and disadvantaged. The numbers speak for themselves. The typical recipient is a 48-year-old man with an average annual income of $53,000. In contrast, the typical donor is a 28-year-old man with an average annual income of $480. The problem is that these transplants performed abroad are dangerous, not only for the donors, but also for the recipients. There is no regulatory framework to ensure the safety of the procedure or the viability of the organs in either the donor or recipient countries. Although the issue of organ trafficking is internationally recognized, attempts to prevent and prohibit it have had limited success. As a result, this crime remains widespread in many parts of the world.

So far, legislative measures in Canada to strengthen federal laws on trafficking in human organs have yielded poor results. “Canada is back”, the Prime Minister told us in 2015 and during the last Parliament. To that I say that Canada is far from back. What is more, on international human rights files, Canada has been dragging its feet for some time now. There is currently no Canadian law prohibiting Canadians from going abroad to buy organs, get a transplant and return to Canada. In these conditions, we certainly cannot say that the measures taken by the Government of Canada have scared off many giants. In any case, certainly not China.

I can say that the situation in China is especially concerning. It is the only country in the world that organizes trafficking in organs on an industrial scale by removing organs from executed prisoners of conscience. This is forced organ removal. My Uighur friends know this all too well. I will rise in the House and denounce loud and clear the atrocities committed by the Chinese government against their community any chance I get. Today, I am doing so once again because we cannot say it enough.

As I stand here before members of the House, nearly two million Uighur and Turkic Muslims are in concentration camps, where many acts of torture are committed. Human beings are killed in cold blood and their organs are sold on the red market. At the risk of repeating myself, but above all out of necessity, I will again state the following in the House. At this very moment, in China, the most awful crime that a government can perpetrate against its own citizens is being committed, the crime of genocide.

China currently has the two largest transplant programs in the world. They grew quickly in the early 2000s without a corresponding increase in voluntary organ donors. This has rightfully raised questions about the origin of the organs. The trade in organs harvested from Uighurs interned in Chinese camps has been repeatedly investigated. Unsurprisingly, the investigations are always suspended.

We have to ask ourselves why we were elected, but also why we ran in the first place. I realize there can be a political price associated with going after a giant like China. There can be economic repercussions. Every single one of our ridings has economic interests in China. That is to be expected because China is an economic giant. At the same time, as we speak, Uighur women are being forcibly sterilized and Uighur children are being taken away from their families and placed with Han families.

As we speak, Uighurs' organs are being stolen. The stolen organs are then transplanted in a capitalist market where they can be bought and sold. Canadian citizens take advantage of this market. It is important to remember why we are in politics. Yes, we have to stand up to these people no matter the political cost. I am ready to put my seat on the line by standing up to China.

When I say “China”, I am talking about the Chinese communist regime in power, which is committing atrocities against its own people. Bill S‑223 is therefore very important. We are going to stand up to China for once. This will be one of the little things that we are doing, one of the small steps that we are taking, to stand against the giant that is China.

I will close with the following point. I do not know what is going to happen with Bill S‑223, but at least no one can plead ignorance, which is the greatest ally of totalitarian regimes, after blindness. Let us be neither ignorant nor blind. It is with this in mind that I will be supporting the bill to combat organ trafficking, but it is mainly for reasons of safety, social justice and principle.

As members can imagine, I will never compromise on this. My principles and my conscience come first, and that is how we best represent our constituents who have decided to put their trust in us.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 7th, 2022 / 5:45 p.m.
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Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darren Fisher LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs).

The bill proposes much-needed reforms that would seek to end the illicit trade in organs, a trade that preys upon human suffering and desperation. Organ trafficking is a transnational and global challenge that frequently involves the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable living in under-resourced countries. Generally, wealthier individuals, often from more affluent countries, drive the demand for organs, while the supply of organs usually comes from developing regions.

While there are no known organ trafficking cases where the transplant occurred in Canada, there have been reports of Canadians participating in transplant tourism. This practice involves individuals going abroad to buy organs that are needed for medical reasons but not available in their own countries.

Those from whom the organs are extracted may be coerced, or they may be influenced to agree to organ removal through exploitation of their vulnerabilities. For example, they may be promised a significant monetary reward that would ease financial desperation. These individuals must co-operate in the organ trafficking enterprise, for example, by submitting to compatibility and other types of testing, and preparing for and undergoing surgery. Once the surgery is performed, they are often not provided the promised reward or the care necessary to heal from that ordeal, resulting in long-term complications and even death.

Organ traffickers, those who perform these surgeries, and intermediaries who locate organs for transplant capitalize on the desperation of both the sick and the impoverished. Those from whom organs are extracted are often left uncompensated and in poor health. The Canadian health care system struggles to provide care to those who return home after such surgeries, as health care providers do not have the information necessary to address complications.

Bill S-223 proposes new offences that directly target organ trafficking conduct. Some will note that we already have Criminal Code offences that criminalize organ traffickers. For example, Canada's human trafficking offences apply where traffickers recruit, transport or harbour victims to extract their organs through coercive practices. These offences apply extraterritorially, which means Canada can prosecute Canadians and permanent residents of Canada who engage in trafficking conduct abroad.

The problem is that no offences apply where organs are purchased and coercive practices cannot be proven. In so many of these cases, victims are pressured or influenced to agree to sell their organs, and even where overt forms of coercion are present, the relevant evidence is difficult to obtain, including because it may be located in another country.

In this regard, the proposed offences in Bill S-223 fill a critical gap in the law. Not only does the bill propose new offences that would criminalize facilitating and participating in extracting organs coercively, or obtaining organs in this context, but it also criminalizes facilitating and participating in extracting organs that are purchased or obtained for consideration, as well as obtaining purchased organs.

The bill also extends extraterritorial jurisdiction, which means Canadian citizens and permanent residents can be prosecuted in Canada for engaging in conduct abroad that is prohibited by the bill. This includes those who engage in transplant tourism. The bill also proposes to make foreign nationals and permanent residents who engage in conduct prohibited by the bill's offences inadmissible to Canada for having violated human or international rights, such as war crimes or crimes against humanity under section 35 of the IRPA.

The bill's objectives are consistent with international standards. For example, the World Health Organization has stated that payment for organs is likely to take unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups. It undermines altruistic donation and leads to profiteering and human trafficking. Such payment conveys the idea that some persons lack dignity, that they are mere objects to be used by others.

Various World Health Organization documents also directly address organ trafficking, for example, the 2010 guiding principles on human cell, tissue and organ transplantation, and the 2008 declaration of Istanbul on organ trafficking and transplant tourism and commercialization, whose focus is on preventing organ trafficking and transplant tourism. The declaration recommends prohibition of transplant commercialization, a term that is used internationally to refer to treating organs as commodities to be bought and sold.

Bill S-223's reforms would place Canada at the forefront of the international community on the issue of organ trafficking. Very few countries have sought to combat organ trafficking by targeting the demand that fuels this harmful trade. I am very proud of what this bill's legislative history shows: that combatting organ trafficking is an issue all partisans in Canada can support.

Health Canada continues to lead an initiative called the organ donation and transplantation collaborative in order to help increase access to legal and safe organ transplantation. The collaborative's goal is to achieve organ donation improvements that result in better patient outcomes and an increase in the number and quality of successful transplantations.

There are many impressive actions taken by the collaborative to achieve change in this space, including creating a pan-Canadian data system that will support decisions, avoid missed opportunities and improve patient care; identifying decision-making and accountability mechanisms to ensure Canadians have access to an organ donation and transplantation system that responds to their needs and those of their families; maximizing donor identification in hospitals and referrals to transplantation services across Canada; identifying underserved populations and improving patients' access to post-transplantation care in remote communities; increasing living donation as a preferred treatment option for kidneys and the liver, for example; and supporting health care professionals through professional education.

These efforts, together with Bill S-223, will make Canada a world leader in responding to organ trafficking. While many like-minded countries regulate the transplantation of human organs and prohibit organ trafficking in the same way Canada currently does, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, few countries have criminalized purchasing organs, including transplant tourism.

The government supports the Criminal Code reforms proposed by this bill and will continue to work toward bringing them into force. We are committed to ensuring the bill's reforms support their objective of ending organ trafficking in all its forms, including the commercialization of human body parts, and the harm it causes to those impacted and to all of society.

The House resumed from December 5 consideration of the motion 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 third time and passed.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 6th, 2022 / 10:35 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the next petition I am tabling is in support of Bill S-223, a private member's bill seeking to ban forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill proceeds to its second hour of debate at third reading stage tomorrow and a final vote next week.

The petitioners want to see this bill passed, making it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 5th, 2022 / 11:40 a.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a real honour to be able to rise today to speak to Bill S-223. Before I get into my remarks, it is important to recognize the two individuals who have been working diligently over the years to shepherd this bill through Parliament, starting in the other place, with Senator Ataullahjan, and here, the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. Both individuals have been long involved in this process, over several Parliaments.

The bill, of course, passed very quickly through second and third reading in the other place. In fact, it even skipped consideration by the committee on December 9 of last year. It gives a sense of the arduous journey that private members' bills, both from the Senate side and from the House side, have to make in order to pass the entire parliamentary process: the fact that we are here in December 2022, only now considering its third reading, and it has taken a full year to get to that stage.

Before I get into the details of why this legislation is necessary, I would like to talk about a few key points in terms of what the bill is going to do, so we are all very clear on what the House is going to be debating and hopefully passing in short order.

Essentially, it is a substantive amendment to a narrow section of the Criminal Code in relation to the crime of trafficking in human organs. We know that organs like kidneys and livers are being forcibly removed from many people, but this bill, with a new section 240.1, is going to create some new offences: anyone who obtains organs without informed consent, either for use in another person or for themselves; anyone who is involved in the carrying out of the procedure to remove those organs without informed consent; and anyone who does anything in connection with the removal of the organs without informed consent.

That is quite broad. It could involve anyone who was involved in allowing a place to be used for the surgery and anyone who is involved in the transportation of the organs or their smuggling across borders. It is a very real problem. It is something that, through several Parliaments, we have been waiting for substantive action on.

We know this is a crime that disproportionately affects people who live in impoverished countries and who live under authoritarian rule and do not have access to the same rights, privileges and equality under the law that we sometimes take for granted here in Canada. It is important that countries like Canada, with its well-known track record in standing up for human rights and the rule of law, not only here in our own country but abroad, follow suit and really establish what we think should be the norm and what all citizens of the world should be able to enjoy.

There is also a very important amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, so that a permanent resident or any foreign national would be inadmissible to Canada if the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is of the opinion that they have engaged in any activities related to the new offence that is going to be put into the Criminal Code through the passage of this bill.

Through the conversation today, I have heard several members talk about how having this provision in Canadian law for a crime that occurred in another country is important. It reminds me that we sometimes have a double standard in this place about how we apply Canadian law.

I have been a member of this House for seven years now. I was here in the 42nd Parliament. I remember a previous private member's bill, which was sponsored by the member for New Westminster—Burnaby. It was Bill C-331. In the dying days of the 42nd Parliament, we managed to come to a vote on that bill at second reading. It was June 19, 2019, pretty much the very last day of the 42nd Parliament.

That was an important bill, because it intended to amend the Federal Courts Act so that people from other countries who wanted to bring a civil claim could do so under the jurisdiction of federal court.

The nature of the claims could have to do with genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity, slavery or slave trading, extrajudicial killings, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, or the sale or trafficking of persons. These are all crimes that every member of this House agrees are abhorrent and certainly need the full force of the law.

The problem is that when the member for New Westminster—Burnaby was attempting, for many good reasons, to bring that bill forward, the House voted against it. In fact, the Liberals and the Conservatives joined together to shut the bill down at second reading.

I do not want to take away from the debate on the bill today. Bill S-223 is going to have our full support. I just hope that when Parliament is conducting itself and when we see value in these types of measures that try to apply Canadian law to things that happen abroad, we can do so on a consistent basis.

We need to recognize that there are huge problems out there, not just with human trafficking in organs, but also in war crimes, slavery and other methods. Should the member for New Westminster—Burnaby try to bring that initiative back, I hope the House will apply the lessons from the debate on Bill S-223 to that similar and worthy initiative.

Bill S-223 is no stranger to us. In the 42nd Parliament, it was before the House as Bill S-240. The reason I think it is a forgone conclusion that this bill is going to pass the House is that it is identical to the version we debated and passed as Bill S-240. In fact, in the 42nd Parliament it received the unanimous support of the House at second reading and again at third reading on April 30, 2019.

The important and notable difference with Bill S-223 is that it incorporates the amendments the House made to the previous version of the bill. That is what caused the delay on Bill S-240. It had to be sent back to the Senate so it could consider House amendments.

Unfortunately, at that time, the bill was held up because of the procedural shenanigans going on in the other place related to the old bill, Bill C-262, which was introduced by my former colleague, Romeo Saganash. That was his attempt with a private member's bill to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

I am glad to see, from the tone and content of the speeches so far, that there is recognition that this is an important and long-overdue change to criminal law. It sends a strong message, not only to people around the world who are facing these barbaric practices under regimes such as China, and we have heard well-documented testimony on what the Uighur population is going through, but also to impoverished people living in countries where the rule of law is applied selectively at best.

These people may be targeted by criminal organizations. We have heard testimony from people who have woken up in a drugged haze to someone wearing a surgical mask and gloves telling them that their kidney has just been removed and that they need to take care. Often, these victims can suffer very serious, lifelong health consequences from that, and because of the nature of the operation, some people have ultimately died from it. It is a very real issue.

We know the demand for organs is very high worldwide, and we need to take steps to encourage people to put themselves on an organ donor registry. I am pleased to see that this Parliament has tried to address that by making it easier for people to sign up and so on. However, those are problems that are not going to go away. The demand for organs is high, and as our population ages we certainly need to have smart and effective policy to address that.

On behalf of the New Democratic caucus, I will indicate that we are looking forward to supporting this bill and voting on it so it gets sent to the Governor General for royal assent. We have long opposed all forms of trafficking, whether it be human trafficking for sexual exploitation, labour trafficking or the trafficking of human organs. We must do all we can to protect vulnerable people. With that, I will conclude my remarks. I appreciate this opportunity.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 5th, 2022 / 11:30 a.m.
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Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to address the House, and I am glad to be here to talk about Bill S‑223 today.

I love it when there is consensus in the House and all parties, no matter their political leanings, agree on an issue. I am happy to see that that is the case for this bill. I think this type of legislation is a step in the right direction for both Quebeckers and Canadians. I am very happy.

We know that organ trafficking is a barbaric practice that has been around for a long time and has become more prevalent with the arrival of the Internet and improved immunosuppressant drugs. I believe it is our duty to enact legislation about this. Canada does not yet have legislation prohibiting people from engaging in transplant tourism, which means travelling abroad, buying organs, having them transplanted and returning to Canada. It is about time we enacted this kind of legislation.

This bill provides an additional tool to combat trafficking in human organs, which speaks to the social and economic inequalities that unfortunately still exist around the world. It is also an additional tool to combat criminal groups. The bill is a step in the right direction in the fight against organ trafficking, but its effects will be proportional to the effort put into increasing knowledge and awareness about organ donation in order to address the shortage of organs needed for people waiting for a second chance.

There has been a lot of discussion about the facts pertaining to this bill, and I would like to focus on a few of them. 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. Simply put, 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. Once again, the bill provides an additional tool, as I just mentioned.

Technically speaking, the bill amends section 7 of the Criminal Code so that, if a person is found guilty of organ trafficking abroad, they will also be found guilty of the same crime in Canada. The bill also adds a few provisions regarding the removal of organs without consent.

The bill makes it a crime to obtain an organ to be transplanted into one's own body or the body of another person “knowing that the person from whom it was removed or a person lawfully authorized to consent on behalf of the person from whom it was removed did not give informed consent to the removal, or being reckless as to whether or not such consent was given”.

The bill also makes it a crime to carry out, participate in or facilitate the removal of an organ from the body of another person “knowing that the person from whom it was removed or a person lawfully authorized to consent on behalf of the person from whom it was removed did not give informed consent to the removal, or being reckless as to whether or not such consent was given”. It also makes it a crime to do anything in connection with the removal of an organ from the body of another person. It is clear that Bill S-223 makes any involvement in any such activity a crime.

The bill would also prevent immigrants from becoming Canadian citizens if they are found guilty of a crime related to trafficking in human organs. I think that is an interesting addition to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

I would like to reiterate a few facts that were mentioned by several of my colleagues and that are good reasons for voting in favour of this bill. First, we all know that in 2002 Canada signed the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. This UN protocol, better known as the Palermo Protocol, prohibits trafficking in persons, whose definition includes the removal of organs.

There is also the 2008 Declaration of Istanbul, which invited states to implement measures to fight organ trafficking, specifically transplant tourism. I also want to mention that Canada adheres to the World Health Organization's 11 guiding principles that prohibit monetary payment for the different parties for organ donation. They also require the free and informed consent of the donor, the protection of minors, and the allocation of organs removed to be guided by ethical and equitable norms.

Through its participation in certain international declarations or conventions, Canada has clearly committed to fighting trafficking in human organs. Bill S‑223 does exactly that.

Unfortunately, we know that there are far more people in the world in need of a new organ than there are organs available. As in any market where it is possible to make money because demand far outweighs supply, people can turn to the black market to obtain what they need. When a person's life is on the line, the will to survive may override morals.

The facts I will be sharing describe the seedy underbelly of organ trafficking. These are things that have been mentioned in the media, including in recent years. It goes as far back as the 2000s.

According to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, the organ trade occurs in three broad categories: traffickers who force victims to give up an organ; those who sell their organs out of financial desperation, often only receiving a fraction of the profit or even nothing at all; and victims who are duped into believing they need an operation and the organ is removed without the victim's knowledge.

Organ trafficking is an organized crime that involves many offenders, including the recruiters who identify the vulnerable person, the transporter, the hospital or clinic staff, the medical professionals who perform the surgery, the middleman, the buyers, and the banks that store the organs. This is clearly not a one-man show; there may be several people involved in this type of activity that we are looking to criminalize.

According to the UN initiative, the entire ring is rarely exposed. In fact, a 2004 World Health Assembly resolution urged member states to take measures to protect vulnerable groups from transplant tourism and the sale of tissues and organs.

Transplant tourism is the most common way to trade organs across national borders. Recipients travel abroad to undergo organ transplants. Some websites offer all-inclusive packages. For example, the price of a kidney transplant abroad ranges from $70,000 U.S. to $160,000 U.S.

According to the World Health Organization, one in 10 organ transplants involves a trafficked human organ, which amounts to about 10,000 per year. While kidneys are the most commonly sold organs, hearts, livers, lungs, pancreases, corneas and human tissue are also illegally traded.

In a recent report, Global Financial Integrity stated that organ trafficking, which occurs in many countries, is on the rise and generates between $600 million and $1.2 billion in profit annually.

In Iran, the only country where trade in human organs is legal, organ sales are closely monitored. This practice has eliminated the waiting list for kidney transplants and increased post mortem organ donations, for which there is no compensation in Iran.

According to a Harvard University study, donors come from poor countries in South America, Asia and Africa, whereas recipients are often from developed countries such as Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Israel and Japan.

According to Michigan State University research into the black market for human organs in Bangladesh, the average price of a kidney was $1,400 U.S. The price has since gone down because of abundant supply.

In conclusion, I could go on and on with more fascinating facts. Less than a week ago, in fact, Radio-Canada's Enquête looked into the failings of our health system and provincial health systems in Canada with respect to organ donation. According to Dr. Pierre Marsolais, Canada was a leader in the field 20 years ago. Now it is at a standstill.

Rather than turning to the poor and indigent to supply organs for transplants, why is Canada not trying harder to re-establish itself as a leader in this field?

There are other things that can also be done to support organ donation, besides passing this bill, and there are other ways members can show their support. I am not familiar with what the other provinces do, but in Quebec, people can consent to donate their organs and tissue by signing the back of their health insurance cards or by registering directly on the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec website. This small act can save up to eight lives and restore the health of another 20 people. If everyone did that one small thing, it could make for a much brighter future for so many people.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 5th, 2022 / 11:20 a.m.
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Liberal

Sameer Zuberi Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

I also want to thank Senator Ataullahjan, who has created this conversation within our House, the lower house, the House of Commons.

This Senate bill, Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs), is a critical piece of legislation that would help us address a grave and serious human rights concern. It is new legislation that adds to an existing body of law, which addresses criminality but not with respect to organ harvesting outside of Canada's territory.

I want to acknowledge our collective commitment to ensuring that these important reforms become law. This is a commitment from all members of the House, from what I can see. The important and beautiful thing about this legislation and discussing it is we are focused on the public good, putting aside our partisan squabbles to promote what is right and just.

First, I would like to review the history of the legislative reform proposed in this bill.

The issue of organ trafficking has been before Parliament for a decade. Prior to Bill S‑223, there were two Senate public bills that proposed nearly identical reforms. They were Bill S‑240, introduced in 2017, and Bill S‑204, introduced in 2020. In addition, two private member's bills introduced in 2017 and 2013 proposed similar reforms. They were Bill C‑350 and Bill C‑561. We all agree that organ trafficking is a heinous crime. It requires a legislative response.

As I said earlier, this piece of legislation would create something new within the Criminal Code that speaks specifically to the trafficking of organs extraterritorially, or outside the territory of Canada. Additionally, it would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act so those who are seeking to reside permanently in Canada or foreign nationals would be inadmissible to our beautiful country for engaging in conduct that constitutes one of the offences proposed in this legislation. These offences target anybody who obtains organs, or who participates in or facilitates the trafficking of organs, from a person who did not provide informed consent. This legislation also seeks to target those who obtained organs that are purchased and those who participate in or facilitate the transfer of purchased organs.

These are coercive practices. They are difficult to prove, but we want to send a clear and strong signal that we as a country do not accept them.

Unfortunately, we know that people who are wealthier unwittingly or sometimes wittingly engage in this practice. Those who are victims of this practice are almost always deeply vulnerable. The transplant of organs without consent is abhorrent. Oftentimes, it leads to devastating impacts on those who had their organs trafficked. They are uncompensated, they live with lifelong problems and they sometimes die.

The member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan and I participated in an important study on the Uighur people. This was over two years ago at the parliamentary subcommittee on international human rights.

We heard testimony from a survivor of the concentration camps within Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. He recounted to us, in testimony, how he was apprehended. He was asked to sign a forced confession and refused to do so. He was medically examined to such an extent that he thought he would be dissected on that table, that his eyes were going to be removed or that his organs were going to be harvested on the spot during the examination.

This piece of legislation seeks to target any behaviour that harvests organs from people.

I recognize that the Criminal Code may apply currently to some of the conduct that this bill is seeking to legislate. Right now, the Criminal Code has assault offences that apply when organs are harvested here in Canada with coercion. This piece of legislation, as I mentioned earlier, also looks at what happens outside of Canada.

Right now, there is no international covenant from the UN that speaks specifically to organ harvesting in its essence as the main thrust of the covenant. However, there are two covenants that do touch upon organ harvesting, and Canada is party to both of these UN instruments. The first is the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. This supplements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which was ratified on May 13, 2002.

After this first piece of international law came the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. This protocol addresses offering, delivering and accepting a child for the purposes of transferring children's organs, particularly article 3. This was ratified on September 14, 2005.

The Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, adopted in 2014, also speaks directly to organ harvesting.

I will conclude by recognizing the important work that has been done around this, in particular by David Kilgour and David Matas. They have done extensive research around Falun Gong or Falun Dafa practitioners and have dedicated years to highlighting this particular issue around organ harvesting.

We know that David Kilgour served in the House for many years with the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. He was a person of conviction. He was a person who continued to remain active after serving the House. He was somebody I crossed paths with before entering the House. I remember this gentleman as a sincere person who advocated for the public good and for human rights.

It is important to also mark David Matas, who along with David Kilgour conducted extensive research. It allowed us to build a body of evidence that proved not only anecdotally but also empirically that this is an abhorrent phenomenon occurring right now.

Recently, in the Subcommittee on International Human Rights, we heard how this is currently happening to the Uighur people. In the airports in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, in Urumqi, if my memory serves me correctly, there were lines on the floor as one entered the airport that specifically demarcated where one could pick up organs. This is abhorrent. This type of practice must stop. This practice might exist currently within a region of the world that we know, but this legislation applies across the board.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

December 5th, 2022 / 11 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

, seconded by the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking today to Bill S-223, the next, and hopefully the last, in a long line of bills that have been proposed here and in the other place to begin the fight against the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

I want to thank the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard for seconding the bill and recognize the incredible work done by Senator Ataullahjan as well, who proposed the bill. I have the honour of carrying that work on in this place.

The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. Bill S-223 would also create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada for involvement in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill recognizes the basic moral principle that killing people or exploiting them for their organs is wrong everywhere and should be stopped everywhere.

Efforts to combat this practice have been ongoing in Canada's Parliament for close to 15 years, and the time that has elapsed underlines the sad reality of how long it takes to pass good private members' bills, even when everyone agrees. However, Bill S-223 has now made it further than any of its predecessors. Having passed the Senate and now been reported back from committee without amendments, the bill only needs to complete this third reading stage and receive royal assent before becoming law. Thanks to the member for Bow River trading with me today and the member for Simcoe North trading the second hour slot on Wednesday, the bill will complete debate this week and should pass its final vote in time for Christmas.

In the past I have always given uncharacteristically short speeches on the bill, trying to engineer an early collapse to debate to move the bill along more quickly. However, given that we now have the security of a second hour for debate lined up and a tight time line to move forward in any event, I will use the opportunity to now, for the first time, to lay out my views on this subject in the level of detail that the full time allows.

The bill responds to one particularly egregious human rights violation, but it would also take an important step toward the embracing of a vital principle of human rights more broadly; that is, the idea of the universality of human rights and of the responsibility of nations to prudentially use the means at their disposal to protect fundamental human rights, not only within their own nations but for every human being in every corner of the globe.

Bill S-223 would apply criminal prohibitions against organ harvesting and trafficking beyond Canada's borders. It recognizes that organ harvesting and trafficking is not just wrong in Canada as a result of particularly Canadian values or a particularly Canadian social contract. Rather, it recognizes that organ harvesting and trafficking is wrong because it denies the universal principle of inherent human dignity and value, a principle that should be understood and applied universally. In this sense, the bill seeks to continue the process of innovation around the principle of national sovereignty that began in 1948 with the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today, I would like to make the case for the importance of embracing this continuing process of innovation, though with appropriate balance and with necessary parameters.

The principle of national sovereignty comes most sharply from Peace of Westphalia, which ended 30 years of war in the Holy Roman Empire in 1648. National sovereignty emerged as a necessary practical compromise from the new reality created by the Protestant Reformation. Prior to the Reformation, western Europe had a kind of moral and religious unity, with the Pope as spiritual leader and the Emperor as a temporal ruler whose practical jurisdiction varied from place to place, but who expressed a kind civilizational unity of the western Christian world.

The Reformation ended that unity and led to generations of wars, with most of the Catholic powers struggling to restore that civilizational unity and with the Protestant powers, with the periodic help of France, seeking to break the power of the Pope and Emperor and create a reality in which nation states could be their own authority in most areas. The Peace of Westphalia, more from exhaustion than decisive victory, marked the end of this period of religious wars and the beginning of the period of nation states.

Notably, this was not the beginning of some great flowering of individual freedom, liberty and human rights. The division of Europe into blocs meant that Catholics were persecuted in Protestant nations just as Protestants were persecuted in Catholic nations, and later as Catholics were brutally persecuted in anti-religious revolutionary France. Westphalia was not about saying that individuals could believe and do what they liked; it was “cuius regio, eius religio”, the religion of the ruler shall be the religion of the state. Under these circumstances, religious persecution continued for hundreds of years, and nations, though less inclined to fight wars over religion, fought wars that reflected the aspirations of rulers, no longer checked or mediated by super-national structures that reflected civilizational unity.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw the rise of new universalist movements. The French Revolution and later Marxism were great threats to existing structures and ideas of national sovereignty, because they made universal claims about the kinds of power structures that should exist, instead of accepting the Westphalian idea that it was up to the local political authorities to decide how a place would be governed.

These movements were obviously different, but a common thread can be discerned in the thinking of political universalists of both the pre-Reformation and the Revolutionary type. They believed that, insofar as there is such a thing as truth, insofar as there is such a thing as human nature and insofar as there is a resulting right and wrong way for a people to be governed, efforts should be made to apply these principles universally. There is intuitive logic to the idea that truth and justice for human beings in one place should be the same as truth and justice for human beings in another place.

There are more modern arguments made for the rejection of this kind of moral universalism that propose the general subjectivity of truth. I will comment more on these arguments later. For the time being, we should note that the emergence of national sovereignty as a principle in European politics did not arise from the rejection of absolute truth in religious and political matters. Rather, it arose from the practical recognition that such universals could not be practically enforced through warfare, at least not at any acceptable cost. The idea of national sovereignty was seen as a necessary political compromise to preserve some measure of peace and security.

It is hard to say how well national sovereignty actually worked at achieving its objectives. One can never test counterfactuals, but we can never know what would have happened in Europe if this piece of political technology had not been invented. Certainly, Europeans kept fighting wars of various kinds after 1648, but the return of the broadest and most devastating European wars tended to align with the emergence of new universalist ideologies.

Following the last of these total European wars, nations came together to try to shape a new kind of settlement. This included the formation of the United Nations in 1945 and also the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exactly 300 hundred years after the signing of the Peace of Westphalia.

Many of history's human rights declarations, especially prior to 1948, were calls to arms or efforts to justify a violent revolution. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was radical insofar as it asserted the universality of various fundamental human rights, but it was also conservative in the sense that it was the project of nation states, within a framework that still recognized nationality with sovereignty, it did not legally bind the state signatories to actually uphold the rights therein, and, of course, it did not contain a call to armed enforcement by the people.

This provided a somewhat contradictory foundation, and international human rights law has continued to evolve and grow since 1948 on that foundation that recognizes both national sovereignty and universal human rights as being of great importance.

Notwithstanding the evident tension between these concepts, international diplomacy and law today recognizes that we cannot and ought not dispense with either. An absence of recognition of national sovereignty would lead to perpetual conflict between nations representing irreconcilable philosophical systems. This was the background prior to the Peace of Westphalia and a reality intermittently renewed by the rise of universalist revolutionary and totalitarian movements.

However, the absence of any limits on national sovereignty aimed at protecting universal human rights would create a reality in which we would look the other way when nations would commit the most dastardly crimes toward their own people. Any moral person who believes in justice and universal human dignity must, at a certain point, refuse to consent to allowing certain evils to be committed in the name of national sovereignty. Even if the only consideration is national sovereignty, history shows us clearly that nations that show capricious disregard for the rights of their own people quickly become a menace to their neighbours.

Recognizing the necessary tension between national sovereignty and international human rights, the approach of many nations has sadly been to talk the talk of international human rights, but not to put in practice meaningful mechanisms to enforce such rights.

The clearest example of this approach is the approach taken to the crime of genocide. Canada is a party to an international convention that seeks to define and make illegal the crime of genocide, regardless of assertions of national sovereignty. I strongly support this idea in principle and in practice. Slaughtering a group of people in an attempt to eradicate them is a horrific denial of universal human dignity of the person, and we should do what we can to prevent it. However, unfortunately, while assenting to the idea in principle that genocide should be an international crime, the Government of Canada has been reluctant to actually recognize any acts of genocide while they are progress. It claims that its obligation to act in response to genocide is triggered by a determination by some undefined competent international authority, even if such authorities are easily manipulated by the state committing genocide.

Additionally, this line from the government is fundamentally out of step with our actual legal obligations under the Genocide Convention. Our obligations, as a signatory to the convention, are to uphold that convention, which includes our responsibility to protect victims of genocide, regardless of national sovereignty and regardless of determinations by UN bodies. This is the legal obligation that we have assumed.

I also acknowledge the reality that it is not prudential to send in our troops in every case where genocide is happening. However, rather than burying our heads in the sand and denying the existence of genocide, the government could seek to clearly define the nature and also the limitations of how we would operationalize a responsibility to protect.

In my view, we need to develop real tools for practically integrating a commitment to universal human rights with a commitment to some form of national sovereignty. If an individual is involved in a violation of international human rights and if the nation state in which the person lives elects not to punish them or even condones their actions, national sovereignty limits our ability to punish this criminal. However, without resorting to means that are imprudent and likely to lead to even greater violence, we should still seek ways to punish those involved in human rights violations beyond our borders and thus deter criminals from committing these crimes.

Enter Bill S-223, a little bill with a big idea. It is the idea that we should use the means reasonably at our disposal to punish violations of fundamental human rights that happen beyond our borders. We could do this by punishing Canadians who are complicit in these acts of violence and by shunning foreigners who are involved in such violence. In light of the emergent reality of global connectivity, these kinds of limited tools are still meaningful and begin the process of deterring crime that happens beyond our borders.

It is a good thing that, if we agree it is always and everywhere wrong to do such and such a thing to a human being, we try to come up with some mechanism of accountability for these crimes that is prudent and that does not return us to the kind of world that existed between the Protestant Reformation and the Peace of Westphalia.

This idea of actively applying international human rights principles extraterritorially is about us doing what we can under the circumstances to advance justice. A commitment to this principle is why I have worked hard on this bill and also why I strongly support similar legislative mechanisms, such as the increasing use of Magnitsky sanctions, the adoption of Bill C-281, which is the international human rights act, and the adoption of Bill S-211. I support these legislative efforts to promote justice beyond our borders, because my children here in Canada are no more or less human than Uighur children, Rohingya children, the young nephew of my assistant who faces a hard winter in Ukraine or Kian Pirfalak, a nine-year-old boy who was murdered by police while attending a pro-freedom protest in Iran.

In conclusion, I want to return to a question I raised earlier: the case for universal moral claims in a world made up of diverse cultures and political traditions.

Every society since the dawn of time has tried to regulate itself with doctrines of something like morality. It is impossible for people to live together in a community if they do not regulate their interactions in some way. Furthermore, it is in our nature as beings to try to live rationally, to try to explain the decisions we make with reference to some good or goods.

However, while there has never been a society without some kind moral doctrines, and while those moral doctrines have sought to protect the lives and security of certain individuals, most societies have excluded certain groups or individuals from that protection. They have sought to protect an in-group without protecting an outgroup, seeking to narrow the definition of what it is to be human and perhaps allowing the exploitation of the outgroup for some advantage.

The core of my political philosophy is a simple commitment to universal humanism. It is the idea that we should not think in terms of in-group and outgroup when making decisions about fundamental human rights. If we are to speak authentically about human rights, then these are rights for all humans, regardless of age, environment, citizenship, skin colour or any other factor. Throughout history and still today, there are many who seek to limit the human family for their own convenience, but I believe that a person is a person.

Naturally there are certain kinds of rights that do flow from exchange. A worker has a right to wages. That is a right particular to the worker. A citizen has certain rights that accord with the obligations they have taken on to the nation in which they live. However, when we speak of human rights, these are rights that do not exist because of exchange. Rather, they are rights that flow from the universal nature of the human person.

Ideas of rights and justice are philosophical propositions that cannot be proven scientifically. All doctrines of human rights have their roots in something like faith: in the embrace of propositions that are not scientifically verifiable. However, the idea of universal human rights flowing from a universal humanness can be supported by observing how it accords with the universal aspirations of all people.

Today, as we speak, the people of China and the people of Iran are taking to the streets bravely demanding change. As we speak, incredibly, both of these totalitarian governments are at least feigning in the direction of concession. Also, the people of Ukraine have resisted and continue to heroically resist Putin's invasion, even as more and more Russians bravely express their own discontent.

I am proudly here today endorsing this universal movement for freedom and justice, to say that a person is a person no matter where they live and to say that we can and should prudentially work to affirm and give greater meaning to the idea of universal human rights.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs), as reported (without amendment) from the committee.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 1st, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. This bill also has a provision whereby someone could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This bill has been before Parliament in various forms for the last 15 years, and the petitioners call on the Parliament of Canada to move quickly on this proposed legislation to support it. They are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it passed into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 30th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling is similar but somewhat more specific. It also deals with the issue of organ harvesting and trafficking broadly, and calls on this House to adopt legislation to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

The petitioners note a number of bills that have been brought forward on this topic. Most recently we have Bill S-223, which has just come out of committee and will soon be going to third reading in this House.

The petitioners hope that this Parliament will be the one that finally succeeds in passing organ harvesting and trafficking legislation.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 30th, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am rising in the House today to present a petition forwarded by my constituents in Calgary Centre concerning their support for Bill S-223, which is before Parliament at this point in time. It is all about banning the sale of organs from around the world. This petition is obviously a concern for people who feel there are regimes around the world that are harvesting organs from people who are unwillingly going there. Obviously, that should be banned in Canada.

These people are petitioning to make sure we support that ban in the House and in Parliament in general.

Unlawful Travel AbroadPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 28th, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I have to present is from Canadians from across the country who want to raise the urgency of protecting children from predators and sexual abuse. This is an issue that I have raised many times, and I have often confronted the government on its lack of action.

In June, the government was asked to inform the House of the number of passports that it had given to child sex offenders over the past few years. The Harper Conservatives left the government with a number of tools to be able to provide it.

They are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure that Canadians are not going abroad to participate in illegal activities such as organ harvesting and child pedophilia.

The folks who have signed this petition recognize that there is a bill in front of the House of Commons right now, Bill S-223, calling for a ban on Canadians going abroad or making it illegal for Canadians to go abroad to gain illegally harvested organs. This is a horrific act that is happening with more and more frequency.

They are calling on the Government of Canada to do all that it can to reduce the illegal harvesting of organs.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 28th, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, next I am tabling a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It also would create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I believe the bill will be automatically reported to the House today. Petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the Parliament that finally succeeds in passing legislation combatting forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 28th, 2022 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition signed by dozens of petitioners who are concerned about the international trafficking in human organs that are being removed from victims without their consent.

Senate Bill S-223 is currently being studied by the House of Commons standing committee, and petitioners are urging Parliament to move quickly on the bill, which would prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire or receive such an organ. International investigations conclude that the Chinese communist regime has been committing mass killings of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience for their organs, which are sold for profit, many to international organ tourists.

Legal experts say crimes against humanity have occurred, and they would generally encourage support for Bill S-223. They would like Parliament to move quickly on that.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 22nd, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling deals with legislation to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. Bill S-223 is currently before the foreign affairs committee.

The petitioners want the government to recognize the problem of forced organ harvesting and trafficking and to support the rapid passage of Bill S-223. This bill has been before this Parliament and previous Parliaments for approaching 15 years. The petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets this done.

November 21st, 2022 / 3:35 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ali Ehsassi

As you're well aware, and as was explained to you, Mr. Genuis, the clerk did change that last Monday, and that was out of a concern to make sure that the committee's time is being used efficiently, because as you know there are many issues the members would like to consider.

Yes, that did change, and Bill S-223 is now scheduled for Wednesday.

November 16th, 2022 / 6:35 p.m.
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Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, As an Individual

Dr. Miriam Cohen

In fact, Bill S‑223 would establish a separate criminal act. Trafficking in human organs would be established as a criminal act in itself, without necessarily being a consequence of human trafficking. What is already a criminal act is trafficking in persons. That is my answer.

As I said, the study I conducted recently outlined the current trend in international law: according to the reports, these crimes can be separated. There was concern expressed about treating trafficking in human organs as part of trafficking in persons, without seeing the distinctions that can exist when trafficking in persons is not present.

This would therefore follow the trend of the convention I mentioned, but also other trends that trafficking in human organs should be treated as a separate and distinct crime from the crime of trafficking in persons for the purpose of removing organs.

November 16th, 2022 / 6:35 p.m.
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Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

I will try to be brief, Mr. Chair.

I would like to speak to an issue that Ms. Cohen mentioned a few moments ago.

Section 279.04(3) of the Criminal Code defines exploitation for the purpose of trafficking in persons as including the removal of organs and tissue “by means of deception or the use or threat of force or any other form of coercion [...]”.

In addition, section 279.02(1) makes it a crime for an individual to receive “a financial or other material benefit knowing that it is obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence”, which is trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation.

To be clear, what actions does Bill S‑223 wish to prohibit that are not already prohibited under the Criminal Code?

November 16th, 2022 / 6:15 p.m.
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Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I will follow up on Ms. Bendayan's lead with questions for Ms. Cohen.

Ms. Cohen, I must say that I was looking forward to hearing one of the witnesses say a few words in the language of Molière. It's not something that happens very often at this committee. I imagine that if I ask you questions in the language of Molière, we will have the pleasure of hearing you answer us in that language.

Bill S‑223 contains the following provision:

Everyone commits an offence who [...] obtains an organ to be transplanted [...] carries out, participates in or facilitates the removal of an organ [...] knowing that the person from whom it was removed or a person lawfully authorized to consent on behalf of the person from whom it was removed did not give informed consent to the removal, or being reckless as to whether or not such consent was given.

How will it be established that the persons involved knew or did not care that the removal was done without the informed consent of the donor?

November 16th, 2022 / 6:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Thank you. I believe that is a very good thing.

Can you elaborate on some of the mechanisms that are in place in Bill S-223 to track and monitor—

November 16th, 2022 / 6:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

—which would be implementing legislation of an international convention.

Would Canada, in fact, become a leader then in proposing to do this, as Bill S-223 does?

November 16th, 2022 / 6:10 p.m.
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Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, As an Individual

Dr. Miriam Cohen

Mr. Chair, I would add then to my initial comments the need to tackle organ trafficking specifically, and the criminalization of trafficking an organ. That is a different crime from the trafficking of a person for the purpose of harvesting or removing their organs, which is already criminalized in the Criminal Code. This proposed legislation disconnects organ trafficking from human trafficking, making it a separate offence. It also focuses on consent and informed consent, which addresses the situation of children who are victims of forcible organ removal.

Also, the text of Bill S-223 seems to apply solely to organs, exclusive of tissues and cells.

These are the main points that I did not address in my opening remarks.

Thank you very much.

November 16th, 2022 / 5:45 p.m.
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Dr. Miriam Cohen Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal, As an Individual

Mr. Chair and members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, it is an honour and a privilege to appear before you today as part of a panel of witnesses in view of the consideration of Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs). Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today.

I'm an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal, where I hold the Canada research chair on human rights and international reparative justice. My areas of teaching and research are international criminal law and human rights.

I will focus my remarks today on legal questions and more precisely on international law frameworks relating to the trafficking in human organs.

My opening statement will be in English, but I will be pleased to answer questions in both languages.

As for the context, as noted by various international reports, the commercial trade in human organs has developed into a global concern. Human organ trafficking causes grave human rights violations. It often involves transnational criminal activities committed by an organized complex network of criminal groups. Trafficking in human organs has become a highly profitable industry and, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, organ trafficking remains among the most difficult crimes to detect.

The trafficking of human organs often involves the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of harvesting their organs. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has recently deemed human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal one of the fastest-growing forms of human trafficking.

The flagship 2020 “Global Report on Trafficking Persons” indicated increasing reported cases of trafficking for the purpose of organ removal. Very recently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched the toolkit on the investigation and prosecution of trafficking persons for organ removal.

Turning to the international legal framework of trafficking human organs, in considering the global impact of trafficking organs, there have been several initiatives under international law to combat organ trafficking. I will briefly review the most relevant ones.

The first is the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime”, also known as the Palermo protocol, with a September 29, 2003, entry into force.

Trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal is clearly defined in the Palermo protocol. Article 3a states:

Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons...for the purpose of exploitation. ...Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others [and] other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;

Canada ratified this protocol in May 2020. It is the first binding instrument under international law that defines trafficking of human beings and includes trafficking in persons for the purpose of removing organs. Canada changed its laws after the ratification of the protocol, a point to which I will refer later in my presentation.

Adopted in 2008, the “Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism” is not a legally binding instrument under international law, but it does, however, provide some guidelines to states concerning organ transplantation. In 2010, the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group was formed, with the task of overseeing the dissemination of the declaration.

The preamble of the declaration refers to “exploitative practices that have harmed poor and powerless persons around the world”. The declaration has been endorsed by various national and international medical societies, including from within Canada.

I now turn to the World Health Organization's “Guiding Principles on Human Cell Tissue and Organ Transplantation”, the WHO guiding principles. The WHO has expressed concern with the commercialization of organs and adopted 11 guiding principles concerning transplantation programs. They aim to provide “an orderly, ethical and acceptable framework for the acquisition and transplantation of human...organs”. The guiding principles mention “informed” consent and the “prohibition“ of monetary payment.

There also have been United Nations General Assembly resolutions that have referred to trafficking in organs.

UN resolution 71-322 is entitled “Strengthening and promoting effective measures and international cooperation on organ donation and transplantation to prevent and combat trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal and trafficking in human organs”. Dated September 8, 2017, it “Urges Member States to prevent and combat trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal”. It further urges member states to consider adopting “Strengthening legislative frameworks, including by reviewing, developing or amending them, as appropriate, to prevent and combat trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal” and “Adopting appropriate legislative measures necessary to guarantee that the donation of organs is guided by clinical criteria and ethical norms”.

In the interest of time, I will move on to the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, which was entered into force on March 1, 2018. It is the first international legally binding instrument that is specifically dedicated to trafficking in human organs. As of this date, it has received 14 ratifications. The treaty is open to Canada for ratification, which has not yet occurred.

As per article 1, the purposes of the convention are as follows:

(a) to prevent and combat the trafficking in human organs by providing for the criminalisation of certain acts;

(b) to protect the rights of victims of the offences established in accordance with this Convention;

(c) to facilitate co-operation at national and international levels on action against the trafficking in human organs.

Within the legal framework in Canada, the Criminal Code criminalizes trafficking in persons and trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal—

November 16th, 2022 / 5:25 p.m.
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Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I was wondering if my turn would come at some point today.

I am very happy to be part of this exchange.

I thank the witnesses for joining us today to discuss this bill.

I would like, first of all, to discuss the procedural aspect that Mr. Genuis mentioned. I must say that I am sensitive to the point he made that it was already 15 years ago that this Parliament, and not just this legislature, was considering a law to prohibit organ trafficking.

In light of what we have seen in relation to what is happening in Xinjiang, it is clear that we cannot stand by and do nothing.

On the other hand, I must say that I feel a certain discomfort at the idea of assuming that, in this Parliament, we are at exactly the same point as we were in the previous Parliament and that, consequently, we must eliminate the clause-by-clause study of Bill S‑223, on the pretext that the exercise has already been carried out in a previous Parliament. I confess to some discomfort with this idea, especially as it is not entirely accurate to say that the bill is 100% identical to the previous one and that there is no difference between the two.

I'll give you an example, and it was our analysts who submitted it. The summary of Bill S‑204 stated that the proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act gave the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the power to remove and declare inadmissible to Canada a permanent resident or foreign national who engaged in activities related to human organ trafficking. According to the summary of the current bill, Bill S‑223, this power is now vested in the appropriate minister.

Why did we go from a power vested in the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Bill S‑204 to a power vested in the appropriate minister in Bill S‑223, if the two bills are identical?

November 16th, 2022 / 4:35 p.m.
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Senator Salma Ataullahjan Senator

Thank you.

Good afternoon, honourable members.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear before this committee as a witness and as a sponsor of Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs).

Bill S-223 proposes to strengthen Canada's response to organ trafficking by creating additional Criminal Code offences in relation to such conduct and extends extraterritorial jurisdiction over the new offences. It also seeks to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide that a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible to Canada if the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration finds that they have engaged in trafficking of human organs.

Currently there are no laws in Canada banning Canadians from travelling abroad, purchasing organs for transplantation and returning to Canada. This is shameful, especially when we have joined most of the world in condemning the sale of organs and transplant tourism.

Over 100 countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway and Portugal, have passed legislation banning the trade of organs. Additionally, several countries have responded with legislation strengthening existing laws that ban organ trafficking and sales. There are a number of governmental and professional bodies with initiatives to regulate domestic and international organ transplantation and tackle organ trafficking, including, for example, the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs.

In 2012, the World Health Organization claimed that an illegal organ was sold every hour. Overall, the number of illegal transplants worldwide is believed to be around 10,000 a year. It is important to note that this is a conservative number, as many illegal organ sales remain unreported.

Despite our inability to eradicate human rights violations around the world, we can enact change at home. It is entirely within our power to avoid complicity with transplant tourism within our own borders.

Sadly, an illegal organ transplant is not a lifeline for Canadians needing a vital organ. Instead, the recipient can often suffer from surgical complications, infections and poorer outcomes overall. These patients experience loss of the organ and death at higher rates than domestic organ transplant recipients.

Despite the growing body of information on the ramifications of transplant tourism, Canadians continue to travel abroad for commercial organ transplants. Doctors have reported that three to five people a year still arrive at St. Michael's Hospital having obtained a kidney in countries such as China, Pakistan or India. St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver also reports seeing three to five returning organ tourists a year.

A study on the clinical outcomes of patients treated at an Ontario transplant centre after receiving organs through commercial transactions abroad found that most of the patients needed follow-up care on an urgent basis and some required lengthy hospital stays. This not only puts Canadian citizens at risk, but also contributes to burdening our already-struggling health care system.

To make matters worse, my entire allotted speaking time could be spent recounting story after story of victim organ donors, such as the missing six-year-old boy who was found alone in a field crying, with both of his eyes removed, presumably for their corneas. There was the young girl who was kidnapped and taken to another country for the sole purpose of harvesting her organs. There was the group of terrified women and men who were found locked inside an apartment, being held through deception and threats, waiting to be taken to a clinic to unwillingly have a kidney removed.

As a prosecutor in the Kosovo case said that organ trafficking is “the exploitation of the poor, the indigent, the vulnerable and the marginalized in our society”. He said that the recipients of those organs are wealthy, influential citizens from foreign countries and largely western countries, who should be held criminally responsible.

Trafficking in human organs is indeed a cruel harvest of the poor.

Thank you.

November 16th, 2022 / 4:35 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ali Ehsassi

I call the meeting to order.

Welcome to meeting number 37 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format. Members are attending in person in the room, as well as remotely using the Zoom application.

I would like to take a few moments to provide some explanations for witnesses and members.

First, please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. For those participating by video conference, click on the microphone icon to activate your mike, and please mute yourself when you are not speaking.

Interpretation for those on Zoom is at the bottom of your screen, and you have a choice of either floor, English or French. Those in the room can use the earpiece and select the desired channel.

In accordance with our routine motion, I'd like to inform members of the committee that all witnesses have completed the required connection tests in advance of our meeting.

Pursuant to the order of reference of Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the committee will commence consideration of Bill S-223, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

With regard to the drafting of amendments, I would like to remind members to contact Alexandra Schorah, the legislative counsel, should there be any amendments to the draft or should there be anything that they would like to bring to her attention and ask for her guidance on.

Now it is my pleasure to welcome our two witnesses on this specific bill. We have the Honourable Salma Ataullahjan, senator; as well as Mr. Garnett Genuis, who is well known to you all, the MP for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. You will each be provided five minutes, after which we will proceed with questions from the members.

Senator, you have the floor. You have five minutes. When you only have 30 seconds left, I will put this up to provide you with some context. Please do proceed. The floor is yours.

November 14th, 2022 / 4:55 p.m.
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Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Chair, first, I must say that I'm a bit uncomfortable. We were supposed to hear from other witnesses on Bill S‑223. If we are planning to do that, I wonder if we wouldn't be better off thanking these witnesses and letting them go because the discussion on our colleague Mr. Genuis's motion seems to be dragging on.

With respect to the motion, and in response to Mr. Oliphant's remarks, with which I largely agree, I would say that it was appropriate for this committee to address the decision made by the Government of Canada. The decision did put us at odds with the Ukrainians, as well as the Germans and many other Europeans.

From the outset, I thought that it must not have been an easy decision for the government to allow this turbine to be returned to Europe. We wanted an opportunity to let the government explain its decision, which it did. For quite some time now, we've felt we should end this turbine study because there's no need to debate the issue any longer, for a number of reasons.

First, we've called Mr. Putin's bluff. Whether or not we return the turbine, we realized that the Kremlin had no intention of continuing to supply Germany or any other European nation via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which the Russians likely bombed themselves.

When she appeared before this committee, the German ambassador herself alluded to Canada suspending the permit given that the bluff had been called. The turbine was no longer relevant, and leaving the permit open when the government had planned to be able to revoke it is not only inappropriate, it's bordering on laughable, absurd, ridiculous.

For the sake of credibility, the committee must end its work on the turbine issue. If it were up to us, we would have stopped working on this a long time ago. It was our Conservative friends who insisted that we add witnesses. However, as Mr. Oliphant pointed out, the additional hearings did nothing to further fuel the debate.

It's very clear from our perspective. While controversial, the government's reasons for allowing the turbine to go back to Europe seemed to us to be justified in the circumstances. They are no longer justified, they haven't been for some time, and we should have come to an agreement on that long ago.

That's why, despite Mr. Oliphant's reservations, which I mostly agree with, we have to conclude that the government needs to suspend and revoke the permit, and we need to move on.

Again, I regret that this debate has somewhat dragged on and kept our witnesses waiting.

Because you momentarily refrained from speaking when I was talking about this, Mr. Chair, I would again suggest that we thank the witnesses, let them go and call them to appear at a later date.

Thank you.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 4th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions I would like to present. The first is in support of Bill S-223. It is a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill has passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form. It is currently stalled before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and petitioners hope it will soon be passed. The families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. Let us end the delays and get this law passed.

November 2nd, 2022 / 6:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

If it's helpful, I will just make a comment on Bill S-223. I am of the view that this bill can be studied and proceeded with relatively quickly because it's been studied on multiple occasions by committees in the House and the Senate. This committee and the House previously studied this bill and amended it. The form in which we are receiving it from the Senate in this Parliament is identical to the form amended by a previous version of the House foreign affairs committee.

I'm a little biased. It's a bill that I am sponsoring, but this bill has gone through about five different versions and different Parliaments over 15 years. I think the argument for a somewhat more expedited timeline around hearings on this is that there's been extensive testimony and discussion in previous Parliaments.

While I would generally agree with the principle of the argument that Mr. Bergeron is making in the context of a new bill, I think the process makes sense in the context of a bill that, frankly, every time it's been voted on, everybody has agreed to. It has nonetheless not managed to complete its legislative journey in 15 years.

November 2nd, 2022 / 6:30 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Ali Ehsassi

Fair enough. We could just proceed with that.

There is one more issue, and we don't necessarily have to do this in camera. I just want to confirm that it is the will of the committee that in the context of Bill S-223, the deadline for the submission of amendments to the clerk of the committee be no later than noon on Thursday, November 10, 2022.

Is everyone in favour? Are you unanimous on that?

Go ahead, Mr. Bergeron.

October 26th, 2022 / 7:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Okay, it would be all three budgets, yes.

I will move the third budget, which is the request for Bill S-223 for the amount of $5,225.

Uighurs and other Turkic MuslimsPrivate Members' Business

October 26th, 2022 / 6:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Sameer Zuberi Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

moved:

That, given the motion adopted unanimously by the House on February 22, 2021, recognizing that a genocide is currently being carried out by the People's Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, in the opinion of the House, the government should:

(a) recognize that Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims that have fled to third countries face pressure and intimidation by the Chinese state to return to China, where they face the serious risk of mass arbitrary detention, mass arbitrary separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization, forced labour, torture and other atrocities;

(b) recognize that many of these third countries face continued diplomatic and economic pressure from the People's Republic of China to detain and deport Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims leaving them without a safe haven in the world;

(c) urgently leverage Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program to expedite the entry of 10,000 Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection, over two years starting in 2024 into Canada; and

(d) table in the House, within 120 sitting days following the adoption of this motion, a report on how the refugee resettlement plan will be implemented.

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be here in the House with all members today. I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on Algonquin territory.

Today is an important day. We will be discussing an important program that is within Motion No. 62, a motion to welcome 10,000 Uighur who are facing genocide within China right now, at this moment in time.

This motion calls for the Government of Canada to resettle 10,000 Uighur as of 2024 from third countries. Why third countries? It is because we cannot welcome, unfortunately, Uighur who are currently undergoing the genocide within China, but we can provide safe haven for vulnerable Uighur within third countries. These third countries primarily include countries from north Africa and the Arab world, but not exclusively. There are several other countries where Uighur people are living and are present.

We have heard a lot of testimony from survivors at committees and at the Subcommittee on International Human Rights. In the past we have heard horrifying nightmare stories of people being abused in unspeakable ways, of women being violated and men too. We heard about forced labour. There are over a million people currently in forced labour camps. We heard about children, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, being separated from their families when they should be in the care of their moms and dads.

We know that 20% of the world's cotton is produced in China, likely tainted by forced labour. We know that 35% of tomato products are also tainted by forced labour because they come from the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region. We know that 45% of polyurethane, which is the base material for solar panels, as the world tries to go green, is also tainted by forced labour. This is wholly and entirely unacceptable. This is something that we, as a country and as a human family, must stand up against.

We had a motion from the benches opposite in February 2021 that called on the House to recognize that a genocide is in fact occurring. Thankfully the House voted unanimously and spoke with one voice on that matter. Not a single person voted against it. We unanimously voted to recognize that a genocide is in fact occurring toward the Uighur people.

This issue is not a partisan issue. For those who make it such, shame on them. They know who they are. This is an issue about people who are dying, who are being violated and who are being mistreated. We said after World War II that this would not happen again. After Bosnia and Yugoslavia, we also reconfirmed that intent. After what happened in Rwanda, we did the same, and with the Rohingya again. Now we know, a genocide is occurring.

What are we going to do? We heard the reports. We know the reports. Many of us have read the reports, over 50 pages long, from Michelle Bachelet, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She said that these allegations of the Uighur people are well-founded, and they also may amount to international crimes, including crimes against humanity. These are high crimes in international law, as is genocide.

The international community, in 2005, said that these types of international crimes must be prevented. Therefore, each and every country has a responsibility to protect when we see crimes against humanity occurring, or the threat of them occurring. When we see genocide occurring or the threat of genocide occurring, we, as a human family, as a collective of countries and as Canada, all have a responsibility to protect.

Our responsibility is engaged and we must act. One way in which we can answer this is by voting for this program to welcome 10,000 Uighurs here in Canada. We have a proud tradition in our country of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers. This is a proud Canadian tradition.

This program will not halt the genocide. It will put a slight dent in it. This program will not answer our obligation, the responsibility, to protect. It will in part answer it. This is something that speaks to our tradition. This is something that we can do, should do, must do.

In the past, we have welcomed many different people who have been fleeing for their lives from genocides, from crimes against humanity. Recently, we can think of Yazidis, Syrians and Afghans. We can think of Hongkongers. We created some special pathways. We can do this again, now, today.

I will share some facts about the Uighur people. Who are they? We hear the term but we do not know who they are.

Like all people, they are a proud people. They live in the western part of China, what they have traditionally called East Turkestan, what we know in international law as Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region.

Xinjiang has a particular meaning. It means “new frontier” in the tongue of the majority of people within China. It is approximately, as I mentioned, one-sixth the land mass of China. It also has many vast deserts and mountains. It historically has been part of the ancient Silk Road trade route that connected China, that allowed for trade to occur to Europe and the Middle East. That trade route is being revived, but with a modern update, with highways and the free flow of goods.

That is why the supply chain issue is a big question. The current belt and road initiative runs through Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

As I mentioned earlier, 20% of the world's cotton is produced there. Eighty per cent of China's cotton actually comes from the region. I will repeat that for all of us who buy cotton. Eighty per cent of Chinese cotton comes from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as does 35% of tomato products, pasta and pizza.

I love pasta and pizza. Contrary to first impressions, I am actually one-quarter Italian and one-quarter Sicilian. I joke sometimes that my colour comes from my Sicilian side. It is a bad joke, but I say it sometimes.

We know that approximately 45% of the base materials for solar panels come from that region also. Minerals, such as gold, silver and zinc come from there. It is very mineral-rich.

There has been atomic testing also in the region since the 1960s. In addition to all of the horrors that we heard, these things are occurring.

These horrors are real, so real, as I mentioned, that the former high commissioner of human rights, Michelle Bachelet, said that these allegations are well-founded.

Thankfully, in addition to my motion, we had a preview this week in the House when we were discussing and then voted to concur in the immigration committee's report, which called for immigration. That report unfortunately, or fortunately, did not specify something. That report that we all unanimously concurred in this week said that we should create special immigration measures for Uighur people and other Turkic minorities, but we did not specify what those measures should be.

This motion does exactly that. It completes what happened earlier this week, when we said, “Let us do this.” This motion says how. This motion is precise. It is specific. It is time-bound. It is what we need.

In addition to this, we thankfully have a number of initiatives in the House, and I would like to see them all pass and made into law.

First is Bill S-211, which is on forced labour. It is a very important bill. Thankfully, our foreign affairs minister has said that we support it. She said that in August, when replying to Michelle Bachelet's report that there may be crimes against humanity occurring within the region, so already our foreign affairs minister has said such. This initiative started in the Senate and now is in the House. It is actually heading to committee.

We also have a second initiative on organ harvesting: Bill S-223, which is also an important piece of legislation. Organ harvesting does occur within Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, but not exclusively there. We know that Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, practitioners have been subject to this in the past. It is well documented.

These are a number of the initiatives that are in progress and happening right now. They are initiatives that we should all be supporting.

Our government has done a handful of things. We have implemented Magnitsky sanctions against four individuals and one entity that are active and responsible for these crimes. This was done in advance of the genocide motion of February 2021. We also have a number of advisory opinions for companies operating within Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region. As an advocate, I would like always to see that strengthened, and that must be strengthened through Bill S-211.

I would like to highlight something. While we are speaking squarely about the crimes against humanity and genocide occurring within China, we need to be careful not to fall into unconscious bias about Asians and Chinese people. That is very important, as we advocate clearly and unambiguously, to not to fall into that. At the end, I personally have, on this issue, no qualms, if and when the government in China were to stop doing what it is doing, I personally would not speak on this issue, but only if and when China does stop doing what it is doing. However, until then, all of us, including myself, must speak on this issue.

I would like to impress upon the House how we united behind my motion. I want to share something. My seconder is Rachel Bendayan, a colleague of mine in the benches.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 26th, 2022 / 4:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present today.

The first petition is in support of Bill S-223. The folks who have signed this petition, who are from across Canada, are concerned about international forced organ harvesting that happens around the world.

The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure that Canadians cannot go abroad to get organs that have been forced harvested around the world, and also to ensure that financial transactions that happen are rendered inadmissible in Canada to all permanent residents and foreign nationals who have participated in this. It is kind of a sanction.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 8:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, today, several petitions were presented on combatting forced organ harvesting around the world.

Does the hon. member have any thoughts or opinions about the passage of Bill S-223 through the House?

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 8:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, we cannot really control what the rest of the world does with this. We can designate this situation to be a genocide here in Canada. We can take those actions.

More importantly, actions we can take that are significant are, for example, blocking products that are made with Uighur forced labour. That is something we can do in Canada. Just last month the European Union banned exactly that. It banned products made with Uighur forced labour. That is an example of something within our control to do, and we can do it.

We can also halt complicity in organ harvesting. This is a very significant thing where organs are actually being harvested from people, such as Uighurs in China, and are being sold all around the world. This is a horrific thing that should not be happening.

There is a bill right now, Bill S-223, that is at the foreign affairs committee. That is another very important piece of legislation. It is something we can do to take action on this important file.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 7:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been a pleasure to work with the member's colleague from the Bloc on many of these issues. His colleague proposed the amendment. He talked about this in relation to an Olympic boycott, which was, I think, one potential way of the international community sending a strong signal. Unfortunately, that signal was not sent early enough with sufficient magnitude to achieve the result that his colleague and other members of this House were advocating for.

There are many different things we can do legislatively to push for justice for Uighurs. I really appreciated the speech given by another one of the Bloc member's colleagues on Bill C-281, which is an important international human rights piece of legislation. We have Bill S-211 and Bill S-223 as well, which are both before the foreign affairs committee and are unfortunately waiting to move forward. There are also the immigration measures, the concurrence motion and the motion to be debated later this week. There are many different things we can do.

I wonder if the member would like to comment on the breadth of areas where Canada's Parliament could take action and on the fact that we can make a difference through the steps we take here in Canada's Parliament, even to impact injustices that are half a world away.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 6:45 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, there are many ways I could start my comments with respect to the debate on the motion that was moved earlier today after question period, but I want to highlight the importance of the day itself for a moment or two. One might think that I am going to talk about Diwali, because today is in fact a very special celebration. However, there is something else that should be highlighted, which is the fact that it was 77 years ago today that the Charter of the United Nations was formed.

When we think of the issue of human rights, the Liberal caucus believes in the future of the United Nations as a shining beacon for the world when it comes to the issue of human rights and dignity of the person. It is important that we recognize this and the fact that Canada is a charter member of the United Nations, which we should take a great deal of pride in.

In approaching the debate that we are having this evening, I do not want to do anything that would minimize in any fashion whatsoever what has happened to the Uighur people and the Turkic Muslims. The severity of what they have had to endure over the years is significant. Whether it has been individual countries or the United Nations that have looked into some of the things that we often hear about, we all take it very seriously. We all understand what is taking place and the issue of propaganda that is out there, so I do not want to take anything away from it and I will get back to this.

First and foremost, I want to talk about the reason we are having this debate today. The Conservative Party, over the last number of years, has used concurrence motions not as a way to raise an issue, as its members often try to imply when they bring forward the motions, but as a way to prevent debate on government business, which is why I asked the mover of the motion why he chose to bring forward this motion. In his response, he said that, if things had taken place in the foreign affairs committee, he then would not have had to move this particular motion.

I will talk about Bill S-223 in regard to the illegal harvesting of organs, as members of all political parties have supported that legislation. However, what we see is a Conservative Party that is in every way trying to prevent the government from advancing important legislation.

It is just like we saw moments ago with Bill S-5. Members will recall that last week we were ready to debate Bill S-5, but the Conservatives moved a motion of concurrence to talk about yet another issue during Government Orders on a day when there was government business. They will not move one tomorrow because that is an opposition day, but today is a government day. Therefore, they moved a motion to have the debate on the Uighurs and Turkic Muslims and what is taking place in China. Why? It is because they do not want the government to advance important legislation

I cite Bill S-5 because the Conservatives are actually voting in favour of it, even though last week they tried to prevent it from being debated. Again, today, they tried to prevent it from being debated. The government suggested that we have 20 minutes or a half an hour of debate on the issue and then continue the debate after the House finished government business at 6:45 p.m.

I do not say this lightly. It could be said that the most precious commodity we have inside the House of Commons is time. There is never enough time to debate all the things that need to be debated inside the House. A good example of that is Private Members' Business, let alone government legislative business and all the demands on it.

If we are going to debate human rights, which in essence is what the Conservative Party wanted us to debate today instead of debating Bill S-5, which they support, there are other issues we could have debated regarding human rights. I am thinking of what is happening today in Ukraine. There have been so many allegations, substantiated in many ways, of things like torture, rape and mass killings. Defining “mass” is another challenge in itself, but that is something that is taking place today in a war in Europe.

I suggest that on a human rights scale, much like dealing with the Uighurs and the Turkic Muslims, it is an important issue. Both deal with human rights issues. If the Conservatives really wanted to have a debate on human rights, I think what they should have done was bring forward an opposition day motion. Had they done that, they could have highlighted a number of different issues.

Depending on where one sits and the area one might represent, one might bring a different perspective of human rights and what is happening around the world. If someone were to ask me to pick an area that I would like to talk about when dealing with human rights today, there is no shortage of areas. I think one of the areas that we could definitely give more attention to would be to what is taking place in Ukraine. What about the Iranian refugee situation, where protesters have been killed, not dozens but hundreds? Allegations of all sorts are taking place there. I suspect we would have had members in the House standing and wanting to talk about that. There are so many people, so many MPs, who are still touched by people like former Senator Dallaire and what took place in Rwanda. Others might want to go back to World War II and the genocides that took place.

What we see around the world is truly amazing. One would think we would learn from it. That is the reason why I say the future is the United Nations. That is something the government of the day works with every day. We have a Prime Minister and a Minister of Foreign Affairs who actually sent out a release. If it had not been for that release, I do not think I would have realized that it was the 77th anniversary of the United Nation.

It is through those multilateral relations, an alliance of like-minded nations, that we are going to be able to make the world a better place for humanity into the future. At the end of the day, I would have preferred to have that type of debate on the floor of the House of Commons during an opposition day motion or even a take-note debate this evening. The Conservatives could have raised the issue and said, instead of moving concurrence on a report, let us have a take-note debate on human rights violations and put in the request for what they wanted emphasized.

We are very aware of what is taking place in China. Today and last week, I presented petitions regarding the illegal harvesting of human organs. I made reference to the fact that there are well over a million people around the world who have signed a petition calling upon governments at all levels to recognize what is taking place with the Falun Gong. These are the types of things that should be debated and need to be debated. I do not question that, but there are forums for us to ensure that takes place.

Where I take objection is when the official opposition, in the name of debating human rights, brings forward a concurrence motion in order to prevent substantial legislation from being debated. That is what we see from the Conservative Party time and time again.

The Conservatives have sent a message through their behaviour on Bill S-5, even though they support it. The message is that, if the government wants to pass S-5, it is going to have to go to the NDP or the Bloc, and the NDP or the Bloc are going to have to support us in bringing in time allocation. Otherwise, the Conservatives are going to continue to filibuster, unless we shame them a little.

That is the reason we are having this debate this evening. It is not because there was a consensus among all parties to talk about human rights, but rather because of an irresponsible opposition that will do whatever it can to try to frustrate the legislative process during government business.

If we look at the substance of the legislation, Canadians having a right to a healthy environment is within the legislation description. We could talk about other pieces of legislation. There is legislation that would provide children 12 and under the opportunity to have access to dental care. We could also talk about supporting renters by making their rent a little more affordable.

Conservatives do not want to have those debates because they oppose them. I believe they oppose that legislation. Maybe we can take that into consideration, at least in part. The Conservative Party likes to say it is a minority government and it has a responsibility, but so does the official opposition. The official opposition also has a responsibility to ensure there is some functionality inside the House. They were not elected to prevent all forms of legislation and hold them up.

I understand what it means to be in opposition. For over 20 years as a parliamentarian, I was in opposition. Hopefully, I will get that same time in government. The point is that, as an opposition party, the Conservative Party has fallen off track by believing everything it does needs to be obstructive and prevent the government from being able to pass anything, whether it is good or bad. This is until it comes to a point in time where the Conservative Party is embarrassed and shamed, or maybe even, like with the GST, it actually changes its opinion and supports the legislation. In fairness, there have been a couple of instances where that has taken place.

I would really encourage the Conservative opposition, when it says it wants to debate something, to allow that debate to take place. If there is something its members would ultimately like to see take place and they feel frustrated by government, there are other alternatives and other tools.

When we talk about the Uighurs and Turkic Muslims and what is happening to them, we need to get a sense of what it is, because most people do not necessarily have that understanding. They hear there are issues surrounding human rights violations. With a very little amount of research, one can easily get an appreciation on the types of things we are actually talking about.

It is estimated the Uighur population is in and around 12 million people. If we put that into the perspective of Canada, Canada has 38 million people. Imagine 12 million people, and I have not done the math but I suspect it would be all of western Canada plus, being suppressed and all sorts of violations taking place against human dignity and against basic human rights.

We often hear of the issue of genocide. We often hear how the government of China is in complete denial, saying it is more about propaganda by people who are against China. We see the results of other nations, the United Nations and others, that have been working with and listening at the ground level. When we talk about the uniqueness of the Uighur people and the degree to which it is getting the necessary attention worldwide, I think the world could be doing more. There is a need for us to collectively work within the United Nations and with other like-thinking allied countries to continue to put pressure on China.

I made reference to the Magnitsky act, which is legislation the United States first brought in based on what took place in Russia many years ago. It is the idea of sanctions and the idea of the world recognizing this. Many other countries, including Canada, have actually adopted similar legislation, recognizing there is always room for us to do more.

I will continue to do what I can. I would encourage members of all political entities to recognize what I suspect is a common value Canadians share: our rights, which are embodied in our Charter of Rights. Our Charter of Rights and the rule of law are things that matter to Canadians, and we should be sharing these with the world.

With those few thoughts, I appreciate the time to speak.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I will table my last petition on forced organ harvesting and trafficking in support of Bill S-223. This bill would make it a criminal offence for persons to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

It has been before the House in various forms for 15 years and petitioners are hopeful this Parliament will be the one that gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present today.

The first petition I want to present is from people across Canada in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has been before this place for over 15 years, and the petitioners are urging the Parliament of Canada to move quickly on proposed legislation so as to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs that might be removed without consent, as we have heard. I am happy to present that petition.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Madam Speaker, I too wish to table a petition today in support of Bill S-223, as many of my colleagues in the House from all parties have. It is a bill seeking to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking that has been before the House for, as my colleagues have said, over 15 years. The petitioners want to see Bill S-223 passed as soon as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, I am tabling this petition in support of Bill S‑223, which seeks to combat trafficking in human organs. This bill has been debated in the House for almost 15 years now in various forms. The petitioners would like us to debate and pass Bill S‑223 as quickly as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Rob Morrison Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, I am presenting a petition today in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has been before the House in various forms for approaching 15 years. The petitioners want to see the bill, Bill S-223, passed as soon as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Madam Speaker, I am tabling a petition today in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

The bill has been before the House in various forms for approaching 15 years. The petitioners want to see Bill S-223 passed as soon as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table a petition about Bill S‑223, a bill that seeks to combat trafficking in human organs.

This bill has appeared in various forms in the House of Commons over the past 15 years at least, and I think we need to pass it. This petition urges us to pass Bill S‑223 as quickly as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Madam Speaker, I am tabling a petition today that a colleague has already tabled. The petition is on Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat the terrible practice of organ harvesting and trafficking. It has been before the House, as many of us have heard, for the last 15 years and beyond. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be at the foreign affairs committee today, but the committee cancelled its meeting.

The petitioners want to see Bill S-223 passed as soon as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 4 p.m.
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Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Madam Speaker, I am tabling a petition today in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has been before the House in various forms for approaching 15 years now. The bill was supposed to be considered at a meeting of the foreign affairs committee happening right now, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute without consultation by the committee chair.

The petitioners want to see Bill S-223 passed as soon as possible.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I look forward to speaking to Bill S-5 when the time comes for that. The member misstated what I said in that I believe this is a debate that should happen and that we would benefit from having happen. I simply pointed out, as well, that Bill S-223 is an important piece of legislation that relates to the rights of Uighurs and was scheduled for the foreign affairs committee, but the foreign affairs committee was cancelled.

This is actually the time that exists for concurrence motions. That is why we are discussing a concurrence motion. The Conservative Party was very clear well in advance. We communicated to the government and publicly, in this morning's Globe and Mail, that we intended to move a motion of concurrence during the time of the parliamentary day that is set aside for concurrence motions. That is why the Chair stands up and says, “Motions,” and people who have motions move those motions. That is how the process works.

The member is trying to delegitimize concurrence discussions when in fact concurrence is part of the process. It is a way of building on work done at committees to affirm the importance of things committees propose and to have those things adopted by the broader House.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, we will see how the vote on this proceeds tomorrow. Following that vote, there will be votes on other measures.

There are sometimes instances where the government may not want to proceed with something but also not want to talk about it. For example, we have the issue of forced organ harvesting and trafficking before the foreign affairs committee. We think we should move that issue forward. I will give the Liberal members credit that every time the issue has been brought to a vote in the House, they have voted in favour of that bill, yet we are not seeing a will to move it forward. If the foreign affairs committee had been going forward, I would not be here in the House speaking on this issue, but at the foreign affairs committee testifying on Bill S-223. However, the chair cancelled that meeting arbitrarily without consulting with other parties, which meant I was not able to be there and we were not able to move the bill forward.

I hope members of the government will reflect on why that meeting was cancelled, because bills like Bill S-223 are important bills on forced organ harvesting and trafficking that should be moving forward at the committee and are not. There are other bills, like Bill S-211, where a lot of work is required but things are being slowed down.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

October 24th, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I move that the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, presented to the House on Friday, April 29, be concurred in.

I appreciate the opportunity to open debate, a debate that I understand will be, by unanimous consent, continuing this evening, on the sixth report, which deals with the ongoing injustices facing Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims and the work that we need to do as a House in response to it.

I am grateful for the work of the immigration committee. This is a unanimous report that highlights many important issues, and I want to start the debate by reading points from the report into the record and then discussing them.

The report states:

In light of the fact that Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China face an ongoing genocide, and in light of the fact that those in third countries are at continuing risk of detention and deportation back to China, where they face serious risk of arbitrary detention, torture, and other atrocities, the committee calls on the government to:

a) extend existing special immigration measures to Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, including the expansion of biometrics collection capabilities in third countries and the issuance of Temporary Resident Permits and single journey travel documents to those without a passport;

b) allow displaced Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in third countries, who face risk of detention and deportation back to China, to seek refuge in Canada;

c) waive the UNHCR refugee determination;

d) and the government provide a comprehensive response by letter to the committee within 30 days.

This motion follows an important step taken by the House about a year and a half ago when the House voted to recognize the Uighur genocide. It was a unanimous vote of all who voted in this place. As members will recall, cabinet abstained and still has not declared its position, but the vote that will take place on this motion, because it is a vote to agree with this report, will provide cabinet and the government with another opportunity to declare their position with respect to the Uighur genocide.

I reflect as well on the fact that much of this conversation was started in the House with the recognition of the genocide motion, but there has been much more discussion in the international community and evidence that has come out since. Just recently, there was the report of Michelle Bachelet. There were significant efforts to influence that report and there were significant limitations with respect to the work she was able to do, but, nonetheless, very damning conclusions came out of that report.

Various analyses have shown forced sterilization, systemic sexual violence targeting Uighur women, people being taken away and put in concentration camps, clear violations of the UN definition as it pertains to genocide and states that are party to that have an obligation to recognize and respond in those cases. This report recognizes and reaffirms that.

The focus of this report is on other measures that the House and the government need to take in response to these events. I want to focus on the ones in this report, as well as other additional measures that can and should be taken.

Following that recognition, even while the government has still not declared its position, other members of Parliament have been trying to put forward constructive initiatives that respond to the question of what Canada can do to advance the issue of justice and human rights for Uighurs. There have been a number of different areas where proposals have been put forward in the House.

This report speaks on additional immigration measures that have been put forward, and I know that later this week we will be having the first hour of debate on Motion No. 62. I should have made note of my colleague's constituency name before, but my colleague from somewhere in Montreal is proposing that and we will be debating that for the first hour on Wednesday. We are seeing a number of different initiatives on the immigration front.

We recognize the reality that Uighurs in China obviously often struggle to get to safety, but, increasingly, the efforts of the Government of China to have influence beyond its borders are creating greater and greater challenges, escalating pressures on refugees who have fled, maybe thought they were in a safe place and are now facing intimidation and persecution that is being pushed on the countries where they are resident as a result of pressure from the Government of China.

As it relates to third countries, it is worth mentioning the case of Huseyin Celil, who is a Canadian citizen detained in China. This was a case where he did not travel to China. Mr. Celil was in Uzbekistan, but was taken from Uzbekistan and sent back to China, where he has been detained for over a decade and a half. Underlining that is the fact that we need to recognize how CCP pressure on third countries can lead to people being sent back and facing human rights violations in the process.

Canada can be a place of safety for these folks in the Uighur diaspora who have left China but who are still facing the risks of potential persecution and repatriation in the countries where they are.

That is why Canada should be looking at strengthening special immigration measures. Our view on this side of the House is that we need to recognize the important role played by private sponsoring organizations and a strategy for responding to persecution and supporting victims of human rights abuses should involve collaboration between governments and private sponsoring entities.

We need to recognize that there may not be resources within those private sponsoring entities to cover all of the needs that exist, and there could be vehicles for joint sponsorship. There could even be cases, perhaps, where the government provides the funding but organizations on the ground here in Canada play a specific role in welcoming newcomers.

All of the data suggests that those who are privately sponsored have a greater level of success once they are here in Canada, so we should look for opportunities in the process to engage private sponsors, such as mosques, churches, synagogues, faith groups, community groups and civil society, to help people acclimatize to coming to Canada. We recognize that this is not just a question of state policy, but the process of welcoming refugees is a collective effort that all Canadians can be involved in. I think, in many cases, people from different backgrounds and different experiences want to be involved, and they certainly get a lot out of it.

I want, as well, to discuss some of the other measures that we need to be taking about, coming out of where we were a year and a half ago.

I have sponsored a private member's bill in this place that comes from the other place, from Senator Ataullahjan. Bill S-223 is a bill that would combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. This is a private member's bill that would have Canada doing what it can to combat this horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

I do want to note that, unfortunately, the progress of Bill S-223 has been stalled. It has been sitting before the foreign affairs committee for months and months. We have not been able to get it adopted and sent back to the House. In fact, I was not originally scheduled to be here in the House right now. I was scheduled to be testifying before the foreign affairs committee, but at the last minute, the meeting scheduled to conduct hearings on Bill S-223 was cancelled by the Chair. That has further delayed the process of bringing this bill forward.

The bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking is pertinent now because we are hearing more about Uighurs being victims of this practice, but it is something that has been going on for decades. In particular, the Falun Gong community has highlighted the abuse of forced organ harvesting and trafficking and how it impacts their community.

It has actually been 15 years that parliamentarians have been working on a bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. Borys Wrzesnewskyj was first to bring one forward. Irwin Cotler also had a bill.

Since I was elected in 2015, I have been working on this with Senator Ataullahjan through the last three Parliaments. This bill has passed the Senate three times, twice in its current form. It has passed the House once in its current form. It has been studied multiple times by Senate committees and by a House committee, so I think it is time that we finally get it done, if we are able to end the logjam around it at the foreign affairs committee. It should not be about any one individual. This is a bill that will save lives if it is passed. I hope we are able to get it done.

A lot of work, as well, has been done on this issue of forced labour. There are significant concerns about how Uighurs are victims of forced labour and, in general, how Canada's laws to combat forced labour are totally inadequate. There is much more work that needs to be done. Another bill before the foreign affairs committee, also with an unclear timeline around it, is Bill S-211, a bill from a colleague on the government side. It has broad support in the House, and Conservatives supported fast-tracking it at second reading, but it is, again, not moving forward at the moment.

We need to move forward with these bills that are currently before the foreign affairs committee. Bill S-223 and Bill S-211 are two excellent bills. One is on organ harvesting, and the other is aimed at addressing an issue of forced labour.

Bill S-211 would create a reporting mechanism. It is an important step forward, but the other thing we need to do is recognize that in the Uighur region, for example, there is a very significant, very large issue of forced labour. I support measures, such as the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the United States, a bipartisan piece of legislation, that would recognize the particular issues in that region, and perhaps in other regions, where there are really significant and coordinated state-pushed efforts to have forced labour. We need to specifically designate those regions.

We need to look at, for instance, Bill S-204, a bill put forward by Senator Housakos that is not in the House yet. It is still in the other place. That bill would impose a ban on the import of any goods coming out of Xinjiang or East Turkistan, the region where Uighurs are in the majority. The goal of this is to recognize the reality that so much of what is produced and exported in that region is tainted by slave labour. We need to have an approach that recognizes the particular risks in this region and targets that region as well. That is another issue that we need to move on legislatively and there may be other measures we can consider that involve the designation of specific regions. This would target the specific regions in the world where we know there is a very high level of forced labour and a high risk that goods coming out of there will have involve slave labour.

There are many mainstream brands that people will be familiar with, that they may use products from, that import products from that part of the world. It is very concerning. The government announced a new policy on combatting these imports, but, in fact, there was only one shipment that was ever stopped and it was subsequently released. Therefore, we are clearly lacking in this area, and there is much more work that needs to be done.

In terms of some of the legislative proposals that are coming forward, I want to also recognize Bill C-281, a bill that had its first hour of debate recently and has its second hour of debate coming up soon. It is from my colleague in Northumberland—Peterborough South.

Bill C-281 is the international human rights act. It contains a number of measures that would push forward Canada's response on international human rights, including requiring the minister of foreign affairs to table an annual report regarding the government's work on international human rights, include listing, as part of that report, prisoners of conscience, which is of particular concern.

It would also create a mechanism by which individuals could be nominated for sanctions under the Magnitsky act and a parliamentary committee could pass a motion suggesting that someone be sanctioned under the Magnitsky act. If that motion were to pass, the minister would be obliged to provide some kind of a response. This parliamentary trigger mechanism for Magnitsky sanctions has been adopted in other countries. It is very important because a Magnitsky sanctions tool, though a powerful tool, still leaves the discretion entirely in the hands of the government.

There have been many countries around the world where there are serious human rights abuses, and the government has actually failed to sanction anybody from that country. There has been very limited use of Magnitsky sanctions in response to the Uighur genocide. That is why I support this proposal from my colleague to have a parliamentary trigger mechanism, so that a parliamentary committee could, if not compel the government to sanction someone, at least compel the government to provide some kind of a response with respect to why they are or are not considering moving forward with a sanction.

These are some of the measures that we have moved on, from the act of recognition by Parliament a year and a half ago to now, trying to propose concrete, constructive measures that would see Canada play a greater and greater role in combatting this ongoing injustice. We have talked, of course, about the immigration measures that are called for in this report as well as immigration measures that have been put forward in other initiatives that we have seen. We have talked about the issues of forced organ harvesting and trafficking and the legislation that has been put forward on that.

We have talked about different kinds of trade measures, such as those contained in Bill S-211 from Senator Miville-Dechêne, as well as Bill S-204 from Senator Housakos. Bill S-211, which is the general reporting mechanism requiring companies to be involved in reporting on these issues, also has the designation of particular regions of concern and the issues that come out of those. Then there are the other measures in the International Human Rights Act from my colleague, in Bill C-281.

As such, we have seen many different legislative initiatives. I guess one thing to acknowledge that they all have in common is that they are all private members' initiatives, so we are seeing a flurry of activity from individual members, many from our side, many from the Senate and some from other parties as well. However, we have not really seen any government legislation that is aimed at closing the gap, and I think members understand the processes of this House and the long and arduous journey every private member's bill has to make. I have seen it myself in the work I have done on the organ harvesting and trafficking issue. I work on a piece of legislation, and every time it is actually voted on it is unanimous, yet there are so many steps it has to go through, little amendments here and there, that it ends up not getting done.

We are in the third Parliament in which I have worked on this bill, and it has been attempted in two previous Parliaments as well, so there is this long journey private members' bills have to go on, and the risks are the same for other good private members' bills that are responding to urgent and present human rights concerns. That is why the government should take a look at some of these initiatives and maybe consider putting forward proposals that advance them through government legislation.

There is so much more that needs to be done on this issue of forced labour, like even getting it out of government procurement, never mind addressing the import of products of forced labour that come into the private sector. We are relying on private members' legislation to do that job, and we should support these private members' bills, but the government should be willing to lead on this and provide really comprehensive solutions.

One of the areas the government can particularly lead in combatting the injustice facing Uighurs is in working more closely with our allies on combatting the importation of products made from forced labour. There is obviously a lot of tracing and data work that is required in terms of blocking out products made from forced labour from coming into Canada, and this is why we can benefit from sharing information with our allies. If we have consistent laws and are sharing information around forced labour, then we can be more effective working in collaboration.

In fact, we have already started down this road by recognizing as part of our trade deal with the United States and Mexico an obligation around combatting forced labour, but Canada needs to now live up to that obligation. We can share information. We can adjust our policies to really strengthen the work that is required to prevent products from forced labour from coming into this country.

In conclusion, I want to recognize the incredible work that has been done by the Uighur community in particular, but more broadly by other communities, like the Muslim community in general and many other communities that are coming alongside as allies in support of justice and human rights, who have been advocating on these various points related to the injustices the Uighurs have faced.

The information has very clearly been exposed, despite the best efforts of certain actors to suppress it. It is now widely known: the existence of a campaign to put people in concentration camps, forced sterilization and systemic sexual violence. The subcommittee on international human rights two years ago heard brutal testimony from survivors about what had happened, and I reflected at the time on this quote from William Wilberforce, who said, “[Y]ou may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.”

Members of Parliament answered that call; the subcommittee on international human rights was unanimous and the House was unanimous, but the cabinet has still been silent and unclear, so this motion would provide the cabinet with an opportunity to vote again on the question, since this motion would reaffirm a recognition of the genocide.

It would also go further. We are not waiting for the cabinet; we are pushing forward with measures that are required in terms of pushing for additional immigration measures, and I have talked about the need to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, the need to bring in new trade measures and the important additional measures in Bill C-281.

I hope members will support this concurrence and the other measures that are urgently required to stand with our Uighur brothers and sisters, who face so much injustice in China as well as threats even after they have fled.

Judges ActGovernment Orders

October 21st, 2022 / 12:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to speak today on Bill C‑9, right after my friend, the member for Battle River—Crowfoot.

I want to begin by entering this debate midstream and responding to some of the comments that I was hearing in the questions and comments period immediately prior to my speech, before shifting into some of the other comments I want to make specifically about this legislation.

A favourite subject of the member for Winnipeg North is legislative timing and the processes of the House, and I must confess that it is a subject I enjoy engaging in dialogue about as well. However, I think he is always selective in his presentation of the story when it comes to the timing or process of legislation. There are a number of different aspects to that. In particular, he is essentially telling my colleague that we should not be debating this bill because he wants the bill to move forward on a certain timeline.

It is important for everybody listening to know that it is the sole prerogative of the government to schedule the legislation it is moving forward for debate in the time slots we have for presenting it, which is the vast majority of the parliamentary calender. The government needs to set aside some time for opposition days, where opposition parties put forward motions, and there is the possibility for members to move concurrence of committee reports. However, those are quite constrained given the time that those debates take. Of course, there is also Private Members' Business.

There are therefore some opportunities outside of government for legislation, policy or motions to be put forward for debate in the House, but the vast majority of the time is available to the government to schedule at their sole discretion. It is the government that makes decisions about which bills are priorities and which bills to put forward. If it wants a bill to advance, then I think it has an obligation to schedule it for enough days of debate so that debate can be brought to a conclusion. That principle applies for Bill C-9, as it does for any other bill.

What we often see the government do is fail to prioritize a bill within its own allocation of time. Then it acts mystified about the fact that it is not moving based on some artificial timeline that it has set. We saw this with Bill C-22, where the government scheduled it for one day of debate, did not schedule it for weeks afterwards and then asked why the bill was not moving forward. Of course, debate concluded the next time it was scheduled, but it would have moved forward faster if the government had chosen to prioritize it.

I detect the same string of argumentation again here from my friend from Winnipeg North. He is keen to see Bill C-9 move forward, apparently, but not keen enough to have successfully lobbied his House leader to schedule this bill and put it forward on a larger number of days. Friday is a very short day relative to the time we get.

I wanted to spend a few minutes on that particular point because I know it comes up again and again, and to pre-empt, in a sense, what I suspect will be a question from my friend from Winnipeg North, although I will say that I did appreciate him tabling a petition relating to Bill S-223 on organ harvesting. I hope that is a bill the foreign affairs committee will prioritize for deliberation and move forward, because as members know, it has been a long time.

Having responded to that, I want to add my voice to the comments by my friend from Battle River—Crowfoot pertaining to the larger issues of trust in our institutions and independence. We are talking today, in the context of Bill C-9, about certain circumstances, events and comments that have impacted trust and faith in the judiciary, and I think we need to affirm the importance of institutions.

We want to see that our institutions are trusted, but we also want our institutions to be worthy of that trust. Sometimes what we hear from some members is a call to trust institutions without being willing to note when there have been significant problems in the conduct of individuals in those institutions. I think the issue raised by the opposition House leader today with respect to interference by the government in a criminal case is another important issue in the ongoing conversation about trust in our institutions and the actions of government. Acts of interference by the government certainly do have an impact on how our institutions are perceived and the degree to which they are trusted. These matters of interference and the independence of institutions are important in their own right, but they are also important in terms of how they contribute to the level of trust that Canadians can reasonably have, in light of the facts, in the institutions that are so critical for holding our public life together.

Bill C-9, the piece of legislation we are debating today, is, on the face of it, a relatively technical piece of legislation, although as members know, every technical piece of legislation has interesting philosophical issues and questions underneath it. The legislation is about making changes to the mechanisms or processes that are in place around judicial discipline, or the discipline of judges. I will just read the summary. It states:

This enactment amends the Judges Act to replace the process through which the conduct of federally appointed judges is reviewed by the Canadian Judicial Council. It establishes a new process for reviewing allegations of misconduct that are not serious enough to warrant a judge's removal from office and makes changes to the process by which recommendations regarding removal from office can be made to the Minister of Justice. As with the provisions it replaces, this new process also applies to persons, other than judges, who are appointed under an Act of Parliament to hold office during good behaviour.

It creates mechanisms by which individuals who have been appointed to hold office, pending “good behaviour”, could be considered not to have fulfilled the standards required around good behaviour and could therefore be removed from office and/or face other mechanisms of discipline. I think the details and mechanics of these mechanisms are extremely important, and are things that will be important not only for the House to consider but for committee to go into further.

After reading through the legislation, one thing I found quite interesting was the presence of a review panel of lay people who, by design, cannot have any legal background. It is always interesting to me when there is this balance where, on the one hand, there are aspects of our judicial system where we demand a certain level of expertise, and then on the other hand, there are certain places where, I think for good, understandable reasons, we demand a lack of expertise formally and in practice as a means of saying that we want some people involved in the decision-making who are non-experts.

I recall a quotation from former British prime minister Clement Attlee, who talked about how he wanted his ministers not to be experts on the subjects they were ministers of. I know that is a bit of a parenthetical question, but it is one that has been debated over the years regarding various kinds of appointments.

In any event, this legislation includes a specific, designated role in the termination process for lay people. I want to note as well the justifications by which a judge could be removed from office. Proposed section 80 says, “For the purposes of this Division, the removal from office of a judge is justified only” for these reasons:

(a) infirmity;

(b) misconduct;

(c) failure in the due execution of judicial office;

(d) the judge is in a position that a reasonable, fair-minded and informed observer would consider to be incompatible with the due execution of judicial office.

These are, in some ways, notionally objective criteria, but naturally there is going to be some level of subjectivity in how they will be applied.

There is a history to the consideration of this issue, and there is a history to the discussion of judicial misconduct that touches on some very important and sensitive issues. In my time as a member of Parliament, there has been a fair bit of discussion specifically around the issue of comments by judges dealing with cases of sexual assault. There was a judge who made some very offensive and outrageous comments in the context of a sexual assault trial that he was presiding over. That provoked a lot of conversation about the reality that someone is not rendered all-knowing and all-virtuous simply by the fact that they have received a judicial appointment, and that maybe there is a legitimate place for saying that someone, by their comments or lack of understanding certain things, is no longer fit to be a judge.

How do we preserve the principle of judicial independence, the principle that judges should be making decisions based on the facts of a case and the law rather than making decisions as democratic legislators do, based on other factors, including public opinion? How do we preserve that principle of judicial independence and also say that there are certain societal norms and values that we would like to see reflected in the conduct and statements of judges? There is a point at which a person can go beyond the pale and simply no longer be suited to that position as a function of some of their comments.

There have been a number of ways of getting at this issue. One was from former Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, who put forward a private member's bill, in 2016 or the first half of the 42nd Parliament, that sought to promote judicial education around sexual assault. That is one way of dealing with comments like this: We can say that maybe it is simply about a lack of knowledge and education.

That bill did not pass in Parliament, but a similar bill was put forward and was passed in the 43rd Parliament. As I said at the time, I think we need to recognize the importance of education around these issues, but also recognize that education is not always the full solution. I think there is a lot of data to suggest that when we mandate certain kinds of training courses, for some people it is a meaningful opportunity for them to learn about the matter at hand, but for other people it is just a matter of checking the boxes that are required. Whether it is a meaningful engagement exercise or a box-checking exercise depends somewhat on the way the material is presented, but a lot of it will depend simply on the disposition of the individual and how willing the individual is to substantively engage with the matter at play.

My conclusion is that the proposal from Rona Ambrose about judicial education was very important and worthwhile, but it does not solve the whole problem of either judicial misconduct or potential issues where a judge is making comments in the context of a trial that are very offensive to the victim and to society at large.

That is some of the history of the issue, but there are also other potential issues. This is not just about comments judges make in trials; it could also be about concerns over personal corruption and other things that could be at play in the context of judicial discipline. This is a piece of legislation that, coming out of that long-running public discussion, seeks to make refinements to the processes around judicial discipline.

One thing I would like to note about this discussion is that it presumes the personal fallibility of judges. Maybe it should be fairly obvious, but with the way some of our Canadian debates have proceeded, maybe it is not so obvious that judges are human beings. They have the potential to develop great expertise, great virtue and commitment to their work.

Judges also, like any other human beings, have the potential for grave errors in reasoning, as well as moral errors of various kinds, including misconduct or corruption. They are human beings, are fallible and can make mistakes in various kinds of situations or ways. The heavy criticism of former justice Robin Camp, some of the subsequent discourse and arguments for judicial education the government has supported, and the very existence of this legislation, affirm the reality of judicial fallibility. However, at other times when we are having debates about criminal justice issues and how we respond to particular kinds of charter litigation, the discourse in the House seems to presume something else, which is the infallibility of judges.

It was very striking to me, when I was first elected as a member of Parliament, that we were, on the one hand, dealing with this whole question of former justice Robin Camp and the issues around judicial fallibility, but on the other hand we had members making comments about at the time Bill C-14, which followed the Carter decision of the Supreme Court, where it was repeated that this was a unanimous court decision. Therefore, our goal as a legislature should simply be to interpret the wisdom we were given from this wise council's vision.

I have a great deal of respect for the role the Supreme Court plays in our democracy, but I also think it is legitimate to disagree with decisions that the courts have made. Part of the process of democratic deliberation is recognizing that, if judges can be personally fallible regarding their own conduct, fallible in the sense of making inappropriate comments in a sexual assault case, then they can also be fallible in there determinations about the appropriate sentence and balance of rights that emerge from a series of arguments about how to interpret given facts in light of the charter.

The fact there is diversity in courts of dissent underlines the potential fallibility of judges, and I think we should, in our Canadian democratic discourse, seek to affirm the importance of judicial independence, and the respect that is owed to that institution, while also recognizing that judges make all kinds of mistakes and that Parliament has a role to deliberate about substantive questions of justice and human dignity and to engage in a constructive and healthy back and forth when it comes to decisions, legislation and how we respond to that.

I could cite other cases that brings this issue to the fore, but I see that I am up against my time to some extent. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunity to address the issues around Bill C-9, to share a bit of the history, and to underline that, for me, one of the lessons coming out of this is to let us acknowledge that judges are human beings. They have an important job to do, but it is legitimate to disagree with and debate the determinations that are made, and to use constitutional tools that affirm the rights and the role of the legislature when it comes to establishing and advancing common values that are determined through democratic deliberation.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 18th, 2022 / 1:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the next petition is in a way similar. It relates to organ harvesting.

The petition is in support of Bill S-223, a bill proposed in the other place by Senator Ataullahjan, which is currently in the House before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. It is currently stalled before that committee, and petitioners want to see this Parliament be the one that finally gets Bill S-223 passed.

The bill would prohibit someone from going abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the person whose organ it is. It would also create a mechanism by which people could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they were involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 27th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to table three petitions before the House.

The first petition deals with the issue of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The petitioners have submitted this petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad to receive an organ taken without consent.

This bill has passed in the Senate three times and has already passed in the House in a previous Parliament in its current form. It is currently stalled before the foreign affairs committee. I know the petitioners are hoping that this is the petition that gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 26th, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced harvesting and trafficking of organs. I understand that similar legislation has passed twice in the Senate and in the House in its current form.

Families of those who are impacted obviously want to see change, as do a number of Canadians, as reflected in this petition.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to table today.

First of all, I stand in solidarity with my many colleagues who are tabling petitions in support of Bill S-223. For those who do not know, this is a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has actually passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form, but it is currently stalled before the foreign affairs committee, and petitioners hope that it will be passed soon.

The families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. Let us end the delays, and let us work to get this done. I will commit to colleagues that the petitions will stop when the bill is passed, but not all of the petitions, just the ones on that particular topic. There will be others, no doubt.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has passed in the Senate twice and in the House once in its current form. It is currently stalled before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the petitioners hope that it will be passed soon.

The families and victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. Let us end the delay and get this work done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Rick Perkins Conservative South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, I also am pleased to rise to table a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill has passed in the Senate twice and in the House in its current form. It has been before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of this House for some time, and the petitioners hope that it will pass soon.

The families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation, so the petitioners ask that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs get on with the work, study the bill, amend it, pass it, do whatever it needs to do from that study, and send it back to the House so we can finally pass this bill and get the job done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I, too, stand to table a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. We certainly owe it to victims and those affected by this abhorrent practice.

Specifically, I would note the work that the late Hon. David Kilgour did to forward this important issue. The House should lend its support to this important cause and simply get this bill passed in honour of Mr. Kilgour and so many others who have been fighting for this cause and in recognition of the victims of this abhorrent practice.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Larry Brock Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to table a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It has passed in the House once in its current form and twice in the Senate. It is currently stalled before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the petitioners who signed it are hoping that it will pass soon.

For 15 years the families of victims of forced organ harvesting have waited for Canada to pass this legislation. Let us end the delays and get the work done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling this petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has passed in the Senate twice and in the House once in its current form. It is currently stalled before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, and petitioners hope that it will be passed soon.

The families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. We need to end the delays and get this done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill has passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form. It is currently stalled before the foreign affairs committee and petitioners are hoping that this bill will be passed through the committee soon.

Families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for this legislation to pass, so let us end the delays. Let us work to get this done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 21st, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling this petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form. It is currently stalled before the foreign affairs committee and petitioners hope that this will be passed soon. The families of victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. Let us end the delays and let us get this work done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2022 / 11 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the second petition I am tabling is similar to that tabled by a number of colleagues. It is to support Bill S-223, a bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has passed the Senate twice and the House once in its current form. It is now stalled at the foreign affairs committee, and petitioners want to see this bill passed as soon as possible. Families of victims have been waiting 15 years, and hopefully these delays will end.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2022 / 10:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, I have a second petition signed by a number of Canadians across the country who are in support of Senate Bill S-223, a bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2022 / 10:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, it is good to be back in this House after the summer recess.

I am rising to present two petitions. The first petition is in support of Senate Bill S-223, which seeks to combat the practice of forced organ harvesting, which is still going around the world. It is the practice of harvesting organs from healthy, living human beings without their consent, and the bill would combat this practice. The families of the victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking have now waited almost 15 years for Canada to pass this legislation. It is time to end the delays, and the petitioners are calling on the House and on Parliament to now get this done.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 18th, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill S-223 under Private Members' Business.

The question is on the motion.

The House resumed from May 13 consideration of the motion that 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.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 17th, 2022 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I am also pleased to present a petition in support of Bill S-223, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for people to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. The bill that this petition is dealing with will be up for a vote in the House tomorrow.

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

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

First, I want to congratulate you on becoming the chair of this committee. I look forward to a collaborative relationship with you and with all parties on this very important committee.

I want to bring us all back for a moment to what it is we are actually debating currently. As we know, MP Fry introduced a motion on May 6, 2022. In our last meeting, Mr. Genuis introduced an amendment to that motion. His amendment simply states as follows:

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.

Those words would be inserted between “rights globally” and “and that the committee report its findings to the House”.

That is the subject we are currently debating. I must say that I am surprised that this amendment has not sailed through. I recall at the meeting on Thursday the members around the table saying that it's exactly what they wanted to see happen. Everybody wants to see us finish the study on Ukraine, on vaccine equity and on Taiwan. We have an obligation to study Bill S-223 and Bill S-211. Everyone seems to agree on that. So I'm somewhat confounded by the fact that we can't seem to come to an agreement on an amendment that everybody has spoken in favour of, from what I can tell so far.

One of the things that's extremely important about this amendment is Ukraine. I want to spend some time talking about my perspective. I'd appreciate some latitude on this, as I was not here the week Dr. Fry's motion was introduced. This is actually my very first time speaking on this subject.

Having the committee find itself in this unfortunate position, I just want to say that this committee is essentially on the front lines. We shouldn't underestimate our role. We're on the front lines of protecting Canada's foreign interests abroad. What we study here can directly impact decisions that the Government of Canada makes vis-à-vis our interests in Ukraine and around the world.

Now, we know that the world is a dangerous place, and it's even more dangerous now that Mr. Putin has taken the rash decision to invade our friend and ally Ukraine. Canada has over one million citizens of Ukrainian descent. Our ties to Ukraine carry a moral imperative. That imperative is to safeguard our foreign policy interests and to stand up for Ukrainian Canadians who are rightfully distraught over the carnage that their beautiful, peace-loving, democratic state has been subjected to. It's also to stand up for the principles of peace and democracy throughout the world. That's why we're here.

We have met these obligations. Canada has met these obligations over our long history. Former prime minister Lester Pearson stood up for these ideals when he assembled the first large-scale United Nations peacekeeping force to de-escalate the situation in Suez. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the work he did. Mr. Pearson also played an important role in his career to establish the peaceful and democratic State of Israel, resulting in our most important bilateral relationship in the Middle East.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney stood up for these ideals when he was alone on the world stage seeking to free Nelson Mandela and bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. Mr. Mulroney spearheaded an aggressive Canadian push within the Commonwealth for sanctions to pressure South Africa to end apartheid and get Mr. Mandela released after 25 years of unjust incarceration.

The day after his release from prison, Mr. Mandela spoke with Mr. Mulroney on the phone. According to the former Canadian prime minister's memoirs, Mandela told him, “We regard you as one of our great friends because of the solid support we have received from you and Canada over the years.... When I was in jail, having friends like you in Canada gave me more joy and support than I can say.”

In 2004 Mr. Mandela sent a letter in which he said that Mr. Mulroney had provided strong and principled leadership in the struggle against apartheid. He also said that this was not a popular position—

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.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present this petition in support of Bill S-223 and my good friend and colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

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 and it passed the House unanimously in 2019 in exactly the same form as the current bill. We will be debating Bill S-223 this afternoon, and I hope this Parliament will be the one to finally bring this bill into law.

I would like to thank the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his advocacy.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 13th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to 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 in Canada to go abroad and receive an organ that has been taken without the consent of the person who is donating the organ.

Bill S-223 has passed the Senate unanimously three times and it passed the House unanimously in 2019, but, shockingly, has not yet been made law. I look forward to the debate on this legislation.

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

May 12th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Madam Speaker, it is indeed an honour to stand today to talk about the re-establishment of the Canada-China special committee and the work we need to undertake with respect to our relationship with China.

I want to thank my colleague from Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley for his very strong intervention, and indeed all members of the House as we consider taking on this important work.

The month of May is Asian Heritage Month, and I want to recognize all the great contributions that Asians and Chinese Canadians have made to this country. I want to mention the Hon. Philip Lee, who was the lieutenant governor of Manitoba, and the great work he did in representing the Crown in Manitoba, which he did with dignity and grace. He was an excellent representative of the Government of Manitoba.

Earlier this week, a number of my colleagues were outside on the front lawn talking about the 30th anniversary of Falun Dafa, which is known as World Falun Dafa Day. We talked about all of the great contributions that Asian Canadians are making to Canada. We can look at how Falun Gong practitioners have come here and how they practise what they preach: truthfulness, tolerance and forbearance. They have brought those qualities and values to Canada and made us a better country.

Unfortunately, Falun Gong practitioners in China are being persecuted, arrested, subjected to illegal organ harvesting, which is disgusting, and brutalized by the communist regime in Beijing. They expect us to use this committee to get to the bottom of what is happening under the communist regime and to stop it by sanctioning those who profiteer from this disgusting illegal organ harvesting. We need to make sure there is legislation coming through. There is a bill coming from the Senate, Bill S-223, that will address this issue and hold to account not just those who are committing the atrocities in China, but those around the world who are paying for and benefiting from those organs in a way that would be considered illegal in Canada. We need to put a stop to it.

As we look at the work that this special committee on Canada-China relations can do, it can dig down into the human rights abuses that are happening, not only to the Falun Gong practitioners I have mentioned, but also to the Uighurs, Tibetans, Christians and other minority religious groups throughout China that have been completely ostracized by the regime in Beijing. We know they are not allowed to practise freedom of religion. We know they have not been able to assemble peacefully because they will be arrested and ultimately end up in prison or in forced labour. We are seeing more and more the Chinese government using people of ethnic and religious diversities as forced labour, and we have to make sure that no Canadian companies are profiteering or using supply chains that involve this type of forced, illegal labour.

We have talked about supply chains. If we look at what has happened in Canada during the pandemic, the supply chains have been disrupted, partly because so much of that is coming out of China itself. We need to have sovereign control over a lot of those supply chains. We need to make sure we are working with our friends and allies around the world so we can have dependable supply chains, so we can get the electronic chips that go into the cars that are now sitting at parking lots and auto dealerships around the country; they cannot move because they lack some of the computer chips that are needed to operate the vehicles.

We know that supply chains were disrupted when it comes to PPE and that we were scrambling because of the unwillingness of mainland China to bring forward any of the supply we so desperately needed. We need to look at how we can strengthen our supply chain and work more with our allies and trading partners without having Chinese companies, which are often controlled by the state, coming into that supply chain and disrupting it. For our own economy, for our own citizens, it is important that we have control. It is about national security.

One of the biggest disappointments in the past six years under the Liberal government, and now the Liberal-NDP coalition, is that Huawei is still out there as a potential supplier of 5G technology to our mobile cellular system and Wi-Fi systems. We know Huawei has been tied to espionage around the world. That is why our Five Eyes partners, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, have all banned Huawei from their mobile systems, yet here we are, still waffling because the government cannot make a decision. That is despicable. We need to make these decisions.

We can look at how Huawei in particular has worked, even here in Canada. When I was parliamentary secretary for national defence, we took over the Nortel campus, when Nortel unfortunately closed its doors, and made that into the new campus for National Defence. It took years to clean out all the switches and wiring installed by Huawei, which had the ability to spy on Nortel, and ultimately on National Defence as it took over these buildings. National Defence was not there when this was originally installed in the Nortel campus, and it was not meant to be used against National Defence, but with National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces moving into the Nortel campus, the dynamics changed completely.

There is a huge track record by Huawei of not being trustworthy. It is under the Communist Party of China's control through its own charter as a corporation, and it has to co-operate with the Government of China when it wants Huawei to spy on other nations, corporations or individuals. We need to be very forthright in how we deal with it.

One of the things the committee should look at is how Canada can insert itself in some of the national security conversations that are happening on a global scale. In the Pacific, there is already what is called the quadrilateral dialogue, which involves India, Japan, the United States and Australia. Canada is not part of that discussion, and it should be.

This committee should look at how Canada can get involved in these conversations to strengthen the Indo-Pacific region, how we can make sure we counteract some of those geopolitical games that the communist regime in Beijing has been playing in the South China Sea, how it has been rattling sabres to scare Taiwan, and how it has installed a new administrator for Hong Kong and continues to violate the democratic and civil liberties of the Chinese community in Hong Kong, which includes 300,000 Canadians. We need to make sure we deal with this at the special committee on Canada-China relations.

The other organization that was just set up is being built around a national defence co-operation agreement called AUKUS, which includes Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are co-operating not just on intelligence sharing, which the Five Eyes has done, but also on national defence issues, including empowering the Australian navy with submarines, as well as on greater training, co-operation and collaboration among those three allies of Canada.

We should be part of that group. It may be too late for us to get in, and maybe there needs to be a path forward on how Canada can become part of that security agreement, but we are a Pacific nation. As a Pacific nation, we should be more involved in defence issues in the South Pacific, and indeed in the Indo-Pacific region, to counterbalance what is happening with the Chinese geopolitical sphere and the way China is trying to influence and potentially use force as it builds up its military to levels we have never seen.

Finally, when we look at China through this committee, we also need to look at how China is being used as a back door to take Russian goods and enrich the Russian military machine that we see waging war in Ukraine today. We need to make sure we are counterbalancing that, by looking at China and trying to get it to move away from enriching Putin and his kleptocrats. We need to make sure we get more sanctions on Russia, and that includes talking to China about how it should participate in the rule of law under the international agreements we have and isolate Russia, rather than enriching it so it can wage war on the great people of Ukraine.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 11th, 2022 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, finally, I want to present another petition on Bill S-223, which is coming up for debate on Friday. It is a bill to make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

I am very hopeful that debate will collapse on this bill on Friday and we will be able to move it forward. People have been working on this bill for 15 years. It is a no-brainer: everyone agrees. Petitioners hope that we will finally get Bill S-223 passed so that Canada can do its part to combat organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 10th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on a similar issue. The second petition is specifically to highlight Bill S-223, which is a bill that would combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It recognizes that this is a practice that happens in certain places around the world and it would seek to make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It would also create a mechanism by which someone could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they were involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 9th, 2022 / 3:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling is in support of Bill S-223, a bill that will be debated on Friday. It is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It would also create a mechanism by which someone could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they were involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Bills on this issue have been before the House for about 15 years and have always had broad support, but never made it all the way. The petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 25th, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am tabling one petition today in support of Bill S-223, which is aimed at combatting forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I surely hope that we will be able to get this bill passed as soon as possible.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I am also going to table a petition on Bill S-223.

I join colleagues on all sides of the House in recognizing the incredible legacy of David Kilgour, who passed away this week. David brought this issue to my attention and to many people's attention. He, along with David Matas, wrote the initial report on this issue. He has been a tireless champion on it and on so many other human rights issues as well.

I am very pleased to table this petition in support of Bill S-223 and, in the process, recognize Mr. Kilgour's work on this and so many other important human rights issues.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I too rise today to present a petition in support of Bill S-223. This is not the first Parliament in which this bill has been introduced and received wide-spread support.

I would also like to note and honour former member of Parliament, David Kilgour, a principled member of Parliament from this place, who stood strong for the values of human rights both in Canada and around the world. I am sure petitioners want to see this bill finally passed and given royal assent in this country after having been discussed and debated in three Parliaments. I hope that we can do so in honour of Mr. Kilgour, who championed this and, as has been noted, blew the doors open and was a whistle-blower on this deplorable practice around the world.

I am proud to stand along with many of my colleagues and present this petition here today to see that Bill S-223 gets passed for all of the victims but also in honour of Mr. Kilgour.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, I am also tabling a petition on Bill S-223, which seeks to fight the really unjust, unfair practice of organ harvesting that is being done in different parts of the world and to make it a criminal offence to go abroad to receive an organ without the consent of the donor.

Again, like other members have done, I am just going to rise also to recognize David Kilgour, his family and his wife. I knew David decently well. We exchanged emails and met off and on. He is the one who blew the doors open on this practice overseas and made this thing possible. He passed away on Tuesday. God bless him for his work and God bless him for everything he did for this Parliament.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition in support of Bill S-223. This is the bill to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the donor.

This horrific practice was first brought to light by former member of Parliament, David Kilgour, who sadly passed away just this past week. It is a shame that he did not live to see its passage, but I certainly hope that this bill will pass. I did have the privilege of meeting Mr. Kilgour and talking about his incredible work in exposing this murderous practice that sadly goes on.

Human Organ HarvestingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Stephen Ellis Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Madam Speaker, I too rise to present a petition on Bill S-223. We all know now that it is to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, making it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

Certainly, as a former family physician this bill would strike to the heart of the matter for me. We all know that this is vastly inappropriate and sadly a burgeoning event happening in countries to people who are not quite so lucky as to be Canadian.

Again, I would like to honour a colleague, who is not a colleague of mine but of everybody else here it appears, David Kilgour, a great champion not only of this issue but of other human rights issues.

Human Organ HarvestingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to present a petition and to raise the concerns of many Canadians, and many throughout the world, related to the atrocious practice of human organ harvesting.

This petition is in support of Bill S-223. This is a Senate bill that seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

As I table this petition, I also want to give honour to former MP David Kilgour who passed away on Tuesday. I recall that Mr. Kilgour was also a member of the parliamentary prayer breakfast group that would gather regularly, and his contributions were always meaningful and significant. I would like to give honour to Mr. Kilgour and his memory today and express our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He was very instrumental in helping to blow the whistle initially on forced organ harvesting and trafficking in China and played a key role in this legislation to combat it in other countries. I am sorry that he will not be able to see this take place in person, but somehow I have a feeling that he will be aware of the bill's passage when it does happen.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

Laila Goodridge Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too am going to rise to table a petition in support of the Senate bill, Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

I too would like to take this opportunity to recognize the amazing work that was done by the late member of Parliament, David Kilgour, on this. David was actually a member of Parliament when I first started university in Edmonton. He was a very kind man and he did so much, so I just wanted to take this opportunity, in his honour, to put forward this petition on the work that he had spent so much of his life doing.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 7th, 2022 / 10 a.m.
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Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House always, and today I would like to present a petition in regard to the support of Bill S-223. This is a Senate bill that is aimed at combatting forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for an individual to travel overseas to receive an organ taken from an individual without that person giving consent.

It has also been brought to my attention that, through this petition as I table it, we can honour a former MP, Mr. David Kilgour, who passed away this past week on Tuesday. Mr. Kilgour was one of two Canadians who initially made the world aware of organ harvesting and trafficking in China. He played a key role in passing legislation to combat it in other countries as well. It is an honour to present this petition in honour of him.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to table today.

The first petition is in support of Bill S-223, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. I want to assure members that there will be no more petitions tabled on the bill as soon as it is passed. Maybe that will help light a fire under some members to support the speedy passage of this important piece of human rights legislation.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

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

This bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have put forward a form of this bill over the past 13 years. The petitioners are hoping that it can be this Parliament that gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Ryan Williams Conservative Bay of Quinte, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am also presenting a petition in support of Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would also 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. It is my honour to present this petition on behalf of my constituents.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this petition is also in support of Bill S-223, the bill on organ harvesting. It 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 proper consent from the person giving the organ.

Bill S-223 has passed in the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for the past 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. The petitioners would like to see this Parliament finally get this done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition today, which I am pleased to present, in support of Bill S-223. This bill is about organ harvesting and trafficking, making it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person. I note that this has been passed in the Senate unanimously three times, and for 13 years it has been in the House and the Senate. In 2019, the bill passed in the exact same form, so the petitioners are hoping that we will get it passed this time.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Rob Morrison Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, this petition is in support of Bill S-223. Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it an 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 in the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years.

This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. The petitioners hope that this Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 6th, 2022 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to introduce two petitions to the House today.

The first is in support of Bill S-223, which 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.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 4th, 2022 / 6:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions I want to present to the House today. I am thankful for the opportunity.

The first petition is in support of Bill S-223. This is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for people to go abroad and receive an organ without consent from the donor. The goal of this bill is to combat the scourge of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The petitioners note that this legislation has been before various Parliaments in the same form. It has passed the Senate unanimously three times and has passed in this House once unanimously in a previous Parliament. In light of the scourge that organ harvesting and trafficking is, the petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one to finally get it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 29th, 2022 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I too am going to present a petition in support of Bill S-223. This bill seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad. This bill has been introduced in some form over the last 13 years, and the petitioners are hoping that the current Parliament is the particular Parliament that gets it passed. Petitioners signed this petition because they want this bill passed and are in full support of it.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 29th, 2022 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Madam Speaker, this petition is in support of Bill S-223, seeking to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking, making it a criminal offence to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. This bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times and passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in the same form. The petitioners hope that this Parliament will act on this petition.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 29th, 2022 / 1:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the next petition that I am tabling is in support of Bill S-223, which would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ that had been taken without consent. It would also create a mechanism by which the Minister of Immigration could designate people as inadmissible to Canada as a result of their involvement in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. Currently, there is no law against somebody being involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking abroad. This legislation would remedy that. The petitioners are hoping that this Parliament, after 15 years of efforts to pass legislation on forced organ harvesting and trafficking, is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 28th, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the third petition that I am tabling is in support of a private member's bill that started in the Senate and now stands in my name in this House. Bill S-223 is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without a person's consent. It also would create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they have been involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This is important and common-sense, no-brainer human rights legislation that we have been working on, including various members of Parliament before me, for about 15 years. Hopefully, this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 21st, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first is, of course, in support of my private member's bill that I am sponsoring in this place: Bill S-223, a bill to finally combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. Petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 4th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling is in support of Bill S-223, a Senate bill that has now passed the Senate unanimously and is here before the House.

The petitioners want to see this bill passed to make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ that has been trafficked or taken without the consent of the person involved and, also, to support provisions in the bill that would create a mechanism by which someone could be deemed inadmissible to Canada as a result of their involvement in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This bill has been before the House and the other place in various forms for about 15 years now. Everybody agrees. It has passed unanimously multiple times. It is time for this Parliament be the one to get a bill against organ harvesting and trafficking into law.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 14th, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present today.

The first petition is in support of Bill S-223. This bill seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad to receive an organ without the consent of the person giving the organ. Petitioners are hoping that this is the Parliament that finally gets this done. This bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times and has been supported by MPs from multiple parties going back over 13 years. We hope this time we get it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 9th, 2022 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fifth petition I am tabling is in support of Bill S-223. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person whose organ it is, and would create a mechanism by which someone could be deemed inadmissible to Canada because of their involvement in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This is an important human rights bill. The petitioners are hoping that this is the Parliament that finally gets an organ harvesting and trafficking bill passed.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 3rd, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the third petition is in support of Bill S-223. This is a private member's bill that has already passed the Senate and that I put forward in the House.

The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. This responds to concerns about forced organ harvesting. It has been happening for a long time, targeting Falun Gong practitioners and, as we know now, targeting Uighurs and other communities as well. Canada needs to do what it can to stop forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and that means passing this legislation to address potential complicity of Canadians in those horrific actions.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition also deals with a human rights issue in the People's Republic of China. It is in support of Bill S-223, a bill I tabled in this place that would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

This bill has now passed three times unanimously in the Senate. It has passed this House unanimously in the same form in a previous Parliament. I know this bill is supported by many members on all sides, and I think it is supported by all members. We need to make sure that we actually get it passed into law to protect people who continue to be victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition in support of Bill S-223, which 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. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form, and the petitioners are hoping that this Parliament is the one that finally gets this done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

I have 56 petitions to table in the House today.

The first petition is with respect to Bill S-223. Petitioners are calling on the government to support the rapid passage of this bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person taking it.

Petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it done. I promise hon. members that petitions on this subject will no longer be tabled as soon as this bill is passed.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and present a petition on behalf of Canadians in support of Bill S-223. The bill 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.

As we all know, this bill has been presented multiple times in the House of Commons, and we are hoping that this is the Parliament where it finally gets across the finish line.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Melissa Lantsman Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present this petition in support of Bill S-223, which 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. This bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times and was brought forward by multiple parties over 13 years. I hope this is the Parliament that gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was great to hear Bill S-223 introduced, regarding organ harvesting. 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, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 and is in exactly that same form.

Petitioners hope the current Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to succinctly present a petition in support of Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting. This is something that has been worked on in Parliament for well over 13 years, and petitioners hope the current Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

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 first time.

Mr. Speaker, this is a piece of legislation that has now passed the Senate unanimously three times. It is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It also would create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This is a common-sense piece of legislation that I know has wide support across the House. I want to thank the member for Lac-Saint-Louis for working with me on this, as well as the member for Edmonton Strathcona, the member for Ottawa West—Nepean, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard and many members of my own caucus.

I know many people are hopeful, after multiple attempts over 15 years to get this legislation passed, that the present Parliament will finally be the Parliament that gets this bill done. I hope in particular the government will be supportive of allowing debate to collapse on this bill after the first hour, so we can move it forward to committee as quickly as possible.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:40 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I look forward to seeing Bill S-223, and would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise to present a petition signed by a number of citizens from my home province of British Columbia who are deeply concerned about the abhorrent practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking. They are encouraging this Parliament to pass Bill S-223, which has been presented here before. It is time to get the job done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, I also have the honour to rise today and present a petition in support of Bill S-223. The petitioners are excited about this bill because they want to see forced organ harvesting and trafficking stopped. This bill would make it a criminal offence to do that. It has passed the Senate unanimously three times before, and this bill has been put forward for over 13 years. The petitioners and I hope that this Parliament is the one that finally passes this bill.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Dan Muys Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise and present this petition, as some of my colleagues have, in support of Bill S-223. It includes some signatures from Hamilton and Toronto. As we have heard, Bill S-223 seeks to combat the abhorrent practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and make it a criminal offence. We have heard that this has been passed by the Senate three times unanimously and also been entertained in the House by multiple parties over the years, including being unanimously passed in 2019 in exactly the same form. The petitioners are hoping that this Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Madam Speaker, I am rising today to present a petition in support of Bill S-223. This bill has been before the Senate and it has passed three times. It has been before the House before and was passed unanimously by the House. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent of the person giving that organ.

Petitioners are rightly disappointed that we have not yet gotten this bill passed in that 13-year time frame. It is time to get this bill done. It is the right thing to do.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Madam Speaker, I rise to table a petition also in support of Bill S-223.

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 taken without the consent of the person giving the organ. This bill has passed in the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. Petitioners hope that this Parliament is the one that finally gets this done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Scot Davidson Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise today, like my colleague for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, in support of Bill S-223.

Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking and would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person giving the organ. The bill has passed the Senate an unbelievable three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill over the past 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. The petitioners hope that this Parliament is the one that will finally get it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, I rise to present a petition signed by Canadians who are in support of the passage of Bill S-223 to combat forced organ harvesting. Like my colleagues, I hope that this is the Parliament that gets this done.

Bill S-223 has been put forward by members of multiple parties over 13 successive years. The bill is tremendously important to making sure it is recognized as a criminal offence for anyone to go abroad to receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving that organ. This bill deals with the dignity of each person. It deals with a matter of grave human rights, and we look to the House to expeditiously pass this important piece of legislation.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Madam Speaker, the second petition is very similar to those from some of my colleagues with respect to Bill S-223.

The petitioners are increasingly concerned about the international trafficking in human organs that are being removed from victims without their consent. This has not yet led to any legal prohibition on Canadians travelling abroad to acquire or receive such organs.

Therefore, the petitioners are urging the government to move quickly on Bill S-223, to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs removed without consent or as a result of a financial transaction, and to render inadmissible to Canada any and all permanent residents or foreign nationals who have participated in this abhorrent trade.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today in the House of Commons to present a petition in support of Bill S-223. This bill, like others before it, seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill 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, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. Bill S-223 passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. The petitioners hope that this Parliament is the one that finally gets this bill passed.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Tony Baldinelli Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, this petition is also in support of Bill S-223.

Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. The bill would make it a criminal offence for persons to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

The bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. It is the hope of these petitioners that this Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a 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 another person.

Bill S-223 was passed by the Senate unanimously three times and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of the bill for over 13 years. The bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form. Petitioners hope that Parliament finally gets this one done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2021 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, this petition is 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 and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in the same form. Petitioners hope that this Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2021 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a petition signed by Canadians who are concerned about forced human organ harvesting. In particular, the petitioners call upon Parliament to see the speedy passage of Bill S-223, which seeks to amend the Criminal Code as well as the Immigration, Refugee Protection Act to prevent Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs that were removed without consent or as a result of a financial transaction.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present today.

The first petition is with respect to Bill S-223. This is a bill on forced organ harvesting and trafficking, which a number of colleagues have tabled petitions on already. This is the same bill that was put forward in each of the last two Parliaments, and the bill has already passed the Senate.

Petitioners are calling on the government and the House of Commons to work together to finally pass legislation to prohibit forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and to prohibit Canadians from going abroad to receive an organ taken without consent.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today on behalf of Canadians calling for the prevention of international organ harvesting. In particular, they call upon the Parliament of Canada to speedily pass Bill S-223, which would prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs removed either without consent or as a result of a financial transaction. The bill would also render inadmissible to Canada any and all permanent residents or foreign nationals who have participated in this abhorrent trade.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 14th, 2021 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to present a petition today from citizens across Canada, looking to raise the issue of international human organ trafficking to the House of Commons.

The petitioners are calling on Parliament to work quickly to support Bill S-223.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2021 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present my first petition in this Parliament.

The petitioners are very concerned over the practice of forced organ harvesting and people travelling abroad to regimes where people are not adequately protected from the practice of forced organ harvesting. There is currently a bill before the Senate, Bill S-223, and the petitioners are calling on all parties in the House to support legislation to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration Act to ensure that Canadians are not going abroad and procuring organs that have been procured as a result of acts of intimidation or forced organ harvesting.

The petitioners are calling on the government to take action on this.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2021 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, the third petition I am tabling is with respect to organ harvesting and trafficking. We have Bill S-223, which the Senate has now adopted unanimously. It is the third time the Senate has unanimously passed a bill on organ harvesting and trafficking and has sent it to us in the House. Hopefully this Parliament will be the one that gets it done.

The petitioners want to see the government make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

December 9th, 2021 / 7:35 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I have the honour to inform the House that messages have been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bills to which the concurrence of the House is desired: Bill S-214, An Act to establish International Mother Language Day, Bill S-216, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (use of resources of a registered charity), and Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs).

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 6th, 2021 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the final petition I am tabling today is with respect to Bill S-223. The bill has had a number of different names and numbers. It is the bill that seeks to make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. The bill has been in the works for over 15 years, trying to address forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It has been put forward in every Parliament I have been a part of, under Bills S-240 and S-204. Now it has been retabled in the Senate as S-223, and I am hoping against hope that this Parliament will finally be the one that gets it done.

I commend all these petitions to the consideration of hon. members.