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Evidence of meeting #34 for Justice and Human Rights in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was masks.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Tony Hunt  General Manager, Loss Prevention, London Drugs Limited
Steve Rai  Inspector in Charge, District Three, Operations Division, Vancouver Police Department
Paul Champ  Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association
Lincoln Merraro  Senior Security Manager, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited
Michael Byers  Professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, As an Individual

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

I can't name the cases off the top of my head, but I do know there are a couple of cases where—

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Can you send them to me, please?

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Thank you very much.

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

It was in the first ten years after the charter. There were charter challenges to the unlawful assembly and riot provisions, saying you would not necessarily have mens rea, and how would mens rea be determined.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Exactly. I'm interested in seeing the citations. Until I look at the cases, I'm afraid we can't really discuss them in—

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

That's fine. I'm happy to provide them to you.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Thank you for that.

I was glad you mentioned the example of NDP MPs attending the tuition rallies, because it explained for me why our colleagues from the NDP are so opposed to this bill. That's helpful.

It seems to me that even if I were an NDP member of Parliament, if I found myself in the middle of a riot or an unlawful assembly wearing a mask, I would probably find it prudent and helpful to the police to take the mask off. So I'm a little unsure about why it is you say that anyone would have a good reason to keep a mask on when they're in the middle of an unlawful assembly or riot. I just don't perceive that this would be a prudent or intelligent thing to do, even for a member of the NDP, unless there were some ulterior motive.

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

Just to be clear, if there's an unlawful assembly or riot, anyone in it is committing an offence, whether they're wearing a mask or not.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Right.

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

That's the bill. The problem I was identifying is that it's difficult to determine intent to be participating in an unlawful assembly. That problem is not going to change. The issue is that it's going to create a chilling effect for those who wish to attend. They might be at the front of the march and they don't know that a bunch of vandals in the back are smashing windows.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Well—

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Thank you, Mr. Woodworth.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

I've enjoyed our conversation. Thank you.

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

Thank you.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Champ, I would ask you to forward that information to the clerk, and the clerk will distribute it to everyone.

12:55 p.m.

Legal Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association

Paul Champ

Will do. Thank you.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Jean.

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

May 3rd, 2012 / 1 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Chair, a point of order. It is now 1:00 p.m., contrary to what the clock indicates.

1 p.m.

A voice

He's right. This clock is slow.

1 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

Oh. Okay—

1 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Do I have time for one question, Mr. Chair?

1 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Dave MacKenzie

One short question.

1 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Thank you.

I was just reviewing a website of an NDP member, Paul Dewar.

Is it true that you are an NDP member who supported him in his bid for prime minister, as the letter said?