Thank you, Minister, for coming to committee twice in one week.
Mr. Pentney, thank you for coming as well and for the good work you do on our behalf. Mr. Pentney, I'd like to start with you.
In a Department of Justice backgrounder issued on May 17, 2016, the department, which I assume you are responsible for, stated that the Criminal Code also provides that a judge, when sentencing someone for having committed an offence, must consider any relevant aggravating circumstances, including whether the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor. It went on to say that this phrase is broad enough to include gender identity or expression.
That is a backgrounder from your department, sir.
I'm wondering how changing the Criminal Code as this bill is suggesting to do would impact criminal proceedings. What are, really, the palpable differences? Also, are there things that are covered in Bill C-16 that presently don't exist in either the Canadian Human Rights Act or the Criminal Code?