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Evidence of meeting #38 for Public Safety and National Security in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendment.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Roger Préfontaine
Mike MacPherson  Procedural Clerk
Mary Campbell  Director General, Corrections and Criminal Justice Directorate, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Douglas Hoover  Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

I'd like to bring this meeting to order. This is meeting 38 of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, June 8, 2009, we are dealing today with Bill C-34, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other acts.

We'd like to welcome our witnesses, who are here to give us advice as we proceed through this bill. From the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, we have Ms. Mary E. Campbell, who is the director general for the corrections and criminal justice directorate; and from the Department of Justice, Mr. Douglas Hoover, counsel in the criminal law policy section.

Welcome to our committee. We appreciate your being here to advise us if at any point we need to ask you questions.

The plan here is to go clause by clause through this bill, and as we get to clauses with amendments we will pause and have the person or party who is introducing those amendments do so.

I don't want to move too quickly. If I'm doing so, please raise your hand and make a point of order, and I will slow down. We will try to move expeditiously; however, we don't want to overlook anything. We want to get it right.

Let's begin.

We're going to stand clause 1, which is the title clause.

(Clause 1 allowed to stand)

(Clause 2 agreed to)

(On clause 3)

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Do you have a question, Mr. Davies?

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Chairman, I have just a quick question. I'm a lawyer by training and I refer to these as sections. When you say “clause”, do you mean what I would refer to as section 3? Do you mean clause 3? I just want to make sure I'm on the right track.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Bills have clauses, and the clauses each have sections. According to the legislative clerk who is advising me here, we're referring to the Criminal Code, which has sections, and this we deal with clause by clause.

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

So your clause would be the number on the far left, number 3. When you say clause 3, you're referring to the paragraph that begins:

Subparagraph (a)(i) of the definition “primary designated offence”

Is that what you're referring to as clause 3?

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Yes.

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Thank you.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Monsieur Ménard, do you have a question?

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

It's “article” in French.

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Are you asking the same thing?

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

The word “clause” also exists in French. If I understand correctly, the word “article” covers both. Is that right?

11:15 a.m.

The Clerk of the Committee Mr. Roger Préfontaine

Yes, Mr. Ménard. If you look at the agenda, “clause by clause” in English is translated as “article par article” in French.

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

But, normally, “article” in French is translated as “section” in English.

11:15 a.m.

The Clerk

Or “paragraphe”?

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

No, “paragraphe” is “paragraph” . The same in both.

11:15 a.m.

Mike MacPherson Procedural Clerk

You would have to look at the legislation. The bill clearly says “article”, but the act uses “paragraphe”.

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

No. I guess that's part of the beauty of it. “Part” is “section”, and “section” is “article”. I would have thought that “clause” was “clause”, but you say it's not.

11:15 a.m.

Procedural Clerk

Mike MacPherson

“Clause” in English is “article” in French.

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

I see here that everywhere it says “clause”, you translated it as “article”. Let's go with that for today.

11:15 a.m.

Procedural Clerk

Mike MacPherson

Yes, that's true. But, in the act, the English word “section” is equivalent to “paragraphe” in French.

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

No, usually, “section” is “article” in French. The word “paragraph” is “paragraphe” in French.

11:15 a.m.

Procedural Clerk

Mike MacPherson

Perhaps “subsection” is “paragraphe”. In any case, that's how it is.

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

“Subsection” is “paragraphe” in French.

I understand, from what it says here....

So there is no need to go through all the....

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

If there's any more confusion, just raise your hand if you're not sure what section or paragraph or whatever it is.

Are there any more questions on clause 3?

(Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to)

(On clause 5)

For clause 5, the NDP have submitted two amendments. I'll allow Mr. Davies to bring them forward. I will tell him in advance that they are inadmissible because they're contrary to the principle of the bill. But if you would like to discuss them anyway, you have an opportunity to do so.

Do you want to know the reason for their inadmissibility before you submit them, or does that change anything?

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

I'm in your hands, Mr. Chairman. I will proceed with discussing my amendments, but of course, I would be most interested in hearing the reasoning behind their inadmissibility. This is the first time I've heard that, and I would like to hear the reasoning and I would, in all likelihood, challenge that ruling.