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Evidence of meeting #39 for Public Safety and National Security in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was victims.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Steve Sullivan  Former Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, As an Individual
Michael Anderson  Director, Natural Resources Secretariat, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

So it would be “by ensuring they play a role”?

4:50 p.m.

An hon. member

[Inaudible—Editor]

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Yes—what's a “role”? It's still ensuring that their obligations.... The initial one says “ensuring that their obligations...are addressed”, whereas yours is saying that—

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

They have a role.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

It's ensuring that they play a role.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

In your first explanation, you said that before the obligatory portion of the legislation would take effect, they would have an opportunity. For how long a period of time, then, do we have this opportunity out there before it becomes obligatory? So unless some of these things are more clearly spelled out....

Are there any other questions on that? Are we ready for the question? All in favour of amendment NDP-1?

(Amendment negatived)

Shall clause 1 carry?

(Clause 1 agreed to)

(On clause 2)

For clause 2, you have received the government amendment.

I am instructed by our legislative clerk here that we will deal with that one first, because if that one took effect, yours would not. The NDP clause would be redundant or it would be blocked out.

If you want to explain that....

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Well, with respect, I have no problem with dealing with it first, but then we would continue to suggest amendments based on the content of our amendment. It does not block us making amendments.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

No.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

It simply requires some changes in the section numbers. The content doesn't change. We can do that at the table.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

I want you to be aware of how this would work.

If this amendment carries, it would prevent your amendments from coming forward because it blocks out certain lines. It would be contradictory, and so you would then have to propose a subamendment to the amendment.

I'm going to have Ms. Hoeppner speak to the government amendment.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Again, it is quite a lengthy amendment. What I'll do is I'll just go through it and explain the purpose of this particular amendment.

Basically, to begin with, in proposed section 78.1, some of the changes we're making are actually just cleaning up the wording of the bill. For example, instead of “In view of the purpose”, we'd like it to read “In furtherance of the purpose”, to be more consistent with current legislation as it's written. So that would be proposed subsection 78.1(1).

Our proposed subsection 78.1(2) says that if “an offender owes more than one amount described in any of” the paragraphs “the amounts owed under that paragraph must be paid on a proportional basis if there are insufficient monies to fully satisfy them”. This would just clarify, for example, that if an inmate has two child support orders for two different children, it would be paid out proportionally between those two children. It would not be proportional between the five different categories—is it five or four?

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

It's four.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Four categories—it would be proportional within the category.

Proposed subsection 78.1(3) states, “Subsection (1) does not apply to any amount awarded in the decision for costs”. Again, that's just clarifying it. If, in part of the decision, costs were awarded as part of the decision, that cost would be awarded first, and then the remainder would be applied under proposed subsection 78.1(1).

Proposed subsection 78.1(4) is something we've heard about. We've heard testimony on it. We think it's important that we include this, so “Subsection (1)” would “not apply to any amount to be paid...as a result of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement” act, “which came into force on September 19, 2007. Again, obviously this wouldn't apply carte blanche to any creditors. This would be specifically for proposed subsection (1).

As for what we've done with the second part, or proposed subsection 78.1(5), we did hear testimony that there would be quite a burden placed on CSC to administer this. So this is a way, we felt, that we could take away that burden from CSC. It won't be up to CSC to find out who the creditors are. The onus would be on the creditor to notify CSC that money is owed to them by an offender. It would clean that up.

Again, then, proposed subsection 78.1(6) is just cleaning things up by saying that “Her Majesty must only take into account judgments or orders in respect of which a notice has been received under subsection (5)”. This is just making it consistent.

Proposed subsections 78.2(1) and 78.2(2) basically give CSC and Finance the ability to speak to each other and share information so they're not contravening any privacy laws.

4:55 p.m.

An hon. member

Is this number six?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

No. Sorry. It's 78.2(1) and 78.2(2). Proposed subsection 78.2(1) says, “In order to establish whether a person to whom Her Majesty owes an amount as a result...”. That is giving them the ability to speak to each other. Proposed subsection 78.2(2) is that CSC can speak back....

Then, in our proposed section 78.3, those three different lines are about making regulations to ensure this is consistent with other acts.

There were just a few things that needed to be cleaned up, even in terms of CRA and different acts. It's more of a cleaning-up process. It doesn't change at all the content or the intent of the bill. The main changes these amendments we're presenting would make are exempting residential school awards and saying that creditors have to let CSC know if money is owed to them by an inmate—those are the two main changes—and then making sure that CSC and Finance can communicate with each other.

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

All right. Thank you, Ms. Hoeppner.

Mr. Garrison, please, and then Ms. Murray.

5 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

I will start by staying that we appreciate the attention that was paid to testimony from witnesses and to the suggestions we made.

I think it is very important to provide this exemption for the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, so we thank the government for including that in their amendments.

We had also raised questions about the administrative cost, which I believe you've tried to address.

We still have two subamendments to this that we'd like to suggest, but in general I would say that even if we're not successful, we are still happy with the direction this is going in.

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Mr. Garrison, I would first of all explain that before we vote on this amendment, we would have to move a subamendment.

5 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

We're prepared to do that.

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

We can't move both subamendments. If you could move the one that would appear first chronologically, we could debate that. We would vote on that subamendment, and then we'd move the second subamendment and vote on it.

5 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

All right. The first one in the bill is Madam Doré Lefebvre's subamendment. We have just asked to have copies made.

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

As they are being made, can you give us the substance of what that would be?

5 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

It is a very simple subamendment to the one Ms. Hoeppner just moved to amend paragraph 78.1(1)(a). I want to add the following:

That Bill C-350, 78.1(1)(a) be amended to read: “any amount owing by the offender pursuant to a common-law partner, spousal or child support order made by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

This is a Canadian reality. Two people who are not married are nevertheless considered as common-law partners by the law. It would be interesting to add that.

5 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Kevin Sorenson

Okay.

5 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Yes?