Evidence of meeting #122 for Public Safety and National Security in the 42nd Parliament, 1st 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. Jean-Marie David
Tanya Dupuis  Committee Researcher
Dominique Valiquet  Committee Researcher

Noon

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

So did I.

Noon

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

We'll vote on the amendment as proposed by Mr. Dubé to the motion.

(Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Now we're back to debate, with Mr. Spengemann.

Regrettably, I'm going to have to ask Mr. Dubé to take the chair. I'm assuming that Mr. Paul-Hus is going to want to continue in the debate itself rather than be in the chair and be effectively neutered.

Mr. Dubé, if you would take the chair, Mr. Spengemann has the floor.

Noon

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I want to begin by first of all thanking my colleague Ms. Damoff for bringing forward this motion. I think it's tremendously important.

Thank you for your championship.

Violence against women is something that we are all required to stand up for, and if there is an improvement that we can make through this motion, I'm absolutely in favour of it. I am in fact in favour of the motion as it is written.

My question would be around the same lines as Mr. Calkins' question, in that “duty to warn” is put in quotation marks, which means we're importing an existing set of medical and/or legal ethics and implementing something that already exists.

I wonder if you would consider softening the language to go along the lines of requiring the Minister of Public Safety to work with provincial and territorial counterparts to determine the circumstances under which medical professionals are required to advise provincial authorities, leaving it less legally and medically determined and just having them figure out how best to do it. I think maybe there is an area that could address Mr. Calkins' concern but still move forward on, I think, the most important aspect of the motion, which is to make sure that warnings do go up when they are diagnosed.

Noon

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Thank you, Mr. Spengemann.

Mr. Picard, you have the floor.

Noon

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

I didn't want to bring it as a motion, just maybe for consideration of the group before we put it into a motion, but I'm happy to.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

I will allow Ms. Damoff one comment on what he said about whether it makes sense, and then I'll propose an amendment just to make sure we covered the conversation.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

I wouldn't mind hearing it again.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

I'll be happy to repeat the thought as I framed it,“That the Minister of Public Safety work with his or her provincial and territorial counterparts to determine the circumstances under which medical professionals would be required to advise provincial authorities about persons” and retain the remainder as it is.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

You're not moving it, you're seeking the sponsor's thoughts on this.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

If there's enough time for me to move it, I'll move it.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Just to take out.... That's, as you pointed out, a very well-defined set of ethical and legal parameters, and to broaden that would give the minister potentially more scope to work out exactly what is required here.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Ms. Damoff, do you want to comment on Mr. Spengemann's wording?

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

I guess the intent is that they're going to talk to each other about it. It's not saying they had to implement it; it's asking if you can look at it.

I think “duty to warn” was something we kept hearing again and again, both in written and verbal testimony. I'm hesitant to take those words out, but I don't mind the way you were going with that. Perhaps we can review “duty to warn”, because my understanding is the Province of Quebec already has that in terms of legislation, but review it, and then go along with the words you were saying, Sven.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Is there any appetite to move it, Mr. Spengemann, as to the wording?

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

My concern is that “duty to warn” has a legal body of jurisprudence, but it also has a body of medical ethics, and they may not line up one for one, so if we keep the “duty to warn”, I think it would be good to keep more of a definition of what that means.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Do you want to move it? I'm fine with this.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Monsieur Picard.

June 14th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

I have one very small comment and maybe another one on the amendment.

With respect to “likely”, since we just asked the governments to talk together, it wouldn't make a big difference if we have “likely” or not, because my counsel is not the “likely” but the fact that they may attempt to take their own lives or the lives of others is not mentioned there.

The fact is, we just invite them to talk, so “likely” is subjective in how we interpret it. In fact, I don't mind the word itself. If there's a better word in English that I don't know of, that's fine with me, but I think we should focus on the fact that it should be “to put his or her own life or the lives of other people”, because that would kind of exclude the danger to himself.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Before going to Mr. Spengemann about the wording, I have Mr. Calkins.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I agree with Mr. Picard. I think, obviously, it also focuses just on the lives and doesn't talk about bodily harm, which I think is another concern, and it excluded harm to self. I like the proposal Mr. Spengemann has, and I would be more comfortable with that language having a little more flexibility, given the fact that we did hear from only one group from the medical community, and I'm not disparaging them in any way, shape, or form. We also had some submissions, but there is a broad range of medical professionals, not just emergency room physicians. There's a broad range of medical professionals in the realm of psychiatry, psychology, and so on who also should be included in this if we're going to do proper due diligence.

If we're going to ask the minister to do that due diligence, I think giving it a little bit more of a broad brush works for me. I still would maintain, though, we should be very certain, and we should be asking and instructing the minister, in my opinion, to set the bar very high in the negotiations and discussions. When they're going to ask anybody from that professional community to breach patient confidentiality, there has to be a very high bar.

12:05 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Mr. Motz.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

I like the language also proposed. We changed, in the act itself, in C-59, “is likely” to “is necessary”, if you recall, on terrorism or promoting terrorism or anything along those lines.

I think it's important to add that have been diagnosed with conditions that is necessary to prevent a risk to themselves or to anybody else.

It's a reasonable amendment, in my opinion.

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Mr. Spengemann and then Mr. Picard.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Chair, this is a question for my colleague, Ms. Damoff.

One way this could be read is that this is simply an enforcement problem, that the duty to warn is not being taken seriously. Is that what you had in mind, or did you have in mind to actually broaden the notion of the duty to warn?

12:10 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair NDP Matthew Dubé

Before giving the floor to Ms. Damoff, the analysts have something to add to reply to your question.