Mr. Speaker, Motion No. 5 is the substantive amendment I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks.
This issue revolves around the obligation of police to advise young persons before taking a statement of the possibility of the youth being dealt with as an adult.
Bill C-37 proposed an amendment to require police to so warn a youth where applicable. The language in the bill has been criticized for being vague and for possibly resulting in the exclusion of statements that would otherwise be admissible.
The effect of this motion is to rely on the common law principles articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R v. ET, 1993. This option will allow the courts to examine the specific circumstances under which the statement was given to determine the relevance of the warning relating to the possibility of transfer.
Proceeding in this way will also allow broader study of this and other evidentiary issues in the broader review of the youth justice system and the Young Offenders Act.
Motion No. 6 is technical in nature. Its effect is to clarify that the requirement for a waiver to be signed by the young person applies only to a written waiver and not to a videotaped waiver.
One of the reasons for amending Bill C-37 to allow for videotape waivers is that some youth are willing to waive their rights to consult counsel and/or an adult and to make a statement but are unwilling to sign the waiver. Currently the Young Offenders Act does not provide for oral waivers.
Motion No. 7 is technical in nature and intended to clarify an ambiguity. Bill C-37 provides in subparagraph 56(5.1)(c) for the situation where a youth misrepresents his or her age and then subsequently seeks to rely on the evidentiary safeguards for youth provided in section 56.
The bill would permit a judge to rule a statement admissible under specified circumstances even where the normal safeguards required for admissibility of statements have not been met. One of the circumstances is that the statement would be admissible in common law and under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The additional clause in subparagraph (c) which states "and its admission would be appropriate" is vague and is seen as unnecessary.