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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

The second petition, Mr. Speaker, is from petitioners who are registering their concern about the Young Offenders Act and how it is unable to prevent crimes by young people. They feel changes need to be made.

My petitioners call upon Parliament to urge the government to review the Young Offenders Act in an open and accountable process which addresses the following principles: deterrence of the offender, the accountability of the offender, and the rights of the victims.

It is my pleasure to present this petition to Parliament.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 it is my honour this morning to stand and present petitions. These names add to the thousands already submitted over the last five and six years.

The request is to amend the Divorce Act, to give grandparents a standing in the courts, to ask for access to the grandchildren. It is important we recognize that our grandchildren in this country are the innocent victims in all of this.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

André Caron Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present a petition signed by 732 senior citizens of my riding stating that they, naturally, feel powerless in the face of the technology of voice mail systems, that they have the right to suitable service, especially in regard to their income security applications, and who pray that Parliament will please ask the government to give up the plan to implement voice mail systems for seniors.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present two petitions today.

The first one deals with the basic service pensions for men and women who served in the armed forces during the war and calls on the government to introduce such a pension.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with the proposed amendments to the human rights act. My petitioners are opposed to that.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Liberal Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present today.

The first petition with 29 signatures requests that Parliament ensure that the present provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting assisted suicide be vigorously enforced and that no changes are made in the law which would allow the aiding and abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Liberal Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I present to the House is on the subject of abortion with 28 signatures.

The petitioners pray that Parliament act immediately by amending the Criminal Code to extend to the unborn the same protection enjoyed by born human beings in Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Liberal Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, the third petition with 25 signatures requests that Parliament not amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in any way that would indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or homosexuality including amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to include the undefined phrase "sexual orientation" in the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalPrince Edward-Hastings

The first is from a number of people in my riding calling upon the government not to amend the human rights act or the charter of rights and freedoms that would indicate in any way societal approval of same sex relations or homosexuality.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Liberal Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, another petition requests Parliament to refrain from implementing more restrictive controls of firearms that affect only law-abiding citizens. They request that more effective prosecution and tougher sentencing of criminals be carried out.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Liberal Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, another petition asks the government to revise our laws empowering our courts to be stronger on prosecuting young offenders.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Liberal Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, another petition calls upon the government to disallow the use of recombinant bovine growth hormones unless proven completely free of harm to animals and consumers.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Liberal Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, another petition calls upon the government to ensure that the present provisions of the Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide and the aiding or abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia does not come into play.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today which it is my honour to table under Standing Order 36.

The first one contains 122 signatures mainly from the communities of Aneroid and Vanguard in my riding.

The petitioners state that whereas there is no evidence that the incidence of criminal or suicidal misuse of firearms is impeded by restrictive legislation, they call upon Parliament to desist from passing additional restrictive legislation with respect to firearms or ammunition. They also ask for the repeal of those sections of the Criminal Code of Canada pertaining to the firearms acquisition certificates. I endorse their petition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have is with respect to the amendment of the human rights act and the charter of rights and freedoms to in any way indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or homosexuality. This petition is signed by 61 people primarily from the city of Swift Current.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.

The first one is signed by Charles Kingston and 30 others from North Vancouver praying and requesting that Parliament reduce government spending instead of increasing taxes and implement a taxpayer protection act to limit federal spending.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by 46 petitioners requesting that Parliament of Canada amend the human rights act to include

sexual orientation as a basis for protection against discrimination and to include recognition of relationships based on financial and emotional interdependence.

The third petition signed by 40 people in North Vancouver humbly prays and requests Parliament to enact legislation to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation. It further calls upon the Liberal government to pass Bill C-41 which gives tougher sentences to those who commit crimes of hate against others on the basis of sexual orientation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table a petition containing approximately 100 signatures forwarded to me by constituents in my riding of Cambridge.

The petitioners pray and request that the government not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality.

I am honoured to present my name with this list as well.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Saint-Léonard Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalSecretary of State (Parliamentary Affairs) and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Reform Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, we will allow all questions to stand. However, I would point out that a number of the written questions have been on the Order Paper for a very long time. This indicates either an inability or an unwillingness to answer. I would implore the government to respond as quickly as possible.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Liberal Saint-Léonard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will take the representation from the House leader of the Reform Party.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Shall the remaining questions stand?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-37, an act to amend the Young Offenders Act and the Criminal Code, as reported (with amendment) from the committee; and of Motions Nos. 5, 6 and 7.

Young Offenders ActGovernment Orders

February 10th, 1995 / 12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Liberal Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Mr. Speaker, before question period I was replying to members of the Reform Party who continue to propose simplistic and unworkable solutions to the problem of crime, especially youth crime. When they say they want something meaningful and effective what they really mean and what they really want are longer, harder sentences to prison without additional resources for correction and rehabilitation.

That model does not work. It is now being tried in several of the United States and violent crime in those states is among the highest in the western world. Those states with "three strikes and you are out" laws, those states with capital punishment have among the highest murder and violent crime rates in the western world. Look at Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Mississippi. Those states are executing people in the morning while in the afternoon murders take place during the theft of an automobile.

The approach being proposed by the Reform Party does not work. To begin with there has not been a general increase in youth violent crime in recent years. To give an example let us look at homicide rates among young offenders. The highest number of homicides for youths between the ages of 12 and 17 was 68 homicides in 1975 before the Young Offenders Act, whereas the low rate was 35 homicides for youth in 1987 after the Young Offenders Act.

Second, the Young Offenders Act is not, as alleged by the Reform Party, the cause of youth crime. While the Young Offenders Act might be a federal law it is fully and totally administered by the provinces. Some provinces do much better than others.

For example, my province of Quebec dedicates a lot of resources to the Young Offenders Act and has a much better record and much greater satisfaction with the act than other provinces. In some provinces youth crime and youth recidivism is much lower than in others, with the same act right across the country.

If there is violent youth crime in Canada the cause is not the Young Offenders Act. If we want to do something meaningful about youth crime, then we must make a greater effort in prevention and rehabilitation. Yes, certain amendments are required to the Young Offenders Act and we are doing that in Bill C-37, but they alone will not solve the problem of youth crime.

Certain Reform members just said that they met with youth during the Christmas recess and that those youths want significant amendments to the Young Offenders Act. Well, during the recess I also had a meeting with youth in my constituency at Concordia University in Montreal.

Those youth understood that the real problem is principally one of prevention and correction. They also knew that this year

the Parliament of Canada was going to make a thorough review of the Young Offenders Act, a thorough review of youth correction programs, and a thorough review of the situation of youth crime in Canada.

Let us have some honesty and seriousness with respect to this debate. To suggest to Canadians that changing a few lines in the Young Offenders Act is going to solve the problem of youth crime in this country is not correct. I would like my friends in the Reform Party to acknowledge that and be honest with the situation as it really is.

I also would like answers from the parliamentary secretary on the question I asked at the beginning of my remarks.