House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rcmp.


Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.


Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will keep my remarks quite brief. I have always admired the Reform Party in its aspects on various legislation, including gun control, victims rights, et cetera. It should be also commended for its efforts to keep our streets safe.

However, I have a couple of concerns for which I do not yet have answers. I was hoping that I could get the answers in the debate today for our party and for our constituents.

The fear I have the most is that in some countries which are not as democratic as ours there is the assumption of guilt before innocence. Thank goodness we live in a society where a person is innocent until proven guilty either by a judge or jury of their peers.

There is one aspect I have not heard from the Reform Party. In the event that a DNA sample is collected and the individual is found to be not guilty, will the DNA sample be removed and destroyed or will it be held in the databank for ever and a day? If the presumption is that we are going to maintain these samples forever, the the next step I see is that each person born will have a DNA sample taken and locked up somewhere. If a person is proven innocent after going to trial, will the DNA sample be removed?

As well, we heard members of the Reform Party talk about criminals and the length of time they should stay in jail and the treatment they should receive while incarcerated.

I would have a question for them. What rehabilitation processes would they have in place while the person is incarcerated? What kind of halfway programs would they include in their summations of a prisoner once the person has served their time to rehabilitate them back into society?

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.


Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the bill today, an act to provide for the establishment of a national DNA databank.

The way to approach the topic is by clearly determining the obligation of the government when it comes to dealing with people charged with offences, people who commit offences and break the law.

The government has a responsibility in the area of public safety to do everything possible to ensure that families, communities and streets are safe places. While there are those who will argue the government has gone too far in its policing of our citizens, communities and neighbourhoods, a huge majority of Canadians do not believe the government has gone far enough in areas of providing policing and of giving municipal, city or regional police enough tools to fight crime. The government has not gone far enough in its commitment that victims of crime should be the number one priority of the criminal justice system. That is fact.

With regard to DNA testing no one in the country of any consequence in numbers has a problem with fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is an automatic act when one is charged with most crimes. It helps police forces to identify the person who has been arrested. It enables them to check the records to see whether the person is wanted on any outstanding warrants in another part of the country. It allows them to check the fingerprints against the record of fingerprints that may have been found at another crime scene. It serves as a very effective and useful tool in fighting crime.

The bill does not go far enough. I will speaker about that later. It is trying to take that identification tool one step further. I might add that the way science has determined the value and the accuracy of DNA is a tremendous step forward. It is not just another small step. It is a huge step forward in determining the absolute innocence or guilt of people charged with crimes. It works both ways.

Mr. Speaker, you are a person who appreciates the country and the safety of our communities. You regard the safety of communities as a number one priority. I am certain you cannot disagree, as members of the government cannot, that police forces should be given every tool they need to catch the bad guys. That is not a bad thing to do. I do not think anyone could disagree. That is what we want to do here. We want to catch the bad guys, the people who are committing crimes. We want to ensure that somebody who has been picked up on a lesser charge of robbery, for example, is identified upon arrest while awaiting trial. If the DNA identification of the person indicates that there is a DNA match in a more serious crime such as rape, assault or murder three or four years prior, the person is identified when arrested on a subsequent robbery charge, for example, if they were not caught the first time.

The last thing we would want to do is grant bail to a person arrested on a robbery charge, knowing that the police may be getting closer to solving a previous more serious crime and knowing the person could not identified because of no DNA testing. If the person skips out on bail it eliminates getting caught. We have to be careful of that.

I do not think it is too much to ask for the bill to become more encompassing as far as identification is concerned. I see no problem with an amendment to the bill that would include the taking of DNA samples in the same manner as we take fingerprints.

If the person were found not guilty, in answer to the NDP member, the DNA sample would be treated the same way as fingerprints when there is a request to have them destroyed. No one would deny that.

The bill provides automatic samples for a very primary list such as murder, sexual assault, et cetera. It requires application to court for a secondary list of what the writers of the bill and the Liberals could call less serious crimes.

We should amend the bill to include all people arrested for indictable offences. At the time they are arrested, DNA samples could be taken and used in the same way as fingerprints so that the cross-checking and identification can take place. We should amend the bill to cover this aspect of police work. If we do not do so we would be missing a huge opportunity. It is the time to do it. It is before the House now.

We should amend the bill to give it the teeth it deserves. It should be amended so that police forces are given the tools they need to do the job.

All of us want to see the safety of families, communities and the country as a high priority. It is our obligation as parliamentarians to ensure that community safety is foremost in the criminal justice system.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.


Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to speak on the bill today. We should reflect back to 1995 at which time there was no process in place to collect the necessary material for a DNA sample.

I was in the House the day the member for Wild Rose challenged the Minister of Justice to bring forth a bill to allow for the collection of DNA samples. It was pertinent to an upcoming case in which the DNA samples would have a large bearing on the guilt or innocence of the person involved.

To the commendation of the government, it acted quickly. It brought in a bill. We debated it in the House. It was passed so that now there is a process in place through which DNA samples can be collected. Prior to that there was no procedure.

Certainly it is a step forward but whenever we consider this type of legislation we have to think about the balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the accused to privacy and the rights of the public to be protected and to enjoy a law-abiding society, or at least a society that takes action when people do not abide by the law.

While there may be some concern that this is an intrusion into one's personal life, perhaps a check stop is also an intrusion. Someone can be motoring down the highway perfectly legally, well licensed, insured, in a safe vehicle and so forth. A policeman can pull him over simply because he is stopping everybody to check for drivers who have been drinking. I suppose a true libertarian would say that is an infringement on the rights of the driving public. We always have to weigh whether or not we have to give up some of our so-called rights to make society acceptable for all.

That is one of the main reasons the breathalyser test was brought in. It is simply a collection of exhaled air rather than a blood test. At the time when we were talking about the legality of breathalyser tests in Canada there were people who said that taking a blood sample was an intrusion into the personal rights of the accused. The breathalyser test was developed as a result of that balancing act. What we are proposing as an amendment is a balancing act between individual rights and collective rights of society.

Some concerns have been raised with regard to what will happen to the collected DNA provided the accused is acquitted. Those details certainly could be worked out. The DNA information should be kept with the local establishment, the arresting body in whatever town, city, village, or wherever the arrest takes place. If after the trial it is determined the accused is innocent or is acquitted, the evidence should be automatically destroyed. An application should not have to be made. That could be easily accommodated in the bill. It would speak volumes to people who are libertarians and who set their personal freedoms ahead of all other freedoms.

I am reminded of one of my father's quotes when he said that democracy and freedom were all about being able to do whatever it is that one wanted to do provided it did not interfere with the rights of others. That sums it up quite nicely. When one interferes with the rights of others or when one's actions causes the rights of others to be lessened or infringed upon, these kinds of consequences have to take place.

I stress the balancing aspect of the legislation. It is of utmost importance. The question of whether or not the DNA material, evidence or analysis will be widely or locally distributed can be very easily dealt with in the legislation. I am pleased to hear it being raised as a concern because of the possibility of having it included in the legislation. It is of utmost importance.

We must also not assume that DNA evidence is there only to convict. It is also there in cases where the accused would be very pleased to offer up a DNA sample and I can think of a few cases without enumerating them. We all know of cases in which people have been accused and convicted on circumstantial evidence and where DNA evidence has ultimately proven their innocence.

This can be viewed from both sides. We should not automatically assume this is a convicting tool. It is also a tool that will determine innocence. It is very much along the lines of the breathalyser test, a commonplace test for sobriety.

I am very pleased to see the Reform Party has put forth these amendments and that the government has at last come forth with the legislation and has allowed us to debate it here today. In my opinion this debate is excellent. My hope is that the government is willing and ready to accept the Reform amendments.

I am a little disappointed that the government is not here to share its rationale behind this legislation. I would very much like to hear how it views the privacy aspect and the public need aspect. I know the government is monitoring what is going on in here now. I would certainly like it to put forth somebody from the justice department to enlighten us a little more on their thoughts on this matter.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.


Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give credit to members of my party in the justice portfolio who have done an outstanding job to bring forth this issue not only in this Parliament but also in the last Parliament. It is something we find very difficult to disagree with because it does so much good not only in apprehending the guilty in our society but also in ensuring that false convictions do not occur. It helps the innocent and it helps society to prosecute the guilty.

It is a shame and the government should be embarrassed that in the last Parliament it did not take the initiative with this tool that can be so effective in helping the police do their job. Heaven knows they have such a difficult time already. In many cases their hands are tied behind their backs by bureaucratic entanglements and rules and regulations which prevent them from apprehending the guilty.

Bill C-3 and the amendments we put forward can help the police and can help society in building stronger and safer communities. This bill is a disappointment. The government has taken a very simple and good concept and has complicated it. It has not dealt with the issue in a meaningful way. It has once again merely nibbled around the edges.

That is why my colleagues in the Reform Party in the justice portfolio have been forced to put forth amendments to toughen up the bill. They do not come merely from us. They come from police officers and the public who are very knowledgeable about this issue. They have put forth constructive solutions to make Bill C-3 an effective tool and an effective weapon in defeating crime. There are many aspects that must be included in the bill.

The issue of how the national data bank will assist the police and the courts is very important. It has to be dealt with in a way that involves the following points. We have to ensure the data bank will be applied to individuals who will be convicted in the future and to individuals who have been convicted in the past. Individuals such as Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson should have their DNA taken and put in this bank. It makes eminent sense.

I cannot think of an intelligent reason why the government would oppose that other than on purely philosophical grounds. Philosophical grounds do not make our country safe. They are important but we cannot lose sight of the fact that our objective is to make our country stronger and safer.

It does not mean that we need to trample on the rights of anybody. An innocent person would have absolutely no compunction whatsoever about having DNA extracted and put into the bank in order to be exonerated from a criminal act. That is important. If guilty of course the person would be afraid and would put up any number of roadblocks to prevent that from happening. It is very important that this bill be applied retroactively to individuals now in jail who have committed serious offences.

One thing I found very disturbing about the bill was that the government chose not to apply it to all serious and indictable offences. Why I am not sure. Perhaps only the justice minister knows the answer. What we want to do for the sake of the Canadian public is to ensure that the DNA data bank would be applied to every person convicted of a serious indictable offence in Canada. The government cannot argue this. It is irresponsible not to apply this to all serious offences.

The other point we would like talk about is to ensure that the DNA samples and data are going to be taken properly and that access is going to be only for forensic purposes. We are very sensitive to the privacy needs for all Canadians. We are also very sensitive to the needs of ensuring that we have an effective justice system and that the police have the effective tools to enable them to do their job. This data bank must be treated with that respect.

Other aspects we would like to bring up include the fact that this bill and the precursors to it have been employed in a number of countries around the world. Great Britain, many states in the United States, and a number of European countries have all brought forward their own DNA data banks and they have been very effective. They have been effective not only in apprehending the guilty but also in exonerating the innocent.

It is also important that the samples and data be kept for a number of reasons. One is to ensure that the innocent are not convicted. Also, a person who commits a violent crime today could easily commit a violent crime at some time in the future. A convicted person who spends 10 years in jail for a serious offence and is let out unfortunately sometimes will continue to commit serious and violent offences. We must have that data because it would enable us to make a rapid intervention and a rapid apprehension. One of the amendments we are putting forward is to ask the government to please ensure that this good and valuable data is not tossed away.

I would like to talk about an important issue the government has failed to do. The Reform Party caucus has continued to try to impress upon the government the need to not only apply its funds to apprehending the guilty but also to apply funds to crime prevention. The government has had one mandate and has failed to introduce into this House any effective measures to prevent crime.

In this country, crime is on the increase. The government likes to put forth information saying it is on the decrease and some statistics do show that. But when we peer beyond those statistics, what do we find? We find that only 28% of violent offences in this country were actually reported to the police. Ninety per cent of sexual offences were not reported. Sixty-eight per cent of other violent victimizations were never reported to the police. This extends beyond violent interventions into other serious interventions too.

The Canadian public is having a crisis of conscience with respect to the justice system. It is not that they have a lack of faith in the police officers, the men and women who work very hard and put their lives on the line day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. It is because the justice system impedes and impairs the police officers from doing their job.

We in the Reform Party have repeatedly and continually put forth constructive, pragmatic and effective legislation that this government could have adopted to try to address the serious problem of crime that we have in our country. The government has also failed to address the Young Offenders Act. We have put forth interventions on that. There is much that we have done in our party on crime prevention and the government has failed to grasp it.

We cannot simply do what we have been doing. Crime costs this country $46 billion a year. That is more than our entire education budget. It is more than twice as much as what we spend on employment insurance. We cannot continue to do it, not from human terms nor economic terms.

I implore the government to really address this problem, get to the heart of it. Engage in the punitive actions that will keep our country safe but also address in the long range measures that we can implement in a very pragmatic way to prevent crime, to address crime in its early nascent period during the first eight years of life. The government should introduce programs that are going to address and deal with those issues. If we do that it will help people not only in human terms but also in cold hard dollars and cents.

Again I implore the government to look at Bill C-3. Look at the amendments that my colleagues in the Reform Party have put forth, adopt them and I am sure we will have widespread support for this bill.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, many of the speakers this afternoon have addressed some of the subtleties of this bill and some of the checks and balances that are inherent in the bill and the amendments on the part of the Reform Party. This afternoon I would like to speak to the heart of this bill and the original intention that was put forward and why we are actually considering this in the first place.

In the day and age we live in there are a great number of technological advances and scientific developments. It is good that there has been some recognition of the priority of using these advancements in the area of justice and protection of our society. It is a step in the right direction.

My concern is that it is a step that may not be as effective as it could be. That is why many of my colleagues have put forward the amendments we have here today. To put it in common terms, it is kind of like buying a saw without the blade, or a car without the tires, or a hammer without the nails. It has some good intent to it but it does not go far enough.

We have entrenched already in our justice system a good system with checks and balances around how we handle fingerprints, yet that is not good enough for the party across the way. No, we have to layer on a new extensive bureaucracy that is going to limit the effectiveness of this technology, limit the effectiveness that our law enforcement agencies will have in applying this technology to protect our citizens. It is a step in the wrong direction. We could use the systems already in place to administer this technology.

I would also like to speak to the importance of this House and all the members here in recognizing the very difficult job our police forces have, people who are willing to risk their lives day in and day out to protect citizens. Often they are frustrated with the bureaucratic morass they are faced with when they attempt to bring criminals to justice. To their credit they continue to do the best they can and are constantly looking in our direction for help from this House to equip them with tools that will make them more effective in their job.

My concern is for those men and women who have chosen as their life career the protection of our society. Today we have an opportunity to give them a tool that will make them that much more effective and that much more fulfilled in their calling, yet we only go halfway. That is my concern.

There is another component to this as well besides those who protect our society. What about the victims? If this technology and applying it the right way can protect one life or prevent one assault that leaves that person scarred for life, that is justification enough to implement it in a way similar to the way we do fingerprints, to not only record who the criminal is but potentially stop that criminal from performing that act in the first place.

It is tragic that we only go halfway and do not give the justice agencies the ability to implement this to the full.

We have also seen in Canada recently a number of judgments that have years later proven to be incorrect. Had we had this technology at the time and the ability to apply it, those people would not have been incarcerated innocently for many years and guilty parties would not have gone free. That is justification enough. We must implement this measure fully, not the halfway measure we see here today.

We must protect the people of Canada. That is what they are looking for us to do. We must endorse legislation that would allow our law keepers and those involved in that line of work to do the job to the fullest.

It is too bad that this is only a halfway measure. I repeat as I close here today that it is no good to have half of the tool and not the whole tool to do the job. It is like a power saw without the blade. That is what we have here today.

I know that my constituents would rather have seen this legislation go to the point where our law keepers can use it effectively day in and day out to protect them and keep the criminals off the streets.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, what a great piece of legislation. Finally we have movement toward becoming a little more accurate in identifying the people who are committing criminal acts. I think that is terrific. It is about time we moved in this direction. The people of Canada have said to the Government of Canada, be just. Administer the Criminal Code righteously and above all, depend on truth.

This DNA databank is a great new technology. It is a great way of providing identification positively and clearly. It is the best we have. We should look at this and ask ourselves why it is that there is any hesitation whatsoever in applying it wherever it needs to be applied so that we can find those people who actually are the ones in question here.

There should not even be a question about something like this. Is there any doubt at all that we want to come to grips with the criminal element in our society? Let's face it. The people of Canada are looking to the government, any government, and saying that it is their job to provide for their peace, their protection, their safety and their property. That is the job. That is what the justice system is supposed to do.

We know that this technology works. In fact we have the case of Guy Paul Morin who today is free because this technology made it very clear what was really the truth.

Therefore, the question we are facing here today concerns itself with a new technology that has been proven to be more effective, that has proven to be more desirable, one that has the complete confidence of our law enforcement officers, one that has been accepted by the judges in our courts.

We have before us now a bill that goes part way in accepting such a technology. It is almost like saying that there are 26 letters in the alphabet but for now we will just use the first 13 and hope that the language will work. It will not work. Things cannot be done like that.

This legislation has to do with three things: responsibility, truth and trust. What is the area of responsibility we are talking about? I have already alluded to the number one responsibility, that which the government is to provide for the peace and security of its people and for the protection of their property. It should do this in a peaceful environment, an environment where people can be happy, where they can love and have relationships with other people, where they can develop friendships, where they can trust their neighbours and where they can say “I am responsible”.

The same thing applies to law enforcement officers. These men and women have been charged by the government to take our laws and apply them to those who live in a way that is not consistent with our laws and say “You have broken the law”. They must do this the best way they can. They are the peacekeepers and therefore responsible for we want in our society. It is the responsibility of government to give them the tools that will make it easy for them to do the job they have been charged to do.

Why would we think of tying their hands and saying they cannot use this particular technology that has been proven to be so effective? It seems shortsighted and devoid of responsibility. Surely one of our major responsibilities is to give to these officers the best possible tools with which to enforce the laws.

Is this bill responsible? It is responsible as far as it goes but it is not exercising its full responsibility. In the final analysis this should be an adult bill, a bill that realizes full responsibility and not part of it.

The second aspect this bill should deal with is the question of truth. Truth is an interesting concept. It is a construct we need to recognize as something that is absolute. The truth exists whether we believe it or not. If people choose to believe something they will act in accordance to what they believe. If they happen to believe the truth, they will act on something that is truthful. They could also believe something that is not true. That belief will still influence their actions but their actions will be false and will be based on something that takes them in directions in which they do not want to go and in which society does not want them to go.

In the case of Guy Paul Morin, the police believed this man had committed a crime. The truth was he had not but their actions were determined by what they believed. He was charged. The court looked at the situation, believed he had done this and put him in jail. They convicted him. They then discovered that the truth was elsewhere and what they had believed was in fact not the truth. A way had to be found to identify what the truth was. They did find it and this man was finally declared innocent. It is wonderful that at least part of his life has been rejuvenated and he is back in society, making a contribution both to his family and to the community in which he lives.

This bill ought to be expanded so we can find the truth that exists in all these cases. Not only should we be responsible but we also need to find the truth in the best way we possibly can.

The third area is the area of trust. I found it very interesting that one of the arguments used for not using this DNA bank is because it might be used for the wrong purposes. That has to do with trust.

I do not know of a single RCMP officer who does not have access to a gun. That gun can be used for any one of a variety of purposes. We trust that police officer to use the gun in the way it was intended to be used. That is a matter of trust. That is a matter of responsibility. That is a matter of truth. This lady or gentlemen with the gun has said “I will use it in the best interests of society. I will use it in the most powerful way I know how and in the most effective way I know how to enforce the law”. We trust police officers with a gun. It is a lethal weapon that can maim and destroy lives, yet we trust them with that weapon.

Now we come to a DNA databank which is to be given to a very specific group of people who know exactly what the guidelines and the conditions are. Then we say that we cannot trust these people. That is an insult to the people who use their best abilities to enforce the law the way it should be enforced.

This is a very effective, precise tool. That tool should be given to them and we should trust the people to use it in the way in which it was intended. To think that we can never get around to the business of trusting, that we would say “Unless we can trust you, we are not going to give you anything.” Where would it end? There would be no police officers, no one would take responsibility for anything. We have to trust them.

Surely something that is known to be this effective can be given to people and surely we can trust them to use it in a manner in which it was intended.

In conclusion, this is an instrument for people to help people and for the government to exercise its true responsibility to do what it was elected to do, look after the safety and security of Canadians and protect the property of individuals. We should expand this, not contract it.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

November 3rd, 1997 / 1:55 p.m.


Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few comments and add my support to the bill, although I do it reluctantly because I feel it is something that should go a lot further. The whole concept of only being able to take a DNA sample when a person is convicted does not help in the police investigation of a case.

In my home province of British Columbia more than 300 murders are unsolved. In many of these cases the police feel that if they had been able to get DNA samples and DNA evidence they could solve a huge number of these.

Large numbers of victims of crime are wandering around B.C. knowing who the killers are, but are unable to get any conviction because lack of DNA support. The whole concept of a DNA databank has been a long time coming. However, it is a good beginning but more has to be done to give police the tools they need to do the job.

They have to be able to take DNA samples at the time of arrest to aid in the investigation. They should be treated like fingerprint evidence and destroyed only on request at the time of an acquittal in the case.

Again, I add my support. I am sure that all victims' organizations across the country support this kind of legislation. However, it something we have to take a lot further and more work has to be done. But it is a very good starting point.

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is the House ready for the question?

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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members


Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members


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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members


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1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members


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1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those opposed will please say nay.

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1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members


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1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Dna Identification ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Call in the members.

The vote on the motion stands deferred until the end of Government Orders tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4, 1997.

It being 2 p.m. we will now proceed to statements by members.

Sickle Cell DiseaseStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform the House about sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is a chronic blood disorder. It is genetic. The lifespan of a person with sickle cell varies. Members of our community who are afflicted with the disease experience physical, emotional and social effects of the disease.

Extensive research and funding are limited on sickle cell. There is a need for resources to help health care professionals provide appropriate treatment. On behalf of my constituents and other Canadians who are afflicted with sickle cell, I call for greater government funding and research for this disease.

I applaud the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario, the Sick Children's Hospital and the Scarborough General Hospital for their efforts in ensuring that this disease is understood.

JusticeStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan—Coquihalla. They are fuming at the recent sentence of convicted rapist Donald Poslowski of Princeton, B.C.

Poslowski was convicted of the brutal rape and strangulation of a 9 year old girl. The sentence? Six years with the possibility of parole in just two.

The judge had the opportunity to give him a life sentence and instead determined that six years would be sufficient. Who is worse, the rapist who commits the crime or the judge who condones it?

I applaud the community of Princeton which is fighting to appeal this absurd sentence.

Canadians want a criminal justice system that offers true justice for victims in sentencing, a system that acts as a deterrent to potential violent offenders, a system that does not allow violent offenders the opportunity for early parole.

Your honour, on the count of failing to provide safe playgrounds, homes and streets, we find this Liberal government guilty.

Youth EmploymentStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize Canada career week 1997 and to congratulate the week's organizers for highlighting the necessity of preparing young Canadians for opportunities in the new knowledge based economy.

Choosing a career path has always been a serious decision for any generation of young people. Carving out a new career path in the information society is especially challenging and that is why the Government of Canada has made youth employment a national priority.

One key goal of our youth employment strategy is to provide young people with the information and assistance they need to be informed about their career choices.

The Government of Canada is proud to be a partner and active promoter of Canada Career Week. We are committed to seeing that young people are made aware of the challenging career opportunities in the new economy and, if necessary, to draw up the career plan that will prepare them for the world of work.

Career week offers an important opportunity to—

Youth EmploymentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Lloyd LockerbyStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am most pleased to offer congratulations to Mr. Lloyd Lockerby who last week was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Born in Hamilton, P.E.I., Lloyd attended Prince of Wales College, graduated from MacDonald College in 1938 and received the governor general's medal for top standing.

He was employed as an agricultural representative with the provincial department of agriculture and returned full time to the family farm in 1943.

Lloyd's successful prize winning beef operation consistently wins top placings at provincial, regional and national shows. His fox herd breeding stock, shipped worldwide, has become internationally known for its superior quality.

Lloyd's commitment to his community has been long and admirable. He served as leader of 4-H for 21 years, as president of Kensington Co-op, director of Amalgamated Dairies, as well as on several provincial boards.

My heartiest congratulations to Lloyd, his wife Jean and their family.

Parish Of Sainte-Monique-Les-SaulesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the organizing committee of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the parish of Sainte-Monique-les-Saules. The activities it organized were a resounding success throughout the year.

Its efforts were rewarded by the strong participation of parish residents, and its members' enthusiasm was reflected in the quantity and quality of the events organized.

I would particularly like to thank the chairman of the committee, Lucien Lemieux, the parish priest, Gervais Dallaire, and all 11 members of the organizing committee. All gave generously of their time to the community. Through their commitment, they are helping to strengthen the important ties among people in Les Saules.

Once again, thank you to all those who contributed, in whatever way they could, to the success of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sainte-Monique-les-Saules parish.

Kelowna Toy RunStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, 200 motorcycles riding through the streets of a city makes citizens wary, but in Kelowna the sound of engines revving is greeted with enthusiasm because it means every child will receive a gift this Christmas.

There has never been a formal committee struck for the Kelowna toy run but each year these riders of goodwill collect toys, raise cash for food hampers and give it all to the Salvation Army to help families in need at Christmas.

It is not just the imagine of smiling faces on Christmas morning that feels good, it is knowing that we live in a community where people help people.

On behalf of the constituents of Kelowna, I give many thanks to Tom Maxted, this year's organizer, and the many people who help the Kelowna toy run get bigger and better every year.