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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-251. I give my encouragement, thanks and admiration to the member for Mississauga East who has worked so hard to bring this bill to the forefront. If we could clap today I am sure we would because she has truly done a tremendous job on something that is going to bring enormous justice to the Canadian people. It will improve our justice system and make our streets safer.

The member is addressing an issue that goes to the worst, most predatorial of all individuals, the violent offender, the murderer, the rapist. The member is introducing a bill that allows for consecutive sentencing, not concurrent sentencing, for individuals who have proven to be a danger to society, who have proven to have violated the fundamental rights of another individual by committing the most atrocious violations through murder or rape.

The Canadian public does not find it acceptable that somebody who commits multiple rapes or murders can only receive one sentence or sentences which run concurrently. It is absolutely unbelievable that only 13% of child molesters, who are often multiple repeat offenders, and 30% of individuals who commit sexual assaults receive a sentence of two years or more. Bear in mind that individuals who receive any sentence can receive parole after serving only one-sixth of their sentence. They can be out on the street after serving only a few months for committing a violation against an individual. The innocent individual will have to live with the violation for the rest of their life. Bill C-251 addresses the root of this problem and provides a constructive outlet for keeping the streets of our country safe.

I would caution the government to make sure that this bill does not languish in committee. All too often private members' bills go to committee and the government blocks them. It prevents those bills from ever reaching third reading and becoming law.

It would be an absolute travesty if this were to happen to Bill C-251. It would be an enormous problem and would do a huge injustice to the hard work by one member of parliament, the member for Mississauga East. She has done so much work for 166 members in the House to arrive at this level of support for the bill. For 166 members to support the bill and for the bill to go to the committee to sit there and languish would be a huge problem. We will be watching the government and government leaders on the other side very carefully to make sure this never happens.

This issue also illustrates a larger problem with respect to Private Members' Business. I know that the House leader, the government whip and all other members opposite who have the power to change it are very interested in constructive solutions to making sure that Private Members' Business is a more lively part of the House.

Private Members' Business is one of the few opportunities for members of parliament to exercise ideas in the House. If the government continues to prevent it from being a useful tool it would violate the very basics of democracy. It would violate the ability of MPs to represent their constituents. It would violate the ability of the Canadian public to be represented in the House.

The government House leader was very vocal and provided many constructive suggestions when he was in opposition. He published a wonderful document along with Mr. Dingwall and a number of other people in 1992 which provided incredibly constructive suggestions on how to improve Private Members' Business.

I know the government House Leader is listening intently to me. I would encourage him to take the words he penned with his own hand in the wonderful document to reform Private Members' Business and make the House more democratic and more responsive to the needs of the backbenchers and the public. I encourage him to pull out that wonderful document, come to the House within the next two months and institute it.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is the House ready for the question?

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

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

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The question is on the second reading and reference of Bill C-251.

As it is the practice, the division will be taken row by row starting with the mover and then proceeding with those in favour of the motion sitting on the same side of the House as the mover. Then those in favour of the motion sitting on the other side of the House will be called. Those opposed to the motion will be called in the same order.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 245Private Members' Business

6:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Division No. 245Adjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to question the government's ability and ingenuity on the post-TAGS adjustment program, the one that was recently announced.

This may sound different but I have to give credit to the government for at least having some form of initiative in a post-TAGS adjustment program when all the indications out there were that it would not do anything at all.

The unfortunate part is that the new program falls extremely short of assisting those people who have been seriously affected by the downturn of the fishery as well as DFO government policies. There is no question at all that when the new TAGS adjustment program was announced, thousands and thousands of the fishermen and plant workers on the east coast of Atlantic Canada and in Quebec were shut out of the new system.

Basically what they have done is apply one set of fishing groups against another. During committee consideration in early May and June I begged the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to announce the program while the House was in session so that we could debate the issue here and not through the media.

He had said at that time that he would take it under consideration but could not offer any guarantees. Unfortunately that wish went by the boards, and they announced the program in Newfoundland which unfortunately turned into a bit of a shouting match between displaced fishers and representatives of the government who were there to announce the program.

The real essence of this entire equation is that fishermen and plant workers do not want the damn TAGS. They do not want it. They just want to work.

A classic example is that today I announced in a statement in the House that the town of Canso which was a viable fishing community with over 400 years of self-sufficiency will now announce at the beginning of January that it will have to claim civic bankruptcy because of the direct policies of DFO.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of fishermen and plant workers throughout the Atlantic coast and Quebec were shut out of any adjustment program. Another aspect to the adjustment program is the licence buyback. It falls extremely far short and is absolutely criminal of what the government has done to these people who invested their entire lives in historical attachment to the fishery to get crumbs from this federal government.

In conclusion we do not have an agreement with the United States on Pacific salmon because the minister himself said “the United States is a very powerful nation and we have to tread carefully in negotiations with them”.

I have on my desk the fact that the very mighty and powerful nation of the Faroe Islands has convinced Canada that we have to open up the Flemish Cap which is just outside the 200 mile limit. We have to give it additional access to shrimp. This shrimp allocation should have gone to those Canadians in Canso and in Mulgrave. Unfortunately now hundreds of people will be losing their jobs because we capitulated to that great powerful nation, the Faroe Islands.

It is absolutely scandalous that thousands of Canadians in this country can be so seriously let down by this government.

Division No. 245Adjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic groundfish strategy or TAGS was designed to ensure that individuals who had lost their livelihood and source of income could meet their basic human needs. On this score TAGS has been successful. Over 40,000 clients were provided with income support in a timely manner. The program has also been successful in helping some 15,000 fisher workers adjust out of the industry.

We realize that it will be a long time, if ever, before these fish stocks are returned. We realize that what fishers and their communities need are tools and programs to assist them to build new lives outside the fishery. Therefore on June 19, 1998 we announced an additional $730 million for a program called the fishery restructuring and adjustment measures. These measures include a final cash payment, licence retirement, early retirement benefits, mobility assistance, employment programming and wage subsidies.

To date we have approved in addition 145 term job creation projects in Newfoundland which will put 1,645 Canadians back to work. In Nova Scotia we have already approved six projects putting 78 Canadians back to work.

In closing I wish to assure the hon. member that the Government of Canada is not abandoning its responsibility for the people on the east coast. On the contrary this government is providing millions of dollars in funding to the east coast and Quebec to help these Canadians and communities adjust to the changing economy.

It is for this reason that the government remains committed to ensuring that all Canadians, including fishers and plant workers, can plan for their future.

Division No. 245Adjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.48 p.m.)