Mr. Speaker, when Government Orders was interrupted I was talking about the amendments that address the taking of DNA samples in the DNA Identification Act, which contains a list of designated offences which provide that DNA samples may be taken from any individual convicted of any one of those offences that I was talking about for forensic analysis.
The list was divided into two types of offences, primary and secondary. In the case of primary offences, it is mandatory for samples to be taken at the time of conviction, except in exceptional circumstances. These offences consist mainly of the most serious and violent offences, as well as sex offences, which are the offences where DNA evidence may be of the most assistance. The list includes offences such as incest, murder, manslaughter, assault with a weapon, causing bodily harm, sexual assault, et cetera.
For a secondary offence case it is not mandatory to take a sample, so the crown must satisfy the judge that it is in the interests of the public safety to take such a sample. These are less serious offences in which DNA analysis cannot always be used to solve a crime or prevent other crimes. They include such offences as using explosives, breaking and entering with intent, arson, assaulting a peace officer, robbery and hostage taking, among others.
Under Bill S-10 this list, which limits the situations in which DNA samples may be taken, now applies to members of the military who have been convicted of these offences. The amendments made by Bill S-10 do not change the key elements of the DNA Identification Act, but rather their objective is to strengthen certain principles of the act and to remedy some major failings identified by members of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
The provisions of the new act include, first, that the DNA profiles of offenders convicted of a designated offence who are subject to the Code of Service Discipline will now be included in the national DNA data bank. Second, within five years after the act comes into force, a review of the provisions and operation of the act will be undertaken by a committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons, or of both Houses of Parliament.
Third, a report on the operations of the data bank will then be submitted each year by the commissioner of the RCMP.
Fourth, there will be a clear statement that DNA profiles and samples of bodily substances taken in order to establish DNA profiles may be used only for the purposes of the administration of the act.
With the implementation of Bill S-10, Bill C-3 will now become more effective, as the two pieces of legislation will work together harmoniously to improve management of the national DNA data bank and ensure a greater respect for Canadians' privacy. The DNA data bank is an extremely powerful tool with important repercussions for our justice system and our society.
The provisions of Bill S-10 will ensure greater respect for the privacy of Canadians by setting very clear guidelines for police and the courts regarding the use of DNA profiles in criminal investigations.
The Progressive Conservative Party supports this bill, as it will help bring our society ever closer to achieving a sense of public safety.