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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was system.

Topics

Young OffendersOral Question Period

January 30th, 2002 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, all those who have anything to do with young offenders in Quebec, regardless of their political allegiance, are in agreement: Quebec must be allowed to opt out of the federal young offenders legislation so that it can hang on to the gains it has made over more than 30 years.

Why does the Minister of Justice feel that respecting what Quebec has achieved over 30 years in connection with young offenders poses a threat to Canadian unity?

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think that is going too far. Obviously, they think they have found a weak point here and they are once again trying to exploit it for the sole purpose of advancing their own political doctrine to the detriment of young offenders. I find this extremely unfortunate.

What must be understood is that the enforcement of the existing legislation in Quebec has actually been successful. What we are saying, after many months of discussion and more than 160 amendments is that, with Bill C-7, the approach can in fact be just as flexible and the system's emphasis on diversion maintained.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, by taking this approach, what the Minister of Justice does not realize is that he is sacrificing 30 years of efforts in Quebec to build a system for young offenders, in order to advance his own political career.

Why is the minister, who comes from Quebec, suddenly turning such a deaf ear to the cries from all stakeholders regarding the protection of young offenders, just because he wants to deliver the goods to his Prime Minister? That is the question.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, obviously I will not be replying to some of the comments made.

I will focus essentially on the bill—

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Liberal Outremont, QC

Please allow me to finish. They are trying to oppose a bill that would make diversion possible. They are trying to oppose a bill whose primary focus is rehabilitation. They are trying to oppose a bill that will now prevent referral to an adult court, which is becoming increasingly frequent in Quebec. I find this quite appalling.

In conclusion, it is not the bill which is before the House but an amendment concerning aboriginal youth. I would like—

Young OffendersOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Langley—Abbotsford.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, last March the government along with all opposition parties committed to establish a national sex offender registry by January 30, 2002. That is today. To develop such a program, the government only had to do two things: develop software and table enabling legislation to implement the registry.

Why has no software been developed? Why has the government not even drafted legislation, much less tabled it in the House?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware we have one of the most efficient databases in this country called CPIC. He is also well aware that this is done in co-operation with the provinces and territories.

We had a meeting last September and another meeting last month. We have a working group working on it. We have committed $2 million to $3 million to ensure that offenders are searchable by addresses. This was requested by the provinces and the territories.

We are working with the provinces and the territories to ensure we continue to have the best database system in the world.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is just so much hogwash. Despite the federal government, Ontario has implemented a sex offender registry. Let us see what the officer in charge said: “CPIC does not provide jurisdictional searches, radius searches, searches by physical description or the ability to take photographs. These are the key cornerstones of investigative value and they are missing”.

How can the government commit to all the parties in this House and all Canadians to develop a national sex offender registry and not even make a decent attempt to do it?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that we are working with the provinces and territories to come up with an even more efficient system. That is why the changes were made so that we could search by addresses. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure we continue to have the best database system in the world.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the issue of Taliban fighters taken prisoner by Canadian forces, the Prime Minister's explanations do not hold water.

How could he say in the House on Monday that an agreement had been reached between Canada and the United States regarding the treatment of prisoners, when that very same day, President Bush said that he was still thinking about it?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it has always been agreed, with the Americans and with other countries involved in Afghanistan, that the operation would be carried out pursuant to the Geneva convention and international law, and, for each country, in a manner consistent with their own domestic laws.

That is the agreement. As I see it, the United States must respect the Geneva convention and international law. That is our understanding. If they change their position, we will respond. But for now, that is the position of all of the countries involved in Afghanistan.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 17, in committee, the Minister of Defence said that there was no agreement. The Globe and Mail photo was taken on January 21.

Will the minister tell us when this agreement was signed and tell us what it contains?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the United States has said from the beginning that it will abide by international law. It has clearly said that detainees will be treated in accordance to and consistent with the Geneva conventions. There has been British inspection and Red Cross inspection to ensure that these people are being treated humanely.

What needs to be resolved is the question of the status determination tribunals. The Americans contend that all the people they are holding are unlawful combatants.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last March the House of Commons unanimously voted to institute a national sex offender registry. Even the solicitor general voted for this.

The time is up for this minister. Rather than taking the necessary steps to protect children, what does he do? He transfers Karl Toft, a notorious child molester to a minimum security prison so he has more access to children on release programs.

Why does the solicitor general continue to fail to protect children?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is fully aware that the government put $115 million into CPIC to ensure that we had the best database in the world. My hon. colleague is also well aware CPIC is the envy of all police forces around the world.

Last September we put $2 million to $3 million in to ensure that offenders could be searched by offences and addresses. We also co-operate with the provinces and territories.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is a minister who cannot even keep a sex offender in jail to serve his time. The RCMP commissioner has advised the justice committee that law enforcement lacks the resources and the legislation to create an effective sex offender registry. Provincial governments have consistently asked this minister to provide leadership on this issue.

Why does the minister continue to ignore the order of this House, and indeed the recommendations of the province, to get this matter on the road?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that we have a national registry that contains all offences. He is also fully aware that to have a successful sex offender registry, or any other registry, we must have the co-operation of the provinces and territories. That is what we are doing and that is what we will continue to do.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tell the House what the Government of Canada intends to do on the issue of returning people to Zimbabwe?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, in light of the current situation, this being a sensitive issue involving individuals and our relations with Zimbabwe, I have asked my department to conduct an indepth review of the situation.

For that reason, I wish to inform the House that any procedure involving a person who should be returned to Zimbabwe is temporarily suspended until I get more information on the situation.

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada plans to close the Dartmouth Analytical Service Laboratory in Dartmouth. The new health minister knows full well the importance of physical and expert evidence in the prosecution of drug cases and the importance of quick turnaround time for testing in a major port like Halifax where cargoes are held until tests are complete. The police say we need the local labs and all levels of government say we need our labs.

Will she keep this lab open so police and prosecutors in Atlantic Canada have timely access to the experts and evidence they need?

HealthOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that at this point no final decision has been made in relation to any of the labs we operate across Canada.

I think the hon. member is probably aware that we have had an expert, Dr. J. Mayer, review the operation of our DAS system and we are reviewing his recommendations. Our goal is to ensure the highest quality and most efficient drug analysis service to Canadians.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general. Just after the House recessed for Christmas, there was an announcement about an expanded presence of the FBI in Canada.

Given not just legitimate concerns about security, but also legitimate anxiety on the part of a great many Canadians about Canadian sovereignty at this time when we are more worried about security, could the solicitor general tell the House just exactly what kind of an expanded presence this is for the FBI? What is the role of the FBI in Canada? Has it been given any new powers? Surely this is the kind of information that the minister should be making available to the House of Commons.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is likely well aware that we send RCMP and security intelligence officers to the FBI and the FBI sends its people to Canada to work with the RCMP.

What has made Canada one of the safest countries in the world, if not the safest country, is that we co-operate with all police forces and security intelligence agencies around the world. We have done that and we will continue to do that.