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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2003Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Budget Implementation Act, 2003Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

At the request of the deputy government whip the vote on the amendment is deferred until tomorrow following question period.

The House resumed from March 31, consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, an act respecting the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts be read the second time and referred to a committee; and of the amendment.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill C-23, an act respecting the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

I must state right at the beginning that the Bloc Quebecois is in favour of the principle of protecting society from dangerous sex offenders.

It must be kept in mind that I introduced Bill C-208 back in January of 2001, with a view to increasing the penalties for sexual offences involving minors. This bill also required any person who is convicted of such an offence to undergo treatment as the court directs. The governor in council would have had to make regulations setting out the situations in which the convicted person should undergo treatment. It is important to note that this type of treatment should in no case interfere with the bodily integrity of the convicted person. It should be psychological treatment only, because physicians agree that the predisposition to pedophilia, which is a sexual attraction to children under 10, is first and foremost a psychiatric problem.

As is evident, my bill really addressed sexual predators who prey on children and engage in pedophilia.

Why must we require psychological treatment for the perpetrators? According to André McKibben, a criminologist and therapist at Montreal's Pinel Institute, a criminal who has been cured of sexual deviancy will not reoffend. The results obtained at Pinel seem conclusive on this point and show a 50% reduction in repeat offences by repeat offenders.

Unfortunately, there is no legal obligation for a sex offender to go into therapy. Bill C-23, which we are debating today, does not raise this point either. I find this most unfortunate. I am, however, still in agreement with its principle and objectives, even though it could go further than it does.

I would like to tell our audience what this bill is all about. It is called Bill C-23, and its full name is “an Act respecting the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts”.

It comprises 26 clauses. Its main purpose is set out in clause 2 as being to help police services investigate crimes of a sexual nature by requiring the registration of certain information relating to sex offenders.

This bill creates obligations. Clauses 4 to 7 deal with the obligations of sex offenders. A sex offender shall report in person to the registration centre within 15 days after: first, the order is made but he is not given a custodial sentence; second, he receives an absolute unconditional discharge if he is found not criminally responsible for the offence on account of mental disorder; third, he is released from custody pending the determination of an appeal; or he is simply released from custody.

Subclause 4(2) provides he must register again after a change of address, a change of name or surname, and every year as an update. It is important to emphasize this.

Clause 5 outlines the information the sex offender must provide. It is important to note that currently this clause lists the type of information the sex offender must communicate, namely his given name and surname, his date of birth, his gender, his home address and work address if applicable, his phone number, and the number of any mobile phone or pager in his possession. Also, the sex offender will have to provide the person who collects information with a description of any physical distinguishing mark such as tattoos.

Clause 6 sets out how the sex offender must provide notification of any absence or stay abroad.

As you can see all these clauses, namely 4(2), 5 and 6, are a very important part of the registration process.

Then come the responsibilities of persons who collect and register information. They have responsibilities. Such a person will register without delay in the database the information on the sex offender in a manner that ensure its confidentiality.

The sex offender will be entitled to receive a copy of the information, free of charge, either at the time of registration or promptly by mail. The sex offender may, at any time, ask that the information contained in the database be corrected if it contains an error or omission. Therefore, the person who collects information will have, without delay, to make the appropriate corrections as soon as requested by the sex offender.

The bill also provides for prohibitions and the protection of data.

Clauses 14 and 15 deal with the retention of information in the database, which will be part of the automatedrecords retrieval systemthat is maintained by the Royal CanadianMounted Police. The RCMP maintains an automatedcriminal conviction records retrieval system. The information will be kept in the database indefinitely except when there is an acquittal or pardon under the Criminal Code provisions on clemency.

Clause 16, which is very important, deals with the prohibited uses of the databank. The basic principle is a total prohibition except for people who are authorized in order to perform the duties provided for in Bill C-23.

The bill mentions specifically that authorization to consult the database is given to all police services for investigations on sexual crimes. The bill provides that the police service must have reasonablegrounds to believe the crime is of a sexual nature.

As mentioned in clause 16(2)(b), a person who collects information is authorized to consult the database to record or correct data.

Under clause 16(2)(c), a person who does research or statistical analyses can consult the database if he or she has been authorized by the RCMP under clause13. Before accessing the database, one must have authorization from the RCMP commissioner. It is very important to emphasize that this database will not be accessible just anybody.

Any employee of, or person retained by, the RCMP is also authorized to consult the database in order to maintain it, as is any person authorized by the Commissioner.

The third paragraph of clause 16 sets out that the data may only be matched for the purpose of an investigation of a crime where there are reasonable grounds to believe that it is of a sexual nature. The resulting matched data may only be used for the purpose of that investigation or a resulting prosecution.

The bill also contains offences resulting from failing to comply with the registry. The punishments contained in the bill apply to offenders who provide false information and anyone who contravenes the offences specified in section 16, which I just read.

The punishment for offenders varies from a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for six months, or both for a first offence of providing false or misleading information. For a second offence, the punishment can include a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or both.

This bill makes amendments to the Criminal Code. Clauses 20 and 21 of the bill would add sections 490.02 through 490.09 to the Criminal Code. Clause 20 of the bill designates the offences that require that information be provided.

They include: sexual offences involving children; invitation to sexual touching; sexual exploitation, incest, child pornography; luring a child by means of a computer system; stupefying or overpowering for the purpose of sexual intercourse; living on the avails of prostitution of a person under age of eighteen; sexual assault; sexual assault with a weapon; aggravated sexual assault; removal of a child from Canada; indecent acts; murder or manslaughter in commission of offences.

This bill also contains consequential amendments. The Access to Information Act, the Criminal Records Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act will be amended accordingly.

Clauses 22 to 25 of Bill C-23 will make the manager of a federal institution—this is important to highlight—responsible for any sharing of documents that contain information. The Access to Information Act is amended to prohibit any disclosure of information. This is in clause 22.

Clause 23 of the bill amends the Criminal Records Act to include orders relating to the mandatory registration of sex offenders and adds the list of restrictions.

Finally, the purpose of clause 24 is to coordinate this bill with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

I agree completely that sex offenders should be centrally registered. Every year, I meet people from the Canadian Police Association who believe that such a system will help them better monitor sex offenders who move from one neighbourhood to another.

In my region, a woman by the name of Anne-Claude Girard has been a great success in recent years. She has been raising the public's awareness of sex offenders involved in pedophilia.

All the police officers I have met have said, “It is very worthwhile for someone to do that, but we do not have a registry to identify sex offenders, so they can just go somewhere else”. Someone could come into my region and I would have no way of knowing if he is a pedophile and no way of ensuring that he will not harm young people.

Therefore, it is important to have such a registry. The protection of our children is at stake. Unfortunately, I think that the government should have included in the bill measures that would ensure a psychological follow-up of sex offenders. Because, it must be said, sex offenders have mental problems which must be addressed so that they do not reoffend.

We must also offer support to victims and their families. Never think that convicting an offender will be enough for them. The victims will feel distress and despair for years, possibly for all their lives, because of what happened to them.

In recent years, I have met young people who are still going through a terrible time after having been abused by a pedophile. It hurts to hear young people come to our office and tell us, “It was not my body that was violated. It was my soul, the only thing that belonged to me”.

This bill should provide for assistance to help these young people cope. Many victims are even under the impression that they ran after trouble. That is wrong, they did not bring any of this upon themselves.

Why did the Minister of Justice not see fit to support these people through Bill C-23? It is all fine and well to have a registry, but there are still criminals and victims. I would have liked this bill to address the victims' perspective as well.

I suggest that the Minister of Justice ponder on this and amend his bill accordingly. I find it irresponsible to leave victims of sexual abuse without any government support.

This bill ought to have gone further. Like the Bloc Quebecois, I agree with the principle of protecting society against dangerous sexual predators. I would also have agreed with the minister if he had taken gone all the way by providing assistance to the victims as well as treatment for those who abused them.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I get to speak for 10 minutes on this. I originally thought I would have about 40 minutes when this started but I was not back in Ottawa.

I initially wrote the bill on the national sex offender registry and feel somewhat attached to it having brought it into the House. In fact I had a difficult time getting the solicitor general at the time to understand what we were looking for. I think it was the lobbying between ourselves, victims rights groups and police across the country that got the bill into the House. I am glad to see that happen.

I find myself in a very awkward position of having originally written the national sex offender registry and now I will be voting against it because the government seemingly could not take very simple legislation and turn it into something that would be productive. I will go through that in a minute.

I asked my staff last week for a list, covering the last three months, of sex offenders, their convictions and things that have had happened with regard to sex offenders. Here is what is walking the streets of Canada today. These are all at random.

Colin Fuson, 39, was charged with committing an indecent act and breach of probation order and is subject to public alerts. He was released from jail last summer after a 10 year sentence for raping a Surrey woman.

Donald MacPherson, 44, was granted a conditional sentence on a sexual assault conviction of October 17. He is under house arrest, to have no contact with his victim and to take a sex offender rehab program.

Ross Lee Daniels, 47, was sentenced in 1992 to eight years after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young girl over a four year period. Parole board records indicate every imaginable sex act was engaged in with the girl who was 11 when the assaults started. Springhill termed him high risk to reoffend. He was transferred to Dorchester and put in a sex offender program. He was deemed a high risk even after serving five and a half years. This guy is out on the streets or will be soon. This guy is in a community somewhere and we do not know where. Imagine that.

I could go through all of them all but I will not.

Brent Murray Gullison, 46, was initially sentenced in the spring of 1995 to 15 years in prison for molesting five boys who were between three and eight years old. In November 1995 the Alberta Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to 12 years. Gullison pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault. He is out on the streets and we do not know where.

Gregory Dean Knockelby, 43, has 21 previous convictions for indecent exposure. He admitted to exposing himself about 2,000 times. He went back to jail for two years on seven new charges. He is out on the streets.

Patrick Joseph Anthony Carson, 46, is an untreated sex offender released from jail and is labelled a predator who engages in extensive planning to secure his victims. He was sentenced last year to 18 months for sexually exploiting three girls under the age of 18 outside of Edmonton. He had a previous five year sentence for picking up underage prostitutes and choking them. He will be out on the streets in six months and we do not where. We do not know what name he will use. We do not know anything about it.

This is why we brought the proposed national sex offender registry to the House. This is the reason I wrote it originally almost three years ago. What do we get from the government? It comes in here and brags about how it has the new idea of having a sex offender registry. It basically said that it would put in all the things I originally put in the national sex offender registry except for the last two pages of the law. The last two pages are the joke of all time, a sick joke at that.

The registry will contain the names and addresses, dates, births, lists of sex offences and other necessary information about persons convicted of sex offences anywhere in Canada, including tattoos and markings, that sort of thing. That is a good idea and it is what we put into it. It was modelled after Christopher's bill in Ontario when the Ontario sex offender registry came into being. Jim and Ann Stephenson worked so hard with victims' rights groups after their son Christopher was murdered by a sex offender. It is necessary.

The bill states that every offender will register at a local police station once per year to provide updated information. That we put in the original registry. That means whether something has changed or not an offender must go to a police station and say that nothing has changed and, therefore, everything is A-OK. If offenders do not do that, they can be picked up on a warrant. This is good because then the police are proactive in going out and looking for these people.

It is good that a police officer can obtain a warrant to arrest any sex offender who fails to register and report as required. This offence would be punishable by a maximum of six months in prison for a first offence, up to two years for any subsequent offence and/or a $10,000 fine in either case. In other words, if a person does not report, it is an offence and the individual could be fined or sent up. That is good.

Sex offenders will be required to remain registered for one of three periods: 10 years for offences with 2 to 5 year maximums; 20 years for offences with 10 to 14 year maximums; and lifetime for offences with a maximum life sentence or where there has been a prior conviction for a sex offence. Those were all issues that we had in the original bill.

Offenders can ask to see personal information contained in the registry at any time to correct and update it. That is great. There is no problem there. In fact we had all those issues written up in the original bill.

What is wrong with this bill and why do I have to, as the originator of the original sex offender registry, vote against it? It is not that there is a bunch of people listening in here. There are three people on the other side.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Quality.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Quality, the member on the other side says.

Now that the quality people are listening over there, this is what is wrong with the bill. The legislation will not be retroactive. This fear of offending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on such things is ridiculous. Ontario made its sex offender registry retroactive. There was not one grievance filed against it. It is absolutely critical in the bill. Now that the government has come 50% of the way and could go all the way on this and agree with us, this is a critical point: the bill must be retroactive. It must record sexual offenders. It must record people in provincial facilities. It must record people currently housed in federal facilities. That is about 10,000 people.

If that does not happen, then individuals who are currently in prison will be able to get out of prison with a high risk of reoffending as sex offenders and will not enter the registry until after their next sentence. In fact what it amounts to is a free sexual offence of the offender. That does not make any sense at all. We brought this up at the time of the DNA databank. It should have been retroactive as well and would have resolved a lot of cases. I ask the government to please look at this issue.

Since I only have one minute remaining, I will assign two other problems with this legislation. The first is registered offenders will have the right to appeal their registration order. That is just crazy. They will all appeal this. The second is the Crown prosecutor must apply to the courts to have the offender added to the registry. It is crazy to allow lawyers the discretion. Put the offence in legislation and anyone convicted under that offence goes on the registry. Do not leave it to lawyers and judges to make that discretion. They fail consistently on that.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I wish to indicate that Thursday, April 3 shall be an allotted day.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, will it be an allotted day for the Bloc Quebecois or for the Canadian Alliance?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Good question. Could I have the attention of the government House leader? Will it be an allotted day for the Bloc Quebecois or for the Canadian Alliance?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question put by the hon. member, as you probably know, it is not up to the government to determine which allotted days go to which political parties. That decision is made following discussions among the parties. However, according to the usual pattern, the first allotted day goes to the official opposition. Of course, the opposition parties are free to make that determination on their own.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I believe that answers the question of the hon. member from Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, who now has the floor to speak to Bill C-23.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, an act respecting the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the other acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

April 1st, 2003 / 4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am addressing Bill C-23, just like my colleague, the hon. member for Jonquière, and our critic on issues relating to the Solicitor General, the hon. member for Châteauguay.

I am well aware that this is no ordinary bill. When it comes to sex offenders, there is a mix of caution, rejection, biases and, of course, anger. Indeed, it is not easy, from a human point of view, to explain behaviours that we find reprehensible from early age and from the moment we begin to socialize.

Having said that, the Bloc Quebecois wants to be cautious. Our critic on issues relating to the Solicitor General, the hon. member for Châteauguay, pointed out that we support the principle of establishing a sex offenders' registry. Of course, we would like to see a number of benchmarks that Bill C-23 currently does not meet.

I should point out that, as Quebeckers, 1993 was a great and memorable year for us. As we all remember, this is the year the Bloc Quebecois became the official opposition. It is also the year an interdepartmental committee was established with the Deputy Minister of the Solicitor General, the Deputy Minister of Health and the Deputy Minister of Justice. We began working on a framework that was to lead to the creation of the registry that is now the object of this bill.

It is interesting to remember that the 1993 report included a number of findings. The first one was that a separate registry, that is a specific registry for sex offenders, would duplicate part of the information that is already collected by the Canadian Police Information Centre.

As a member of Parliament, I had the pleasure, in the nineties, to sit on the subcommittee on organized crime, when the situation was particularly disturbing. That committee travelled all across Canada. I was able to see that the Canadian Police Information Centre has very sophisticated files, as it should. We already have databases that allow us to track down individuals who have been convicted of a punishable offence, whether by summary conviction or criminal indictment.

The working group's second conclusion was that it would be desirable to have access to the full criminal history, rather than narrowing it down to sex offences. That is debatable. Should we have a specific registry for sex offenders or should we know all about the criminal background of an individual who has been convicted of any criminal offence?

We were told that a separate system would be expensive, that there would certainly be privacy issues—I will come back to that because it is extremely important. And of course, a comprehensive screening system is necessary.

We are in favour of establishing a sex offenders registry. We would hope there would be a number of safeguards along the way. There is, of course, the issue of protecting personal information and also that of proportionality in sentencing. That is very important.

I cannot agree with the previous speaker who seemed to be saying that compatibility with the charter is not important. As you know, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has great strengths and great flaws. It invalidated important provisions of Quebec's Bill 101. So for us it is negative. The late René Lévesque opposed the charter because the section on multiculturalism was incompatible with the social choices made by Quebec. But in terms of main protections in criminal law, such as the doctrine of audi alteram partem , the right to be heard and to have a fair defence, and the other main protections found in section 7 of the charter, we are in favour.

These provisions are also found in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Quebec was one of the first legislatures, the first nation within Canada, to adopt a Quebec charter, in 1975. In 1977, the Parti Quebecois government made significant changes to it, even adding social condition to article 10, which is still not part of the Canadian Human Rights Act, despite the many bills tabled by this member of the Bloc Quebecois.

Our colleague, the hon. member for Sherbrooke, has taken up the cause since this matter relates to human rights.

The intent of the bill is to amend the Criminal Code. This is interesting because criminal law constantly seeks to maintain balance.

I can say that there was a former Minister of Justice who, in the early 1970s, published a white paper. The Criminal Code, obviously, is used to sanction, to coerce and to invite us to maintain a balance between the great values of integrity of person and peace among communities. Which Minister of Justice published this white paper on criminal law reform? The one who is now Prime Minister.

It is interesting to note that the then member for Saint-Maurice was the Minister of Justice. Unfortunately, these years bring back bad memories because that Minister of Justice unilaterally patriated the Constitution, which Quebec's own National Assembly has never accepted. The National Assembly is not likely to ratify this document from 1982 any too soon. It is a document which eroded the authority of the National Assembly, and we will never accept this. The Bloc Quebecois is the direct outcome of this rejection of the Constitution Act, 1982.

That said, Bill C-23 adds an extremely important provision to the Criminal Code. This provision amends sections 490.02 to 490.09. It would, therefore, establish a certain number of offences. For persons found guilty of this series of offences, the courts can determine, at the Crown's request—this must be kept in mind; it is not automatic—the list of offences, which I will share with you and which lead to the offender being listed on the registry.

These are pretty serious offences, as hon. members will see. We are talking about sexual offences involving children, and this is covered, of course, by section 490.02, under invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation for instance.

You may remember, Mr. Speaker—I think you were a member of this place at the time—that in 1995 the Criminal Code was amended to include sexual exploitation taking place not only in Canada but also abroad.

We were witnessing the emergence of the whole sex tourism industry. Unfortunately, there were fellow citizens of ours who travelled abroad, often to such sun destinations as Cuba, Mexico or Thailand, to have a good time without always bothering to respect the dignity of those whose country they were visiting and, sadly, engaged in activities related to sexual exploitation, against which there was no legal recourse.

Back in 1995 and 1996, the hon. member for Québec had put a bill forward. The debate that took place in this House was most worthwhile. Once again, we can clearly see how vigilant the members of the Bloc Quebecois are.

That having been said, offences requiring registration include sexual offences against children, invitation to sexual touching and, of course, sexual exploitation.

Another extremely reprehensible activity, which people do not want to be negotiable for those engaging in it, is incest. There is also child pornography, which the Fraser commission dealt with in the days of the Conservative government. There is luring by means of a computer system.

Mr. Speaker, without imposing, would you be kind enough to ask if I could have another five minutes to finish my speech?

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent for the hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve to speak for five more minutes?

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. member will therefore have five more minutes.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think that there is a spirit of great camaraderie developing increasingly in this House, and we are better parliamentarians because of it. I will continue in this spirit of frank camaraderie, which makes us all better human beings.

Clauses 490.02 through 490.09 list some extremely important offences. I had got as far as incest, which has been in the Criminal Code since the 19th Century. This cannot, of course, be tolerated.

Then there is child pornography. As I said, the Fraser commission addressed this in 1985, and then there is luring a child using a computer; stupefying or overpowering for the purpose of sexual intercourse; living on the proceeds of prostitution of a person under age of eighteen.

As an aside, in connection with prostitution, in the summer of 2000, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, mandated me along with my colleague, the member for Longueuil, and my former colleague, the member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, who as members know is not an independent Bloc MP but an independent MP, to head a task force on the phenomenon of street prostitution. This is not a trifling matter in major centres. For instance, in Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, there are some 100 to 120 sex trade workers in operation from the time the snow melts until October.

We must not show prejudice here. None of us ever knows how life's ups and downs will end up affecting what happens to us. When one addresses the phenomenon of prostitution, one realizes it is not one-dimensional. These are not just women with a drug abuse problem. That is one reality, and certainly a dominant one in the prostitution picture, but it would be wrong, and overly narrow, to try to bring the debate down to that dimension alone.

Incidentally, I would like to share a little secret. I know that everything that is said here is highly confidential. When I was first elected in 1993, one of the first issues I had to deal with, as the member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, was street prostitution. There was a march organized in my riding, where I met with sex-trade workers. You can imagine my surprise to learn that one of the sex-trade workers I met was a former page in the House of Commons. She had worked here. This is not a joke. This helped me understand one thing clearly, and that is that we never know where life will take us. Some people's lives take a turn for the worse and they face hardship. However, that does not make prostitution acceptable for most people.

In the report we tabled, we proposed a whole plan. I am convinced that prostitution must be removed from residential neighbourhoods.

There is quite a selection process to become a page in the House of Commons. One might think that if someone is a page in the House of Commons, that this person comes from a good family, that this person was well off. This person, relatively speaking, is quite well educated. However, despite all this, there I was dealing with a person who was a sex-trade worker. So we see how there are lessons we learn in life that shape us and that help us reconcile ourselves with fate.

In closing, I would like to say that even though we support this bill, our concerns will revolve around the whole issue of protecting privacy. We have in mind the example of what they did in Great Britain, where they set up a registry that is not available to the general public. I will have an opportunity to speak further on this at third reading.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I think that if you ask the House would give unanimous consent for the following motion.

I move:

That the second report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, presented on Wednesday, March 19, 2003, be concurred in.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Does the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons have unanimous consent to propose the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, an act respecting the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Sex Offender Information Registration ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is the House ready for the question?