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House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-65.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I love talking about the gun registry. As long as the Liberals keep defending it, the Conservatives will keep being elected in Saskatchewan. There is nothing defensible about the gun registry.

Let me address a few of the member's points. First of all, the fact that it may be checked by police officers around the country is meaningless. Try to picture an RCMP officer or a city police officer who checks the gun registry and it says that there are no guns present in this house. The registry says that no one in this house owns a gun because no one in the house has registered a gun. The officer says that he will then take off his bullet-proof vest, leave his guns in the car, and sidle up to the door and just walk in because he now knows, 100% for sure, that there are no guns in that house. Does the member really believe that there is any police officer in this country that would do that? Of course not. Maybe that Liberal member might do that, but I doubt he would be on the force very long if that is what he did.

Second, about the cost that is $20 million a year. Let us try $85 million a year. Only a Liberal who said that the plan would only cost $2 million would think that he is somehow being fiscally responsible by charging Canadians $20 million or $85 million. Only a Liberal would think that way.

We have to remember when it comes to these Liberals, that they are so out of touch with ordinary Canadians. They are so out of touch with what Canadians want as priorities. They stand in this House and they find these excuses for something that is indefensible. They defend the indefensible.

This is what the Liberals have done, whether it is age of consent laws that allow the exploitation of children, whether it is the gun registry, or whether it is about lenient sentences on repeat and habitual offenders. They defend the indefensible. That is why they are not long for the life of this Parliament.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are debating Bill C-65 in a tribute to Mr. Chuck Cadman who served here from 1997 until recently. It is important to note that this bill is very much in essence what he proposed.

One of the reasons I am supporting the bill is because it has some good measures to get this crime of street racing put in a proper perspective. It is important to note that this is in essence private members' legislation that we are dealing with today.

I think it also addresses a major gap that we have with auto theft and the consequences of actions that people take that are outside of the individual action itself. For example, victims are created by the chases, the activities and the repercussions of harmful actions that are a part of this theft and crime.

I know that, for example, in Toronto we have an issue over guns and the consequences there. One factor of this problem is that we have a high degree of youth that are unemployed in this country and we are addressing the things we can do on the penalty are being addressed here. Can the member give us some specifics on what we can do on the front end to ensure that these young people have good quality opportunities in front of them, as opposed to only having this behind them?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the favourite saying of my leader is that the best social program is a job. The best way for young people to avoid a life of crime is if they can look forward to a life of economic prosperity. The best way to do that is to make our economy competitive and help create jobs, so that young people who have to put themselves through university or another form of post-secondary education can do that. Also, for younger children who may be at risk of becoming young offenders, we should ensure that their parents are able to find jobs, provide for their families, and help steer their children away from that life of crime.

I absolutely agree with the premise that there is a whole lot of value in prevention, but what we are talking about today is more the sentencing side. That is where we get into his party's dismal record of supporting real substantive changes to the criminal justice system. In fact, his leader has consistently stood up and voted in favour of the gun registry, in favour of pumping more millions of dollars into the gun registry. That is the leader of the NDP's focus on crime prevention and it is as dismal as the Liberal approach in that case.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Kootenay—Columbia.

I would like to take all members of the House back to a place in my riding. It is the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Laity Street. If we had been there on Monday morning, February 28, we would have seen a man wandering in a dazed condition, aimlessly it would seem, in a state of disbelief they tell me. It was an accident scene and he was approaching reporters and people standing by wanting information. He was asking for details because earlier that morning he had received a call from the RCMP, that call that we all live in fear of, that said that his 23-year-old son had been killed in a car accident. He went to the scene to see what he could learn.

The investigation later would reveal that at 10 p.m. the night before his son was the passenger in a green Honda Del Sol driven by his 22-year-old friend. This car and a silver sports car were speeding, racing eastbound on Lougheed Highway. Shortly after it went through the intersection at Laity Street, it lost control and swerved to the left into the westbound lane and hit a Ford Taurus station wagon killing the 45-year-old woman who was driving and seriously injuring her passenger. The two young men also died at the scene.

In that moment for many, the world was forever changed. Two young men with goals and dreams, and by all accounts good kids, died in a moment of recklessness leaving behind broken-hearted families and grieving friends, and 17 and 21-year-old sons of the 45-year-old mother. The driver of the silver sports car, who by all accounts stopped, backed up, took a look at the scene, then raced off and has not been seen since. A community is forever changed when it experiences such a tragedy.

Of course we could go to other places as well. In October 2004, in Maple Ridge, there were two racing motorcyclists. One died in a ditch beside the Lougheed Highway. The uninjured rider was given a 15 day driving suspension and had his bike impounded for 48 hours. On November 13, 2000 two street racers killed pedestrian Irene Thorpe and in February 2002 they were sentenced to two years less a day of house arrest. On September 15, 2002, 31-year-old RCMP Constable Jimmy Ng was killed when his cruiser was T-boned by a street racer. The racer received 18 months, and 6 months for leaving the scene of an accident.

There are many other indicators that we could go through indicating that there is a problem. In fact, Chuck Cadman recognized that there was a problem through his private member's Bill C-230, which he introduced in October 2004, and before that Bill C-338 of December 2002 and then reintroduced again in February 2004. That one was actually debated.

There were three main initiatives in his bill. First, to amend the Criminal Code to identify street racing as an aggravating factor during sentencing for the following offences: dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and criminal negligence causing death.

Second, it called for mandatory driving prohibitions; and third, it had an escalating scale of prohibitions for repeat offenders.

It is interesting as I look back at Hansard to see what the government's response was to Bill C-338, which is remarkably similar to the bill that we are debating today. First of all, the government did not like specifying street racing as an aggravating factor and said it was unnecessary. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said:

Unless there is some compelling reason to specify that certain circumstances are aggravating, it is better not to multiply the instances where the Criminal Code spells out that a particular way of committing the offence will be an aggravating factor.

—unless we have a strong indication that the courts are not treating street racing as an aggravating factor for these four offences, restraint ought to be exercised in specifying that street racing become an aggravating factor.

The status quo is what he was looking for and the sister of Irene Thorpe might have offered him the compelling reasons he was looking for.

They did not like the idea of prescribed mandatory driving prohibitions. That same parliamentary secretary said:

I think there is logic in the present law, which gives the court discretion on whether to impose a driving prohibition order.

There may be logic, but the problem is what happens in practice. He went on to say:

If a court imposes a long period of imprisonment, the court may believe that there is no need to have the offender prohibited from driving at the point of release from imprisonment, which will be far in the future. In such cases, the offender will have been off the streets and away from the wheel for a very long time.

This argument is like an NHL player who was suspended just before the lockout arguing that he had done his time because he had been off the ice and unable to do any more harm for a very long time. The person he had injured would not see that as justice.

The government has always been against mandatory minimum sentences, even though it points to a few that it has allowed and even claims once in a while that they are working. I heard this argument just yesterday from the Minister of Justice.

It seems to me there are two basic arguments that the Liberals use. One is that they do not work. That is the government's main argument, it seems to me. This is arguable. In fact, if we look at the data, most of the data the Liberals consult comes from across the border and the drug laws that are in place there. They look at the drug use and so on and the measurements by those standards, and say that obviously these mandatory minimum sentences are not working so the idea of mandatory minimum sentences must be a bad idea. The question is not only about whether they work, it is about whether justice is being done. It is not the minister of social work. It is the Minister of Justice.

The Liberals do not like the idea of them because it removes discretion from judges, but it seems to me that that is the whole point. The theory is that if judges are using good judgment, we will only limit them by how harsh they can be. What about judicial trivialization, as I like to call it. If they are just not exercising good judgment and if justice is not being done, then they need to also be limited by how lenient they can be. Of course, they did not like the prescription for repeat offenders.

This brings us to Bill C-65. This bill looks remarkably similar to Bill C-338 which the Liberals opposed a couple of years ago. Bill C-65 is a government bill, so it raises at least two questions: why the change of heart and how is it different in any way from what Mr. Cadman proposed? Let us deal with those briefly.

Why has the government had a change of heart? What has changed since October 2003? We know that the government survived a crucial vote, and a crucial vote in that vote was cast by Mr. Cadman. I believe he did it in good faith based on his principles, but we know the government is not averse to rewarding loyalty, even if it us unintended, and so feels some kind of an obligation. Of course we also know that Mr. Cadman has left us.

The government has said that this bill and Bill C-64, its companion bill, are intended as appropriate tributes to his legacy. I agree with this. I agree that there should be a legacy and a tribute to Mr. Cadman. Our country and our Parliament are poorer places without him. In fact he made many contributions in my own riding. In my own community he used to come and work with our diversion program, talk to young offenders and give up his valuable time to change lives.

Let us go to the second question. How is this different? It now has street racing as an aggravating factor. Yes, that is in it. It has mandatory prohibitions, although the Liberals appear not to like it at other times. They are in here as well, but they did not include the clauses about repeat offenders and I am disappointed by that. Instead of giving us a bill in a form as developed by Mr. Cadman and which I think would have been enthusiastically supported by everybody in this House, the government has neutered the bill.

This is not a fitting tribute to the legacy of Chuck Cadman. While I support what is in it, I am disappointed by what is not in it. There needs to be more. We need to do what is necessary to amend this bill to include the repeat offender clauses, not just because it is what Mr. Cadman and his family would have wanted, but because it makes it better legislation and it is the right thing to do.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Vancouver street racing is a very serious issue. The member mentioned a number of incidents of street racing in the Vancouver area. One resulted in the death of Constable Jimmy Ng, who was hit broadside and killed at the side of the road by street racers.

There was another incident among many involving street racing in Vancouver where two men were convicted of killing a pedestrian, Irene Thorpe. My colleague mentioned that. These two young men, 23 and 20 years old, were doing about 120 kilometres an hour in a 50 kilometre zone when one of them lost control and slammed into Irene Thorpe as she walked along the street.

The sentence was considered an outrage. The CBC news headline was “Slap on the hand sentence for killer street racers causes an outrage”. They were put on probation for three years and their driver's licences were revoked for five years. What kind of response is that for Irene Thorpe, who is dead, and her family?

My colleague spoke a few minutes ago about elderly people who are afraid to open their doors because of crime and because of elders being abused. There was a question asked today by my colleague from Surrey about the Vancouver Board of Trade saying that crime is out of control in that city, the largest city in British Columbia. The city proper has a population of about 570,000 and there are 10,000 break-ins a year. How are citizens supposed to feel safe, with this kind of response? There are 6,000 car thefts and 10,000 thefts from cars. That is from the study of Vancouver proper itself. Surrey next door leads all of Canada for car theft. That is the response to the kind of legislation that this government continues to bring forward with no teeth in it. Constituents are upset about it.

I wonder if my colleague, who comes from the Lower Mainland, would care to comment. I know he is taking the pulse of the community and that justice issues are very much on his mind. I wonder if he would care to comment on the atmosphere in Vancouver, as well as in many other Canadian cities, where crime is very much out of control.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission are peace loving and generally fairly reasonable in their responses to things. I need to tell my colleague that I have been surprised at the number of people who are fed up.

I was at an event on Sunday and a number of people approached me on this very issue asking when it was going to stop, when was the government going to get serious about justice and crime, two things which ought to be linked in my opinion. People want to know when the justice system is actually going to give out sentences that will provide, if not a deterrent, at least some justice for people like Irene Thorpe's sister who now will live without her for the rest of her life and does not understand the sentences given to those young men.

I had a town hall meeting on this subject with the Conservative critic on these issues. Frankly, I was surprised at the feeling in the room. People are just not taking any more of the kind of approach to justice and sentencing that the Liberal Party not only seems to tolerate but is nurturing. Something needs to change.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, my constituency is next to the riding of Surrey North. Many constituents of Surrey North, who were honourably represented by Chuck Cadman who sponsored the private member's bill, have come to my office for casework as well as to discuss the two government bills. I should have spoken to this bill a long time ago but I did not get an opportunity. I am speaking to this bill now but we are approaching the time when we will close off debate.

Lots of people are frustrated in the Surrey area particularly because the government has watered down the two bills. When Mr. Cadman was a member of the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and the Conservative Party, his bill was vigorously opposed by the Liberals, but after the confidence vote the Liberals suddenly decided to make it his legacy.

The government has neutered the bill by taking out all the important contents. Could the hon. member explain what the motive of the Liberal Party is at this moment to bring forward this bill? Why will this bill not fulfill the intended purpose of Mr. Cadman?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, frankly, I do not know why the Liberals have done this. It seems that they had a good opportunity if they were serious about paying tribute to Mr. Cadman and the great work that he did in this place. This seems to me to be window dressing, a watering down of the bill. Maybe it is a pre-election exercise to make it look like they are doing something. I think certainly the family of Chuck Cadman, his former associates and the people of Surrey see it for what it is.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I count it a great privilege to stand and speak to Bill C-65. The reason in particular is the way the bill has been characterized as being a tribute to Chuck Cadman. Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely false, totally false.

I had the privilege last Saturday of visiting very briefly with Donna Cadman, Chuck's wife. We did not discuss the bill, although I know she is familiar with the reasons that our party is having a tremendous amount of difficulty with the bill. I count myself as having been exceptionally privileged as having become a friend of Chuck's and I take great offence when I hear the justice minister of Canada referring to this bill as a tribute to my friend, Chuck Cadman.

I was also rather perplexed when I heard just a few minutes ago a member of the NDP refer to this bill as the essence of what he proposed. Well, the smell of a skunk is the essence of perfume, but it does not have anything to do with anything pleasant or anything related to what we would normally think of in terms of a perfume.

Bill C-65 as far as it goes is fine, but the next thing I can visualize is that the Liberals in a dishonest approach will say, “The Conservatives are not really serious about this issue. They would not even back the memory of Chuck Cadman. Look at what they are doing. They are going to be voting against the bill. It is the essence of Chuck Cadman”. It is not the essence of Chuck Cadman.

Chuck Cadman understood that while some of the parts of the bill are essential, truly the devil is in the details. Chuck Cadman had been attempting to legislate changes to street racing provisions since 2002. As some of my colleagues pointed out, again and again Chuck Cadman was rebuffed not only in this chamber, not only with the rejection of his bills, but also at the justice committee. He was constantly rebuffed by the Liberals.

I do recall at Chuck's funeral, and it was a fitting tribute to a very special man, that the minister related that in jest Chuck said that he had voted with the Liberals on the confidence motion and wondered if God would not be pleased. He said it in jest, but he worked constantly throughout his honourable time in this institution to try to bring some real change to justice. He worked honourably against the Liberals who were constantly opposed to him because they refused to do what was absolutely necessary to bring justice back to our justice system.

Currently we have a legal system in Canada, not a justice system. Chuck Cadman worked to that end.

Previous versions of the bill include Bill C-338 and Bill C-230. The government had refused to support the legislation because it called for mandatory minimum driving prohibitions and increased punishment for repeat offenders.

The Liberals are so soft on crime that they are constantly creating revolving doors. They are constantly looking to make sure that the person who has committed the crime is treated with kid gloves while the victims' families can go hang. That is a bad attitude. That is a wrong attitude. It is an attitude that the people of Surrey North, the people of Surrey, the people of British Columbia and indeed the people of Canada reject of the Liberals, that they are constantly so soft on crime.

We constantly supported the measures that Chuck Cadman brought forward. I recall a gentleman when Chuck initially came to the House of Commons, Larry Park. Larry was Chuck's legislative assistant. Larry was as committed as Chuck to these amendments to the Criminal Code. Larry and Chuck would work for hour after hour, weekend after weekend. I am sure that Donna must have wondered if she had become a widow with the amount of dedication that Larry and Chuck had to bringing these things forward.

If I am speaking with some emotion today it comes from the well of emotion that I have within me to say that this is not Chuck Cadman's bill. It reminds me an awful lot of an event that actually happened during the U.S. presidential election. George Bush's running mate was Dan Quail. When he tried to play down his youth in the vice-presidential debate by pointing out that he had as much experience as Jack Kennedy when he ran for president in 1960, his opponent, Lloyd Bentsen, pounced and said, “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy”.

I say to the justice minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, you are no Chuck Cadman, you do not understand, you just do not understand.

We want to make the following amendments. They cannot be made at this particular stage but we will be proposing them on the assumption that the Liberals will be supported yet again by the NDP for this bill to move forward.

We will be making the following amendments: for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year; for a second and subsequent offence, if one of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), for life; for a second offence, if neither of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years; and, for each subsequent offence, if none of the offences is an offence under section 220 or subsection 249(4), during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment.

For the people who are reading this text, other than lawyers, for people who may be watching these proceedings on television right now, that sounds like an awful lot of detail. However, as I said earlier, the devil is in the detail. This is the detail that Chuck Cadman would have had in this bill.

I say again that the Minister of Justice of Canada is misleading Canadians and is misleading the House. It is regrettable that the NDP has fallen into the trap of his misleading when he tries to say that this is Chuck Cadman's bill. Chuck Cadman was a friend of mine and this is not his bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have known that member since we first came to the House in 1993. I would also like to mention that prior to his arrival and delivering his speech I heard three great speeches from three newcomers to this place: the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, the member for Palliser and the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission.

I am so enthused when I see these younger people coming into the House of Commons with the common sense that it takes to understand what is so important about these issues.

I do not pass out compliments very often but, my goodness, it is a surprise that the member for Winnipeg Centre managed to find out what we all know, that in his riding crime and law and order are extremely important issues. At least he found that out. Now I hope he acts like it and represents them well when it comes to these decisions.

The member is correct. Chuck Cadman's private member's bill was the way he wanted to have it. It had all the meat and all the potatoes. The government turned down that bill and now it comes back and, how dare it, tries to present this bill in his name when it does not match up with what his bill was all about.

After 12 years of both of us being here in the House, does the member agree with me that there is nothing new going on in this place with regard to law and order? Is there any real commitment that he has seen from the minority government that will make the difference? I think not. I just wonder whether he agrees with this.

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5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the difficulty with this House is that of course we are politicians and this is a political process. Our friends on the other side have that down to a fine art where they can make things appear, like they are in this case, a reflection of the bills that Chuck Cadman would bring forward. If anything, they have managed to get the finesse of actually sucking in the NDP members to the point where they would actually say that this is the essence of what he proposed.

The only thing that has happened, unfortunately, is that this House has grown weaker in its ability to be able to make any real changes in the justice system.

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5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's comments were very insightful, both with respect to his experience and his attitude toward the need to address this crime issue.

We have had a Liberal government for over a decade that has been in charge of taking care of business in terms of the crime element and the justice issues here in Canada. Today In the City of Winnipeg and all across my province crime is out of control. We have crystal meth issues, organized crime issues and we have the highest homicide rate in all of Canada. We have a wonderful police force. Members opposite talked about the gun registry. I know that the Winnipeg Police Association and the Manitoba Police Association do not endorse or support the gun registry because I just talked with them yesterday.

Having said that, this is about an attitude and a philosophy. Clearly the government cannot get crime under control. Canada is now at loose ends in terms of the crime element in our country and it is a big worry. We have had child pornography issues. We have had new things come up. Crime has grown under the government's watch.

Could the member please comment on what he feels is happening here in Canada in terms of the justice issues?

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5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to the lack of will on the part of the government over the last more than a decade of changing the laws and making the necessary amendments to the laws, a culture, unfortunately, has developed within the judicial system itself that has become so technical and so parsing of so many words that we have seen the rise of judicial activism on the part of the Supreme Court that has swept right down through the other courts.

The police have actually had the ability to do their jobs taken away from them by virtue of all the paperwork they have to generate. We have reached the point where if a police officer pulls someone over suspecting the person of being under the influence of alcohol, the officer is better off letting that person go than trying to create a file. Any file that the police create will be a starting point of an inch thick with the first set of forms. This has occurred and is growing exponentially under the Liberal government.

I fully recognize that enforcement is a provincial issue but at the end of the day the fact that the police are being hindered by the courts of being able to enforce the laws is a direct result of the soft on crime Liberals. It is very frustrating.

In answer to my colleague, it is not just the laws, it is also the application of the laws and the complexity that has been created by an ever-increasing interference by the judicial system which is clearly encouraged by the Liberal government.

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5:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to speak to Bill C-65 which is an act to amend the Criminal Code. It is very important to get the bill through second reading and into committee where we can discuss changes and amendments. It is important to look at all amendments to the bill because it is an incremental step forward that is very important, not only in terms of setting a standard for the criminal activity around auto theft and the consequences that affect those individuals, but also for the police forces, emergency response forces and ordinary citizens who get sucked into this vortex of pain and suffering related to the crimes that individuals commit.

It is also important to note that the bill would have a mandatory sentence which is an important step for this particular crime. It suits the crime very well and I think many Canadians will support the bill, and especially some enhancements to it.

I want to note, from my particular constituency of Windsor West, some of the great work that has been done in the past by Ken Koekstat from Crime Stoppers and Glenn Stannard, our chief of police, related to crime, youth activities, as well as the general population, and the fact that auto theft and the consequences have been rising at different times. They have been looking at proactive strategies to deal with this, as well as the consequences once the activity has taken place.

I can tell members that my former background as a municipal councillor, having lived under the Conservative regime of Mike Harris, the incredible downloading and the consequences of that were profound for municipal tax ratepayers across the province of Ontario because it put incredible pressures on keeping one's police force up to snuff.

Frankly, the corporate tax cuts that were enjoyed came at the expense of many municipalities having pitched battles about whether or not to invest in fire and rescue, emergency services and/or police departments. I know that I had many citizens who wrestled with the fact that their property taxes would need to be raised and subsequently were raised for many years because the provincial government had downloaded a series of services and responsibilities. What was despicable about the Harris regime was the fact that it also included different standards and reporting for the police department and the fire department but did not pass any appropriate funding to deal with that.

We agreed with the additional training and the additional supports that were going to be there for officers but at the same time there was nothing provided to them to actually do that without having to go into the municipal taxpayer base. Having property tax as a funding source for policing is certainly not adequate for a modern industrial society and is certainly not adequate when a provincial government makes other choices. I can tell members that it had a profound impact as well.

Right now in our constituency we do know that many of these thefts are actually related to joy rides. Also, it was described recently by police officials on our radio as a way of some people using it as transit, where they would steal a car in one neighbourhood on the east side of Windsor and use that to joyride around or provide friends rides for the day and dispose of it later. Different types of cars were easily targeted and the youth who were doing this knew that and would provide it as a way of public transit for themselves. It is a terrible crime and it is a reality that the police have had to deal with. They have incorporated Crime Stoppers to get to those individuals but there has to be an investment to provide opportunities so that is not going to be the first thing that people think or is acceptable.

I think of balance, a balance of having strict penalties for this type of serious crime and the consequences that it has brought to people's life is very important. I agree with that. At the same time, there has to be a balance. The municipal governments need to get support from the senior levels of government to be able to increase their police forces to do the types of services that are necessary to prevent the crime and to be on the streets and to be a presence on the street so there will be accountability on the spot. From my days on municipal council, that certainly had a profound impact in terms of Ontario usurping those powers from municipal police forces because of the downloading.

In fact, even when the province promised that we would actually have revenues increase when the provincial offences acts were transferred to municipal governments, we were supposed to get an increase that we could then put back into our policing and put more officers on the streets.

What ended up happening was that they gave us the worst cases, the most difficult and the most expensive to prosecute, which ended up causing a greater liability for the municipality. It was great for the Harris Conservative regime. It was wonderful for that treasury, but it was not good for local municipal governments that lost another revenue source for putting officers on the street who could prevent tragic circumstances like those that come about from auto theft.

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5:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The hon. member of course knows that when debate is resumed on this subject there will be the additional 15 minutes remaining.

The House resumed from October 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act, be read the third time and passed.

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-28.

Call in the members.

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

Food and Drugs ActGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed from October 17 consideration of the motion that Bill C-63, An Act to amend An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

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6:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-63.

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6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House would agree, I would propose that you seek unanimous consent that members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting in favour. That would include the member for Yukon.

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6:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to proceed in this fashion?

Canada Elections ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canada Elections ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, members of the Conservative Party will be voting no.

Canada Elections ActGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois will be voting in favour of this motion.