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House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

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

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

All those opposed will please say nay.

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Motion in amendmentProtecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

The vote stands deferred until tomorrow after the time provided for government orders.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gail Shea Conservative Egmont, PE

moved that Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Daniel Petit Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, CPC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to speak in support of the important Criminal Code amendments contained in Bill C-48, Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act. If passed, this bill will directly amend several provisions in the Criminal Code and will make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act.

In essence, the amendments to the Criminal Code proposed in Bill C-48 will permit a judge to increase the time that multiple murderers must serve in custody before having any chance to apply for parole. This will be accomplished by authorizing judges to impose on those who take more than one life a separate, 25-year period of parole ineligibility—one for each victim after the first—to be served consecutively to the parole ineligibility imposed for the first murder.

Before I go on to discuss Bill C-48 in more detail, I want to take a moment to thank the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville for her unceasing efforts to keep this issue alive over the past decade. Beginning in the late 1990s and continuing right up to the present, she has sponsored a series of private member’s bills with the same purpose as Bill C-48, namely to ensure that multiple murderers serve consecutively the full parole ineligibility periods applicable for each murder. I applaud her for her pioneering efforts in this regard.

As honourable members are no doubt already aware, upon conviction all murderers receive a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the right to apply for parole after a set period of time. The period of time during which a convicted first degree murderer is barred from applying for parole is 25 years. In the case of a second degree murder, it is also 25 years if the offender has previously been convicted either of murder or of an intentional killing under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

Otherwise, it is 10 years. It is important to note, however, that 10 years is a minimum, and that a sentencing judge may always raise the normal 10-year parole ineligibility period for second degree murder up to 25 years. This is authorized by section 754.4 of the Criminal Code and is based on the offender’s character, the nature and circumstances of the murder, and any recommendation to this effect made by the jury.

Nonetheless, the nub of the issue before us today is that 25 years is the maximum period during which a convicted first or second degree murderer may be prevented from applying for parole. And this is so no matter how many lives that person may have taken and no matter how much pain and suffering that person’s crimes may have inflicted on the families and loved ones of those whose lives have been so cruelly taken.

The only exception to the 25-year limit occurs through the interaction of the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. Together they mandate a new 25-year parole ineligibility period on any already-sentenced murderer who commits another murder, whether it is in the first or second degree. This new 25-year ineligibility period will be added to the parole ineligibility period that such a person is already serving. This is essentially the situation of an incarcerated murderer who commits another murder while in prison and is obviously a rare situation that does not cover the vast majority of multiple murders.

Many Canadians share my view that the current parole ineligibility period of 25 years for murder set out in Canadian law symbolically devalues the lives of multiple victims. In this regard, the current state of the law lays itself open to the charge that multiple murderers in Canada receive a volume discount for their crimes. The measures proposed in the bill before us today will change this.

These measures will allow judges to ensure that, in appropriate cases, those who take more than one life—whether they commit first or second degree murder—will serve longer periods without eligibility for parole.

As I mentioned earlier, Bill C-48 will accomplish this by authorizing judges to add separate 25-year periods of parole ineligibility to the sentence of a multiple murderer, one for each murder after the first. These extra periods of ineligibility for parole would be added to the parole ineligibility period imposed for the first murder, which, as I have already mentioned, ranges from 10 to 25 years.

As a result, those who kill more than once could well serve their entire life sentence in prison without ever becoming eligible to apply for parole. Allowing judges to impose additional parole ineligibility periods would counter any perception that multiple murderers get a sentence discount under Canadian law and thus help to restore public confidence in the criminal justice system.

In proposing these Criminal Code amendments, I am mindful of the suffering endured by the families and loved ones of murder victims. On October 5, when he introduced Bill C-48, the Minister of Justice stated outside the House that we could not bring back those who had been so callously murdered nor repair the hearts of those who had lost loved ones to murder, but we could ensure that those who commit the most serious crime of all—taking the life of another—pay a more appropriate price.

Other measures that our government has proposed, such as those contained in Bill S-6, the Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act, are also directly aimed at alleviating the suffering of the families and loved ones of murder victims. Bill S-6 would completely eliminate the right of future murderers to apply for faint hope after serving a mere 15 years.

It would also place severe restrictions on when and how often those with the present right may apply. In this vein, the measures proposed in Bill C-48 reinforce the measures set out in Bill S-6. They send a strong message of support for the families and loved ones of the victims of multiple murderers by recognizing the lives that have been lost.

Moreover, the measures proposed in Bill C-48 will also ensure that in those cases where a sentencing judge elects to impose consecutive periods of parole ineligibility on a multiple murderer, the families and loved ones will not have to suffer through a seemingly endless series of parole applications that in too many cases accomplish little other than to stir up painful memories.

Flooding in Nova ScotiaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the people of southwestern Nova Scotia as they deal with the aftermath of last week's severe flooding.

Unprecedented rains over several days have damaged bridges, roads and homes in several communities. Last week, along with local officials, I visited some of the affected areas and talked to residents impacted by the storm.

We are all relieved that the situation is beginning to improve throughout the area. There are a lot of repairs still under way and there is much more to be done.

I would like to commend Emergency Measures, the RCMP, volunteer firefighters, the Red Cross, and many others for providing support and services to residents in need in many communities.

As the Prime Minister said, we are in close contact with provincial authorities, and the Government of Canada stands ready to provide assistance once the province has completed an assessment of the damage.

The people of Nova Scotia have experienced severe weather before, and I am certain that by working together we will weather this storm as well.

Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame InducteeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I stand today in Canada's Parliament to congratulate Urban Laughlin of Sherbrooke, P.E.I. on his induction into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

No one is more deserving, given Urban's lifetime dedication to bettering the livelihood of family farms. He has always spoken truth to power, be it with the 4-H, the Federation, Junior Farmers', or his long career with the National Farmers Union. He attended the founding NFU convention and has been present at all 40 conventions since, a feat made possible through a team effort with his wife Mary on their dairy and mixed farm operation.

Mr. Laughlin is the most principled farm leader ever in standing up for policy dedicated to farmers and against compromise that could undermine the family farm.

He quotes Frederick Douglass, “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them...”.

Urban challenged those oppressors, fought for cost of production, and is a passionate voice for social justice. Canada needs more Urbans.

We congratulate Urban.

Au bas de l'échelle OrganizationStatements By Members

November 15th, 2010 / 2 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, a collective reflection day on equal treatment for non-standard workers organized by the Au bas de l'échelle organization was held on November 12.

According to this organization:

In the workplace, the most significant change in the past decades has been the diversification of the forms of employment and employment statuses. As a result, more than one out of three workers are now in non-standard employment situations... Non-standard employment often goes hand in hand with precarious employment.

Since 1975, Au bas de l'échelle has been offering a number of information and training services on rights in the workplace and carrying out political activities to enhance the rights of non-unionized workers, especially in connection with the Labour Standards Act.

I wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the Au bas de l'échelle organization, which is celebrating 35 years of advocating collectively for the rights of non-unionized workers in Quebec.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2008, the Prime Minister made a promise to the people of Canada and our brave soldiers serving in Afghanistan. He promised to end Canada's military mission in 2011. He and his Liberal backers promised to refocus the mission on training.

The wording approved in Parliament at the time was that “the military mission shall consist of...training the Afghan National Security Forces so that they can expeditiously take increasing responsibility for security in Kandahar and Afghanistan as a whole”.

Seventy-two Canadian soldiers have died since the promises to train the Afghan forces and to end the mission in 2011 were made. Wounded soldiers return home to a government that seems indifferent to their suffering and more concerned with saving money than providing real help.

After nine years of fighting, life has not changed much for two out of three Afghans, who are still living in poverty.

It is time to end the war, not extend it. I am calling on the government to keep its promise and bring all our troops home.

Michael Starr WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House today to speak about a true trailblazer in Oshawa.

Yesterday, November 14, was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Michael Starr, the most distinguished, prolific, and successful politician that Oshawa has ever produced. Yesterday Michael Starr had his star unveiled on Oshawa's Walk of Fame.

This week has been declared “Michael Starr Week”.

Michael served as a city alderman and went on to be the mayor of Oshawa from 1949 to1952. He was also the federal member of Parliament from 1952 to 1968, and was the first Ukrainian Canadian ever to serve as a cabinet minister.

Michael also served as an honorary colonel of the Ontario Regiment, honorary president of the Oshawa Boy Scouts, honorary chairman of the Oshawa Folk Arts Council, and a founder and later president of the Ukrainian Business and Professional Club in Oshawa.

Michael was considered by many ethnic leaders as their spokesman in Ottawa on both national and international issues.

I stand here today to honour the legacy of Michael Starr.

Louise Lemieux-BérubéStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to an immensely talented artist from LaSalle—Émard.

Louise Lemieux-Bérubé is a pioneer, internationally renowned for her works and her innovative use of jacquard weaving techniques. In addition to being a world-renowned artist, she is known for her involvement in education. She is a co-founder of the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles, where she teaches students from around the world.

Ms. Lemieux-Bérubé innovates and creates her works with ultramodern techniques. One example is her use of a process that blends new digital technologies with traditional hand-weaving techniques.

Her work has been exhibited around the world. This fall, the Canadian embassy in Tokyo is exhibiting Louise Lemieux-Bérubé's creations along with the works of artists who have worked in her studio.

I would like to congratulate Ms. Lemieux-Bérubé and tell her that we are very proud of her and the way in which she represents us on the international stage. Bravo!

Operation Red Nose QuinteStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Christmas season will soon be upon us before we know it, I would like to take this moment to pay tribute to a group of volunteers in my riding who go above and beyond in their quest to make everyone's holiday a safe and happy one.

I am referring, of course, to the volunteers of Operation Red Nose Quinte. In the days leading up to and during the Christmas season, they give many hours of their time providing complimentary rides home to yuletide merrymakers.

Operation Red Nose Quinte has been a wonderful community service since its inception in 1997, and last year alone the volunteers provided more than 3,000 rides and logged more than 46,000 kilometres.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. The volunteers of Operation Red Nose Quinte embody that quotation.

On behalf of the residents of Prince Edward—Hastings, I wish to commend the tireless efforts of past chairs, this year's honorary chair, Boyd Sullivan, and the volunteers at Operation Red Nose Quinte.

I thank them all for keeping so many of us safe during this most magical time of the year.

2010 Bernard Hubert PrizeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 1, 2010, this year's Bernard Hubert prize was awarded in Longueuil, in memory of Bishop Bernard Hubert, a man who was very committed to his community and cared about those living in poverty and on the margins of society.

The purpose of the Bernard Hubert prize is to recognize and commend the contribution of community organizations to the development of human values, particularly through the defence of human rights, charitable giving, public education and the social economy. I am proud to congratulate three organizations from my riding that received three out of four honourable mentions during the event.

The Maison de la famille LeMoyne, which works with underprivileged families in LeMoyne, received the honourable mention and a cash prize. In addition, Aphasie Rive-Sud, which helps people who have aphasia return to employment, and Envol, which provides assistance to young mothers in distress, both received special mentions.

Once again, I would like to congratulate them all and sincerely thank them for their exceptional commitment to our community.

Agriculture and AgrifoodStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, some very special guests have joined us in Ottawa today, young farmers from across Canada who are in town for the National Future Farmers Network, which is taking place today and tomorrow.

These young people represent the future of an industry that is a cornerstone of our economy and labour market and one that literally puts food on our tables.

Currently, fewer and fewer young people are getting into farming for a number of reasons including the significant financial investment needed to get started in this sector.

That is why the government is working hard to give our young farmers the tools they need to raise their families and achieve their dream of farming.

We are cultivating a réflexe jeunesse to ensure our programs are developed with the needs of young farmers in mind. We are working with young farmers to build a better future. We are listening and we are putting farmers first.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are in shock following yesterday's horrific explosion at a Mexican tourist destination, which claimed the lives of so many while seriously injuring so many more.

We particularly mourn the five Canadians who were tragically taken from their families and their friends. This tragedy is made all the more painful and poignant knowing that among the fatalities were a nine year old child and a newly wedded couple who were forever taken in the blast.

Now at this time we wish a speedy and successful recovery for those Canadians who remain in hospital and for all who were hurt in the explosion.

Our sympathies go out to the families of all those who lost their lives yesterday, and our thoughts and prayers go to all who were injured.

Children's HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the health and well-being of Canadian families is important to this Conservative government.

Over the last 25 years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of overweight and obese children. Obesity rates among children and youth have nearly tripled. It is an issue that affects children everywhere in Canada.

Our government has already taken action to encourage physical activity through great initiatives like the child fitness tax credit and the eat well and be active toolkit.

The ministers of health and intergovernmental affairs announced today additional funding for projects across the country that will examine ways to combat childhood obesity and keep our kids healthy and physically active.

For Canada's Conservative government, family comes first.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks, I held town hall meetings all across my riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North, in Terrace Bay, Marathon, Nipigon, Longlac and Geraldton, in many first nation communities and in Thunder Bay. The people have all asked that Parliament help control their rising costs of living. Many are earning less these days but are paying more for necessities like electricity, home heating, transportation and gasoline. They are even paying more for services vital to our far-flung communities, like Internet access and postage. These things cost more now because of the harmonized sales tax brought in by the Conservatives and the Liberals and rushed through virtually without debate in this House.

On behalf of my constituents, I must ask members of this House to support rolling back the HST tax hike on necessities like home heating, electricity and gasoline. It is time for this Parliament to lower the cost of living for Canadian families instead of increasing taxes.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, five Canadians were killed and six others were injured and hospitalized following a tragic incident yesterday at the Grand Riviera Princess hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those who died and I wish the injured a speedy recovery.

I offer my sympathy to all those affected by this terrible explosion and I want to assure all Canadians that the government will continue to support all those who have been affected by yesterday's explosion.

Aung San Suu KyiStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic figure of opposition and democracy in Burma, was released on Saturday.

Leader of the National League for Democracy party and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the “Lady of Rangoon” has spent 15 of the last 21 years behind bars or under house arrest.

This political leader has already announced that she will help investigate charges of fraud in the November 7 legislative election. Her party had boycotted the election, which led to its dissolution by the authorities. Western nations and independent observers have called the election a sham designed to prop up the military junta and stated they were “neither free nor fair”.

The Bloc Québécois is asking the Canadian government to continue to exert pressure on the Burmese authorities to implement a political system that is completely democratic and transparent.

Youth SuicideStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today with a heavy heart, to pay tribute to the Richardson family of Ottawa. This past Friday, their beloved 14-year-old daughter Daron took her own life. A beautiful girl, an excellent student, a competitive athlete, Daron was well known and well liked, which makes her passing all the more difficult to comprehend and to come to terms with.

Unfortunately, Daron's story is not unique. Canada's youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world.

I would like to commend the Richardson family for their courage and their valiant effort to raise awareness of the need to make further investments in research and treatment of mental illness for all our teenage kids.

I would ask all members to join me in extending our sincerest condolences to Daron's father, Luke; her mother, Stephanie; her sister, Morgan; and the entire Richardson family.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in a tragic incident at the Grand Riviera Princess Hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, five Canadians lost their lives and six remain injured in hospital.

On behalf of all Canadians, we offer our most sincere condolences to family members and friends of those who lost their lives and wish a quick recovery to those who were injured.

Canadian officials in Ottawa and embassy staff are on site in Mexico and continue to monitor the impact of the explosion and are providing consular assistance to those affected.

I extend deepest sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives on Sunday in this terrible explosion. I can assure all Canadians that our government will continue to support those affected yesterday and their families.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we learned last week that the government is going to commit Canada to a new, non-combat mission in Afghanistan after 2011. But Canadians are still waiting for a clear, detailed proposal from the government.

People are entitled to know exactly what the government has in mind for Canada's commitment in Afghanistan after 2011.