This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, it sounds as though the member was doing the right kind of business after church. I congratulate him for that.

Yes, we discuss these issues on a regular basis with victims. When we introduced the bill and the various components of it, I have been very proud to stand with those victims. I indicate to them that they have a friend in the members of this government and that their interests have come to the forefront and are a priority.

We stand with those victims and those law-abiding Canadians who have genuine concerns. We are very proud to stand with them and support their efforts.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, everyone on this side of the House also wants to see justice for the victims and wants to see that those committing crimes in this country are given the right sentences. However, the only thing I am unable to tell Quebeckers and Canadians is that we are certain that Bill C-10 will have the effect the government is after.

I am unable to say so because ever since Bill C-10 was introduced and ever since my election on May 2, 2011, the government has done nothing but focus on getting everything passed as quickly as possible. There is no time for us to debate. I know what I am talking about. I was in that committee, and we had to fight for hours just to get clause-by-clause consideration of this infamous bill.

Three of these nine acts had never been studied. Witnesses came and went at lightning speed. People came from the Canadian Bar Association and the Barreau du Québec, but we did not get to ask them all our questions. They continue to write to me to decry this problem and it is not—

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. I did say I was going to give roughly a minute and a half to each hon. member to allow everyone who wants to ask questions to do so.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I wish the hon. member would just be absolutely frank. There is no amount of debate and no amount of explanation that would cause the NDP members to change their minds and not oppose every single element of this bill.

They have a record in this particular area. They say they want to support victims; I say they can start supporting victims by supporting legislation like this, the legislation that we have before this Parliament.

However, I hear the same thing from over there. They say they want to do this; well, then, they should just do it. They should start supporting bills like Bill C-10 and legislation that this government has been introducing since 2006. Every one of those bills stands up for victims in this country and is doing the right things to protect Canadians.

The NDP should get on board, just for a change, and mix it up.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, the minister needs to have a reality check.

What we are really debating is that the government has brought in an omnibus bill that could have very easily been eight or nine separate pieces of legislation. Now, today, we have a motion that will restrict debate to two days on this very important piece of legislation that could have been eight or nine bills.

It is not good enough for the minister to say that we are going to vote against it anyway, so we do not need the time to debate it. It is about respecting democracy. It is about respecting the procedures of this House to ensure that new members of this chamber, and others, are afforded the opportunity to hold the government accountable for the types of legislation it is bringing through.

This type of legislation is modeled after the Texas megaprisons. Many would suggest, including myself, that they want to fight to prevent crimes from taking place on our streets and in our communities. The bill will not do that, nor will it have the desired impact that the minister is telling the Canadian public.

Why is the minister trying to limit debate and limit questions on this very important issue?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we had the greatest debate in the world. It was called the election of 2011.

The Liberals were very clear that they would oppose and fight the Conservatives on our crime agenda. I noticed that the interim leader, just after he got the job, was asked what his priorities were going to be; he named two of them, and one was that the Liberals were going to continue to fight the Conservatives on crime.

I ask the hon. member how that is working out for them down there. Have they noticed anything in the last four elections?

They are consistently all over the place. At times when they thought it was electorally significant or helpful to them, they switched sides. They supported the drug bill, but they are back to where they belong, which is opposing these bills. Somewhere along the line, before they get down to two seats, I think they are going to stop and say, “Just a second; I think we are making a mistake”.

We have been very clear with Canadians. We put this in our election platform for four straight elections. We keep getting a better response and better support from the Canadian people, and I am very grateful for that.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, a couple of minutes ago the minister opposite misled the House. It is not true that New Democrats did not support every element of this bill; in fact, we stood in the House and moved a motion that would expedite the passing of the part of the bill that would protect children from sexual predators. The minister needs to stand and correct the record.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we have tried that. We have introduced these bills individually, and we always heard from the NDP that they needed more study and that amendments were needed.

I get told by New Democrats over and over again that they do not support mandatory minimums; well, the entire section with respect to those who molest children has mandatory minimums right across the board. If they suddenly now want to start supporting these things, I would tell them it is a little late. They should get on their feet and start supporting what we are doing right now. They will better protect children that way.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Madam Speaker, this bill is flawed. All parties know it, including the Conservatives. They actually tried to move some amendments. Those amendments were ruled out of order, but it showed that even the Conservative benches realize there is a need to debate this bill. Instead of taking the time to debate it, they have tried to move closure and time allocation.

I have a quote from the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, on November 27, 2001—

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I believe the hon. member will correct her words.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

I apologize to the minister, Madam Speaker.

What he said was this:

For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid of debate, afraid of discussion and afraid of publicly justifying the steps it has taken.

I would urge the government not to live up to this hypocrisy.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I want to indicate that I wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Minister of Justice in bringing forward this bill. Many of the provisions contained in the bill are in fact from the public safety portfolio.

The comments I made at that time were perfectly understandable in the context, which was was that there had been no debate, but we have been debating these provisions for years. For four elections we have been very clear on where the government stood on the issue of crime. The NDP and the Liberals opposed our position, but we have made it clear. I am very pleased that this bill is moving ahead in the manner that it is.

I might say in closing that I find it very interesting that when the government does not accept any amendments, it is portrayed as closed-minded, but when it puts amendments forward, it is portrayed as indecisive. Certain amendments were in fact put forward; they were ruled out of order, and I respect the decision of the Speaker. Now it is time to move along with the motion.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I see that some members on the government side appear a little frustrated. Just to repeat the words of the Speaker before he left, the purpose of this 30-minute question period is to question the government on its use of time allocation, although members of the government will be recognized, and I will do that appropriately.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, I want to talk about something that happened in my riding last week that was reported on the front page of our local newspaper.

There was a big article on a sexual predator who had been released. He kidnapped someone and abused this person. It was a horrific incident in our community. Right below that was an article on the little protest at my office where a few people showed up with signs protesting against Bill C-10.

Many people called me and said that this fellow was out and he should not have been as he was high risk to reoffend. They said, “Look what he has done to this person in our community”.

I would like to ask the justice minister, why is it important? Why can we not spend the next five to six months debating this legislation? Why do we need to move forward and act now?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I can answer that. We want to better protect Canadians. This is what it is all about.

With respect to better protecting children, there are two new offences. It would become an offence in Canada for two adults to conspire with each other to lure a child. That closes a gap that existed in our Criminal Code. Also, for the adult who provides explicitly sexual material to a child for the purpose of grooming that child, we would make that an offence. Again, better protecting children is what this party and this government is all about.

Members will remember that we better protect now 14 and 15-year-olds from adult sexual predators. This is all part of our process to better protect children in this country.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by reminding the House of what former Speaker Fraser said, and I quote:

It is essential to our democratic system [and I would like to emphasize the word “democratic”] that controversial issues [if ever there was a controversial issue, this is one of them] should be debated at reasonable length so that every reasonable opportunity shall be available to hear the arguments pro and con...

I am part of the wave of new members who were not here during the previous Parliament. Believe me, I am not the only greenhorn in this House. I am a spokesperson, a voice if you will, for an entire population that thinks differently than those who voted for the Conservatives. I respect their ideology, but if there is a time and a place for debate and for all Canadians to be heard, it is here in this House.

In addition to being against the Conservative measure, I think we are also facing a clear denial of democracy.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I am not quite sure how much time the hon. member needs, but if he did not get an opportunity to speak at second reading, then I would urge him to talk to the House leader of the New Democrat Party, its whip, or whoever handles these things, and indicate to them that he would be interested in speaking.

I accommodate, as does the government House leader and our whip, members of our political party who want to speak on these things. Yes, some members have been around for many years, but we are very sensitive to new members. If they wanted to participate in this debate, we have been very accommodating. I think that is very fair. I wish the member well and I hope he gets his request to his party officials.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay NDP Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Madam Speaker, what I just heard is very upsetting and disappointing. There are no words to describe it.

This Conservative government is undemocratic. It could not care less about the opinions of Canadians. Yes, there is the issue of our role as legislators, but it goes beyond the debates in this House. There is also the role of the media. How will they examine bills if a new bill can bury the previous one, which we have not even finished examining? The media, externally, and legislators both have roles to play. This is merely a tactic to prevent us from raising the issues we see in the government's bills. It has to be changed.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, these issues have been with us for quite some time, going back at least four years with the major component of the bill which deals with drug traffickers, the people who bring drugs into this country, the people who like to sell drugs around schoolyards and to children, the people who ship drugs out of this country, and the people who are in the grow op business for the purposes of trafficking.

These issues have been around for four years. I respect the fact that so many of the opposition members oppose that. There are less of them after each election, but nonetheless the ones who are still here oppose that. That certainly is their right. They have the right to stand and complain, and say they oppose them. I understand that. I completely disagree with them and I am very pleased that the Canadian people disagree with them as well.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan NDP Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Madam Speaker, I will begin with a quote:

Also, the government invoked closure to impose the legislation, Bill C-49, and which imposed the tax. These things do not build confidence with Canadians. The government also has a lack of respect for free votes in this place and the treatment of private members' bill. It has a lack of commitment to a democratically elected Senate. It has muzzled politically free speech for their own backbenchers...There are also countless other examples and they do not build the confidence of Canadians.

Who said this? It was the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the quote comes from Hansard.

I ask the minister, why is the government continuing to muzzle Canadians by not allowing debate in the House, not allowing debate at committees, and not allowing for--

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. Minister of Justice.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, we have encouraged debate. Every time the opposition parties, in the last five years, got together and forced an election on the Government of Canada, we had this discussion. We made it very clear to Canadians this is where we are going. We said if we are given a mandate, we will bring in these measures to get tough against those individuals, such as violent criminals, pedophiles and drug dealers. We will get tough with them. We will continue to keep moving the legislation along.

It is one thing for opposition members to call and force an election, but then they say they do not like what they heard, they want to change that. Well, the Canadian people have spoken loudly and clearly.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, the debate is far from over. The proof is that many amendments will be presented this evening.

The Bloc Québécois's amendments are directly related to what the Quebec justice minister came to Ottawa to ask for. Canada's Minister of Justice knows very well that, in Quebec, we have developed long-term protection of the public. Everyone supports protection of the public. Everyone supports fair and severe sentences when someone commits a crime. However, the concept of rehabilitation seems to have been completely overlooked by the Conservative government, which did not listen to the Quebec justice minister. I do not understand why, once again, debate in Parliament is being muzzled.

Once again, why can the minister not accept that, in Quebec, we have a vision for the long-term protection of the public, as presented by the Quebec justice minister?

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased when I see polls. The Leger marketing poll said that over 70% of Quebeckers are supportive of our crime agenda. I am very appreciative of that and I listen to my provincial counterparts very clearly. Indeed, one of the amendments that is contained within the bill is wording that was suggested to us by the minister of justice for Quebec. Indeed, I was very pleased with previous attorneys general from Quebec for their contributions with respect to a wide range of bills.

Again, these bills have been before Parliament and the Canadian public has spoken very clearly. The bill will better protect children, law-abiding Canadians, and give a greater voice to victims. This is a good piece of legislation. Canada will be better off for it.

Bill C-10—Time Allocation MotionSafe Streets and Communities ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?