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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was person.

Topics

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to the Canadian section of ParlAmericas representing its participation in the 26th meeting of the executive committee and the 8th Plenary Assembly held in Asuncion, Paraguay from September 7-10, 2011.

Tanning Equipment Prohibition and Warning (Cancer Risks) ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-386, An Act to amend the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (tanning equipment) and to warn Canadians of the cancer risks of using tanning equipment.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to bring this bill before the House for consideration at first reading. I thank the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale for seconding my private member's bill.

It is timely that we consider and look at my private member's bill about tanning devices knowing that a lot of Canadians and a lot of colleagues here in the House of Commons will be shooting off for winter vacations. A lot of people like to go and jump into a tanning bed thinking they need to get that glow started before they actually get to the beach.

My bill would ensure that Canadians are aware of the cancer risks that are generated from tanning equipment. Artificial tanning beds and tanning salons are an increasing health risk.

My bill would do three things. First, it would increase labelling on tanning equipment ensuring that people see that there is a warning about cancer risks associated with using radiation emitting devices like tanning beds. Second, it would create a prohibition for youth under the age of 18 from using tanning salons and that those establishments must be well labelled, similar to what we see under the Tobacco Act of 1977. Third, the tanning salons would need to ensure that Canadians are aware that youth are not allowed to make use of those facilities, and that there are a number of different cancer risks.

In 2009, the World Health Organization, under the International Agency for Research on Cancer, moved tanning salons, tanning beds and radiation emitting devices to category one stating that they are carcinogenic to humans.

The Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Save Your Skin Foundation and the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation are all supporting my private member's bill and realize that we need to take action so we can prevent this disease from getting out of hand.

People who use artificial tanning methods increase their risk of exposure to melanoma by over 75%. Just yesterday, the Yale School of Public Health said that there was a 70% increase in risk for those who use tanning equipment, especially before the age of 30, of cancer causing basal cell carcinoma cancers.

It is important that we ensure Canadians and consumers are aware of this health risk and i encourage everyone here to avoid using tanning equipment.

On that note, I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, discussions have taken place between the parties, and I believe that you will find consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Orders or usual practices of the House, at the conclusion of Question Period today, the House shall stand adjourned until Monday, January 30, 2012, provided that, at the adjournment, the second reading motion for Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of property and persons), be deemed adopted on division and; for the purposes of Standing Order 28, the House shall be deemed to have sat on Friday, December 16, 2011.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by literally thousands of Canadians from all across Canada who call upon Parliament to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer that the world has ever known and that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial and occupational causes combined, yet Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world. They point out that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, these petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for asbestos workers and the communities in which they live, to end all government subsidies of asbestos both in Canada and abroad and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the Rotterdam Convention.

Multiple SclerosisPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have four petitions to present today.

The first one is on CCSVI. There is an absolute difference between my Bill C-280 and the government's position in terms of phase of clinical trials, start date for clinical trials, follow-up care and the need for experts.

The petitioners are therefore calling on the Minister of Health to consult experts actively engaged in diagnosis and treatment of CCSVI to undertake phase III clinical trials on an urgent basis with a large patient population not less than 100 people in multiple centres across Canada and to require follow-up care.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on climate change, our most pressing environmental issue. It is a justice issue, a human rights issue and an international security issue. It requires moral and intergenerational responsibility.

The petitioners call for the immediate and fullest attention by the government to commit to the most science-based greenhouse emission reduction targets, to facilitate the transition to the clean energy economy and to make us a world leader on climate change solutions as the government did with acid rain and ozone.

The third petition is also on climate change by faith-based groups. Worldwide, we are concerned about keeping climate change warming to 2° Celsius which is associated with dangerous climate change and that window is fast closing.

The petitioners call for collective action by signing and implementing a binding international agreement to ensure that global temperatures stay below 2° Celsius to demonstrate national responsibility to implement climate justice.

The fourth petition is on ozone. The assistant deputy minister told committee that the ozonesondes at Alert, Eureka and Resolute Bay will continue to operate. We would like to know what would happen at the seven ozonesonde stations in southern Canada to keep pollution forecasts on track.

The petitioners call upon the Minister of the Environment to develop a plan to ensure integrity of ozone monitoring and to assess the adequacy of the Canadian contributions to the global—

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I thank the hon. member.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

December 15th, 2011 / 10:10 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from December 1 consideration of the motion that Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of property and persons), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for York South—Weston has three minutes left for his speech.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, part of this bill is a reprise of a bill that was put forward originally by the member for Trinity—Spadina in Toronto, called the Lucky Moose bill, after a store owner in her riding who, after a robbery, arrested a man by himself and then was himself charged with forceable confinement after apprehending the suspect.

The second part of the bill has to do with a redefinition in the Criminal Code of what constitutes self-defence in law, in other words, what issues can and what circumstances can give rise to the successful application of the self-defence principle and, therefore, allow a person to remain immune from prosecution because of his or her actions.

With regard to the first part, I would remind hon. members that in my previous speech I talked about a personal event in which I arrested a suspect who had been robbing cars along the street and who was clearly inebriated. I, at some personal risk, took the steps of apprehending him and calling the police. The police came in great numbers because they knew I had caught somebody, an ambulance came because he had cut himself, and the firemen came, too. When I asked the firemen why they were there, they said, “If he catches on fire, we'll put him out”.

However, my point is that I acted with some immediate feeling of necessity without thinking what the law might say. In fact, I was probably outside the law because it was not my property.

The second occasion that I gave an example of was of an ice cream truck in my riding that had been held up at gun point. This is the more concerning of the two portions of the bill: the issue of whether the definition of self-defence now has expanded to include the ability to defend someone else, the ability to enter into a robbery in progress or any other threatening situation as a bystander and attempt to defend the life or the property of someone else using this self-defence law.

The law, as it currently stands, would seem to limit the ability of people to defend themselves. That is the limit upon which that law is based.

However, it appears that the law would now be expanded to include the ability to defend a third party. We think that might lead to vigilantism and therefore would require more discussion at committee in a fulsome way with many witnesses.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and all the members in the House a merry Christmas and happy new year.

The member mentioned that this bill seems to create a grey area with respect to the method of intervention. Could the member give more details on his concerns about this grey area in specific situations?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Madam Speaker, that is precisely our fear. The apparent expansion of the definition of self-defence, because it is somewhat unclear in the legislation, to include a person not being in harm's way but defending someone else who is in harm's way could, we fear, lead to unintended consequences. The example I gave was of the ice cream truck being held up at gunpoint, which ended peacefully. No one was injured.

However, if this law had been in place, one could imagine that a citizen from a dwelling nearby may decide to take action using self-defence as the reason for taking action and cause much greater harm than was caused at the time.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, it is somewhat refreshing that we are debating Bill C-26. One could argue the merits of the bill because we see an active interest from citizens to be able to protect their property. Yet some concerns have been expressed with regard to the whole vigilante concept. We do not want to put people in situations where their involvement creates more danger. We hope the government will pay attention to what is happening at the committee stage.

Does the NDP have some amendments it would like to put forward on this bill at this time?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Madam Speaker, the NDP is certainly considering whether this bill is in fact what it says it is: merely a clarification of the right to self-defence. We will not know until there has been fulsome discussion in committee with many witnesses and representations from police forces, prosecutors and defence attorneys about whether this bill would actually solve the problems they see with the self-defence jurisprudence or whether it would create new problems.

We will not know whether New Democrats have particular amendments until after the bill has gone through committee. However, we hope that in this particular case the government will listen to potential amendments. We hope the government will work with us to create a clearer bill that has a better chance of actually being useful to Canadians.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, I am still concerned with elements of this bill. I appreciate the efforts by my colleague from York South—Weston to explain the inconsistencies inherent in the Criminal Code associated with the right to self-defence. I am interested in his personal experience in trying to detain someone in the act of a crime, or the rights of an individual.

I am particularly concerned with the legal interpretation. When there is ambiguity, one has to look at the intent of Parliament when that clause was crafted. Chief Justice Lamer pointed out that Parliament must have intended section 34 to be limited to unprovoked assaults because it went on to enact section 35 to deal specifically with situations where the accused was the initial aggressor.

Can my colleague bring any clarity to the intent then and the intent of Parliament now as expressed in Bill C-26?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Madam Speaker, yes, indeed, we have hit upon the nub of the concern in law. This particular self-defence clause in the Criminal Code has been on the books for over 100 years. It is the subject of much jurisprudence, which would appear to have twisted the original intent, giving perpetrators of crime the ability to use self-defence as a way of escaping punishment for their actions. That twisting of the law by jurisprudence is part of what the present bill would appear to try to solve.

However, New Democrats are not certain if the clarification that this bill provides goes too far. If the clarification creates a system in which vigilantism becomes possible, that is something we are opposed to. We do not accept that citizens become vigilantes who attempt to enforce the law and defend other citizens from harm in a manner which will cause more harm. That is one of our concerns with this bill.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence ActGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to know whether my colleague agrees with me. The original idea of protecting people who defend their property is a good one, but what I am questioning is the context in which this bill was introduced. It was introduced as the last in a series of tough on crime bills, as they like to say on the other side. I see a danger for this to be interpreted differently by the people who support this type of policy. I fear that people will start acting like police officers and intervene in all kinds of situations. I think we should be cautious and think about this bill carefully to prevent people from thinking they are on a mission from God and intervening in all kinds of situations.