Mr. Speaker, I am rising for the second time on this bill. As we are aware, the motion that is currently before the House is the one from the third party in the House. It recommends that the bill deferred for an extended period of time for a number of reasons. With regard to that, it is an appropriate motion given the complexity of the bill, so it would be one that my party would be prepared to support.
It is obvious that the government will not to back off on this bill. Therefore, I would like to make a few other comments with regard to its approach, both what we have seen with the time allocation motion that it brought before and now passed in the House and the propensity for the Conservatives to further curtail debate in committee and perhaps when the bill comes back to the House at report stage and third reading. If this is any indication of the nature in which they will govern with a majority, it certainly strikes at the very foundation of the principles of democracy that the House is supposed to encompass. We will wait to see how the Conservatives will handle it at committee and when it comes back to the House, but I approach the bill in the way they have approached it, with a great deal of foreboding.
With regard to the contents of the history of the bill itself, in its various other incarnations, we have heard the statistics about the amount of debate that has taken place on this. The interesting part is a number of the recommendations that were passed with majority votes in committee and in the House have been ignored by the government. That certainly does not bode well for the democracy in our country.
In particular, I want to address the bill that dealt with the sexual abuse of children. That part of the bill, which we see encompassed in the larger bill today, had a great deal of debate. We took a good deal of evidence at the justice committee and it ultimately came out of the justice committee with only a couple of minor amendments. The bill basically created several new offences, which had support from all four parties at that time. In fact, two of the major new endeavours in that regard, around criminalizing the luring of children and the grooming of children for potential sexual victims, came out of NDP private member's bills over a number of years, which the government had latched onto and encompassed into what was Bill C-54 in the last Parliament.
We were quite supportive of that. The use of grooming techniques is well known. Psychologists and psychiatrists have taught us very clearly what to look for in that regard. Therefore, both the NDP private member's bill and the government bill took that into account and prohibited a number of types of conduct and imposed penalties if that conduct was deemed to have occurred and people were convicted of it.
We had concerns with that part of Bill C-54 in the sense that there were unintended consequences that I believed would occur with the mandatory minimums that the Conservatives imposed. We rarely have judges who are prepared to not sentence people who are convicted of these sexual abuses of children to time in prison. The difficulty I had with the bill was that a number of the mandatory minimums, taking away that discretion from the court as to how to best and perhaps more severely deal with the offenders, were being taken away and very rigid penalties were being imposed. I believe in some cases the result would be that we would see judges hesitating to impose more severe penalties because the mandatory minimums had now been set by the legislature.
However, we ultimately concluded, as a party, that we would allow this bill to go forward because of the new crimes that were being committed. This is really where we were going to make our children, our grandchildren, safer, by prohibiting that kind of conduct and allowing our police, prosecutors and judges to identify, convict and sentence on those types of offences.
We were quite supportive of that.
Also additional provisions were given to the judges in terms of the type of penalties they could impose, expanding them from beyond just the penalties that sentence them to prisons, but to also, when they came out, limiting access to the Internet, for instance. Only under supervised circumstances would they be able to have access to children. Those provisions were badly needed to expand the ability of our judges to control conduct after a person was released. Those were very good provisions, again, ones that we had suggested earlier on.
We are quite supportive of that kind of approach. Again, I have some reservation with regard to the mandatory minimums because they may have just the opposite consequence of what the government intends.
However, it is more important to get that law into place. Therefore, I ask for the unanimous consent of this House to move the following motion: That the provisions of Bill C-10, an act to enact the justice for victims of terrorism act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other acts with respect to sexual offences against children, and consisting of clauses 10 to 31, 35 to 38 and 42-9, do compose Bill C-10B; that the remaining provisions in Bill C-10 do compose Bill C-10A; that the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel be authorized to make any technical changes or corrections as may be necessary; that Bill C-10A and C-10B be reprinted; and that Bill C-10B be deemed to have been read the first time and be printed, deemed read the second time and referred to a committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment and deemed read the third time and passed.
The effect of this is to get that part of the bill on sexual offences against children into legislation much faster so our police, prosecutors and judges can use it to protect our children, as opposed to having to wait for we do not know how many more months before Bill C-10, as a whole, comes back to the House for final debate and/or passage.
Our intent is entirely clear on this. We want this done now. We do not want to wait another number of months. The bill sat in the Senate for a while after it passed the House, a Senate that was controlled by the government. Then we had the election and it died. We do not want to waste any more time on this. We are quite supportive of getting this bill through today, tomorrow at the latest, and on to the Senate.
That is the intent of the motion, and I would seek unanimous consent of the House to pass it today.