Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), (b), (c), and (d), Bill C-10 is a comprehensive bill that includes reforms that were previously proposed in nine bills introduced in the last session of Parliament.
Bill C-10 includes the following former bills: Bill C-4, Sébastien’s Law (Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders), proposed to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act;
Bill C-5, the Keeping Canadians Safe Act, proposed to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act;
Bill C-16, known as the Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders Act, proposed Criminal Code amendments to prevent the use of conditional sentences for serious and violent offences;
Bill C-23B, the Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act, proposed to amend the Criminal Records Act to expand the period of ineligibility to apply for a record suspension, currently referred to as a pardon, and to make record suspensions unavailable for certain offences and for persons who have been convicted of more than three offences prosecuted by indictment;
Bill C-39, the Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act, proposed amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to support victims of crime, and to address inmate accountability and responsibility and the management of offenders;
Bill C-54, the Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act, proposed Criminal Code amendments to better protect children against sexual abuse, including by increasing the penalties for these offences and creating two new offences aimed at certain conduct that could facilitate or enable the commission of a sexual offence against a child;
Bill C-56, the Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act, proposed to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to authorize immigration officers to refuse work permits where it would protect vulnerable foreign nationals against exploitation, including sexual exploitation;
Bill S-7, the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, proposed reforms to allow victims of terrorism to sue terrorists and supporters of terrorism, including listed foreign states;
Bill S-10, the Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act, proposed amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to provide mandatory minimum penalties for serious drug offences, including when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes, or if they involve targeting youth, or where other stated aggravating factors are present.
Pursuant to subsection 4.1(1) of the Department of Justice Act, the Minister of Justice is required to examine every government bill presented to the House of Commons in order to ascertain whether any of its provisions are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the charter, and to report to the House of Commons on any such inconsistency.
Each of the component bills that make up Bill C-10 were reviewed for consistency with the purposes and relevant provisions of the charter. Such reviews constitute legal advice and are subject to solicitor-client privilege. The Minister of Justice is confident that Bill C-10 is not inconsistent with the charter.
In response to (e), notices of constitutional challenge to provisions of the Criminal Code and other federal statutes are considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally the attorney general of the province where the challenge is brought, namely the attorney general that has prosecuted the offence, would respond to the challenge. The Attorney General of Canada determines on a case-by-case basis whether to intervene to defend the constitutional validity, particularly at the appellate level. Where the Attorney General of Canada does not intervene, our officials provide assistance as needed to the attorney general of the province to do so.
The Attorney General of Canada has sufficient capacity to defend the constitutional validity of the provisions of Bill C-10 and/or to assist the attorneys general of the provinces to do so.
In response to (f), the government does not intend to amend Bill C-10 in light of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in R. v. Smickle.
The Attorney General of Ontario has filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal for Ontario