House of Commons Hansard #249 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2017 / 5:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member, who is the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I was very pleased to serve with him as the vice-chair for two years, and I respect his leadership and his chairmanship of that committee. He does an awesome job, and he takes a balanced approach. He is willing to listen, so I commend him on his role there.

I was happy to participate in the debate on Bill C-51 at his committee. He gave me the opportunity to ask questions to the witnesses in regard to leaving in section 176 of the Criminal Code.

I am disappointed that the justice minister even presented the bill with the removal of section 176. I do not know what in the world she was thinking, but it was a disappointment. When Canadians recognized that it was in there, when we as politicians brought it to their attention, they overwhelmingly responded to the justice committee, to the justice minister, to the Prime Minister. The committee listened and realized it is hugely important to Canadians that protection for religious services, for clergy, for religious officiants be enshrined in the Criminal Code. We need that protection. It is important to all Canadians that we have that freedom, and we want to protect that.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

5:50 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here listening to the description of omnibus bills and I must say that when I was on city council and we heard that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper was passing an omnibus bill, we were thrilled. We thought it was a transit plan. We were wrong. It was not a transit plan.

The comparison of that particular bill to this one is remarkable. This legislation would amend the Criminal Code. It is all contained within one single ministry. I will talk about the changes a bit later.

By comparison, Bill C-43, was close to 600 pages long. This will perhaps help some members of the New Democratic Party to remember what a real omnibus bill looks like, especially if they are new to the legislature.

Let me read some of the acts that were changed by Bill C-43: the Income Tax Act, the child fitness tax credit, the Income Tax Regulations, and the Excise Tax Act. A selected list of financial institutions was impacted as was the Excise Act, 2001.

There was intellectual property, the Industrial Design Act, and the amendments to the act and exclusive right. There was also the Patent Act and the biological materials. There was also the Aeronautics Act, the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act and the enactment of act for that. As well, there were transitional provisions, consequential amendments, and the Access to Information Act.

To continue, there was the Financial Administration Act; the Privacy Act; the Public Service Superannuation Act; the Criminal Code, which is what we are dealing with here today, one single act. As well, there was the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act; the Radiocommunication Act; administrative monetary penalties; the Revolving Funds Act, with an amendment to that as well.

Under the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration there was another set of acts and that is when the government went to court and pulled this out because the Supreme Court overruled some of the government's changes to the Criminal Code nine times. The government pulled medical assistance and health care for refugees, one of the cruellest acts of Parliament in the history of this country. That was buried in the middle of Bill C-43.

I am not even halfway through the list of acts that were amended by Bill C-43.

The Royal Canadian Mint Act was impacted by the omnibus bill. There was the Investment Canada Act with amendments as well. There were also related amendments to the economic action plan. The Broadcasting Act was hit, as was the Telecommunications Act. There was the amendment to the general administrative monetary penalties. There were also provisions for both administrative monetary penalties schemes and coordinating amendments. The list goes on.

The Northwest Territories Act was impacted. The Employment Insurance Act was touched. The government even opened up the Canada-Chile free trade agreement. There was the Canada Marine Act, where marine ports were given legislative powers and planning powers that superceded municipalities. Nobody was consulted on that. Members were not even consulted on the Canada Marine Act. That was one of the most egregious things that the Conservative government did.

That government gave power to the port authorities to basically override and ignore local planning authorities, local decisions, and local plans made on any property that it acquired. In other words, the government could rezone property retroactively after it purchased it, which meant it could buy low-income property, property with low purchase prices, and then suddenly turn it into something much more valuable, like residential property, in order to turn a profit so it could then fund its programs. The government could not actually fund its programs based on the way the Canada Marine Act was configured. This drove cities across the country insane because it was so ill-conceived. It ran so roughshod over local planning and local real estate laws. It was amazing. At the end, the government had to pull many of those provisions off the table because it was such an egregious piece of legislation.

There were also changes to the DNA Identification Act. There were amendments to the act and establishment and contents. There was the comparison of profiles and communication. There was also the removal of access to information that was changed. The list goes on.

There was the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. There was also the Public Health Agency. The Conservative government split the position of the chief of the Public Health Agency of this country into two, one who reported to cabinet and one who reported directly to the government.

Bill C-43 was a budget bill by the way. All of the acts they changed were administrative changes made to important parts of the department. The Conservatives also reduced the fees for bee breeding, one of my favourites.

They also increased tax on hospital parking. They thought if someone was going to visit his or her mother in hospital and they could find a way to tax that visit, they would do that. That was part of the omnibus bill.

What we said in our campaign promise was explicit. We said that budget bills would remain budget bills. Much of what the NDP complains about when they talk about omnibus bills is our budget enactment bills, which are omnibus bills by their very nature. They are exactly the kind we promised to sustain.

Budgets are not done one clause at a time. When fundamental policies across the breadth of government are changed, it is a coordinated budget, a coordinated piece of legislation, and we exempted that from our prohibition on omnibus acts. The legislation we introduced to prevent omnibus acts, which the opposition has used effectively in this term of Parliament, excludes budget acts for the very reason that a budget has to be passed all at once, otherwise we end up with a thousand votes and a thousand clauses.

I wait to see an NDP government in B.C. pass the budget clause-by-clause. It will take it six years to do that, and my sense after today's decision on the dam is that it may not have six years.

The issue we are talking about here today is reforms to the Criminal Code. The reforms are extraordinarily important. There are some elements of the code that are nuisance laws. There is a law prohibiting crime comics in our country. That would be taken away. There are rules and regulations that have existed and been on the books for a number of years that just do not make sense anymore. Those would be cleaned up as part of this process.

However, we are also bringing forth some critically important changes to the way sexual assault is prosecuted in the courts. We are taking steps to protect women and other vulnerable individuals who are sexually assaulted. Those deal with a comprehensive set of rules and regulations that tie together evidence laws and some of the practices and procedures in the court system. They need to be brought together in a bill because that is the way it is done. If we are going to make comprehensive change, we have to unite the issues and items that are related under a single ministry, or statute, or a single set of laws, like the Criminal Code, and make those changes as part of a comprehensive process. That is what is happening. This is not an omnibus bill. These are amendments to the Criminal Code. This is a legal bill coming from the Minister of Justice, and it is an appropriate set of bills.

The last thing I want to talk about is the changes to be made. I was a member of Parliament in the last session and watched as committees refused to entertain any conversation with anyone. That included not only the opposition but the witnesses. There were a number of times when Conservative members would come and tell me there was a mistake made in the drafting of legislation. I remember one instance dealing pharmacare and pharmacy regulations. Every single witness, the doctors, the hospitals, the patients' rights groups, the medical officials, and the science community, came forward and said “You made a small mistake here”. One of the opposition members said, “I know we've made that mistake, but we're not allowed to fix it. The Senate has said it will entertain no motions of change, at all, ever”. In fact, we would be hard pressed to find an amendment that was made to any bill that was printed for any committee over the last four years.

What we have in this process is a piece of legislation that was drafted. Through the committee process, with good evidence from Canadians coming forward, and our listening to that evidence, and members of the opposition and members of the government talking about how to make a bill better, which is in fact the committee process, rules were changed and the law was changed. That is as it should be. The notion that we can land a piece of legislation perfectly and never make a change to it ever again is absurd. It is the wrong way to approach Parliament. It is the wrong way to approach committees.

It does not mean that every opposition motion or amendment will be passed. That is wishful thinking, quite frankly. What it does mean is that when a good suggestion comes forward, the committee should seize that issue and the points raised and modify laws. That is the way a good committee process works. That is the way a good Parliament works, and we are being told we are weak or made a mistake because we did that.

The previous government was arrogant. We saw time and again the Harper government land legislation that it deemed to be perfect and not to be debated in the House, let alone changed at committee level and listened to by Canadians. Even the Senate, where they had a majority, would not entertain motions of change. The legislation was paralyzed from point of introduction to point of enactment. That is not good democracy. That is not good government, and that certainly is not a good parliamentary process.

Yes, a motion was changed. I expect good debate to change motions and to make them better, because as the Prime Minister often says, “better is always possible”. The opposite side often has good ideas. I have sat with them in conversation about a number of different projects and proposals, and asked them to get us to a better spot, because as I said, that is the way good legislation emerges.

We are here to listen and to talk. We are here to debate. We are also here to have conversations, and when those conversations result in reasonable propositions coming forward that fix legislation and make it better, our government, as a good government, is always going to be there to listen to Canadians, parliamentarians, and caucus. It will listen to differing views on all sides of the issues. I am proud to be part of a government that does that.

I am also proud to be part of a government that has put procedural mechanisms in place for House so that when a complex bill moves forward and the Speaker is asked to rule on whether or not it is an omnibus bill, there is a methodology, a process, that will allow that bill to be split so that members can vote differently on different parts of the legislation. That is not a bad thing, but a good thing. It does not mean that every one of the bills we present will be perfect. We are not expecting perfection on any side of the House. What we are looking for is honest effort, good contributions, solid thinking, wise Canadians being brought to Parliament to participate in the committee process so that all Canadians when they see legislation passed can see their voice reflected.

I want to remind the House about the omnibus legislation the opposition talks about. It is ludicrous to suggest that a budget cannot be passed unless there is clause by clause. Budgets are complete sets of expenditures, programs, and development. That is how they will be presented. The opposition can hue and cry about it all it wants, but it is wrong.

It is wrong on this legislation. It is wrong to characterize the other complex bills as omnibus simply because several ideas under a single ministry are brought together as a comprehensive set of reforms. That kind of complaint is really just wrong. A former New Democrat in Toronto used to talk about it and said that when the opposition complained about the process, it had conceded the argument. All it is trying to do now is just dumb us up with a conversation about process. We have seen that happen a couple of times in the House this session.

When legislation is brought forward that gives the opposition the right to challenge it as omnibus, it can avail itself of that process. Why is the opposition not doing it on this bill? It is because on this bill the opposition happens to understand why the bill is being brought into concert. It understands the process it went through as it went through the committee. We can actually hear the opposition members say that they effectively support the bill.

What are the opposition members talking about when they complain about the bill. They are complaining about something that was taken out already. In other words, they are complaining about being listened to. If the opposition members are going to be complaining about being listened to, how else are we going to engage with them, if they are not going to talk to us anymore? How else can we engage with them? When we listen to them, it is a good thing. They should be thanking us for it. Instead what the opposition members are trying to do is knock us down because of it. That is absurd.

This legislation, which is on its last few hours of debate, is an incredibly important for the reform of the way sexual assault is treated in the legal system. It also gets rid of a bunch of laws that really should not be on the books anymore. Every now and then governments need to do that as part of the Criminal Code reform.

At the end of the day, the legislation will be supported by the bulk of the members in the House, based on the speeches I have heard today, because government in fact did work with consensus, did work with the committee, and did work with the committee chair to make the changes that needed to made. For that, I am happy.

However, if the opposition members would like to go back to debating omnibus bill, I have Bill C-43 in front of me. I also have the other omnibus bills the Conservatives passed. If the members want disconnected pieces of legislation that go off in all directions at once, with sound and fury signifying, unfortunately, too much and too little, members can refer back to the previous Parliament. Then we can talk about real omnibus legislation. Real changes to fundamental policies that affected Canadians were slipped in, not mentioned in the budget speech, not printed in the budget book, not brought together as a cohesive or coherent economic argument, but simply added to a budget bill, and then made into a mandatory vote with no changes being proposed at committee.

That is what an omnibus bill is. This is not an omnibus bill under any definition of the word.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I had to stand because of the speech my colleague just gave. He talked about how his government was open to amendments proposed by the opposition. Let me share an experience that counters what the member has said.

In my committee, I brought forward a number of amendments to a bill that the government brought forward. The amendments were actually recommended by the majority Liberal committee, yet my committee, which is a majority Liberal committee, rejected those amendments.

Perhaps the member could explain this to me. What is the purpose of members of the opposition working hard, looking at a bill, looking at what committees are recommending, considering what witnesses have said to strengthen to the bill, and then just flat out rejecting them, presumably, because the government of day does not want any amendments.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would have to look at the particular amendments to which the member is speaking.

I know as a parliamentary secretary, it is expected that I vote with the government each and every time, yet I know I have the freedom to stand in the House and support amendments that are tabled and opposition private member's bills. We have much more latitude as a government than I think any other party that has ever ruled has had.

When it comes to the particular committee and the particular amendments, without being given the exact example, it is hard to comment specifically.

What I do know is that in the process of evaluating opposition proposed amendments, consultation happens. We do not just consult with the people who appear at the committee. We also talk to staff members in departments. We also talk to other members of caucus. Sometimes unintended consequences of proposed legislation gets a reconsideration.

I have talked to members of the opposite side. Fundamentally sound amendments that come forward with which we agree, we will vote for and support. We do not look at the origin of the amendment in order to support it. We take a look at the essence of the amendment, the essence of how that amendment might affect the legislation that is in front of us, and we make a public decision about what we can and cannot support. It is a dialogue.

I assure the member opposite that reasonable amendments we can come to a consensus on will get the support of members. If we disagree with them, we will not support them. I sit as the parliamentary secretary on a committee and I have never told a single member of that committee how to vote.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the great honour of serving as one of the vice-chairs on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I have been on a few committees, but I have to honestly say that I have never had a better experience than being on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in this Parliament. Everyone who serves on the committee approaches their job with a lot of care, compassion, and responsibility, and it is because of the nature of the subject matter that comes before committee.

My experience, whether dealing with various studies on access to justice or criminal justice bills, has always been a positive one and I feel there are always good conversations in that respect. We made some good amendments that reflected the popular will of the people, notably with section 176. I received an avalanche of correspondence from people all across the country, for whom section 176 had deep, symbolic value. I am glad that all parties could come to an agreement on leaving that section in.

The Minister of Justice has stated many times that criminal justice reform is very important to the Liberal government. As we are about to send Bill C-51 off to the other place, I wonder if the parliamentary secretary could comment on the status of Bill C-39, because that has some incredibly important provisions that need to be amended in the Criminal Code. We have heard reference to the Vader case, in which an incorrect verdict was rendered because of an obsolete section of the Criminal Code. It also deals with a section that still criminalizes abortion.

If criminal justice reform is so important to the government and we are now past the two-year mark, can he offer any insight as to when we will see further steps in the government's agenda on criminal justice reform?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, criminal justice reform, after 10 years of the previous government, is badly needed. I see the impacts of it in the city that I represent daily, monthly, and yearly. As we move forward with a new approach to criminal justice, we will see collections of bills move forward under the Minister of Justice.

One of the issues I am concerned about is the arbitrariness with which judges are being treated and some of the mandatory minimum sentences that would remove the ability of judges to do what they are paid to do, which is to listen to evidence and make decisions based on evidence presented in court, not ideology presented on the floor of Parliament. It does not mean that all mandatory sentences are bad. In extraordinarily serious cases, we know there are standards that society expects us to sustain. However, in my city, there is a situation where, quite often, young people charged with having guns are on a five-year cycle of going into jail and coming out together. We can almost guess, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, year by year, which community is going to be impacted, because five years earlier there was a raid in that community. Everyone goes into prison together, everyone comes out together, and there has been very little reform.

We also know that in the criminal justice system a lot of the programs were cancelled. It was not just the prison farms that were cancelled, a lot of the reform practices in the Canadian penitentiary system were stripped as part of budget cuts, and it has left inmates coming out of prison, having served their time, in a horrible state. We know there need to be changes in a whole series of those fronts.

We also know that in Ontario, in particular, the incarceration rate for Canadians of African descent, black Canadians, is off the chart. Young people in our cities who are of Caribbean or African descent and have been here for 200 to 300 years are being charged differently, sentenced differently, and do their time differently. We know that criminal justice needs to be reformed.

I look forward to conversations with the committee, which is clearly working well, and to the amendments that I know the justice minister is working on, to bring forward some of these changes so that our criminal justice system not only protects Canadians, but also reforms criminals to prevent us from having to deal with repeat offenders. We need to make sure we get smart on crime, not just tough on crime. The previous government was so convinced that it could punish its way into a safer Canada that, quite frankly, it lost sight of the fact that we need to reform prisoners and change their behaviour, because they will get out at some point.

The way people go through the prison system also needs to be changed, and that involves not having mandatory minimum sentences necessarily, but the appropriate sentences with the appropriate reforms and appropriate rehabilitation put in place so that we protect people and also protect society in the long run. When I hear the opposition talking about a collaborative process and a process of consensus, it makes me very happy that the conversations are going to be rich ones and will bring the full experience of all Canadians to the table when decisions are made.

I look forward to the legislation that the member is talking about being further debated, as well as other changes to the Criminal Code moving forward, because, as I said, we need to get smart on crime, not just tough on crime. We need to make Canada safe, but we also need to make sure we keep Canada safe by making sure the prison system does not create more criminals.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the thoughts of the parliamentary secretary on the one part of this bill that does not simply make amendments to the Criminal Code, but to the Department of Justice Act. That, I guess, is why some are calling it an omnibus bill, though I do not agree with that. I am referring to the requirement that a charter statement accompany every government bill, whether it is with respect to criminal or non-criminal law. Does the member thinks that really adds much value to the way we do business in this House?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think it does. When we surface the charter and the way it frames legislation, it gives us a sense that the laws presented here have been thought of in the context of the charter.

In the previous sessions of Parliament, we saw bills that were immediately struck down by the Supreme Court. While the Harper government loved to jump up and shout about its wonderful legislation, the reality was that the legislation was not charter-compliant. As a result, people's lives were impacted. A lot of time was wasted, quite frankly, because the previous government did not respect the charter when it drafted legislation. While not every single bill necessarily has a weighty argument attached to it, I think every bill that is drafted and presented as law or government policy should be charter-compliant. It should be screened against that, because it adds information and context, rather than our simply guessing whether it is charter-compliant. We would know what the government lawyers and the departments thought of the legislation as they drafted it, which is good information to have. It does not mean that it necessarily is charter-compliant. The judges have a role and the judiciary have a role, but it is a worthy comparison.

I also think that with very contentious issues, it is important to think about the charter at the beginning of the process, not after a bill has gone through the Senate and on to royal assent. It is part of an enriched environment that puts the charter at the centre of what we do here, which means that people's rights will be at the centre of what we do. As we can see from our national housing strategy, that is the way this government likes to roll.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a great honour to be the last speaker today on this particular bill. I want to start by thanking several of my colleagues who had to cover for me in the earlier part of the session when, due to a family situation, I was unable to be here for the first sitting weeks of Parliament and unable to participate in the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. That was during the time when Bill C-51 came before the committee, and I just want to signify my appreciation for the colleagues who did that important work on my behalf.

I have heard comments in this House referring to Bill C-51 as an omnibus bill. With respect, I would have to disagree with those comments. The true sense of omnibus legislation refers to a bill that amends multiple different federal statutes, whereas with Bill C-51, we see all the amendments grouped thematically and really centred on cleaning up the Criminal Code, those redundant and obsolete sections, clarifying the language, and also providing direction to the Minister of Justice in providing a charter statement. Of course, there are consequential amendments to other acts and transitional provisions, but on the face of it, Bill C-51 is an appropriate bill. Some may balk at the length of the bill, but I would say to those members that just underlines the state our Criminal Code is in.

The Criminal Code is a very massive federal statute. It has been added to over the decades, and is a law that needs a lot of cleanup. In fact, legal scholars have been calling for us to act on these provisions for decades now. They have resulted in some real problems in case law. Unless Parliament provides for the amendments, the Criminal Code gets faithfully reproduced with all of its mistakes year after year.

It is heartening to see the charter statement contained in the bill. I will commend the government on starting that process, where the government at least puts forward its arguments with respect to why it thinks a particular piece of legislation infringes on the charter and why it thinks it is going to be okay. That is a starting place for us to have a fulsome debate in this place. As to whether we will always agree with it, that of course remains another question.

We are encouraged that the sections that help clarify Canada's sexual assault laws are in there. When we talk about our sexual assault laws, the big topic of conversation in Canadian political and public discourse is on consent. We need a lot of education among our youth and all members of society on what consent actually means. It is one thing to codify it in the Criminal Code, but not many people outside this chamber and the court system have the opportunity to read the Criminal Code. We also need to have that robust public education campaign to make sure everyone in society knows exactly what consent means and what the ramifications are of it.

On the sexual assault provisions, I will go over a few of the things the legislation is aiming to do. It is aiming to clarify specifically section 273.1, which is going to reflect the Supreme Court's decision in R. v. J.A. It is amending section 273.2, which clarifies the defence of a mistaken belief of consent. It is not available if the mistake is based on a mistake of law, for example, if an accused believed that the complainant's failure to resist or protest meant that the complainant consented.

This was a pretty heavy part of the committee's study. This part of the bill is quite complex, where a slight turn of the phrase or a different word used can certainly have some big ramifications. When I was on that committee, a lot of that testimony really informed some of the amendments the NDP made at that committee. Of course, thanks to my colleagues who took my place during some of the important testimony we heard.

We moved three main amendments that, unfortunately, were not passed at committee. While I respect my Liberal colleagues' arguments against those provisions, I think the law is an organic thing. We do our best to write the law in this place, but of course it will have to withstand the test of time within our courts, and those ultimately will be the judge of who was right and who was wrong in this case.

At committee, we tried to amend clause 10 to clean up the language to include the reason that a complainant would not have the capacity to understand the nature of the activity or would not be aware that she or he was obliged to consent to the activity. Therefore, we were concerned that the definition of incapacity might not have been entirely clear. There were some questions over whether the law was relying too heavily on a person's being unconscious and not looking at other forms of incapacity such as being drugged or something like that. Someone may not necessarily be unconscious, but could still be incapable of consenting to the activity that is going on.

We also heard of a complainant's expectation of privacy. We moved an amendment that reflected the need to clarify the admissibility of a complainant's private records at trial that would be in the hands of the accused. We heard some really great testimony from Professor Emma Cunliffe from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.

I was proud to move those amendments and argued as forcefully as I could, ultimately to no avail, but I still respect the work we did at committee and that we are finally at a stage now where Bill C-51 is on the launching pad and ready to go to the other place.

This bill also seeks to clarify and amend a number of sections of the Criminal Code that are redundant and obsolete. Some of those sections, I can go over. It would repeal section 71, provoking a person to fight in a duel or accepting such a challenge. Of course, in modern Canadian society that is no longer going on. It would repeal advertising a reward for the return of stolen property no questions asked, under section 43; and, of course, it would repeal the section on the possession of crime comics, from another age in Canada when people thought these would corrupt our youth. Of course, we know that to be a bit outdated in this day and age. One of my favourite clauses repeals the section on people fraudulently pretending to practise witchcraft. These sections serve to show how out of date many sections of our Criminal Code are and, of course, why we need this particular clause.

I will end on one of the most positive parts of our study of this bill, and that had to do with section 176. When members first read the bill at second reading, the proposed repeal of section 176 was simply a line item. It became obvious over the summer months that this particular section had deep symbolic value to many religious communities across Canada. I know that many of my colleagues and I received a lot of correspondence from people who felt that the section should be kept in the Criminal Code because of today's climate of religious intolerance. I believe that repealing it would have sent the wrong message. I am very pleased that we as a committee, indeed all parties, came together to keep that section and the fact that we reached consensus to modernize the language and so on and so forth.

With that, I will end on the fact that the bill is an important first step. We in the NDP are eagerly awaiting news from the Liberal government on when it will move ahead with Bill C-39, because that bill includes some very important provisions of the Criminal Code that need to be dealt with. I hope that the current government, with its emphasis on criminal justice reform, heeds those requests and moves forward with that particular bill.

With that, I will conclude my speech. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to this bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my friend that the bill is moving forward and removing things that are archaic. I wonder why, though, we have not dealt with something called the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act from the last Parliament which made illegal things that are already illegal, like killing someone because they marry outside the family's wishes, or forcing someone into an illegal marriage. All of these things were already illegal, and I believe that the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act belongs in the same category as banning witchcraft.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question illustrates the comprehensive reform that is needed with respect to the Criminal Code, and I am in complete agreement with her. While I was not fortunate enough to sit in the previous Parliament, I did work for the great Jean Crowder. We were opposed to that motive of the government to lump in those kinds of crimes, and I think that is a section that absolutely needs to be looked at.

Again, I will have to go back to my comments on Bill C-39. We hope that with the government purporting to be serious about criminal justice reform, we get to see some movement on these important bills coming in the near future.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is the House ready for the question?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed from December 7 consideration of Bill C-24, An Act to amend the Salaries Act and to make a consequential amendment to the Financial Administration Act, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It being perilously close to 6:30 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Thursday, December 7, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-24.

Call in the members.

The question is on Motion No. 1. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 2 to 4.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #433

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I declare Motion No. 1 defeated. I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2 to 4 also defeated.

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

Salaries ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.