House of Commons Hansard #332 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am not here to rebut that. It is simply something I mentioned that I would like to see discussed. If there are those concerns and reasons for why the legislation does not include that, I would certainly hope there would be robust discussion around that. The Conservatives have always stood up for the safety and well-being of children and families. Therefore, I would suggest that a good discussion around the issue should be held when the committee studies it.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is as follows: the hon. member for Bow River, The Environment.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Edmonton Griesbach.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that divorce is a very terrible thing. It can be a traumatic experience for families, children and parents. However, when it does occur, it really is imperative that the best interests of children should be at the heart of any divorce proceeding they may be caught up in.

According to the 2016 census, more than two million Canadian children are now living in separated or divorced families and 38% of the five million separations and divorces in Canada between 1991 and 2011 involved a child. Therefore, divorce has, sadly, become a regular part of the lives of everyday Canadians. With this legislation, we really have a duty to try to minimize the trauma of divorce as much as possible, especially on children.

Overall, the intention of Bill C-78 is good. I am especially glad to hear the legislation will be centred on the child. Too often, children become pawns in bitter divorces. We have all heard those heart-wrenching horror stories.

A woman near and dear to my heart has been going through a living hell, battling to get what is best for her daughter for years after her divorce. Under shared custody, the daughter was succeeding in school and attending regularly, especially when she was at her mother's home. However, at subsequent family court appearances, the daughter's dad managed to convince the family court it would be in the best interest to have the daughter spend all of her time at his residence. After that happened, the teenage daughter's marks plummeted. She missed a ridiculous amount of school and got into trouble with police. It is a very sad story.

Despite fighting tirelessly in family court, this woman's daughter is now hopelessly alienated because one parent wanted to punish the other. This child was used as a weapon and essentially brainwashed by one parent to punish the other parent. This daughter will now no longer speak to her mother, her grandmother, her aunts, uncles or young nieces and nephews, who absolutely adore her.

Alienation is one of the most terrible things that can be inflicted upon a child. It is something that can literally ruin a person's life and could take years of psychological help to overcome.

Part of the problem I have witnessed in family court is people who appear there do not even testify under oath. Remarkably, there is no requirement to actually tell the truth. Therefore, how can a judge truly make a correct decision in the best interests of the child if there is little or no ability to compel people to tell the truth? It is really quite ludicrous and it is no wonder that some people criticize family courts as kangaroo courts.

That is also why subsection 16(10) of the act is an important first step and states the principle that children should have as much contact with each parent within the confines of their best interest. It also takes into account the willingness of the parent to facilitate visitation as a consideration in custody disputes. It is a move that will penalize parents who, for petty reasons, try to limit visitation and access of the child or children to the other parent. It is a positive first step to ensure that even in acrimonious divorces, the best interests of the child are always first and foremost, and that is as it should be.

Promoting the use of alternative dispute resolutions, such as divorce mediation, to settle divorce cases is also an encouraging move. It should help make divorce proceedings as amicable as possible in very bitter situations at times.

Being caught up in the middle of an acrimonious divorce is never in the best interests of children. Therefore, taking steps to create a valuable alternative to litigation in family court is a sensible idea. It obviously would not solve the worst of cases, like the case I mentioned, but it is a start. If done correctly, it could have a meaningful impact for millions of Canadians.

Ultimately, Canadian children are best served when the custody and divorce proceedings are as harmonious as possible, with both parents having a meaningful relationship with their children.

A third important part of the legislation is the introduction of measures on combatting domestic violence and child abuse. That is a laudable goal. Having dispute mechanisms and courts taking into consideration domestic violence and child abuse is imperative, considering the move to a more dual parenting framework.

As I stated before, it is always in the best interests of the child to have both of their parents having meaningful relationships. That, however, is definitely not the case in situations where one of the parents is violent, neglectful or abusive. I see the government is committed to creating 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. That is another positive step, especially considering the extraordinarily slow pace the current government has taken in appointing badly needed new justices and judges. Let us certainly hope they appoint them a lot faster than they have been filling other judicial vacancies.

Unfortunately, my colleagues across the aisle's support of the best interests of children rings somewhat hollow. Let us talk about another case from the headlines about which everybody is talking.

It is the case of Terri-Lynn McClintic, a convicted child murderer who is now living at a healing lodge. Canadians are saying, loudly and clearly, that she should be back behind bars. The Liberals are refusing to act on that, saying that the Conservatives are ambulance chasers, that we are just creating this whole controversy and that it is very low of us. However, all we are doing is reflecting on what the father wants. He has spoken about it very clearly on CBC and other media.

For instance, I just am not sure how it can be said that promoting the best interests of the child is best served. She was murdered. The Liberals talk about promoting the best interests of the child in this legislation, yet her murderer is not even behind bars. She is in a healing lodge. Would Tori's best interests not be ensured by her murderer being held behind bars?

I also do not see how having a child murderer at a healing lodge is in the best interests of the children who are often present there, yet this is the position the members across the way supported in votes. It is really enraging Canadians. One day there is what seems to be a flippant disregard for what is Tori Stafford's best interests and the best interests of children at that healing lodge. Then on the next day we hear the Liberals' talking points about this bill and how much they care about children. It is rather shameful, to be honest.

This is also the case with Bill C-75, the government's new crime bill. Again, l am not sure how many parts of that bill mesh with the priority of the best interests of the child, which my colleagues across the aisle seem to believe today. How is giving a mere fine in the best interests of children who are forced into marriage, or marriage under the age of 16 or the abduction of a child under the age of 16? How does that act in the best interests of the child? I fail to see that.

How do any of these reforms put the interests of the child first? Very simply put, I do not believe they do and that it is not the government's position. If the minister would like to truly put children first, as she should, I recommend she do so in a consistent manner and go forward from there.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a question that relates to the member's statement, if I heard it correctly, that family courts resemble kangaroo courts. It prompted me to think about the problems we have with overly litigious family law matters, that people are prompted to get to court far too quickly and far too often and it has acrimonious consequences, including the ones on children outlined by my friend.

What we have here is a goal which is twofold. One part of it is to reduce the necessity of going to court. We have established that in law by making provisions such that one could have an income support calculation or recalculation out of court. In fact, lawyers would be required under this new law to encourage people not to go to court. When the case would get to court, the court would need to facilitate the parties' needs and be a one-stop shop. This brings us to unified family court.

My friend did mention this in the latter part of his speech, saying that he is in approval of that provision because there used to be confusion between the provincial and federal jurisdictions. People were forced to go to not just one court but two. We would be changing that by creating unified family courts, including in the province my friend opposite represents. It is a step in the right direction, and I believe he said that he agrees with that. These are all laudable goals.

Does keeping people out of court, through the measures I have just outlined about income calculation and recalculation that would be entrenched in this bill, conform with keeping the best interests of the child at heart?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I have said about the bill, it is largely laudable. The unified court is a good thing.

Again, we have to hold the interests of the child at heart. That is the best part of the bill. Divorces can absolutely ruin children for life. I think we are on the right track, but we should also be consistent. If we are looking out for the interests of the child, let us look out for the interests of the child not just in this bill but also in Bill C-75.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments regarding Bill C-75.

in the course of the member's speech, he talked about the fact that in most circumstances it is in the best interests of the child to have both parents involved in the child's development and for there to be ongoing contact and support with both parents. One of the criticisms some have put forward with respect to Bill C-78 is it would not provide for a presumption of shared parenting. As the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek noted, sometimes shared parenting is not in the interests of the child. Would the member agree that perhaps one flaw of the bill is that it does not contain a provision for a rebuttable presumption for shared parenting?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is truly a legal whiz. That is a very good point and is something that should be addressed. I thank him for raising that.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-78 talks a lot about children and making them a priority.

As I have said many times in the House, I am a mother to two boys. I have also said that my children were born to a common-law couple. The bill in its current form addresses only married individuals.

I would like to know whether my colleague thinks that more amendments are needed to take into account common-law spouses as well as parents who separate but were not married, yet still need support. They could also be included in Bill C-78.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks about that.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, again, I am not the legal expert here. However, I would think that at a certain point people who are living common law are considered to have the same rights as people who are married. I would not see that as being an issue. I do not know what the time frame would be—a year or two years; I am not sure—but I think that it should certainly apply.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2018 / 4:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is such a pleasure to rise and speak to what I believe is a significant piece of legislation.

It has been many years since we have had substantial changes to the Divorce Act. In fact, one would have to go back a couple of decades to when we saw some reforms.

One of my colleagues across the way gave us a little history and mentioned his year of birth being 1984. He also mentioned the patchwork of divorce law across Canada at the time and questioned how one could even get a divorce. The 1980s was not that long ago. When my colleague was born, I was in the forces, posted in Edmonton. A lot has changed.

In the last three years we have seen a minister take a look at what is a very important issue to Canadians in all regions of the country. As opposed to trying to dictate in any fashion, she took it upon herself and the ministry to reach out to many different stakeholders. It is important for us to recognize that Ottawa plays an important leading role on a number of issues. Divorce happens to be one of them. A part of playing that leadership role included the minister reaching out to different stakeholders. The stakeholders ranged from women's groups and advisory groups that can offer a lot of opinions, thoughts and valid information to the many different provinces and territories, in looking at ways in which we can reform the system so that it works better.

This legislation is so important. I had the opportunity to ask the minister about the legislation. The first thing she said is that it is about the child. It is the children's interests that we are debating today and have debated before. The chamber has captured the essence of why it is so important. I have listened to the debate, and even though members might agree to disagree on some of the finer points, most have acknowledged that it is important that the legislation pass so that it can go to committee. We are very grateful for that. It means that all members of the House are in support of the legislation, at least in principle, and are prepared to see it go to committee.

At committee, I am sure we will have an opportunity to hear more feedback. The department is very much interested and is following the debate. Members have had the opportunity to provide some thoughts. I do not want to prejudge what is going to take place at committee, but based on the debate and the discussions that have been taking place, I suspect it will be a very fruitful discussion.

I want to emphasize that when we think of divorce and we put the child first, we must also think about the whole issue of jurisdiction. Committee members and those who are participating in the ongoing discussions in regard to this bill, must remember that the legislation is meant to establish the framework. It is long overdue. We have needed the types of changes in this legislation for a number of years.

As we go through the clauses, I would encourage members to reflect on the fact that those clauses were derived from many different forms of consultation with advocates, provinces, and interested individuals. At times on the surface it might seem that we could simply modify the clauses. However, I would ask members to consider that there was in fact a lot of discussion that incorporated many thoughts and ideas when creating the clauses. I say that because I sense there is a great deal of interest in making some modifications.

We are now almost three years into our mandate and we are debating this legislation today in good part because of a lot of the background work that has been done.

When we talk about putting the child first, it is not only through legislation. Virtually from day one, this government and in particular the Prime Minister have focused a lot of attention on the middle class. Every day we hear about the importance of Canada's middle class and what we need to do to enhance and strengthen the middle class. We have a responsibility to look at some weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

On numerous occasions today, the parliamentary secretary mentioned the $1 billion that is being denied to children. Through budgetary measures and the Canada child benefit we came up with significant amounts of money, hundreds of millions of dollars, to put into the pockets of the parents and guardians of children. This legislation, in good part, is going to enable those very same children to get the money they are due.

This legislation proposes to do many things, but as the minister herself has made very clear, it is the child who comes first. One of the best ways to make sure that the child comes first is to ensure that the child has the necessary financial resources to do the things that are necessary in order to have opportunities in the future.

Relationships can be complicated. Any relationship can be touch and go. No relationship is destined to everlasting peace and harmony. Every relationship will have challenges. When children are factored in, things can become very difficult.

I am sure all of us can share some stories that we have heard. Maybe some of us have even provided some counselling. I have provided counselling services. It is difficult at the best of times.

Some children, depending on their age, might recognize that it is a good thing that mom and dad are separating, because they want both parents to be happy. Then there is the opposite situation, where a child is absolutely emotionally torn and does not know what to do.

Parents might be in a difficult position. They are at odds with each other. Things can range from having a peaceful sit-down discussion with a third party to the more violent type of interaction that we know takes place. Because of the child and because of the parents at times, there is a role for government and society to play to ensure that the child's best interests, in fact, the family's best interests, are ultimately served.

This is the type of legislation that moves forward the idea of an alternative to going to court in all instances. A good example of that is the issue of income and having to have it readjusted. I have a number of friends who have experienced divorce and they talk about the cost of it, having to go through the court process and the waiting periods. Sometimes they were dealing with issues such as income or income readjustment.

Shortly after the minister first introduced the legislation, I happened to be on an Air Canada flight when someone I knew from the past, who I understood was a judge, came up to me. She provided the comment that this bill is good, sound legislation. I do not know to what degree she read it through, but I can tell members that she thought it was sound legislation that would have a profound, positive impact in terms of issues such as time and peace within families. That gave me a vote of confidence that the legislation we are talking about is really sinking in, in terms of the community, since shortly after the minister brought it for first reading, someone of that calibre raised the issue. I had known her many years ago, knew her attitude towards families, and was quite pleased to hear that sort of comment.

In the discussions I have had to date on this proposed legislation, the feedback has been very encouraging. I am glad to see the general support we are receiving not only from outside this chamber from stakeholders and other interested individuals who are following the debate but from across the way, which is encouraging to see, given how important it is that this dated law be updated.

The best interests of the child, reducing child poverty, addressing family violence and more access to the justice system through things that will ultimately resolve more issues related to divorce outside the courts are all positive, strong points that I think we need to repeat again and again to reinforce that this proposed legislation will put us on the right track.

Bill C-78 is a change in terms of the title itself, an act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act. It is very comprehensive.

I will highlight some of the things this proposed legislation would actually do. For example, it would promote the best interests of the child, which is something I have highlighted. One of those points would include replacing the words “custody” and “access” with more parenting terminology. Words matter, so we would have more consistency of that wording throughout Canada. There has been a great deal of work on using the same terminology, and that matters.

Establishing criteria and legislating a list of best interests of the child is incredibly positive. Requiring the courts to take the child's view into account is an appropriate thing to do. Allowing for the implementation of the 1996 Hague child protection convention, clarifies rules around recognition and enforcement judgements and makes it easier for authorities in different countries to communicate and co-operate with each other about many cross-border issues involving children.

We talk about Canadian divorce laws, but often in these divorces, the interests of the child go far beyond our borders. In fact, many countries around the world look to Canada and the types of things we put in place to resolve some of our societal issues. The Philippines is an example. It does not have a divorce law. It is a beautiful country. I have had many opportunities to visit, and I will continue to visit in the future. We can learn a lot from a country like the Philippines.

However, some countries do not have divorce legislation. Therefore, world organizations try to provide international leadership. By Canada incorporating ideas and thoughts that come through those international bodies speaks well with respect to us continuing to play a leadership role not only in Canada but potentially in other areas of the world.

We talked about reducing poverty. The parliamentary secretary referenced $1 billion. Close to two million children in Canada live with one parent or a guardian. Hundreds of thousands of them live in poverty or borderline poverty. In good part that is because the spouse or individual who is supposed to pay support for the child has not fulfilled that obligation.

Therefore, the legislation would allow for the release of CRA information to help establish, vary and enforce family support. Income information would come from T1 form, for example. That is a significant step forward. It is why I suggested earlier the importance of working with other stakeholders, such as provinces and others.

On family violence, a definition of family violence will be included in the Divorce Act for the very first time. It will include any conduct that is violent, threatening, a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour that causes a family member to fear for his or her safety, or directly or indirectly exposing a child to such conduct. Violence means more than just physical violence. It includes mental and monetary. There are many ways one can have an unhappy family. The definition includes a child that has been compromised to the degree it causes pain, whether physical or mental.

Thousands of children are in custody in my home province of Manitoba. Many of those cases are rooted in family violence in their homes. I am glad we have finally recognized that family violence does exist and have incorporated that in the legislation.

Mr. Speaker, it looks like you are about to tell me to stop speaking. I have quite a bit more that I would like to share with members. Possibly through questions, I might be able to do so.

Suffice it to say that increasing access to justice and improving its efficiency is another very important point. I will not be able to give examples of that. However, it is always a privilege to be able to share a few thoughts.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for making reference to my speech and the year 1984, which was a very good year, aside from the fact I was born that year. However, the best part of 1984 was that by the end of it, there was not a single Liberal government anywhere in Canada. Maybe that will repeat itself.

In any event, I want to ask the member this. I agree with much of what he said. I think a number of its objectives are laudable. However, there has been some criticism of the bill.

Robert Harvie, a family law lawyer in Alberta and former bencher, wrote in The Lawyer's Daily that “Bill C-78 is an expression of 'good intention' without sufficient substance to accomplish real change.” Also in that regard he stated that fundamentally, “Bill C-78 is devoid of change to the overall resolution process” itself.

Could the parliamentary secretary comment on that?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the first point, I can assure the member that I was born and raised during many Liberal governments. Most importantly, the nice thing about Canada is that about 75% of our Confederation has been ruled by Liberal governments. Therefore, he has reason to be optimistic going forward, especially with this administration, as we have been able to tackle so many issues in a way that has really benefited Canada's middle class. We hope that Canadians will return us to this place in the future. However, we will not take that for granted. One of the ways we do this is by bringing forward progressive legislation like what we are talking about today.

In the second part of the question by my colleague, he cited an individual who has some concerns about the effectiveness of the legislation. What my friend might want to do is to listen to some of the speeches that have been given here in the House, possibly even by the minister, or share those notes. I would encourage him to listen to some of the debates and some of the other stakeholders who are coming forward commending the legislation as a major piece of legislation that will have a profoundly positive impact on families and the way in which we move forward, in particular—

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are four stated objectives in this bill. Two promote the interests of children and two combat family violence. The bill states that the safety, the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of the child must take priority.

Interestingly, in the Criminal Code of Canada, there is a prohibition against assault so that it is against the law in this country for anyone to strike anyone else. However, there is an exception that adults in this country can still strike or hit children within the domestic home.

If the purpose of this bill is to reduce domestic violence and put the interests of children forward, does the hon. member agree with me that maybe it is time for us to look at the Criminal Code and remove the sections from it that still permit adults to strike or hit children in their homes as a form of punishment and control?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's interest in that area. As I indicated earlier, I suspect that once this legislation passes to committee, we will see a great deal of discussion. I would suggest to my friend that he raise this issue at committee, and maybe provide some additional details and see what happens there.

I am not in a position to go any further than that, other than to express a personal opinion, although I would like to hear a a bit more before I do. However, I appreciate the sensitivity of the issue and the question.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, during the course of the debate, over the past several hours today, we have heard about initiatives to improve family law justice in this country. We have heard this afternoon about 39 new judicial appointments that are being made in four provinces to create unified family courts. We also heard articulate comments made by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader here about the listening exercise and what we were hearing from people around the country. After the UFC, the unified family courts, initiative, what we heard is that it is one piece of the puzzle. Another piece is actually addressing the legislation, and we are doing that here.

I want to get to a point that the parliamentary secretary was not able to conclude on: the access-to-justice point. There are tools in this legislation that allow people not to have to resort to court, which is important, but there are also dollars being put in place by our government to support those initiatives at the provincial and territorial level, specifically $16 million a year to assist with negotiation, mediation, collaborative law activities and other out-of-court dispute resolution mechanisms that are implemented by the provinces.

Does the parliamentary secretary believe that is exactly what is needed here to support this legislative instrument, with the dollars that get people out of court and get their matters resolved in a more efficacious manner?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know the parliamentary secretary has been here throughout the day, posing some very good questions advancing the bill.

It is one thing to bring forward the legislation, which is absolutely fantastic to see. Another part of it is to look at ways in which we can deal with this through the budget. We have seen that, through the minister providing support not only in legislation but also in budgetary measures, such as the parliamentary secretary has referenced now and earlier.

I want to pick up on the idea of increasing access to justice and improving efficiencies by encouraging the use of out-of-court dispute resolution and requiring parties to try to resolve matters through dispute resolution processes. That is something that is very tangible that would in fact make a difference. This is the type of initiative that would be very well received overall, and hopefully speed up the entire process. If there were something I should have provided more comment on during my speech, it would be the issue of this not only being in the child's best interest but that it will also speed up the process. I really do believe that, and at the end of the day, I am very glad to support the legislation.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow up on my question so I could be more specific. It is known as the spanking exception. In a domestic household, parents in this country are allowed to hit their children. It is a form of assault that other countries in the world have now made illegal. It represents an outmoded form of violence that really most people nowadays understand causes trauma and physical and emotional harm to a child.

If the current government is proud of this legislation that puts the interests of children first and is concerned about doing something about domestic violence, I am going to put a clear question for my hon. friend. Will his government bring forward legislation to amend the Criminal Code to remove the exception that allows parents to use physical violence against their children as a form of punishment and control?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I can tell it is an important issue to my friend across the way, and there are things that are taking place. If we look, for example, at the TRC, there are recommendations dealing with children and no doubt there is consideration being given on a wide spectrum of things and this is one of those issues.

I would like to suggest for my friend across the way that he bring the matter before the committee and see if the committee might want to take into consideration what the TRC report actually had to say also. I am not familiar with the details of it, but I am sure my colleague across the way can familiarize himself with it, raise it with the committee, and who knows what may come of it.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is the House ready for the question?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 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?

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I declare the motion carried.

Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Divorce ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe if you were to canvass the House, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock as 5:30 p.m.