Madam Speaker, I am going to start by tying up a loose end. Some members have spoken and raised the question of whether, effectively, this is already captured by other provisions of the Criminal Code.
The parliamentary secretary to the minister of science made comments that might be construed to this effect. She spoke about provisions around human trafficking, including human trafficking for the purpose of the organ, which can be applied extraterritoriality. She also spoke about how the harvesting of human organs would likely involve the commission of other crimes, such as assault if it were to take place here in Canada.
However, I want to be clear that human trafficking for the purpose of extracting an organ and the trafficking of organs are two different things. For example, someone who receives a harvested kidney is not, strictly speaking, engaging in human trafficking, but organ trafficking; hence, the need for new offences with clear extraterritorial application.
While organ harvesting would necessarily involve other offences, those offences, like assault, do not have extraterritorial application. There are no current laws that involve the extraterritorial application of prohibitions against the trafficking of human organs. My friend from Kitchener South—Hespeler spoke about whether existing provisions around inadmissibility could be applied in this case. He spoke about serious criminality and organized criminality.
Let us be clear, first of all, that we have not seen prosecutions related to this in the past, and colleagues who think that the existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Act or the Criminal Code are sufficient should hopefully be able to point to cases where this crime has actually been prosecuted. Given that none have been raised in the House, it suggests to me that we actually do need to clarify and strengthen the offences such as they exist.
In terms of this issue of serious criminality and organized criminality, we are talking about offences that offend any basic sense of morality but are not necessarily illegal in the country where they take place. We have spoken about the case of one country that seems to have systemized and organized process of organ harvesting from political prisoners. Therefore, provisions that deal with inadmissibility to Canada based on the commission of an offence in the country where it is committed would not apply in this case, because someone might be doing something involving organ harvesting and trafficking from political prisoners. That is legal and, in fact, state policy in one country, but we would seek to apply the extraterritoriality provisions here in Canada.
There is a need for laws to address an issue that is perhaps hinted at around the edges of the existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Act and the Criminal Code, but is very clearly not explicitly illegal. Again, if members opposite think that those provisions are sufficient or do exist, then they should be able to point to cases where prosecutions have happened. As my colleagues have quite effectively pointed out, we know that this happens and that Canadians are involved, and yet we are not seeing prosecution of it.
Regardless of whatever arguments one might make about the text of the law, the fact that this is going on without its being prosecuted should be clear enough evidence that we need to strengthen the legislative work. If nothing else, the reporting mechanism in this legislation would create a mechanism whereby these extraterritorial offences could be effectively prosecuted.
The other points that have been raised have been responded to effectively by my colleagues. I just mention as well quickly that the member for Kitchener South—Hespeler spoke about the possibility that medical practitioners could be deemed inadmissible to Canada in cases where they might be involved in something related to this.
Those who are involved in illicit organ harvesting and trafficking could be deemed inadmissible to Canada, but there is ample space in the legislation proposed for the discretion of the minister. Inadmissibility to Canada is based on assessments made by the Government of Canada, which can weigh various criteria in each case. If there were a concern about people being caught up in the net of this who should not be, again that would be dealt with by the provisions that allow discretion. In fact, the legislation says that prosecutions under Bill S-240 cannot proceed without the explicit consent of the attorney general. These are ample provisions to ensure that there is not some indirect application to people whom it should not be applied to.
We have to take action to help the vulnerable here. There are many details in this bill that should be discussed in greater detail at committee. If people have constructive ideas for amendments, doing so at committee is the right place for that.
However, let us make a clear statement on the principle of the bill. That is what we do at second reading. We go on the principle of the legislation. This is the fourth bill in 10 years on this. I think we should all agree with the principle that Canada cannot, in good conscience, consent to the trafficking and harvesting of human organs from nonconsenting people, that we can take a clear and moral stance on this fundamental human rights issue, the details of which can be worked out at committee to the extent they need to be.
Let us now, at second reading, take a clear stand and move this forward by sending it to committee.