House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Simcoe North (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

RCMP and Law Enforcement in Canada April 12th, 2005

Mr. Chair, I think one has to go back to the original reason for the separation of the intelligence service from the policing function of the RCMP. I think the concerns that led to that separation are still very real today. There is still the potential for conflict between the two roles.

I know for a fact that currently the RCMP and CSIS, the intelligence service, are working more and more closely together. They have joint projects and officers are seconded from one to the other. However I am not sure we are at the point where we would want to merge them again because of the possibility of conflict between the two very separate roles, where we are asking the intelligence service to go out and obtain information on citizens, whereas it is an entirely different role and function to be enforcing the laws that are in place.

I am one who would see it as still a good separation provided we are having the cooperation and the coordination between the two forces.

RCMP and Law Enforcement in Canada April 12th, 2005

Mr. Chair, Canada's national police force is a modern police organization that is responsible for enforcing the law, preventing crime and protecting Canadians at home and abroad. It is accountable to the communities and the partners it serves in the use of tax dollars and resources to accomplish this mandate.

The RCMP is an organization that serves Canadians well.

Providing police services to a country as large and diverse as Canada requires an organization that is both dynamic and well structured. The RCMP has changed with the times to deliver leading edge policing to all Canadians.

Created by Parliament by merging the Royal North West Mounted Police and the Dominion Police, the RCMP has a mandate to enforce laws, prevent crime, and maintain peace, order and security. Through agreements between the federal government and other bodies, the RCMP provides national, provincial, territorial and municipal police services across Canada.

Since 1996, the RCMP has followed a regional system of management, and is now divided into four regions. Each region is headed by an RCMP deputy commissioner. Additionally, the organization is sub-divided into 14 divisions plus its national headquarters in Ottawa, each of which is under the direction of a commanding officer. At the local level, there are more than 750 detachments.

For management purposes, the RCMP is structured along business lines. Overarching these business lines are strategic priorities that are reviewed periodically to focus both operational and organizational efforts on the goal of providing safe homes and communities for Canadians.

Today, these strategic priorities are organized crime, terrorism, youth, international police services, and serving aboriginal communities. Additionally, wherever possible, these priorities are supported through partnerships and integrated policing efforts.

National Police Services, managed by the RCMP on behalf of all Canadian law enforcement organizations, offers valuable resources to members of Canada’s 500 or so other law enforcement agencies.

These resources include databases—fingerprint, criminal record, forensic image, missing children, firearms—and other specialized services such as those offered by forensic laboratories, the Canadian Bomb Data Centre and the Automated Criminal Intelligence Information System.

The RCMP Contract Policing Services gives it jurisdiction over eight provinces, three territories, more than 200 municipalities, 65 aboriginal communities, three international airports and numerous smaller airports.

Providing police services to a country as large and diverse as Canada requires an organization that is both dynamic and well structured. The RCMP has changed with the times to deliver leading edge policing to all Canadians.

The RCMP's scope of operations is vast. The organization combats terrorism and organized crime and targets specific crimes related to the illicit drug trade. The RCMP is also concerned with economic crimes such as counterfeiting and credit card fraud. Increasingly, it is involved in investigating and prosecuting offences that threaten the integrity of Canada's national borders.

The RCMP also protects VIPs, including the Prime Minister and foreign dignitaries. Additionally, it provides the law enforcement communities with a full range of computer based security services.

While civilian members and public service employees join the RCMP as professionals in a specific area, all regular members begin their careers at the RCMP training academy, also known as Depot Division, in Regina, Saskatchewan. Here they become part of a troop and undergo an extensive 22 week basic training course under the guidance of some of the best police instructors in the world. Training methods include physical and endurance training, values, role playing, performance demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions and community interaction. There is even a small village on campus where various real life policing scenarios are enacted.

The program is tough and not all participants make it through but those who do have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities as members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. As they head off from Depot for six months of recruit field training under the supervision of a detachment coach, new Mounties do so knowing they have just received some of the best police training in the world.

Whether on highway patrol in the communities of Newfoundland, educating youth on the dangers of illicit drugs in the classrooms of rural Saskatchewan or intercepting illegal activities along the B.C. coast, the men and women of the RCMP can be found all across Canada. They provide daily policing services in communities, provincial and territorial policing services in every province except Ontario and Quebec, and federal policing services from coast to coast to coast.

The RCMP strives to fulfill its commitment to Canadians to keep our homes and communities safe.

The men and women of the RCMP have a long history of acting in the best interests of Canadians. This commitment is evident in every regular and civilian member, from the newest recruit all the way to the commissioner of the RCMP.

Starting from the moment they enter Depot, RCMP officers are called upon to strive for excellence in everything they do. To become an RCMP officer is to embark on a fulfilling career of public service with an organization that is recognized worldwide as being one of the best police services in the world.

Our world has changed a great deal since the frontier days and the role of the RCMP continues to evolve. Technological and demographic changes, economic uncertainty and diversity make the challenge of policing today very different from yesterday's job. In an ever-changing society that is more globalized, technology based and terrorized, our front line officers and senior managers who set operational and directional priorities must be prepared more than ever to respond in a timely and effective way to keep our citizens and our communities safe.

The men and women of the RCMP provide a vital service to Canadians and Canadian communities in keeping our citizens, our homes and our country safe and secure. The RCMP is recognized internationally for its commitment to excellence. We are indeed fortunate to have them as our national police service.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Yes, Mr. Speaker, there are findings. The point of a public inquiry is to get to the bottom of the information. There have been findings. Sometimes I get the impression that what the opposition is looking for is a public flogging of the RCMP or of CSIS. I do not see where that benefits Canadian security or Canadians. It is a situation where we would need to see that there could be more information revealed from a public inquiry.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on the first question about errors or fault, it is fairly clear that there were some things done in the course of the investigation that were not things of which either the RCMP or CSIS are necessarily proud. Those things are already in the public domain. They have been addressed through various reports, such as the SIRC report and the various trials. None of these events could have prevented the act of terrorism that took so many lives. It is a question of investigative procedures that have changed over time.

As far as hiding anything, I cannot fathom how the hon. member can seriously think there is something being hidden. There are some unanswered questions. The identity of the perpetrators has never been proven in a court of law, but there have been trials.

The recent trial in British Columbia was the longest trial in Canadian history, costing millions of dollars. Much of the information is already in the public domain. That is why I agree with the Deputy Prime Minister when she says “show us what could be gained after 20 years of rehashing the same information”. Then perhaps a public inquiry or further procedures could be taken.

At this point we do not see the necessity to rehash some of the information that is already in the public domain. That is why the Deputy Prime Minister will be meeting with the families, to try to get further information and see if there is any justification for an inquiry.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate that I will be sharing my time with the Minister for Western Economic Diversification.

I am honoured to take part in the debate on the motion brought forward by the hon. member for Newton—North Delta.

The Air-India tragedy was the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history. In 1985 all Canadians grieved alongside the families and friends of the Air-India victims. Today we share the pain and frustration of this unresolved tragedy. However, like many of my colleagues before me, I must speak against the motion that calls for a judicial inquiry at this time.

Notwithstanding the recent court decision, it is important to look at some of the context in which the disaster occurred, specifically as it relates to actions of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS. I would like to devote most of my time to dealing with the evolution of CSIS.

In 1989 the Royal Commission on Security, the MacKenzie Commission, proposed the creation of a civil security intelligence service for Canada. That call was repeated later in 1981 by the MacDonald Commission. The government responded in 1981 by announcing that the security service would be separated from the RCMP and established a civilian security intelligence agency.

The design of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act was the sum of the best efforts of the government and Parliament to find points of consensus from an abundance of views.

A number of options confronted lawmakers of the day. The need for collective security to ensure the safety of the state and its institutions from threats of espionage and terrorism while protecting individual rights to privacy, to dissent, to political activity and to hold and express unpopular and radical opinions was perhaps the most important balance that had to be struck by the act.

In 1984 we lived in a different global security environment than today. Back then when the United States and the Soviet Union were pitted against each other in a nuclear arms race, the majority of the operational resources of the service, approximately 80%, were dedicated to threats from espionage, clandestine foreign interference and subversion. At that time, CSIS was comprised of 1,968 employees and had an operating budget of approximately $115 million. At the time of the Air-India tragedy in 1985, CSIS was in the midst of creating itself. It was a time of considerable transition.

The extensive accountability regime created for the service involved more direct control by the minister, who was accountable to Parliament, and also included two review bodies, the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the inspector general for CSIS, both of which have access to all CSIS employees and all documents except cabinet confidences. There is probably no intelligence organization in the world with such an extensive regime. Fully two-thirds of the CSIS Act deals with accountability and review.

In 1991-92 the Security Intelligence Review Committee, SIRC, reviewed the Air-India issue, scrutinized thousands of CSIS files, conducted interviews of numerous current and former members of the service as well as meeting with representatives of the families of the victims and officials regarding the disaster and its investigation.

In August 1992 SIRC produced a 130 page report. SIRC's review focused on what information CSIS possessed on any threats of terrorism or terrorist action against Air-India and whether it fulfilled its mandate in investigating such threats and advising the appropriate authorities.

SIRC also sought to learn whether CSIS provided all the information in its possession to appropriate law enforcement agencies investigating Air-India. SIRC reviewed whether CSIS complied with all policies related to collection and retention or erasure of audio tapes.

SIRC found that CSIS was investigating potential threats posed by Sikh extremists in accordance with its mandate and in a manner consistent with the then perceived level of threat. Based on its review of the information that CSIS possessed, SIRC determined that the service was not in a position to predict that the Air-India flight was to be the target of a terrorist bomb. SIRC also concluded that in the period following the disaster, all information in the possession of CSIS that was relevant to the investigation was provided to the RCMP.

However, SIRC had criticisms. It noted that inadequate policies accounted for delays in the provision of the information to the RCMP. SIRC also noted that the policies of CSIS on collection, retention and erasure of surveillance audiotapes were deficient and that informal procedures developed to compensate for these problems were not adequate. This is an issue that has been very controversial.

It must be remembered that CSIS is not mandated to collect for evidentiary purposes. Rather collects information on threats to the security of Canada so as to forewarn government. Additionally, the CSIS Act constrains the service to the collection of information that is strictly necessary for the investigation of a threat to Canada's national security.

Most important, SIRC found that it was unlikely that those prevailing retention practices resulted in the loss of important information relevant to the disaster or the investigation.

Much has changed in the world and within CSIS over the past 20 years. When CSIS was first created, SIRC found fault with some of what was done. It recognized, however, “CSIS was naturally under pressure to keep important operations going, and this kept fundamental reform low on the priority list”. Regardless, it took more than three years for this situation to change significantly, causing the committee's 1991-92 report to conclude that CSIS was now virtually a new organization and that “the tone and content of reports by intelligence officers on targets' files have all changed significantly for the better”.

Twenty years of constant review activity have prompted adjustments to the service's management procedures. At the same time, the service moved ahead in forging relationships with its domestic partners with the RCMP being among the most important. The relationship between the two organizations is a close one.

In its 2002-03 report, SIRC noted that the service and the RCMP had shown the capacity to “assist each other effectively while working within their respective mandates”. Not only did CSIS evolve and mature in terms of its centralized organizational and management structure, it also had to adapt to the quickly changing threat environment.

In 1986 CSIS saw a budget enhancement of nearly 60% toward the service's counterterrorist program. In 1992, at the end of the cold war, the service examined the changing threats to Canada's national security to assess how the service should restructure to meet security intelligence needs.

Since then, world events have clearly demonstrated the ongoing threats from terrorists. They have also led to an increased budget for CSIS and a reorganization of the service's operational structure. As SIRC again noted in one of its recent annual reports, CSIS was still evolving.

Today, CSIS has 2,350 employees and a budget of around $292 million. Its employees are more representative of the Canadian population than at any time since its creation in 1984. Some 10% of its employees are members of visible minority groups of various ethnic origins, and one-third of the intelligence officers speak a foreign language in addition to one or both of the official languages.

They are highly educated, bilingual and more than one-third of the service's intelligence officers speak at least one foreign language. The service's information management technology is the envy of the security intelligence organizations in other jurisdictions.

As well, in 2005 CSIS is working more closely than ever with its domestic partners and foreign allies, maintaining cooperative relationships with agencies in 140 countries. The newly created Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, housed within CSIS and headed by a senior member of the RCMP, is another example of the increased domestic cooperation.

Not only is CSIS working more closely with the domestic and international partners through the national security policy, it is increasingly engaged with Canadians, for example, through the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, and will again have the opportunity to do so with the National Security Advisory Council.

For those reasons, the changes that we have seen within CSIS and the reports that have already come forward, I have to agree with the Deputy Prime Minister that we need to address the issue of dealing with the families and their questions, but certainly not at this point have a public inquiry.

Marriage March 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, over 10,000 Canadians have expressed their support for human rights and the right of same sex couples to marry in an electronically gathered petition presented to my office.

This petition, showing strong support by Canadians for what seven provinces and one territory have already deemed as a human rights issue, granting same sex couples the right to marry, was headed up by Ms. Ann Stephenson, a constituent of my neighbouring riding of Barrie.

Ms. Stephenson's incredible effort to gather over 10,000 names from across Canada was driven by the fact that her own provincial member of Parliament for Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford, when asked, refused to recognize the views of his constituents that showed their support for same sex marriage, all the while gathering support for his own petition that denies human rights to same sex couples.

Ms. Stephenson's efforts are commendable and should not go unnoticed. As parliamentarians we need to acknowledge the fact that there are many Canadians who strongly support the right of same sex couples to marry.

Civil Marriage Act March 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate today on Bill C-38, the civil marriage act.

This is clearly an issue of equality of minority rights under the charter. I have been very clear and consistent with my constituents on this issue. It is an issue that was around prior to the last election. In the course of that campaign, at all candidate meetings and other meetings that I specifically arranged, such as with the Knights of Columbus in my home town of Penetanguishene, I made sure I explained to them, prior to casting their votes, that I would be supporting any legislation that came forward after the Supreme Court reference dealing with this issue and treating it strictly as an equality issue and minority rights issue in defence of our charter.

First, I would like to go over a bit of the history of the charter and how it came to pass. We often hear concern that the courts are governing the country through judicial activism. In fact, the courts are only exercising the authority given to them by Parliament to interpret certain provisions of the charter. We have to remember that and consider it as a basic exercise in democratic will when the Parliament of Canada passes a charter and then puts in a strong independent judiciary to protect basic freedoms and rights from the whims of partisan politics.

As time passes, parties come and go with different perspectives, but our basic fundamental rights and freedoms remain. They need to be protected in an independent fashion and that was the thinking of Parliament at the time the charter was passed.

We now have a manifestation of the implementation of the charter. It states that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination. On the issue of same sex marriages from the civil perspective, that is what this legislation is intending to do.

The reference to the Supreme Court that I mentioned previously also had a question dealing with another provision of the charter, that being freedom of religion. The reference, in the opinion of the Supreme Court, does in fact confirm that the churches will remain and retain the right to marry couples that are in conformity with their religious beliefs and would not be compelled in a religious ceremony to marry couples that they feel is not appropriate for religious purposes.

We hear concerns being expressed from time to time about the sanctity of marriage being put in issue by having a law that civilly recognizes same sex marriages. I suggest that it is very clear that the sanctity of marriage is that which comes from the religious ceremony and religious perspective and the churches are being fully protected in making those decisions.

We hear concern about the fact that churches will not be protected, that they will be obliged to perform ceremonies with which they disagree. All I can do is refer to my church, the Roman Catholic church, which had and still has the policy of non-ordination of women. We know that women have been declared equal in every facet of our society. The equality provisions of the charter apply fully to women, yet no one has ever brought a court application to compel the Roman Catholic church or any other church that does not ordain women because of section 2 of the charter which says that under the freedom of religion provisions it is in the domain of churches to make the decision as to who they ordain and who they do not.

That was an example of the assurances people should have. The courts will recognize the freedom of religion provisions in the charter and ensure they can function in conformity with their religious beliefs.

The civil side is another matter. The charter and the courts have interpreted that to mean that our society must allow complete equality and not a separate category of civil union.

When I speak with my constituents I frequently refer to the civil remedy of divorce. If we are concerned about the institution of marriage, then we should be concerned about the real threat to marriage, which is the civil remedy of divorce, which has existed for quite some time. It is recognized by some churches but not by others. Some churches will remarry divorced people and other churches will not and yet society has found a way to function. People have the opportunity to belong to the church that conforms with their personal view vis-à-vis the civil remedy of divorce. I equate that to civil marriage as opposed to religious marriage. It is up to the individual to seek the type of marriage, whether it is a civil marriage or a religious marriage, in accordance with their personal beliefs.

Some people have proposed that the notwithstanding clause be used to overturn the court decisions that have found it unconstitutional or against the charter to deny civil marriage to same sex couples. The notwithstanding clause is there to protect rights. I agree with the Prime Minister when he said that the notwithstanding clause was something that he would consider using to protect the churches' right to refuse to marry same sex couples if ever the courts were to determine that they should be forced to marry them but that it should never be used to remove the rights of same sex couples to have access to our civil institutions like everyone else.

I have another concern.

I am a member of the franco-Ontarian linguistic minority. If we can successfully make the argument to set aside the charter on the issue of civil marriage because it is a moral rather than a legal question then, in the case of minority language rights, we could suggest dropping official languages policies in this country because they are too expensive. It is a question of savings. That is the risk.

I believe it is very important always to defend the charter since it is there to defend everyone in our society. That is the issue.

One of the reasons I ran for Parliament was that I could see the challenges to the charter coming. During the vote on the opposition day motion in 1999, I was one of the 55 members of Parliament who voted against the preservation of the traditional definition of marriage. I saw it then and I see it now as an attack on the charter.

For those reasons I am pleased to say that I will be supporting Bill C-38.

Committees of the House March 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

In accordance with its order of reference of Monday, December 13, 2004, your committee has considered Bill C-26, an act to establish the Canada Border Services Agency, and agreed on Thursday, February 24, 2005, to report it with amendments.

I would like to recognize the contribution of the members of the Subcommittee on Public Safety and National Security, who took part in this study.

Definition of Marriage Act February 18th, 2005

Madam Speaker, the opposition has chosen to use some of the important time set aside in the House for a private member's bill to discuss yet another bill respecting the definition of marriage.

Does the proposal contained in Bill C-268 provide the House with any additional insight that could move the debate forward to constructive options? I regret to say that it does not. The bill has been ruled non-votable as unconstitutional in its approach. It is just another iteration of earlier bills which sought to reinstate the opposite sex requirements for civil marriage.

In his comments the hon. member referred to the opposition day vote in 1999. I was one of the 55 members who voted against that opposition day motion which would have had the effect of restricting marriage to people of the opposite sex. I did so for the very reason that one could foresee that the courts would apply section 15 of the charter and would hold that requirement discriminatory. Much has been made about it but it was foreseeable from a reading of the charter and a clear understanding of it.

Under our Constitution, the courts are mandated to review legislation to determine whether it meets charter requirements. The courts in seven provinces, namely British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, and one territory, Yukon, have now determined that the requirement that a spouse be of the opposite sex no longer satisfies the equality guarantees under section 15 of the charter. It is discriminatory towards Canadian gays and lesbians who want to get involved to the same extent as any other Canadian. It is discriminatory to deny them access to the civil institution of marriage.

The courts also clarified that their decision applies exclusively to civil marriage. They clarified that the charter also guarantees freedom of religion and that any religious group is free to continue to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.

As members of the House are well aware, the government does not believe that this important matter should be decided by the courts in a patchwork of decisions across the country. The government believes that the courts are correct in their legal conclusions, but at the same time the government also fervently believes that only Parliament has the ability to look at the complete picture in designing a Canada-wide approach.

Courts and Parliament each have their distinct and complementary roles under our Constitution. That is why the government set in place last year an approach to this important question that involved a full and formal debate in Parliament.

Members will recall that in June 2003 following the Court of Appeal decisions in Ontario and British Columbia, the government announced that it would be drafting a bill and referring the matter to the Supreme Court.

The government did draft a bill that contained two important provisions. The first defined marriage as “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others”. The second stated, “Nothing in this act affects the freedom of officials of religious groups to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs”.

The bill currently before the House, Bill C-38, is based on the bill that was referred to the Supreme Court of Canada. The bill ensures full respect for both of the important fundamental principles identified by the courts: equality based on personal characteristics like race, language, sexual orientation; and freedom of religion.

To further ensure that the government was correct in law that the bill would not infringe on freedom of religion, one of the specific questions asked of the Supreme Court was: Does the freedom of religion guarantee in paragraph 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect religious officials from being compelled to perform a marriage between two persons of the same sex that is contrary to their religious beliefs? The court answered in the affirmative.

Last year, during the third week of October, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the arguments concerning the reference. The governments and 27 out of the 28 intervening parties, including the provincial governments of Quebec and Alberta, presented their positions over the course of two days. These parties presented a wide variety of opinions on many topics.

The government's purpose in referring the draft bill to the Supreme Court was to clarify the options available to the members of this House under the legislative framework of the charter. This ensures a constructive and informative debate during the parliamentary process. The purpose of the reference was not to bypass the parliamentary process.

The members of this House now have before them an analysis of legal topics by the Supreme Court. They also have an understanding of the constitutional impacts and the legislative framework in connection with the government's preferred approach with this bill now before them. In addition, the hon. members have the affirmation by the court that religious groups will be free to apply their own meaning to marriage, in accordance with their beliefs. This affirms the government's legal position.

The bill before us today does not do that. For starters, we already know that its first provision, which seeks to once more restrict the definition of marriage to a man and a woman, is unconstitutional under the law. Indeed, the bill was drafted in such a way as to completely ignore the events and debates of the last few years on this point.

It is as if the hon. member for Fundy Royal actually believes that legislation can be legitimately used to turn back the clock, ignoring the same definition included in clause 2 has been declared unconstitutional, not once but separately in binding court decisions in eight jurisdictions of the 13 jurisdiction in Canada. This is an effective means for this Parliament to find a workable solution to a real complex and important question.

The only way that the capacity to marry can now be restricted once more to opposite sex couples is for Parliament to deliberately decide to invoke for the very first time in history the notwithstanding clause in section 33 of the charter. That clause enables governments to expressly declare that a statute shall operate notwithstanding that it violates one of more of the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the Charter.

In other words, in order to do so Parliament would first have to publicly acknowledge that it is aware of the discriminatory nature of the law but are insisting that in any event the law be proclaimed despite the fact that it deliberately discriminates against minority rights.

I do not believe in discriminating against any minority, let alone using the notwithstanding clause for the first time by the Parliament of Canada, not to protect our national security, not to ensure our collective safety but to deny to gay and lesbian couples who wish to express the same degree of commitment in a way that is available to any other couple; the ability to enter into and formalize one of the most meaningful relationships in life. Deliberately discriminating against one minority cannot be done without potentially placing minorities at risk and is inconsistent with the Canadian Constitution.

I am a Franco-Ontarian and, as such, a member of a language minority. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects such minorities, and I am grateful that it does. If gays and lesbians were to be removed from the protection of the charter, under the pretext that this is not a legal issue but a moral one, this would mean that, in the future, a similar application could be made to remove language minorities from the protection of the charter, under the pretext that it is too expensive. Consequently, it becomes an economic issue.

Therefore, we have a choice before us. Either go forward with Bill C-38, the actual bill which is before the House, make the law uniform for all of Canada or go back to the past using the notwithstanding clause.

The proposed solution in the bill before us today does not exist, and that is why it was declared non-votable by the House procedural committee.

Debate on Bill C-38 is the right way to proceed. Whatever one's position may be on this issue, it is better than moving ahead today with a debate on an approach that is a hollow sham and is no longer possible in the Canadian constitutional and legal framework.

Committees of the House December 10th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the third report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, in both official languages.

In accordance with its order of reference of Friday, October 22, 2004, your committee has considered Bill C-10, an act to amend the Criminal Code (mental disorder) and to make consequential amendments to other acts, and agreed on Wednesday, December 8, 2004, to report it with amendments.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

On December 9, 2004, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the committee adopted a motion recommending to the government that the RCMP maintain the nine detachments in Quebec that were discussed during our hearings and that it agree to maintain or restore the critical mass of officers per detachment.