House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Liberal MP for Windsor—St. Clair (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 1997, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

St. Patrick's Day March 17th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, 150 years ago the great potato famine was devastating the Irish countryside and Irish tenants were fleeing their homeland.

Today Canada, while celebrating St. Patrick's Day, also celebrates the great migration of those people who became the backbone of so many of our communities. Whether it is corned beef and cabbage at the historic Victoria Tavern in Windsor or a green beer at the Knights of Columbus in Tecumseh, the people of Canada are all Irish today.

However, as we enjoy the fun, let us not lose sight of the historical fact that so many came here out of such a great tragedy and that they joined with others to build one of the great free democracies of the world.

Privilege March 11th, 1997

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

This morning the member for Hamilton-Wentworth raised a question of privilege concerning the operation of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. His allegation is that the committee has misinterpreted Standing Order 108(2) and in so doing has violated his rights as a member of Parliament.

By a motion on report of the subcommittee on procedures, our steering committee, the committee on justice and legal affairs which I chair agreed unanimously to embark on a study of the subject matter of what has now become Bill C-46 which is presently before the House at second reading. It is an act to amend the Criminal Code with respect to the production of records in sexual offence proceedings.

The member objects and claims his privileges have been breached. I did not have notice of his objection this morning but I do have the blues now. From the blues, as near as I can tell his allegations rest on the following: first, he has expressed grave reservations about the subject matter of the bill and second, he wants to stay in the House during the debate and at the same time wants to put questions during committee hearings. He says that he cannot ask those questions until after he has heard the debate.

In support of his position he argues that nothing in Standing Order 108(2) gives us the authority to discuss, deliberate or consider the subject matter of a bill before the House. He also argues what I would suggest is a tautology, that the bill is the subject matter and the subject matter is the bill, et cetera, forever in a circle.

In response I would argue that in June 1985 the McGrath report was published. It suggested that committees of the House of Commons should have more power. As a result Standing Order 108(2) was enacted. It is a successful attempt to give committees more power by allowing them to very much control the process as well as the subject matter that is studied. In addition to studying matters referred to them by the House, committees on their own initiative can undertake other endeavours which are thought important.

In this case, the agenda is very full. The justice committee has probably the busiest agenda of any committee in the House. We wanted to take a look at policy initiatives which are now embodied in Bill C-46 and are the subject matter which we resolved to study as a priority. Because the committee is busy its work had to be prioritized. One priority was Bill C-55 dealing with dangerous offenders. It was reported last week. The committee then wanted to study Bill C-46 which it suspected was coming or knew was coming.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the subject matter of Bill C-46 in terms of letters and public response. As a committee, all parties, including the one that is heckling me right now, unanimously agreed that the subject matter of this bill would be a high priority.

Section 108(1)(a) gives us the authority to sit while the House sits. I want to point that out because that is one of the objections that the member raises.

Section 108(2) empowers committees to study and report on all matters relating to the mandate-and I am paraphrasing-of the departments of government which are assigned to it and that includes the Department of Justice which is the primary source of the legislative agenda at this time.

In the commentaries in the Annotated Standing Orders at page 324 the author states:

Standing committees are now empowered by the House to inquire into and report on all aspects of the departments assigned to them-the Standing Order includes a blanket reference permitting the standing committee to examine any matter relating to the department as it deems necessary and worthwhile.

We are doing exactly that.

With the end of term approaching and knowing that the agenda would be very full, members of the committee really cannot afford any down time and that is why we prioritize our work.

The policy initiatives in Bill C-46 are a subject matter that we resolved unanimously to study as a priority. There are precedents for this. The finance committee was the first committee to do this during the last Parliament and our committee has done this with Bills C-45 and C-110. As well, I understand the transport committee has studied some subject matter in the same way.

The hon. member's specific argument that he wants to hear the debate and then go to committee and question people can be responded to this way. First, the blues are available to him almost immediately. I had the blues of his motion by noon today. Hansard is available to him. The committee briefs are public and are available to him. Witness lists are public and are available to him. Department officials and briefings are available as they have been to all members who require them. All of these could help him prepare for committee work.

I would suggest that section 108(2) gives committee members the power to do what we are doing. Really, all we are doing is controlling our own destiny and determining what work we will do at what priority.

I would like to thank the Deputy Speaker for giving me notice of this motion and allowing me the opportunity to speak.

Unified Family Court March 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on the issue of a unified family court although it took a long time to get around to that in the hon. member's address. It occurred to me that perhaps she was trying to use Motion No. 147 as a way to go back over Bill C-41. It is interesting that would be the case.

It is also interesting since we are so close to International Women's Day that the member would again promote an anti-feminist agenda which promotes the interest of the boys and not of women as the Reform Party usually does.

She suggests the federal government has somehow failed in the area of unified family courts when these courts virtually exist all over the country. We are talking about a court system that requires a lot of provincial co-operation. She should return to her own province and speak to them about the importance of unified family courts and of co-operating with us on that process.

It is unfair to suggest the federal government has failed here. A simple reading of the Constitution by a child would indicate that the court system is the responsibility of the provincial government.

Unified family courts as they exist now have provided a model of co-operation in the administration of justice. Governments, providers of professional and community services, the judiciary and the bar have all co-operated to establish these in some provinces. Unified family courts send a strong message of what can be accomplished through the development of partnerships and the sharing of ideas. The federal government is ready, willing and able to be at the table but not all provinces co-operate. The federal government has supported the establishment of unified family courts for over 20 years.

It is interesting the hon. member would cite the 1974 Law Reform Commission of Canada report. When we recently reinstated the commission the Reform Party voted against it. In any event she is relying on their old work and I suppose we should be thankful for that.

Discussions followed shortly after that report with all governments. What we found out at that time is that all governments were concerned over the division of jurisdiction of family law matters between two and sometimes more levels of court.

In some provinces as many as five different courts were handling family problems. There was overlapping, fragmentation and different judges for custody, wardship, adoption, child maintenance and divorce. This led to a multiplication of efforts but also sometimes to irreconcilable decisions. This complexity also had an effect on the ability of families to resolve their disputes quickly and at reasonable cost.

An additional concern for governments was the provision of adequate support services for family litigants. It was agreed that intake services, including referral to community based professional services, was essential for the effective operation of a unified court. Family counselling and family life education programs were recommended by the Canadian Law Reform Commission and enforcement services were also recommended that could take on the responsibility for ensuring that court orders were respected.

In Ontario those enforcement provisions have fallen apart because Ontario wants to put in a multi-billion dollar tax cut which results in their not having enough money for their enforcement proceedings. My office and the office of other Ontario MPs are receiving requests for assistance every day to enforce their orders.

The hon. member might want to keep that in mind when she is talking about tax cuts.

There was wide agreement in 1974 that these kinds of services were important in ensuring that those who sought help could get it in the form most appropriate to their needs. In July 1975 Prince Edward Island became the first province to create a unified family court. Then, in May 1976 a funding program administered by the Department of Justice, under which the federal government agreed to cost share the operation of unified family court initially for three years, was instituted. Four other provinces then participated, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and New Brunswick.

The first unified family court was in Hamilton-Wentworth, established in July 1977, 20 years ago. In August 1995 the family court became a separate branch of the Ontario Court general division and expanded to London, Barrie, Kingston and Napanee.

Saskatchewan established a unified family court in December 1978. In December 1994 those services which started in Saskatoon were expanded to Regina and Prince Albert.

A unified family court in St. John's, Newfoundland was established in June 1979, providing services to St. John's and the surrounding area.

New Brunswick established a unified family court in 1979. In September of that year a court was created to provide family services at Fredericton. In 1983 a family division of the Court of Queen's Bench in New Brunswick was established to provide those services province wide.

Manitoba did not participate in the pilot projects but in 1983 it established a family division of its Court of Queen's Bench to serve greater Winnipeg.

All these courts, including one in Nova Scotia which is now being established, have been set up with the co-operation and financial support of the federal government. A unified family court will be one of the options considered in discussions on court structure for the new territory of Nunavut.

Progress on the creation of a nationwide system of family courts has proceeded at a steady pace. It has been aided since 1981 by the maintenance of a pool of judicial salaries, pre-authorized by Parliament, that can be used as the need arises to fill positions created by provinces and territories.

With respect to the unified family courts and the structure and the need they fill, I would like to talk a bit about the philosophy behind the unified family court as it exists. It is to able families to resolve their differences to the greatest possible extent in a single forum. This can only be done if the courts are given both federal and provincial powers to deal with all aspects of family law. This is something the Reform Party seems to forget.

Since a large part of family law, including divorce and custody, falls within federal jurisdiction, unified family courts have to be established at that level. This ensures that the single court concept, one stop shopping, is maintained. Unified courts de-emphasizes the adversarial approach normally associated with courts of law in favour of a more informal dispute resolution approach.

Alternatives to legal resolutions are sought where practicable. A wide variety of professional and community services are made available to court users.

This model is seen as a way of making the court system more accessible, less threatening and more responsive to the needs of family members. It has wide acceptance among the public, family support professionals and organizations as well as the legal profession.

There has been high degree of co-operation between provincial and federal governments in the process of identifying women and men who are best suited to exercise the role of judge in these courts. There has been co-operation on funding. For example, when Ontario expanded its court in 1995 the federal government required that the salary savings realized from the federal government paying judges' salaries instead of the province be funnelled back into support services for the court.

Nova Scotia is willing to accept or has at least suggested a similar arrangement to assist in the funding of its courts. The obvious benefits for both governments are that we take over the payment of judges' salaries and the province uses that money that it has saved and it does not have to find new money to pay for important services.

All the things that my hon. friend is suggesting are going on, while the federal government then has the assurance that it requires that adequate funding will be made available to support the court once it is established.

All governments are wrestling with the problem of maintaining court services in attempting to reduce overall costs. To suggest, though, that the federal government is not doing its share is quite unfair. The hon. member talks about case load management like it is something new.

Case load management in Hamilton-Wentworth grew out of a system in Windsor, Ontario in the federally appointed court which was applied to family matters and other matters. All courts are working with this.

Mandatory mediations, all the things that the hon. member is suggesting, exist. They may not be mandatory but they do exist. After all, I would suggest to the hon. member that it is up to the litigants, the people who are involved, to decide whether they want to slug it out in court or whether they want to go to mediation. It is not up to the hon. member who, I would suggest, is following an

agenda which is more suitable to the support of men's rights than to the support of the rights of families.

An Act To Revoke The Conviction Of Louis David Riel December 5th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak on this private member's bill. While I very much support the idea of honouring Louis Riel and would be happy to participate in ceremonies and other ways of honouring this great man, I do not support the premise of this bill.

Many Canadians do not appreciate that Louis Riel was an educated man. He was educated in theology and in law. He was fluent in English, French, Greek and Latin. He was an eloquent and polished orator and a statesman who directed the negotiations with the Government of Canada on the entry of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories into the Dominion of Canada. Louis Riel, in spite of what the Bloc seems to suggest to us, was a great believer in Canadian unity and in one country which would include, of course, the province of Quebec and the western provinces. I take great pleasure in addressing the House on this very important issue. I believe that all members of the House would agree that Louis Riel made an important contribution to the building of this great nation.

The government has not ignored the importance Louis Riel has played in our nation's development. We have taken steps to advance the interests of Metis and off reserve aboriginal people and to honour Louis Riel's place in history.

The Constitution Act of 1992 recognizes the existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the Metis. The government has issued commemorative stamps to honour Louis Riel, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada it has funded the publication of the collective writings of Louis Riel which was published in 1985 by the University of Alberta Press to commemorate the anniversary of the North West Rebellion.

On March 10, 1992, the House of Commons passed a special resolution honouring Louis Riel as a founder of Manitoba and recognizing his contribution to the development of western Canada and, therefore, to the development of the entire country. This resolution recognized the unique and historic importance of Louis Riel.

The government has funded cultural performances over the years, including the very successful Batoche Days in Batoche, Saskatchewan. That festival has been held annually for over 25 years in memory of Louis Riel.

In May of this year a statue of Louis Riel was unveiled in Winnipeg on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. The statue was funded by the federal government. It is situated along the Assiniboia River, just west of the fork where the Assiniboia and Red Rivers meet. This is a perfect spot for a statue commemorating Riel, a statue that I visited recently when I was in Manitoba. He was a founding member of western Canada and these two rivers represent the major trading routes to the west.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and member for Winnipeg South Centre, when unveiling the statue, proudly announced Louis Riel as a father of Confederation for all Canadians. The Metis people can be proud of Louis Riel's accomplishments. We cannot and will not forget the importance place of Louis Riel in Canadian history.

This place is not diminished by his conviction. He is remembered as a builder of our nation. He had a vision of the proper place of Metis people and other people who settled in the west in Confederation. He represented all people of the west. He directed the negotiations with the Government of Canada of the entry of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories into the Dominion.

Many things have already been done and there are many more positive things which can be done to carry on the work started by Louis Riel. Discussions will continue with the Metis through existing processes such as the bilateral process with the Metis National Council and the tripartite self-government negotiations with Metis organizations at the provincial level.

I cannot accept the premise on which this bill was put forward by the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata, when she asserted the Louis Riel was hanged: "because he was a Metis, because he was a francophone and because he stood up for a distinct society". This statement and the sentiments behind the tabling of this bill do not do justice to the memory of Louis Riel. They are incompatible

with this purpose and to use his memory as an excuse to stir the pot in terms of national unity is in my view, unacceptable.

Louis Riel was not only an eloquent, articulate defender of Metis rights, but he was a defender of the rights of all members of the community, including aboriginal, non-aboriginal, anglophone and francophone. He defended the rights of all people. Louis Riel did not just defend the rights of his own group, of the Metis. He championed the rights of all minorities as well.

Riel would not agree with the premise behind the tabling of this bill and we should find other methods to honour the memory of Louis Riel. We must look for solutions with the support of the Metis people of Canada.

Louis Riel had a vision of a unified country in which all people would participate equally. Along with the Metis people, we will continue the work of Louis Riel in ensuring that all people are equal members have an equal say in our society. When we contemplate honouring Louis Riel we must keep in mind the society that he fought hard to protect, a society where all people would live in shared dignity and mutual respect.

I urge the government to continue to work closely with Metis leaders and the family of Louis Riel to find appropriate and meaningful ways to celebrate his contribution to Confederation.

Committees Of The House November 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, June 18, 1996, your committee has considered Bill C-25, an act respecting regulations and other documents including the review, registration, publication and parliamentary scrutiny of regulations and other documents and to make consequential and related amendments to other acts, and your committee has agreed to report it with amendments.

Film And Television Industry November 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Graduates from programs like communications studies at the University of Windsor want Canadian jobs in a Canadian film and television industry. What has the Department of Canadian Heritage done to help these talented young Canadians find work in this growing Canadian industry?

Judges Act November 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, on the first question let me quote precisely what the Minister of Justice said. He did not say what the hon. member for St. Albert has suggested. In fact, he said: "There is no provision in the Judges Act for a federally appointed judge such as Madam Justice Arbour to be granted a leave of absence without pay to work for an international organization such as the United Nations. Nor does the act permit the salary and expenses of a judge during a period of leave to be paid by any organization or entity other than the Government of Canada, or in the case of expenses by the government of a province".

His point was this. The amendments contained in Bill C-42 which have the full support of the chief justice of Canada and the judicial council would permit this type of arrangement to be entered into by Madam Justice Arbour.

The issue is not whether she can work, the issue is whether she can legally be paid by the United Nations to do so. It is a technicality to allow Canada once again, I repeat, to be honoured in the international forum by having one of our leading jurists conduct a very important function.

With respect to the other matter, unlike the Reform Party, as chair of the justice committee I am prepared to make a ruling, to stand by that ruling and to await the word of the Speaker. The Speaker has spoken on the motion, not exactly the way the hon. member has suggested. I was pleased to have his advice and I am pleased to abide by that ruling.

Judges Act November 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I did not suggest that things were rosy or that the numbers were rosy. What I suggested was that the Reform Party speakers who have gone before me on this debate, one in particular, the member for Medicine Hat, have exaggerated the state of the Canadian psyche in terms of their fears. Quite frankly, politicians, journalists, commentators and others who do

that are pandering to fear and attempting to create in the minds of Canadians a false impression.

Victims groups have come to the government on many occasions and on many bills. In fact I have met with a great many victims organizations and not part of organizations, in my riding and in my capacity as a member of Parliament and a member of the justice committee.

What is important in dealing with these groups is that we have a full and frank discussion and that we then work toward helping them. What is equally important is to work to prevent crime so that there are fewer victims. On the issue of victims, the government has a good and a steady record of listening, of consulting and of dealing with their concerns.

On the issue of orders in council I am afraid I am not clear on what the hon. member was alluding to, but I would like to suggest it is important for us to get on with Bill C-42. It is important for us to let Madam Justice Arbour know that she has the support of Canadians in the very important work that she is doing.

Judges Act November 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the boys are restless today. In any event, let us get down to the nub of this. The nub of this is that we have responded to Canadian concerns. The 12 per cent solution is unable to respond to those concerns. What do they do? They stir it up and they let it go.

They do that in debate on a bill which is of very great importance. They say it is not important to ordinary Canadians. However, in my riding there are many ordinary Canadians who talk to me on the weekend when I am home and who call my office. They were concerned about what was going on in the former Yugoslavia. They were concerned about what is happening in Africa. They want Canada to participate. They want Canada to do something to make things better. One of the things we can do is contribute the time and the resources of a wonderful Canadian jurist to prosecute for the international war crimes tribunal.

There is a tradition and I am often able to find it linked directly to my home community of Windsor, Ontario. In the fifties, following the second world war, a gentleman by the name of Bruce J.F. Macdonald, who was then a crown attorney and who subsequently became a judge of the court of the County of Essex, as it was then, became one of Canada's prosecutors at Nuremberg. As a result, many Canadians who live in Windsor have a great interest in this. We hear about it from time to time.

One of my constituents has just completed scholarly work, a book, on the history of Canadian involvement in war crimes prosecutions.

The Hon. Madam Justice Louise Arbour of the Ontario Court of Appeal is not someone we have foisted upon the international court. She was chosen by the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as a result of a recommendation from the outgoing prosecutor, Mr. Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa. She was the first choice of the UN for the position of chief prosecutor.

This does not in any way take away from her ability to continue as a judge in our court of appeal in Ontario when she returns. In fact, I would dare say that the legal community of Ontario and the citizens of Ontario would be well served by having a woman on the bench who will be a heroic figure as a result of her work with the United Nations. She will be a heroic figure who will return to sit on the bench of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The position that the Reform Party is taking on this bill diminishes her. It is a terrible shame. This woman is honourable. She is distinguished. She is learned in the law. We in Ontario should be and are very proud of her. The fact that she has been asked to assist the world community in a very difficult, high profile task with the international war crimes tribunal is a great honour to us.

For the Reform Party to take the position which is has is shortsighted and obstructionist.

This bill is a small part of the justice agenda of the government. However, it reaches beyond our borders. It is important for the Canadian people to understand and recognize our stature in the international community. It is particularly important that we be allowed to serve, as a country, our friends around the world.

World peace is a very important and precious commodity. This is one small way in which Canada can yet again contribute to a desirable end.

I would like to suggest that the comments of the hon. member for Medicine Hat, in view of the so-called fresh start that the Reform Party is proposing, were unfair to the Minister of Justice, in particular, but in general they were unfair to the government. Making and keeping our streets safe is a very important goal. It takes more than rhetoric to do that.

At a recent address in Toronto, the Minister of Justice said that it takes more than just statutes written in a book on a shelf somewhere in Ottawa. That is insightful. It takes a lot more than that. So while the Reform Party is busy criticizing the government for what it considers to be our inaction in matters of justice, perhaps its members should take a look at their own proposals.

Community safety has to do with the health of those communities and the health of those communities has to do with their levels of economic development and with the type of social safety net those communities have.

We are struggling hard in this government to deal with the deficit which we almost have licked. We are struggling hard to put the country's finances back in order. We are struggling hard to do all these things so that Canada will remain strong, so we will have economic development and jobs, so we will have a good social safety net and so we will have a safe place for our children to grow up in.

I do not believe that giving people a tax rebate that they do not want and that they are not asking for is the way to do that. Our government's approach is a much healthier, much better organized and much more insightful approach to the problems of Canadian society.

But we do not do anybody any good when we get up in the House of Commons and rant and rave about bars on windows, locks on doors and people cowering in their houses. That is not the normal state of being in our country. The Reform Party knows that and Canadians know that. We do not serve them well by suggesting that crime is out of control or beyond the control of our law enforcement agencies. We do not do our citizens any good by simply pandering to the basest fears of citizens who are being misinformed

by politicians who are simply exploiting their fears. We do not do any good when we do that.

As a government we have to do what the justice committee is doing with respect to youth justice, for example. We have to go out there and we have to find out what is going on. When we define the problem and we see what is going on and we see the state of things, then we have to look to those who are involved in the area, to parents, to children who are at risk and who are in trouble with the law, to teachers, to educators, to social workers, to crown attorneys, to police officers and others. We have to go to them and ask them what we have done that is not working. We have to ask them what we can do that will work and what we need to do more of.

I look at the six point plan of the Reform Party. Point number four has to do with making our streets safe again. How do Reformers want to do that? They want to eliminate the Young Offenders Act. There are certain linkages in society. It is very shortsighted to think there is a quick fix. In the Reform lexicon, first they tell people there is more crime and then they tell people that they will have capital punishment to deal with it.

There is a lot that goes between the commission of the crime and the final result. There is an awful lot that goes before the commission of the crime. That is what we have to deal with, crime prevention.

Instead of going on and on about Bill C-42, instead of trying to take up the House's time and the government's time with a bill that simply allows Canada to be honoured on the international stage by having one of our leading jurists go to Europe to prosecute war criminals, instead of worrying about that, why do we not talk a little about what we can do for our children who are at risk to offend, about what misery they are living in, what problems they are having that are putting them in harm's way? Why do we not work on trying to fix that? Why do we not work on trying to find more jobs for Canadians?

Why do we not stop worrying about tax cuts and worry about how we are going to get jobs for those parents so that their children can grow up in safe, economically healthy and emotionally healthy surroundings? These are the important issues that are troubling Canadians.

On the issue of ordinary Canadians, I would like to point out that the House of Commons, quite frankly, is full of wonderful and devoted people on all sides of the House who are ordinary Canadians who have been called to an extraordinary calling and most of whom do a very good job at it. We do represent the views of ordinary Canadians and we represent them very well. Ordinary Canadians put us and our policies here and asked us to follow our agenda.

When it comes to the justice agenda, we have done what we promised. We have delivered on our promises and in a reasonable and productive way which finds a balance between the rights of Canadians who are before the courts and the rights of Canadians who have suffered. We try to take care of our people because that is what we were elected to do. As good Liberals, I would suggest we are meeting those obligations and our promises to the people of Canada.

If along the way a wonderful circumstance arises for our country, a circumstance which allows us to take one of the most prominent jurists in our country and place her in a position of international importance and responsibility, who are we to stand in the way of that? Who are we to fuss over that wonderful prospect for our country?

Madam Justice Arbour is serving Canadians and the citizens of the world. We should be proud of her and help her do that.

Judges Act November 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address the House today on Bill C-42. Before getting to the core of the bill, I would like to say a few words in response to some of the things that were said earlier today by members of the Reform Party with respect to the justice agenda of the government.

It is amazing to me that it does not matter what we are talking about in the House, but the Reform Party always ends up going back to the issue of guns. Bill C-68 is one of our stronger law and order measures. I want to point out that 12 per cent of Canadians oppose that legislation, which is the exact percentage that support the Reform Party nationally, according to the latest polls.

The member for Medicine Hat spoke at length about his perception, or perhaps it was his exaggeration of the way people in Canada feel about law and order. He suggested that the present Minister of Justice has not done enough. Let us talk about his

record and about the Liberal record on law and order issues, on safe homes and safe streets.

Let us talk about the establishment of the National Crime Prevention Council which was announced in July 1994 by the Minister of Justice and the Solicitor General. It will work to unify crime prevention efforts across the country and to provide advice to both the Minister of Justice and the Solicitor General on issues of law and order, in particular on crime prevention. Crime prevention is something which in the words of the member for Burlington who is well versed on these issues will help us prevent there being further victims in our country.

Bill C-68 on gun control, Reform's favourite, strengthens our gun control legislation. It provides for stiff four-year mandatory minimum sentences for the use of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Really, that is what this is all about. It is about guns. With these boys, it is always about guns.

Bill C-37, the Young Offenders Act. Reform opposed this one too. It establishes tougher sentencing for violent young offenders while encouraging the rehabilitation of young offenders and discouraging the use of prison sentences for non-violent crimes, something Reformers talk about a lot but voted against.

Bill C-41, sentencing reform, is something that really gets them. This one includes principles and approaches to sentencing that consider public safety, the needs of the victims-where have we heard that before-for restitution, principles that serious offenders should be treated differently than minor first time offenders. Because it seeks to protect people that the Reform Party does not want to protect, because of the inclusion of those two little words "sexual orientation", Reformers voted against the whole thing.

Bill C-104 concerns forensic DNA analysis. This improves the investigative tools available to police by clarifying circumstances for which a judge may issue a warrant allowing police and peace officers to obtain bodily samples for forensic DNA analysis. This bill has already done good in terms of criminal investigations in our country.

Bill C-72 amends the Criminal Code so that people remain accountable for violent acts committed while they are intoxicated.

There is the self-defence review. On October 4, 1995 the Solicitor General and the Minister of Justice announced the appointment of Madam Justice Lynn Ratushny to lead a review of cases involving women convicted of killing their abusive partners, spouses or guardians.

Bill C-9 re-establishes the Law Reform Commission.

Bill C-16, the contraventions act, increases efficiency in the justice system.

Bill C-33 is the Canadian Human Rights Act amendment. Of course Reformers are opposed to that one too. One might ask this question of them: By giving rights to others, how could that possibly diminish any rights that they have? But they do not care because there are those words "sexual orientation" again and off they go.

Bill C-17 contains Criminal Code improvements and they are opposed to that. Every attorney general in this country wants Bill C-17. It modernizes the Criminal Code. They need it to help them in law enforcement, but the Reform Party thinks it is important for us not to take advice from attorneys general and instead to cram unworkable and ridiculous procedures down their throats.

Bill C-25, the regulations act, will be reported in the House tomorrow. It reforms and updates the regulatory process to make it more efficient.

Bill C-27 concerns child prostitution, child sex tourism, criminal harassment and female genital mutilation. It amends the code to make sure that those who commit certain violent acts against women and children face tougher penalties.

There are also Bill C-41, child support; Bill C-45, the judicial review of parole ineligibility; Bill C-46, production of records in sexual offence proceedings; and Bill C-55, the high risk offenders legislation.

If that is not enough, there were a few things that we did which were not even in the red book or that were not promised. We launched a national flagging system as part of the Canadian Police Information Centre to help crown attorneys deal more effectively with high risk offenders at the time of prosecution. We established an anti-smuggling strategy to combat illegal trade in tobacco, firearms and alcohol. We continue to implement the war crimes strategy announced in January 1995. We expanded efforts to fight organized crime by seizure and forfeiture of assets and provisions against money laundering, and on and on and on.

Never, I would venture to guess in the history of our country, has there been a more prolific Minister of Justice. Never has there been a government so closely aligned with concern for Canadians and for their safety.

This morning the member for Medicine Hat went out of his way to reinforce what Reform hammers home and that is the scare tactics, the irresponsible creation out of the air of statistics that are not valid. Crime has not increased. Youth crime has not gone up.