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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was know.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Protecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation Act November 24th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I will continue my speech from yesterday. When I was interrupted, I was speaking about

This company also compiles statistics on child pornography in Canada. Every month, receives approximately 800,000 hits on its website and triages over 700 reports. Approximately 45% of these reports are then forwarded to law enforcement.

As of June 2009, had triaged over 33,000 reports since becoming Canada’s national tip line in 2002. Over this period, more than 90% of the reports received by were related to child pornography. At least 30 arrests have resulted from these reports, approximately 3,000 websites have been shut down and, most importantly, children have been removed from abusive environments.

When they appeared before committee,’s representatives mentioned that, in the first year since becoming the designated agency for receiving reports of child pornography under Manitoba’s mandatory reporting legislation, saw a 126% increase in reporting, and 17 of those reports led to the identification of children or perpetrators.

Before I conclude, I would like to talk about the penalties proposed in the bill. Pursuant to Bill C-22, which is before us today, individuals, or sole proprietors, would be liable to a fine of not more than $1,000 for a first offence; a fine of not more than $5,000 for a second offence; and a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both, for each subsequent offence.

Corporations and other entities would also be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 for the first offence, a fine of not more than $50,000 for the second offence and a fine of not more than $100,000 for each subsequent offence. This two-level penalty system takes into account the diversity of the Internet service sector in Canada, where there are just as many sole proprietorships as there are multinational corporations.

Some might feel that these penalties are light, but we have to remember that this bill complements all of the existing measures to protect our children against sexual exploitation, including the harsh penalties provided for in the Criminal Code for child pornography offences.

This bill sends a message to those who provide Internet services to the public that they have a social and moral obligation, and now also a legal one, to report the existence of this heinous material when they become aware of it.

We believe that the penalties provided for in this bill would allow us to balance the objective of the bill with its effectiveness. In order to achieve the objective of this bill, to better protect children, the government wants to ensure that all Internet service providers in Canada abide by the law, not just the major Internet service providers who already voluntarily declare such cases and assist the police.

What those watching us now must understand is that there are individuals who provide Internet services and there are, of course, large corporations that provide the same services. So we created two types of offences and two types of progressive fines. We wanted to ensure that we identified all of the cases in which an individual or a corporation might host child pornography sites or might fail to report a child pornography site.

According to representatives of, mandatory reporting of child pornography helps prevent personal and professional dilemmas related to reporting this kind of material. It ensures compliance with the law and ensures that quick, appropriate action is taken. Taking a closer look at the current role of as a designated organization under the Manitoba legislation on mandatory reporting is helpful in understanding how to explain the provisions of Bill C-22. This is what I was saying earlier.

In closing, I would like to make a final point. I recently had the opportunity to go to Palermo, where the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe was meeting. I was representing Canada, along with other members of our delegation. We supported the same bill that we have here before us. We summarized it in a few lines and asked the entire European community to approve it. Some 54 countries were represented by their elected officials.

It was a victory for Canada: the resolution on that bill was the only one that passed unanimously. We are making progress in the fight against child pornography. Of course we had to explain our bill and urge the members of the other delegations, elected officials like me, to vote in favour of the bill. Many of the areas that produce pornographic sites were in certain Asian or Middle Eastern countries. We needed to send a clear message that we would no longer tolerate these sites, which come to Canada and the United States through major systems. We no longer want children, whether their children or our children, to be exploited on Internet sites that disseminate child pornography, nor do we want three- to five-year-old children doing such degrading things.

That was our argument and, at the risk of repeating myself, we won: our resolution was the only one that was unanimously adopted by that Parliamentary Assembly, which includes the European Community. We do not always win, but we won in that case. I want the public to know that Canada can be proud. We are at the forefront of the fight against child pornography.

Interparliamentary Delegations November 24th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports of Canadian delegations to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly respecting their participation in the ninth winter meeting in Vienna, Austria, on February 18 and 19, 2010, and in the 19th annual session in Oslo, Norway, from July 6 to 10, 2010.

Protecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation Act November 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this debate at third reading on Bill C-22, An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service.

This is an important piece of legislation that states that persons who provide an Internet service must report any online child pornography they are aware of.

I think that on both sides of the House, we all agree that our main duty as elected representatives is to protect the most precious and vulnerable members of our society, our children.

Obliging Internet service providers to report child pornography will enhance our ability to protect Canadian children against online sexual exploitation in many ways.

First, this measure will improve our ability to detect child pornography, which is becoming increasingly prevalent. Second, the bill will allow for communication that will help block access to child pornography sites through the Cleanfeed Canada program. Third, the measures provided for in the bill will make it easier to identify, arrest and prosecute individuals who commit child pornography offences. Most importantly, these measures will help identify the victims so that we can save them from sexual predators.

Last summer, the federal ombudsman for victims of crime published a special report entitled Every Image, Every Child, which provided an overview of the problem of the online sexual exploitation of children.

According to the special report, the number of charges for the production or distribution of child pornography increased by 900% between 1998 and 2003. Furthermore, the number of images of serious child abuse has quadrupled between 2003 and 2007. This report also said that 39% of people who access child pornography look at images of children between the ages of 3 and 5, and 19% look at images of infants under 3 years old.

According to this report, commercial child pornography is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. Thousands of new images or videos are put on the Internet every week, and hundreds of thousands of searches for child sexual abuse images are performed daily.

It is estimated that there are more than 750,000 pedophiles online at any given time and some of them may have collections of over a million child sexual abuse images.

I have a few comments about two amendments made to the bill by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, of which I am a member. The definition of Internet services was slightly changed to specify that the bill applies to Internet service providers, in other words, people who provide services related to Internet access, content hosting and email.

The amendment applies only to the English version of the bill in order for the legislative text to accurately reflect the desired outcome and for the English version and the definition to better correspond to the French version.

The other amendment to Bill C-22 has to do with the provision on the possible double reporting in terms of the bill and the laws of a province or a foreign jurisdiction.

Essentially, Bill C-22 sets out two requirements for people who provide Internet services to the public. As far as the first requirement is concerned, persons who provide an Internet service to the public and who have been advised of an Internet address where child pornography may be available to the public are required to report to a designated agency such Internet addresses, otherwise known as IP or URL addresses.

In terms of the second requirement on notice and preservation, if a provider has reason to believe that its Internet services have been used in the commission of a child pornography offence, the provider is required to notify the police and preserve the evidence for 21 days.

Bill C-22 seeks to prevent double reporting to a designated agency when a service provider has already reported the incident, in compliance with an obligation under the laws of a province or a foreign jurisdiction. Nonetheless, the previous wording could have been interpreted to mean that the provider is relieved of notification and preservation duties. That was never the idea. The amendment specifies that Internet service providers who report an incident in compliance with the laws of a province or a foreign jurisdiction are released only of their reporting requirements.

The committee heard from representatives of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, which operates, Canada's national 24/7 tip line for reporting the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. At present, most reporting of child pornography across Canada is done through or, in French,

Within 48 hours, agents review, analyze, and prioritize every report they receive. The agents verify the reports by collecting supporting information using various Internet tools and techniques. They also identify the location of the material in order to determine the appropriate jurisdiction. If the material is assessed to be potentially illegal, a report is referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for follow-up and investigation. fulfills a valuable function for police across Canada by analyzing reports and forwarding only the most relevant information to law enforcement agencies. The material that is deemed not to be illegal is often followed up with educational information. Thus, the police do not have to use their resources to analyze reports of child pornography and can focus on investigations. has memoranda of understanding with most Canadian law enforcement agencies and collaborates closely with many of the Canadian ISPs and international partners, of course.—

Bloc Québécois November 23rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it will surprise no one to hear that the FTQ, a union, has been financially supporting the Bloc Québécois for over a decade. The Bloc Québécois and the FTQ are allies. Everyone knows that.

Up until March 6, 2009, the senior director of the FTQ was Jocelyn Dupuis. It has been widely reported in the media that Mr. Dupuis allegedly has ties to organized crime in Quebec. What we did not know is that this same Jocelyn Dupuis made financial contributions directly to the riding association of the leader of the Bloc Québécois, in Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

The question is simple: does the leader of the Bloc Québécois know where this money came from? Quebeckers deserve to know.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. member. For a decade or so, she has been working with her colleagues, and with us to move this bill foward. We have now reached the point where this bill will soon be up for consideration.

So that it is clear, I would like her to tell us whether we are meeting the wish she has been expressing for the past 10 years or so in her riding.

At present, the sentence for multiple murders, for an individual who has killed several people, is only 25 years. With this bill, that sentence could be extended by 10 or 15 years, depending on what the judge decides.

Bill S-6 from the Senate provides for the elimination of the faint hope clause for offenders who have committed multiple crimes because the victims did not get the chance to be heard. Is the hon. member in favour of removing the faint hope clause as set out in Bill S-6?

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, that is indeed a question that remains.

When an individual has committed two first degree murders, at present, he or she will receive only one 25-year sentence for both murders. If he or she commits three, even if they are premeditated, the same sentence applies: 25 years.

When someone commits second degree murder, early release is possible. Depending on the circumstances, the judge can say that the individual is eligible for parole after 10 or 15 years. What we must bear in mind is that it is up to the judge. He or she is master of the facts and master of the law.

It is possible to have a first degree murder and a second degree murder, what is known as collateral damage. In such cases, the judge can order a 25-year sentence for the first murder, but after that could allow a request for parole 10 years later. So in reality, the individual would serve 35 years. In the past, it was only 25 years—no more, no less.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member. Indeed, a person convicted of first degree murder, or premeditated murder, is sentenced to 25 years with eligibility for parole after 10 or 15 years. It is up to the judge. Take for example someone who commits three first degree murders and shows no remorse. Currently that person would not receive a sentence any longer than 25 years. The only difference is that instead of being released on parole after 10 or 15 years, they will not be released for 25 years. Nonetheless, their sentence is no longer than 25 years. Whether they killed 10 people or 50, the sentence is still 25 years.

When a judge sees that an individual is truly unworthy of living among us, we would like for him to declare and justify, because he always has to justify things orally or in writing, the fact that he is handing down a 25-year sentence. What is more, he will have the right to increase, not consecutively but in some other way, the number of years the individual will have to stay in prison before being released on parole. This may not happen in the person's lifetime, but let us not forget that the murderer took another person's life.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague who, like me, is a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. We value the work he does. We have worked together for about four years.

This topic raised questions in our government. However, I would like to say that the authority known as a judge's arbitrary power is left in the judge's hands. The judge must justify, orally or in writing, what he does or does not want to apply. In all cases, the judge will have heard the trial and the testimonies. He will have been able to see if the accused was remorseful. He will have seen the entire file. So it will be up to him to say, orally or in writing, whether the principles of Bill C-48 should be applied or not.

I believe that we have covered my colleague's question about sentences that can be as high as 600 years for one person.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.

Through you, I would like to say that all bills starts with politics. When we arrived in 2006, we had an agenda. It was political and clearly stated that we would put the most dangerous criminals in prison.

Terms have been used that could, in some ways, make it seem as though we are biased. I would say that our political agenda is perhaps the most biased, but in victims' favour. That is always our goal when we introduce bills, including this one.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act November 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, by ensuring that people who commit the most serious crimes serve an appropriate period of incarceration, the amendments contained in Bill C-48 are another example of the government's ongoing commitment to protect the families and loved ones of murder victims.

Permit me to dwell for a moment on the policy underlying Bill C-48 to counter any possible criticism that the proposed measures are overly retributive in nature. Far from it, Mr. Speaker, for the measures set out in this bill have been carefully developed to balance the need to protect society and denounce unlawful conduct with the need to ensure that sentences in Canadian law respond to individual circumstances.

The measures in Bill C-48 will therefore not be mandatory. The government recognizes that the circumstances of every murder are different, and that a one-size-fits-all approach could well produce injustice in individual cases. This is because of the fact that patterns of multiple murders are extremely varied. They range from cold-blooded serial killings and contract murders to unplanned killings in the heat of passion, parental killing of children, workplace killings of fellow workers, right through to killings by persons in delusional states caused by alcohol, drugs or mental illness.

Many multiple murders, especially parental or workplace killings, are accompanied by extreme mental and emotional stress and often followed by a desperate attempt to commit suicide once the perpetrator has come to his or her senses. In short, the government clearly recognizes that the mental state of those who kill—even those who kill more than once—may vary widely and may carry differing degrees of moral culpability and be accompanied by varying degrees of remorse.

By allowing judges to make the decision whether to impose additional periods of parole ineligibility, the proposed amendments reflect the fundamental principle of sentencing that a sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender. For let us not forget that judges who have presided over a trial and who have therefore heard all the evidence and been in a position to assess the character of the accused are in the best position to make such a decision.

However, in making this decision, judges will be required by Bill C-48 to have regard to the criteria that already exists in section 745.4 that they are now using to extend the parole ineligibility period for second degree murder up to 25 years, namely, the character of the offender, the nature and circumstances of the crime and any recommendation in this regard made by the jury. However, given the inherent seriousness of the offence of murder and the fact that more than one life will have been lost, the measures proposed in Bill C-48 go farther than simply providing judges with this new authority and obliging them to conform to strict criteria that have been developed and are being used for a similar purpose.

Bill C-48 would also require judges to state orally or in writing at the time of sentencing why they may have decided not to use their authority to impose consecutive periods of parole ineligibility on a multiple murderer in a particular case. This is only fair. The public, and particularly the families and loved ones of victims, have an absolute right to know why those who have killed more than once are not being forced to spend a longer time in custody before being able to apply for release back into the community.

In addition, by requiring judges to immediately make the basis of their decisions public, it will allow for an appeal in those situations where Crown counsel may conclude that the discretion afforded to sentencing judges may not have been properly exercised.

Mr. Speaker, I am confident that the measures proposed in Bill C-48 will be supported by police and victims advocates who have long been generally opposed to what they view as the relatively easy availability of parole in Canada for violent criminals.

Although the provinces and territories will not be directly affected in terms of correctional resources, I am equally confident that they too will be supportive because another group of violent criminals will be kept in custody for a longer time.

Nonetheless, some may criticize this proposal because murderers, and particularly multiple murderers, already find it more difficult than other offenders to obtain parole. To this I say simply that if there is any crime that justifies putting the interests of the families and loved ones of victims first, it is that of murder. And this is especially true in the case of those who have killed more than once.

In this respect, I can only repeat what the Minister of Justice said outside this House on October 5: each and every murder of a human being diminishes us as a society. Multiple murders are that much more repugnant.

In short, the government will continue to stand up for victims of crime. It will continue to be vigilant in protecting Canadians from violent criminals, and it will continue to put the interests of law-abiding Canadians ahead of the rights of criminals.

Before I conclude, I would like to address another issue that has been the subject of recent controversy in this House: the question of the costs of the government’s law and order agenda. In this regard, I am pleased to report that, for the present and for the next 25 years, the measures set out in Bill C-48 are entirely cost-neutral. Shortly stated, Bill C-48 will not lead to increased costs for the federal government for the foreseeable future.

Nor will they entail significant costs for our provincial and territorial partners. Crown counsel in all jurisdictions will be required to address the proposed criteria I have already described in making their submissions on sentencing should they wish to recommend that a particular multiple murderer receive consecutive periods of parole ineligibility upon conviction and sentencing. These are criteria with which they too are already familiar.

There are no surprises in Bill C-48. The only surprise will be if it is not passed into law as soon as possible to respond to the concerns of those Canadians who wonder why offenders who are convicted of the most serious crimes seem to end up getting sentences that do not fully reflect the gravity of their crimes.

I empathize with ordinary Canadians. I understand why they may find it hard to understand that the justice system gives the most serious criminals–those who have committed multiple murders–access to parole despite the horrific circumstances of their murders and the number of lives they have taken. I understand why concerned Canadians may question why an unrepentant serial killer should have the same access to a parole hearing as a sincerely remorseful offender who killed once in the heat of passion.

Giving those who have killed more than once the same access to parole as those who have killed once erodes confidence in the integrity of the justice system. It also threatens to undermine the commitment of this government to protect Canadians by keeping violent offenders in custody for longer periods. We will not let that happen.

Canadians continue to tell us that they want a strong criminal justice system. They want to see decisive action to address violent crime. They want to see laws passed that will make this country safer and more secure.

Our government is following through on its commitment to make Canadian streets and communities safer by ensuring that offenders who are found guilty of serious crimes serve a sentence that reflects the severity of those crimes. The amendments to the Criminal Code in Bill C-48 are an important part of this commitment. We are standing up for Canadians who have repeatedly called on us to get tough on crime. We call on all members of this House to stand up with us.

Bill C-48 proposes to reform the approach to sentencing multiple murderers in a way that balances respect for the principles of sentencing with respect for the rights of victims and their families. For this reason, it deserves our careful consideration and the members' support.