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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was alberta.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Edmonton Centre (Alberta)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Social Development December 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in the fall economic update, our government announced the social finance fund, which will help businesses and charitable organizations bridge the gap between business and philanthropy.

Organizations such as the McConnell Foundation say that this fund will enable us to generate economic growth while addressing urgent social challenges.

This being our last day in the House, would the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us more about the social finance fund?

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, allow me to be very clear. It will be a cold day in hell before I will vote for a Conservative opposition motion that is simply there to obfuscate, to try to trap our side, to try to divide our side, to try to sow division among Canadians.

On this side of the House, we are here to build. We are here to invest in the future. We are here to see that Alberta oil gets to new markets despite all the theatre and rhetoric on the other side.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that the Calgary Stampeders won the cup, I remain from Edmonton. I am the member for Edmonton Centre.

I can say very clearly that our government is cleaning up a mess which the other side left us. We are doing so by working with indigenous peoples, by making sure that we protect the environment, by following a very clear path that the Federal Court laid out for us.

We inherited 99% of our product going to the U.S. We are going to work in the right way to see new markets opened for Alberta oil.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, despite all the respect the hon. member is due, he is wrong. When I have more time in the House, I will come back and take head-on the boots and suits arguments that Conservative-funded lobbyists are lobbing at our side to try to scare the industry sector and Canadians that somehow protecting the environment, getting projects built in a timely manner and ensuring companies save money is a bad way to do business. Bill C-69 would modernize the NEB and would ensure that projects in the country would get built in a timely manner.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I respect the hon. member's passion on this issue. There are $1.5 billion for ocean protection and $165 million to protect the whales. The interim principles framework that the Minister of Natural Resources put in place was commented on favourably by the Federal Court of Appeal.

It is true that we have more work to do on consultations, and we are owning that. That work is being done now and is being done in the right way. We have engaged the services of retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci. He has recently reported to the Prime Minister. We are focused on getting TMX built in the right way. Let us be clear. The emissions from that expansion are built into the climate change framework.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's colourful remarks and a recap of my record, for which I am very proud. I said that I am here to deliver results, and that is exactly what we are going to be doing.

Let us talk about the fact that when we respect indigenous peoples, when we work with environmentalists, when we work proponents to ensure their projects can pass in a timely manner, that is how we accelerate the work of getting projects to market. On this side, we are not just working to ensure we can get TMX built. We want to ensure there is a process in place that can allow many more pipes to be constructed under under our watch. That makes me very proud.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I appreciate memory lapses on the part of the people on the other side. On this side, we are going to continue with our defence of Canadian workers in the energy sector.

Despite the empty rhetoric and talking points we hear from the Conservatives, our approach will help to diversify Canada's energy markets by ensuring that good resource projects get built in a timely, responsible and transparent way.

That is why the government and my friend, the Minister of Natural Resources, the member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, have developed a comprehensive response to the Federal Court's ruling, by instructing the National Energy Board to reconsider the effects of marine shipping related to the project and to report back by February, by relaunching phase 3 consultations with indigenous communities affected by the project, work that the minister has been conducting over the last weeks and that he will continue to do.

Let us be clear. We have to respect all of our legal and constitutional obligations in that we have to take into account environmental considerations. We have to ensure that our consultations are meaningful, that we make accommodations and that we work with indigenous peoples in the communities along pipeline lines to ensure the build is respectful and meets their needs. This is a direct part of our program and our project to ensure Alberta resources can get to new markets.

We see our support for the energy sector in the new USMCA agreement, which features significant gains for Canada's energy sector, an agreement that enhances our competitiveness and inspires greater investor confidence. It is an agreement that removes NAFTA's proportionality clause and restores Canada's sovereignty over our own energy resources.

The side agreement on energy between Canada and the United States recognizes the importance of integrating North American energy markets based on open trade investment, commits our two countries to supporting North American energy competitiveness, security and independence, requires independent energy regulators and prohibits discriminatory or preferential access to energy infrastructure.

It is important to pause and understand where some of the elements in the fall economic statement came from. When the Prime Minister met in the recent past with members of the oil sector, executives, he asked a very simple question. He asked them what they needed from the federal to help them get their product to market. It was very clear. They asked him to get them a pipe to tidewater that would get them to customers other than the U.S. and get them accelerated capital cost allowance so they could build and ensure they were able to recoup their capital costs before they started to pay royalties.

What have we done? What has the Prime Minister led this government to do? The $4.5 billion investment in the TMX pipeline is producing $300 million a year right now. Should we be able to do exactly the plan we are following in the right way, it could be three times that amount going through that pipe on an annual basis, which would be $900 million going to new markets. The $14.7 billion in accelerated capital cost allowance in the fall economic statement is exactly what oil executives have asked a Liberal government in Ottawa to do.

That is like a Liberal government in the 1970s, when there was a Liberal government in Ontario and a Peter Lougheed-led government in Alberta that decided to create Syncrude, which decided to be innovative and take this new stuff out of the ground, known as oil sands, and figure out how to separate it and get it to the world. Syncrude was led by a federal Liberal government, an Ontario Liberal government and a Conservative government led by Peter Lougheed. That was the kind of leadership we saw in the 1970s, and it is the kind of leadership we see again in 2018.

Once again, we have listened and taken action. We have offered an accelerated investment incentive that lets businesses immediately write off the full cost of machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing, as well as all clean energy equipment.

We have also promised to modernize federal regulations, because we understand that the regulatory burden can add up over time. The fall economic statement proposes to eliminate obsolete regulatory requirements, making Canada a more attractive place to invest.

This includes encouraging regulators to take into account efficiency and economic considerations. How will we do this? An annual modernization bill to keep regulations up to date, an external advisory committee to look at Canada's regulatory competitiveness, a centre for regulatory innovation and immediate action to a number of business recommendations.

As well, to boost trade overseas, our government is proposing to accelerate investments in trade transportation corridors, leading to Asia and Europe. Just yesterday I had the honour to join the Minister of International Trade Diversification in my own home city of Edmonton, as we announced a new e-hub logistics centre at the Edmonton International Airport. This is another example of how this government is not only working to meet the needs of energy sector workers, but diversifying our economy so we can be a global hub in centres across the country for global commerce. That is leadership, that is innovation and that is exactly why we, on this side of the House, are working to improve the lives of Canadians.

I was a management consultant before I came to this place. This place has a lot of process. I am in the Parliament of Canada not to spend endless hours on process, but to deliver results. I have nieces and nephews who are now 17, 15 and soon to be 11. When they ask me what I do, I ask them if they watch me on TV. They tell me not for too long because it looks a little boring. I told them that in a nutshell, we were making decisions now to make things better for them in the future, so when they were finished school, they could decide if they wanted to go into the trades, or go to northern Alberta Institute of Technology and become a broadcaster, or to go into the oil patch or be a Ph.D. in neurophysics.

Our whole purpose on this side is to make the lives of Canadians better and that includes the hundred thousand Albertans who lost their livelihoods in the 2008 downturn.

Our country is doing well. We are leading the G7. However, 12% of the population, 16% of the GDP, is still hurting. While we have five out of six cylinders firing in the country, with our plan and our project and the work of this part of the government, we will ensure that all cylinders are firing in the country, and that Albertans and Canadians get back to work.

At the end of the day, when I talk to my niece and nephews 10 years from now and they ask me if I am proud of my time in the House of Commons, I will tell them “We got the work done. We transformed the energy sector. We kept our promises.” That day I know I will be proud not only of my work but of every member on this side of the House.

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Madam Speaker, it is critical for members of the House of Commons in November of 2018 to be holding this emergency debate on Canada's energy sector. We are in the midst of dealing with serious headwinds facing the industry, highlighted by unprecedented price differentials on western Canadian oil.

As the Prime Minister has said, it is a crisis and it is taking its toll not just in Alberta but across the country. It is weighing heavily on hard-working Canadians and their anxious families, hurting communities, costing governments, including this one and the Government of Alberta, much-needed revenues, and dashing opportunities and dreams.

Unfortunately, this situation is born out of a perfect storm: a million barrels of U.S. refining capacity shut down due to maintenance just as new projects have been coming online in the Alberta oil sands, something we want to see more of, but which has created a high supply of crude at a time when there is less capacity to refine and, without a doubt, lack of pipeline capacity for export. The result is a price differential that is causing great uncertainty, great angst and deep frustration on the heels of several difficult years of low oil prices. As the caucus chair for Alberta on the government side, I know this pain, I feel this pain. It is in my own family.

There are 50,000 engineers out of work in Calgary. There are 12 million square feet of vacant downtown office space in Calgary. That is more than all of the office space in Vancouver. It will take 15 years for the city to recover from that. That is pain that we feel as Albertans and we feel on this side of the House.

It has left many families feeling unsure about their futures, unsure how they will make ends meet, including members of my own immediate and extended family. People who I talk to at their doors wonder what their next job will look like, where it will be and what they will have to do to hold that job.

This is not some abstract matter that I read about in the news. This affects me personally in a profound way, as it does my colleagues on this side of the House. Communities are gripped by anxiety. It is affecting Alberta, local businesses and the entire country. We continue to feel the effects of this slowdown and the consequences of our inability to benefit fully from our resources.

Just as world prices are beginning to recover, Alberta finds itself facing an unacceptable increased discount on our oil resources. Albertans are angry and worried. We are fed up. I am fed up and so are my colleagues on this side of the House. Our message is clear tonight. The status quo cannot continue. We cannot stand idly by while oil that belongs to Canadians is being sold at bargain basement prices.

Nobody wants their commodity to be sold at 15% to 25% of its value and that is what we are experiencing right now, today, in this country because we have one market and this country was locked into one market through 10 years of failure of the Conservative government under Stephen Harper. That is why our government is working with Alberta and Saskatchewan through our working group to review options that could help relieve the pain being felt by so many. We are seized by this issue and looking at every single possible option on the table, including solutions to get this situation resolved. However, make no mistake, our ultimate goal is to make sure that every barrel of Alberta oil receives its full value.

There is some good news on the horizon. We know that next year Line 3 pipeline, approved by our government, will add 370,000 barrels per day in capacity.

We know that the four U.S. refineries that had been closed since October have now reopened.

That will start to ease the differential. It is why our government has given such priority to this issue and to making sure that market forces prevail.

The good news is that we are not starting from scratch with these efforts; in fact, just the opposite. When our government came into office, we understood there was an issue of market access. We recognized that, after 10 years of the Harper government, nothing had changed.

When the Conservatives started in government in 2006, 99% of Canadian oil went to the United States. When they finished in government in 2015, 99% of Canadian oil was still heading to our greatest and best customer, until it was no longer our greatest and best customer. We realized we had to start getting pipelines built to tidewater. We also realized that their plan, which failed to take into account indigenous needs, failed to take into the environment and failed to consult properly, would not be a plan to follow.

Members will remember that standing in our way as Canadians was a waning public confidence in the way major resource projects were being reviewed. Canadians knew that the Conservatives brought in a new system that cut corners, shirked our responsibility to meaningfully consult with indigenous peoples and short-circuited steps required to protect the environment. Therefore, we set about rebuilding Canadians' trust in the impact assessments, improving transparency and enhancing public participation throughout the review process.

We started with extensive public consultations. We appointed two expert panels and we reviewed findings from two parliamentary studies. We listened to Canadians, we heard them and we acted. Why did we have to do this? It was because of 10 years of inaction by the Harper government. The Conservatives' approach failed through disregarding indigenous needs, they were quashed in the courts and they failed to take into account the basic protections for our environment.

The Conservatives had 10 years to expand to markets other than the United States, and they failed for 10 years. Our government will ensure that we are moving forward on expanding to global markets by building pipeline capacity in the right way. That is why the decision to invest $4.5 billion in the Trans Mountain pipeline was the right one.

I can tell members that one of the proudest moments I have had as an Edmonton Liberal in this government was the day that this government, led by the Prime Minister, decided that making a $4.5-billion investment was the right decision for the future of Albertans and Canadians, and a strategic and sound investment in our collective future. It was the right decision to find a cost-effective and safe way for us to get resources to international markets then and it still is today.

I will take this opportunity to take out a few myths that are very convenient and very pervasive on the Conservative side of the House and bust them.

Let us talk about the northern gateway pipeline. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned that government's approval of that Enbridge pipeline on the grounds that the Crown failed to properly consult first nations communities. It said that:

We find that Canada offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate opportunity…to exchange and discuss information and to dialogue...It would have taken [Canada] little time and little...effort to engage in meaningful dialogue...But this did not happen.

It is simply shocking, but that is how we got to being no closer to international markets after 10 years of Harper policies.

The second myth is that the decision of TransCanada to pull the energy east pipeline was something other than a business decision based on pure economics that are very simple for people to understand. How do I know this? I met the CEO of TransCanada Corporation on May 27, 2017, in this very building, upstairs in the dining room. The then minister of infrastructure and communities, the member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, was at the same dinner.

During coffee, I looked at Russ Girling and said, “Mr. Girling, what happens if the United States administration approves Keystone XL?” He looked at me and said, “Randy, if that happens I have to shutter energy east”. I said, “Tell me why?” He said, “Because there isn't enough supply in Canada to properly run two pipelines”. I said, “So what does that mean?” He said, “I have to make sure energy east never goes to the NEB. I have to get my shippers to remove their oil contracts with energy east and get them over to Keystone XL, because the company will not be able to cash flow energy east”.

What happened within three months of that conversation? The U.S. administration approved Keystone XL.

Energy east was never sent to the National Energy Board. In fact, within a month, he was asking the Alberta government and all of his other suppliers to move capacity from the energy east project to the Keystone XL pipeline. Let us make no mistake about it, our government was prepared to work with TCPL every step of the way, through the interim principles, to see its project. We did not pull the project from the NEB; the corporation did, for pure and simple economics.

The Conservatives may not like to play from an economic playbook. In fact, if we look at their debt ratio and we look at their horrible management of the economy for 10 years, I can understand why a simple economics lesson is lost on that side of the House. However, on our side, simple economics, complex economics make sense. It is why this government has invested $4.5 billion in a pipeline to get us to new markets.

Criminal Code November 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to speak to Bill S-215, an act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for violent crimes against aboriginal women), introduced in the Senate on December 11, 2015, by the Honourable Senator Lillian Dyck.

First of all, I would like to commend Senator Dyck for her advocacy on the critical issue of violence against indigenous women and girls. Our government shares the view that the unacceptable rates of violence against indigenous women and girls is a matter of urgency and national concern.

Bill S-215's objective is outlined in its preamble, which states the importance of denouncing and deterring violent crimes against indigenous women, given that indigenous women have been, for many decades, and still are, far more likely than non-indigenous women to be victims of violence.

Bill S-215 proposes to create two new Criminal Code provisions, sections 239.1 and 273.01, which would require the fact that a victim is an indigenous woman to be considered an aggravating factor when sentencing an offender for certain violent offences. These offences are murder, manslaughter and attempted murder; uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm; assault, assault with a weapon, or causing bodily harm and aggravated assault; unlawfully causing bodily harm and sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

While I know that all of us support this bill's objective, these proposed reforms may have unintended consequences in the application of sentencing. The purpose of aggravating factors is to signal to sentencing judges that lengthier sentences are warranted in cases where the aggravating factor is present. I will note that the Criminal Code already establishes that it is an aggravating factor for the purpose of sentencing where an offence is motivated by hate, for instance, because of the victim's gender or race. It is also already an aggravating factor where the victim of a crime is a spouse, common law partner or child. In that regard, the proposed aggravating factor in Bill S-215 duplicates these provisions. Furthermore, Bill S-215 might have the unintended consequence of contradicting the application of the Gladue principle.

Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code requires sentencing judges to consider “all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances”, and mandates judges to pay "particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders" in conducting this analysis. This provision requires sentencing judges to consider the background and unique circumstances of an indigenous offender, usually with the assistance of a Gladue report, and to consider alternatives to incarceration wherever possible. Where the offender is indigenous, combined with Bill S-215 , a judge could be under contradictory obligations both to lengthen the sentence for an indigenous offender's criminal conduct against an indigenous woman and, at the same time, to consider alternatives to incarceration and reduce the sentence because the offender themself has an indigenous background.

Beyond these concerns, it is imperative to also consider the societal context in which this bill's proposed reforms are situated. This includes the lived realities of indigenous persons in Canada. This broader context highlights the importance not only of Bill S-215's objectives, but also the need for multifaceted responses outside the criminal justice system to meaningfully address this complex issue. Statistics indicate that indigenous persons are overrepresented among both victims and offenders of violent crimes.

Indigenous women experience dramatically higher rates of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and homicide than their non-indigenous counterparts. Specifically, indigenous females recorded a sexual assault rate of 113 incidents per 1,000 people, which is significantly higher than the rate of 35 per 1,000 recorded for their non-indigenous counterparts. Also, according to the 2014 general social survey on victimization, indigenous women had an overall rate of violent victimization double that of indigenous males, with 220 violent incidents per 1,000 people compared with 110 per 1,000; close to triple that of non-indigenous females, with 81 violent incidents per 1,000 people; and more than triple that of non-indigenous males, with 66 violent incidents per 1,000 people.

At the same time, indigenous persons are also overrepresented in Canada's correctional institutions. In 2016-17, indigenous adults represented 28% of the total provincial-territorial offender population and 27% of the federal offender population, but only 4.1% of the Canadian adult population. In particular, indigenous women accounted for 43% of admissions to provincial or territorial custody and 31% to federal custody, while indigenous men accounted for 28% of admissions to provincial or territorial custody and 23% of admissions to federal custody, according to the Statistics Canada's adult and youth correctional statistics for 2016-17.

As we can all agree, these findings paint a stark reality. In thinking about both the overrepresentation of indigenous persons in prison, as well as women and girls' unacceptably high vulnerability to violence, we must acknowledge and act on the understanding that these realities are inseparable from the historic and contemporary impacts of colonialism.

As explained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report entitled “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future”, violence and criminal offending are not inherent to aboriginal people, but rather emanate from very specific experiences that indigenous people have endured, including but not limited to, first-hand victimization and experience with physical and sexual violence in residential schools, poverty, and substance abuse. These factors have contributed to the overrepresentation of indigenous persons in all stages of the Canadian criminal justice process, both as offenders and as victims.

While we are all committed to addressing the pressing issue of violence against indigenous women and girls, Bill S-215 cannot respond to these lived realities to which the bill's proposed reforms would apply. These concerns lead me to the conclusion that the proposed reforms are unlikely to achieve their important objective.

Such a complex issue requires comprehensive approaches to ensure that the proposed solutions have their desired effect. I note that the results of the ongoing National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be instructive in this regard. The inquiry is studying relevant issues, such as identifying the root causes of violence and abuse and finding ways to them, and addressing the impacts of poverty, marginalization, cycles of violence and disempowerment. Our government looks forward to receiving the recommendations of the national inquiry.

While the commissioners complete their important work, we are taking immediate action by investing in a commemoration fund that will support local and national commemoration activities; in organizations with expertise in law enforcement and policing to lead a review of police practices; in housing and shelters; in education and reform of child and family services; in programs to prevent and address violence against indigenous women and girls; and in increasing health support and victim services for families and survivors.

A broad-based, holistic approach is the best way to ensure better protection for indigenous women and girls from violence. Our government is committed to ensuring tangible and systemic changes that will ensure improved outcomes for indigenous people, including indigenous women and girls.

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this Senate public bill, Bill S-240, which proposes amendments that seek to tackle an issue that is of concern internationally and to Canadians, and that is the illicit trafficking of human organs.

Before I discuss the substance of this relatively small but important piece of proposed legislation, I would like to spend a few minutes discussing the issue on which it focuses. As I mentioned, this issue has affected many other countries around the world, yet as my hon. colleague for Winnipeg North has said, it is important to note that, to our knowledge, no known cases have yet occurred in Canada, nor would we want them to.

Organ trafficking is a lucrative and dangerous form of transnational organized crime. According to a 2015 study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, this activity purports to net in excess of $1 billion U.S. annually in illegal profits. What this illicit revenue is used for can be far-reaching, but one can well imagine that some of it is funnelled into other criminal ventures, which can undermine public safety, fuel corruption and negatively impact the rule of law.

It is also important for members to understand what it is we are talking about when we say “organ trafficking”. According to the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the only international treaty on this issue, trafficking in human organs includes the removal of organs from a person who has not provided free, informed and specific consent or who has received a financial benefit in exchange for the removal of organs.

We know that organ trafficking puts lives at risk. Medical procedures that might be performed in substandard and unregulated environments can impact those whose organs are being removed or those who are seeking organs themselves. Quite simply, this is an appalling and dangerous business, and it requires a strong legislative and operational response. It is against this backdrop that I would like to turn my attention to the substance of Bill S-240.

As I said earlier, this legislation is short and proposes amendments to both the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, despite the protests of my colleague across the way, there are still some questions we must address.

I will start with the Criminal Code proposals, the most significant of which relate to the creation of new criminal offences punishable by considerable periods of imprisonment. Bill S-240 would enact four new offences targeting organ trafficking and related conduct.

The first offence, in proposed paragraph 240.1(1)(a), would prohibit obtaining an organ in order for it to be transplanted into one's body and in a situation where the person who has received the organ knew or was reckless as to whether or not the person who provided the organ gave informed consent. This particular proposed offence appears to be focused on the beneficiary of the organ and not on anyone else who may be involved in organ trafficking generally.

The second offence, in proposed paragraph 240.1(1)(b), would more squarely address the facilitators. This offence would target those who carry out, participate in or facilitate the removal of an organ in cases where they know or are reckless as to whether or not a person provided informed consent to have the organ removed.

The third offence, in proposed paragraph 240.1(1)(c), would address those who enable illegal organ removals by prohibiting acting on behalf of or at the direction of or in association with a person who has removed an organ and where the accused knows that the organ was removed from someone who has not provided informed consent or was reckless as to that fact.

Finally, Bill S-240 proposes an offence at proposed subsection 240.1(3) to target those who are involved in obtaining an organ for consideration. In essence, this offence would make it illegal to obtain an organ for money, even in cases where the organ was provided by someone who provided free and informed consent.

As I mentioned, these proposed offences would be subject to a significant maximum penalty, imprisonment for 14 years. As with other indictable offences, a sentencing court would also have discretion to impose a fine of any amount.

I am interested in our discussion of these proposed new offences, and I say this because I have a number of questions on these proposed new offences. While I will not be able to raise all of them here this evening, I wonder, for example, whether it is the role of Parliament to use criminal law to target someone who has purchased an organ, perhaps in another country where it may be legal to do so, in a situation where the individual who provided the organ did so freely, in a safe manner and under circumstances that were closely regulated. This type of action would be captured by the bill, because the bill also proposes to allow the prosecution in Canada of Canadians who go abroad to purchase organs.

These are extremely difficult and complicated situations. I can well understand why some who are faced with the prospect of serious health consequences or even death and who cannot otherwise obtain a necessary organ might look to other options for saving themselves or someone they love.

On the other hand, I also recognize the motivation behind the proposal and the need to ensure that individuals, often from developing countries, who may be vulnerable to abuse given their own economic situation, are protected from potentially exploitative practices.

Bill S-240 proposes a definition of informed consent that would be a key feature of the new offences. I would note that, as introduced, the bill did not propose to define this term but that a definition was added by the Senate out of concern for the need to be clear in the law, particularly given that we are talking about criminal offences.

From my own perspective, I welcome the changes by the Senate in this regard, in that they try to make the law clear and clearly understood. At the same time, the Senate committee did not appear to consider the impact of this change in any significant detail. I wonder, for example, whether this definition of informed consent is consistent with the approach that is taken in the medical assistance in dying regime or whether defining it in the Criminal Code in the manner that has been done is consistent with how that term is understood in the health law context.

I look forward to hearing more and considering these points further. I would also like to comment briefly on the changes proposed to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which would result in someone who has engaged in conduct captured by three of the four proposed offences being inadmissible to Canada. In thinking about this proposed change, I wonder whether it is, strictly speaking, essential given that the current laws on inadmissibility already address criminality and organized criminality. I am curious as to why the offence prohibiting the receipt of an organ for money would not provide a basis for excluding someone from Canada when the other newly proposed offences would.

There can be no doubt that Bill S-240 is targeting an important issue and this issue is deserving of our attention. However, as we are talking about criminal law, which is one of the most blunt and powerful instruments available to a government, I think it is critically important that we do our due diligence and fully examine the proposals contained in this bill and the full range of consequences that flow from its changes.

I worked on Bill C-75, which has several hundred clauses, and being in the cut and thrust of such legislation is hard work. We need to do the homework and take the time to make to make sure that the laws to be passed in the country are fair and balanced for all concerned.