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HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION


JOURNALS

No. 127

Thursday, September 25, 2003

10:00 a.m.



Prayers

Daily Routine Of Business

Presenting Reports from Inter-parliamentary Delegations

Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), Mr. Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard) presented the Report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) respecting its participation at the XXIXth Annual Session of the APF, held in Niamey, Niger, from July 4 to 10, 2003. — Sessional Paper No. 8565-372-52-07.


Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), Mr. Harvard (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia) presented the Report of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) concerning its participation at the 15th Seminar of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, held on the Island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from August 16 to 23, 2003. — Sessional Paper No. 8565-372-53-05.


Pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), Mr. Harvard (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia) presented the Report of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) concerning its participation at the 42nd Canadian Regional Conference, held in Victoria, British Columbia, from July 12 to 18, 2003. — Sessional Paper No. 8565-372-53-06.

Presenting Reports from Committees

Mr. Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster) , from the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, presented the Sixth Report of the Committee, “Meaningful Scrutiny: Practical Improvements to the Estimates Process”. — Sessional Paper No. 8510-372-128.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Committee requested that the government table a comprehensive response.

A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meeting No. 58) was tabled.

Introduction of Private Members' Bills

Pursuant to Standing Orders 68(2) and 69(1), on motion of Mr. Benoit (Lakeland) , seconded by Mr. Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville) , Bill C-452, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (proceedings under section 258), was introduced, read the first time, ordered to be printed and ordered for a second reading at the next sitting of the House.

Presenting Petitions

Pursuant to Standing Order 36, petitions certified correct by the Clerk of Petitions were presented as follows:

— by Ms. Catterall (Ottawa West—Nepean) , one concerning marriage (No. 372-2037);

— by Mr. Elley (Nanaimo—Cowichan) , one concerning the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (No. 372-2038);

— by Mr. Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis) , one concerning stem cell research (No. 372-2039) and one concerning pornography (No. 372-2040).

Government Orders

The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons) , seconded by Mr. Pagtakhan (Minister of Veterans Affairs) , — That Bill C-34, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence, be now read a third time and do pass;

And of the amendment of Mr. Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby) , seconded by Mr. Epp (Elk Island) , — That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

“Bill C-34, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and other Acts in consequence, be not now read a third time but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs for the purpose of reconsidering Clause 4 with the view to ensure that:

(a) a standing or “an all party” committee of the House of Commons search for those persons who would be most suitably qualified and fit to hold the office of Ethics Commissioner; and

(b) the said committee recommend to the House of Commons the name of a person to hold such office.”.

The debate continued.

The question was put on the amendment and, by unanimous consent, the recorded division was deferred until Tuesday, September 30, 2003, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Manley (Minister of Finance) , seconded by Ms. Caplan (Minister of National Revenue) , — That Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (natural resources), be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

The debate continued.

Statement by the Speaker

Pursuant to Order made Tuesday, September 23, 2003, the motion to concur in the 45th Report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership of committees was deemed moved, the question deemed put and agreed to.

Statements By Members

Pursuant to Standing Order 31, Members made statements.

Oral Questions

Pursuant to Standing Order 30(5), the House proceeded to Oral Questions.

Government Orders

The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Manley (Minister of Finance) , seconded by Ms. Caplan (Minister of National Revenue) , — That Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (natural resources), be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

The debate continued.

Motions

By unanimous consent, it was ordered, — That, when the House begins with items C-406 and M-392 under Private Members’ Business later this day, no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be entertained by the Speaker, and, that at the conclusion of debate on the motion for second reading of Bill C-406 and of debate on motion M-392, all questions necessary to dispose of the said motions be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on Wednesday, October 1, 2003.

Government Orders

The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Manley (Minister of Finance) , seconded by Ms. Caplan (Minister of National Revenue) , — That Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (natural resources), be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

The question was put on the motion and, by unanimous consent, the recorded division was deferred until Tuesday, September 30, 2003, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.


The Order was read for the second reading and reference to the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs of Bill C-50, An Act to amend the statute law in respect of benefits for veterans and the children of deceased veterans.

Mr. Pagtakhan (Minister of Veterans Affairs) , seconded by Ms. Caplan (Minister of National Revenue) , moved, — That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs.

Debate arose thereon.

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

Accordingly, Bill C-50, An Act to amend the statute law in respect of benefits for veterans and the children of deceased veterans, was read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs.


The Order was read for the consideration of the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-10B, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).

Ms. Caplan (Minister of National Revenue) for Mr. Cauchon (Minister of Justice) , seconded by Mr. Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food) , moved, — That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours that, with respect to Bill C-10B, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals), this House continues to disagree with the Senate's insistence on amendment numbered 2 and disagrees with the Senate's amendments numbered 3 and 4. This House notes that there is agreement in both Houses on the need for cruelty to animals legislation to continue to recognize reasonable and generally accepted practices involving animals. After careful consideration, this House remains convinced that the Bill should be passed in the form it approved on June 6, 2003.

(1) This House does not agree with the amendment numbered 2 (replace “kills without lawful excuse” with “causes unnecessary death”), on which the Senate is insisting. This House is of the view that the defence of “without lawful excuse” has been interpreted by the case law as a flexible, broad defence that is commonly employed in the Criminal Code of Canada. It has been the subject of interpretation by Courts for many years, and is now well understood and fairly and consistently applied by courts in criminal trials. This defence has a longstanding presence in the Criminal Code, including being available since 1953 for the offence of killing animals that are kept for a lawful purpose. The House is convinced that the defence of “lawful excuse” offers clear and sufficient protection for lawful purposes for killing animals. There are no authorities that suggest that this defence is unclear or does not cover the range of situations to which it is meant to apply. For all of these reasons, this House remains convinced that maintaining the defence of “lawful excuse” in relation to offences for killing animals continues to be the best and most appropriate manner of safeguarding the legality of purposes for which animals are commonly killed.

The House disagrees with the Senate that the proposed amendment would provide better protection for legitimate activities. The House is of the view that the amendment would not bring any added clarity, and would give rise to confusion. The term “unnecessary” has been judicially interpreted to comprise two main components: (a) a lawful purpose for interacting with an animal, and (b) a requirement to use reasonable and proportionate means of accomplishing the objective (i.e. choice of means that do not cause avoidable pain). Only the first part of the legal test for “unnecessary” is relevant to offences of killing, namely whether there is a lawful purpose. It has been the law for many decades that persons who kill an animal without a lawful excuse are guilty of an offence. It has also been the law since 1953 that if they kill the animal with a lawful excuse, but in the course of doing so cause unnecessary pain, they are guilty of a second, separate offence. To collapse the elements of these two different offences into one will invite a re-interpretation of the well-developed test of “unnecessary” and will add confusion, rather than clarity, to the law.

(2) This House does not agree with the modified version of amendment numbered 3 (creating a defence for traditional aboriginal practices), on which the Senate is insisting. This House appreciates the recent clarification of an ambiguous component of the amendment, and agrees with the Senate that traditional aboriginal practices that cause “no more pain than is reasonably necessary” should be lawful. However, this House does not agree that the proposed amendment is necessary. Aboriginal practices that do not cause unnecessary pain are not currently offences and will not become offences under the Bill. This House believes that the Bill, as worded, already achieves the objective sought by the Senate.

This House remains convinced that creating a defence for this purpose is not legally necessary and may create unintended mischief. Any act that has a legitimate purpose and does not cause unnecessary pain does not fall within the definition of the crime, and cannot be the subject of an offence. A defence only applies where the conduct actually falls within the definition of the crime and is excused for other reasons. It is illogical and confusing to create a defence for actions that do not constitute a crime. More specifically, as causing unnecessary pain is not a crime, it is not meaningful to create a defence for Aboriginal persons who cause no more pain than is reasonably necessary. In addition, there is no need to mention aboriginal practices specifically; the law is already flexible enough to consider all fact situations and contexts.

The House remains convinced that the wording and effect of the amendment are ambiguous and unclear. For example, there is no clarity as to what “traditional practices” are in the criminal law context and whether there is sufficient clarity to guide the police in their law enforcement duties. In the absence of a demonstrated need for clarification in the law, this amendment could also create mischief by generating a different test for liability for Aboriginal persons. This House does not believe that the law would be improved by creating a defence that is legally unnecessary and has the potential to confuse, rather than clarify, the interpretation of the offences.

(3) This House does not agree with the amended version of amendment numbered 4 (the defences in subsection 429(2)). The defences of legal justification, excuse and colour of right set out in subsection 429(2) of the Criminal Code are applicable to a multitude of different kinds of offences including offences of animal cruelty. The defences apply differently depending on the elements of the offence under consideration. The phrase “to the extent that they are relevant” is included to indicate to the courts that the Bill is not intended to change the defences that are currently relevant to animal cruelty offences, or the way that they apply. It makes clear that the intention is to maintain the current availability and interpretation of defences, and not to alter it. This phrase sends a clear message to the courts that in any and all cases where the defences are currently relevant, they continue to be. Whether a particular defence is relevant will depend on the specific circumstance of each case. The phrase guarantees an accused access to these defences when they are relevant; it does not in any way limit access to defences that are relevant on the facts of the case. For these reasons, the House does not agree with the amended amendment proposed by the Senate.

Debate arose thereon.

Private Members' Business

At 5:30 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 30(6), the House proceeded to the consideration of Private Members' Business.

The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Godin (Acadie—Bathurst) , seconded by Mrs. Desjarlais (Churchill) , — That Bill C-406, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

The debate continued.

Pursuant to Order made earlier today, the question was deemed put on the motion and the recorded division was deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, October 1, 2003, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Cardin (Sherbrooke) , seconded by Mr. Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel) , — That, in the opinion of this House, the government should add “social condition” to the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. (Private Members' Business M-392)

The debate continued.

Pursuant to Order made earlier today, the question was deemed put on the motion and the recorded division was deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, October 1, 2003, at the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders.

Returns and Reports Deposited with the Clerk of the House

Pursuant to Standing Order 32(1), papers deposited with the Clerk of the House were laid upon the Table as follows:

— by Mr. Cauchon (Minister of Justice) — Reports of the Department of Justice for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, R.S. 1985, c. A-1 and P-21, sbs. 72(2). — Sessional Paper No. 8561-372-676-02. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights)

— by Mr. Cauchon (Minister of Justice) — Reports of the Canadian Human Rights Commission for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, R.S. 1985, c. A-1 and P-21, sbs. 72(2). — Sessional Paper No. 8561-372-680-01. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights)

— by Mr. Collenette (Minister of Transport) — Report of the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Marine Liability Act, S.C. 2001, c. 6, sbs. 100(2). — Sessional Paper No. 8560-372-606-02. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Transport)

— by Mr. Drouin (Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)) — Reports of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Québec for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, R.S. 1985, c. A-1 and P-21, sbs. 72(2). — Sessional Paper No. 8561-372-328-02. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights)

— by Mr. Rock (Minister of Industry) — Response of the government, pursuant to Standing Order 109, to the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, “Opening Canadian Communications to the World” (Sessional Paper No. 8510-372-65), presented to the House on Monday, April 28, 2003. — Sessional Paper No. 8512-372-65.

— by Mrs. Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development) — Copy of Order in Council P.C. 2003-1228 dated August 13, 2003, concerning the Agreement on Social Security between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Italian Republic, pursuant to the Old Age Security Act, R.S. 1985, c. O-9, sbs. 42(1). — Sessional Paper No. 8560-372-212-04. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities)

— by Mr. Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food) — Reports of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, R.S. 1985, c. A-1 and P-21, sbs. 72(2). — Sessional Paper No. 8561-372-705-01. (Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights)

Adjournment

At 7:20 p.m., the Speaker adjourned the House until tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).