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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 23
 
Monday, October 23, 2006
 

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 3:39 p.m. this day, in Room 371, West Block, the Chair, Art Hanger, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Hon. Larry Bagnell, Hon. Sue Barnes, Patrick Brown, Joe Comartin, Art Hanger, Derek Lee, Réal Ménard, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy and Daniel Petit.

 

Acting Members present: Ed Fast for Myron Thompson and Marc Lemay for Carole Freeman.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Robin MacKay, Analyst; Dominique Valiquet, Analyst. House of Commons: Joann Garbig, Legislative Clerk; Samy Agha, Procedural Clerk.

 

Witnesses: Department of Justice: Catherine Kane, Senior Counsel, Director, Policy Centre for Victim Issues.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Tuesday, June 6, 2006, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conditional sentence of imprisonment).
 

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

 

On Clause 1,

Sue Barnes moved, — That Bill C-9, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 6 to 23 on page 1 with the following:

742.1 (1) If a person is convicted of an offence, other than an offence that is punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment, and the court imposes a sentence of imprisonment of less than two years and is satisfied that the service of the sentence in the community would not endanger the safety of the community and would be consistent with the fundamental purpose and principles of sentencing set out in sections 718 to 718.2, the court may, for the purpose of supervising the offender’s behaviour in the community, order that the offender serve the sentence in the community, subject to the offender’s compliance with the conditions imposed under section 742.3.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the court shall not order that an offender serve his or her sentence in the community if the offender has been convicted of any of the following offences, unless the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so because of exceptional circumstances:

(a) a serious personal injury offence as defined in section 752;

(b) a terrorism offence;

(c) a criminal organization offence; and

(d) an offence in respect of which, on the basis of the nature and circumstances of the offence, the expression of society’s denunciation should take precedence over any other sentencing objectives.

(3) If the court orders the offender to serve his or her sentence in the community because of exceptional circumstances, the court shall include in the record a statement of those circumstances.“

 

RULING BY THE CHAIR

Bill C-9 makes just one substantive change to section 742.1 of the Criminal Code. It provides that conditional sentences will not be available for offences prosecuted by indictment and punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more.

The amendment proposes to replace this with an alternate scheme. The offences to which the amendment would apply are in some cases outside of what is covered by the Bill.

In addition, subsection (2) of the amendment allows for the exercise of discretion, which is not in keeping with the principle of Bill C-9.

Marleau & Montpetit states on page 654: “An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

I must therefore rule the amendment inadmissible, as it introduces an alternate scheme which goes against the principle and beyond the scope of the bill.

 
Sue Barnes moved, — That Bill C-9, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 7 and 8 on page 1 with the following:

“other than a serious personal injury offence as defined in section 752, a terrorism offence or a criminal organization offence prosecuted by way of indictment for which the maximum term of ”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Sue Barnes and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Sue Barnes, Joe Comartin, Derek Lee, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 7; NAYS: Patrick Brown, Ed Fast, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit — 4.

 

Clause 1, as amended, carried.

 

On Clause 2,

Rob Moore moved, — That Bill C-9 be amended by adding after line 23 on page 1 the following new clause:

“2. This Act comes into force six months after the day on which it receives royal assent.”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Rob Moore and it was agreed to.

 

The Title carried.

 

The Bill, as amended, carried.

 

ORDERED, — That the Chair report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

 

ORDERED, — That Bill C-9, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

 

At 5:01 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 5:08 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 
The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.
 

Réal Ménard moved, — 1 )That the Committee meet twice a week, on the schedule unanimously established by the Whips of all the parties, as soon as the study of Bill C-17 (Judges’ salaries) is completed.

2 )That the Committee adopt the following rules as its operating procedure: the Committee Chair is not authorized to determine the number of meetings allocated to the study of each bill in advance; that while a bill is being studied, first the Subcommittee on agenda and procedure and then the Standing Committee determine the type of information needed for a rigorous and thorough study of the bill; that while a bill is being studied, first the Subcommittee on agenda and procedure and then the Standing Committee determine the number of witnesses needed for a rigorous and thorough study of the bill; that while a bill is being studied, first the Subcommittee on agenda and procedure and then the Standing Committee determine the number of sessions to study a bill.

3) That before studying Bill C-10, the Committee set aside two sessions to study the effects of the abolition of the Canadian Law Commission and one session to study the effects of the abolition of the Court Challenges Program on the development of minority rights.

Debate arose thereon.

 

It was agreed, — That consideration of part 3 of the motion be postponed.

 

The question was put on the amendment of Réal Ménard and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Sue Barnes, Joe Comartin, Derek Lee, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard, Brian Murphy — 7; NAYS: Patrick Brown, Ed Fast, Rob Moore, Daniel Petit — 4.

 

At 5:30 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Diane Diotte
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2006/11/30 4:46 p.m.