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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 26
 
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 3:30 p.m. this day, in Room 371, West Block, the Chair, Ed Fast, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Ed Fast, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Rick Norlock, Daniel Petit and Brent Rathgeber.

 

Acting Members present: Hon. Larry Bagnell for Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh, Libby Davies for Joe Comartin, Hon. Marlene Jennings for Hon. Dominic LeBlanc and LaVar Payne for Brian Storseth.

 

Associate Members present: Megan Leslie.

 

In attendance: House of Commons: Marc Toupin, Legislative Clerk. Library of Parliament: Robin MacKay, Analyst; Tanya Dupuis, Analyst.

 

Witnesses: Department of Justice: Paul Saint-Denis, Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Friday, March 27, 2009, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-15, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.
 

The witness answered questions.

 

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

 

The Chair called Clause 1.

 

On Clause 1,

Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 9 on page 1 with the following:

“in Schedule I, is guilty of an indictable”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Libby Davies appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 3.

 
Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 10 on page 1 to line 19 on page 2 with the following:

“offence and liable to imprisonment for life; the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider — unless it gives reasons for its decision not to do so — as aggravating factors, in addition to those set out in section 10, the fact that the person committed the offense

(i) for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization, as defined in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code,

(ii) in or near a school, on or near school grounds or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of 18 years, or

(iii) in a prison, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, or on its grounds;”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Réal Ménard appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 3.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by deleting lines 1 to 5 on page 2.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 2 with the following:

“previous two years, or”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 7 on page 2 with the following:

“onment for a term of two years if any of the factors set out in subparagraph (a)(i) apply and if”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing lines 9 to 12 on page 2 with the following:

"or near a school, or on or near school grounds,"

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 5.

 

After debate, Clause 1 carried on division.

 

On Clause 2,

Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 43 on page 2 to line 11 on page 3 with the following:

“substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life; the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider—unless it gives reasons for its decision not to do so—as aggravating factors, in addition to those set out in section 10, the facy that

(i) the production was for the purpose of trafficking, or

(ii) the person possessed an amount that is more than one kilogram of a substance included in Schedule I;”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Réal Ménard appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 45 on page 2 with the following:

“is guilty of an indictable”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Libby Davies appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 4.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 45 on page 2 with the following:

“or in Schedule II in an amount that is greater than the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VII, is guilty of an indictable”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

 
Rob Moore moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 3 and 4 on page 3 with the following:

“ment for a term of one year if

(i) the offence is committed for the purposes of trafficking,

(ii) the person, while committing the offence, abused a position of trust or authority, or

(iii) the person had access to an area that is restricted to authorized persons and used that access to commit the offence;”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Rob Moore and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 4.

 

Clause 2, as amended, carried on division.

 

On Clause 3,

Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting line 14 on page 3 to line 19 on page 4.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

 
Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 15 to 33 on page 3 with the following:

“substance included in Schedule I or II, other than cannabis (marihuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life; the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider — unless it gives reasons for its decision not to do so — as aggravating factors, in addition to those set out in section 10,

(i) in the case of a substance included in Schedule I, any of the factors set out in subsection (3), and

(ii) in the case of a substance included in Schedule II, any of the factors set out in subsection (3) and the fact that the production was for the purpose of trafficking;”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Réal Ménard appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division: YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Rick Norlock, LaVar Payne, Daniel Petit, Brent Rathgeber — 7; NAYS: Libby Davies, Marlene Jennings, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard — 4.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 35 to 42 on page 3 and lines 1 to 19 on page 4 with the following:

"cannabis (marihuana), the production is for the purpose of trafficking and the number of plants is

(i) not more than five, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars,

(ii) more than five but not more than 201, is guilty of an offence and liable,

(A) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years less a day, or

(B) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months, or to both,

(iii) more than 201 but not more than 500, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or

(iv) more than 500, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years;"

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Libby Davies appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 35 to 37 on page 3 with the following:

"cannabis (marihuana), except if the production is for a medical purpose, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, and to a"

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Libby Davies appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division: YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Rick Norlock, LaVar Payne, Daniel Petit, Brent Rathgeber — 7; NAYS: Libby Davies, Marlene Jennings, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard — 4.

 
Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 37 on page 3 to line 19 on page 4 with the following:

“term of not more than fourteen years; the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider — unless it gives reasons for its decision not to do so — as aggravating factors, in addition to those set out in subsection (3) and section 10, the fact that

(i) the production was for the purpose of trafficking,

(ii) the number of plants produced is more than 200 and less than 501, or

(iii) the number of plants produced is more than 500;”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Réal Ménard appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 37 on page 3 with the following:

“term of not more than seven years, and to a”

 

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was contrary to the principle of the Bill, as provided on page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.

 

Whereupon, Libby Davies appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 4.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 39 to 42 on page 3.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and the result of the vote was announced: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 5.

Whereupon, the Chair voted in the negative.

Accordingly, the amendment was negatived.

 

At 4:44 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:46 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 41 on page 3 with the following:

“than 201 and more than five, and the production is for the”

Debate arose thereon.

 

Réal Ménard moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the word “five” with the word “199”.

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Réal Ménard and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 

Marc Lemay moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the word “five” with the word “12”.

 

The question was put on the subamendment of Marc Lemay and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 6.

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 42 on page 3 with the following:

“purpose of commercial trafficking,”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 1 on page 4 with the following:

“(ii) imprisonment for a term of six”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 3 on page 4 with the following:

“is less than 201 and more than five, the production is for the”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 4 on page 4 with the following:

“purpose of commercial trafficking and any of the”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 4 with the following:

"(iii) imprisonment for a term of six months if"

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 9 on page 4 with the following:

“(iv) imprisonment for a term of six months”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 4 with the following:

“(v) imprisonment for a term of six months if”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 16 on page 4 with the following:

“(vi) imprisonment for a term of six months”

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 7.

 
Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 24 and 25 on page 4.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 8.

 

Clause 3, as amended, carried on division.

 

On Clause 4,

Libby Davies moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 5 the following:

“REPORT TO PARLIAMENT

8.1 (1) Within two years after this section comes into force, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of the Act, including a cost benefit analysis of mandatory minimum sentences, shall be undertaken by such committee of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament as may be designated by Parliament for that purpose.

(2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) shall, within one year after a review is undertaken pursuant to that subsection, submit a report to Parliament including a statement of any changes the committee recommends."

 

The question was put on the amendment of Libby Davies and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 

Clause 4, as amended, carried.

 

On Clause 5,

Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing lines 24 to 28 on page 5 with the following:

“program approved by the Attorney General; or”

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Réal Ménard and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 
Réal Ménard moved, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing lines 31 to 33 on page 5 with the following:

“(5) If the offender successfully completes a program under subsection (4), the court is not required to impose the”

Debate arose thereon.

 

At 5:31 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 6:31 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 

Debate resumed on the amendment of Réal Ménard, — That Bill C-15, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing lines 31 to 33 on page 5 with the following:

“(5) If the offender successfully completes a program under subsection (4), the court is not required to impose the”

 

After further debate, the question was put on the amendment of Réal Ménard and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 5.

 

Clause 5, as amended, carried.

 

Clause 6 carried.

 

Clause 7 carried.

 

Clause 8 carried on division.

 

Clause 9 carried on division.

 

Clause 10 carried on division.

 

Clause 11 carried on division.

 

Clause 12 carried on division.

 

Clause 13 carried on division.

 

Clause 14 carried on division.

 

Clause 15 carried on division.

 

The Title carried on division.

 

The Bill, as amended, carried on the following recorded division: YEAS: Larry Bagnell, Marlene Jennings, Rob Moore, Brian Murphy, Rick Norlock, LaVar Payne, Daniel Petit, Brent Rathgeber — 8; NAYS: Libby Davies, Marc Lemay, Réal Ménard — 3.

 

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

 

ORDERED, — That Bill C-15, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

 

At 6:38 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Miriam Burke
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2009/06/04 10:15 a.m.