Skip to main content Start of content

SECU Committee Report

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Bill C-226, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences in relation to conveyances) and the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
In accordance with its Order of Reference of Thursday, June 9, 2016, your Committee has considered Bill C-226, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences in relation to conveyances) and the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, and agreed, on Monday, March 6, 2017, to report to the following:
The Committee recognizes that impaired driving, either by drugs or alcohol, is a serious issue in need of robust and comprehensive federal action. The Committee recognizes the crucial need to support victims and public safety officers in these cases, and to do so in a way that appropriately balances the public safety of Canadians with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
While the intent behind Bill C-226 is commendable, the Committee has concluded, based on the evidence provided during its study, that the legal problems with the Bill far outweigh the potential salutary effects. The impaired driving provisions are the most heavily litigated in the Criminal Code. As such, changes of this magnitude require a comprehensive and balanced approach to be effective. Based on testimony and briefs from witnesses including the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Committee is not convinced that the majority of the measures proposed in Bill C-226 are either balanced or effective. With the exception of random breath testing, Mothers Against Drunk Driving told the Committee that “Even if all these measures are upheld under The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they would not have a major impact on impaired driving and related crashes, injuries and deaths.”
In addition, the Committee heard from a number of witnesses that the provisions for stricter mandatory minimum penalties and random breath testing may violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As this was submitted as a private member’s bill, it was not subject to the usual constitutional review conducted by the Department of Justice under the Department of Justice Act. The Committee heard from several expert witnesses who raised concerns about the constitutionality of the legislation, including the Criminal Lawyers' Association who testified that “there are sections of the bill that are unquestionably unconstitutional.” The Committee therefore cannot say with any degree of certainty that the majority of the provisions included in Bill C-226 would pass constitutional muster.
The Committee therefore requests the Government introduce robust legislative measures to reduce the incidence of impaired driving at the earliest opportunity, however, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1, the Committee recommends that the House of Commons not proceed further with Bill C-226, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences in relation to conveyances) and the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meetings Nos. 25, 26 and 51) is tabled.