I apologize, Madam Speaker. It was a rookie mistake.
I look forward to working with ministers and my colleagues across the aisle on this unique and dynamic portfolio.
When I look around this room at other members, I see passion for people and passion for causes. Whether or not we share the same views, we are all here because we have a part in a greater purpose. That greater purpose is to serve the people of Canada and their well-being, and to steward well the land we live on. I value the role of different political parties as important parts of a greater ecosystem to prune, refine and balance our mandates as lawmakers.
I hope we will always look to the people we serve as the heartbeat of our work and do so with the integrity, common sense and unity that Canadians expect of us and deserve. So many times at the door my constituents expressed their longing to see the parties working together for the greater good. They say more would get done.
I trust the 43rd Parliament we are serving in will provide ample opportunities for us to hit the reset button on Canadian politics and build a culture of honour that allows public discourse to unfold in a safe manner that allows transparency and constructive discussions to thrive.
On that note I would like to thank the Liberal government for bringing forward Bill C-3 for consideration. I support the bill because issues pertaining to the protection of Canadians in our communities is of great importance.
From what I have learned, Bill C-98 was introduced in the 42nd Parliament and reintroduced in our current session with slight modifications as Bill C-3. Bill C-3 proposes to repurpose and rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP to the public complaints and review commission.
I would like to thank the RCMP and CBSA members for their service of hard work to protect Canadians.
Public servants across our nation must be held to a standard to uphold the integrity of people who are visiting or passing through our country, while ensuring our laws and international laws are upheld. Therefore, an oversight agency, as used by police services across our nation, including the RCMP, is agreeable and long overdue.
Budget 2019 proposes to invest $24.42 million over five years starting in 2019-20, and $6.83 million per year ongoing, to expand the mandate of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. It is good to know that a budget has already been allocated.
Where I would like more certainty is on the efficacy of how the government will implement Bill C-3 in practice.
Oversight is a good thing. People need assurance that there is someone who will be able to look into actions that are not consistent with the law. The implementation of the bill should not be another expansion of bureaucracy. The public complaints and review commission should have investigative powers and the ability to review situations, provide feedback and determine the course of action and its scope and scale with anyone who violates our laws.
Bill C-3 would provide a mechanism for complaints about inappropriate actions by border officers. Police agencies have had civilian oversight and review for decades. It is common practice around the world to provide mechanisms for overseeing law enforcement.
However, to my knowledge, the bill is not clear on how officers who violate the law, code or principle will be held accountable. It is only clear that the public complaints and review committee can examine evidence, call witnesses and write a report.
Without clarity on how the officers will be heId to account, we run the risk of creating bureaucracy that appears to provide a mechanism of assurance for Canadians but that, in practice, will not resolve the issues addressed.
While I support this important legislation, I look forward to seeing how the House and the committee will examine the bill with proper scrutiny to provide certainty that it will be a bill that will be very practical and steer us toward just actions and resolutions, rather than giving the appearance of protection to Canadians.