Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in the House to speak on behalf of the people of Flamborough—Glanbrook, certainly today on Bill C-20, which is an act to establish the public complaints and review commission. However, if members would allow me to depart for a moment from the debate on Bill C-20, I would like to recognize that today is my parents' 56th wedding anniversary.
A marriage of 56 years is a pretty incredible achievement unto itself, but I need to recognize that this has been a challenging year for my parents because my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year, in January. The great news is that they were able to remove the cancerous mass and he has undergone chemotherapy. My mom is a retired nurse, so she was by his side every step of the way, nursing him back to health and strength. He has made a full recovery. He is a naturalist with a picturesque rural property, and he is now able to get out and about to see his water fountains and his birds. He is very happy about that. In 56 years, there have been ups and downs, no doubt, but they are still able to walk hand in hand. I wish a happy anniversary to my mom and dad.
I thank members for allowing that diversion from Bill C-20. I will now move back to the matter at hand. We know that the bill would rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP to the public complaints and review commission, or the PCRC.
Under its new name, the commission would be responsible for reviewing civilian complaints of the Canada Border Services Agency as well as the RCMP. The civilian review commission would improve the oversight, and it is hoped that it would thereby help the RCMP and the CBSA become more effective agencies in their duties and functions.
Canadians certainly expect effective oversight of their federal law enforcement authorities, which is why we support this bill. I will reiterate some of the things that have been mentioned that the bill would deliver on and how that oversight would be provided to Canadians.
There would be codified timelines for RCMP and CBSA responses to PCRC interim reports, reviews and commissions. There would be information sharing between the RCMP, CBSA and the PCRC. There would also be mandatory annual reporting by both the RCMP and the CBSA on actions to be taken in response to the recommendations of the PCRC.
Race-based data, which has been referred to and discussed here, would be mandatory under Bill C-20, which would provide some additional context. Of course, there would be public education, as well as a statutory framework to govern CBSA responses to serious incidents.
All of this makes sense and should help improve the transparency that Canadians expect from their public institutions and, in doing so, the effective operation of these federal law enforcement agencies. Certainly the RCMP is there to ensure the safety of Canadians and to police our laws.
The CBSA is there to uphold the dignity of our borders. Ensuring that the CBSA is both properly resourced and equipped is an important part of doing that. We believe that these oversight bodies would help accomplish this, and we note that the government is planning to invest $122 million over six years, with an ongoing amount, for the creation of this independent review and complaints body. We support all of that.
We do wonder why it has taken so long to fulfill this original campaign promise from 2015. However, we do know, as well, that Liberal inaction, delay and misaligned priorities are certainly something that is not new to Canadians.
While we are on the subject of public safety, I am certainly compelled to speak up on behalf of the people of Flamborough—Glanbrook, and indeed, all of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada, to talk about the alarming increase in gangs and violent crime plaguing our streets.
A statistic was recently put out by Statistics Canada on gang-related homicides. It confirmed that there has been a 92% increase in gang-related homicides across Canada since the Liberals took office.
An. hon member: Wow.
Mr. Dan Muys: Mr. Speaker, wow is right. It is an alarming number. We also know that there has been a 32% increase in violent crimes as well.
Those are startling numbers on their own. What is even more horrifying is to imagine the faces of the victims, the women, children and seniors living in our communities, who are impacted by the notion that this increase in gang violence and violent crime is out there. That is an awful feeling to contend with, knowing that it is all too close.
The communities I represent are part of the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, so we feel that increase in gang activity in the GTA. We see the headlines, the stories and the bloody images on the news. We know that our communities are not immune, as we have seen that increase in home invasions, shootings and more.
In fact, there was a very bloody shooting in broad daylight of a notorious mob boss on the driveway of a home in Waterdown, a community in my riding, which is adjacent to Burlington. It is a community of 15,000 people, and in broad daylight, a mob boss was gunned down. That made national and international news. We know that there has been a surge in violent crime in the Niagara region as well. The police there have spoken about that and the statistics that were recently reported bear that out.
I would submit that all of this is because of the government’s soft-on-crime approach, which we have seen with Bill C-5, the ending of mandatory minimums for a host of violent crimes. The message to gangs and violent criminals from the Liberal government has been very clear: If they do a crime, they will not do the time. They might have to do some house arrest. We are talking about very serious crimes such as rape, assault, stabbings, drive-by shootings and gun violence. It is no wonder I am hearing from more and more constituents about the crime that is happening in the community and what is happening all around us.
The homicide report that Statistics Canada put out, which I referred to, noted that 2021 was the biggest year ever for gang-related murder, the highest rate ever recorded in Canada. That is quite alarming. Homicides overall were up 3% since 2020, year over year. It is the highest national homicide rate since 2005, which means that the seven years of the Liberal soft-on-crime policies have undone all the work of the previous Conservative government, which had left our streets much safer.
In my home city of Hamilton, the homicide rate, at a rate of 2.57 per 100,000 people, is above both the national average and the Ontario average. This is a consequence of the increase in gang violence. The police in the neighbouring Niagara region recently estimated there are 32 gangs operating in the region, primarily operating between the GTA, Niagara and Hamilton, throughout the surrounding areas. The police say that, as a result of this, they are seeing increases in drug trafficking, human trafficking, robberies, home invasions and shooting incidents.
In concluding my remarks on Bill C-20, the bill itself, and the necessary oversight it would create for the RCMP and CBSA, are good in our view, although a long time coming. In the wider context of the state of public safety in Canada, the situation is getting worse. The communities in my riding and across Canada are far less safe. Gangs and violent crime are accelerating at an alarming pace. It is a very real daily worry for far too many Canadians. Seven years of Liberal soft-on-crime policies have taken their toll.
Canadians can count on a new Conservative government, after the next election, to turn this around, reverse these horrifying crimes, statistics and trends, and make our communities safe once again.