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Results: 1 - 15 of 220
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-21 14:54 [p.29473]
I have the honour to inform the House that when this House did attend Her Excellency this day in the Senate chamber, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:
C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms—Chapter 9.
C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada—Chapter 10.
S-203, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins)—Chapter 11.
C-82, An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting—Chapter 12.
C-59, An Act respecting national security matters—Chapter 13.
C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence—Chapter 14.
C-77, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 15.
C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act—Chapter 16.
C-84, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting)—Chapter 17.
C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 18.
C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 19.
C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis—Chapter 20.
C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020—Chapter 21.
C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act—Chapter 22.
C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages—Chapter 23.
C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families—Chapter 24.
C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 25.
C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast—Chapter 26.
C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act—Chapter 27.
C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 28.
C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures—Chapter 29.
It being 2:55 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).
(The House adjourned at 2:55 p.m.)
The 42nd Parliament was dissolved by Royal Proclamation on September 11, 2019.
Aboriginal languagesAboriginal peoplesAccess for disabled peopleAccess to informationAdjournmentAgriculture, environment and natural res ...British ColumbiaBudget 2019 (March 19, 2019)C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tarif ...C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majest ...C-48, An Act respecting the regulation o ... ...Show all topics
View Colin Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Colin Fraser Profile
2019-05-14 21:37 [p.27822]
Madam Chair, I am pleased to talk about Bill C-78, which will have a direct impact on Canadians.
Bill C-78 was introduced on May 22, 2018. I was proud to partake in the deliberations at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which reported on the bill, with amendments, on December 7, 2018. The bill received third reading in the House of Commons on February 2, 2019 and is currently with the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Bill C-78 is a key milestone in our government's ongoing efforts to improve the lives of Canadian families. To better reflect the current needs of Canadian families, Bill C-78 proposes to advance four key priorities: promoting the best interests of the child, addressing family violence, contributing to poverty reduction and making the family justice system more accessible and efficient.
We listened closely to various points of view expressed by members of the public, family justice professionals and witnesses in response to Bill C-78. During the study, committee members gathered a significant amount of information from over 50 witnesses and received more than 50 briefs representing a broad range of opinions and viewpoints. The committee reviewed the recommendations carefully, and many of them resulted in amendments to Bill C-78.
Bill C-78 takes a child-focused approach. In addition to including a non-exhaustive list of best interest criteria, the bill requires that when determining the best interests of the child, courts give primary consideration to the child's physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being.
The bill also replaces property-based terms, such as “custody” and “access” with terms that best describe the parents' responsibilities for their children.
Some groups have expressed concern about the continued presence of the Divorce Act's “maximum contact” principle. First, I must be clear that the new maximum parenting time principle is not a presumption in favour of any particular allocation of parenting time. It states that children should have as much time with each parent as is consistent with that child's best interests. In most cases, this will be significant time with each. In some cases, such as when there are safety concerns, it may mean very little time or no parenting time for a parent.
Following the committee study, the bill was amended so that the maximum parenting time principle would appear in the part of the Divorce Act that relates to the best interests of the child. The provision's new placement in the act will remind parents and the courts that the time allotted to each spouse must be consistent with the best interests of the child and with the primary consideration, which is the safety and well-being of the child.
Relocation, particularly moving with a child after separation or divorce, is one of the most highly litigated areas in family law. Bill C-78 proposes to introduce a relocation framework that promotes the child's best interests and encourages dispute resolution. Witnesses praised our government's introduction of the relocation provisions in particular.
Bill C-78 originally provided for the non-relocating parent to oppose a move by way of court application. This was to ensure that courts only became involved if there was a genuine disagreement between the parties. We heard from the Canadian Bar Association and the Family Law Association of Nunavut that having to respond through a court application was an unreasonable barrier to access to justice. This is particularly true for families living in the north, who may rely on the schedule of a circuit court.
Amendments to the bill would allow a second approach, the creation of forms that parents would use to give notice of and respond to a proposed relocation. If a non-relocating parent responds by form and the parties cannot come to a resolution, the parent seeking to relocate would have to bring a court application seeking authorization. Requiring that the notice be provided through a form would promote clarity by prompting parents to provide all necessary information in a consistent manner. Allowing for a form to respond to notice would relieve the burden on the non-relocating parent, while still helping to ensure that courts only hear cases in which there is a genuine disagreement between the parties.
The bill also sets out a broad evidence-based definition of family violence under the Divorce Act that will include any conduct that is violent or threatening, constitutes a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour, or causes a family member to fear for their safety or the safety of another person. The definition would apply to intimate partner violence and to other types of violence, such as violence against children. In the case of a child, it would also include direct or indirect exposure to such conduct. Bill C-78 makes it clear that courts will be required to consider family violence in determining the best interests of the child.
At the committee, we heard from witnesses who underscored that it can be dangerous for someone fleeing violence to notify other parties of their intent to seek an exemption from the notice of relocation requirements. In response to this concern, Bill C-78 was amended to explicitly provide that parties may apply to a court to waive or change relocation notice requirements without notice to the other party in those rare circumstances.
I want to talk for a minute about one of the objectives of the bill, which is poverty reduction. I note that our government has been focused on poverty reduction for all Canadians, including children, in this case through the Canada child benefit, which has removed 300,000 children from poverty situations, and also seniors, almost a million of whom have been lifted out of poverty by policies of the government that were voted against by the parties opposite.
Families going through separation or divorce are more vulnerable to experiencing poverty. Obtaining fair amounts of child support is a key factor in reducing the risk of child poverty. Bill C-78 includes amendments that will help ensure that financial support is based on accurate and up-to-date income information.
The bill will amend the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act to allow for the search and release of a parent's income information to courts to establish or vary family support. Parents, lawyers and courts have advocated such an amendment for many years, and we are finally getting it done under this bill.
To further help families receive fair child support amounts quickly, Bill C-78 will improve the Divorce Act's process for the establishment and recalculation of child support. The bill will allow provincial child support services, rather than courts, to establish initial child support amounts.
For several decades now, the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and official language minority communities across the country have been calling for recognition of the right to use either official language in divorce proceedings.
A committee amendment to Bill C-78 will allow parties to file proceedings under the Divorce Act in the official language of their choice. Parties would be able to file proceedings under the Divorce Act, seek an order, be heard, testify and submit evidence in the official language of their choice. They would also have the right to be heard by a judge who speaks their official language, or both official languages in the case of a bilingual matter.
The bill also demonstrates our government's commitment to increasing access to justice and improving the efficiency of the family justice system. For example, the bill's increased focus on family dispute resolution processes will help divert people away from the courts, saving time and resources for cases that require judicial intervention.
Our government recognizes that family dispute resolution may not be appropriate for all families, as may be the case when there has been family violence or high levels of conflict. Bill C-78 was carefully drafted to promote the use of family dispute resolution only when appropriate.
I am thankful for the opportunity to highlight some of the most important proposals in this important bill, Bill C-78, which I believe would make a significant difference in the lives of Canadian families and children. I was pleased to be part of that process at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in making thoughtful amendments to the bill, which I hope will see a speedy passage through the other place and become law in Canada.
With that said, my first question for the minister is as follows. As I have discussed during my remarks, federal family laws in this country have not seen any amendment in over 20 years. This inaction does not reflect societal change. Thanks to data from the 2016 census, we now know that as many as two million Canadian children live in separated or divorced families.
Could the justice minister expand on how the justice department is promoting the best interests of children in a divorce with this legislation?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, the hon. member is the epitome of thoughtfulness. I think that has come out in his time in the House.
The best interests of the child is a fundamental principle in family law that must be reinforced to ensure that the support and protection of our children are always paramount. Bill C-78, as the hon. member has described, entrenches the best interests of the child as the only consideration when making decisions.
The one thing I will focus on for the purpose of the answer is that Bill C-78 proposes a non-exhaustive list of criteria for the best interests of the child, a list that did not exist before, in order to promote consistency and clarity in guiding family legal professionals, lawyers and courts. The proposed list is non-exhaustive, but it does give guidance. That is a far better place than we were before and it will help children in a very difficult time in their life. Forcing people through the hoops of having to look at criteria is something that is critically important in the framing of judicial analysis decisions and in making decisions that are ultimately in the best interests of the child.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-02-06 16:15 [p.25339]
That, in relation to Bill C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the bill; and
That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successfully, without further debate or amendment.
View Michael Cooper Profile
View Michael Cooper Profile
2019-02-06 16:16 [p.25339]
Madam Speaker, Canadians will remember that when the government unveiled the Speech from the Throne in the fall of 2015, the government made the commitment that all voices will be heard with respect to legislation brought before the House. That has turned out to be a Liberal promise made and a Liberal promise broken, because the current government has introduced time allocation again and again. Indeed, the government has introduced time allocation at least 50 times.
It is a massive bill. It is a 150-page bill that makes comprehensive changes to the Divorce Act, yet there has been very little time to debate the bill in the House. We had one and a half days at second reading and an afternoon at third reading stage. Why is the government once again shutting down debate?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, our government wants to work co-operatively with all members of the House to advance, through Parliament, a bill that is quite frankly 20 years overdue.
At second reading, 32 members of the House rose to speak on the bill or to ask a question: 15 members from the Conservative Party, seven members from the NDP, the member from the Green Party and nine Liberal members. At committee, 54 witnesses presented 53 briefs. At third reading, five Liberal members, three members of the Conservative Party, three members of the NDP and the member from the Green Party spoke. That is over eight hours in this place and 13 hours of study at committee.
There is a great deal of consensus on the bill from all parts of the House. We agree about the direction in which this should go. Frankly, the bill would help families that are going through the pain of divorce and would especially help children. It is a priority to get it through.
View Brigitte Sansoucy Profile
Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity to serve on the committee during review of this bill. I was very impressed by the number of briefs we received. I was very impressed by the witnesses, members of the public, professionals, or association representatives, who took the time to come and discuss this bill and the countless hours they devoted to preparing for our meeting. It is a shame that MPs who did not have this opportunity will not be able to debate this bill.
One of the reasons I got into politics was to combat the public's cynicism about politics. I do not understand this approach to governing that the Conservatives took and the Liberals are maintaining, moving time allocation. The witnesses sent briefs because they wanted us to take the time to debate this bill properly. I do not understand why the government chose to cut off the debate. What makes the government think that we would not be able to pass the bill within a reasonable time?
I think we need to take our time debating this important bill. Yes, there is consensus, but it is our role as parliamentarians to debate the bill and take the time to discuss it and consider all the recommendations out of respect for all the members of the public who took the time to share their opinion on this bill. We should take the time to consider this bill as a matter of respect.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
She is right that there is a consensus. Canadian stakeholders and experts agree that this is a good bill and that we should move forward.
I will quote Ms. Siham Haddadi of the Barreau du Québec.
...the Barreau du Québec would like to welcome the reform of the Divorce Act, which puts the child at the heart of deliberations, adapts terminology to soften conflicts and, above all, modernizes the Divorce Act, which had its last major reform in 1997, to make it more relevant to today's family realities. That is the challenge that the legislator set for itself with this bill, and the Barreau du Québec thinks it has met that challenge with great success.
There is a consensus in this country. It is time to pass the bill.
View Pat Kelly Profile
View Pat Kelly Profile
2019-02-06 16:22 [p.25340]
Madam Speaker, in response to the question asked by the member for St. Albert—Edmonton, the minister mentioned that a number of members had spoken on the bill. I was present in the House for part of its debate.
Given the size and complexity of the bill, I would like to ask the minister whether he really thinks debate has become stale and needs to be terminated for the expedient passage of the bill. This is a complex bill about which many members have had correspondence with their constituents. Is that really what he is saying?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, that is effectively what I am saying. I appreciate the hon. member's question, but there is a large degree of consensus in the House and across Canada.
The experts are weighing in and the voices are fairly unanimous, that this is an excellent piece of legislation. Lawrence Pinsky from the law firm of Taylor McCaffrey said, “Bill C-78 is clearly an advance in family law in Canada, and the government should be commended from bringing it forward. This should be a non-partisan issue.”
From West Coast LEAF, Elba Bendo stated:
West Coast LEAF welcomes the important amendments proposed by Bill C-78. We are very glad that the intended purpose of the legislation—to promote faster, better and more cost-effective solutions to family law disputes—recognizes the difficult reality that many people across this country are alone in navigating the legal system during what is often one of the most difficult times in their lives.
We need to move forward, because the bill has widespread support.
View Robert Aubin Profile
View Robert Aubin Profile
2019-02-06 16:24 [p.25340]
Madam Speaker, in our parliamentary process, time allocation is meant to be used in exceptional circumstances only, and yet, according to my count, this is the 56th time that the Liberal government has brought in time allocation.
I am wondering about the reason for this afternoon's time allocation motion. Perhaps the Liberals want to beat the record set by the previous Conservative government.
I am wondering about the broad consensus. If there actually is such a broad consensus about moving forward on this bill, why do the Liberals believe that the only way to do it is by imposing time allocation rather than debating it with the other parties?
In my opinion, this is another example of this government's arrogance.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
Of course we want to work with the other parties in the House, and that is what we have done. Many speeches have been made at each stage so far, and many reports were studied in committee. I want to share a quote from the testimony of the National Association of Women and the Law:
NAWL fully supports the exclusion from this bill of any presumptions of shared parenting. Determining what's in the best interests of the child must be done on a case-by-case basis.
We are moving forward in this fashion so that we can protect the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child must absolutely be entrenched in law, and that is what this bill will do. We want to satisfy this requirement.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-02-06 16:26 [p.25340]
Madam Speaker, I certainly agree with the hon. minister that there is widespread support, but not unanimous support for the bill. My objection is that this is a time when we are not debating the bill, but talking about the use of time allocation.
The government is applying time allocation on bill after bill. This practice used to be extremely rare. It was made common in the 41st Parliament when the Conservatives were in power, though the Liberals in opposition decried its use because it limited debate. It limits our opportunity to take the bill through its proper and full review. I lament it. I find it unacceptable.
I know that it probably comes down to a conversation, to which I am not privy, between the House leaders to come to some agreement about having speedy and efficient use of the House and allowing all members to participate in debate.
I think this is the first time the hon. Minister of Justice has been asked to press a bill through using time allocation. This must stop. We must find a better way in this place to allow full debate and not constantly be applying time allocation.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the hon. member of the Green Party, as I always do. I appreciate their sincerity. I share generally the member's concern for using time allocation.
In this case, we have very important legislation that will greatly benefit Canadians, in particular Canadian children, at a time in their lives which is particularly difficult. There are a number of provisions in this act which are 20 years overdue. We need to get this legislation through both Houses. It is for that reason and because there has been ample time thus far.
We accepted a significant number of amendments at committee stage in order to represent the good faith with which the bill was moving forward, with the general acceptance on all sides of the House.
It has been a good collaborative project thus far and we hope to get it across the finish line.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-02-06 16:28 [p.25341]
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate the Minister of Justice on his appointment. They say that a nation's treasures are its scholars. I know the member was a law professor at McGill. I am a Concordia grad, Therefore, we always had this difference of opinion on what the best football team was. He was also clerk for Justice Peter Cory. I am sure he will do a great deal for Canadians.
He can use it as an endorsement, because I will attack you now on the rest of this—
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