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Results: 1 - 32 of 32
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate being able to rise to talk about Bill C-75, the importance of the bill and the intent behind the bill.
There is absolutely nothing that our government is trying to hide with respect to the major bold reforms we are seeking in Bill C-75 to the criminal justice system to answer the call of the Supreme Court of Canada in Jordan and other decisions to create efficiencies and promote the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. That is precisely what we are doing in Bill C-75. Since we formed government, this has been considered through very robust consultations.
I appreciate the discussions, the considerations and listening to 95 witnesses at the House of Commons committee on justice and human rights, who provided very substantial feedback.
With respect to the member opposite's question with respect to the hybridization of offences, serious offences will continue to be treated seriously. The hybridization of offences does nothing to change the fundamental principles of sentencing.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I agree that this is a large and significant bill. The bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code to answer the call of the Prime Minister to me in my mandate letter and our government's commitment to transform the criminal justice system and create efficiencies and effectiveness in that system.
The member opposite stated that this bill would solve some problems but create others. I disagree with that statement. This legislation and the lead-up to the introduction of this legislation in March of this year was the result of significant consultation right across the country through round tables. I have personally engaged in three federal, provincial and territorial meetings with my counterparts in the provinces and territories, all of whom are supportive of the robust and bold changes in Bill C-75.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, our government is committed to working co-operatively with all members of the House.
With respect to Bill C-75, I would point out that there has been a total of seven hours and 45 minutes of debate in the House. The bill went to committee, where there was major discussion among committee members, and I thank them for that discussion. The committee heard from 95 witnesses. Twenty-seven hours of discussion and debate happened at committee. I thank members for the suggested amendments, many of which were accepted by the government.
Bill C-75 is a robust bill which proposes to amend the Criminal Code. It is not an omnibus piece of legislation. It seeks to address Criminal Code changes.
To comments by the member opposite around serious offences, under this legislation serious offences would still be prosecuted in a serious manner.
I am glad the member raised impaired driving. I am very pleased that our government was able to pass Bill C-46, major legislation to create in Canada among the toughest impaired driving laws in the world. I appreciate the member's bringing that up.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, in terms of time allocation, but more important to ensure that Bill C-75 proceeds, we are committed to working with all members of this House. We appreciate the discussion and debate that came from the justice committee and look forward to the discussion that will happen in the other place.
Bill C-75 is about addressing delays in the criminal justice system and creating efficiencies and effectiveness. It is our responsibility to address the call of the Supreme Court of Canada to address the delays that exist in the criminal justice system. Bill C-75 is in response to that.
Yes, this is a large piece of legislation. It has benefited from 27-plus hours of debate at committee. I look forward to continued discussions in this regard.
In terms of the member's question around mandatory minimum penalties, we are continuing to work on sentencing reform. This is a commitment that our government has made and we will continue that discussion and bring forward changes in due course.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, this gives me the opportunity to stand up to acknowledge and appreciate the work that was done by all members of the justice and human rights committee in bringing forward many amendments. In fact, 50 motions to amend Bill C-75 were adopted.
The amendment brought forward to remove routine police evidence by way of affidavit was something our government recognized, along with the testimony of many people who came before the committee. We were able to accept that amendment.
In terms of agent representation, some of the changes that are contained within Bill C-75 raised concerns among many stakeholders who came before the justice committee about the inability to have agent representation because of the increase of offence penalties. We have accepted amendments from committee to provide for that to give provinces and territories the ability to determine agents in terms of representation of various offences.
Again, I appreciate the input on other amendments as well from the committee.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I will say that it is the commitment of our government to work co-operatively with all members in this House to ensure that we have robust debate on bills we are putting forward. There has been substantial discussion on Bill C-75 in this House and at committee.
I recognize and acknowledge the member's comments and concerns. I will follow up and speak to the government House leader.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's appreciation of the importance of this legislation and having Bill C-75 move through the parliamentary process and be passed in order to address the delays in the criminal justice system and to answer the call of the Supreme Court of Canada. This is a priority for this government and I would hope it is a priority for all members in the House.
There has been a lot of debate and discussion. As I have said, at committee there were some 27 hours of debate and discussion. I very much appreciate, as does the government, the feedback and amendments that came from committee, the additional amendments requested by stakeholders and voted on by committee members, that would repeal vagrancy and bawdy house offences.
I thank the committee once again for all of its input and the amendments put forward that improve this legislation.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I am happy to stand to address the comments made by the member opposite, and I dispute his comments completely.
In terms of not listening to witnesses, that is absolutely not true. My parliamentary secretary and all members of the justice committee had the benefit of hearing from 95 witnesses at the justice and human rights committee, all of whom spoke about their passion for criminal justice reform and made very concrete suggestions about how the bill could be improved. We accepted many of those recommendations that I believe have very significantly improved Bill C-75. I look forward to continued debate and discussion as this bill goes to the other place.
On top of all of the discussion that happened in this House and at committee, we engaged in discussions and consultations right across the country with criminal justice stakeholders. I engaged on an ongoing basis with my counterparts in the provinces and territories, all of whom are supportive of the bold reforms that we are proposing in Bill C-75.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, again, I will stand to speak to the nature of Bill C-75 and the substantial discussion and consultations we have had for the last three years on the very elements of Bill C-75. I understand and recognize the desire of members to speak to this important piece of legislation. Many members from the party opposite have risen in this House to speak to this legislation and during the many hours of debate and discussion that occurred at the justice and human rights committee.
As members in this House, we have an obligation to move forward and answer the call of the Supreme Court of Canada to address delays in the criminal justice system. Bill C-75 would do just that, in a comprehensive way. I look to all members of this House to support this important piece of legislation moving forward.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments on the importance of answering the call of Canadians, the call of the Supreme Court, to move forward with criminal justice reform that would address delays in the criminal justice system. To speak to the member's specific questions about what has gone into Bill C-75, in the lead-up to the introduction in March of this year I conducted, and my parliamentary secretary participated in, round tables across the country. We conducted online surveys and had requests for feedback. We received thousands of responses and we produced a report of what we heard. We benefited from ongoing discussions, as well as reports from years ago by the Senate committee, on what we can do to improve delays in the criminal justice system. We have incorporated many of the recommendations from the other place into Bill C-75. Again, I want to highlight the discussions and debate that occurred in this House, the robust discussion that happened at committee with the 95 witnesses heard, the 27 hours of debate and discussion we benefited from, and improving the bill through various amendments that came from the committee.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I do remember going on campaign stops before the election, talking about doing things differently. In fact, our government is doing things differently.
We have engaged in consultation for the past three years. There was a lot of discussion at committee. There was a lot of discussion in this House. I would be very happy to sit down with the member opposite to talk more about Bill C-75 and the provisions that are contained therein.
Again, we are doing things differently. We have fundamentally changed the way that we engage with Canadians. I look forward to the discussion and debate in the other place. However, we also have a responsibility to ensure that our legislation moves through the parliamentary process so we address the desires and the needs of Canadians, and we address the delays in the criminal justice system. We made a commitment as a government to heed the call of the Supreme Court of Canada to address delays.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, again, I appreciate the comments and the opportunity to respond to the comments.
The member opposite asked what this is achieving. What is Bill C-75 achieving? It is achieving the necessity of addressing delays in the criminal justice system, achieving efficiencies and effectiveness.
Again, I disagree with the characterization that Canadians are not supportive of this. We have done substantial consultation right across the country. In terms of the member opposite's comments about downloading to the provinces, I would like to inform the member opposite that I have been working with the provinces and territories on an ongoing basis for three years, and they are supportive of this. This is not a download on the provinces and territories. This is co-operative federalism at its best, around the administration of justice, to ensure that we do everything we can as actors in the criminal justice system to heed the call of the Supreme Court of Canada.
This has robust support right across the country.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, in terms of the hybridization of offences, the reclassification of offences, again, this was supported by my counterparts in the provinces and territories. This does nothing to change the fundamental principles of sentencing.
Serious offences will be treated by the courts and prosecutors as serious. What this does is give the necessary discretion to prosecutors to proceed based on the circumstances of the individual case in the most effective way possible. This does not change how serious offences will be approached, and any characterization otherwise is a mischaracterization.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the purpose of Bill C-45 is in terms of respecting the health and safety of Canadians. We have had substantive discussions around this particular legislation from pre-election, through two years that we have been in government, through a substantive task force focused on health and safety that engaged with Canadians right across the country. This legislation received 30,000 submissions in terms of what we have committed to doing, which is legalizing cannabis and strictly regulating access to cannabis in order to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds of its sale out of the hands of criminals.
The current status quo is simply not working. It is easier for a young person to get cannabis than it is, for example, for that young person to get a cigarette.
We are doing something substantive. We are addressing this matter in terms of health and safety. We are putting in place a comprehensive framework while working in partnership with the provinces, territories, and municipalities. This framework will protect children and will do as much as possible to keep marijuana out of the hands of organized crime.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, we are committed to the passage of Bill C-45 in order to legalize cannabis in the country, to strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in order to, as my friend articulated, keep it out of the hands of children and keep the proceeds out of the hands of criminal organizations. We are committed to doing it right, and we are working and will continue to work with all levels of government. We started that engagement and discussion and received substantive feedback through the efforts of the task force that was constituted by our government. We received 30,000 submissions, including from provinces and territories, municipalities, and law enforcement agencies. We are continuing to engage with them through my parliamentary secretary and the Minister of Health.
This is something we are committed to doing. We are injecting substantive monies into the provinces and territories, and into a substantive public education and communications campaign. We have engaged, and will continue to engage, in a substantive way with indigenous communities to recognize their specific interests and desires with respect to their communities. My colleagues and I are committed to engaging in that conversation on an ongoing basis in the lead-up to the legalization of cannabis and strict regulation.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I consider it vitally important to hear from all members of the House in terms of discussions and debate with respect to proposed legislation. We have had substantive debate on various pieces of legislation throughout the course of the last two years. Particularly with respect to Bill C-45, we have had eight committee meetings. We have heard from nearly 100 witnesses at committee. We have received 115 briefs. In this honourable place, we have heard from 86 speakers. We have had 31 hours of debate. This is an incredibly important piece of legislation that we are wanting to move forward in order to legalize cannabis, to strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in order to keep it out of the hands of kids and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.
The status quo simply is not working. We have had two years of substantive discussion right across the country. I was very pleased to hear from the 86 members of Parliament in this place who have submitted their concerns, as well as the views from committee that made some amendments to the bill. Discussion will be ongoing in the other place.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my colleague across the way. I am not disavowing any vision with respect to indigenous peoples. Bill C-45 would, and is committed to, legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals. That has been the agenda of this government for two years. We have engaged in substantive discussions right across the country, including within this place. We value the feedback we have received from members of Parliament. We look forward to the discussion that will happen in the other place.
With respect to indigenous communities, we will continue, on an ongoing basis, to engage with indigenous communities. We have and will continue to engage with provinces and territories, as well as law enforcement, to ensure they have the tools necessary to meet legalization in July of 2018. We have invested a significant number of dollars to assist the provinces and territories and to assist in an education and public awareness campaign about the harms of cannabis. We will continue to proceed in this manner to ensure that in legalization, we have and bear the utmost priority of the health and safety of Canadians. That is our commitment to Canadians.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I want to confirm that we are listening. We have been listening for two years, and we will continue to listen. We will continue to engage with the provinces and territories, six of which have introduced their own measures with respect to responding to Bill C-45. We will continue to support them in that regard, as well as the other jurisdictions that will likely move forward in some manner.
On public education and communications, we have implemented substantive measures in this regard, including investments. Very recently we announced $36.4 million for public education and awareness, and that campaign has begun. For example, we have engaged in many initiatives via social media. We have issued 110,000 leaflets for a drug-free Canada. There are ongoing efforts by my colleagues, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Public Safety, to ensure we continue to communicate the risks related to cannabis, particularly with respect to young people.
We will continue to have this campaign. We will continue to work in collaboration on this campaign to ensure the provinces, territories, municipalities, and law enforcement are prepared for the legalization, strict regulation, and restriction of access to cannabis.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I completely reject that characterization. I appreciate the passion and the emotion in the way the member is expressing his views. Therefore, I will reiterate what I have stated in response to his comments to assure him we are listening.
We have been listening for two years. We engaged a task force that put together a report and recommendations and benefited from discussions across the country. We have been and will continue to listen to indigenous communities.
We are taking great care around awareness, while ensuring law enforcement officials have the tools they need to conduct their jobs. We are also ensuring that we are taking into account the costs. We are having these discussions and consulting with the provinces, territories, and the Canadian public to determine the cost and taxation. We will continue to work with the provinces, territories, and municipalities. We have had conversations with the province of Quebec, and we will continue to do that.
Once again, we are listening. This is important legislation. It seeks to address an issue of the status quo, which simply is not working. It is so incredibly easy for young people to get cannabis, easier than it is to get a cigarette.
We will legalize and have a comprehensive framework in place. Our government is committed to doing that.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, my thanks to my colleague for his reiteration of our commitment in the campaign in the lead-up to the election, a campaign commitment we are moving forward with in a substantive and comprehensive way, while taking a health and safety approach, to ensure we address the dysfunction of the status quo and the ability for young people access to cannabis. Canada has the highest rate of usage of cannabis by young people as compared to other places in the world.
We made a commitment to the legalization, strict regulation of cannabis, and the restriction of access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.
We have undertaken to achieve this commitment with vigour. We have introduced Bill C-45. It has benefited from the substantive expertise of the task force on cannabis. Most of their recommendations were incorporated into the legislation. We have also benefited from recommendations and amendments that were made at committee.
I look forward to the continued debate and discussion over the course of today and to the passage of the legislation. I also look forward to the discussion that will happen in the other place.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I know the member opposite has asked this question in previous forums.
Nothing in Bill C-45 makes it legal for a young person to possess cannabis. In having the five grams in Bill C-45, we have sought to ensure that we find a balance between the over-criminalization of young people and to ensure we do everything we can to protect the health and safety of, and restriction of access for, young people.
In the legislation, the provinces and territories have the ability, much like they do with respect to tobacco and alcohol, to put in place measures to ensure that cannabis can be seized from a young person by law enforcement officers, much the same way they do with respect to alcohol and cigarettes.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, my colleague across the way has always been an advocate for ensuring we have public education and awareness campaigns. I appreciate her raising this in the House, time and again. Our government is fundamentally committed to it, ensuring we do it in a substantive way.
I know my colleague, the Minister of Health, as well as my parliamentary secretary, are going to continue to engage, as am I, as is the Minister of Public Safety. We have made substantive investments with respect to public education and awareness. We have been engaging in social media to raise awareness about the harms and risks with respect to cannabis use. We have been talking about this and distributing leaflets on a drug-free Canada.
We will continue to do this. We will continue to engage with Canadians about how best we can move this forward to ensure that awareness is made in all areas and within all the places and populations that it is necessary to make substantive efforts.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, in fact I do recognize that these individuals are in Ottawa, and we have been listening. We have been talking to municipal officials. We have been looking them in the eye and having substantial conversations about Bill C-45 and the provisions contained therein. We are committed to ensuring that we change the status quo, a status quo that simply is not working. We want to move forward with the legalization of cannabis and strictly regulate and restrict access.
In order to have a comprehensive framework in place by July of 2018, we have to work with provinces, territories, law enforcement, and municipalities. We are committed to continuing to do that and look forward to the discussion that will happen today in ongoing debate, which has been substantive in this place.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I have to reiterate the comprehensive nature of Bill C-45, the consultations, and the ongoing discussions we have had, and will continue to have, with provinces, territories, and municipalities to ensure that we can establish the comprehensive framework that will legalize cannabis, and strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. This is an ongoing effort.
As we have seen, six jurisdictions have instituted their own measures with respect to the regulation of cannabis. We are going to continue to work with them and the other jurisdictions to ensure, come July 2018, that we have a comprehensive framework in place that obliterates the status quo and ensures that we keep cannabis out of the hands of kids and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's reiteration of the substantive investment of time that we have made. It has always been clear that this was a priority for our government. We engaged with a task force of experts, health experts and law enforcement, which provided us with substantive recommendations that we listened to. We listened to Canadians right across the country. We had the benefit of vigorous debate and discussion at the committee hearings, and amendments have been made.
We will continue to listen to Canadians, provinces, and territories, as well as municipalities, indigenous communities, and governments. This is a commitment we have made. We are committed to ensuring that we roll out robust public education and awareness campaigns around the risks of cannabis. Again, I appreciate all of the substantive efforts and engagement by many people right across the country.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions with parties and, if you seek it, I hope that you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: that notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, on Tuesday, May the 17th, 2016, and on Wednesday, May the 18th, 2016, the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment for the purposes of considering Bill C-14, an act to amend the Criminal Code and make related amendments to other acts.
View Jody Wilson-Raybould Profile
Ind. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56.1(1), I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House on Tuesday, May the 17th, 2016, and on Wednesday, May the 18th, 2016, the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment for the purposes of considering Bill C-14, an act to amend the Criminal Code and make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying).
Results: 1 - 32 of 32

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