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Results: 1 - 14 of 14
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-19 18:56 [p.29430]
Mr. Speaker, what the minister did not say is that they never consulted the victims of crime in this country. On the second to last day of Parliament, Bill C-75 comes to us. It does not show that they are taking the safety and security of Canadians seriously. We have seen this. They are attempting to water down serious offences in this bill, such as impaired driving causing bodily harm. The province of Saskatchewan has the worst record in the Dominion of drunk driving charges. I have talked to many victims, and they are upset with this bill, because they have not had chance to address it. Many of them have lost loved ones. When they look at this flawed bill, it is all about criminal rights and nothing about the victims in this country.
I would like the minister to answer that. What is the government doing for the victims in this bill, because they are upset with this?
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-17 22:24 [p.29247]
Mr. Speaker, one thing about the Conservatives is we stand for the rights and concerns of the victims over the concerns of the criminals. I would ask the minister this. How can he justify the watering-down of offences such as impaired driving that causes bodily harm, the use of the date-rape drug or human trafficking? How can he justify the changes in these areas that make it less offensive or less of a consequence for people to participate in these types of crimes?
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-17 23:03 [p.29252]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting when we start comparing the Liberals and the Conservatives. The Liberals tend to come in here and say they know best. They will do what they think is best and what people should understand is best. The Conservatives talk to people. We talk to them about what they would like to see in regard to legislation, how criminals are treated and how victims are treated. Could the member inform this House on the difference between how the Conservatives approach this versus the Liberals? The reality is, they are preaching and we are listening.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I will be getting up again in Parliament. We are coming to the end of this time and I will not be back in the fall, so I want to take a moment to recognize the staff members who spend so much of their time trying to get us ready so that we can come into the House and do our job. I want to particularly acknowledge my present staff, Anita Hindley, Anna-Marie Young, Joycelin Mosey and Tristan McLaughlin, for the work that they do.
In the House we often find ourselves at odds in terms of perspectives on issues and certainly that has been the case with the bill. Liberals have failed in so many areas in terms of justice bills. I think of Bill C-45, when they were told they were going to end up in court over their drunk driving provisions. That certainly is happening.
This bill lessens sentences for dozens of different offences in spite of what the Liberals are saying tonight. I am wondering if the member opposite could tell us why all of their conversation about justice issues is focused basically on giving criminals a break and so little of it is focused on protecting the public and victims of those crimes.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2018-11-20 10:40 [p.23586]
Madam Speaker, it is really important to me that we are having this discussion. I do wish there would be a different outcome than what is going to take place.
The reality is that time allocation in this circumstance is simply moving forward legislation that the government wants and that, quite honestly, Canadians are not in favour of.
We represent the House of Commons, the common people who want to be heard, and who, in the course of the last three years, have engaged more in this process than they have considerably over time in the past, because of the frustration that we are not having opportunities to present in this House and to argue the scenarios the way that we should.
The comments from the minister indicate that this is to meet the desires of Canadians, to deal with delays and create efficiencies, when Canadians are saying, over and over again, that this is downloading to the provincial courts. It is not improving efficiencies. It is causing issues—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall: Excuse me, Madam Speaker, a number of people have had significant opportunity to speak. I would like to finish.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2018-11-20 10:42 [p.23587]
Madam Speaker, my question is for the government. Why is it choosing to not listen to Canadians?
It is not enough to simply take notes and then do what it wants to do regardless, when Canadians are incredibly unhappy with the direction that this is going on their behalf.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2018-11-20 17:43 [p.23643]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak at third reading to Bill C-75. I had the opportunity recently to speak on another bill that also sought to amend the Criminal Code, Bill C-375. In that speech, I drew attention to the Liberals' alarming track record on criminal justice. I would like to continue with these thoughts today in the context of the bill before us.
Bill C-75 continues a disturbing pattern from the Liberal government. Where previous governments of all stripes sought to protect victims of crime, the Liberal government seems to favour the protection of criminals instead. From their first days in government, the Liberals have used the levers of power to shield and protect criminals while leaving victims and their families in the cold.
We have seen this time and time again, with the Liberals' $10.5-million payout to Omar Khadr and their subsequent snubbing of Tabitha Speer, their shocking response to Terri-Lynne McClintic's transfer from a secure prison to a healing lodge, their abysmal response to gang crimes through Bill C-71, along with countless other examples.
When Canadians dared to raise their concerns, the Prime Minister labelled them ambulance chasers. Perhaps the most tangible examples of the government's disordered protection of criminals have come in this bill. When Bill C-75 was introduced, it reduced the penalties for advocating genocide and participation in terrorist activities to possibly as little as a fine. It was only at the insistence of my Conservative colleagues at committee that these clauses were removed.
I am glad the Liberal members on that committee saw the folly of the original text, but it begs the question: how could the government have thought those clauses were in any way appropriate in the first place? Unfortunately, I believe that this is not a one-time occurrence, but as I said, a disturbing pattern regarding terrorists from the government.
As I already mentioned, take the case of Omar Khadr which resulted in a convicted terrorist becoming a millionaire at the expense of Canadian taxpayers, and this is just one example. Recall that long before the Liberals tried to use Bill C-75 to lower the penalties for engaging in terrorist activities, one of the first items on the Prime Minister's agenda was to pull our air force out of the fight against ISIS. This was a backward decision at the time and in retrospect, almost indefensible.
Just days ago, a mass grave holding the remains of more Yazidi victims of ISIS was discovered in Kar Azir town. This is the 71st mass grave found in the area. The men, women and children in these graves were slaughtered by members of ISIS, some of whom are from this country. These ISIS terrorists stoned women to death for the crime of being raped. They killed families for believing in their own God or being the wrong ethnicity. They burned men alive for refusing to join their evil cause or threw them off buildings for being gay.
As I previously pointed out in this place, the Minister of Foreign Affairs could not even bring herself to call these monsters terrorists--
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2018-11-20 17:47 [p.23644]
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate that.
For his part, the Prime Minister has doled out taxpayer dollars for so-called de-radicalization programs for returning ISIS terrorists. In the meantime, he has told veterans they are asking for more than the government can give. Would it not be more appropriate to say that to returning ISIS terrorists instead of to the brave men and women who have defended our nation?
However, perhaps we should not be surprised. Indeed, after the Boston Marathon bombing, the now Prime Minister said of the terrorists responsible, “there is no question that this happened because of someone who feels completely excluded, someone who feels completely at war with innocence, at war with society.”
I believe it is this kind of foolish gentleness toward terrorists that caused the Liberals to propose weakening the penalties in Bill C-75. They spent months arguing for and defending the inclusion of that clause before finally backing down and supporting the Conservatives in removing it. It took months of pressure and hard work to make this one obvious change, but even with that change the bill remains deeply flawed.
Bill C-75 would still weaken the penalties to as little as a fine for many other serious crimes. Among those are serious sexual crimes, such as using the date rape drug, forced marriage, marriage under the age of 16, polygamy and acting as a pimp. I wonder how the Prime Minister can claim to be a feminist while simultaneously weakening the punishment for such terrible crimes.
In addition to the sexual crimes I mentioned, the Liberals are also weakening the punishment for corruption and fraud. A lighter penalty would be possible for those convicted of bribing municipal officials, insider trading, forging currency, using libel for extortion, fraud through the use of arson, or even illegally influencing political appointments.
Perhaps most shocking is the list of violent and gang-related crimes that would be eligible for a summary conviction: infanticide, hiding the body of a child, obstructing or assaulting an officiating clergyman, abduction of children under the ages of 16 and 14, conspiracy and participating in criminal gang activities.
While I know my time is nearly up, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to point out that this is the Liberals' second attempt to remove or amend section 176 of the Criminal Code after abandoning their changes to Bill C-51. Assault of officiants during a religious service is very serious and should remain an indictable offence, yet here the Liberals are breaking yet another promise despite the fact they committed to keeping full protections in place for religious officials.
There are many more serious crimes that we see a weakened response to. In fact, I find myself wondering if this is not the intent of the bill. The previous Conservative government passed the Victims Bill of Rights and this is the Liberals' response. Again and again, we see examples of the Liberals' obsession with making criminals lives easier.
As one final example, the Liberals recently introduced a plan to provide needles to prisoners who use drugs, despite a zero-tolerance policy on drugs in prisons. It would take a Liberal to square that circle. This ridiculous plan puts correctional officers in the line of danger, for no other reason than to assuage Liberal guilt. Jason Godin, president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, said the following about this ridiculous idea: “It’s pretty obvious the policy changes the government is making are making it more dangerous for us, more dangerous for inmates and obviously more dangerous for the general public.”
Why does the government insist on placing the rights of criminals above the rights of victims, police, guards and of citizens overall? As I have said before, Canadians deserve better than a government that treats victims like criminals and criminals like family.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2018-10-24 18:49 [p.22819]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 161, which seeks a review of the record suspension program as amended in Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, enacted by the previous Conservative government. I would like to thank the member for Saint John—Rothesay for introducing the motion and providing me the opportunity to recall some of the excellent work done in the realm of justice and law and order by the previous government.
The Safe Streets and Communities Act introduced many important and necessary changes to how our criminal justice system worked and focused on protecting victims of crime. The bill was thoroughly vetted, with over 200 hours of debate between committee and the House. By the time Bill C-10 was introduced, Conservatives had done much to reform the justice system. We passed mandatory minimum sentences for gang-related murders and drive-by shootings. We eliminated the shameful practice of giving two-for-one credit for time served in pretrial custody. We strengthened the national sex offender registry and passed legislation ensuring that drug dealers were not let out of prison after serving a mere one-sixth of their sentences, not to mention the outstanding track record our government had on crime prevention.
Bill C-10, as just one of the over 25 bills we passed to reform our Justice system, continued in the tradition of those Conservative measures to crack down on crime by legislating many new and improved measures. Some of those measures included increasing the penalties for sexual offences against children. lt targeted organized drug crime by toughening sentences for narcotics trafficking. lt protected foreign workers who were at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking or exploitation. Notably, Bill C-10 enacted the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which allowed the victims of terror attacks to sue both the individual responsible and those who supported that individual. lt granted broader leeway for the Minister of Public Safety to decide if someone who committed crimes overseas, including acts of terror, should be allowed to come back to Canada.
These are points of particular interest now as a comparison to the Liberal government's record on terrorists, their victims and the victims of crime overall. The Liberal government has sought to bring ISIS fighters back into Canada. The Liberals willingly wrote a cheque for $10.5 million to convicted terrorist Omar Khadr. Where is the respect for the victims of terrorist attacks? Where is the respect for their families, for Tabitha Speer?
Compare and contrast the record of the previous Conservative government to the Liberal government on any of these issues and it quickly becomes clear that the previous Conservative government was focused squarely on protecting the rights of victims, while the Liberal government is focused on protecting the rights of criminals. I understand this is a bold statement to make, but I have a hard time seeing the changes the government is making to our justice system in any other way. While the previous Conservative government ensured that criminals faced the consequences of their actions, the Liberal government has introduced Bill C-75, a bill that opens the door to shockingly lenient sentences for crimes such as abducting children, advocating genocide, impaired driving causing bodily harm and even engaging in terrorist activities.
I am bringing these issues into focus in this debate today to make a point. The Liberal government has an appalling track record on this file. It has continually weakened the protections for victims of crime, while making life easier for criminals. I believe it is crucial to remember the government's record while discussing the question underlined in the motion.
There are certain individuals who would be greatly pleased to use this motion as an opportunity to call for the wholesale repeal of Bill C-10. Engaging in that discussion would be a mistake. I am always willing to discuss and debate the merits of particular and fine points of the legislative track record of our former government; however, Bill C-10 was clearly a step in the right direction in that it placed the emphasis on the role of the victim in our justice system and ensured that criminals faced the consequences for their actions.
Let me be clear. I believe it is important to review the impacts of changes to a law. ln fact, I welcome reviews of legislation, as too often governments of all stripes pass laws with the very best of intentions, which may result in an end very different than what the government had in mind.
Given the bill became law nearly six years ago, it may be a good idea to ensure that the changes made to the record suspension program are accomplishing that which they were intended to do. ln fact, my hon. colleague for Saint John—Rothesay states it very clearly in the early part of the motion before us today, which reads:
That the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security be instructed to undertake a study of the Record Suspension Program to: (a) examine the impact of a record suspension to help those with a criminal record reintegrate into society;
There is the line “reintegrate into society”.
The ideal outcome of a prison sentence is not merely for offenders to face the consequences of their bad actions, but for them to reform into productive members of society. However, there must be a clear litmus test to ensure offenders have indeed reformed their ways.
We have a system of criminal records to protect citizens from the possibility of becoming unwitting victims of a previous offender. However, in a just society, a society founded on Judeo-Christian principles, there ought to be an opportunity for redemption. This is why the record suspension program exists, to give another chance to those who have proven themselves reformed.
ln order to access this program, however, the litmus test I alluded to earlier must be met. Bill C-10 set the standard as 10 years lived crime-free for serious crimes or five years for summary offences. lt also disqualified those who proved themselves too dangerous, by including those convicted of sexual offences against children and those convicted of three indictable offences, from ever being eligible to apply. Bill C-10 ensured that offenders would pay their own way through this system and increased the record suspension application fee to reflect that belief.
ln crafting the bill, the previous government believed that this standard would best protect the community, respect the rights of victims and provide those who had proven themselves deserving a second opportunity. Now, perhaps enough time has passed for the results of the these changes to be reviewed.
I am sure that all of us in this place wish to ensure that the process of the record suspension program is not hindering long-rehabilitated individuals from becoming productive members of society. However, let me again state the importance of retaining the focus on this aspect of Bill C-10. The Safe Streets and Communities Act placed the focus squarely on the rights of victims.
Listening to those who wish to repeal the bill would be a step backward for our justice system. I remain cautiously optimistic that the motion before us today will provide the opportunity to further strengthen our justice system.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, Conservatives in Canada believe that the number one priority of any government should be the safety of Canadians. The criminal justice system must strengthen these provisions, not weaken them.
In 2017, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-51. Ostensibly, it was intended to eliminate unnecessary and unconstitutional clauses in the Criminal Code, but buried in it were a number of additional Criminal Code provisions the Liberals decided to remove, including long-standing protections for clergy and places of worship. There was no logical reason why these were included, particularly at a time when incidents of religious intolerance are increasing. The government only backed down and removed these proposals after Canadians spoke up and said this was completely unacceptable.
However, they are back. Bill C-75 would reduce penalties for a whole range of serious crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization and political corruption, but it also would reduce sentences for obstruction and violence toward clergy.
Why is it that the Liberal government always puts terrorists and criminals ahead of victims?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, keeping Canadians safe should be the priority of every government and a serious crime should never be taken lightly, yet the Liberals are pushing ahead with legislation to reduce sentencing for serious crimes.
Human trafficking is a despicable crime, with a devastating impact on its victims. It is a crime that is growing in Canada. We need to be sending a clear message to perpetrators that modern-day slavery is unacceptable in our communities and carries a severe penalty. Instead, through Bill C-75, the Liberals are eliminating consecutive sentences for human traffickers.
Canadians are right to be concerned. This misguided legislation could result in lighter sentencing for a long list of serious crimes. The Liberal government is not taking criminal justice issues seriously. The rights of victims should always be the priority, and sentencing should always match the severity of the crime.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2018-05-24 14:14 [p.19591]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' tabling of Bill C-75 is an indication that they do not seem to believe either that crime is a serious issue or that victims' rights should be a priority. The bill contains elements that will permit crimes that are indictable offences to now be treated as summary offences. Perpetrators who commit offences such as participating in the activity of a terrorist group, forced marriage, polygamy, and impaired driving causing bodily harm will now be able to escape the consequences of their actions by simply paying a fine.
To add insult to injury, the Liberals are breaking yet another promise. They committed to protect religious officials by upholding section 176 of the Criminal Code, which says that the assault of religious officials is an indictable offence. In an era when religious officials are vulnerable to acts of hatred, it is puzzling that the Liberal government is once again trying to minimize the fundamental importance of religious freedom in Canada.
Conservatives believe that Canada's fundamental charter rights and the safety of Canadians should be the number one priority of any government.
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