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Results: 1 - 15 of 53
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, the second petition references that on April 7, 2017, Arianna Goberdhan and her unborn child Assara were murdered in a brutal act of domestic violence. At the time of the murder, she was nine months pregnant with her soon-to-be-born daughter. Assara and other preborn children in similar circumstances deserve to be recognized as victims of a crime and should be entitled to justice and legal recourse. Therefore, petitioners call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation that recognizes that when an assailant in the commission of a crime attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her preborn child, the assailant may be charged with an offence on behalf of that child.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-17 23:47 [p.29259]
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
2019-06-10 15:31 [p.28819]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition indicates that a CBC documentary revealed that ultrasounds are being used in Canada to tell the sex of an unborn child so that expectant parents can choose to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child is a girl. An Environics poll found that 92% of Canadians believe sex-selected pregnancy termination should be illegal. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists strongly oppose the non-medical use of fetal ultrasounds.
There are more than 200 million girls missing worldwide. This gendercide has created a global gender imbalance resulting in violence and human trafficking of girls. The three deadliest words in the world are “It's a girl”. Therefore, the petitioners call upon Canada's Parliament to support legislation that would make sex selection illegal.
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 Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2018-10-02 15:50 [p.22124]
Yes, Madam Speaker. To that end, the bill before us appears to be, in most respects, one more step in the right direction.
How does the government justify its treatment of the Stafford family in light of these remarks by the hon. Irwin Cotler?
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2018-10-01 13:48 [p.22031]
Mr. Speaker, does my colleague really believe the Liberals are serious about this bill and about victims rights? Over the last week or so in the House, particularly in question period, we have had some heated exchanges about the Liberals' failure to represent victims fairly across the country.
Therefore, does she feel they are serious about the bill and seeing it through or does she expect that when we do get it passed at second reading and it goes to committee, we will see the Liberals begin to play some of the same games we have seen them play on other issues, particularly Tori Stafford, Chris Garnier and those kinds of things?
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2018-10-01 15:37 [p.22049]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for being so interested in this issue. I heard the Liberals say that they wanted this to leave the House immediately, but some of us do not have a lot of chance to speak to bills that are outside of our portfolio area. I am not on the defence committee, so that is not a place where I will be able to participate. Therefore, this is my sole chance to participate in this debate.
I hope my colleagues opposite understand that we are not ragging the puck here. We just want to give people an opportunity to speak to the issues.
These are important issues that come out of a number of different areas. I want to talk later about the Victims Bill of Rights, what it means and how much it has improved and changed the lives of Canadians. That has been the foundation of what we are doing. Bill C-77 tries to apply that bill of rights to the military as well.
My colleague who spoke previously basically had the same opening as I did. He talked about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. It is interesting that on the things the government has succeeded in, it has had to copy us. The things the Liberals have not copied us on have been pretty much a disaster. If we think about electoral reform and so on, their own initiatives have not gone anywhere. However, the ones we had done the work on and laid the foundation and the groundwork for, the Liberals have had some success.
Apart from this bill, I think of things like CETA, the trade agreement with Europe, which was pretty much handed to the Liberals, but they almost messed that up. They took it back and started messing with some of the text. The next thing was the Europeans wanted to open that whole agreement up again. The government had to fight and struggle to ensure it was implemented the way that we had negotiated it.
We are seeing the same thing with TPP. The agreement basically was finished and handed to the Liberals. We are sitting here two and a half years later and still do not have it through the House even though we were the ones who did the work on it. It is a good agreement and it should be implemented as soon as possible.
We saw the struggles the Liberals had around NAFTA, where they insisted on taking the agreement that worked very well and came so close to making a complete mess of it. Canadians need to understand that we were saved at the last minute by the fact that the U.S. auto sector stepped in and said that it needed to get the agreement done, that the negotiators could not be serious if they allowed the President to put tariffs on autos. Finally, our government realized it had better quit playing games, trying to make the President look bad, fooling around that way, and decided to get the agreement done.
Interestingly enough, the Liberals really did not gain anything with it. It barely held the ground that we had in the past. That seems to be the way the government operates.
That brings us back to Bill C-77, hopefully something that will be much easier for the Liberals to get through in the form it is in right now. We have heard debate about it. At this point, we will support the bill at second reading to go to committee as soon as the debate is done in the House. The point of it is to align the military justice system of Canada with the Criminal Code of Canada. It is a good and important objective. As I said before, it centres around the Victims Bill of Rights that was passed in 2015. It takes that and enshrines it in the National Defence Act.
Many people talked specifically about Bill C-77 and what is included in it. However, I would like to back up a step and talk about the Victims Bill of Rights, which lays the foundation for the discussion we are having today and for the bill that is being presented here today.
Obviously, the Victims Bill of Rights created a clear set of rights for victims of crime. It requires those rights to be considered during the trial processes and it provides four rights for victims in Canada. Those rights are the ideas of information, protection for their rights of participation in the system and then some aspect of restitution.
Some of it seems to be common sense, but perhaps is not in the courts. Canadians will understand that every victim should have the right to request information that he or she needs with respect to the system and the role the victims play in that, the services and programs that are available to them. Victims should be aware of the fact that they have the right to file complaints if their rights are being violated.
In investigations, victims have the right to ask about the status and outcome of the investigations. They have the right to know where the location of the proceedings are taking place. They have the right to ask for information about any kind of reviews that are being done under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.
For the last week we have been talking about an issue in western Canada, actually in my riding. A young “lady”, and I use that word very loosely, participated in the kidnapping, rape, torture, murder and burial of an eight-year-old girl. She was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Then about a week ago we found out she had been moved from a maximum-security prison to medium-security prison a couple of years ago. In the last few weeks, she was moved to what was basically a minimum-security prison.
I am familiar with the Okimaw Ohci healing lodge. It is in my riding and I have been there several times. I have been there for its open days and have enjoyed going there. However, this is not the appropriate place for someone like that.
As I pointed out, the rights of victims require that those who have suffered have the opportunity to find out what is going on in the system. When Tori Stafford's father found out what had happened, he appealed to the Prime Minister. He said that it was crazy. The person had murdered his daughter and he had to live with that every day of his life. He said that the Prime Minister had sent her to a minimum-security prison. Not only was it not a prison, but it was in a treed area. It was like a park setting with small cabins arranged in small units. Not only did it not have a fence around, or have restrictions or whatever, but children were allowed to go and spend time with their mothers.
My constituents have made their opinions clear to me. They agree with our position over the last week that this needs to be reversed.
The reason we know about it is because there is a Victims Bill of Rights and that is the foundation for the changes being suggested in Bill C-77.
Victims are allowed to attend hearings that are open. With respect to protection and security, people have the right to have their security considered. In the criminal justice system, they have the right to protection from intimidation and retaliation. We have talked about that today in regard to Bill C-77. They have the right to have their privacy considered and having their identity protected as well. They also have the right to request any kind of help they might need when appearing as witnesses in proceedings.
There are other things around participation. Victims have the right to give their views about decisions to be made by the appropriate authorities in the criminal justice system that affect their rights. They have the right to speak up. We think that is an important right.
We are all familiar with victim impact statements and the role they play. In some court cases, victims are allowed to give victim impact statements, how the criminal impacted their lives, how this activity has destroyed, for example, the lives of their families.
The Victims Bill of Rights also talks about restitution orders and the fact that victims have the right to have the court consider making restitution to them by the offender.
There are a number of other things in the Victims Bill of Rights, but that lays the foundation for us for Bill C-77. The bill is about enshrining that Victims Bill of Rights in the National Defence Act. It also puts a statute of limitations of six months on summary hearing cases.
We heard this morning about the various levels of discipline and how the defence minister , if we trust him, was trying to make some changes that would speed up some of the discipline cases on lesser offences. We are hoping that what the Liberals are saying is actually true.
This is virtually a copy of something that was presented three years ago by the former Conservative government just before the last election. I guess the good thing is, as I mentioned, the Liberals have taken this on and have decided that they are going to bring the bill forward in much the same fashion and structure that it was before and introduce those changes.
There are some differences. We have talked a bit about them as well. One of the main differences in this bill, and probably will be one of the main things that will be discussed at committee, is the addition of the Gladue decision in the National Defence Act. For those people who are not familiar with that, it instructs the courts to take into consideration an aboriginal person's background when he or she is sentenced. On occasion, when that is applied, it may mean that the sentencing itself or the sentencing process will be different for that individual than it would be for a non-aboriginal person.
People have questioned whether this should be considered in the military. Is it appropriate that in the military, where everyone is subject to the same structures of discipline, where we try to bring about equality and equal participation, someone would have a different sentencing structured or a different level of punishment than other people would based on these kinds of considerations? I am sure we will be bringing forward those issues and asking those questions at committee.
Our government made it a priority to stand up for victims. That is why we brought forward the Victims Bill of Rights. That is also why we saw our Bill C-71 come forward prior to the election, in pretty much the form being presented by the current government. We know that the priority of government, on this side of the House anyway, should be to protect the safety of its citizens. We take that responsibility very seriously.
Putting the rights of victims back into the centre of the criminal justice system was important to us. It was something we spoke about many times and made it the centre of a number of different pieces of legislation, the guarantee that victims would have the right to have a more effective voice in the system and that they would be treated with courtesy and compassion. I think we are all familiar with situations in the past years where often victims seemed to be harassed more than they were treated with compassion and respect when they came forward with charges. We were determined to try to reverse that trend and ensure people were treated with respect, while keeping our streets, our cities and communities safe for Canadians and their families. That was why we took so many concrete steps to hold people accountable for their actions. We are glad to see this being extended to the military as well.
The question I need to ask is this. Are the Liberals really serious about this bill? They say that they want it to go to committee as soon as possible, and we hope that is true. However, what we have seen in the past is that they are far more interested in PR when it comes to issues of criminal activity than they are in the content. We see that in this Parliament.
I think of Bill C-71, the firearms legislation. The bill has come forward. The government has made a declaration that it wants to deal with the crimes with respect to gangs and the illegal use of firearms. The bill does not mention either of those things but creates massive problems for legitimate firearms owners. It is almost as if the Liberals looked at what the PR side of it was, decided they could make it an attack on legitimate firearms owners, convince the media country that it was a good thing and they did not have to do the hard work of trying to solve the gang situation and getting illegal guns off the street.
Bill C-71 is an example of where the Liberals do not seem to take this issue of crime seriously. I hope they are with respect to Bill C-77. I asked a question of the minister this morning and I trust he answered it honestly.
With respect to Bill C-71, another issue we had was the misuse of statistics. The Liberals take an extreme statistic, apply it, then say that is the average and that they will operate using that as a starting point. However, anyone who knows the statistics knows that the year they were using, 2013, was such an exceptional year and it did not really fit into the normal trend. There is a lot of attack on regular citizens it seems, particularly in Bill C-71, and not much that would actually protect victims of crime.
We brought forward a number of other bills when we were in government: the Safe Streets and Communities Act; the reform of the not criminally responsible legislation, which was needed for many years, and we were happy to bring that forward; and the laws against sexual exploitation and cyber intimidation.
It is good to see these changes are coming forward. I know there have been some changes made since 2016, even within the military. The government talks about the fact that the director of military prosecutions has changed the way that it does things, the way it approaches these issues. There are a number of things in the government's document. It talks about how it has already introduced changes, such as providing information proactively to victims on the choice of jurisdictions in a sexual misconduct matter. Therefore, if there is a charge of sexual misconduct, the victim now has more say in what jurisdiction he or she wants it looked at. It has some information that it can provide that will help. Victims are kept informed throughout the investigation and throughout the trial process. That did not happen before in the military. The DMP, in its overhaul of the way it has done things, has included this as one of the things it thinks is important.
Now the DMP has started to consider the views of victims in determining the public interest in these cases. Is there public interest in moving forward with the prosecution of the cases? It is allowing victims to participate. I know that witness preparation has been improved. It is spending more time with witnesses, finding out what they will be testifying to and if they are prepared to be competent witnesses. It is assuring victims' comfort and security. I am told it is one of the key considerations. In the past, as I mentioned, people have been intimidated, even by the way the system is set up, so this is set up to be much more fair to them.
It is making efforts to make sure that in sexual misconduct cases, victim impact statements are relevant and considered. It is trying to get consistency with the prosecution and prosecutors so that each of them approaches the issues in the same way. That is probably an important consideration in that there needs to be consistency within the military itself and the way it deals with and addresses these issues. That is part of what Bill C-77 is trying to do: to bring the consistency provided in the Victims Bill of Rights into the military part of the justice system. Another thing is that sexual misconduct cases are being expedited in the military courts to try to get them out of the way.
There are a lot of things going on. As I mentioned, there are the indigenous sentencing considerations. We heard earlier today that there are changes to the summary trial process and the way summary charges are handled. There are a number of other areas around the victims rights at courts martial as well that have changed. They have a different perspective and a different opportunity. A victim's liaison officer would be put in place to give victims an opportunity to get this information and go to somebody who can work with and help them.
I come back to the concern that Liberals are honest about dealing with victims. We have heard over the last three or four weeks in the House of Commons about a gentleman who murdered a female police officer, desecrated the body and was sentenced to jail. Then he applied for Veterans Affairs benefits and the government has been providing those benefits to him. Those benefits, I am told, can be provided by Correctional Service Canada, but the government has made the decision that he deserves veterans benefits. Conservatives have argued that he does not. There are people who have served who receive them, but he has not served or spent a moment of time in military service and yet he is getting these benefits.
The government said it would cut them off for now, but we need a better response than that from the government. That was a bad response in that case. Now with Tori Stafford, we have heard the comments made by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness this afternoon. It is another slow response, a bad response to people who have been victimized in the worst ways by crimes and the best the ministers of the government can say is they have given it to somebody who will review it for a long time and when that person gets back to them, they will let us know how it turns out. In the case of Tori Stafford, by the time that happens, how long will that woman have been in the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, being able to do whatever she wants to do, having access to children and wandering off the property if she wants? She is not eligible for parole for another 13 years. What does she have to lose should she decide to do something inappropriate in Okimaw Ohci?
That is an example of the government not being willing to react to these issues. We hope that when this bill goes to committee, Liberals will deal seriously with it, and when it is implemented, they actually treat it seriously, because they do not have a history anywhere else of dealing fairly and honestly with victims. Hopefully, in this situation, they will and we look forward to when this bill is passed.
It is a good bill, Conservatives wrote most of it, and we are looking forward to the government applying it and hopefully, it will take care of many of these issues that people have faced at military trials and those kinds of situations.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2018-10-01 16:07 [p.22053]
Mr. Speaker, actually, this is not theoretical. We can come back to Bill C-75, the reduction of sentences bill that aims to reduce 26 various criminal offences from indictable offences to summary conviction. One is the offence of belonging to a terrorist organization, or to a gang, and a whole host of others. There are 26 different offences it is saying we need to reduce the sentences for.
He would probably say the same thing here, that we have talked about this too much and let us just get on with it, but Canadians need to hear these things and understand that the Liberal government is committed to watering down any kind of protection that victims have in our country. We need to keep saying that again and again until it soaks into the Liberals' thick skulls that they need to start figuring out some way they can step forward and protect victims, instead of always taking the side of the offender against those people who have paid the price for these people's bad and illegal behaviour.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
2018-10-01 17:35 [p.22064]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today to speak to Bill C-77, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.
While we know that Canada's military justice system operates separately from Canada's civilian justice system, it is nevertheless important that its system is also just and fair. Canadian Armed Forces members are held to a high standard of conduct. It is understood that Canada's separate military justice system exists to maintain discipline, efficiency and morale in the Canadian Armed Forces. The safety and well-being of all Canadians is dependent on the military's ability to deal with internal discipline effectively and efficiently. That is because our esteemed men and women serving in the military are often required to risk injury or death when they perform their duties. Nonetheless, when it comes to provisions to support victims, there is a gap in the National Defence Act. Victims' rights should be at the heart of every criminal justice system. The proposed legislation takes a step toward that goal. It extends victims' rights into the military justice system, which is certainly positive.
The legislation we are considering is in fact largely modelled after Bill C-71, which was introduced in the previous parliament by the former Conservative government. It builds on existing efforts to put victims of crime at the heart of Canada's criminal justice system. The Conservatives have a proud record of standing up for victims of crime and law-abiding citizens, and we remain committed to them. We have and will always work toward ensuring that victims of crime have an effective voice in the criminal justice system, and we will never accept having the rights of criminals ahead of those of victims of crime and law-abiding citizens. In fact, for far too many years in Canada the scales of justice tipped in favour of criminals. Our criminal justice system neglected those who had been affected by their crimes. It neglected the rights of victims of crime. I am proud of the hard work and the achievements of our former Conservative government. Our country is better off for it. It took significant steps to find a better balance in our criminal justice system, steps that gave victims of crime clear, enforceable rights and protections.
The principle that victims of crimes should be a priority in Canada's criminal justice system was reflected throughout the former Conservative government's policies, reforms, and even investments. Whether it was the creation of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, the passing of the Safe Streets and Communities Act, or investments in child advocacy centres across the country, victims and law-abiding criminals were always the priority.
The landmark Canadian Victims Bill of Rights was the most notable forward step for victims taken by the former Conservative government. This historic legislation entrenched the rights of victims of crime into a single document at the federal level. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights guarantees victims of crime the right to information, protection, participation and restitution. lt means that the rights of victims are considered at every stage of the criminal justice process, as they should be.
After entrenching the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights in Canada's criminal justice system, our former Conservative government tabled legislation to also give victims of service offences the same rights, that is, the right to information, protection, participation and restitution. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to study and pass this legislation before the dissolution of Parliament. However, I am pleased that the current Liberal government, through Bill C-77, has copied that legislation. lt is the right thing to do. As we work to protect and promote victims' rights, we are helping to ensure that both of Canada's criminal justice systems help those who truly deserve support.
Given that the legislation for the most part is a carbon copy of the legislation introduced by the former Conservative government, it is disappointing that it is being introduced so late in the Liberal government's mandate. I suppose this is perhaps a reflection of the Liberal government's record on victims' rights.
Unfortunately, it is way too easy to offer examples of the Liberal government's appalling record of putting the rights of dangerous criminals ahead of the rights of victims and their families. Just last week, the Liberals voted against our Conservative motion calling on their Minister of Veterans Affairs to revoke the Veterans Affairs-funded benefits of Chris Garnier, a convicted cop killer. Moreover, the Liberal government is still defending the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic to a healing lodge. McClintic was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 kidnapping and rape of eight-year-old Tori Stafford. Less than 10 years after the disgusting crimes she committed, she has no business being transferred to a healing lodge facility. That facility has no fences around it and often has children present. However, the Liberal public safety minister has defended this decision and downgraded her despicable crimes to “bad practices”. As a mother of two young children, I am livid by the Liberal government's refusal to exercise its moral, legal and political authority to reverse this decision, and my heart breaks for the family of Tori Stafford.
These are just two recent examples in the public eye of the Liberals' backward priorities. They have also tabled Bill C-75, which makes sweeping changes to Canada's Criminal Code. lt undoes a lot of the progress our former government made to put the rights of victims ahead of criminals.
While we are considering the legislation before us, I would point out that the Liberals are also pushing through legislation to reduce sentencing for serious crimes. These are serious crimes like human trafficking, participation in a terrorist group or the abduction of a child under the age of 14. The Liberal record of putting the rights of criminals ahead of victims is shameful. lt is not a record of restoring victim rights.
That said, I am pleased to see that a version of our Conservative legislation has been brought forward by this government. Victims' rights should never fall by the wayside in either of Canada's systems of justice. That is why passing this legislation is so important. Like the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, this legislation entrenches four key rights for victims of service offences. First, it provides the right to information. This includes the right to information on the military justice system, as well as services and programs available to victims. lt also gives victims the right to information about the progress of the case. The legislation gives victims the right to protection by giving consideration to their privacy and security through the military justice process. lt gives them the right to participate in the proceedings and creates an opportunity for a victim impact statement to be made. lt also gives the right to restitution when financial losses can reasonably be determined.
The addition of these rights to the military justice system through the Code of Service Discipline's declaration of victims' rights places these rights at the heart of the military justice system. That is exactly where they belong. The legislation has my support. I will be voting in favour of sending it to committee so it can be studied in detail.
Conservatives will always stand in support of victims. We will always be in favour of giving victims a stronger voice in Canada's criminal justice systems. I hope the legislation is referred to committee and that all victims of crime and law-abiding Canadians are given a greater priority by the Liberal government.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
2018-10-01 17:49 [p.22066]
Madam Speaker, what is important is that any time there is a victim of any type of crime, no matter what the scale of the crime, we put the victim's decency, dignity and respect above all things. In my past line of work as a social worker, far too many times we saw victims who were re-victimized over and over again because of failures with the system.
An hon. member: Tori Stafford's father.
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk: Yes, exactly, just with what is happening with Tori Stafford. Her family is being re-victimized again and it is unfortunate that the government is not standing up and doing the right moral thing.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2018-09-21 10:22 [p.21642]
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the government on bringing this bill forward. As my colleague from Victoria mentioned, we will be supporting this bill and working very hard in committee so that it can become law.
I just want to follow up on the question from the member for Victoria to give the parliamentary secretary another opportunity to address the issue around military justice and self-harm.
What we know is that those who come forward seeking help within the military would be turned in for discipline, should they be found trying to commit suicide. What safeguards are the Liberals going to put forward to address the real needs of mental health supports in the military to ensure that service is delivered free of punishment and disciplinary actions?
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2017-11-29 18:53 [p.15765]
Mr. Speaker, it is good to be here today to speak to this issue. I am very happy with my colleague for bringing this forward. It is an important initiative, and unfortunate that we need it. There are a number of other ways to approach some of these issues, basically various levels of dealing with it, and we have heard a little about some of them tonight. I will talk a bit about that later.
I guess one of the things that would give us a little more comfort is if we felt that the current government was actually willing to deal with these issues seriously. As far as we can see, in the two years it has been in power, it is not. There is no indication that it would actually treat seriously the issues my colleague has brought forward, issues such as radicalization and dealing with the connections to culture, religion, and education. In fact, we hear in the Liberals' speeches tonight that they are just not willing to do that.
Another example of the government's unwillingness to deal with this seriously is the way it claims to be handling these returning ISIS fighters, in spite of the fact that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has said that basically we are not going to be able to change these folks and we are coming late to this fight anyway. Still the Liberals come and talk about how they are going to have these programs.
Yesterday or the day before, the Prime Minister said in the House that he believes he can deprogram ISIS fighters when they come back. As we have pointed out, some of these folks are coming back deliberately, coming back here to stay and then create trouble later. I do not think poetry sessions and sitting in counselling sessions is going to change that in their minds. The government is not taking the issue of terrorism seriously. It is not really taking the issue of radicalization seriously. We have seen that at one of the committees I am on, as well.
I am very thankful that we were able to pass the Magnitsky Act earlier this fall. That was an important part of this whole piece, and is something some of us worked on last Parliament. Thanks to our colleague from Manitoba and one of our senators from the other place, we were able to bring that in here, and then the government finally came to its senses and supported it.
However, Canadians do not have confidence that the government is going to do the right thing. Another example of that would be in its relationship with Iran. The member opposite asked earlier if there are examples of places where we can see this kind of radicalization that could be taking place. Obviously, over the years, Iran has been listed as a state sponsor of terror for a number of years by a number of countries. Again, the relationship this government insists on having with Iran is just naive. It thinks that somehow it is going to change its direction by cuddling up to it. That is not going to happen. It is very disturbing. We see Iran trying to stretch itself out in the Middle East, and the trouble it is causing in places like Yemen where it has gone in. It is trying to create as much of a conflict there as it possibly can.
For those of us who have been working on the religious freedom issues over the years, another place we see radicalization has taken place is through Wahhabism that has come out of Saudi Arabia. If the money that has been put into spreading that ideology around the world had been stopped 20 or 30 years ago, we would not find ourselves in the situation we do right now.
I respect the bill that the member has brought forward, but we do have several levels of dealing with these things. I mentioned state sponsors of terrorism. I think we have two of them listed still, which are Iran and Syria. Other countries list places like North Korea and Sudan. There is also another level of dealing with these issues, which is to list the terrorist entities. The government on the other side seems to say that this is not really a serious issue or whatever.
If we take a look at the number of listed entities that Canada has listed, it is well over 50. These are 50 terrorist organizations that function around the world. It is naive to think that not one of them is taking money and putting it into kind of parallel organizations, sister and brother organizations that may have very different names and is not trying to influence governments around the world. As my colleague has pointed out, it is the flow of money that is actually critical.
We have sanctions on countries as well. There is a third level layer of sanctions. We have over 20 countries listed on a sanctions list, and that started in the Special Economic Measures Act. Those countries had sanctions put against them for good reason. However, this bill deals specifically with the flow of money and trying to stop that flow of money. It is more than timely. It is past time that we should have brought this forward.
It does not sound as though it is going to, but I hope the government will step up and at least send the bill to committee and see if there are some changes it would like to make and we can agree to, so that the bill can go forward and become effective in the future.
The bill starts off by talking about religious, cultural, and educational institutions, and where they may play a central role in the lives of many Canadians. We know that is true. Those three components are critically important to a lot of people around the world.
The government is naive about the role that religious faith plays in many people's lives. The government—from some of the comments we have heard from some of the leadership—seems to think it is not a relevant concept for people in this time and age. That just shows naivety about what is going on around the rest of the world, where the majority of people are informed and driven by some very serious faith considerations and beliefs in their own lives. That is why I appreciate the member bringing this forward in those terms.
We also know that education plays an incredibly important role around the world. Typically, if an individual is going to try to influence people and is going to spend money doing that, that individual is likely going to put that money into some sort of either faith institution or educational institution in order to try to change people's thinking. The bill specifically addresses those issues and those components.
It goes on to say “some foreign states and some entities and individuals abroad provide those institutions with funding through donations or gifts”. We understand that money travels around the world. People who hold to different beliefs and principles are willing to spend their money and commit it to causes, and for the most part they are good causes. That is why Canadians contribute to charities. That is why we are known as some of the most generous people in the world, because people are willing to make those contributions to things that they think are important.
That is the good side of the equation, but there are also people who do not have those same benevolent attitudes and who want to use their money in another way, which is to bring down other governments, other institutions, and other states. This bill addresses that.
It says “funding could flow from foreign states, entities or individuals that support or promote extremism, radicalization or terrorism and that seek to influence those institutions”. That is where we believe that the Parliament of Canada needs to step in. It is important that we do.
This bill has a number of provisions to it. Its purpose is to prevent an individual, an entity, or a foreign state that does support or is associated with radicalization or terrorism being able to fund those institutions around the world through either donations or gifts. It is a pretty simple explanation. There is a schedule that could be put in place that would deal with that, and then that would address the issue of those states, those individuals, those foreign entities trying to have influence in Canada when they should not do that.
It is incredibly important that we address this issue. My NDP colleague said that money is really not the issue here, but I would disagree with him. The only way to actually diminish the activity is to cut off funding and reduce the money. Then we can look at some of the other causes, some of the other things that are influencing people to become radicalized. As long as foreign money is allowed to come into a country, whether it is Canada or another country, it gives people the capacity to influence, to tear down institutions, and then to do the damage that they really would like to see happen.
There are a number of provisions to this legislation that might be worth going through.
The bill would apply to a foreign state whose name is set out in the schedule or any senior official or member of the official's immediate family. We often see a senior official who is functioning and then family members are doing something off in another direction or whatever.
It is good that we have followed the lead of other countries. My colleague mentioned countries such as Australia, which did this very specifically to deal with an issue it had in that country. Norway and Austria are other countries that have acted on this. Others such as the United States and the United Kingdom are thinking about it.
It is a good idea that Canada thinks about it as well. It would be a great help to many people around the world. It would be a great help to many Canadians if the government would treat this seriously, support the bill, and send it to committee, and then we can have further discussion about it.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2017-10-26 15:04 [p.14583]
Mr. Speaker, no, Canada vehemently disagrees with the Russian government's abuse and misuse of the Interpol listing system. The Kremlin does not determine admissibility to Canada. That is done by Canadian border officers implementing Canadian law. Bill Browder has a strong record of human rights advocacy, and the member for Scarborough—Guildwood has long made that very point. In 2015, Parliament unanimously supported Irwin Cotler's motion recommending the legislation Mr. Browder has been calling for, and we all unanimously adopted that legislation earlier this month.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2017-06-15 16:57 [p.12790]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to say on the record that of course we welcome the changes to protect victims of sexual assault. The rape shield changes that allow a complainant to have a lawyer during the proceedings are very welcome.
This will be an option for those who can afford a lawyer, but unfortunately many in my riding would not be in a position to have access to a lawyer. I wonder if my colleague could comment on whether the government will be looking at committing increased funding so that folks can get legal aid or get a lawyer to help them through the process.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.
In the first petition, a number of my constituents call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation that recognizes preborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers, which would allow two charges to be laid against the offender, instead of just one.
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