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Results: 1 - 15 of 2454
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:40 [p.5735]
Madam Speaker, I would seek unanimous consent to split my time with my colleague, the member for South Surrey—White Rock.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:40 [p.5735]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak to Bill C-6, an act to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy.
Let me say at the outset that conversion therapy is absurd. It is wrong, and it is harmful. Conversion therapy should be banned. Individuals who perpetrate such harmful acts and seek to coercively change someone's sexual orientation or sexual identity should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law under the penalty of the Criminal Code. I unequivocally support the purported objective of this legislation, which is why I voted for Bill C-6 at second reading.
I did so notwithstanding the fact that I did have some concerns with the manner in which the bill was drafted. In particular, I had concerns that the definition of conversion therapy was vague and overly broad, and that it could capture not only those circumstances that involve coercive, abusive or otherwise harmful efforts to change someone's sexual orientation or identity, but could also more broadly encapsulate such things as good-faith conversations.
Nonetheless, because I unequivocally support the purported objective of the bill, I was hopeful, as a member of the justice committee, that we could come together at committee to study the bill in detail, hear from a wide range of witnesses and bring forward appropriate amendments where necessary to get the definition right.
It goes without saying that if we are to carve out any law in the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy, it is absolutely imperative that we get the definition right. At committee, many of the concerns I had with the way in which the bill had been drafted were expressed by a wide range of witnesses, including members of the LGBTQ community, lawyers, medical professionals and members of the clergy.
More specifically, with respect to the definition and some of the issues that arise therefrom, I would first of all note that in the bill, conversion therapy is defined as any “practice, treatment or service”. These terms are not defined anywhere in the Criminal Code, and it should be noted that nowhere in the bill are these terms qualified in order to provide the context in which the practice, treatment or service would apply. Although these terms are found in parts of the Criminal Code, they are not stand-alone terms as they are in Bill C-6.
It is true that the term “treatment” connotes a therapeutic context. However, “practice” or “service” could, without qualification, involve just about any activity. For example, a “practice” could involve a good-faith conversation, and “service” could involve a voluntary counselling session or a religious sermon.
I was concerned that witnesses were expressing concern about the lack of clarity with respect to those terms, but in addition to that, the definition, as provided in Bill C-6, provides that it would ban any practice, treatment or service designed to reduce sexual attraction or sexual behaviour.
The definition is clearly expansive. It goes beyond a clear and targeted definition. Without any qualification, it could arguably include counselling sessions or other supports provided on a voluntary basis by medical professionals and other professionals. It could, arguably, capture good-faith conversations between persons struggling with their sexual identity and medical professionals, parents and other family members, religious leaders and others.
It is important to note that this definition of conversion therapy is not used by any professional body. It is not used by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological Association or their American counterparts. In the face of that ambiguity, which was supported by witness testimony, Conservatives sought to bring forward amendments to get the definition right.
Now, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and other members of the government have repeatedly said that the bill before us would not target voluntary, good-faith conversations. I do not doubt their sincerity when they say that is what they believe. Consistent with that, the website of the Department of Justice states the same.
However, what matters not is the minister's interpretation of the bill. What matters not is what is on the website of the Department of Justice. What matters is, in fact, what is in the bill, which is why Conservatives brought forward an amendment to simply incorporate into the bill the very language that was provided on the website of the Department of Justice. Such language would have provided certainty. It would have provided clarity that good-faith and voluntary conversations would not be the subject of the imposition of criminal charges laid against persons.
Let me be clear that it is a fundamental requirement of the rule of law that a person should be able to know and predict whether a particular act constitutes a crime. Here we have a definition that is vague and overly broad, and therefore is at risk of contravening fundamental justice. It could be deemed contrary to section 7 of the charter as a result.
In closing, the government's intention is a good one, and the intent of the bill is a good one, but it is important that we get the definition right. I am concerned that we have not achieved that in the bill before us.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:50 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, with respect to the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, it appears he did not listen carefully to my speech.
I noted, yes, that I had concerns with the terms “practice”, “treatment” and “service”, but I also noted concerns about the definition including the reduction of sexual attraction or sexual behaviour. There were many LGBTQ witnesses who appeared before committee who said that they were concerned this would make it illegal or create a chilling effect on counselling services and supports that they have relied on and that have helped them in their development and identity.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:51 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, it is absolutely essential that, when we draft legislation, we ensure that it is targeted toward demonstrated harms. We should not wait for a judge to interpret it or hope that a judge will interpret the law the way we hope a judge would do in the face of vague and overly broad language, and on a matter that can involve five years behind bars upon conviction.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:53 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, with respect to the member for St. John's East, I voted for this bill at second reading. I heard the testimony of witnesses at the justice committee, in which there were significant concerns expressed. We worked to include language to provide that clarity.
I do not know why the government did not support such language because, had such language been incorporated, I believe we could have this bill pass this place with unanimous support or something very close to it. It is unfortunate that opportunity was missed.
View Michael Cooper Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michael Cooper Profile
2021-04-16 10:54 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier is absolutely right that it is important that we get the definition right. Surely, we want this legislation to pass constitutional muster, and a piece of legislation that has a definition that is vague and overly broad is at risk of a charter challenge, at risk of being found to contravene fundamental justice and at risk of being found to contravene section 7 of the charter.
I had hoped that this would not be the case and that we could have gotten it right, so that we could have a law on the books that would stand.
View Greg McLean Profile
CPC (AB)
View Greg McLean Profile
2021-04-16 11:11 [p.5740]
Madam Speaker, this week, the House of Commons got to finally debate Bill C-262, a bill that would provide a tax incentive for companies across Canada's economy to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions. Yes, in an era when the government's approach to an environmental problem is to nibble at the edges and tax Canadians, Conservatives have put forth a plan to incentivize the removal of these gases from the atmosphere. Canada has been, until lately, a leader in the approach to solving the world's growing emissions. Our initiative would put us back on track. Sadly, my colleagues in other parties spoke against solving global warming issues with Canadian technological solutions.
We have seen the results of the current government's approach to managing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, we saw another increase from Canada. The Liberal government needs to look beyond the non-solutions put forth by this Minister of Environment and Climate Change and consider this bill as part of a real climate plan, one that actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, foreign, state-backed misinformation and violent forced confessions should not be part of the Canadian broadcasting system, which is why I will be moving amendments to Bill C-10 to protect Canadians and others from these gross violations of human rights.
Does the government support these proposed amendments?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, it was a very clear and specific question. It was not about committee agendas. It was about the policy of this government with respect to these forced confessions.
Safeguard Defenders has filed a complaint with the CRTC about the airing of forced confessions on Canadian airways involving nearly 60 victims between 2013 and 2019. The CRTC has failed to lodge an investigation.
Will the parliamentary secretary stop avoiding the issue and simply state the government's position on this? When it comes to removing foreign state-backed misinformation and violence from the Canadian broadcasting system, does the government agree that action is required?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2021-04-16 11:37 [p.5745]
Madam Speaker, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians' 2020 annual report says that the Chinese Communist Party is increasingly targeting Canada's science and technology sector through programs like its Thousand Talents Program, which gets Chinese scientists to bring research back to China. However, despite evidence that Canada's 5G technology is being, as the reports says, “actively targeted”, the Liberals still refuse to ban Huawei from our network.
Let us try this again. Will the Liberals take a stand against Chinese wolf warrior diplomacy and ban Huawei?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2021-04-16 11:38 [p.5745]
Madam Speaker, Chinese citizens are coerced by the regime and Huawei is an arm of the communist party.
The NSICOP's report also states, “China and Russia remain the primary culprits” for foreign interference and “are the most significant long-term threats to Canada's sovereignty and prosperity”, yet the Prime Minister defends the communist party's interests even threatening to withdraw from the Halifax security forum if Taiwan was recognized for its resistance to China's relentless pressure.
How can the Prime Minister defend Canada from the CCP's interference if he is an active apologist for it?
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
CPC (AB)
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
2021-04-16 11:39 [p.5746]
Madam Speaker, on Monday, the Liberal government announced a financial package worth up to $5.8 billion for one of Canada’s airlines, Air Canada. Not only does this package neglect the thousands of laid-off workers at Canada’s other airlines, but there were no new supports for airports, air traffic controllers or travel advisers with commissions at other airlines.
Assisting one airline is simply not the comprehensive relief program for which we have all been asking. Could the government commit to keeping its promise and support all our aviation workers?
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
CPC (AB)
View Stephanie Kusie Profile
2021-04-16 11:40 [p.5746]
Madam Speaker, this week is a good week for one company.
The Liberal government has been promising assistance for Canada's aviation industry for over a year, but nothing happened until this week, with a plan for Air Canada. Unfortunately, we need a plan for the entire industry. This piecemeal approach will serve only to slow the recovery and negatively impact aviation workers.
Why did the government take so long to act?
View Jasraj Singh Hallan Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, a few months ago, I asked the Minister of Public Safety what he would do to defend our country's digital infrastructure from cyber-attacks and terrorism. He answered by saying that they threw money at it.
Just recently, over 533 million Facebook users' data was leaked online. The CRA was attacked last summer, and Microsoft just faced a cyber-attack. This is hurting our economy and the safety of Canadians.
When will the government make a real plan and take cybersecurity seriously?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2021-04-16 11:46 [p.5747]
Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister has said repeatedly that there remains no more important relationship than that with the indigenous people.
In his 2019, mandate letter to the procurement minister, he instructed her to secure 5% of all federal contracts with indigenous-owned companies. She failed. As a result, that mandate letter was scrapped and a new one was granted. It is as if it was inconvenient and therefore whitewashed.
My question is very simple. When will the government stop making false promises, misleading Canadians and actually follow through?
Results: 1 - 15 of 2454 | Page: 1 of 164

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