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Results: 1 - 15 of 18
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2020-03-12 14:58 [p.2022]
Mr. Speaker, in December, Jeffrey Kraft was murdered in Lacombe. The two accused are charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery with a firearm, and are now free on bail. One of the accused is also charged with breaching conditions.
Residents in my riding have lost faith in the justice system due to the Liberals' soft on crime approach that puts the interests of offenders ahead of victims and their families.
Was this the hoped-for outcome that the minister had in mind when he and his party rammed through legislation that forces the courts to give bail at the earliest opportunity and with the fewest conditions?
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, our government introduced Bill C-75 in the last Parliament in order to prevent people from entering into the justice system, into that revolving circle of a justice system, without having any impact on reducing crime. We introduced good measures to fight crime efficiently, to fight crime fairly, to protect victims, but also to prevent the over-criminalization, particularly of certain peoples, like indigenous peoples or racialized peoples, in our criminal justice system.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2020-03-11 15:04 [p.1936]
Mr. Speaker, across the GTA there are shootings almost daily. We know from the Toronto police chief that the weapons of choice for criminals are smuggled guns. When caught, these dangerous criminals get bail. When convicted, they get a slap on the wrist.
Will the Prime Minister commit today to supporting my bill, which would keep criminals behind bars who knowingly use smuggled guns?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-03-11 15:05 [p.1936]
Mr. Speaker, we are significantly strengthening border control measures to interdict the supply of illegal guns from the United States, but we know that will not be enough. That is why we have made the decision to strengthen gun control by banning assault-style weapons and by moving forward on giving cities the opportunity to restrict handguns within their city limits.
I encourage the member opposite, if he cares about Canadians who are suffering from the impacts of gun violence, to support our decision to strengthen gun control rather than the Conservatives' approach to weaken gun control and make Canadians less safe.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I am ready to rule on the questions of privilege raised on February 25 by the member for Fundy Royal and on February 27 by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons concerning the premature disclosure of two bills.
Allow me first to recapitulate the arguments presented by the two members.
On February 25, 2020, the member for Fundy Royal raised a question of privilege regarding a Canadian Press article published online on February 24 that detailed specific information contained in Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code with regard to medical assistance in dying, even before it was introduced in the House by the Minister of Justice. The member quoted from the article in question, which mentioned that anonymous sources allegedly discussed the contents of the bill with the journalist while knowing full well that doing so contravened the practices of the House. The member for Fundy Royal feels that this premature disclosure of the bill constitutes a breach of his privileges and contempt of the House.
On February 27, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons raised a question of privilege also concerning the premature disclosure of a bill.
During this intervention, the parliamentary secretary said that a bill entitled “an act to amend the Criminal Code (unlawfully imported firearms)”, put on notice on February 21 by the member for Markham—Unionville, was also the subject of an article published on February 24 in iPolitics before it was introduced in the House. On February 25, the member put another bill on notice, one with a slightly different title, “an act to amend the Criminal Code (possession of unlawfully imported firearms)”. The bill became Bill C-238 after it was introduced on February 27.
The parliamentary secretary feels that the provisions of Bill C-238 correspond to what was described in the iPolitics article, and he presumed, therefore, that the two bills are in large measure the same. The parliamentary secretary suggested that this disclosure contravenes the principle that members are the first to know the contents of a bill. Since a breach of privilege was apparently committed, he suggested referring the matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
On February 28, the member for Markham—Unionville apologized and admitted that he had indeed discussed the contents of the first bill with fellow members and journalists. He said that he had acted in ignorance of the rule prohibiting discussion of bills on notice before they are introduced in the House. He also explained the reasons for the change in title between the two bills.
The same day, the parliamentary secretary to the leader of the government in the House presented his most sincere apologies for the premature disclosure of Bill C-7, saying in passing that no one within the government had been authorized to discuss the bill before its introduction in the House.
I believe that the whole matter can be summarized as follows.
First, based on a reading of the Canadian Press article on Bill C-7 on medical assistance in dying, and in the absence of any explanation to the contrary, I must conclude that the anonymous sources mentioned were well aware of our customs and practices and chose to ignore them. It seems clear to me that the content of the bill was disclosed prematurely while it was on notice and before it was introduced in the House.
Second, in his apology, the member for Markham—Unionville made it clear that his two bills on firearms were substantially the same, apart from the slightly different titles. It seems clear to the Chair, therefore, that the member also discussed a bill before its introduction. It matters little that the bill in question was subsequently withdrawn and never introduced in the House.
The rule on the confidentiality of bills on notice exists to ensure that members, in their role as legislators, are the first to know their content when they are introduced. Although it is completely legitimate to carry out consultations when developing a bill or to announce one’s intention to introduce a bill by referring to its public title available on the Notice Paper and Order Paper, it is forbidden to reveal specific measures contained in a bill at the time it is put on notice.
In this case, it is clear that the content of the bills, both the private member's bill and the government bill, were revealed to the media before their introduction and first reading. The question now is to determine whether the disclosure of these bills was a breach of the House’s privilege and whether mitigating circumstances should be considered.
In this instance, I am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the member for Markham—Unionville when he says that he was unaware of the rules regarding the confidentiality of bills on notice. I believe that his remarks were sincere and that he believed he was advancing his cause in a legitimate fashion.
My analysis is different for the question of privilege raised by the member for Fundy Royal concerning government Bill C-7. Permit me to quote a part of the article at the heart of this matter:
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal details of the bill prior to its tabling in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Everything indicates that the act was deliberate. It is difficult to posit a misunderstanding or ignorance of the rules in this case.
On April 19, 2016, my predecessor, faced with a similar situation regarding the premature disclosure of Bill C-14 on medical assistance in dying, found a prima facie case of privilege in a decision that can be located on pages 2442 and 2443 of the Debates.
In light of the information provided by the member for Fundy Royal, the precedents and the current practice in this matter, the Chair notes the existence of sufficient grounds to conclude that there was a prima facie breach of the privilege of the House and the members and their right to be the first to know the contents of Bill C-7.
Consequently, I now invite the member for Fundy Royal to move the appropriate motion.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2020-02-28 10:34 [p.1731]
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader's question of privilege yesterday, regarding my bill.
I worked hard on this bill. I did speak to some of the MPs from the Liberal side and I spoke to a reporter as well, not knowing the rules. I apologize. This is a good bill. I still think it is a good bill. I did not know the rule not to speak to reporters before the bill was tabled.
Regarding the change to the title of the bill, this is the title I always wanted. It is a clear title. I asked my office staff whether we can change the title of the bill and they said I can, which I did.
I appreciate your time, Madam Speaker.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I know that this matter was raised yesterday. I appreciate the additional comments from the member for Markham—Unionville. We will certainly add it to the information that was provided yesterday, and a response will be forthcoming.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-28 12:10 [p.1750]
Madam Speaker, in light of an apology from the member for Markham—Unionville with respect to the premature disclosure of his bill, I too, would like to apologize unreservedly for the premature disclosure of the contents of Bill C-7, medical assistance in dying.
I would like to state categorically that no one from the government was authorized to speak publicly on this bill prior to its introduction.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I appreciate the additional information. The comments from the parliamentary secretary will certainly be taken into consideration as we bring the decision before the House.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bob Saroya Profile
2020-02-27 10:11 [p.1648]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-238, an act to amend the Criminal Code (possession of unlawfully imported firearms).
He said: Mr. Speaker, people from across the GTA and my riding are scared. Every day the media reports new shootings that are more horrible than the last, and this weekend was no different. In 2018, shootings reached an all-time high. In 2019, the record was broken again. We know that organized crime is behind most of the shootings and innocent people get caught up in the violence. According to the Toronto chief of police, smuggled guns are the weapons of choice for these criminals.
When I spoke with members of law enforcement, they said they were frustrated. Police pick up dangerous offenders and they are back on the streets the next day on bail. When convicted, serious criminals are getting a slap on the wrist.
There is no reason to have smuggled guns. Today, I am proposing a bill that would have the punishment fit the crime for this dangerous offence.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-27 16:46 [p.1708]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege respecting the premature disclosure of the contents of a bill between the notice and introduction period.
The member for Markham—Unionville gave notice of a bill entitled “an act to amend the Criminal Code (unlawfully imported firearms)”, on Friday, February 21. On February 24, the member for Markham—Unionville, in an article published on iPolitics, disclosed the contents of the bill.
The article in question revealed the following. It states:
[The member for Markham—Unionville] is introducing legislation that would amend the Criminal Code to increase the mandatory sentence to three years for someone found in possession of a gun illegally brought into Canada. If an offender were found guilty of owning a smuggled gun a second time, their prison sentence would be a minimum of five years.
The article continues to disclose the content of the bill. It states:
[The] proposed law changes would also see the maximum amount of prison time that could be awarded to somebody who owns a smuggled gun increased to 14 years, both the first time they break the law and in every offence that follows.
On Tuesday, February 25, the member for Markham—Unionville gave notice of a new bill entitled “an act to amend the Criminal Code (possession of unlawfully imported firearms)”. Today, February 27, the member introduced the bill as Bill C-238. While I would note that there was a slight change to the long title, Bill C-238 accords directly with the details of the bill that were published in the article by iPolitics on February 24.
Clause 2.1 of Bill C-238 states:
Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) when the object in question was obtained by the commission of an offence under subsection 103(1) is, if prosecuted by indictment, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
(a) in the case of a first offence, three years; and
(b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, five years.
The provisions of Bill C-238, which I just quoted, accord directly with the characterization in the iPolitics article on February 24, which was provided earlier in my intervention. While I do not want to impute unworthy motives on the part of the member for Markham—Unionville with respect to his bill, it does raise certain questions.
I submit that the member for Markham—Unionville is attempting to do indirectly what he knows he cannot do directly. I submit that the practice of placing a bill on notice, making public the content of the bill, then placing another bill with a slightly different title to avoid a charge of premature disclosure of the content of a bill would set a dangerous precedent. In short, using this approach would subvert the principle that members should be the first to see the contents of a bill.
I would also like to draw the attention of members to the Speaker's ruling earlier this day concerning two bills that were substantially similar, despite a different long title.
The Speaker stated, “I would like to take a few minutes to inform members of an error on the Order Paper. Two private member's bills, which are substantially the same, are currently listed under Private Members' Business. Items outside of the Order of Precedence, specifically Bill C-221 on the Employment Insurance Act standing in the name of the member for Elmwood—Transcona was introduced and read the first time on Thursday, February 20, 2020, and Bill C-217 standing in the name of the member for Salaberry—Suroît was introduced and read a first time on Monday, February 24, 2020.
“Pursuant to Standing Order 86(4), the Speaker can refuse notice if he determines the two items as to be substantially the same. As a result, Bill C-217 is currently before the House in error. I therefore direct it that the order for the second reading of Bill C-217 be discharged and the bill be dropped from the Order Paper.”
It would be interesting to see if the first bill that the member for Markham—Unionville had placed on notice, if introduced, would be determined to be substantially similar to Bill C-238. While I cannot confirm this to be the case, it certainly gives rise to the assumption that the bills would be substantially similar.
I further submit that if this practice was determined to be an acceptable practice, I can only assume that this approach could become common practice. Imagine the government placing a bill on notice, then making a public statement which comprehensively discloses the content of a bill, then make a slight change to the long title and place this new bill on notice followed by its introduction. This would be seen by members and perhaps by you, Mr. Speaker, as a clear departure from the long-standing principle that members should be the first to see the contents of a bill.
I will not waste the precious time of the House reciting the numerous precedents that support the conclusion that the premature disclosure of the contents of a bill between the notice and introduction period has been determined to be a bonafide question of privilege.
I do not begrudge the member for Markham—Unionville for his attempt to get out his message about what his bill would accomplish and to provide the details of his bill to solicit the public's support for the bill. The fact remains that it is an affront to the privileges of the House to disclose a bill's contents before members of the House have had the opportunity to see the bill once introduced.
I understand that there was a very similar issue raised on February 25, with respect to the unfortunate premature disclosure of the medical assistance in dying legislation. As a result, if you determine, Mr. Speaker, that this matter is a prima facie question of privilege, I would suggest that both matters be heard together at the procedure and house affairs committee.
Mr. Speaker, I await your decision, and if you agree, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion at the said time.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2020-02-27 16:54 [p.1709]
Mr. Speaker, while I respectfully disagree with the hon. member, I would like to reserve the right of the official opposition to respond at some point to the question of privilege.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
2020-02-27 16:54 [p.1709]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned that he did not want to waste the time of the House, yet he went on, when we are debating medical assistance in dying, on a question of privilege about a private member's bill. I would point him back to earlier this week when the entire contents of Bill C-7, medical assistance in dying, was in a CP story the morning before the bill was introduced. This is just for his reference.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-02-27 16:55 [p.1709]
The intention was not to get into debating various aspects of the question of privilege at this point in time. I can assure the hon. parliamentary secretary that we will get back to the House in due course. I have noted the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil's intention to come back to this at a later time as well.
View John Nater Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Nater Profile
2020-02-25 10:09 [p.1471]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-219, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sexual exploitation).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to introduce my private member's bill today, an act to amend the Criminal Code, sexual exploitation.
I would like to thank the member for Portage—Lisgar for seconding this bill.
This bill was introduced in the previous Parliament as Bill C-424. It is designed to better protect young people and persons living with disabilities from sexual exploitation. This is a direct result of the advocacy, comments and concerns of the people of Perth—Wellington. They were shocked in January 2018 to learn that a person who was employed to work with young people and persons living with disabilities was convicted of a serious sexual crime against a person living with a disability. As a sentence, he received a monetary fine.
This bill would ensure appropriate sentencing for anyone who commits a serious sexual crime against a young person or a person living with disabilities. It provides for guidance in sentencing if the crime is committed against a young person or a person living with disabilities.
I look forward to continuing debate on this matter, and I am seeking the support of all hon. members in the House.
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