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Results: 1 - 15 of 179
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, I would like to reply briefly to the comments made earlier by Kevin who said that we were introducing an important bill at the last minute. He used the expression “window dressing”. I would like to remind my colleague that the committee was very busy drafting a report on a very important issue, that of the process used to appoint judges to the Supreme Court of Canada. The committee could have taken much more time. In fact, that is what we were urged to do. We nevertheless did this work as quickly as possible in order to be able to move on to something else.
Also, it might be preferable to have two committees, one for justice and another for security matters. The number of topics on the agenda justifies the existence of two committees, but there is only one. We have to do a great deal in a short period of time. We can't very well stop working two weeks before the date on which we expect the session to end just in case it looks bad if we have things to do at the last minute. We have to work up until the end.
That being said, I would like to ask our witnesses to comment this matter of the paramountcy of the protection of society, the principle which was discussed by the subcommittee.
We could decide to take all possible means to make it as difficult and as long as possible for offenders to obtain parole. In that way, we protect society. Nevertheless, this seems like a very narrow perspective to me. It seems to me that it would be more appropriate to take it as a given that some repression is necessary—for instance, offenders must be confined to penitentiaries—but that it is also necessary to prepare them for rehabilitation into society. Indeed, adequate rehabilitation is also a way of protecting society.
There are certain inherent risks to rehabilitation procedures, and they must be assessed very carefully. It can happen that mistakes are made, but generally speaking, things go well and society is better protected than when we are too rigorous. Even if we wait for the offender to have served his entire sentence before releasing him, he is released without being prepared to reintegrate society. In that case, there is a problem.
How do you view this principle of the paramountcy of the protection of society? Do we respect it? Will this bill further it? What interpretation of the protection of society is set out in the bill?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask two questions.
The government has just released a comprehensive national security policy. Apparently, this is the first time that it has undertaken to put forward an integrated and global security policy.
There are two things that I'd like to know. Does CSIS think that its role will be affected by this policy? Do you have any particular point of view on the consequences of this policy?
I'd also like to know whether CSIS was consulted in the development of this policy.
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'd like to ask another question, on some of the things in your brief. On page 3 of your English text, you indicate that your service considers Sunni Islamic extremism to be one of its top priority targets. By way of illustration, you refer to Al-Qaeda, and you also quote some of their statements, which in your view encapsulate the essence of what terrorism has become in the age of Islamic terrorism.
I'd like to ask you, first of all, to explain your decision to target Sunni Islamic extremism. The Muslim world is made up of over a billion people, including hundreds of millions of Shiites, living in several Muslim countries.
You appear to be specifically targeting Sunni Muslims. Is that why the decision was made to put Hezbollah on the list of banned organizations?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
You know that there are some questions that are asked more specifically and pointedly in relation to Sunni Muslims. They feel targeted in a very particular way within this universe of over a billion Muslims.
I'd like you to explain further why you are so adamant about singling out Sunni Muslims from all other Muslims.
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chairman, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I'd like to mention the consultation paper on a national security committee of parliamentarians tabled by the minister in early April. The form that the consultations will take has yet to be decided. The matter could be debated in the House of Commons or in the Senate. Or, a joint Senate and House committee, a special committee or our subcommittee could hold consultations.
I wish to remind you that this is an important issue and that the government hopes parliamentarians will, one way or the other, express their views on this consultation paper. I urge you to add this item to our work agenda, depending on the time we have available, or at the very least, to go around the table to see if we wish to consult on this matter or if we would rather the question to be debated elsewhere. I'd like this issue clarified as quickly as possible.
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Justice, I'd like to go back on the issue of diversity. We're talking about transparency, etc. We also have to talk about credibility and confidence. I would like to ask you to speak again on the issue of diversity, not of the committee but of the court.
Would you argue for the importance of the courts to include a judge of aboriginal origin for instance,or of another minority? We know that as a rule we must take into consideration regional background as well as gender. Would you argue for the courts to be more representative of the Canadian population in the way I have just mentioned, or for you, is this issue secondary to the issue of sheer professional competence?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
I want to go back to the issue of length of term. Currently, mandatory retirement is at age 75. If judges were appointed for a period of 10 years, for example, during pleasure, and if their term was renewable...
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
May I just add an argument or two?
For example, a person is appointed at the age of 61. Ten years later, certain qualities of this person may be enhanced, and certain characteristics of this person may start eroding. The person was appointed at age 61, but at 71 , he or she may have experienced tragic circumstances such as health problems, stress, and may show less patience, and be less inclined to be a team member. At the end of 10 years, there may be some things which were very good in the beginning, but which may have started to deteriorate.
Is there something, for the sake of confidence and credibility, which could be improved if after 10 years, there was an evaluation of the judge's term to confirm that all is well?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam L'Heureux-Dubé, I'd like to ask you a question that may have to do with the structure of the Supreme Court and its mandate in terms of judge selection.
In our system, the Supreme Court is also the constitutional court. It's the court that has to rule or give opinions on issues involving the application and interpretation of the Charter. Those are highly specialized areas, and each of the nine judges is required to have that kind of expertise, because they all have to be pretty equal professionally, none of them can leave it up to someone else, etc. There are, of course, individual areas of expertise, but all nine judges have to be able to decide Charter and constitutional issues very expertly. Doesn't that severely limit the choice of judges?
Trial and appeal judges can spend their entire careers judging crimes of all kinds without having to deal with those issues. When they get to the Supreme Court, all judges have to develop these skills. Isn't that a severe limitation? Doesn't that make you think that maybe we should have a specialized court for constitutional and Charter issues?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
May I continue, Mr. Chairman?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
You mainly focused on the part of my question earlier about knowledge of the Charter. My question was broader in scope: I was talking about the Constitution. The Charter is included in the Constitution. It is quite rare for people who have been in the legal profession for 45, 50 or 30 years never to have given their opinion on social or moral issues, as you pointed out. You mentioned abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, drug use, same-sex marriage. After 30 years in the field, people have expressed opinions, written articles, come down on one side or the other, sometimes had ties with certain groups and been involved in movements and organizations. When it comes time for these people to be selected for the Supreme Court, all that does not disappear, does it?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Everything cannot disappear. So it is a bit pointless to say, if you are asked these questions, that you do not know and that you will look into it. In the context, in the background, there are necessarily things that have been written, and opinions and positions that have been expressed in the past. How can all that be erased when people raise the issue of Bill 101 and the right of parents to send their children to English school? They do not need to review the case 100 times, since it is still the same case: these are still English-language parents who want to send their children to English school. Whether their name is Joe or Normand, it is the same thing. They have opinions that they have expressed and biases that they have shown over the years. How can there be a clean slate?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask our Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to provide some further explanations, not only of the impact of changes in structures, but of the reasons behind these changes, the ones that provoked them.
What is the rationale within government in this regard? We were told earlier that this matter was already being discussed 10 years ago, but that nothing had been done to follow through during those 10 years. So, what kind of debate, what king of reasoning is behind this series of changes that led to the creation of an enormous department: 55,000 employees, 5 billion dollars? Some believe that departments that are too large lose some of their effectiveness. Could you reconstruct for us the reasoning that led to the creation of this enormous department?
And since you were Minister of Health, could you tell us how responsibilities are divided between your current department and the Department of Health with regard, for instance, to the risk of epidemics and other such things?
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I too would like to express my good wishes to Mr. Fleury and his team as they carry out their mandate, like my colleagues who have voiced similar sentiments. I would like to ask two questions.
The first question is financial in nature. We read that your board spent 116 million dollars in 2002-2003, when in fact it was authorized to spend 137.9 million dollars. That is quite a substantial difference. Moreover, you have said that you do not have enough resources to fulfil your responsibilities, but you also say that you are negotiating with Treasury Board to obtain more money. Since you did not spend all of the money allocated to you last year, do you not think you are, to some extent, in a weak position?
You then alluded to the process for appointing decision-makers. It appears that you have not staffed all of the positions. Could you comment on this issue? This is quite a significant problem. You are asking for money but you have a surplus.
View Yvon Charbonneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Providing that you spend it.
Results: 1 - 15 of 179 | Page: 1 of 12

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