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Results: 1 - 15 of 463
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Minister, for being available for this important bill.
I want to convey to committee members that I have two notices of motion, and I will read them now. We won't debate them now, as I understand it. I don't want to cut into the minister's time, but I did want members to be aware of these notices of motion.
The first one says:
That the Committee invite the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to appear to answer questions with respect to any rules, precedents, or procedures related to the invocation of cabinet confidence to prevent the disclosure of information as requested by counsel in a trial process.
This, obviously, relates to the Norman issue.
My second notice of motion is:
That, pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the Committee consider the Supplementary Estimates (A) before the reporting deadline set out in Standing Order 81(5); and that the Committee invite the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to appear in view of this study.
I want to get that on the record and proceed with a few questions and answers, if you don't mind, Minister.
First of all, I note that there's quite an increase in the judicial system when it comes to self-represented litigants. That's true of many courts, not just the family court, of course. Bill C-78 is now four times longer than the previous act, so non-lawyers are going to have difficulty, I would say, digesting all of that and making sense of it.
I wanted to get your thoughts, Minister, on how this will impact case management and not lead to a further bogging down of the family court system, which, I think you will agree, is somewhat overburdened right now.
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Given the, I must say, poor track record on judicial appointments of this government to date, how can Canadians be sure that these promises will be fulfilled?
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
The issue is not the applications, it's the actual process by which you decide and determine....
However, let's leave that and go on to the children, Minister, because you did highlight the importance of protecting children and their well-being and how that is obviously of primary importance.
I do want to comment, though, that this committee has just been through Bill C-75. Of course, that bill proposes summary conviction options for very serious crimes, including the abduction of a child under the age of 14, participating in activities of a criminal organization, forced marriage, and marriage under the age of 16. These are all hybridized offences now.
How do you square what we saw in Bill C-75 with your rhetoric today about children's protection?
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Chair, I want to take issue with your—
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Thank you.
Just on Bill C-78, obviously you've made reference, Minister, to changing the descriptors from custody to decision-making responsibility, as an example. I would hope that makes a difference, but being realistic, parents will continue to battle over custody and control of their children, sometimes tooth and nail. That's the unfortunate reality of the situation, human nature being what it is.
I know the intentions here are to lower the temperature and to focus the bill, but is there any real change we're expecting in terms of how parents behave in this system when it come to their kids?
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
I'm a little bit limited on time so I am going to—
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
I know, but now there are another 10 seconds gone.
I think it is important that this bill send the right signals to parents and to children, which is why on this side of this committee we raised not only Bill C-78 but were talking about signal creating in Bill C-75 as well and trying to square the two. The signal of this bill is the children, but the signal of the other bill, Bill C-75, was lessening.... I know you say that it's not lessening the sentences, but allowing the opportunity....
The justice system takes its signal from you, Minister, and the signal you have sent is that these serious offences are going to be treated less seriously. My colleague Mr. Fraser and others on the other side changed their minds on the terrorism. The reason they gave was that it's a serious offence. Well, kidnapping a child is a serious offence. You were quoted in the National Post, I believe—
An hon. member: Mr. Boissonnault was.
Hon. Tony Clement: Mr. Boissonnault was—
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Mr. Fraser, I already connected it to Bill C-78.
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
In the minute that's left, can you try to help us understand why it's okay under Bill C-75 to treat children's offences less effectively, but it's not okay under Bill C-78?
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Thanks, Chair.
I'll start with the more mundane one. I move:
That, pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the Committee consider the Supplementary Estimates (A) before the reporting deadline set out in Standing Order 81(5); and that the Committee invite the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to appear in view of this study.
It's a fairly standard motion to get the minister before us for supplementary estimates (A). This is done all the time and, hopefully, not controversial.
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
I move:
That the Committee invite the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to appear to answer questions with respect to any rules, precedents, or procedures related to the invocation of cabinet confidence to prevent the disclosure of information as requested by counsel in a trial process.
This obviously relates to the Vice-Admiral Norman issue, where there's been considerable debate over what documents are made available. I know there has been a submission of documents to the team of the vice-admiral, but there are still outstanding issues that deserve clarification. It's a matter that the justice committee should look into, in a sense, to find out on a general level—this is not specific to Vice-Admiral Norman—what procedures are in place that prevent disclosure.
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
I understand where the member is coming from, but these matters are before the public. I believe they have a right to know the rules, precedents and procedures. I believe it's the highest person in the land, in terms of justice issues. The Minister of Justice is responsible for articulating those rules, precedents and procedures. It is a matter of public concern.
View Tony Clement Profile
Ind. (ON)
Yes, District 9 was a great movie, so there you go.
I just want to get the Justice officials' reaction to my question, then. If it is not defined in the way Ms. May would like, who does the defining and under what circumstances?
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