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Results: 1 - 30 of 128
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's good to see you again.
Minister, as well as Wade MacLauchlan, it's good to see both of you. I hope you're doing well. Thank you for your contributions to this process, which has resulted in the nomination of Justice O'Bonsawin.
Minister, I want to echo your remarks around the retirement of Justice Moldaver. I wish him well in his retirement.
Wade MacLaughlan mentioned the various individuals involved in the process, some of whom are former judges, former premiers, former prime ministers, individuals who have “honourable” or “right honourable” in front of their names. It's important to have the views of individuals with deep experience in the process.
I was listening to the remarks by Justice O'Bonsawin about having access to justice and Canadians feeling that they are a part of our system. I think it's important, too, that everyday Canadians have the ability to give input through this process. One of the ways they do that is through us, members of the House of Commons. It's our job to represent the views of everyday Canadians, our constituents. Later today we have been invited to what is called an informal moderated Q and A session. It's not an actual committee of the House of Commons or the Senate, but a Q and A session moderated by someone who is not a parliamentarian.
I want to ask, Minister, for your thoughts. I have faith that our chair of the justice committee could have easily conducted this meeting and had a more formalized parliamentary committee rather than an informal chat, while still respecting the individual, the nomination and the process. I have every bit of faith that he and our committee members could have done that and maintained that stronger link, I feel, back to our constituents by doing our role as members of Parliament, not by an informal Q and A session.
I want to get your thoughts on that. That's something that struck me when the invitation came out.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Minister. I thought that is what you would say.
I don't share the concern around hyper-partisanship. I have every bit of faith, having worked with members on our justice committee, that they would be able to engage in this process in a parliamentary committee. I participated in the one on the appointment of Justice Rothstein, an ad hoc parliamentary committee. They would be able to conduct themselves in a way that respects the gravity of the process. We are all well aware of the impact of decisions that come from our Supreme Court, the weight of the types of decisions that are being contemplated as well as the very real impact they have on our day-to-day lives.
I heard from Justice O'Bonsawin a commentary around access to justice. This is an important appointment. A vacancy was created and your government is acting to fill it, as it should, and I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity while you're here at our justice committee to remind you, as I've done over the months, of the vacancy in the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and ask that every effort be made to have that position filled as quickly as possible.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses for appearing today. This is a really important study that we're doing on how we can improve laws in Canada and services as they pertain to victims.
I want to turn it over to you, Holly. I know you have prepared some remarks, and I know you're here with a strong message to tell. I met with you in the past, and you told me that you had written three victim impact statements in just the last two years on behalf of your daughter.
It has already come up in the discussion from panellists about revictimization through the process for family members. I will turn it over to you to answer that question, and maybe elaborate on how the process currently revictimizes families. If you want to present a bit from your prepared remarks, feel free to do so at this time as well.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Holly.
I met with both you and Markita in the past. I'll turn this over to either one of you to answer.
You mentioned some of the supports that victims need and how you've found that these were totally lacking. That led you to become part of the organization you're with now to help other families who are going through similar things.
How should the system, which you already recognize provides a lot to offenders.... What types of services do you think victims' families are most in need of right now in Canada?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I thought that Mr. Brock was still.... He had an intervention. I don't remember all of it, but I thought he was still speaking and I thought we still had debate before Green amendment 17.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you.
I want to make one quick point, because you mentioned, Mr. Chair, that should Green 17 pass, then BQ-1 would not be dealt with or CPC-7.
I want to quickly remind.... I even heard this idea today in question period. I believe it was the parliamentary secretary, who did a great job of standing up and responding, but the only problem is that I want to make sure we have the facts. Because we should all be well informed on this legislation, as well as on the amendments, I don't want any member of the justice committee to be under any illusion as to the origins of this particular provision.
Paragraph 244(2)(b) and its mandatory minimum penalty of four years, originally, for discharging a firearm with intent, was introduced into our Criminal Code in 1995 under a Liberal government. I don't know how many of you on the Liberal side know her, but Marlene Jennings, I believe, used to be the parliamentary secretary for justice. When I was on the justice committee she was on there as well, both in government and I believe in opposition. Marlene is from the Montreal area and a long-time Liberal, and I just want to quote her. She said:
It was a Liberal government that brought in mandatory minimum sentencing for firearm related crimes. There is a whole category of them where currently it is a minimum of one year.
I'm not going to list off all those offences because we've already dealt with a bunch of them in our clause-by-clause and eliminated the one-year minimum, but she went on to say:
There is [a] second category of designated offences where currently it is four years. In committee, and again at report stage in the House, the Liberal members attempted to increase the one year to two years and the four years to five years.
This was May 17—so just about this time—in 2007.
For those of you who know Marlene, number one, you know that she is certainly not a racist—because that term has been tossed around in the context of Bill C-5—and you also know that she knows what she's talking about. She was a long-time Liberal member of Parliament.
Before we vote on Green-17 and deal through that vote with possibly BQ-1 as well as CPC-7, and then go on to clause 10, I want it to be abundantly clear that the mandatory minimum we are dealing with in this section has its origins with a Liberal government.
With that, I've finished with my comments, Mr. Chair.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
I have a point of order, Mr. Chair.
I thought the parliamentary secretary asked for unanimous consent to deal with all of the Green amendments at once, and I denied consent, so what...? Are we voting on something right now?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Are we moving on to BQ-1?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
I do. I think we can deal with the vote on them quickly when they come up because some of them are so profoundly ignorant. I don't think we should just lump them together and do away with them, because some of them would have an extremely profound impact on the safety of young Canadians particularly.
When you look at the number of clauses where the Green Party is seeking to eliminate the mandatory minimum penalty, since they took the time to put these into our committee, I would like to take the time to vote against them and be on record as saying that we need to do everything we can as parliamentarians to protect young people.
I don't know if you heard it, but I had unmuted and said “no” when you asked for unanimous consent.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you. I have a quick question for our witnesses.
As I recall, the mandatory minimum penalty for this offence was four years. It was raised to five years for a first offence. The amendment that the government is proposing would eliminate the mandatory minimum entirely, so I do see some merit in Mr. Fortin's amendment.
Can you clarify for the committee that this would be reducing the minimum from five years to four years, but still maintaining a mandatory minimum, in fact the mandatory minimum that existed previously?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Just quickly, our amendment number 7 maintains a minimum sentence for discharging a firearm with intent in order to send a message that we don't tolerate drive-by shootings and that we don't want to have a revolving-door recidivism, where the same individuals are committing serious crimes, getting out and recommitting. It would maintain a mandatory minimum of two years where the government is seeking to make the minimum zero years of incarceration for discharging a firearm with criminal intent.
Thank you, Chair.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
For the same reasons as stated earlier, this is an attempt to maintain a mandatory penalty for this offence. The government's proposal is to eliminate it entirely. Our proposal would maintain a two-year mandatory minimum.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
For the same reason.... This is one that is, again, ripped from the headlines. It's robbery with a firearm. This would maintain a mandatory minimum. The mandatory minimum of four years is going to be eliminated entirely. In an effort to reach across the aisle and in the spirit of compromise—and as always, protecting our communities—this would maintain a three-year mandatory minimum for robbery with a firearm.
I think it sends the appropriate message. I hope that all members will support this very reasonable amendment.
(Amendment negatived: nays 7; yeas 4 [See Minutes of Proceedings])
(Clause 12 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)
(On clause 13)
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Go ahead, Mr. Chair.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In many of our ridings, and indeed across Canada, there is a serious crisis when it comes to drugs. Much has been said about Bill C-5, about so-called simple possession. Again, in the same vein as the mandatory minimums, simple possession of drugs is not what is contemplated in this piece of legislation. In fact, it deals with importing, exporting, trafficking and the production of schedule I and schedule II drugs, which include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.
These are, first, serious drugs, and second, serious crimes. They have absolutely nothing to do with simple possession. Bill C-5 eliminates the mandatory minimum penalty for trafficking, importing, exporting and distribution. Our amendment, CPC-12, maintains a six-month mandatory minimum penalty for importing and exporting illegal substances. As has been the case with many of the Conservative amendments, there is an attempt to bridge the divide between us and the government, which is seeking to eliminate many mandatory minimum penalties. We feel there is a place for them when we are talking about taking drugs off our streets and going after the people who are causing this scourge in our society.
This would maintain a six-month mandatory minimum for importing and exporting illegal substances.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Because we're on a new clause, I'll say that this is production of a substance. Those substances include crystal meth, or methamphetamine. Schedule I and schedule II include cocaine and heroin. I haven't heard any of this in the discussion led by the government.
In the House of Commons and in their press conferences, you will hear them say that this is about simple possession. That conjures up an image of somebody walking down the street with a joint. It does not conjure up an image of a trafficker outside of a school, someone with a facility that produces crystal meth or someone importing drugs across our border into Canada to devastate lives.
I think Mr. Brock mentioned that he did a Google search. Every day in our local newspapers wherever you live.... I live in a suburban area. Whether you're rural, suburban or urban, this is happening all over Canada. I think it sends a terrible message that this Parliament, certainly without the support of the Conservative Party, would say for production of a schedule I or schedule II drug for importing, exporting and possession for the purposes of exporting, trafficking.... People know what that means.
I think Canadians, when this comes out, and it will.... Everyone is busy in their day-to-day lives. They're very aware of the opioid crisis and other crises involving drugs in our community. I think the more Canadians see of this, the more upsetting it's going to be, because these are the people who are preying on children, all of our children. These are the people who are causing death, destruction, suicide and bankruptcy. We see it all over this country. If this passes, we're saying that, if you produce methamphetamine, if you produce crystal meth, you won't necessarily receive any time if you're convicted of that offence.
That's what we're saying here. I know most of you are probably aware of that, but I think it needs to be said. I think it needs to be very clear, before we cast our vote, that we're saying to our constituents that we think someone who is producing crystal meth, someone who takes that crystal meth and sells it outside of a school to children, we're saying as a Parliament that the person will not necessarily serve any jail time. There will be no mandatory minimum penalty, a mandatory minimum penalty that has existed for years within our Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
We're all aware of it. I think this is very timely in the same way that gun crime is in the news every day. It's in the news because we're dealing with it. The opioid crisis is front and centre. It's an absolute crisis causing devastation.
I don't think it's overstating it to say that this is going to cause incredible damage. When we send the message that we're going soft on traffickers, importers, exporters and producers of crystal meth, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc....
I will be strongly voting against this clause.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
On a point of order, I'm just wondering if the parliamentary secretary is going to make that clarification before every clause we vote on. We're all experienced parliamentarians here. When you say we're voting on clause 17, it means we're voting on clause 17. Then when you say we're voting on clause 18, it means we're voting on clause 18. I don't think we need that clarification before every vote.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Chair, this was recommended to me by one of the provincial attorneys general. Their concern is under “Warnings and referrals”. It would remove the word “consent” to not allow individuals to refuse to go for a referral for addictions treatment, but it would allow them to refuse once they have the referral.
This is to make sure that individuals who are referred to addictions treatment and then consent to addictions treatment would be able to get the help they need.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Chair, on a point of order, it's a Friday heading into the long weekend. This meeting is scheduled to go from one to three, your time. It's currently four o'clock, so we're an hour over. There was no motion to extend the meeting. I think we've all been operating in good faith, but now we're seeing amendments.
I remember the clerk asking for amendments, through you, Chair. You asked for amendments last week, which the Conservative Party provided. Now we're seeing amendments that have just been recently tabled and we're continuing to see amendments.
If I thought there was a chance it would pass, I would move a motion to adjourn, but I suspect that the NDP would support the Liberals in keeping this meeting going into the evening, as they did last time. I'm just a little concerned as to how many more amendments we are going to see.
To do this job properly, as I think Mr. Fortin had said, we need to see and study these amendments. Unless it's an emergency, we don't drop amendments as we're dealing with the clause. That's just asking for delays. This meeting has already been delayed for over an hour.
I fear that we're going to have more unnecessary delays if we continue to table-drop technical amendments that have an impact but that have not in any way, shape or form been explained to us. I would ask for an explanation of these amendments and subamendments and then an undertaking for, in the future, when we have government legislation....
Remember, this is government legislation and now we're talking about government amendments. We need to get them in on time.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
On amendment 15, this would require—and this exists in a lot of Criminal Code legislation—a review of the legislation on the third anniversary of the day on which it comes into force. This would allow us as parliamentarians to have an understanding of the impact on our communities of the passage of Bill C-5, should it pass.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Chair, I'm getting a major echo back. I don't know if the rest of you are.
I could accept the subamendment as a friendly amendment.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
No, it's good now.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Some of these clauses are similar, but I'm just wondering if the department can give us a brief description of the effect if we choose as a committee to adopt clause 1.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Chair, I want to just flesh this out a little bit because, frankly, in the context of the committee meetings we've had.... We haven't had a ton of them. I think we had seven where we heard witnesses, and today's meeting is our eighth. Just for clarification, when we talk about the mandatory minimum penalties in these sections, this is on someone who has already been convicted of the same offence, so now they've been convicted twice of, for example, weapons trafficking or possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking.
Frankly, a lot of the discussion that happened and witness testimony at committee were couched in the terms that this was someone who got caught up in an unfortunate incident or someone who had a few drinks and shot the side of a barn. For this section, are we talking about, for sections 85, 95, 99, 100 and 103, someone who has this as their second offence? Is there a minimum on their first offence? Do any of these...? This says, “second or subsequent”.
I guess I'm a bit familiar. In a previous government, when there was a mandatory minimum penalty of four years for certain gun crimes and because of the issue of recidivism, which is basically the same person committing the same types of crimes over and over, we brought in a change to the law that meant that, on your subsequent offence, it would be five years and then after that, seven. I think that's where it kind of landed. I think originally it was four, seven and 10, or something like that, but eventually it landed at four, five and seven, I think.
I just want the committee to be 100% clear, because I don't think it ever came up in our witness testimony. Are we only talking in this clause about someone who's already been convicted of a prior offence in the same section of the Criminal Code?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
I should be asking these through you, Chair, but I want to flesh out a couple of things here.
The list of offences that are subsequent is broader than the list of offences that predicate the triggering of the mandatory minimum. On those offences, for the first offence, is there a mandatory minimum attached to each and every one of those first offences? I think there is on some of them, but is there a mandatory minimum penalty at first offence for weapons trafficking and for possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking?
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
This legislation touches on a lot of different offences. There are different offences, different impacts and, I would argue, different levels of seriousness. Obviously, they're all Criminal Code offences, but, no doubt, we as a committee may feel that some of them are more serious than others. Of those five you've been speaking about—85, 95, 99, 100 and 103—is it possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition? I remember this case.... Is that the only one of the five that has been challenged and the mandatory minimum found unconstitutional?
To follow up, could you walk us through why this discussion isn't moot? While the mandatory minimum in this narrow case was struck down, it remains a trigger for the escalation for subsequent offences. Is that why this conversation isn't moot, since the court, in that case, struck it down? While we know.... The government's own backgrounder suggested that, I think, mandatory minimums were struck down in 48% of cases, meaning that, in 52% of cases, they were upheld. We acknowledge there are cases where they've been struck down and there are cases where they've been considered and upheld.
Could you walk us through the effect of that one offence being struck down, and why it still matters in the context of this clause?
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