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            • MPconblog andrewscheer 24 post Tibet

              The hon. member for Mississauga—Erindale.

              • MPconblog MPJoySmith 1563 post Business of Supply

                Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to such an important issue. I will be splitting my time with the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.

                As members know, I have been long-time friends with the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia. I am so glad he is here in Parliament today, because he is one of the smartest people I have ever worked with, and it is just a pleasure to speak to this.

                When we speak about this very important issue, I am certain there is not one of us here in the chamber or listening to any speeches today who is untouched by concern about family or friends facing serious health issues, now and in the past. We are concerned about their quality of life and their happiness, and also about their ability to have timely access to the high quality care they may need, especially in the last days, weeks or months of life.

                Compassionate end-of-life care affects every citizen in the nation, yet we do not know about the options that are there for them and, eventually, for ourselves. My hat goes off to all palliative caregivers and people who directly work with those who are at the end of their lives. It is a very important time.

                When we think of palliative care, we often think of it only as a type of medical care focused on managing pain and symptoms, but it is much more than that. Another way to think about it is that palliative care helps patients to achieve the best quality of life right up to the end. It focuses not only on the concerns of the patients, but on their families, often using a team approach. It has issues with paying close attention to managing pain, depression or confusion, and it is very mindful of patient dignity. After someone has passed on, family members may need support as they grieve the loss of the loved one.

                This is a very important issue. We all have expiry dates and all of us will one day face this issue, yet numerous barriers remain. As far as we have come collectively, we still live with the stigma associated with the end of life. A recent poll conducted by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association said that 45% of respondents had great fear of death. Society is now starting to acknowledge the end of life as a natural part of life, but it will still take some time before the majority comes around to this kind of thinking. Work has to be done there.

                This morning, as I listened to the member for Mississauga—Erindale, I thought his speech was one of the most thoughtful speeches, well thought out because he touched on this. He also touched very personally upon what happened in his personal life. Society and all of us as parliamentarians have started to acknowledge end of life as natural part of life, but it will still take some time to understand all of the ramifications about it.

                There is also the issue that is fundamental to public awareness, which is that palliative care is strongly associated with the end of life, but it is not uncommon for the term “palliative care” to be stigmatized.

                At the end of her life, my youngest sister had heart problems. She had wonderful palliative care toward the end. It was very sensitive to us. She passed on at a young age, and this palliative care was a critical in helping her pass on without a lot of pain but with a lot of support around her.

                Palliative care units are often perceived as places as death, but in our case when my younger sister passed on, it was also a place of supreme caring, love and compassion. We were very supported, and I know a lot of people have been, but there are real issues when people are seriously ill. There are real fears. Sometimes people resist a referral to palliative care services, and then afterward ask why they did not do it sooner.

                However, if people do not know about palliative care and other end-of-life care options, there is a fundamental obstacle to requesting it and accessing it. It is something that has to be discussed with a doctor. People might think that palliative and end-of-life care can be provided in a limited number of settings like hospitals and nursing homes, but that is not the case. Palliative care can be provided anywhere, at home, in a hospice, in a hospital, in a nursing home. The best place for palliative care is the place that best matches the patient's needs. Many health care providers continue to build palliative care teams.

                In the case of this issue, when we just have 12 months to come up with a possible solution, we have the Internet, as the member for Mississauga—Erindale said this morning. We have many ways of communicating. This is a very important issue, an issue in my view that does not rest on one specialized committee. It rests on Canadians to give their feedback to Parliament. It rests on Canadians to have this open discussion. It rests on Canadians to learn more about it.

                Interestingly, in the Netherlands for instance, Professor Theo Boer, was on a regional team that looked at euthanasia. He was very much in favour of euthanasia in 2007. He said:

                I wrote that ‘there doesn’t need to be a slippery slope when it comes to euthanasia...But we were wrong--terribly wrong, in fact. In hindsight, the stabilization in the numbers was just a temporary pause.

                He said that before the House of Lords. Then again later on, he said, “I used to be a supporter of” the Dutch law on euthanasia “But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a different view.” In April 2001, it became law in the Netherlands.

                However, in 2014 Professor Boer said, “don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”

                My question would, did they it too quickly? Did they not have extensive collaboration all across the country? I do not know, but in Canada we are a leader on many fronts and I know parliamentarians on all sides of the House are very concerned about this. As was said earlier in the House, we need to work together in a collaborative manner and not make demands that a special committee be compiled, and there we go. It is more than a special committee. It touches the lives of every man, woman and child in our country. It is deeply emotional. It is something that is deeply personal.

                Professor Boer was totally in favour of it and examined it. When the law was put through in the Netherlands, all of a sudden he said that it should stop, that it should not do that. He said:

                You must realize that a growing number of the Dutch are saying: for me going to a care institution would equate with unbearable suffering. I’m worried about that. Care facilities are not getting any better.

                Have we examined all the care facilities? Have we examined everything that needs to be done to ease the end-of-life issues for anyone, young and old? No, we have not. This discussion has not been opened to the degree that it should. People might say that if a care facility is the reason for people to get euthanasia, then we should do something about care facilities.

                Professor Boer went on to say:

                If we don’t have the means to do that, then I’m afraid that in 2030 a large number of euthanasias will be performed because people are in deadly fear of the care facility

                Toward the end of life, an awful lot of people have issues with fear. If they do not have family around, then they get very depressed. All of these things were mentioned this morning, and I will not repeat them because the member for Mississauga—Erindale has done that.

                I encourage all members of Parliament to take their time and not rush this. It is a very important issue.

                • MPconblog MinStevenBlaney 1454 post Military Contribution Against ISIL

                  Mr. Speaker, I want to start by saying that I will share my time with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who looks after consular affairs.

                  I rise today to speak to the motion moved by the Prime Minister of Canada on Friday. I must admit that I deplore the position the New Democrats and the Liberals are taking in this debate. They had already made their choice before we even started debating the motion. I must also admit that I am particularly disappointed in the weak arguments I am hearing today, especially with respect to Canada's approach to supporting the Iraqi people and participating in the effort by the international community.

                  I have here a press release issued by the Minister for La Francophonie on August 10, 2014, which announced that Canada would be providing assistance to the Iraqi people who are suffering at the hands of this terrorist group. There are no words to describe the cruelty being inflicted.

                  The Minister for La Francophonie said in August that he was providing additional humanitarian assistance and support for this community with food, tents, blankets and medical equipment. At that time, there were already 850,000 displaced persons in Iraq. This was obviously part of a strategy, and the government condemned the fact that these refugees were suffering at the hands of the barbaric Islamic State.

                  On August 29, the government once again announced more assistance. All remaining food resources in Canada would be sent to those in need. The August 29 press release stated that there were up to 1.4 million refugees.

                  How bad does the situation need to get before we take action? The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is working extra hard to welcome Iranian and Syrian refugees. However, more than a million people are now affected by these barbarians who have no rules, no faith and no laws and who are committing heinous acts, as we are unfortunately seeing on social networks.

                  Canada is doing more than its share when it comes to humanitarian aid. Our country is doing more per capita than the rest of the members of the international community. That makes us the seventh largest donor. This is the right thing to do and it is important to continue doing it. Nonetheless, how are we going to stop this flow of refugees? There is only one way: taking action. We must support the ground forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces. We must give them technical support to help them drive back these terrorists.

                  Why does this concern us as Canadians and Quebeckers? It concerns us because this terrorist threat is right here in Canada. We know that there are Canadians who leave our country, swept away by these radical ideas, and who want to turn against the society that sheltered and welcomed them.

                  That is why there are three valid reasons for supporting the motion moved by our Prime Minister: to support these refugees who cannot stay in refugee camps indefinitely and whose situation is deteriorating; to stabilize the situation; and, finally, to protect Canadians from this terrorist threat found here at home.

                  Over the past few months, the situation in Syria and Iraq has continued to deteriorate.

                  The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is a barbaric, terrorist caliphate. It poses a real and present threat not only to the security and stability of that part of the world but also to us here in Canada.

                  That is why Canada is joining forces with 60 countries. The opposition has a very clear picture of what is being proposed.

                  This mission, including six fighter jets and equipment involving the deployment of 600 soldiers, will also add to the efforts of the international coalition of 60 countries with a fixed term of six months. The requested mandate is very clear.

                  Recently we have seen the violent murders of civilians and journalists, planned attacks in Australia to organize public murders in support of these ISIL barbaric extremists, and calls from these same terrorists to commit acts of terror in our country.

                  It is absolutely unacceptable to attack American and European citizens, and, of course, Canadians as well.

                  Our allies have been clear about the need to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state bent on raping and pillaging the Middle East.

                  They are committing acts of genocide against minorities, beheading western journalists, kidnapping women and selling them into slavery, and plotting terrorist attacks against Canada and our allies. These are the reasons we are debating this motion today. These are the reasons Canada is standing up against terrorism.

                  Canada has always shown its unwavering support for other countries in the fight against violence, terrorism, Nazism and barbarism.

                  Canada holds a place that we can be proud of. We are a member of the G7 and other major international bodies. The place that we as a country hold in history is a result of our support for our world partners in times of peace and in times of war.

                  To whom do we owe the place that we hold? We owe it in large part to our veterans, the men and women who were willing to risk their lives to defend our democracy and our freedom.

                  In my riding, there is a Second World War veteran who is over 90 years old. His name is Jean Cauchy. He was a member of the first French-Canadian squadron that fought. Aimé Michaud, a veteran of the Korean War, defended Canada as a member of the Royal 22e Régiment by pushing back the tide of Communism in South Korea in the early 1950s.

                  People have given their lives recently. I am thinking of a young woman from Les Méchins, Karine Blais, who gave her life for her country in Afghanistan.

                  Even more recently, General Bouchard participated in a mission with the same fighter jets that we want to send to Iraq and that were used productively in Libya. This Quebecker led the coalition and conducted successful military operations.

                  In Canada, we are not idiots. We will not bow down to terrorists. That is clear. We are going to stand up and send a clear message to those who want to attack our values, attack the equality between men and women and attack the foundations of our society. We are going to stand up and shoulder our responsibilities.

                  That is what I am going to do with the member for Madawaska—Restigouche at my side. He was a minister under Brian Mulroney. We are going to stand up and support this mission because that is the Canadian thing to do. Quebeckers, French speakers, aboriginal people and English speakers: we are all going to stand together and meet this challenge. Will it be easy? No. Will it cost money? Yes.

                  Nevertheless, I am going to do this with the member for Calgary East, the member for Edmonton Centre, who was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the member for Mississauga—Erindale in Ontario.

                  I am going to do this because we need to neutralize this threat in Iraq. We want to keep our streets safe, and we are going to do everything we can so that Canada remains a good country to live in.

                  I would be pleased to answer my colleagues' questions.

                  • MPndpblog Manon Perreault 1102 post Victims Bill of Rights Act

                    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague the member for Mississauga—Erindale for his contribution this evening and for sharing his time with me.

                    I am pleased to participate in the second reading debate on Bill C-32, the victims bill of rights act. Today I will focus my remarks on the proposed remedies provisions of the Canadian victims bill of rights.

                    The Canadian victims bill of rights is aimed at ensuring that victims are treated with dignity and respect during the various stages of the criminal justice process and that their voices are, in fact, heard.

                    Criminal justice professionals play a crucial role in the delivery of an effective criminal justice system. They do their jobs very well, often under very difficult circumstances, including dealing with victims with compassion and respect, but it does happen—and this is what victims told us—that they can feel that their rights have been breached or that they have been treated inappropriately. The Canadian victims bill of rights would ensure that there is a way to right a wrong when it happens.

                    The Minister of Justice consulted with victims and other stakeholders across the country from April to October 2013. Significant input was received, including in terms of options for a complaint resolution process. The Canadian victims bill of rights proposes a complete resolution process that is based on the principle that the particular agency responsible for the breach should be the first to receive the complaint. Subsection 25(1) of the bill makes this very clear.

                    Section 25 would also require all federal institutions involved in the criminal justice process to have mechanisms in place to receive complaints, to make recommendations for addressing any violations of rights, and to inform victims of the results of a complaint. This would include, for example, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and the Correctional Service of Canada.

                    Similar mechanisms are also in place in agencies that are under provincial and municipal responsibility, such as the provincial Crown prosecution services and municipal police forces.

                    This approach has many benefits. It would help foster the sort of remedial responses that victims have indicated would be meaningful to them. During consultations with stakeholders and victims groups, many suggested that in response to a breach of a victim's rights, the agency responsible should issue an apology directly to the victim for the misconduct. They also indicated that the agency responsible should fix the problem so that it does not happen again to another victim.

                    In other words, victims want remedies to include positive, responsive steps to change the culture or practices within an organization. They want remedies to be forward-looking and to address problems that have been detected. They want to spare other families from having to endure the same kind of mistreatment in the future.

                    Victims are best served by sharing their concerns directly with the agencies that are tasked with protecting them and by encouraging those agencies to see that every effort must be made to ensure that victims, as an integral part of the criminal justice process, are treated with the courtesy, compassion, and respect they deserve throughout every step of the process.

                    Apologies and improved practices are key elements that each criminal justice agency must consider directly as part of their responsibilities toward victims and toward Canadians more generally.

                    This approach would also have the benefit that criminal justice agencies would treat remedies for a breach of victims rights as part and parcel of their overarching obligations. It would also help keep costs manageable, as every such agency would already have in place a process for receiving complaints.

                    It is entirely possible that victims who made a complaint about the conduct of police, a prosecutor, or a correctional institution might not be satisfied with the response they received. Victims would, therefore, also be able to take their complaint to an authority that has jurisdiction over the agency that breached the right. Whether the agency is under federal or provincial authority, there are supervisory organizations that can take a fresh look at that complaint.

                    In the case of a breach by a federal agency, if a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the victim, the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime would assist victims with complaints and work informally with relevant federal agencies to address the breach and improve practices for dealing with victims of crime.

                    In regard to an allegation of infringement by a provincial or municipal agency, the bill respects the split constitutional jurisdiction and proposes that the applicable remedy is the remedy set out in the provincial law, policies, or practices. Provincially, remedial options may include ombudsmen for the province, specialized victims offices, or designated police oversight bodies, for instance.

                    The victims bill of rights is the result of a balanced approach. Under the bill, victims of crime would not have standing to make complaints about breaches of their rights in court within the context of criminal proceedings against the accused. It is important to ensure that criminal trials are not sidetracked to deal with government agencies that allegedly have infringed the rights of victims. The criminal trial process must stay focused on determining the guilt or innocence of the person accused of a crime. State mistreatment of crime victims must be appropriately dealt with in its own right through separate processes.

                    I hope that all members of the House will join me in supporting this bill. We have heard tonight from a number of members on all sides of the House who support the bill and intend to vote in its favour. It would give victims a strong voice in the criminal justice system through the creation of rights for victims of crime and a strong remedial scheme to address breaches of those rights.

                    • MPconblog MPJoySmith 653 post Ukraine

                      Mr. Chair, I was going to say it is my pleasure to stand to talk about this, but in light of everything, it would be an inappropriate comment. Tonight, as I was listening to all the speeches, I was thinking about the Orange Revolution. I was in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution with my colleague. I was thinking back to walking down the streets of Kiev and seeing all the orange tents. There was orange all over the place. There were very patriotic Ukrainians who wanted a democratic country, the right to vote the way they wanted to vote, all the things we enjoy in our great nation of Canada. I remembered sitting in one of the tents with six young people talking to me about their dreams for Ukraine.

                      It was with great sadness that I learned of the problems under the rule of Yanukovych, of having democracy in Ukraine being turned all around. I give my very sincere condolences for those who have lost their lives in Ukraine and to the families who have had to deal with great violence in the face of their own patriotism for their country.

                      When I was in the countryside of Ukraine, I saw beautiful farm families. They made the best borscht in the world, I have to say. It was great. Along with that was the people's very warm and open hearts about their country.

                      Before I go any further, I should inform you that I will be sharing my time with the member for Mississauga—Erindale.

                      We can share our time and express our hopes and dreams for Ukraine. We have 1.3 million Ukrainian Canadians in our country, whose hearts are in our country as well as in Ukraine, and whose hearts are breaking. In my own family, my brother-in-law is Ukrainian. There are many memories for Ukrainian Canadians of what it was like in Ukraine and coming to Canada. We are sister countries in many respects. The Ukrainian people who immigrated to Canada have helped build our great nation and contributed greatly. Yet, today, in my riding of Kildonan—St. Paul, I see Ukrainian Canadians flocking to their churches and community centres to raise money to help their sisters and brothers, cousins, aunt and uncles, in Ukraine, to ensure they have some resources to get through this very troublesome time.

                      As usual, Canada always rises to the top, in aid and caring about what happens in Ukraine and to the citizens of Ukraine. In Canada, we have not had the experience of having to fight for democracy on our streets. This is a very privileged country. We have democracy. We have the right to walk where we want to walk, to vote the way we want to vote, to speak of what we want to speak.

                      I visited Ukraine during the Orange Revolution, and I have visited since then, and it is a very different kind of feeling on the streets. Freedom is not only within the rules, regulations, and law of the country, it is also within the heart of the country and its citizens. Tonight, all of us on all sides of the House are thinking about what we, as Canadians, not only Ukrainian Canadians but others, can do to help our sister country get through this troubled time.

                      I have a lot of confidence in the people of Ukraine. I know they know the solutions that they will need in their country and I know that they will carry them through. They have demonstrated it with their blood and with their voices in the streets of Ukraine.

                      • MPndpblog Matthew Kellway 141 post Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2

                        Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Mississauga—Erindale for his speech and, in particular, for mentioning the improvements that our city, Mississauga, has seen through various economic action plans over the years. He has been in the House longer than I have, so I think he knows a bit more about the history, but I do see every day, when travelling through my riding and the hon. member's riding next to mine, that there have been many benefits to Mississauga.

                        Could the member perhaps give us a few more details about some of the infrastructure projects and some of the improvements that the economic action plans over the years have given to Mississauga?

                        • MPnews news New parking structure and station building at Erindale GO Station set to open - Parking Network (press release)
                          The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and MP for Halton; Harinder Takhar, MPP for Mississauga—Erindale; and Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx president and CEO, announced the upcoming opening of a new parking structure and station building at the ... read more
                          Aug 29, 2013 8:30 am> |
                          • MPnews news New parking structure and station building at Erindale GO Station set to open ... - Canada NewsWire (press release)
                            28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and MP for Halton; Harinder Takhar, MPP for Mississauga—Erindale; and Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx president and CEO, announced the upcoming opening of a new parking structure and station ...and more » read more
                            Aug 28, 2013 9:33 am> |
                            • MPlibblog jimkarygiannis 281 post Situation in Syria

                              Mr. Speaker, I remember being in the House during a debate, and it was mentioned at that time that there was inaction by the government in matching dollar for dollar and in engaging the Syrian community. At the time, the member for Mississauga—Erindale called those comments absurd.

                              To this day, the government has not engaged the Syrian community, which is still waiting to meet with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. To this day, the government has not matched dollar for dollar what the NGOs and the Syrian community have raised. They have raised millions of dollars. To this day, the absurd thing is that the government has had its head stuck in the sand and does not want to listen. I was wondering if my colleague could shed some light on how her party sees the situation of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism is not meeting with the community and is not matching dollar for dollar.

                              I will quote a letter I received from abroad. It is from the manager at the embassy in Amman, Jordan. When I asked him if we were running a special program for Syrian refugees, he said, “At this time, there are no special programs for Syrian refugees”. Yet the parliamentary secretary travelled with the minister to Turkey and said we have a special program. They—

                              • MPconblog deepakobhrai 601 post Situation in Syria

                                Mr. Speaker, Syrians are facing an increasingly desperate situation. More than 80,000 Syrians have been killed so far. Some 4.25 million people have been internally displaced, and over 1.4 million have become refugees. The situation ranks as one of the worst humanitarian disasters on the planet.

                                In our view, the best and perhaps the only hope to end the suffering of all Syrians is a political solution that would see Assad go, his regime making way for an inclusive Syrian-led transition to a new Syria in which all Syrians' rights are protected and where stability and democracy can thrive.

                                This ideal is a long way from becoming a reality at this time. It requires a united opposition that will be able to extend its authority over all actors inside Syria, an opposition that is inclusive of minorities, rejects terrorism and extremism, and is committed to building a stable, democratic, pluralistic state for all Syrians.

                                However, again, that is a long way off. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted earlier, the arrival of Salafists, jihadists and people with links to al Qaeda from other countries in even greater numbers only makes the challenge more difficult.

                                The Syrian Opposition Coalition, or SOC, has made some progress in its attempt to safeguard pluralism and a role for all citizens. The SOC was formed in November of last year in an effort to unite the main factions of the political opposition in a structure that could speak with a single voice. It is an important interlocutor for the international community and is slowly taking steps to bring order out of chaos in parts of Syria it claims to control.

                                However, much more needs to be done. The SOC continues to struggle with disunity and internal cohesion. In particular, moderates and ethnic and religious minorities do not yet feel adequately represented in the SOC. This is a matter of great concern to Canada.

                                If the opposition is to turn the page on the tyranny of the Assad regime, it must demonstrate to members of Syria's minority communities that they have a place in the Syrian opposition, that they will have a place in the new Syria, and that their rights will be protected.

                                Canada also urges the SOC to do more to condemn terrorism and extremism unequivocally.

                                The proliferation of extremist groups on the ground and an influx of foreign fighters have been of growing concern since the conflict in Syria began. Most deadly among these groups is Jabhat al-Nusra, or JN. Just last month, al Qaeda in Iraq, AQI, announced its merger with JN. We had long been aware of JN's links to AQI, but these had never previously been declared publicly. There is little sympathy among the people of Syria for JN's extreme brand of Islam. In fact, JN was quick to deny the merger, although it still pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

                                Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague for Mississauga—Erindale.

                                Radical jihadists from across the region and around the world are taking advantage of the current crisis so they can establish a new base for—

                                • MPndpblog Matthew Kellway 1251 post The Budget

                                  Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to have this opportunity to speak about economic action plan 2013, which was put forward by the Minister of Finance last week.

                                  As we all know, we are on track and continue to focus on economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity while keeping our promise to balance the budget by 2015. We are quite proud of that.

                                  I want to note that many Canadians may have heard of the 950,000 new jobs created since the economic downturn of 2009, but they may not be aware that most of those jobs are full-time, well-paying jobs with almost 80% of them in the private sector. I want to note that as a bit of a success story.

                                  We have heard about the innovative initiative put forward in economic action plan 2013 for skills training. This initiative would address the demand for skilled labour, something I have heard about many times in Mississauga South. I heard about it when we were holding pre-budget consultation meetings and local economic round table meetings. I heard about it when I met with the Port Credit BIA and small business owners, who told me that they had skilled labour shortage issues in their businesses. I heard it again when the Minister of State for Finance spoke with Mississauga Board of Trade businesses, and the minister heard it as well. The hon. members for Mississauga—Streetsville, Mississauga—Erindale and Mississauga East—Cooksville held a town hall meeting where we heard the same thing. We in Mississauga are especially pleased to hear about the Canada jobs grant because it will help Canadians to become apprentices. It will help both the unemployed and the underemployed. We are talking about 130,000 people who will be helped through community colleges and other training institutions. This is good news.

                                  What I want to talk about today are the initiatives in the budget that would affect certain people who have been contacting my office, people in Mississauga South in particular. I went through the budget in search of these types of examples and found my favourite page numbers from budget 2013. I would like to tell the House what they are.

                                  I am going to start with tax relief for home care services. Lucie Shaw in Mississauga South runs Nurse Next Door. These individuals drive around in little pink Volkswagen Beetles and help people who live in their homes. We see on page 222 that the Minister of Finance has decided to expand tax relief for home care services by extending the GST and HST exemption for homemaker services to include personal care services to individuals who, due to age, infirmity or disability, require this kind of assistance at home. This change was effective last week. I am particularly pleased about that.

                                  I also want to tell the House about page 243, which is a good page for two reasons. The first reason is this government will continue to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada with $20 million in 2013-14 to allow it to continue to serve ecologically sensitive land under the natural areas conservation program. Each federal dollar will be matched by $2 in new funding from other sources, leveraging additional funds for the conservation of Canada's natural environment.

                                  The government is also working on the development of a national conservation plan, and I was a proud member of the environment committee when we studied the recommendations for the minister for the national conservation plan. It included a very strong component on urban conservation. To me and to my constituents in Mississauga South, which sits on Lake Ontario and has the beautiful Credit River running through it as well, these kinds of initiatives to protect and conserve our environment are very important.

                                  On the same page and in the same line of thought is also a new initiative for improving the conservation of fisheries through community partnerships. Budget 2013 proposes $10 million over two years to improve the conservation of fisheries by supporting partnerships with local groups. In Mississauga South these local groups would be groups such as the Credit River Anglers Association and the Port Credit Salmon and Trout Association, which do great work in my riding. One would not think of this, because Mississauga South is obviously an urban riding and is right next to Toronto, but the constituents of my riding care very much about our lake, our river and our environment. This is a great way for this government to show what a high priority we put on conserving our natural environment.

                                  I would like to draw attention to page 226, where the topic is financial literacy for seniors. In particular, this budget will support efforts to make public awareness a priority to improve financial literacy, because sometimes older Canadians can be vulnerable to financial abuse. It will help them make more informed decisions about protecting their financial interests in the future.

                                  I sat on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, which studied, voted on and tabled a report on elder abuse. This was one of the topics that we did not expect to come up, but financial abuse of seniors is actually quite a serious problem. In addition to improving awareness and improving financial literacy, we have also adopted Bill C-12, which helps to combat financial abuse of seniors by allowing banks to report suspected fraud to the police and other social service agencies.

                                  The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act, which received royal assent in December 2012, protects seniors better by considering age and other personal circumstances as aggravating factors in applying tougher sentences for those who take advantage of the elderly. I am proud that we are supporting our most vulnerable in society through this budget.

                                  With regard to innovation, in particular there is mention on page 201 of a business by the name of Electrovaya, which is located in Mississauga South. It was able to take advantage of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, SDTC, which the government is going to continue supporting with $325 million over eight years for the development and demonstration of new clean technologies that create efficiencies for businesses and contribute to sustainable economic development. Clean technology and efficient practices can save businesses money, create high-paying jobs, drive innovation and improve the productivity of Canada's natural resources. Electrovaya, which produces batteries for cars, energy storage and smart grid power is a great example.

                                  I thank the Speaker for allowing me to tell the House about my favourite pages in budget 2013.

                                  • MPconblog WoodworthMP 254 post Petitions

                                    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support a number of petitions referring to Canada's 400-year-old definition of human being and asking Parliament to bring that into the 21st century. The petitioners are asking Parliament to stand up for the principle that every human being is created equal and every human being has an inherent worth and dignity.

                                    In particular, I have a petition with almost 300 signatures from the riding of Mississauga—Erindale. I have a petition with almost 400 signatures from Calgary, Saskatoon, Vancouver Island, London and Bruce Grey. I have petitions from the riding of Scarborough—Rouge River, which together accomplish almost 1,200 signatures, many of whom are women. I have a petition from the riding of Markham—Unionville, which together have almost 1,300 signatures. I have a petition to the same effect from the riding of Oak Ridges—Markham with 300 signatures. I also have a petition from the riding of Scarborough—Agincourt with almost 300 signatures.

                                    I have received petitions from all across the country with thousands of signatures but I will stop there for today.

                                    • MPconblog WoodworthMP 480 post Petitions

                                      Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a number of petitions on a related subject close to my heart.

                                      First, I present a petition from residents of the riding of Burlington who begin by saying that whereas Canada's 400-year-old definition of a human being says a child does not become a human being until the moment of complete birth, contrary to 21st century medical evidence, and whereas Parliament has a solemn duty to reject any law that says some human beings are not human, they therefore call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.

                                      The second petition is from constituents in the riding of Westlock—St. Paul. In substantially the same terms, it also suggests to the House that human rights are universal and that every human being's human rights should be recognized, and it calls upon the House to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.

                                      The next petition is from the riding of Mississauga—Erindale. Constituents in that riding are asking the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence. They do not want members of Parliament to turn their eyes away from 21st century medical evidence on this point.

                                      The last petition has 202 signatures from the riding of Oakville. Constituents of that riding are affirming that Parliament has a solemn duty to reject any law that says some human beings are not human and, in so doing, to affirm that human rights are universally respected in Canada and that every human being is a human being. They are asking the Parliament of Canada to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.

                                      I would be happy if Parliament would not shut its eyes and would conduct a study of the evidence on this point, as is its duty.

                                      • MPndpblog CarolHughesMP 191 post Situation in Syria

                                        Mr. Chair, I am going to ask my colleague a question that I asked the member for Mississauga—Erindale earlier, who basically refused to answer it and went on about what he felt the government had done. That was with respect to Rights & Democracy.

                                        The member for Mississauga—Erindale mentioned that although the government was not supporting Rights & Democracy anymore, it was supporting religious rights and freedoms and there is an organization in the process of being put together. Rights & Democracy has been a great Canadian institution and has been promoting human rights protection and democratic development. It is already familiar with the groundwork and has already proven that it can do the job. Why would the government cut the funding and undermine its capacity given the fact that we have seen over and over again, especially in the past few years, the crises that have been occurring in places like Syria?

                                        • MPndpblog CarolHughesMP 161 post Situation in Syria

                                          Madam Chair, I would like to ask my colleague the question I put earlier to the hon. member for Mississauga—Erindale about the funding of Rights & Democracy. Of course, he did not answer the question. He talked about a lot of things, but he did not answer the question. However, he did say that the government is setting up another organization and funding it. I am wondering why we should close off an organization that already provides effective services and resources to countries undergoing major transformations.

                                          I would like his comments on Rights & Democracy. The organization really is an excellent Canadian institution responsible for promoting the protection of human rights and democratic development. What does he think about the fact that the Conservative government has cut funding to that organization in its budget for this year?

                                          • MPconblog PierrePoilievre 141 post Religious Freedom

                                            Mr. Speaker, the Coptic Christian minority has suffered the wrath of Islamic terrorist thugs who are slaughtering innocent women and children. It is the responsibility of the Egyptian government to finally protect all citizens, regardless of religion.

                                            Thanks in part to the good work of the Conservative member for Mississauga—Erindale, this government is working to establish a new office of religious freedom. This is but one of the early steps that this government is taking in the great tradition of our country to stand on the side of those who are persecuted, to give voice to the voiceless, defence to the defenceless.

                                            We will stand in solidarity with the Coptic Christian minority, as they fight for their rights for freedom of religion, for peace and for harmony in Egypt.

                                            • MPndpblog Paul Dewar 68 post Member for Mississauga—Erindale

                                              Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs serves a very important position which requires professionalism and discretion.

                                              Recent events have become a distraction. There are unanswered questions about the parliamentary secretary's judgment and potential security concerns.

                                              My question is, will the parliamentary secretary step aside from his responsibilities until the situation is investigated?

                                              • MPndpblog Olivia Chow 1989 post Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act

                                                Mr. Speaker, first, I want to say that David Chen of the Lucky Moose Food Mart would never want to assault another human being. Therefore, this whole question of self-defence is a red herring, because he was not being attacked by the person who stole things from his store. It is not a question of self-defence we are dealing with. We are talking about his right to make a citizen's arrest.

                                                Why do we need the part of this bill that deals with citizen's arrest? From coast to coast to coast we have heard from small business owners, not just from the one group the Conservative government spoke of having one or two meetings with. I have in fact met with store owners not just in Toronto but in Vancouver and Montreal also. They are saying that they work long hours, their profit margins are small and, unlike large stores, they have no money to hire security guards and do not want to do so. They really do not have a lot of extra staff on hand. They work such long hours and their profit margins are very low, so every dollar they lose from shoplifting means that they must work many more hours.

                                                Let me describe Mr. Chen's situation. I believe that a large number of Canadians are now familiar with the story.

                                                Mr. Chen works at least 16 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year. Most times he and his wife stay upstairs above the store in order to wake up early in the morning to go to the market to buy the merchandise they sell in their store. They hire a number of employees. However, on average they make around minimum wage, so every $100 they lose means they have to work another 10 or 15 hours. When they noticed that a person was repeatedly coming to their store to steal plants and food items, they wanted to take action. It is not that they wanted to cause any harm to anyone. They called the police several times and yet the police for some reason did not come.

                                                An hour later the thief came back with the intent to steal more plants, because the first time around the thief was unable to carry all the plants that he wanted to take. He came back to steal more, but did not get to do that. David Chen proceeded to give chase and held the person in his van. Once the police arrived, Mr. Chen was charged with the very serious offences of assault, confinement, carrying a concealed weapon, et cetera.

                                                Mr. Chen had difficulty finding the time and financial resources to hire a lawyer to go to court over and over again to defend himself. Members of the community in Toronto organized a fundraising banquet in order to support him because they felt that what had happened to him was unjust.

                                                In my riding, we have noticed that what occurred to David Chen is not an isolated incident. Another store owner in the Kensington market area, Jeff Ing, who sells fruits and vegetables at his store, Jungle Fruit, has lost a lot of business because of the same person who was shoplifting at the Lucky Moose.

                                                I then went with the member for Vancouver Kingsway to talk to other store owners. We walked along Victoria Street with a petition in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-565, that would allow a citizen's arrest to happen, not at a time when the offence is taking place but within a reasonable amount of time after an offence has taken place, with reasonable grounds. Every shop on Victoria Street and every shopper with whom we spoke were willing to sign the petition. They thought it was important that the Criminal Code be amended with a very common-sense amendment and that it was high time for such an amendment to take place.

                                                Some people asked whether the amendment would encourage vigilantism. No, it would not because the code would not be changed in a way that would allow a citizen's arrest to be done in a way that would cause harm. The “arrest” is basically detaining the person while waiting for the police officers to come and make the actual arrest. The amendment would not change any part of the code dealing with using force.

                                                Some may ask if it means that the employees of some stores would be requested to put their lives in danger in order to apprehend shoplifters. Absolutely not. People do not need to detain shoplifters. We encourage people to call the police and wait for them to come. It is only when there is no other choice that they would make a citizen's arrest. No employees would be under any duress, because they are protected by the provincial labour code, to put themselves in any kind of dangerous situation. It would not justify any use of force because that is not what it is all about.

                                                We believe it is up to peace officers, RCMP, provincial police and the local police force to do their job. We need to ensure that community policing is the order of the day. We need to ensure the police are visible in the community, work closely with the communities and the business improvement area so we can reduce shoplifting incidents in the first place, rather than waiting for them to happen and a citizen's arrest having to be made. It is also important that the Conservative government honour its campaign promise to hire more police officers. However, in some cities across Canada, we have not see the increase of police officers as promised.

                                                We must also invest in crime prevention. The person shoplifting should have drug treatment programs to ensure he or she quits the drug habit. The shoplifter admitted to that. For young people who may fall into gang situations, we need to find ways to ensure they have good role models and good employment programs before they start shoplifting in the first place.

                                                Bill C-60, however, is not just about citizen's arrest. Two other portions in Bill C-60 are far more complex. I fail to see why the government would not allow this portion, which has the unanimous support of all parties, to move ahead, which is precisely the request that came from the community.

                                                The member from Mississauga—Erindale, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, was in receipt of suggestions for a private member's bill from the community with the precise wording that both myself and other members of Parliament have submitted. The community was interested in the citizen's arrest portion of the Criminal Code.

                                                Adding in the defence of property and self-defence muddies the water. If the Conservatives are not willing to split the bill and do a quick consent for citizen's arrest, then the bill will go to the justice committee where it must go through a very detailed study of the two portions.

                                                Some elements that modernize the Criminal Code may be worthy of support but some of the other amendments may have unintended consequences. For example, removing the requirements on the use force in self-defence could lead to troubling incidents and may result in the escalation of violence. I certainly hope not but we do not know.

                                                The guideline right now is very straightforward in that ordinary Canadians are not allowed to use force that could result in the death of the attacker unless they believe their life is at risk. The use of force must be proven in order to defend oneself. If the definition of the type of threat is removed, then unintended consequences may result for people who believe they are under any kind of threat. In the Criminal Code now, the amount of force needed to repel an attack should be used, but not more. Why do we need to change that aspect of it?

                                                This part of the bill is quite complex and causes some unease in terms of what precisely the Conservative government is trying to do, which is why we are calling upon the Conservatives to immediately split the bill and allow the other two portions of the bill to undergo careful examination. If the government is not willing to do so, then it is playing politics with incidents like David Chen's incident at the Lucky Moose Food Mart. Instead of working with other parties to get results and make Parliament work, the Conservatives want to take this incident and play partisan games with it, which is most unfortunate.

                                                I hope that is not the government's intention, and I do not detect that intention. I sense a willingness of all parties to work together to ensure that incidents, like David Chen's incident, never happen again.

                                                Perhaps all members of Parliament have heard the petitioners from coast to coast to coast who have petitioned Parliament to take action. I recently submitted 10,000 names to Parliament of people urging us to take immediate action.

                                                This debate on amending the Criminal Code for citizen's arrests has been requested by the community for over a year and a half. The incident that led to this discussion, David Chen's incident, occurred in May 2009. It is not as if this just occurred. We have had a long time to look at the Criminal Code and a long time to discuss what needs to be done. On my private member's bill, which came forward in September of last year, there were numerous discussions on the citizen's arrest portion. A lot of store owners from Montreal have talked about this and they want us to work together.

                                                It is my sincere wish that we do not muddy the water with the other two portions of this bill and allow the citizen's arrest portion to move ahead. There is no doubt that the whole notion of self-defence and protection of property in the Criminal Code, which was written a long time ago, will eventually need some kind of adjustment and amendment with more modernized wording so that the different sections can be compressed into a few sections. I understand why that is necessary but to tack it on to Bill C-60 is unfortunate.

                                                The other element of this is that we do not know whether the Conservative government will bring forward a budget that is supportable by all parties. If the budget comes forward and one of the opposition parties makes a decision not to support it, then Parliament will not survive past the end of March. If that is the case, then all the work that has been done to amend the Criminal Code, specifically on citizen's arrests, will not occur.

                                                We are in early March and there are only a few weeks before the coming budget. For this bill to get through second reading today or tomorrow, then go to the justice committee where it has a large number of justice bills in front it, and then, assuming it passes there, to come back to the House of Commons at report stage and then third reading will take quite a bit of time. After that, it still needs to go to the Senate for approval.

                                                Leaving this bill so late, in terms of the upcoming budget, is most unfortunate. I do hope the government will work with the opposition members of Parliament to split the bill and allow the citizen's arrest portion to move ahead with unanimous consent.

                                                • MPconblog Rob Nicholson 3078 post Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act

                                                  moved that Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of property and persons), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

                                                  Mr. Speaker, I am excited to get going on Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of property and persons). Bill C-60 represents a responsible expansion of a citizen's power of arrest as well as the simplification of the self-defence and defence of property provisions in the Criminal Code.

                                                  I want to thank the initiatives of a number of people and one of them is certainly the member for Mississauga—Erindale who is also my parliamentary secretary. He has been a champion of the reform in this law. I am pleased to join with my colleague, the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. I thank him and my colleagues who are in the House with me. They have been very supportive of our justice legislation.

                                                  Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that all Canadians are grateful for all the support that you have given us on these bills.

                                                  The bill before us today is balanced and necessary. In describing the particular amendments contained in this bill, the bill will focus on three main areas: first, what the law currently provides for; second, the policy rationale for reform; and third, most important for statutory interpretation purposes, the legislative intent behind the elements of the reforms.

                                                  On this last point, it is crucial for colleagues to be reminded that the debate in this place and the other provides guidance to our courts in finding the legislative intent of the laws we pass and is often cited by our courts in coming to a decision.

                                                  I will first deal with citizen's arrest reforms, followed by the defence of property and then self-defence.

                                                  With regard to citizen's arrest, it is important to recall that an arrest consists of the actual seizure or touching of a person's body with a view to detention. The pronouncing of words alone can constitute an arrest if the person submits to the request. A power of arrest is found in a range of federal and provincial law but for our purposes we are focused on the power that exists in the Criminal Code.

                                                  As members can imagine, there are substantial differences between the power of police and that of a citizen to make an arrest under the Criminal Code.

                                                  Currently, under section 495, a peace officer may arrest without a warrant any person whom he or she finds committing a criminal offence, as well as any person whom he or she believes, on reasonable grounds, has committed or is about to commit an indictable offence.

                                                  What the courts have told us is that for an arrest to be valid on the basis of reasonable grounds, the arresting officer must personally believe that he or she possesses the required grounds to arrest, and those grounds must be objectively established in the sense that a reasonable person standing in the shoes of the officer would believe that they are reasonable and probable grounds to make that arrest.

                                                  In comparison, currently under section 494 of the Criminal Code, the private citizen may arrest those found committing indictable offences, those being pursued by others who have authority to arrest and those committing criminal offences in relation to property.

                                                  It is important to note that there is a legal duty under section 494 to deliver an arrested person to the police forthwith, which has been interpreted by the courts to mean as soon as reasonably practical under all the circumstances.

                                                  As members can see, there is a clear distinction between the power of arrest for the police and the power given to citizens. There are good reasons for these differences. The focus of Bill C-60 relates to the power of arrest of persons found committing a criminal offence on or in relation to property.

                                                  In this regard, the bill would expand 494(2) of the Criminal Code to permit a property owner or a person authorized by the property owner to arrest a person if he or she finds the person committing a criminal offence on or in relation to his or her property, not just at the time when the offence is being committed, which is the current law, but also within a reasonable time after the offence is committed.

                                                  It is essential to ensure that the proper balance is maintained between citizen involvement in law enforcement and the role of the police as our primary law enforcers.

                                                  To this end, the new measures will include the requirement that before an arrest can be made at some time after the offence is committed, which is the expansion the bill provides for, the arresting person must believe on reasonable grounds that it is not feasible in the circumstances for a peace officer to make the arrest instead.

                                                  The intention behind this last requirement is to ensure that citizens use this expanded power of arrest in cases of urgency. Citizens must turn their mind to whether the police are able to make the arrest, which is a far preferable circumstance. However, if people reasonably believe that the police will not be able to respond in time and make the arrest, property owners would be authorized to do it themselves.

                                                  The courts are familiar and comfortable with assessing the reasonableness of beliefs and would consider each case on its merits. In practical terms, the court may choose to look at such factors as the urgency of the situation, the safety of the people involved and the location of the incident, whether adequate information to identify the suspect was available and perhaps even the past conduct of the suspect.

                                                  In a nutshell, what is the change in the law? I would summarize the essence of the reform in the following way. Under the current law, if people find someone committing a criminal offence, they are only allowed to arrest him or her at that time. Under the proposed change, the arrest can take place later, within a reasonable time of finding the person committing the offence, as long as there are reasonable grounds to believe a police officer cannot make the arrest.

                                                  Members may ask what a reasonable period of time is. The phrase is not defined in the bill. The intention behind the phrase is to allow the courts, on a case by case basis, as they have done in so many instances, to examine the facts and circumstances and to make a determination on whether the time was reasonable in that particular case. The courts would likely turn to such factors as the length of delay, the conduct of the suspect and the conduct of the arrester, among other things. Imposing a rigid time limit on an arrest, for example an authority arrest within 12 hours would not be sound policy. The law must provide flexibility, but at the same time, build in safeguards, as Bill C-60 does.

                                                  Some may argue that this reform encourages vigilantism. I would completely disagree with that. The bill requires that a person witnesses an offence being committed and provides a degree of flexibility in terms of when an arrest can be effected for that offence. The bill does not change the amount of force that can be used in making an arrest. In short, people must continue to act responsibly.

                                                  This reform is being advanced because we have been hearing clearly from Canadians that limitations on citizen's arrests require change. There have been well publicized cases of individuals being charged and prosecuted for citizen's arrests that occurred shortly after an offence was witnessed. The government's goal is, therefore, to provide a balanced extension of the period of time to make an arrest.

                                                  Finally, for greater certainty, the reforms specify that the existing requirements in relation to the use of force in effecting arrests, which are provided for under section 25 of the Criminal Code, apply to citizen's arrests. I think that is only reasonable. There is no change to the rules regarding how much force can be used to make a citizen's arrest. An individual who makes a citizen's arrest is, if he or she acts on reasonable grounds, justified in using as much force as necessary for that purpose.

                                                  It is important to highlight that a person making an arrest is never justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm unless he or she believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary for self-preservation or for anyone under his or her protection from death or grievous bodily harm.

                                                  These legal standards have been in place for a long time and continue to reflect appropriate policy today. This reform and our discussions of it in this place give us an opportunity to speak directly to Canadians. In this regard, I would like to say that citizen's arrests made without careful consideration of the risk factors may have serious unintended physical consequences, as well as legal consequences for those involved.

                                                  When deciding if a citizen's arrest is appropriate, people should consider whether a peace officer is available to intervene, whether their personal safety or that of others would be compromised by attempting the arrest, whether they have reasonable belief regarding the suspect's criminal conduct and identity, and whether they can turn over the suspect to the police without delay once an arrest is made.

                                                  In developing these citizen's arrest reforms, we consider a number of options. We examine private members' bills currently before this place as well as the laws of other jurisdictions and certainly the representations that are made to me and to the government on this issue. I submit that we have taken the elements of all these efforts and have developed a proposal which makes sense to Canadians.

                                                  I would now like to turn the defence of property contained in the bill. The government decided to couple reform with the defence of property with citizen's arrest reforms because there is a logical and factual connection between the two.

                                                  Consider the example of a property owner who sees a theft taking place on his or her property. In this situation, he or she could attempt a citizen's arrest if the desire was to capture the thief so he or she could be charged and prosecuted. However, the person could also desire to get the suspected intruder off the property, without intending to make the arrest. In the latter case, the use of force by the property owner could be justified by a claim of defence of property.

                                                  The defence of property, like any defence, is a claim made by a person who is alleged to have committed a criminal offence and who asserts that he or she should not be held responsible for that alleged offence because of some countervailing policy. Defending one's property from a threat is just the kind of circumstance that might justify otherwise criminal conduct, such as the use of force against a would-be thief.

                                                  Our Criminal Code, since its inception in 1892, provided a defence for the use of force to protect one's possession of property. However, one of the unfortunate realities about the defence is the way it is worded in the code. There are five separate provisions, sections 38 to 42, of the code that could potentially apply to a defence of property circumstance. The provisions create a distinct defence depending on the precise circumstances, differentiating between types of property and the hierarchy of claims to the property as between the possessor and the person seeking to interfere with the property. They are extremely detailed and, in many cases, overlap with each other. This approach to the Criminal Code is well over a century old and does not meet the needs of Canadians today.

                                                  The idea behind the defence of property is simple. A person should not be held criminally responsible for the reasonable use of force to protect property in his or her possession from being taken, destroyed, or trespassed upon.

                                                  We cannot find many of these words in the law itself. However, we can find many other words which, rather than help to set out this idea, describe narrow subsets of it. This means that Canadians, including police, prosecutors, judges and ultimately juries, must consider too many words and words which overlap with each other to arrive at what, in essence, is a rather simple idea.

                                                  Bill C-60 will demystify and clarify these waters.

                                                  The defence of property reforms contained in the bill would replace five separate provisions with one simplified provision that captures the essence of the defence, while providing the same level of protection as the existing law and with some modest enhancements.

                                                  There are some essential property-related concepts that must be retained, such as the idea of peaceable possession of property. Because different people can have independent claims to property and because the defence must, to some degree, incorporate notions borrowed from property law, the defence must have some technical components.

                                                  One enhancement is that a defence could be raised as a defence to any type of act that otherwise would be criminal. The law justifies the use of force in defence of property, which is basically assaultive behaviour against the property trespasser.

                                                  In recognition of the fact that people might engage in other forms of otherwise criminal activity to defend their property, such as discharging a weapon into the air to scare away the trespassers, Bill C-60 would allow the defence to apply so long as the actions are reasonable in the circumstances.

                                                  Finally, the reform on defence would clearly deny its application in the cases of lawful police action, such as the execution of a search warrant.

                                                  The new law of property, like the current law, does not put any express limits on what can be done to defend property. However, it is absolutely essential to note that courts have unequivocally rejected the use of intentional deadly force in defence of property alone and have stated many times that deadly force cannot ever be justified where human life is in jeopardy.

                                                  Some property-related conflicts do pose a risk to human life, such as home invasions, and deadly force may be justified in these circumstances.

                                                  This brings me to the law of self-defence.

                                                  Like the defence of property, the self-defence provisions were enacted in Canada's first Criminal Code in 1892 and have remained largely unchanged since that time. Like the defence of property, the law governing self-defence is set out over several separate provisions that describe situation-specific defences which overlap or conflict with each other, depending on the facts of a particular case.

                                                  I would submit that this complexity in the law cannot remain, especially when we are delineating the legal tests to be used for people using force in self-defence.

                                                  The complexity of the law makes it extremely difficult for the police to assess whether charges should be laid, causes trial counsel to have to devote time and energy to making arguments about which version of the defence should apply and poses challenges for judges on instructing juries how to apply the law. We can only imagine what juries think when the law is read to them.

                                                  Described in a general way, the proposed reforms would replace all of the existing defences with a single, general test for the defence of the person. In essence, people would be protected from criminal responsibility if they reasonably believe that they or another person are being threatened with force and they act reasonably for the purpose of defending themselves or another person from that force.

                                                  The reforms would also include a list of factors the court could consider in determining whether the person's actions were reasonable, such as a pre-existing relationship between the parties, including any history of violence, and the proportionality between the harm threatened and the response.

                                                  The list of factors codifies well-recognized features of many self-defence situations and will help guide judges and juries in applying the new law.

                                                  Consistent with the present law and for sound policy reasons, the defence would not be available where the person would be responding to a peace officer or other person who would be acting lawfully for a law enforcement purpose, such as when a person is arrested.

                                                  I am pleased to report that the proposed reforms on self-defence are consistent with those agreed to in 2009 by federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice based on the collective work of their officials. These reforms also respond to calls for simplification by many criminal justice stakeholders.

                                                  The citizen's arrest reforms extend the time in which an arrest can be made for an offence committed on or in relation to property. There is a real need in doing so to keep a clear distinction between the powers of the police and those of citizens. Police officers are rightly cloaked in the duty to preserve and maintain the public peace. They are our first and foremost criminal law enforcement body and with this reform, they continue to be so.

                                                  With regard to the defence reforms, at a practical level, very few Canadians would be able to read the many existing provisions and understand what the law allows. The law should be accessible to Canadians, and these reforms will help accomplish that goal.

                                                  Bill C-60 represents a responsible expansion of the citizen's power of arrest as well as a simplification of the law relating to the defence of persons and property. I urge all members to support this law and, in doing so, support the calls for reform made by law-abiding Canadians.

                                                  • MPconblog Terence Young 89 post Aerospace Industry

                                                    Mr. Speaker, today, the Minister of Industry joined the member for Mississauga—Erindale in announcing a $300 million investment into a $1 billion project by Pratt & Whitney to develop lighter aircraft engines with more power, better fuel consumption and improved durability.

                                                    Would the Minister of Industry please explain to the House how the government's continued commitment to research and development is keeping Canada at the forefront of the international aerospace industry?

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