HANSARD: Jenny asks if the minister will support Bill C-216

House of Commons Debate
Bill C‑5—Time Allocation Motion
Criminal Code
Government Orders
March 30th, 2022 / 4:20 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, the minister mentioned simple possession and that one of the goals of Bill C-5 is to reduce that issue. My colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni, has tabled a private member's bill, Bill C-216, to address exactly that issue and, in the process, address the overdose crisis that is happening right now all across the country. This will save lives, if we pass Bill C-216, and will reduce simple possession by decriminalizing it.

Will the minister support my colleague's bill?"


David Lametti (Liberal) LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

"Mr. Speaker, we are still studying that bill. Certainly the sentiment behind it is one that speaks well of the hon. member and of all people who would like to attack the opioid crisis and other problematic drug abuse situations in our country.

This current bill is not meant to do that. It is meant to address flexibility in sentencing to reduce the overrepresentation of Black and indigenous people in the criminal justice system. The fundamental challenges that are being attacked by the private member's bill on the other side are wider than that, and I will look at the bill, as will all of my colleagues, with due diligence."



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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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