Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her contribution to the debate and for her service to the community as a police officer for 18 years.
In that regard, I would like to ask the member if she could tell us what crimes related to terrorism would not be covered by the current Criminal Code. It is my understanding that any crime that we could possibly think of related to terrorism is already a serious crime under the provisions of our Criminal Code and one that is dealt with very seriously should it ever go to prosecution in our criminal justice system.
For instance, the crime of conspiracy already exists under the Criminal Code, so anyone planning that kind of terrorist attack is already committing a crime. They do not actually have to commit the crime before they could be found guilty of a criminal activity. We also have hate crimes legislation, so if the crime that is being planned targets a particular group, that is already covered by our Criminal Code.
Could the member tell us exactly why these special measures are needed when the Criminal Code already deals very seriously with all the issues related to terrorism?
Mrs. Shelly Glover:
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for his question and for his comments about my service with the police.
I just want to mention that my colleague's question relates to crimes. What this bill is trying to do is prevent acts from occurring. They are not crimes that necessarily have been committed. We are trying to provide tools to investigate the potential that acts of terrorism are going to occur.
Our police officers at this point do not have the powers that we are attempting to provide to them through this bill. They do not have the ability to question people under what we are now calling the recognizance with conditions and those types of things. We want to provide them those tools so that we can safeguard national security.
It is not about charging people and referring to charges that are already in existence in the Criminal Code. It is about prevention. It is about using tools so that we can ensure the national security that we all care tremendously about.