The House resumed from October 22 consideration of the motion that Bill S-205, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (suicide bombings), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.): ReganG@parl.gc.ca
. . .Canadians probably believe that suicide bombings are already illegal under our Criminal Code, and they are right. Someone listening may ask how we would penalize a suicide bomber. If the person is successful, obviously there is no penalty that can be applied. However, suicide bombers are not always successful. What we are talking about, in part, is someone who attempts to commit a suicide bombing, or perhaps people who might try to assist or prepare that person for that event, to supply the person with materials for example. These are all relevant parts of that activity. . .
Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh, NDP): ComarJ@parl.gc.ca
. . .In that regard, to be a bit technical, this is an amendment to a section of the Criminal Code that is part of the anti-terrorism sections in the code. There is a specific provision now in the code that speaks of violent acts as being a terrorist activity, depending on what the intent is of the conduct. We are amending that to say suicide bombing would be a specific example of this type of violence. . .
However, in terms of the role we also play in this legislature, and in any democratically-elected legislature, we also have to provide leadership and examples to the country. Part of that leadership and the examples we provide are on those occasions when we need to speak a strong voice of denunciation, and we must do that. This is one of those times it is necessary to do that.
One could argue that there are all sorts of other times where we may do it and not have any particular impact and so we probably should not. However, in this case the message we would send to our citizenry and to rest of the world is this is a particularly abhorrent type of murder, one that has become, unfortunately, for the peace and safety of the world, all too common. . .
Mr. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC): FastE@parl.gc.ca
. . .Let me provide the House with at least three reasons why I am supporting Bill S-205.
First, this year I had the opportunity to travel with our Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to India . . .Among other things, the minister and I travelled to the city of Mumbai where we visited the Taj Hotel and Chabad House. Those familiar with the events of November of last year know that these two facilities were among the buildings that were attacked by terrorists, resulting in the loss of many innocent lives, including the lives of two Canadians.
Chabad House was a hostel and a trading centre for the Jewish diaspora. . . The terrorists who attacked the centre tortured and then ultimately executed a number of the residents of that facility, including a rabbi and his wife. Similar scenes of horror played out in other parts of Mumbai, and the reason for these horrific acts, a complete absence of respect for the dignity and value of human life.
I am very pleased that yesterday our Prime Minister visited Mumbai to pay his respects to the Canadians and others who lost their lives in the Mumbai terrorist attack. As always, Canada stands in solidarity with India and the other nations of the world that defend freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
In May of this year I also had the opportunity to visit Israel and to meet with Israeli parliamentarians in their Knesset. Israelis are deeply appreciative of Canada ‘s outstanding leadership in consistently speaking out and acting against anti-Semitism. Sadly, many around the world still have not learned the lessons of history and continue to advocate hatred and genocide against others.
The Israeli MPs we met with also expressed their profound concern over the very real and ongoing threat that terrorism, including suicide bombings, represented to their country and to Jews and other minority groups around the world.
My experiences in both India and Israel have reinforced my commitment to speak out against extremism and intolerance of all kinds, and I do strongly support the bill. . .
The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin): DevolB@parl.gc.ca
I declare the motion carried.
Accordingly the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)