Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Human Rights

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

    Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada has released a report showing that hate crimes are on the rise in Canada. Hate crimes related to race or ethnicity increased by 15%. Those related to religion by 53%. This reflects only those hate crimes that are reported, far too many still go unreported.

 

 

    What will the government do to increase the confidence of victims of hate crimes in the police and the criminal justice system? What steps will be taken to increase reporting of hate crimes?

 

 

 

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

    Mr. Speaker, among other things, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has launched a comprehensive study into the whole question of hate crimes. We have been very busy on our justice agenda, standing up for victims and law-abiding Canadians.

 

 

    I wish for once we could get the support of the NDP on these matters. I heard today that when we wanted to get a bill through that would crack down on the reporting of Internet child pornography, New Democrats were the ones who wanted to get the bill to committee instead of getting it unanimously passed. Why do those members have such a problem doing the right thing?

 

 

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

    Mr. Speaker, hate crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Canadians are rising faster than those against other groups. Hate crimes against GLBTT people are far more often violent.

 

 

    Will the government work with community groups and police to put in place policies and educational programs to prevent these crimes and protect GLBTT Canadians? Will the government ensure that specific data is gathered regarding hate crimes against members of the trans community?

 

 

 

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, CPC)

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member does not want to foster hate. I indicated to him what this government is doing.

 

 

    I know something that he could do. Why does he not get the leadership of his party to stand up and apologize for the hateful comments that were made toward Israel. That would be doing the right thing on that member’s part.