MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“New Federal Legislation Introduced to Reform Tobacco and Sex Offender Laws and to Help Veterans and Victims of Terrorism”
It’s been a very busy week in Parliament as our Conservative Government continues to table important legislation in the House of Commons and the Senate.
Last week, on behalf of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, I introduced Bill C-32, which will protect children and youth from tobacco marketing that encourages them to smoke.
Among other measures, our legislation will prohibit the addition of fruit flavours and other additives giving a candy flavour to cigarillos, cigarettes and blunt wraps (sheets or tubes of tobacco). They can currently be sold individually and in flavours including banana split, strawberry and chocolate for as little as $1.
The sale of any cigarillos and blunt wraps in smaller quantities or “kiddie-packs” (that are more affordable to youth) will be prohibited.
Later in the week, our Government re-introduced in the Senate Bill S-7 which will limit the tenure of new Senators to eight years in keeping with our commitment to democratic reform.
The fact that senators can hold their seats for as long as 45 years is contrary to the democratic ideals of Canadians. An eight-year term is long enough to allow senators to gain experience in legislative review and investigation, while ensuring the Senate is refreshed with new perspectives and ideas on a regular basis.
This week opened with the introduction of Bill C-33, which would amend the War Veterans Allowance Act to extend benefits to Allied Veterans and their family members. This fulfills a promise our Government made to support Allied Veterans living in Canada by extending benefits the former Liberal Government cut in 1995.
Under the legislation, low-income Allied Veterans of the Second World War, who live in Canada and have for at least ten years, can access War Veterans Allowance and associated benefits. Eligibility will be expanded to include those who fought for Allied Forces in the Korean War. Family members may also receive benefits.
Following negotiations with the opposition parties in my role as Government House Leader, I was proud to move a unanimously-supported motion to pass the bill at all stages in the House of Commons.
Next, our Government introduced Bill C-34 as a means to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank.
Under current laws, a convicted sex offender is registered only when the Crown asks and only under the judge’s “discretion”. Our Conservative Government proposes to make registration MANDATORY. Current rules only allow police to use the Registry to solve crimes AFTER they happen. We will allow police to use the registry to pro-actively PREVENT a crime.
The legislation also proposes to prevent sex offenders from blocking the inclusion of their DNA in the National DNA Data bank and to ensure that international sex offenders are included on Canada’s Registry.
Like all of the 40 pieces of legislation our Conservative Government has already introduced in this Parliamentary session, each of these bills responds to important reforms that Canadians have demanded to better secure the health, safety and prosperity of our communities.