Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act (Bill C-26)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I know there are concerns within other parties in the House. I regret that having come to some consensus through the committee process members who have concerns seem to feel they have to hold their noses and pass a bill that may well open the door to some serious problems in our society.

I note that the vice-chair of the Canadian Bar Association, Eric Gottardi, is quoted in today’s paper as saying this is a gift to the rent-a-cops. He said, “Such personnel often lack the necessary range of equipment or adequate training to safely and lawfully make arrests in a manner proportionate to the circumstances”.

Even at this late stage we should insist that the sections relating to citizen’s arrest be left alone and remain as they are now in the Criminal Code and not extend them, as this bill does.

Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker, the reality is that private security exists already and that is not going to change. Are there concerns about how private security contractors are used? Certainly, but the bill is not going to change their reality in our society.

We think that the bill is a good bill. It is good because there has been push-back on both sides in order to deal with some outstanding concerns. If my hon. colleague feels that she has to hold her nose to vote for it, well, making laws is like making sausages. It is not the easiest thing. We do not get everything we want. Law is not easy either and there are always going to be grey areas. That is what will be interpreted by the courts.