Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for Delta—Richmond East, not only for her election to this House but also to her position as parliamentary secretary.

I am very pleased to have the chance to speak to this bill on second reading. I have studied it extensively. I believe the approach to accelerating megatrials is sound, particularly with the appointment of a case management judge. This should help. I think all members of the House should also be cognizant that we need to do more. We will need more resources for judges. We need to appoint more judges at the federal level. Our provincial colleagues may also need more resources to ensure these trials go quickly.

I have one specific concern about one piece of legislation that I do not think is entirely necessary, and I would be grateful for the member’s comments. My concern is about taking away the right of an accused person on preferred indictment to seek bail. It is not really a necessary piece of the legislation to accelerate trials. I wonder if she could speak to that.

Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, all the measures in this bill are meant to increase efficiencies within the system. They are meant to deal with the preliminary aspects of these long and complex trials. There are changes with respect to the regular and preferred indictment provisions. However, if the member opposite would look at them more carefully, she would see that they do not lead to the conclusion she has drawn.