Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST)

The committee met twice this week to resume three important studies.

On Tuesday, February 14th, the committee resumed its study of Bill C-26, The Citizen’s Arrest and Defenses of Property and Persons Act.  The committee heard from various witnesses, including Hamish Stewart, a Law Professor from the University of Toronto; Greg Preston of the Edmonton Police Service; and Alex Scholten of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association.

On Thursday, February 16th, the committee looked at NDP House Leader Joe Comartin’s Bill C-290, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), whose purpose is to remove the prohibition on single event sport betting in Canada. Mr. Comartin and Bill Rutsey of the Gaming Association of Canada spoke to the bill, arguing that it would  legalize and regulate illicit activity that is already generating revenue of 10 billion and upwards and in so doing fight organized crime by taking away the money incentive from criminals. After hearing Rutsey’s testimony, the committee proceeded with clause-by-clause study of the bill and reported it to the House for reprinting with one amendment by Robert Goguen, CPC: This act comes into force on a day to be fixed by the Governor (General) in Council.

The second part of the meeting was devoted to the committee’s study on organized crime. The committee heard witness testimony from Michel Aubin, Chief Superintendant, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada; and Erin Slinn, Chief Superintendant, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.