Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act (Bill C-15)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, in the interests of giving my hon. colleague for Scarborough—Guildwood as much time as possible, given his hard work on the committee, I would like to provide an opportunity for him to tell us more about the witnesses whose testimony he did not have sufficient time to further elaborate on or share with us the concerns of those who believe that the bill, as currently drafted, is taking us in the wrong direction.

John McKay: Mr. Speaker, the one area that struck me as quite compelling was the issue of summary trials, particularly Col. Drapeau, who stated, “[an] accused before a summary trial has no right to appeal either the verdict or the sentence”. Then he went on to talk about the limitations on transcripts, evidence and access to counsel, all of which could potentially result in either a Criminal Code conviction or detention. Access to counsel, transcripts, rules of evidence and a right to rebut, these are all things that we as civilians would rightly expect and all of those things are absent. That is an area where the government could have done better. However, in its reach for mediocrity, it achieved it.