The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act belongs with banning witchcraft

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my friend that the bill is moving forward and removing things that are archaic.

I wonder why, though, we have not dealt with something called the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act from the last Parliament which made illegal things that are already illegal, like killing someone because they marry outside the family’s wishes, or forcing someone into an illegal marriage. All of these things were already illegal, and I believe that the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act belongs in the same category as banning witchcraft.

Alistair MacGregor – Member for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Mr. Speaker, my colleague’s question illustrates the comprehensive reform that is needed with respect to the Criminal Code, and I am in complete agreement with her. While I was not fortunate enough to sit in the previous Parliament, I did work for the great Jean Crowder. We were opposed to that motive of the government to lump in those kinds of crimes, and I think that is a section that absolutely needs to be looked at.

Again, I will have to go back to my comments on Bill C-39. We hope that with the government purporting to be serious about criminal justice reform, we get to see some movement on these important bills coming in the near future.