We need to hear from members of the criminal bar on Bill C-75

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, my question is in relation to the kind of consultation that went into this bill. I have raised a number of concerns.

Primarily the concerns I have had in reading the bill myself have been echoed when I have looked at the commentary from members of the criminal bar, particularly the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, which said that the association was not consulted at all. In bringing forward fundamental reforms to the criminal justice system, I would have thought that the members of the practising bar would have been part of a consultation process.

I wonder if the hon. member can tell me what will be done in committee to ensure that, rather belatedly, we hear from people who are doing this work day to day.

Sean Casey – Member for Charlottetown

Madam Speaker, I personally had a hand in the consultations that led to this bill. The hon. member would know that before becoming Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, I was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice and personally attended round tables that included members of the criminal defence bar in multiple provinces and territories throughout the country. There has been extensive consultation. I was personally party to those extensive consultations. I am also, as a result of being in that role, acutely aware of the very thorough and comprehensive work that is routinely done by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in this place, and I have every confidence that no stone will be left unturned in the course of the committee review of this bill.