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QUESTION PERIOD — Public Safety

Criminal Records Reform

June 10, 2021


My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold, today the government introduced Bill C-31 regarding criminal records reform. Although 11 years after the Liberal commitment, it is a welcome step in the right direction. The government also announced its intention to hold consultations about automated record expiry. Public Safety Canada’s previous consultations on the criminal record system and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security have already studied this question and found it is a good idea with significant public support.

The question, then, is: If this is anything more than performative, with only a few days remaining before Parliament’s planned summer recess, what is the government’s timeline and plan for ensuring the measures in Bill C-31 are implemented?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

With all due respect, senator, the introduction of bills in this place or in the other place should not be belittled as performative. It is a measure of the government’s commitment to move this issue forward in the legislative process and the public policy process. In terms of how far this bill can get in the short time before the House rises, it is obvious that it has simply been introduced.

When the House finishes with its work and we receive the bill, assuming that it’s passed, I’m sure we’ll have occasion to debate the merits of it properly and fully as we do in this chamber.

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