Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Document Sample
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Powered By Docstoc
					      4th Session, 37th Parliament



          OFFICIAL REPORT OF


      DEBATES OF THE
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
             (HANSARD)




        Wednesday, October 29, 2003
             Afternoon Sitting
          Volume 17, Number 12




THE HONOURABLE CLAUDE RICHMOND, SPEAKER



               ISSN 0709-1281
                                                                PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
                                                                 (Entered Confederation July 20, 1871)

                                                                          LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR
                                                                          Honourable Iona Campagnolo

                                                                        4TH SESSION, 37TH PARLIAMENT

                                                         SPEAKER OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
                                                               Honourable Claude Richmond

                                                                                EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Premier and President of the Executive Council..........................................................................................................Hon. Gordon Campbell
Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations................................................................................................... Hon. Greg Halsey-Brandt
Deputy Premier and Minister of Education .........................................................................................................................Hon. Christy Clark
Minister of Advanced Education ............................................................................................................................................Hon. Shirley Bond
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries..................................................................................................................Hon. John van Dongen
Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations.................................................................................. Hon. Geoff Plant
Minister of Children and Family Development ..................................................................................................................Hon. Gordon Hogg
Minister of State for Early Childhood Development...............................................................................................................Hon. Linda Reid
Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services........................................................................................... Hon. George Abbott
Minister of State for Community Charter.......................................................................................................................... Hon. Ted Nebbeling
Minister of State for Women's Equality ............................................................................................................................. Hon. Lynn Stephens
Minister of Competition, Science and Enterprise ..................................................................................................................Hon. Rick Thorpe
Minister of State for Deregulation ......................................................................................................................................... Hon. Kevin Falcon
Minister of Energy and Mines.......................................................................................................................................... Hon. Richard Neufeld
Minister of Finance ................................................................................................................................................................... Hon. Gary Collins
Minister of Forests .............................................................................................................................................................. Hon. Michael de Jong
Minister of Health Planning ................................................................................................................................................ Hon. Sindi Hawkins
Minister of Health Services.................................................................................................................................................... Hon. Colin Hansen
Minister of State for Mental Health ...............................................................................................................................Hon. Gulzar S. Cheema
Minister of State for Intermediate, Long Term and Home Care ............................................................................. Hon. Katherine Whittred
Minister of Human Resources................................................................................................................................................Hon. Murray Coell
Minister of Management Services.........................................................................................................................................Hon. Sandy Santori
Minister of Provincial Revenue.................................................................................................................................................Hon. Bill Barisoff
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General ..................................................................................................................Hon. Rich Coleman
Minister of Skills Development and Labour...................................................................................................................Hon. Graham P. Bruce
Minister of Sustainable Resource Management ...................................................................................................................... Hon. Stan Hagen
Minister of Transportation......................................................................................................................................................... Hon. Judith Reid
Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection.........................................................................................................................Hon. Joyce Murray


                                                                             LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
Deputy Speaker............................................................................................................................................................................... John Weisbeck
Leader of the Opposition ..................................................................................................................................................................Joy MacPhail
Deputy Chair, Committee of the Whole ......................................................................................................................................... Harold Long
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly ....................................................................................................................................... E. George MacMinn
Clerk Assistant ................................................................................................................................................................................... Robert Vaive
Clerk Assistant and Law Clerk .......................................................................................................................................................... Ian D. Izard
Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Committees....................................................................................................................................Craig H. James
Clerk Assistant/Committee Clerk ............................................................................................................................................ Kate Ryan-Lloyd
Sergeant-at-Arms ........................................................................................................................................................................A.A. Humphreys
Director, Hansard Services ............................................................................................................................................. Anthony Dambrauskas
Legislative Librarian....................................................................................................................................................................... Joan A. Barton
Legislative Comptroller .........................................................................................................................................................................Peter Bray


               Published by British Columbia Hansard Services, and printed under the authority of the Speaker by the
               Queen's Printer, Victoria. Rates: single issue, $2.85; per calendar year, mailed daily, $298. GST extra. Agent:
               Crown Publications Inc., 521 Fort St., Victoria, B.C. V8W 1E7. Telephone: (250) 386-4636. Fax: 386-0221.

                                                                                       www.leg.bc.ca
        Hansard Services publishes transcripts both in print and on the Internet. Chamber debates are broadcast on television and webcast on the Internet.
                    ALPHABETICAL LIST OF MEMBERS                                                                                  LIST OF MEMBERS BY RIDING
Abbott, Hon. George (L) ....................................................................... Shuswap          Abbotsford-Clayburn....................................................... Hon. John van Dongen
Anderson, Val J. (L) ............................................................. Vancouver-Langara             Abbotsford–Mount Lehman ..............................................Hon. Michael de Jong
Barisoff, Hon. Bill (L) ............................................. Penticton–Okanagan Valley                  Alberni-Qualicum.......................................................................Gillian Trumper
Bell, Pat (L).........................................................................Prince George North        Bulkley Valley–Stikine ..............................................................Dennis MacKay
Belsey, Bill (L)................................................................................. North Coast    Burnaby North..............................................................................Richard T. Lee
Bennett, Bill (L) ........................................................................... East Kootenay      Burnaby-Edmonds............................................................................Patty Sahota
Bhullar, Tony (Ind. L) ................................................................. Surrey-Newton           Burnaby-Willingdon...................................................................... John Nuraney
Bloy, Harry (L).................................................................................. Burquitlam     Burquitlam ........................................................................................ Harry Bloy
Bond, Hon. Shirley (L).........................................Prince George–Mount Robson                        Cariboo North ..................................................................................John Wilson
Bray, Jeff (L)......................................................................Victoria–Beacon Hill         Cariboo South .................................................................................... Walt Cobb
Brenzinger, Elayne (L) ............................................................... Surrey-Whalley            Chilliwack-Kent ............................................................................. Barry Penner
Brice, Susan (L) ............................................................................Saanich South       Chilliwack-Sumas ................................................................................. John Les
Bruce, Hon. Graham P. (L)................................................ Cowichan-Ladysmith                     Columbia River–Revelstoke ....................................................Wendy McMahon
Campbell, Hon. Gordon (L)............................................. Vancouver–Point Grey                      Comox Valley .......................................................................... Hon. Stan Hagen
Cheema, Hon. Gulzar S. (L) .......................................... Surrey–Panorama Ridge                      Coquitlam-Maillardville ............................................................. Richard Stewart
Chong, Ida (L)................................................................ Oak Bay–Gordon Head               Cowichan-Ladysmith .......................................................Hon. Graham P. Bruce
Christensen, Tom (L) ............................................................. Okanagan-Vernon               Delta North.......................................................................................... Reni Masi
Chutter, Dave (L) ........................................................................... Yale-Lillooet      Delta South................................................................................ Valerie Roddick
Clark, Hon. Christy (L) ..................................................Port Moody–Westwood                    East Kootenay .................................................................................. Bill Bennett
Cobb, Walt (L) ............................................................................. Cariboo South       Esquimalt-Metchosin...................................................................Arnie Hamilton
Coell, Hon. Murray (L) ........................................ Saanich North and the Islands                    Fort Langley–Aldergrove ..................................................... Hon. Rich Coleman
Coleman, Hon. Rich (L) .............................................. Fort Langley–Aldergrove                    Kamloops ....................................................................... Hon. Claude Richmond
Collins, Hon. Gary (L).........................................................Vancouver-Fairview                Kamloops–North Thompson ........................................................Kevin Krueger
de Jong, Hon. Michael (L)....................................... Abbotsford–Mount Lehman                         Kelowna–Lake Country............................................................... John Weisbeck
Falcon, Hon. Kevin (L) .......................................................... Surrey-Cloverdale              Kelowna-Mission ................................................................ Hon. Sindi Hawkins
Hagen, Hon. Stan (L) ................................................................... Comox Valley            Langley ............................................................................... Hon. Lynn Stephens
Halsey-Brandt, Hon. Greg (L) ..................................................Richmond Centre                   Malahat–Juan de Fuca .....................................................................Brian J. Kerr
Hamilton, Arnie (L)............................................................Esquimalt-Metchosin               Maple Ridge–Mission ................................................................... Randy Hawes
Hansen, Hon. Colin (L) .....................................................Vancouver-Quilchena                  Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows .............................................................Ken Stewart
Harris, Roger (L) ......................................................................................Skeena   Nanaimo.......................................................................................... Mike Hunter
Hawes, Randy (L) ............................................................ Maple Ridge–Mission                Nanaimo-Parksville ...................................................................Hon. Judith Reid
Hawkins, Hon. Sindi (L).......................................................... Kelowna-Mission                Nelson-Creston.......................................................................Blair F. Suffredine
Hayer, Dave S. (L) ................................................................... Surrey-Tynehead           New Westminster .................................................................. Hon. Joyce Murray
Hogg, Hon. Gordon (L) ........................................................ Surrey–White Rock                 North Coast ........................................................................................Bill Belsey
Hunter, Mike (L) ...................................................................................Nanaimo      North Island........................................................................................Rod Visser
Jarvis, Daniel (L)...................................................... North Vancouver–Seymour                 North Vancouver–Lonsdale.......................................... Hon. Katherine Whittred
Johnston, Ken (L)............................................................ Vancouver-Fraserview               North Vancouver–Seymour .............................................................Daniel Jarvis
Kerr, Brian J. (L) .............................................................. Malahat–Juan de Fuca           Oak Bay–Gordon Head .......................................................................Ida Chong
Krueger, Kevin (L) ................................................. Kamloops–North Thompson                     Okanagan-Vernon .................................................................... Tom Christensen
Kwan, Jenny Wai Ching (NDP) ...............................Vancouver–Mount Pleasant                              Okanagan-Westside.................................................................Hon. Rick Thorpe
Lee, Richard T. (L).......................................................................Burnaby North          Peace River North .............................................................Hon. Richard Neufeld
Lekstrom, Blair (L)................................................................. Peace River South           Peace River South ....................................................................... Blair Lekstrom
Les, John (L) .......................................................................... Chilliwack-Sumas        Penticton–Okanagan Valley ....................................................Hon. Bill Barisoff
Locke, Brenda (L) ........................................................... Surrey–Green Timbers               Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain.................................................... Karn Manhas
Long, Harold (L) ...................................................Powell River–Sunshine Coast                  Port Moody–Westwood......................................................... Hon. Christy Clark
MacKay, Dennis (L)....................................................... Bulkley Valley–Stikine                 Powell River–Sunshine Coast.......................................................... Harold Long
McMahon, Wendy (L).............................................Columbia River–Revelstoke                         Prince George North................................................................................Pat Bell
MacPhail, Joy (NDP) .......................................................... Vancouver-Hastings                Prince George–Mount Robson................................................Hon. Shirley Bond
Manhas, Karn (L) .............................................Port Coquitlam–Burke Mountain                      Prince George–Omineca................................................................Paul Nettleton
Masi, Reni (L) ...................................................................................Delta North    Richmond Centre......................................................... Hon. Greg Halsey-Brandt
Mayencourt, Lorne (L) ..........................................................Vancouver-Burrard                Richmond East .......................................................................... Hon. Linda Reid
Murray, Hon. Joyce (L) ........................................................... New Westminster               Richmond-Steveston ................................................................ Hon. Geoff Plant
Nebbeling, Hon. Ted (L) .......................................... West Vancouver–Garibaldi                      Saanich North and the Islands ............................................... Hon. Murray Coell
Nettleton, Paul (Ind. L)..................................................Prince George–Omineca                  Saanich South................................................................................... Susan Brice
Neufeld, Hon. Richard (L)...................................................... Peace River North                Shuswap .............................................................................. Hon. George Abbott
Nijjar, Rob (L)................................................................... Vancouver-Kingsway            Skeena.............................................................................................Roger Harris
Nuraney, John (L) ...............................................................Burnaby-Willingdon              Surrey-Cloverdale ................................................................. Hon. Kevin Falcon
Orr, Sheila (L) ...........................................................................Victoria-Hillside     Surrey–Green Timbers .................................................................. Brenda Locke
Penner, Barry (L)....................................................................... Chilliwack-Kent         Surrey-Newton ............................................................................... Tony Bhullar
Plant, Hon. Geoff (L) ......................................................... Richmond-Steveston               Surrey–Panorama Ridge ................................................. Hon. Gulzar S. Cheema
Reid, Hon. Judith (L)............................................................ Nanaimo-Parksville             Surrey-Tynehead .......................................................................... Dave S. Hayer
Reid, Hon. Linda (L) ................................................................... Richmond East           Surrey-Whalley ...................................................................... Elayne Brenzinger
Richmond, Hon. Claude (L) ................................................................ Kamloops              Surrey–White Rock ............................................................... Hon. Gordon Hogg
Roddick, Valerie (L)..........................................................................Delta South        Vancouver-Burrard................................................................. Lorne Mayencourt
Sahota, Patty (L).....................................................................Burnaby-Edmonds            Vancouver-Fairview ............................................................... Hon. Gary Collins
Santori, Hon. Sandy (L)..............................................West Kootenay–Boundary                      Vancouver-Fraserview ...................................................................Ken Johnston
Stephens, Hon. Lynn (L) ........................................................................ Langley         Vancouver-Hastings .......................................................................Joy MacPhail
Stewart, Ken (L)...................................................... Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows                  Vancouver-Kensington...................................................................Patrick Wong
Stewart, Richard (L) ...................................................... Coquitlam-Maillardville              Vancouver-Kingsway ..........................................................................Rob Nijjar
Suffredine, Blair F. (L)................................................................Nelson-Creston           Vancouver-Langara ....................................................................Val J. Anderson
Sultan, Ralph (L) ....................................................... West Vancouver–Capilano                Vancouver–Mount Pleasant............................................Jenny Wai Ching Kwan
Thorpe, Hon. Rick (L) ..........................................................Okanagan-Westside                Vancouver–Point Grey ................................................... Hon. Gordon Campbell
Trumper, Gillian (L)................................................................Alberni-Qualicum             Vancouver-Quilchena............................................................ Hon. Colin Hansen
van Dongen, Hon. John (L) ................................................Abbotsford-Clayburn                    Victoria–Beacon Hill.............................................................................Jeff Bray
Visser, Rod (L).................................................................................North Island     Victoria-Hillside.................................................................................. Sheila Orr
Weisbeck, John (L).........................................................Kelowna–Lake Country                  West Kootenay–Boundary.................................................... Hon. Sandy Santori
Whittred, Hon. Katherine (L) ...................................North Vancouver–Lonsdale                         West Vancouver–Capilano ..............................................................Ralph Sultan
Wilson, John (L)........................................................................... Cariboo North        West Vancouver–Garibaldi ................................................. Hon. Ted Nebbeling
Wong, Patrick (L)............................................................Vancouver-Kensington                Yale-Lillooet .................................................................................. Dave Chutter




                                                          Party Standings: Liberal 75; New Democratic 2; Independent Liberal 2.
                                                                                    CONTENTS

                                                                       Wednesday, October 29, 2003
                                                                           Afternoon Sitting

                                                                             Routine Proceedings

                                                                                                                                                                                      Page

Introductions by Members...................................................................................................................................................... 7621

Introduction and First Reading of Bills ................................................................................................................................. 7621
       Private Managed Forest Land Act (Bill 88)
          Hon. S. Hagen

Statements (Standing Order 25B)............................................................................................................................................ 7622
       B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre
          D. Hayer
       Minerva Foundation leadership program
          P. Sahota
       Opening of financial services call centre in Surrey
          B. Locke

Oral Questions .......................................................................................................................................................................... 7623
       Traffic fine revenue and funding of municipal police forces
          J. MacPhail
          Hon. G. Campbell
       Flooding in northwestern B.C.
          B. Belsey
          Hon. R. Coleman
       Impact of unemployment rate increase on number of income assistance recipients
          J. Kwan
          Hon. M. Coell
       Maintenance of highway medians
          S. Brice
          Hon. J. Reid
       Comments by Agriculture minister to cattle rancher
          P. Nettleton
          Hon. J. van Dongen

Point of Order (Speaker's Ruling) .......................................................................................................................................... 7625

Second Reading of Bills ........................................................................................................................................................... 7626
       Ver-Tel Communications Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr406)
         T. Christensen

Committee of the Whole House ............................................................................................................................................. 7626
       Ver-Tel Communications Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr406)

Report and Third Reading of Bills ......................................................................................................................................... 7626
       Ver-Tel Communications Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr406)

Second Reading of Bills ........................................................................................................................................................... 7626
       Buron Construction Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr407)
         V. Anderson

Committee of the Whole House ............................................................................................................................................. 7626
       Buron Construction Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr407)

Report and Third Reading of Bills ......................................................................................................................................... 7627
       Buron Construction Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr407)
Second Reading of Bills ........................................................................................................................................................... 7627
       Buron Construction (1986) Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr408)
         V. Anderson

Committee of the Whole House ............................................................................................................................................. 7627
       Buron Construction (1986) Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr408)

Report and Third Reading of Bills ......................................................................................................................................... 7627
       Buron Construction (1986) Ltd. (Corporate Restoration) Act, 2003 (Bill Pr408)

Committee of the Whole House ............................................................................................................................................. 7627
       Manufactured Home Act (Bill 72)
         Hon. G. Collins

Reporting of Bills...................................................................................................................................................................... 7628
       Manufactured Home Act (Bill 72)

Third Reading of Bills .............................................................................................................................................................. 7628
       Manufactured Home Act (Bill 72)

Second Reading of Bills ........................................................................................................................................................... 7628
       Business Corporations Amendment Act (No. 2), 2003 (Bill 86)
         Hon. G. Collins
         B. Locke
       Unclaimed Property Amendment act (No. 2), 2003 (Bill 87)
         Hon. G. Collins
       Youth Justice Act (Bill 63)
         Hon. G. Plant
         J. Kwan
         Hon. G. Hogg
         E. Brenzinger
         D. Hayer
         L. Mayencourt
         D. MacKay
         K. Stewart
         S. Orr
         J. Nuraney
         I. Chong
         R. Hawes
         K. Manhas
         J. Bray
         P. Bell
         B. Lekstrom
         K. Johnston
         V. Anderson
         B. Bennett
                                                                                                                 7621

                     WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                 W. Cobb: It's my pleasure today to introduce a
                                                             friend and, actually, neighbour. She lives in my com-
   The House met at 2:03 p.m.                                plex in Williams Lake — retired teacher, Avis Delaney.
                                                             Would the House please help me make her welcome.
   Prayers.
                                                                 Hon. S. Hawkins: I want to introduce two very
              Introductions by Members                       important people to the Legislature today. They are
                                                             two registered nurses from HealthServ Professionals
    Hon. G. Halsey-Brandt: Today in the members'             B.C., Dianne Casper and Katherine Byam. They're here
gallery I would like to acknowledge special visitors         today to give members and staff their flu shots. They're
from Holland. Please join me in welcoming His Excel-         in room 145. I know that many members have taken
lency Como van Hellenberg Hubar, the Ambassador of           advantage of this already, and I would encourage oth-
the Netherlands to Canada, and his wife Liliane van          ers to do so. Please make them welcome.
Hellenberg Hubar-Schilling. This is the ambassador's
first official visit to British Columbia, and I'm pleased        L. Mayencourt: It's a pleasure to introduce Ellen
he has travelled here to discover the many opportuni-        Sculley to the House. Ellen is visiting here from Van-
ties our beautiful province presents. He is accompanied      couver with Tanis Woode and Avis Delaney, and
by Joop Corijn, consul general of the Netherlands at         they're looking forward to a boisterous question pe-
Vancouver. Would the House please make them feel             riod. Would the House please make them welcome.
welcome.
                                                   [1405]                       Introduction and
                                                                              First Reading of Bills
    K. Stewart: It is my honour to introduce today a
guest from my riding. Dr. Frank Ervin is here today.              PRIVATE MANAGED FOREST LAND ACT
He talked to caucus about the dangers of smoking. If
anyone here needs any encouragement to quit smok-               Hon. S. Hagen presented a message from Her Hon-
ing, I suggest they talk to him. He's a specialist in in-    our the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Private
ternal and respiratory medicine, and I wish the House        Managed Forest Land Act.
would make him welcome today.
                                                                Hon. S. Hagen: I move the bill be introduced and
    P. Sahota: It gives me great pleasure to introduce to    read a first time now.
the House an amazing young lady who is here in the
Legislature today, spending the day with me. She's a            Motion approved.
dedicated, intelligent and hard-working young lady,
who was chosen to participate in the Follow a Leader             Hon. S. Hagen: I'm pleased to introduce this bill
program sponsored by the Minerva Foundation.                 today. The Ministry of Sustainable Resource Man-
Would the House please make Sepideh Alavi welcome.           agement proposes to create the Private Managed For-
                                                             est Land Act. This bill is consistent with the govern-
    R. Visser: In the gallery today is one of the hardest-   ment's new-era commitment and deregulation initia-
working public servants this province has. She's led a       tive. The bill underscores government's goals of oper-
community through a very trying time over the last           ating more efficiently. It also demonstrates this gov-
couple of years. She and her council have built a vision     ernment's ability to responsibly manage the prov-
for their community, have renamed their highway the          ince's natural resources in partnership with those be-
"tree to sea" highway, and have provided leadership in       ing regulated, while decreasing administrative costs
that community that has gone above and beyond the            and complexity.
call. Would the House please make welcome Sylvia                                                                [1410]
McNeil, the mayor of Tahsis.                                     In 2001 the core services review of the forest land
                                                             reserve concluded that the reserve's land use controls
     S. Orr: It's my pleasure today to introduce a gen-      did not serve a compelling public interest. The public,
tleman from my riding called Bob Sorsier. Bob was a          however, retains an interest in encouraging landown-
very hard worker in my 2001 campaign, and then he            ers to manage their land in a way that protects public
left town. I hope that isn't what drove him out of town.     environmental values and promotes reforestation. This
Anyway, he's now back, and we're very pleased he's           bill follows through on the government's commitment
living back in Victoria. Would the House please make         to create a mechanism for the continued regulation of
him welcome.                                                 forest practices on private land assessed as managed
                                                             forest, while eliminating the forest land reserve.
    B. Belsey: I have the pleasure today to introduce            The legislation will create a new governing council
to the House a visitor from the Queen Charlotte Is-          representing an innovative partnership of members
lands, Haida Gwaii. Tanis Woode is here today.               appointed by government and by private forest land
Would everybody in the House please join me in               owners. The governing council will establish and en-
making her feel welcome.                                     force environmentally sustainable forest practices on
7622                                           BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES               WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

private managed forest land in accordance with objec-        pendent, non-profit society governed by a volunteer
tives set by the government in the act.                      board representing the cultural and geographic diver-
    I'm pleased to present this bill in the House today. I   sity of British Columbia. The foundation's mission is to
move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for    create opportunities for women throughout British
second reading at the next sitting of the House after        Columbia and help them realize their economic and
today.                                                       leadership potential. They want to open doors for
                                                             women so other women can pass through them.
    Bill 88, Private Managed Forest Land Act, intro-             The foundation focuses on four priority areas:
duced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on         economic security, safety, education and leadership
orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting     development for girls and women. It is the leadership
of the House after today.                                    development aspect that I've had the opportunity to
                                                             be involved in, particularly the Follow a Leader pro-
                      Statements                             gram. This program is coordinated by the Minerva
                 (Standing Order 25B)                        Foundation and sponsored generously by KPMG and
                                                             the Vancouver Sun. This initiative provides a forum
               B.C. FAMILY HEARING                           for young women from grade 12 to graduate students
                RESOURCE CENTRE                              and introduces them to potential career paths. It pro-
                                                             vides training for both leaders and the young women
    D. Hayer: I rise today to recognize the excellent        in establishing mentoring relationships. As well, it's a
work being done by an agency in Surrey-Tynehead.             vehicle for good corporate citizens to support leader-
The B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre, which helps         ship development and advance opportunities for
educate children who are deaf or hard of hearing,            women in B.C. to assume leadership roles in all facets
opened their new building October 30 on 92nd Avenue          of society.
and 152nd Street in my Surrey-Tynehead constituency.             Last week I had the chance to meet not only Se-
The opening is possible because of generous support          pideh, the young lady who's shadowing me as part of
from the Ministry of Children and Family Develop-            the program, but the other young ladies and leaders
ment, through government funding and other dona-             who are mentoring. It has been an honour for me in
tions. A preschool is moving into this new building,         having this opportunity to be around some of our fu-
and our government also helped the preschool replace         ture female leaders. All the young women in the pro-
its old communication equipment for children who             gram are intelligent, articulate, dynamic, inspiring and
have difficulty hearing. On top of that, the centre also     caring. I know that for the Minerva Foundation and all
receives annual operational funding from the ministry.       the women leaders who are mentoring, they are truly
    The B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre helps            proud of these young ladies. I want to congratulate all
more than 325 children and their families from all           the women on their leadership and for being part of
across B.C. who struggle with issues surrounding             this very important process and program.
deafness and hearing difficulties. I know from personal                                                         [1415]
experience how hard this can be on a family. My own
nephew suffers from a severe hearing disability.                         OPENING OF FINANCIAL
    This preschool helps young children, through family-             SERVICES CALL CENTRE IN SURREY
centred programs, to prepare for school years. The re-
medial training and support the children and family              B. Locke: I rise in the House today to express my
receive at this centre is outstanding. The school's dedi-    constituency's elation with the news that J.P. Morgan
cated staff members should be commended for all they         Chase will open a call centre in the riding of Surrey–
do to help the children communicate and become pro-          Green Timbers. [Applause.] Yes, more good news.
ductive members of our community.                                As you all know, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. is a
    Other contributors, businesses, foundations, service     leading global financial services firm with assets of
clubs and individual donors also deserve recognition.        over $793 billion, and it operates in more than 50 coun-
There are also many others who help, including those         tries. This company — which is a leader in financial
who volunteer their time. I want to say thank you and        transaction processing, investment management, pri-
recognize the ongoing support that the Ministry of           vate banking and private equity investment for con-
Children and Family Development offers these young           sumers and businesses — announced Monday its in-
children. It makes life more exciting and the future         tention to open a 150,000-square-foot call centre in Sur-
brighter for these children and their families.              rey's Central City building that will eventually employ
                                                             more than a thousand people.
              MINERVA FOUNDATION                                 J.P. Morgan Chase is headquartered in New York
              LEADERSHIP PROGRAM                             and serves more than 30 million consumers nation-
                                                             wide, including many of the world's most prominent
   P. Sahota: Earlier I rose to introduce Sepideh Alavi,     corporate, institutional and government clients, so I'm
who has chosen to take part in the Follow a Leader           sure the company does not make its decisions lightly.
program by the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women.            In announcing the deal, J.P. Morgan Chase officials
Founded in 1999, the Minerva Foundation is an inde-          credited the area's deep, diverse and educated labour
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                   BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                           7623

pool as contributing to its decision to locate operations      Mr. Speaker: Leader of the Opposition has a sup-
in B.C. and specifically in Surrey.                         plementary question.
    Hiring for the new centre is expected to begin this
spring. The government of British Columbia has                 J. MacPhail: Isn't it interesting that this new-era
worked hard, putting time and energy into attracting        promise may be completed in May of 2005?
this business to our region. Thank you to the Premier
and the Minister of Competition, Science and Enter-             An Hon. Member: I heard "will."
prise. Clearly, the company's announcement can be
held as a classic example of how this government's               J. MacPhail: Oh, may. Believe you me, may.
policy, its directions with the economy and the favour-          We know the promise that, provincewide, about
able investment climate are attracting international        $10 million of traffic fine revenue is now sent to mu-
business and investment to British Columbia.                nicipalities by this government. If this government had
    This announcement by J.P. Morgan Chase is good          actually fulfilled its promise, there would be an addi-
news for the province, this country and especially the      tional $65 million that could go to putting more cops
people of Surrey–Green Timbers. I would like to take        on the street and perhaps reverse the trend under this
this opportunity to congratulate the Premier and the        government toward more crime.
B.C. government on bringing this success story to B.C.                                                          [1420]
and my hometown.                                                 The Premier might think it's appropriate to break
                                                            this promise so he can help his struggling Finance min-
                    Oral Questions                          ister to balance the budget, but most of the people I talk
                                                            to on the street think the Minister of Finance's political
        TRAFFIC FINE REVENUE AND                            career comes second to the safety of their streets. When
    FUNDING OF MUNICIPAL POLICE FORCES                      is the Premier going to give the municipalities the addi-
                                                            tional $65 million in funding, as he promised them, to
    J. MacPhail: Yesterday we learned that crime is on      help fight crime? And if he's going to make them wait
the increase in British Columbia, reversing a down-         until May of 2005, why? Why is it this promise he de-
ward trend under the former government. The board           cided to break?
of trade has released its own study that calls….
                                                                Hon. G. Campbell: As the member opposite
   Interjections.                                           knows, this government laid out a comprehensive plat-
                                                            form before the voters in 2001. We intend to carry that
   Mr. Speaker: Order, please.                              platform out. We undertook, unlike the previous gov-
                                                            ernment, to provide 75 percent of all traffic fines to the
   J. MacPhail: The board of trade….                        local communities to help meet their policing needs.
                                                            That commitment will be met — will be met. It will be
   Interjections.                                           met prior to May 17, 2005. There are two budgets prior
                                                            to May 17, 2005, and the member opposite can know
   Mr. Speaker: Order, please.                              this: that commitment will be met.

    J. MacPhail: The board of trade has released its            Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition has a
own study that calls for an infusion of dollars on polic-   further supplementary.
ing. When he was asked about the report in the House,
the Solicitor General blustered and attacked the mes-           J. MacPhail: Here's the New Era document, the bi-
senger.                                                     ble of the Liberals: return 75 percent of all traffic fine
    The government takes in approximately $100 mil-         revenue to municipalities to improve community polic-
lion per year from traffic fines. This same government      ing and crime prevention. Interesting….
campaigned on a promise to send 75 percent of traffic
fine revenue to municipalities to fight crime.                  Interjections.
    To the Premier. He campaigned on a new-era
promise to transfer 75 percent of traffic fine revenue to      J. MacPhail: Very interesting that they cheer an
municipal policing. When is he going to do it?              unfulfilled promise.
                                                               Under this government….
    Hon. G. Campbell: That will be completed prior to
May 17, 2005, as we committed to the people of British          Interjections.
Columbia and as we have committed to local govern-
ment for the last two and a half years.                         Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let us hear the ques-
    I think it's important to note that as we work with     tion.
local governments, we're working to provide inte-
grated policing, to provide comprehensive services              J. MacPhail: Under this government, crime is on
throughout the province. That's why we're creating          the rise, homelessness is on the rise, unemployment is
safer, more secure communities for everyone to live in.     on the rise, and the number of people about to be
7624                                           BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

kicked off income assistance grows daily. The only               We treated this the same as any other disaster.
thing on the way down is this government's credibility.      Emergency social services were on the ground imme-
They managed to give a tax cut of $2 billion, which has      diately. We activated our PREOC centre, which is our
failed miserably, on day one in office. On this one,         emergency response centre in the area. I have person-
people who want safe streets have to wait until May of       ally spoken to the director up there who's in charge of
2005.                                                        operating it on the ground, as have my staff. We have
     The government treats the New Era document as its       sent sandbags. We have sent generators. We are now
bible, a religious text. When will the Premier order his     preparing to airlift in food, which was happening to-
failing Minister of Finance to keep the faith with the       day. The bridge that's out is at the same level of prior-
province to give the municipalities $65 million more to      ity as the one south of Pemberton, and Highways are
fight crime? When are they going to stop just faking it      working on that immediately.
with bills that mean nothing?
                                                                        IMPACT OF UNEMPLOYMENT
    Hon. G. Campbell: I am the first to admit that it                  RATE INCREASE ON NUMBER OF
has taken us more than two and a half years to undo all               INCOME ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS
the damage the member opposite created. For years,
municipalities have asked provincial governments to              J. Kwan: Today Statistics Canada reported that for
provide them with support. We all know that the peak         the seventh consecutive month, the number of British
of property crime in British Columbia was under the          Columbians receiving employment insurance benefits
previous government — in 1996, 86.7 offences per             has increased — the worst record in Canada. That
thousand. We know that it has been going down for            shouldn't be a surprise, because unemployment is at a
the last number of years. We know that municipalities        ten-year high and B.C.'s economy is dead last in Can-
asked for almost ten years for support from her pro-         ada. Given these dismal numbers, can the Minister of
vincial government in the past, and they turned a deaf       Human Resources tell us how many people he expects
ear.                                                         to be added to the welfare rolls when employment in-
    This government has not done that. This govern-          surance benefits run out? No spin, no rhetoric — just
ment has committed. We have committed to local               the answer.
communities. We have a Solicitor General who is work-
ing with local communities. We are providing for inte-           Hon. M. Coell: I know where 1,500 jobs are going to
grative police services that meet the needs of local         be. They're going to be in Surrey in a couple of months.
communities. The member opposite should know this:               I think one of the things the opposition continually
unlike her government, we are committed and we will          fails to realize is that times are changing in British Co-
deliver 75 percent of all traffic fines to local communi-    lumbia. The Olympics are coming. We've got a conven-
ties for policing and for crime prevention programs, so      tion centre being built. We've got transportation plans
their communities will be even safer.                        throughout this province. There are jobs. I think yes-
                                                    [1425]   terday I mentioned that in the Vancouver Sun a report
                                                             said close to a million new jobs over the next 15 years.
                                                                 Maybe, just maybe, the opposition doesn't want to
   Interjections.
                                                             see British Columbians succeed, but British Columbi-
                                                             ans are succeeding. This government is helping British
   Mr. Speaker: Order, please.                               Columbia businesses to create jobs, and those jobs are
                                                             going to give families decent incomes — far be it from
        FLOODING IN NORTHWESTERN B.C.                        when they were in government.

    B. Belsey: My question is to the Minister of Public         Mr. Speaker: The member for Vancouver–Mount
Safety and Solicitor General. As we attempt to recover       Pleasant has a supplementary question.
from the recent floods in the southwest of our prov-
ince, there's another flooding that occurred in the              J. Kwan: Well, the facts don't lie, and Statistics
northwest. Heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest have         Canada has put out the information. British Columbi-
caused the Kalum and Nass rivers to flood their banks,       ans know the truth. They know that unemployment is
leaving many residents of outlying communities with-         through the roof, they know that the economy is dead
out road access and power, and some even homeless.           last, and they know that this minister has an obligation
Can the minister tell the House what actions are being       to answer basic questions.
taken for these flood victims throughout the Pacific             B.C. is second only to Ontario in the year-over-year
Northwest?                                                   increase in the number of people on unemployment in-
                                                             surance. Surely, the minister is aware that with more
    Hon. R. Coleman: First of all, I appreciate the          people unemployed — 200,000, more than ever in its
member and the other members from up in that area            history — and with more British Columbians collecting
who have been in contact with me and the emergency           unemployment insurance, he's got a big problem coming.
response centre that's set up in Terrace with regard to          He won't tell us how many people he's going to
this particular disaster.                                    kick off income assistance come next April. Can he tell
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                  BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                           7625

us how many people he expects to add to the rolls as       phoned Ms. Robertson, whereupon she asked him
the economic situation becomes more desperate for          why, for example, the government had no problem
thousands of British Columbians?                           guaranteeing millions in funding to rebuild trestle
                                                           bridges destroyed by fire but refused guarantees for
    Hon. M. Coell: For the first time in the history of    the ranchers devastated by mad cow.
British Columbia, there are two million people working         The minister's further comment to her was that he
in this province. Mr. Speaker, 100,000 jobs have been      wished Sheila Copps had kept her mouth shut and
created in this economy since this government was          hadn't said that. Mr. Premier, do you know anything
elected.                                                   about this situation, and can you explain the Sheila
                                                           Copps comment?
   Interjections.
                                                               Hon. J. van Dongen: I was not aware of someone
   Mr. Speaker: Order, please.                             coming to the Legislature. We have a policy that we
                                                           have established with our staff that every call, every
     Hon. M. Coell: My ministry actually has tens of       letter, receives an immediate phone call. We try and
thousands of job opportunities for income assistance       assist individual producers with their applications.
clients, and 20,000-plus people have been placed in job        There are a number of programs available both for
placement and training programs by this government. I      2002 and for 2003. As I said yesterday, we'll be an-
think the opposition, once again, fails to realize that    nouncing a program shortly on cull cows. We have run
British Columbians want to succeed, the economy is         a series of workshops and regional meetings for pro-
moving, people are coming back to this province who        ducers. I believe there's a good range of programs and
left this province when the NDP was government, and        assistance available to producers, and we will continue
people are starting to succeed in this province for the    to help them in any way that we can.
first time in a decade.
                                                               [End of question period.]
   Interjections.
                                                                                 Point of Order
   Mr. Speaker: Order, please.                                                 (Speaker's Ruling)
                                                 [1430]
                                                               Mr. Speaker: During the afternoon sitting on Mon-
     MAINTENANCE OF HIGHWAY MEDIANS                        day, the Leader of the Opposition rose on a point of
                                                           order relating to a ministerial statement made by the
    S. Brice: My question is for the Minister of Trans-    Government House Leader on Thursday, October 23,
portation. Over the summer a number of my constitu-        immediately following question period. Essentially, the
ents approached me concerning the reduction of mow-        member's objection was that she had not received an
ing on the medians on the highway. The minister at         advance copy of the ministerial statement and was
that time indicated there would be a review. Can the       therefore not in a position to make a timely and appro-
Minister of Transportation please tell me what the na-     priate response.
ture and outcome of that review is?                            The Government House Leader, in his response to the
                                                           point of order, stated that while governments try to pro-
    Hon. J. Reid: I did meet with many municipalities,     vide advance notice of ministerial statements to the Chair
quite a few at UBCM in the fall, and they did talk about   and the opposition, such advance notice is not always
the pride of their communities, the pride in their com-    possible and that, in any event, there's no statutory or
munities. We have worked with them on this issue and       other obligation imposing this practice. The Government
have decided that we would have a limited mowing           House Leader further stated that the information pro-
program. We will work community by community to            vided to the House was, in fact, not provided to him until
assess priorities.                                         the end of question period and that, in any event, the
    We've had a very successful first year of our Adopt-   Leader of the Opposition was not in the House at the
a-Highway program. In conjunction with the Adopt-a-        time. Had she been in the House at the time and re-
Highway program, working on a community-by-                quested a right of reply, it would have been granted.
community basis, we will have a limited mowing pro-            The timing and content of ministerial statements
gram going forward this next spring.                       has been thoroughly examined in the earlier decisions
                                                           of the House, and I refer hon. members to two deci-
     COMMENTS BY AGRICULTURE MINISTER                      sions recorded in the Journals of the House: one on
           TO CATTLE RANCHER                               March 20, 1987, at page 26 and another on April 27,
                                                           1999, at page 231. I commend these decisions to mem-
    P. Nettleton: Apparently the Minister of Agricul-      bers who wish to examine the matter further.
ture was very anxious to talk to rancher Sharon Robert-        The Chair has examined the contents of the minis-
son after discovering that I had arranged for her to       terial statement, considered the circumstances under
come to the Legislature tomorrow as well as to make        which it was made and can find no breach of order.
her available to the media. Consequently, the minister     Indeed, the ministerial statement dealt with the matter
7626                                           BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

that had just been canvassed in question period, and             The committee met at 2:38 p.m.
the Chair feels that the ability of the House to respond
promptly to matters of concern should be encouraged.             Sections 1 to 4 inclusive approved.
                                                    [1435]
     Touching briefly on the matter of replies to ministe-       Preamble approved.
rial statements, this House has on occasion permitted a
deferred reply to a ministerial statement, but clearly           Title approved.
each case must be decided on its individual merit. The
Chair encourages notice to be given wherever possible,
                                                                T. Christensen: I move the committee rise and re-
but neither the rules of this House nor its precedents
                                                             port the bill complete without amendment.
indicate that such is mandatory.
     Hon. members, if I may, would you just take your
seats for a moment.                                              Motion approved.
     The Leader of the Opposition raises a point, and I
would like to refer all members to their copy of Stand-          The committee rose at 2:39 p.m.
ing Orders. I know most of you will have difficulty find-
ing this little book, but it's in your office somewhere.         The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.
Specifically, it's section 47A, which refers to oral ques-
tions, section (b), which I will read to you. I won't read
                                                                                   Report and
the whole thing. "Questions and answers" — note that                          Third Reading of Bills
it says questions and answers — "will be brief and pre-
cise and stated without argument or opinion." I rec-
ommend this section to you, as I would not like to have          Bill Pr406, Ver-Tel Communications Ltd. (Corpo-
to read this at every question period in the House, but I    rate Restoration) Act, 2003, reported complete without
will if necessary.                                           amendment, read a third time and passed.

                   Orders of the Day                             Hon. G. Collins: By leave, I call Bill Pr407.
                                                                                                                 [1440]
    Hon. G. Collins: With leave, I call private mem-
ber's Bill Pr406.                                                Leave granted.

   Leave granted.                                                            Second Reading of Bills

                Second Reading of Bills                                BURON CONSTRUCTION LTD.
                                                                   (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003
         VER-TEL COMMUNICATIONS LTD.
       (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003                        V. Anderson: I move the bill now be read for a sec-
                                                             ond time.
    T. Christensen: I move that the bill be now read a          It returns Buron Construction to the register of
second time. This bill simply restores Ver-Tel Commu-        companies.
nications Ltd. to the register of companies.
                                                                 Motion approved.
   Motion approved.
                                                                 V. Anderson: I move, by leave, that the bill be re-
    T. Christensen: By leave, I move that the bill be        ferred to a Committee of the Whole House to be con-
referred to a Committee of the Whole House to be con-        sidered forthwith.
sidered forthwith.
                                                                 Leave granted.
   Leave granted.

    Bill Pr406, Ver-Tel Communications Ltd. (Corpo-              Bill Pr407, Buron Construction Ltd. (Corporate Res-
rate Restoration) Act, 2003, read a second time and          toration) Act, 2003, read a second time and referred to a
referred to a Committee of the Whole House for con-          Committee of the Whole House for consideration
sideration forthwith.                                        forthwith.

            Committee of the Whole House                                  Committee of the Whole House

         VER-TEL COMMUNICATIONS LTD.                                   BURON CONSTRUCTION LTD.
       (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003                           (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003

   The House in Committee of the Whole (Section B)              The House in Committee of the Whole (Section B)
on Bill Pr406; J. Weisbeck in the chair.                     on Bill Pr407; H. Long in the chair.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                                    7627

   The committee met at 2:41 p.m.                                 Preamble approved.

   Sections 1 to 4 inclusive approved.                            Title approved.

   Preamble approved.                                             V. Anderson: I move the committee rise and report
                                                              the bill complete without amendment.
   Title approved.
                                                                  Motion approved.
   V. Anderson: I move that the committee rise and
report the bill complete without amendment.                       The committee rose at 2:44 p.m.

   Motion approved.                                               The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.

   The committee rose at 2:42 p.m.                                                    Report and
                                                                                 Third Reading of Bills
   The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.
                                                                  Bill Pr408, Buron Construction (1986) Ltd. (Corpo-
                      Report and                              rate Restoration) Act, 2003, reported complete without
                 Third Reading of Bills                       amendment, read a third time and passed.

    Bill Pr407, Buron Construction Ltd. (Corporate Res-          Hon. G. Collins: I call Committee of the Whole for
toration) Act, 2003, reported complete without                consideration of Bill 72.
amendment, read a third time and passed.                                                                    [1445]

   Hon. G. Collins: I call Bill Pr408.                                     Committee of the Whole House

   Leave granted.                                                          MANUFACTURED HOME ACT

                Second Reading of Bills                          The House in Committee of the Whole (Section B)
                                                              on Bill 72; H. Long in the chair.
        BURON CONSTRUCTION (1986) LTD.
      (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003                           The committee met at 2:46 p.m.

    V. Anderson: I move that the bill now be read a               Sections 1 to 6 inclusive approved.
second time.
    It's a bill to restore Buron Construction to the regis-       On section 7.
ter of companies.
                                                                Hon. G. Collins: On section 7, I move the amend-
   Motion approved.                                           ment standing in my name on the order paper.
                                                                  [SECTION 7,
    V. Anderson: By leave, I move that the bill be re-            (a) by deleting the proposed subsection (2) and
ferred to a Committee of the Whole House to be con-               substituting the following:
sidered forthwith.                                                (2) The regulations may require that notices respecting
                                                                  particular classes of transfers be submitted for filing only
   Leave granted.                                                 through persons specified by regulation or designated as
                                                                  qualified suppliers by the registrar. , and
    Bill Pr408, Buron Construction (1986) Ltd. (Corpo-              (b) in the proposed subsection (5) by adding "or
rate Restoration) Act, 2003, read a second time and                 designated" after "specified".]
referred to a Committee of the Whole House for con-
sideration forthwith.                                             Amendment approved.

            Committee of the Whole House                          Section 7 as amended approved.

        BURON CONSTRUCTION (1986) LTD.                            Sections 8 to 20 inclusive approved.
      (CORPORATE RESTORATION) ACT, 2003
                                                                  On section 21.
   The House in Committee of the Whole (Section B)
on Bill Pr408; H. Long in the chair.                              Hon. G. Collins: I move the amendment to section
                                                              21 standing in my name on the order paper.
   The committee met at 2:43 p.m.                                 [SECTION 21,
                                                                  (a) by deleting the proposed subsection (3) and
   Sections 1 to 4 inclusive approved.                            substituting the following:
7628                                                  BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                  WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

   (3) The regulations may require that applications                    [SECTION 38, in the proposed subsection (5) by striking
   respecting particular classes of exemptions be submitted             out "or 33" and substituting "or 33 (1)".]
   for filing only through persons specified by regulation or
   designated as qualified suppliers by the registrar. , and            Amendment approved.
     (b) in the proposed subsection (4) by adding "or
     designated" after "specified".]
                                                                        Section 38 as amended approved.

   Amendment approved.
                                                                        Sections 39 to 47 inclusive approved.

   Section 21 as amended approved.                                      On section 47.1.

   Sections 22 to 31 inclusive approved.                                Hon. G. Collins: I move the amendment to add
                                                                    section 47.1 standing in my name on the order paper.
   On section 32.                                                       [SECTION 47.1, by adding the following section:
                                                                        Registry Statutes Amendment Act, 2002
    Hon. G. Collins: I move the amendment to section                    47.1 Section 3 of the Registry Statutes Amendment Act,
32 standing in my name on the order paper.                              2002, S.B.C. 2002, c. 17, is repealed.]
   [SECTION 32, by deleting the proposed subsection (1)
   and substituting the following:                                      Sections 47.1 to 50 inclusive approved.
   (1) Unless the manufactured home complies in all
   respects with the standards prescribed by regulation at              Title approved.
   the time it was manufactured or is exempted from this
   section by the regulations or by the registrar, a person            Hon. G. Collins: I move the committee rise and
   must not move, sell, offer for sale or advertise for sale a
                                                                    report the bill complete with amendments.
   previously unoccupied manufactured home or a
   manufactured home that was manufactured after May
   15, 1992.]                                                           Motion approved.

   Amendment approved.                                                  The committee rose at 2:48 p.m.

   Section 32 as amended approved.                                      The House resumed; Mr. Speaker in the chair.

   On section 33.                                                                        Reporting of Bills

                                                                       Bill 72, Manufactured Home Act, reported complete
    Hon. G. Collins: I move the amendment to section
                                                                    with amendments.
33 standing in my name on the order paper.
   [SECTION 33, by deleting the proposed section and
   substituting the following:                                                        Third Reading of Bills
   Disclosure statement to be provided to prospective
   purchaser                                                           Mr. Speaker: When shall the bill be considered as
   33 (1) A person must not sell or offer for sale a used or        read?
   previously occupied manufactured home unless
     (a) the person discloses in writing to any prospective             Hon. G. Collins: By leave, now, Mr. Speaker.
     purchaser whether or not the manufactured home
     complies with the standards prescribed by
     regulation, or
                                                                        Leave granted.
     (b) the manufactured home is exempted from this
     section by the regulations or by the registrar.                   Bill 72, Manufactured Home Act, read a third time
   (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person discloses in     and passed.
   writing to any prospective purchaser that the
   manufactured home was manufactured on or before                      Hon. G. Collins: I call second reading of Bill 86.
   May 15, 1992.]
                                                                                     Second Reading of Bills
   Amendment approved.
                                                                                  BUSINESS CORPORATIONS
   Section 33 as amended approved.                                               AMENDMENT ACT (No. 2), 2003

   Sections 34 to 37 inclusive approved.                                Hon. G. Collins: I move that the bill now be read a
                                                                    second time.
   On section 38.                                                       As part of the plan to reform and modernize the
                                                                    corporate laws of British Columbia, the Business Cor-
    Hon. G. Collins: I move the amendment to section                porations Amendment Act (No. 2.), 2003 makes addi-
38 standing in my name on the order paper.                          tional refinements to the Business Corporations Act by
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                           7629

replacing approximately 15 sections of the current Bill          Bill 86, Business Corporations Amendment Act
60. The Business Corporations Act will be proclaimed          (No. 2), 2003, read a second time and referred to a
in the spring of 2004.                                        Committee of the Whole House for consideration at the
                                                  [1450]      next sitting of the House after today.
     The amendments in this bill are primarily technical
in nature. They correct errors, clarify language in the           Hon. G. Collins: I call second reading of Bill 87.
application of provisions and address gaps identified
during the public consultation since the passage of the                      UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Business Corporation Act and the introduction of Bill                      AMENDMENT ACT (No. 2), 2003
60 last spring. They also reflect further refinements in
the development of the corporate registry's automated             Hon. G. Collins: I move that the bill be now read a
filing system and address transitional issues for pre-        second time.
existing companies.                                               The Unclaimed Property Amendment Act (No. 2),
     Finally, the bill contains further consequential         2003 incorporates into legislation a recognition of the
amendments to legislation, which reference the current        role of the courts and the judiciary in determining dis-
Company Act to reflect the change of name and the             position of unclaimed court trust funds under the un-
new language and processes of the Business Corpora-           claimed property legislation.
tions Act. Together, the amendments in Bill 60 and Bill           The amendments provide for regulations to be es-
86 will ensure that a solid legislative framework is in       tablished that will define when court trust funds could
place as we implement the new Business Corporations           be considered unclaimed property and available for
Act in the spring of 2004.                                    transfer to the non-profit administrator that is operat-
     Mr. Speaker, I move second reading.                      ing the ministry's unclaimed property program. Regu-
                                                              lations will also establish the rights and duties of the
    B. Locke: I'm pleased to speak to second reading of       administrator in relation to unclaimed court funds.
Bill 86, intituled the Business Corporations Amend-           These regulations will contain the process rules and
ment Act (No. 2), 2003. This is an amendment to Bill 46,      will be established through further discussion and con-
which received royal assent last year. The Ministry of        sultation with court administrators and representatives
Finance should be applauded for modernizing a key             of the judiciary.
piece of legislation that will assist in achieving a com-         The amendments require that before these regula-
petitive environment for constituents in my riding and        tions can be made, the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council
throughout the province.                                      must receive the recommendation of the Attorney
    The prior act was significantly out of date in terms      General, after the Attorney General has consulted with
of keeping up with corporate law developments and             the Chief Justice or Chief Judge of each of the three
technical advancements. Thanks to the minister's pro-         levels of courts in British Columbia. This is the same
active ministry, it is now much easier to form and op-        process used for changing rules under the Court Rules
erate small businesses in B.C. Thanks to the minister's       Act.
forward thinking, companies and the public alike will             In addition, the approval of a justice, judge, regis-
have electronic access to the corporate registry and will     trar or master is required before the Minister of Finance
offer on-line corporate services seven days a week, 24        can pay unclaimed court funds to the administrator.
hours a day.                                                  Hence, the amendments provide for greater control by
    This piece of legislation reflects solid business prin-   the courts and the judiciary in determining when court
ciples. Firstly, government should be service-oriented.       trust funds could be considered unclaimed and in con-
Secondly, government should be transparent. Thirdly,          trolling the disposition of unclaimed court funds.
government should be held responsible for keeping                 The amendments provide that the non-profit ad-
public services updated, logical and modern for all           ministrator must make reasonable efforts to locate the
constituents, including the business sector. In reading       potential owners of unclaimed court funds. If the ad-
through the act, one finds embedded common sense, a           ministrator locates a person who was a party to a court
rational and sensible approach.                               action, but there was no order from the court determin-
    In simple terms, we are making it easier for busi-        ing who is the owner of the funds, then the administra-
nesses to succeed in B.C., opening the door and en-           tor must refer the person to the court to obtain that
couraging investment as one more step in making B.C.          determination. Only in cases where the court has made
the number one place to do business not only nation-          a determination of ownership can unclaimed court
ally but internationally. The minister deserves to be         funds be paid out by the administrator. When un-
thanked for his commitment to developing this impor-          claimed court funds are transferred to the administra-
tant piece of legislation.                                    tor, they're deemed to be unclaimed money and are no
                                                              longer held in trust. However, an owner's claim is
   Motion approved.                                           never extinguished until their funds are paid to them.
                                                                                                                  [1455]
    Hon. G. Collins: I move the bill be placed on the             The amendments to the Unclaimed Property Act
orders of the day for consideration by Committee of           also address two minor housekeeping items. One of the
the Whole at the next sitting of the House after today.       amendments supports deregulation by removing the
7630                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

requirements for a regulation to prescribe where the               It is also important to note that our provincial legis-
administrator must keep administrative records. The            lation and this bill will ensure that serious conse-
other housekeeping amendment releases the adminis-             quences are available as a sentencing option for six
trator from the existing schedule of fees for searching        significant provincial statute offences that previously
for and copying records in a court registry. Provision is      could only attract non-custodial dispositions. These
made to establish an alternative schedule of fees if one       offences include the offence of threatening the safety
should be required in the future.                              and security of youth custody centres and adult correc-
    Mr. Speaker, I move second reading.                        tional centres by bringing in contraband to those
                                                               places, a serious offence because it threatens the integ-
   Motion approved.                                            rity of the work done in the youth custody centres and
                                                               the safety of those who are in custody and those who
   Hon. G. Collins: I move that the bill be referred to a      work there.
Committee of the Whole House for consideration at the              Another offence is the offence of trespassing on
next sitting of the House after today.                         school property. This is an offence, of course, that can
                                                               arise in a number of contexts. Those contexts include
     Bill 87, Unclaimed Property Amendment Act (No.            the possibility that trespass will occur when young
2), 2003, read a second time and referred to a Commit-         people are being recruited for criminal gang activity or
tee of the Whole House for consideration at the next           sexual exploitation. We take school property seriously
sitting of the House after today.                              in British Columbia. Trespassing on school property is
                                                               already an offence, and this act will ensure that cus-
                                                               tody is now available as a potential disposition for
   Hon. G. Collins: I call second reading of Bill 63,
                                                               young offenders who commit that offence.
and we'll just await the arrival of the Attorney General.
                                                                   A third example of the offences where custody will
                                                               now be available as a sentencing option is the offence
                 YOUTH JUSTICE ACT                             of breaching a restraining order under the Child, Fam-
                                                               ily and Community Service Act, as restraining orders
    Hon. G. Plant: I move the bill be now read a second        can be made against young persons to prevent them
time.                                                          from sexually exploiting children or other youth.
    While our justice system is broadly concerned with             At the same time, offences where an adult would
ensuring that there is fairness, and our criminal justice      receive more than six months incarceration will now
system is concerned with ensuring that we have safe            attract up to 90 days in custody — not the maximum of
streets and safe communities, the justice system has           30 days, which is presently the case in the law of British
also long recognized differences in the way in which           Columbia. For example, under the Motor Vehicle Act
we treat young persons as opposed to the way we treat          these offences include driving while prohibited, driving
adults who are in conflict with the law. The Youth Jus-        while prohibited by court order or operation of law, and
tice Act will allow us to express these differences by         driving while one's licence is suspended. Breaching a
creating a new act that is specifically written for young      restraining order under the Child, Family and Commu-
persons.                                                       nity Service Act would also be included as an offence
    The Youth Justice Act does the following. It repeals       capable of attracting up to 90 days in custody.
the existing Young Offenders (British Columbia) Act,               This bill and the new Youth Justice Act that it will
which is no longer consistent with federal legislation,        bring into force also support the work being done by
and it repeals the youth provisions in the existing Cor-       the Ministry of Children and Family Development,
rection Act and then places these in the Youth Justice         which has primary responsibility for youth justice in
Act, which will leave the Correction Act as a statute          British Columbia and, in particular, the work being
that applies only to adults.                                   done by that ministry to devolve youth justice pro-
    The Youth Justice Act consolidates all of the rele-        grams and services to regional and aboriginal authori-
vant and up-to-date provisions from both acts into one         ties. The changes and the work being done by that min-
new stand-alone Youth Justice Act written specifically         istry include enabling communities to develop and
for youth. One of the main objectives of the new federal       deliver youth justice services within a consolidated,
Youth Criminal Justice Act, which came into force on           coherent, community-based service delivery system as
April 1 of this year, is to utilize alternatives to custody    well as building capacity within aboriginal communi-
and alternatives to court where possible and where             ties to deliver a full range of youth justice services.
that is the best justice system outcome, and at the same           Services to youth in conflict with the law are an
time ensure that youth face serious consequences for           important component of the broader services to chil-
serious offences.                                              dren, youth and families. Including youth justice ser-
                                                      [1500]   vices in the community government's model will sup-
    I'm pleased to say that in British Columbia, we util-      port the continued integration of these services in the
ize alternatives to court and custody where that is the        best interests of these youth. This approach is also con-
right thing to do. We have extensive diversion and             sistent with the new federal legislation, which supports
alternative-measures programs in place, and we are a           a multidisciplinary, rehabilitative approach to youth
leader among Canadian jurisdictions in this regard.            who commit offences.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                      BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                                 7631

     As I said, Mr. Speaker, the Youth Justice Act is an           Come to think of it, maybe instead of the good cop–
act that is specifically written for young people —            bad cop act, this is more of a partisan split we are see-
young people who need special safeguards — that ac-            ing — the kind of split specific to this motley crew
knowledges their greater level of dependency and re-           called the B.C. Liberals. Of course, there are the B.C.
duced level of maturity and, at the same time, that en-        Liberals who, like the Solicitor General, have more in
sures that young offenders are held accountable for            common with the Alliance Party than anyone else, who
their actions.                                                 take great delight in stomping all over anything the
                                                    [1505]     federal Liberals do. Then there are those in the B.C.
     This bill will allow British Columbia to continue to      Liberal government who are less, shall we say,
be a leader in youth justice issues, to ensure that the        squeamish about the L-word, who find it less conven-
best possible range of outcomes and tools are available        ient to trash the federal government, and perhaps their
for those who have to deal with young people in con-           Attorney General falls more into that camp.
flict with the law and to send a message, which I think            The fact is that people who work in youth justice
should be heard by young offenders, that within the            think the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act is actually
limits of our ability to do so in the laws of British Co-      pretty good legislation. The reason the federal justice
lumbia, the Legislature of British Columbia believes           act is well regarded is that it separated violent crime
young offenders should be accountable for their                from non-violent crime at the same time as it signified
wrongdoing.                                                    a shift in philosophy away from custody for the sake of
     I look forward to the remarks of other members.           custody and towards rehabilitating youth, because just
                                                               putting kids in custody accomplishes nothing, or per-
     J. Kwan: Here we go again. Once again this gov-           haps worse.
ernment, in all of its incompetence and arrogance to-              To listen to the Solicitor General, that is his whole
wards this House, brings in a brand-new piece of legis-        purpose with this bill. Even the representative of the
lation one day and then calls second reading the next.         B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police said, in response to
Last week it was the revamped Residential Tenancy              this legislation: "Kids in jail aren't a good thing for
Act, introduced for the first time Monday and then             anyone. It's not good for the kids, not good for society,
called for debate less than 24 hours later without in-         and it's not good for the generation growing up." He
forming any of the stakeholders affected.                      goes on to add somewhat halfheartedly that it would
     I should recall for the benefit of this House that this   seem that if the new penalties are seen as meaningful
was a bill whose sole purpose was to amend two bills           and a true deterrent to young people, that would be a
brought in by this government just last year. They             good thing.
needed to amend two of their own flawed bills from                 Here's what this government says this bill will ac-
2002 after ignoring what stakeholders told them was            complish:
wrong with the bills the first time around.                             "Under the new act, youth can now face time in
     You would think the government would learn from               custody for six serious provincial statute offences where
mistakes like that. You'd think they would put a little            previously probation was the most severe sentence
bit more thought into legislation and into the process of          available. As well, youth can now face more time in
bringing legislation before this House. Instead, they              custody for other provincial statute offences.
brought their new tenancy bill in on a Monday and                       "Youth who trespass on school property for the
                                                                   purposes of sexual exploitation or gang activity can now
then called second reading on it the next morning.
                                                                   face custody instead of fines, community service or
     Here we are again. Once again we have a bill that is          probation.
introduced — in this case, a brand-new bill — and it is                 "Youth who violate the Motor Vehicle Act by driving
up for debate in second reading less than 24 hours later.          while prohibited or suspended could now face up to 90
Here's how this government operates. Yesterday morn-               days in custody instead of a maximum of 30.
ing the government announces to the media that it is                    "Youth who bring contraband into a youth custody
bringing in a brand-new Youth Justice Act. It doesn't              centre or adult correctional centre can now face custody
first tell stakeholders about the new legislation. They            instead of fines, community service or probation."
were just as blindsided as we were in the opposition.                                                              [1510]
     When the government gets around to properly in-               That's what this government has in mind, but the
troducing the bill, the Attorney General tells the House       question is: in the real world, is that how it works? Do
that the new Youth Justice Act parallels the federal           youth about to commit a crime ask themselves: "Wait, I
Youth Criminal Justice Act "by ensuring that serious           wonder if this is one of those six areas of provincial
consequences are available as a sentencing option." I          jurisdiction that the Solicitor General said in the news-
guess this government decided that the best way to             paper that he was going to come down on with a
deal with this issue was to put on a good cop–bad cop          hammer. Gee, maybe I better rethink this"?
act, because the job of explaining the bill outside the            No one who works with youth in the real world
House was given to the Solicitor General. The message          believes that. We contacted people working in the
he was hammering home was that the federal govern-             youth justice area today and asked them about this bill.
ment wasn't tough enough on youth crime and that the           Well, first we had to tell them what the bill was called,
new federal legislation was too soft because it reduced        when it was introduced. Then we went so far as to find
jail sentences for jail offences for youth.                    the bill for them, because it was news for them — they
7632                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                     WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

weren't contacted; they weren't advised — just as it            roughly half in terms of risky and delinquent behav-
was news to the opposition yesterday.                           iour among youth. That is also supported by a recent
     We talked about the bill at some length this morning       report given to the government entitled Profiling the
with the Victoria Boys and Girls Club, because they are         Repeat Offender: Implications for Early Intervention by
responsible for most of the youth justice contracts in the      Nicholson and Artz, 2003. It is a report that this gov-
city here. After telling us that they couldn't really com-      ernment actually paid for but then is ignoring its rec-
ment until they knew what the legislation was about, that       ommendations.
they are only seeing what was reported in the media….              Here is the concluding summary of that report:
     I must say that it's now becoming a familiar story                 "Although the authors cited in this review offer
that people actually don't know what this government               many valuable suggestions for improving the
is bringing forward in legislation in spite of their claim         effectiveness of treatment in custodial programs, we're
                                                                   destined to fail our most vulnerable youth if we focus all
that they consult and they're open and accountable.
                                                                   our energies on providing youth justice responses to their
People don't know about it, and they have to depend                misbehaviour. Our child welfare, education and mental
on the media to find out.                                          health systems must also have prominent roles in
     What the Boys and Girls Club told us is that any              responding to the needs of these youth.
approach to youth justice has to be a multi-faceted ap-                 "We see that focusing on early prevention and
proach. It has to include education, incarceration and             intervention may provide the best chance for reducing
support, and the most important piece of that is inten-            recidivism by preventing children's involvement in the
sive support for the youth, the family and the commu-              youth justice system in the first place. The evidence
nity. The Boys and Girls Club said that if this bill is just       points to the need for very early intervention for at-risk
                                                                   children — i.e., from the age of zero to five — and their
about incarcerating kids without increasing support in
                                                                   families.
the community, then it is neither in line with the new                  "Solid steps in early prevention include the early
federal legislation, nor would it be a positive move.              identification of aggressive children. In order to
     We also talked to respected criminologist Jim Hac-            implement interventions that support these children and
kler of the University of Victoria, who did some radio             their families, we can begin by taking more seriously
interviews on Bill 63 today, and he also spoke to our              parents' and teachers' concerns regarding aggressive
staff. On the radio, he was asked if he thought this               behaviour in young children. We need to offer parenting
government's new youth justice would provide the                   supports for families, develop and fund school-based
                                                                   identification and intervention programs, and ensure that
deterrent the Solicitor General is promising, and he
                                                                   effective links are developed between prevention and
was very clear. He said — and he laid out what evi-                intervention initiatives. Improved integration of funding
dence has shown — that youth behaviour is influenced               and operation of all child-serving organizations is
by peer pressure, by the push to establish status                  imperative.
amongst peers, and that to act as if youth weigh rela-                  "If we take seriously the proven relationship between
tive penalties is a simple-minded approach on the part             poverty and youth delinquency, we would do more to
of the government.                                                 ensure that parents of young children have access to
     He actually wondered how the Minister of Chil-                employment opportunities. We would consider
                                                                   implementing graduation incentive programs to
dren and Family Development, a former superinten-
                                                                   motivate youth to finish their high school education.
dent of a youth custody centre, could let his colleagues,               "In our prevention work with children, youth and
such as the Solicitor General and the Attorney General             families, and in our work with young offenders, we must
— and he specifically singled out the Human Re-                    improve our approach to assessment by focusing more
sources minister — act in such a silly way. What a gov-            closely on needs. We need to work diligently to further
ernment should be asking, Professor Hackler stated, is:            our understanding of and sensitivity to the role of gender
what is the best way to prevent juvenile delinquency               in youthful offending. We need to learn more about the
and deviant behaviour? That showy, swaggering talk                 specific and the special situation of youthful offending
                                                                   within the Canadian context. We would do well to target
about getting tough on crime is not the answer.
                                                                   effective interventions on all young offenders when they
     The professor also said the bill was irrelevant, that it      commit their first offences, especially if a first offence is
had and would have no impact as a deterrent but was                committed before the age of 15.
instead window dressing for the public. It's not because                "Finally, providing sufficient supports to youth
it is completely divorced from the reality of the causes of        leaving custody constitutes our last chance to prevent the
juvenile delinquency and criminal behaviour, but also              further involvement in youthful offending."
because the province has jurisdiction over such a small         These are the conclusions of a report paid for by this
proportion of youth crimes. Professor Hackler reiterated        government entitled Profiling the Repeat Offender: Impli-
the view of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, stat-     cations for Early Intervention, by Nicholson and Artz. It
ing that we don't gain anything by putting kids in cus-         is a shame that this government is ignoring its recom-
tody and that the only way to have any impact is to in-         mendations.
tervene very early — at ages two, three, four and five —            Of course, as we know too well, this government is
when aggressive behaviour is first demonstrated.                going in completely the opposite direction. This is the
                                                      [1515]    government that is refusing young people — the very
     He cited definitive studies from the United States         target age of this bill — any assistance whatsoever
which show that when impoverished families receive              unless they can prove they have been independent for
support early, 15 years later we see a reduction by             two years in a row. I'm talking now about the assis-
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                      BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                              7633

tance for income assistance. I'll try to keep my sarcasm             The politics this government is playing here, maybe
in check here, because somehow I think that providing           because they are a little sensitive about the board of
some income to a 19-year-old girl might protect her             trade's stinging criticisms over the rise in property
from life in the sex trade a little bit more effectively        crime, is to add some tough measures on crime to this
than giving potential pimps 30 days in jail.                    bill and then take it to the public, hoping the public
    This is the government that's also reducing social          will respond positively to this kind of pandering. We
assistance to young families by as much as $200 a               don't think people are that gullible. We think people
month. This is the government that, in one of its first         understand the real world because they, unlike this
acts, scrapped universal child care, cut child care sub-        government, actually live in it. They know that what
sidies and made it next to impossible for poor working          influences youth is not the tough talk of his colleagues
families to provide the kind of quality early childhood         but the kind of deep, serious cuts to the programs that
education that has been proven to be the best preven-           vulnerable families depend on — the cuts to school-
tion of youth crime.                                            based programs and child care, the cuts to legal aid
    This is the government that has brought the six-bucks-      and other services made by this government that un-
sucks minimum wage, a wage that most affects immi-              dermine support for children and their families. That is
grants — immigrant women and their families. Contrary           what really affects kids.
to popular belief, the majority of B.C.'s minimum-wage               Outside of the House the Attorney General is, I
earners are women over 19 and not youth. This is the gov-       guess, not trusted to carry the media show. He's not
ernment that cut an award-winning anti-bullying pro-            seen to be able to carry the message of being tough on
gram that was working in our schools, that has cut funds        crime, but I guess the Attorney General gets his chance
to the B.C. safe schools initiatives and to popular, success-   here in the House to say what he thinks about this bill.
ful programs such as Rock Solid.                                I'll be glad to discuss the many issues that arise as a
                                                       [1520]   result of this bill at committee stage. If this government
    This is also the government that has threatened             is sincere in addressing and wanting to decrease crime
other crucial school-based programs so many times               amongst the youth population, wanting to ensure that
that the parents, teachers and the administrators who           young people have a chance to succeed, then they
banded together to save these programs have been                would rescind some of their very punitive policies and
exhausted by the gruelling and shameful process. This           the budget cuts in the areas that provide support to the
is the government that raised tuition fees and cut first-       youth and families in our communities.
year grants to post-secondary students, making it                    It is well documented, not just from the report I put
harder for youth to enter college and university. This is       on record that I just quoted moments earlier. There is
also the government — and here we are getting to ar-            just a full library of research that has already been
eas closer to the Attorney General's own field — that           done, which demonstrates that early intervention is the
slashed the Crown prosecutor's budget and cut victim            key. Cutting supports for families, putting more stress
services. This is the government that closed court-             on them, threatening that the government will cut
houses and jails and now, with this bill, will be putting       families — single parents with children over the age of
greater pressure on that very system.                           three on income assistance — off of income assistance,
    Does the Attorney General think this is the way to          out of some arbitrary time limit, will not assist in this
run a justice system? Does he think the Solicitor Gen-          process. It will, in fact, put more stress on the system,
eral and the Premier's tough talk about getting tough           more stress on the families, more stress on the commu-
on youth will actually work in the real world — that it         nity.
is actually a disincentive? Or does he not agree that this
is all about politics? The nuts and bolts of the bill              [H. Long in the chair.]
would appear, after the brief examination possible in                                                                [1525]
the time allowed by this government, to be mainly
about responding to the new federal Youth Criminal                  It would put youth at greater risk of coming into
Justice Act, about bringing statutes concerning youth           conflict with the law, of not being able to finish school,
under one provincial act and making the provincial              perhaps getting involved in alcohol and drugs. The
language match the federal bill's language.                     solution and the answers are clear. The reports are
    The statistics on youth crime in B.C. actually show         there. Don't take my word for it. I know the govern-
that youth crime is on the decrease, as in the number of        ment members just cast aside anything the opposition
youth in custody. I will read from the Ministry of Chil-        has to say, but look to the libraries that are full with the
dren and Family Development youth justice webpage               reports that tell you that early intervention is the an-
that takes pride in these declines and credits its own          swer.
community-based alternative programs. "B.C.'s num-                  The cuts and the deepest cuts are still yet to come in
ber of youth in custody has declined steadily over the          the next budget year and the year after. That is not the
last ten years…. This decline can be attributed to a            answer. It is not too late for this government to admit
drop in…youth crime…including violent crime, to in-             that they're wrong in the budget exercise, that they
tegrated case management and to the addition of                 want to invest in youth and families and in these pro-
community-based alternative programs and other                  grams to support our communities in a way that would
treatment services."                                            be effective for the long term and not to engage in just
7634                                          BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES               WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

cheap politics and try to win political scores with the         There are so often — and the Attorney General
tough talk on crime.                                        made reference to some of those people, as an example,
    The government needs to act in providing the sup-       coming onto a schoolground who may be in breach of
ports that are necessary. It is time for this government    an order, an order under the Child, Family and Com-
to put their money where their mouth is.                    munity Services Act and a restraining order placed
                                                            within that…. This legislation will allow us to hold
    Hon. G. Hogg: I was interested in the comments          onto that person for a moment in time, to be able to
made by the opposition and certainly heard, as I lis-       provide them with some of the services that they may
tened through and tried to distil what I heard, some of     need access to because of some of the issues and prob-
the principles and comments being made within those.        lems which they may be facing.
I think that I heard at least five perhaps objectives, if       I know that this government has taken a very fo-
not principles, within that conversation, one of them       cused, very evidence-based process and direction in
being the notion of prevention. Certainly, I think all of   dealing with the issues as they apply to youth justice.
us would agree and know that prevention is the right        They are complex, they are integrated, but the model
focus and the right place and the right direction for all   that we've put forward in this province is one that does
of us to go in terms of issues of youth justice.            that.
    That's, in fact, why this government and this Pre-                                                        [1530]
mier have appointed a Minister of State for Early               Bill 63 represents another step in the consolidation
Childhood Development. That's why we focused so             of youth justice services within an integrated service
much of our resources on early childhood develop-           delivery system to be provided for children and youth.
ment, so that we can look at early and positive begin-      In fact, the former government in 1997 transferred
nings for children as they work their way through to        youth justice services to the then Ministry for Children
adulthood. It is why the Ministry of Children and Fam-      and Families. I trust they had a belief that integration
ily Development has focused so many of its dollars on       and the model we're following is the right one to fol-
family prevention, on family development, supporting        low. In fact, when we were in opposition, we sup-
and assisting the needs of families as they look at and     ported that transition and that change because of our
manage the challenges that face them.                       belief and recognition of the need to have a compre-
    The member talked about consultation and made           hensive approach.
reference to the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria. It's          We've continued that integration by including
clear that we have been an actively consultative gov-       youth justice services on an ongoing basis as part of the
ernment. In this ministry we've consulted with over         full range of services which are provided to children
14,000 people in this province around the issues of ser-    and youth. The ministry has taken this youth-centred
vices to children in this province. In fact, we spoke       approach to hiring and training staff. We've taken that
with the Boys and Girls Club just today, the Boys and       approach in service delivery, and we've taken it in pro-
Girls Club of Victoria as well, and they said they have     gram planning, so it's a broad-based spectrum of ser-
an excellent relationship with our ministry staff and are   vices that looks at and responds to the needs of all
very pleased with that working relationship and the         children.
direction and the consultation taking place.                    We have now, and I think most observers across
    There was discussion of the integration of ser-         Canada would agree, probably the most progressive
vices, and, clearly, what we've been doing in this min-     youth justice system in Canada. We have taken a very
istry and in this government is trying to coordinate        positive approach. We have had a community-based
services so that we have a coordinated, integrated          approach. Most observers will say, when they look at it
service delivery model that provides for comprehen-         — many of them have reviewed it, and criminologists
sive service delivery. We talked about wanting to           in British Columbia will support that — that it is the
harmonize with the federal legislation so that we can       most progressive youth justice system in Canada.
ensure that we are facilitating and enabling the fed-           Youth probation officers' caseloads are now half of
eral legislation to do what it is focused on and in-        what they were in 1997, allowing for better case plan-
tended to do. There was reference made to services          ning, better case management of young offenders and
outside of custody. The custody was not the right and       indeed, through that process, better protection of the
most appropriate way of responding to the needs of          public. Youth forensic psychiatric treatment resources,
children at risk. Certainly, we concur with that. How-      addiction treatment resources and community-based
ever, there are times and there is research which will      intensive support and supervision services for young
show that many of the children coming into custody,         offenders have been substantially enhanced over the
perhaps as many as 90 percent, have alcohol and drug        past few years.
issues, are actually under the influence of alcohol and         A new program has just been initiated. A program
drugs. This piece of legislation will allow us, for those   of family group conferencing has been introduced as a
high-risk children who are problematic — who do             way of using dispute mechanisms within the context of
present a risk to the public — to be able to slow them      community rather than using the court systems —
down for a moment, to be able to provide the services       again looking at ways that we can integrate, coordinate
to them which wouldn't otherwise be available to            and provide services that respond to the best interests
them.                                                       of children and have the best outcomes. The number of
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                    BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                             7635

youth in custody is now less than half of what it was in         I just want to applaud again the Attorney General
1997. Youth and their families are receiving better ser-     for this bill — I think it's going to be a really successful
vices, and most importantly, the public is now better        bill — along with the other ministries: the Ministry of
served. This legislation represents another step in that     Health and the Ministry of Children and Family De-
progress.                                                    velopment and, of course, the Minister of State for
    Youth justice services have been legislatively man-      Early Childhood Development.
dated in the past through the Correction Act, an act
which was primarily designed to address adult offend-             D. Hayer: I'm very happy to rise to speak in favour
ers. The bill before us now, the proposed Youth Justice      of this act. I agree with the basis of this act, which calls
Act, ensures that provincial legislation regarding youth     for a greater deterrence for young people to commit
justice is youth-focused. It emphasizes rehabilitation       crime. You know that more than 90 percent of our kids
and integration of youth in conflict with the law and        are good, hard-working students and law-abiding, but
thereby better serves the needs of youth, their families     it is those few who flaunt their disregard for the law or
and the public interest.                                     for society. They have no respect for any authority, for
                                                             private property or for lives they impact with their
    E. Brenzinger: I'm standing today in the House to        criminal activities.
support Bill 63. I want to applaud the minister, the At-          One of the biggest problems we have with youth
torney General, for the bill, because he has actually        crime and violence is that they think they are protected
shown that he listens to the public, and this is what the    under the law. They think they can get away with it,
public wants.                                                doing whatever they want. This bill will change some
    We want to be clear that tougher consequences are        of that attitude, because now some of them won't be
for those youth who know right from wrong. However,          getting away with it scot-free anymore.
today I would like to highlight that the number of in-            Too often we hear of young criminals who are
mates may be decreased in the future with more early         caught by the police again and again, but because there
intervention. I refer to children at risk who have mental    is little the police can do to these young offenders,
health issues or who are developmentally delayed but         they're back on the street right away, looking for more
are not identified while young.                              trouble to cause. I'm a firm believer that if you do the
    One thing this government has done is create a           crime, you should do the time. Bill 63 provides for
ministry for mental health and a ministry for early          greater time for youth offences. That is good, and per-
childhood development. I was listening to the member         haps it may make some other young troublemakers
for Vancouver–Mount Pleasant, and I have to say….            think twice before they infringe on the rights of others.
Working in this field for ten years prior to becoming an     This act is as much about respect for others as it is
MLA, I can tell you that the past government did not         about increasing penalties for crime, and that is a good
have those ministries and watered down the services to       thing.
these children at risk.                                           I support Bill 63 because it will contribute to safer
                                                   [1535]    communities. It will help make our schools better and
    Education on mental health disorders is important        safer places to be in. I believe it is one more step to-
for caregivers, parents, educators and professionals to      ward a reduction in youth crime. That is one more tool
be very knowledgable to ensure that children at risk         we have to change the attitude on the street today that
are identified and given the support they need while         kids can get away with anything because there are no
they are young. Perhaps the frustration, the lack of         deterrents. Only with acts such as this will we be able
acceptance in school, fears, low self-esteem and social      to convince renegade youth that there is some punish-
skills — just to name a few — turn some of these teen-       ment waiting for them, and if they break the law, they
agers or youths to drugs or alcohol because it's so diffi-   have to pay the price. This act is one more step in re-
cult to function in society with disabilities. If we can     turning respect to the victims, and that is good news.
identify those youths — or children, before they be-
come youths — and give them the supports and the                 L. Mayencourt: It's an honour to be able to rise and
security of knowing that they're okay, we could proba-       speak on Bill 63, the Youth Justice Act. When we got
bly cut down on the number of youth going into the           elected, we had a New Era document. It had a lot of
criminal system, because they would be able to have          promises in it, and many of those promises we have
the support systems there that they need.                    met, and there are others to fulfil. One that has been
    I support this bill because I believe that the youth     particularly close to my heart is the one about creating
who know right from wrong should know that there             safer communities and safer streets.
are hard consequences for them when they do some-                                                              [1540]
thing wrong. I think the public has made that very               Over the last week we've had a lot of conversation
clear. Certainly, in my office in Surrey-Whalley it's        in this House about safety, community safety, crime
been very clear that we would like to see tougher pen-       and all of those issues. Today the Premier, in response
alties. The other side of it is that we do a lot of early    to a question, once again reaffirmed his commitment to
intervention to identify the kids. I know there's a high     safer communities for all of British Columbia. This is
number of FAS children who grow up and end up in             something that is very fundamental to our govern-
the system through frustration, etc.                         ment. It's very, very important for us, because most of
7636                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

the people who live in British Columbia are good, law-         ment has to children and families in this province. It's
abiding citizens. They are people who deserve to live          something I'm really very proud of. When I speak to
their lives free of fear and free of the tragedy that so       the Minister for Early Childhood Development — we
often is accompanied by crime. It's a really important         had a meeting in my office in Vancouver just on Satur-
promise that we made and one that I work on virtually          day — I know I've got someone there that's compas-
every day just to ensure that we in this House put our         sionate and understands the issues and that knows it's
minds to this in a very concerted way and face and             really important to move forward and to protect chil-
make choices that we need to do to provide that safety         dren, to provide families with the kind of mentoring
for people.                                                    and the supports they need so that their children can
    Bill 63 is the result of a lot of work and a lot of con-   grow up and live successful lives.
sultation. It comes, really, out of some changes to the                                                               [1545]
federal Young Offenders Act, which was recently                    The Minister of Children and Family Development
changed — in April of 2003, I believe. The introduction        has talked about some of the initiatives that he's going
of that bill gave us an opportunity to take a look at our      through right now. The Ministry of Children and Fam-
Young Offenders Act. It gave us an opportunity to take         ily Development is moving the model of service deliv-
a look at it in terms of what we're trying to accomplish       ery into regions. Why? Well, it just happens to make
for British Columbia in terms of community safety and          very good sense for the people of, say, the northwest or
in terms of looking after young people. It gave us that        the interior to be able to deal with the issues in their
opportunity to have a conversation with many indi-             communities in ways that make sense for those same
viduals here in this chamber and also outside of this          communities.
chamber about some of the challenges we face when it               The minister has gone to great lengths, and he's
comes to youth crime.                                          been applauded by youth service providers all across
    The bill here fulfils some very important objectives.      this province for the intensive consultation he has en-
It brings us into line with the new federal act. It            gaged in, for the planning he's put into this, for his
matches the terminology they've used in the federal            ability to come up with the right amount of money to
act. It gives us an opportunity to be consistent from the      support children and families in British Columbia. It is
federal act to the provincial act, and I think that's a        another measure of this government's commitment to
great benefit to British Columbians. Part of the problem       kids, to families and to communities. It's something
you have with provincial statutes and federal laws is          that is very, very important and something that we
that sometimes people aren't really clear on what the          need to remember.
message and consistency are. That consistency is                   We're talking here about crime and punishment,
achieved with this act.                                        but really we're talking about: how do we fix a prob-
    It also parallels some of the federal legislation in       lem? Those two ministries are all about getting ahead
terms of the types of punishments or the consequences          of the problem, and I think that's a really important
that are available to us when we are faced with the            thing that we sometimes forget in this House, or maybe
unfortunate circumstance of a young offender. It al-           the public forgets — that we are doing things to protect
lows us to increase some penalties for, I believe, six         children before they have a problem. That's important.
different offences in British Columbia that are more in            We've also created a Minister of State for Mental
keeping with the kind of spirit of what the province is        Health. I know that minister very well. We've met on
feeling and is concerned about. I think that's the very        many occasions to talk about the variety of things that
important work we are undertaking here today.                  we can do. You know, we look at the Youth Justice
    I listened to the member for Vancouver–Mount               Act and often…. I mean, I look at it and I go: some of
Pleasant, the member for Surrey-Whalley, the member            those kids have mental health problems, and what are
for Surrey-Tynehead and also the Minister of Children          we doing for them? What can we do for them? How
and Family Development. All of them started to refer-          can we make their life better? We do, because we've
ence some of the things we do. All of them mentioned           put our minds to mental health as addiction services,
things we could be doing, and everyone starts at the           as something that is deserving of a minister — an
very beginning. At the very beginning is a little baby —       advocate for all of British Columbia. His passion for
a little baby that, if we invest in, if we nurture, if we      the job he has before him, for his ability to reach into
provide opportunity to…. If we provide the kinds of            the lives of British Columbians and protect those who
resources that they need in families, and what have            are less fortunate than us and who live with mental
you, those kinds of things we can do at the beginning          illness….
of a child's life really have a profound effect on how             It's a fact of life. There are a lot of British Columbi-
they turn out as adults. It has a profound effect on how       ans who face those kinds of challenges, and so we've
a family looks and how a community looks and how a             put some energy towards that — some real people to
province looks.                                                work on this. I know that as we work through the re-
    There are many things we can do. One of the things         gional health authorities, we're actually making a pro-
we've done in this government, which was referenced            found difference in the lives of people with mental
by other members here today, was create a Minister of          illness and, in particular, of children who live with
State for Early Childhood Development. That speaks             mental illness — children who live with their own
volumes about the kind of commitment this govern-              mental illness or live in a family where mental illness is
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                    BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                             7637

an issue. We do those things because we know those           tangs wrapped around telephone poles because they
are things that are going to make a difference when the      were running from….
child is six, when the child is 12, when the child is 18         This is important stuff. Those kinds of tragedies
and to the time when they become adults.                     break the hearts of moms and dads. They affect people
    It's very important work that we do in this Legisla-     that aren't just the immediate family of those young
ture. Community safety has got to be just the most im-       offenders. They affect other families profoundly. They
portant thing in my work here. I really, really believe in   make a huge difference in the lives of people, so there
this kind of work, because I think so many people have       ought to be serious consequences for that type of crime.
kind of walked away from calling people on their stuff,      There ought to be some reckoning, some sober thought,
on being responsible. This act is really about letting       some time to sit down and go: "Oh, I shouldn't have
kids, parents and ordinary British Columbians know           done that. I hurt someone and maybe their circle of
that they have a responsibility. They live in a society      friends or their family. I hurt my community." So it is
that has rules, and those rules are there for the benefit    serious stuff. It's really important stuff.
of all. Those rules are there to protect the children, to        I've had the opportunity to work on the safe
protect adults, to protect communities and seniors and       schools task force and had the opportunity to travel the
what have you. Those laws are there.                         province and meet teachers, students, community
    This act is an opportunity for us to communicate         leaders and moms and dads — all about the issues of
with the children and parents of British Columbia that       bullying, harassment and intimidation. That doesn't
these are the things we believe are important and true.      happen just in schools. It happens around schools.
I look through this act and I look at…. For the benefit      Schools are a good place to do that sort of stuff.
of people that are not sitting in this Legislature, we           I can remember one community I went to, and we
look at these acts, and they're a bunch of paper. They       talked for a long time about bullying and harassment
have words on them of course. I look at section 8,           and what have you. Over the course of many, many
which is about changing the rules here, about changing       hours with students coming forward, I learned that in
the rules for dealing with criminal activity with kids. I    that community one of the chief concerns they had was
think it's important that we send a strong message to        people coming and recruiting their girls and their boys
these kids that we care about them, that we're there for     to be in the sex trade, people coming onto a school
them at the beginning of their lives and all through         property where kids are vulnerable. They may have
their lives, and we still expect them to be responsible,     been adults or they may have been kids, but the fact of
whether they are 14 or 15 or 16. We expect them to be        the matter is that they trespassed. They came into a
responsible for their actions, and we expect them to         place that's supposed to be safe and secure for kids,
understand these laws and these rules.                       and they recruited them out of that — out of their
                                                    [1550]   community, away from their families — and brought
    We can do lots about that. I know that when this act     them to God knows where — perhaps the downtown
is proclaimed, when it's brought into force, there are       east side, perhaps downtown Kelowna. I don't know.
good and wonderful people who work in our commu-                 Those kinds of things are very serious crimes.
nity who will work to communicate these laws, who            Those are things that will alter children's lives forever. I
will translate these sections, subsections and subhead-      have the greatest respect for groups like PACE, which
ings and all of those things into English, into words        works with young people that have been induced into
that make sense to kids, that make sense to families,        the sex trade, and WISH, which is in the downtown
that make sense to communities — all who deal with           east side and works with young prostitutes as well.
creating a better and safer community.                           I went to a conference not long ago that was spon-
    I look at one of the sections, and it talks about a      sored by the Minister for Women's Equality. In that
particular crime. It says: "Subject to section 14, if the    meeting we had a number of people who worked in
young person is found guilty of an offence under sec-        the sex trade, who came forward. I sat beside a young
tion 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act, the court must make       girl — I won't use her name — and she was 15 years
an order prohibiting the young person from driving a         old. We talked for a little while. She was talking about
motor vehicle for a period of 2 years." That's really        her dog, and she was talking about what she was doing
heavy; that's big stuff. It means that if you're 16 and      in school and whatever. I thought: this is a really nice
you have your driver's licence, you've yanked it. It's       young lady.
been yanked; it's gone. You won't be driving until                                                                [1555]
you're 18. That means a lot to young people. I can re-           Midway through the conference a name was called
member how important my driver's licence was to me.          to come to the front to make a presentation. The young
What does that mean? It means we're serious about            girl, the 15-year-old girl beside me, walked to the front
protecting people in our community.                          of the room and talked about being induced into the
    What is section 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act? It's a     sex trade, talked about being lured in by an older girl
prohibition against driving for failing to stop. What's      in the school who'd told her that this was the ticket to
that about? Well, in our province we've seen many,           glamour. You know, this is how you get makeup.
many examples of police chases — 100 kilometres an           These people will treat you really nice.
hour, 150 kilometres an hour. We've seen them throw              There are sick people in our society who actually
out those belts that pop all the tires. We've seen Mus-      get off on young sex-trade workers. There are people
7638                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

who think it's cool to go and do that sort of stuff, so         and I believe in protecting our kids. I believe in doing
there's a cycle that happens where maybe a 15-year-old          all we can to protect them, and I also believe in protect-
recruits a 12-year-old. It's a great tragedy. It's some-        ing our communities. I believe in protecting our
thing that really changes and impacts lives for a long,         schoolchildren. I believe in protecting our school
long time. This young girl is moving out of the trade,          grounds. I believe in protecting our streets. I believe in
but she talked about how once you're on that train, it's        a safe community for all British Columbians.
so hard to get off it. This act talks about making that a           The new Youth Justice Act will protect public
crime, about making it more of a crime so that we can           safety. It will mean safer communities by ensuring that
actually punish people for it, and I think that is truly,       youth face serious consequences for crime. Creating a
truly important.                                                stand-alone comprehensive act, written specifically for
    This bill, of course, is attempting to balance two          youth, will provide greater clarity and accessibility while
very important things. It's attempting to focus on the          ensuring a better fit with the federal legislation. The new
value of rehabilitation for young people and providing          act strikes a balance between serious consequences for
increased consequences for youth who pose a serious             youth for serious offences while acknowledging that
risk to public safety. This balance is really essential. It's   youth should not necessarily face the same penalties as
so important. We need to recognize the needs of these           adult offenders.
young offenders and be able to offer all we can to pre-             Most importantly, this act helps me to fulfil a prom-
vent their lives from turning into ones filled with vio-        ise to my community that I made when I was elected in
lence and despair and agony.                                    May of 2001.
    We need to protect our communities. People shouldn't
have to worry about being robbed or being attacked in               D. MacKay: I'm pleased to stand up today and
their homes or in their communities. I spoke a couple of        support Bill 63, which was introduced by our Attorney
days ago about Christina, a 100-year-old woman in my            General. Part of the reason I'm supporting this new
community who was followed into the elevator by a               legislation is going to require me to go back to 1962,
young girl. The young girl demanded money from                  while I was with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I
Christina. Christina said no and was pushed up against          came out of policing as a young rookie and was sta-
the wall with her walker crammed up against her. She's          tioned in British Columbia. In those days and for the
100 years old. She's an old woman, and this young girl is       next 28 years, I saw lots of changes in society. When I
snatching her purse. That's the kind of thing we don't          first started policing in this province, we dealt with
want in society. That shouldn't happen to Christina; it         young people through the adult court system. They
shouldn't happen to anybody.                                    were dealt with in the adult court system. There was
    But there was another victim in that crime. Well,           no difference made between young offenders and
actually, there were two other victims in that crime.           adults. If you committed a criminal offence, you were
The first was an 11-year-old girl that I know by the            dealt with under the Criminal Code of Canada, regard-
name of Cassie. Cassie happened to be at the Ocean Inn          less of your age.
— I think it's the Ocean Inn — on Denman Street one                 Mr. Speaker, you know what happened over the
day, and she and a girlfriend were using the ladies             years. We as a society changed, and we acknowledged
room. Cassie found a purse that belonged to Christina.          that children are different. They have to be treated dif-
She took it home and told her mother she had found              ferently. They're going through some tough years
this purse, and she and her mother made efforts to re-          when they're growing up and they're youngsters, and
turn the purse to Christina.                                    they do some things sometimes for whatever reason.
    Now, what does it tell an 11-year-old girl when a           We did, as a society, make some changes to deal with
100-year-old woman can be mugged in her elevator?               those people when they broke the laws that govern us
Cassie is a victim too. For all of us that witness these        as a society.
types of crimes, these are assaults on us. These are as-            I can recall when the Young Offenders Act first
saults on our community, on our families, on our co-            came out. I was still serving with the RCMP in British
workers. These are attacks that need to be addressed.           Columbia, and I was pleased that we were able to deal
    The other victim in this crime is the young girl that       with young people differently. We took them out of the
committed the crime. I don't know her life circum-              adult court system and dealt with them differently.
stance — I really don't — but dollars to donuts, it was             It wasn't perfect. It wasn't perfect by any means,
miserable. It was bad. Maybe she didn't have the kinds          because society continues to change. The demands on
of things that we are building into our government              society change. Young people still continue to grow up.
today, like a Minister of State for Early Childhood De-         They won't listen to older people; they have to learn
velopment, like a Ministry of Children and Family De-           the hard way. Sometimes they make mistakes — hon-
velopment, like a Minister of State for Mental Health —         est mistakes but still mistakes — that we as a society
the things that provide value to families, the early in-        find offensive, and we have created legislation to pe-
terventions that the member for Vancouver–Mount                 nalize people when they do violate some of those con-
Pleasant speaks so passionately about.                          ditions we learn to live under as a group of people.
                                                     [1600]         Today we are introducing another change. The
    There are not many things we agree on, let me tell          Young Offenders Act, as we knew it, has been re-
you, Mr. Speaker, but I believe in early intervention,          pealed, and it's now being replaced by Bill 63. This is a
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                            7639

companion bill to the federal legislation that was intro-     called in, and I probably had a beer because somebody
duced in April of this year. We want to make sure we          said that when you get older, when you're 15 or 16,
don't do anything differently than what the federal           that's what you have to do.
government has imposed through its federal legisla-               Peer pressure is a big influence on young children
tion. We want to make sure that the provincial legisla-       growing up in our school system. To go in and steal
tion has a companion piece to deal with it. It does give      something from a school or from a drugstore: "If you
the province some different means of dealing with             want to be part of our crowd, you have to do that."
those young offenders.                                        That's peer pressure. Normally, a lot of children
    Now, one thing that we have to remember, when             wouldn't commit a crime like that, but if they want to
we're dealing with young offenders, is that we're talk-       be part of the crowd, be part of the group, the initiation
ing about children between the ages of 12 and 18. On          rite says that's what you have to do. Peer pressure is a
your eighteenth birthday you become an adult and              big influence.
you're dealt with in adult court. Between the ages of 12          There's also the problem of addiction. Some of our
and 18, if you commit a crime, you're going to be dealt       young offenders have addictions. They have alcohol
with as a youth. When this bill passes, you're going to       addictions, and they have drug addictions. That's an-
be dealt with under this new piece of legislation. I'm        other reason some of these crimes are committed: to
pleased we're doing that.                                     support those habits they have. There are provisions in
                                                     [1605]   this new legislation here to deal with those, if they
    There are still some challenges as we move for-           have addiction problems or alcohol problems.
ward, and that is dealing with young children under 12            There are social conditions, another reason why
years of age, because a lot of crime is committed by          young offenders will go out and commit crimes. The
children under the age of 12 years. That's a problem          conditions under which those young people are raised
we're going to wrestle with for years. To deal with           send them out into the world to fend for themselves,
young people not punitively but effectively…. That            and to fend for themselves means they need money,
problem is not something new; that's been with us for         and money usually comes from the proceeds of crime.
years. It was with generations long before we walked          We shouldn't forget that.
on the earth, and it will be with us long after we're             Then there's just the thrill of going out and commit-
gone: how to deal with young people.                          ting a crime and not getting caught. How many times
    I was sitting in my office listening to the member        have you watched on television lately youngsters
for Vancouver–Mount Pleasant talk about how puni-             videotaping themselves as they're committing crimes?
tive this new piece of legislation is. She talked about       They're driving around, they're shooting people with
how it was going to take away the ability of youth to         pellet guns, and they're videotaping it. It's the thrill of
get an education, how we're looking at punishing chil-        the crime. All those conditions have to be looked at
dren only. I would suggest she probably didn't look at        when we try to understand why young people commit
the act, nor does she understand it, because within the       crimes in the first place.
act, this new piece of legislation…. I keep calling it an         When I heard the member for Vancouver–Mount
act because I suspect it probably will pass through this      Pleasant say we were going to punish young people….
House in due course.                                          Well, living in a society, if you decide to break the laws
    There are two sections in this new act that deal with     we live under, there's got to be some punishment. I
young offenders and their education ability. One of           want you to stop and think for a moment about the
them deals with conditional discharge, and one of the         emotional trauma that victims of crime suffer when
sentencing provisions in there is that the judge must         they become victims of crime, when their house is bro-
consider the educational opportunities for that youth.        ken into — the emotional trauma those people go
Even in the case where a youth is sentenced to a period       through because their personal effects have now be-
of incarceration, there's an appeal process available         come public, because somebody broke into their house.
after a period of time. One of the conditions that the        How about the store owner going to work morning
youth can make an application to a court for a new            after morning and finding a huge store window bro-
hearing on is his inability to get an education in the        ken? Eventually the insurance says, "I'm sorry; it's cost-
place of incarceration. When I heard the member for           ing too much for you," and they cancel the premium,
Vancouver–Mount Pleasant talking about the inability          and this continues.
to get an education as a young person under this act,                                                             [1610]
she does not understand the act; nor has she taken the            There's a financial cost associated with some of
time to read the act.                                         those crimes committed. That broken-window one is
    In that act there are numerous things that will help      something I experienced so many times. I felt so sorry
young offenders deal with the problems that got them          for the victims of crime. I saw cars, hundreds of cars on
in trouble in the first place. It's difficult to understand   car lots, vandalized by kids looking for something to
why young offenders do commit crimes. There are a             do in the evening.
number of reasons why they do it. One of them is                  For the member for Vancouver–Mount Pleasant to
probably peer pressure at school. That's a hard thing         say that this new legislation is punitive…. That is part
for us, as we get older, to understand, but I can recall a    of it. There's got to be some punishment attached to
few years ago when I was in school. I was probably            this. I also got the impression that she doesn't want to
7640                                          BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

see any changes made to the Young Offenders Act or          because everybody else is. Somewhere along that line
the way we treat young offenders in this province. As I     we have to start telling people: "You can't do that." I
said, society changes; we change.                           think this act is a step in the right direction.
    I guess if we followed along the theme of the mem-                                                          [1615]
ber for Vancouver–Mount Pleasant, when a young of-              As I said, the provisions in the new legislation, Bill
fender committed a crime we would put them in the           63, allow for the incarceration for a number of offences
stockade downtown. That's what we used to do with           that were not there before. There's some new legisla-
young offenders. We used to do that with criminals.         tion coming in, telling people these are a couple more
They were put in stockades for people to stare at be-       things that we as a society do not approve of.
cause they had committed a crime. We don't do that              You can no longer trespass on school property for
anymore. We treat our young people differently. We          the purposes of sexual exploitation. Previously, there
have all sorts of social programs available for young-      was no penalty for that. There is under this new act.
sters who have addiction problems.                          You cannot trespass on school property for the pur-
    What we're doing, as I've said, is repeal the Young     poses of gang activity. Before, you could go ahead and
Offenders Act. We're now going to replace it with some      do that, and the Crown and we as a society were pow-
new legislation, and it's a companion to the Youth          erless to prevent that from happening. Under this new
Criminal Justice Act. That begs the question: will this     legislation there are now provisions that have a penalty
be the end-all? Will it bring to an end the problem of      attached for behaviour like that.
how to deal with young offenders? Well, I suspect it            You can no longer bring contraband into a jail or a
won't. We will never find the answer to effectively deal    youth custody centre. If you do, there are now penal-
with young offenders because we continue to change          ties associated with that type of behaviour. Previously
as a society.                                               there weren't. As I said, this act now allows for jail time
    As I said, children under 12 can't be charged with a    for six serious provincial statute offences — jail time.
criminal offence, even though they do commit a great        For someone to be sentenced to jail in our period in this
number of offences. But we — perhaps not our genera-        world, you have to commit a pretty serious offence, so
tion, but the next generation — may say: "Enough is         I'm pleased that young offenders who decide they
enough. If you're under 12 years old and you commit         want to step outside the bounds of normal activity and
an offence, you might be responsible to the rest of soci-   commit a criminal offence or a serious provincial of-
ety for your acts." To say we shouldn't change legisla-     fence like driving while prohibited are going to pay a
tion — I can't support that. Young people have to be        pretty severe penalty. There are provisions for that
held accountable for the offences, for the violations of    now.
statutes that we have developed and continue to de-             Previously the Young Offenders Act only allowed
velop so we can live in a peaceful society.                 for probation in a lot of cases. That has now changed. A
    Our homes. We shouldn't have to worry about             good example of one of the changes that has now been
whether we locked the door or locked the windows. It        made is that the period of incarceration for driving
shouldn't matter; years ago it didn't matter. Times have    while prohibited has gone from 30 days' incarceration
changed, and we now have to do that when we leave           to a maximum of 90 days. That's tripling the time a
our homes.                                                  young offender can now be incarcerated for a serious
    We have to make them accountable to society, and        provincial statute. That's long overdue, because a lot of
we do that in a number of ways: conditional sentences,      these driving offences we're seeing today are being
absolute discharges or incarceration if it's serious        committed by young people between the ages of 12
enough. This new legislation actually increases the         and 18.
period of incarceration that was previously allowed             I certainly have no problem standing in this House
under the old act. For six offences we can now actually     supporting what we're doing and what will continue to
incarcerate young offenders for a period of 90 days,        be done in the years ahead — that is, make changes to
which is up from the previous allowable period of in-       the way we deal with young offenders. The Attorney
carceration of 30 days for offences — for example, driv-    General, the Minister of Children and Family…. We
ing while prohibited. I think that's a step in the right    have great programs to deal with young people who
direction. We've heard about and seen the tragedies of      step beyond the bounds of normal behaviour for what-
young offenders who continue to drive and ignore the        ever reason. The bottom line is that if you're going to
laws, who drive while prohibited. Well, this new legis-     commit a criminal offence or a serious provincial of-
lation is going to allow for longer periods of incarcera-   fence as a young offender in British Columbia, there
tion for offences such as that.                             are going to be some serious consequences for your
                                                            behaviour.
   [J. Weisbeck in the chair.]                                  I support fully the provisions in Bill 63 put forward
                                                            by our Attorney General.
    This act has provisions in there to help young of-
fenders with their social and addictive problems and to        K. Stewart: I'm pleased to support Bill 63. Having
help them educate themselves so they can be meaning-        worked in the criminal justice system for a number of
ful and productive people in our society. But they do       years in a previous life, it was interesting to see the
have to be punished, should they step out of bounds,        changes in the act — and, I think, for the better. I go
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                              7641

back to the old Juvenile Delinquents Act prior to the         certainly don't believe that youth should be given carte
Young Offenders Act, which was brought in, in 1977.           blanche to go out and do whatever they feel because of
We've seen changes in the way we deal with youth as           some immunity with age, and I believe some of the
we see changes in our society, but the two are defi-          tightening up from the Young Offenders Act to the
nitely connected. How our society operates clearly            Youth Justice Act accounts for that.
shows how our youth are going to act and how respon-               Another thing I've seen in my trials and tribulations
sible they're going to be. Really, crime is a by-product      in dealing with youth over the years is the importance
of us as a society, and it's hard to draw clear lines of      of being consistent. One of the things I think is impor-
distinction between crime and other social activities.        tant through an act is how the courts interpret it. That
     A person that's involved in crime…. It can be quite      will be the interesting component that comes out of
complex. There can be many other components of their          this: to see how that area deals with the options that are
life which cause them to gravitate towards that nega-         put forward in this act, how the courts deal with the
tive peer subculture which causes us so much difficulty       intervention programs, how the courts deal with a
today and in the past. There are the components of            youth that has a multitude of different components in
disabilities, educational deficiencies, abuse in the          their life that are conflicting and how flexible the courts
home, afflictions that are caused by genetics and poor        are going to be in dealing with that youth as an indi-
mentoring. I've seen on other occasions where we have         vidual. That's the challenge that I think is before us.
a child that appears to come from what we would con-               We have some tools to do that, and I'm pleased that
sider a very stable, good family home, and they end up        the act supports the usage of that. There are many good
in crime. There are all kinds of pressures on youth, but      organizations out there in our community — public,
what we have to be clear on in the end is that some-          private, non-government organizations — that are pre-
where along the way, they're held accountable to the          pared to work with the youth, given the constraints of
level of responsibility they can manage.                      the act, to try and bring a sense of community to their
                                                     [1620]   lives, a sense of responsibility.
     That's why we see youth under the age of 12 not               I believe we've made some bad choices in the past
included in this act. I believe most of us would concur       in how we've dealt with youth and specific types of
that a youth at the age of ten or 11 wouldn't have the        crimes. I believe that the way breaking and enterings
same level of maturity as some at the age of 16 or 17,        were dealt with over the years made it commonplace,
although that varies. We see some youth who are ex-           made it that it wasn't such a big thing. As a result of
tremely responsible at ages 13 and 14 and fully ac-           allowing those types of actions to be accepted, it just
countable and knowledgable as to what it is they're           moves the level up. I don't believe, if we were more
doing, and they're just doing it because they believe         consistent in our dealing with those breaking and en-
they can get away with it.                                    terings during the eighties and early nineties, we
     So as complex as these youths are, we have to be as      would have seen that escalation in home invasions that
complex in the amount of different resources and types        we saw. Fortunately, that seems to be a trend that isn't
of resources we have to deal with that. As in anything        as high profile as it was previously, and it seems to be
in government and in life, we're not a limitless supply       falling off. Hopefully, there's been an equal amount of
of funding. Our ability to deal with youth in a criminal      effort put in on the crime prevention side to alleviate
activity — as in dealing with youth with social prob-         that.
lems, youth with health problems and seniors with                  Car thefts, too, for years were viewed almost as
health problems…. There are limitations to what we            misdemeanours. I think the significance of the escala-
can do, so what we have to ensure is that we utilize the      tion of that to the more serious carjackings, which for-
resources available to us to maximize the outcome for         tunately we haven't seen too much of in British Co-
that. I believe we're moving in the right direction for       lumbia…. But we have seen a trend towards that.
that.                                                         Hopefully, by the crackdown with the car-theft pro-
     We see an act here that is now framed with the fed-      grams, we're going to see similar reductions in that and
eral act, so we're working under the same terminology.        bring it down to a level that becomes more acceptable.
We have the same ages we're dealing with. It adds                                                                    [1625]
some stability to the act. We're looking at a situation            What does that have to do with the Youth Justice
where we're trying to integrate the case management of        Act? Well, quite a bit. It's the application of the tools
a youth. As I mentioned earlier, quite often a youth          that are there for the court system and the people who
that's involved in crime may be involved with not just        work within the family justice area to implement the
a probation officer. It could be a social worker, a school    appropriate actions that are needed and the appropri-
counsellor, a school tutor or someone that's involved         ate penalties in cases to get the youth to understand
with a community organization. The case management            what it is they've actually done and take responsibility
is very important.                                            and accountability for that.
     I think it's important that we also look at the youth         In closing, I'd just like to say that I believe this is a
in a holistic approach to deal with those components of       step in the right direction. It's not the end-all and be-all,
their lives and have the flexibility to deal with the         but it's a component that's going to help us move to-
youths as individuals as they come before the courts by       wards at least the options for the courts to ensure that
way of an interaction with a law agency. But again, I         not only are the youth who are involved in criminal
7642                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

activities dealt with in a fair and accountable manner,        Development stood here just a while ago and spoke to
but that the other considerations in their lives that may      this issue, answering clearly the concerns I have.
be out of their control in some ways be dealt with in a            It's about the concerns of my constituents and the
reasonable way too, so that they can turn their lives          new model that is being put forward. The new model
around and become productive citizens that will make           that is being put forward by the Ministry of Children
us all proud in the future.                                    and Family Development in devolving youth justice
                                                               programs and services to regional and aboriginal au-
     S. Orr: First of all, I represent a riding that has       thorities will, in my opinion, deal with those children I
many social issues, and I have youth in my riding that         have been talking about — that small segment of lost
have lived very challenged lives. It's from no fault of        souls who are there not from parenting but from bad
their own, and unfortunately we've all seen this.              parenting. They did not ask to end up the way they
They've had bad home environments — just bad envi-             did.
ronments. They've had bad parenting and, conse-                    I recognize that young people in conflict with the
quently, bad choices. That leads them to a life of crime.      law should be accountable for their actions and that the
     Now, I believe that this really is a small percentage     general public should feel safe. That is their right.
of youth. That particular percentage of youth are sad          Unlike the opposition, I certainly do understand what
souls, and I get quite frustrated when I watch every-          this piece of legislation is all about, but as I said at the
body lump everybody in together. These are indeed a            beginning, it's those kids who never had a chance that
small percentage. I believe that these kids really need        we have to be sure this bill, Bill 63, takes into account
special care. Some kids who get into trouble do deserve        — their issues and their problems. This bill and the
to be accountable for their actions. I have no problem         AG, in my opinion, have covered that, so I stand here
with that at all. Many responsible parents pull their          and will support Bill 63, the Youth Justice Act.
hair out in frustration when their kids go off the rails
and would probably be pleased to have some kind of                 J. Nuraney: It is my belief that any legislation that
support.                                                       comes forward in this House comes forward because
     When I was growing up and I did something                 there is a need. There is a need that has been de-
wrong, my parents punished me, because they were               manded or asked for or is evident in our society. As we
responsible. I knew the difference between right and           are told in this House, this bill is now being updated
wrong because I had been taught that by my parents,            and being put in harmony with the one the federal
by my grandparents, by my family. For these parents,           government has put in place. The fact that the federal
being able to say to their children: "Think twice before       government moved on this issue is also the proof that
you make a bad choice. If you do the crime, you'll do          there is a need to make some changes in the law as it
the time, and that's the law…." You need to be able to         stood.
do that as a parent. You need to be able to say to the             This bill, in my opinion, is not a solution. It is sim-
kid that's going off the rails: "Listen to me. This is going   ply a deterrent. Our society is asking that something be
to happen to you." This piece of legislation will actually     done to bring in these kinds of penalties so that the
help them. You know, it's wonderful being a parent,            youth in our society are deterred from committing the
but it also can be very, very hard. For those parents          kinds of acts they do. Perhaps sociologists could tell us
whose children are seduced away from them by ele-              what has happened to our society over the years. Why
ments that they just cannot fight, this is another tool.       are we seeing this increasing evidence of violence in
     Now, it's interesting. There are many sections of         our youth?
this act that are already in the Young Offenders Act, so           A week ago we heard of this grotesque act that took
I find it interesting that the opposition are setting their    place in West Vancouver where a 13-year-old boy slit
hair on fire. This actually has a whole bunch of stuff in      the throat of a 16-year-old boy — an act that was totally
it from before, but what it has is updated. It's updated,      inconceivable, in my opinion, ten years ago. I would
and it has now got the reality of today and not ten            never have thought that a boy of that age could bring
years ago. Times have changed in crime, and this bill          himself to commit an act of this nature. However, as
reflects that.                                                 our society evolves, for various reasons these kinds of
                                                      [1630]   offences have become preponderant among youths.
     However, the concern I'm hearing from my con-                                                                  [1635]
stituents over this bill is: what does this bill do for            This bill enhances and perhaps gives more leeway
those very disturbed youth who never had a chance?             to our justice system for dealing with the problems that
Does putting them in custody really help them? So, on          come before it. Incarceration that has now been in-
behalf of my constituents, it is my duty to read this bill,    creased in terms of its length is perhaps deemed neces-
understand it and be satisfied that the issues of this         sary only if that is a lesson we need to teach our youths
segment of youth I have talked about are being ad-             — that they cannot really get away with committing
dressed.                                                       these kinds of grotesque crimes in our society. It is my
     The Attorney General has made it clear about this         opinion that as times move along and societies evolve,
act supporting the work being done by the Ministry of          so should the duty of the legislators to make sure we
Children and Family Development, and it's that that            do come into times that are current with the situations
gives me comfort. The Minister of Children and Family          we face.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                           7643

    It is my belief that this bill will protect public        and her philosophical beliefs, and it's unfortunate that
safety. It will mean safer communities by ensuring that       she has not grasped the bigger picture here, because
youth face serious consequences for serious offences. I       the bigger picture is about safety. It is not the small
also believe that creating a stand-alone comprehensive        individual items she says may happen, because no
act written specifically for youth will provide greater       matter how much we try, there could be those in-
clarity and accessibility by ensuring a better fit with the   stances. What's important is that we put out a message
federal legislation. This bill also strikes a balance be-     that we're listening to our constituents, our communi-
tween serious consequences for youth for serious of-          ties, and that we're prepared to act on that.
fences, while acknowledging that youth should not                 This is not a wholesale change of justice in this
face the same sentences as adult offenders.                   province. The federal government has brought in legis-
    Once again, I do rise in support of Bill 63. I think it   lation recently. We are, at a provincial level, trying to
is a very timely adjustment that our Attorney General         do our best to reflect and respect those practices. We're
has brought before this House.                                not creating any new offences, and that's important to
                                                              note as well. Offences already exist in the current acts.
     I. Chong: Like so many of my colleagues before me,       It does mean that youth are going to face some time in
I rise today to offer second reading remarks on Bill 63,      custody, and it means that our youth have to listen.
the Youth Justice Act. At the very outset I say that I            As has been said as well, the majority of youth are
fully support this piece of legislation. I cannot stress      law-abiding. I have had the good fortune of working
strongly enough the importance of this legislation at         with young people in my constituency in the seven years
this juncture in time. It provides a very important bal-      since I've been elected as a provincial MLA. I go to the
ance, a balance between the more serious penalties for        high schools. I go to the elementary-school levels. The
youth while recognizing that adult offenders should           students are receptive. The students want to know more,
have stronger penalties.                                      and they want to participate, as well — believe it or not
     We live in different, if not challenging, times. We      — in changing the laws. I've always encouraged them to
cannot, nor should we, continue to promote laws and           share with me their ideas. Some have, and they've given
enforcements that do not meet the challenges of these         me their perspective. Their underlying message to me
changing times. A case in point is that earlier this year     has been: "Well, seeing that this affects me, I want to
when the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor Gen-         have a say." We are listening to that.
eral introduced Bill 12, the Police Amendment Act.                Youth have for too long been lumped together in a
This introduced PRIME into our province, a real-time          category where they have not been respected when one
information management system that will assist our            person — as they say, one bad apple — spoil its for the
provincial police force or our municipal police depart-       rest. This legislation will send that message out to those
ments to combat crime, because as has been said over          few — and I do want to stress few — bad apples who,
and over again, criminals do not respect borders. That        for whatever reason, have been lured into a life of
legislation, Bill 12, was a first step or an important step   criminal activity, who have been exploited or who have
forward to ensuring for our communities that safety is        just not had the opportunities some of us have had the
a priority for this government.                               benefit of having. To say to those young people that
     Criminals have sophisticated ways of promoting           there will be a consequence and that the consequence is
crime, so our law enforcement agencies also need the          not going to be as lenient as it has been in the past….
tools to fight that crime. We're going to get there. We       To say to those parents, too, who are honestly trying
see this happening all the time. But it's not just the        and believing in their children, that those consequences
commission of a crime; it's after that occurs. After an       are going to come to roost….
offence has occurred, how do we deal with that? Our               As I said, for the most part the youth in our com-
citizens, our communities, expect us to uphold the law        munities are all law-abiding. They want to know,
because they, generally speaking, respect and uphold          though, that when there is that one bad apple, they will
the law. If we do not bring in legislation that strength-     be dealt with. If it is not dealt with seriously, it will
ens that fundamental belief, then we have not done our        perpetuate others who may wish to follow, believing
job. I know that all members in this House want to do         those kinds of consequences don't exist.
their job, part of which is to ensure that we have a              We do need to treat our youth differently than we
voice here in this Legislature where we can bring the         treat our adult offenders. I know recently — last year, I
concerns of our citizens to this floor and say that public    believe — we were even looking at other kinds of ways
safety is one of their key priorities.                        to assist our young people. It's not always about an
     Yes, health care is important. Yes, public education     incarceration. There are things that are being worked
is important, and we're dealing with that. We're mak-         on in our communities, like restorative justice. I know
ing reforms in that area, because it was time to do that.     that in Oak Bay, Restorative Justice Oak Bay is happen-
Here is another area: public safety. That's right up          ing. I know the member for Chilliwack — I have to be
there with health and education.                              careful; I think it's Chilliwack-Sumas — brought up
                                                     [1640]   this topic some time ago, again advocating that we
     I did have a moment to hear the member for               have to take a look at different ways of enforcing the
Vancouver–Mount Pleasant, the opposition member,              laws that now exist and how we can make them better
speak earlier. I guess she will always have her views         for all citizens.
7644                                                BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

                                                  [1645]                Now, if that young fellow had been dealt with
    This new Youth Justice Act will protect public                 through the kinds of punishments that would be avail-
safety. I have no doubt in my mind. It will mean safer             able here early in his car-theft career, there's just a
communities will occur, because we are going to en-                chance that that young housewife would be alive to-
sure that the youth who do commit some serious                     day, and her children would still have a mother. I
crimes will face serious consequences for those serious            really think these are the kinds of things that a bill like
crimes. By creating this stand-alone comprehensive act             this, if applied correctly through the judicial system,
that is written specifically for youth, it will provide            can help straighten out with some of the youth who are
greater clarity. People will know that we're serious.              causing some difficulties.
People will know that here in British Columbia we are                   When I listened to that member opposite speak
serious about what happens in our community.                       earlier, she spoke of the draconian cuts we're making
    As has also been said by my colleagues, this act               and how, rather than bills like this that are so terrible
does fulfil one of our new-era visions for safer streets,          — an attack on our youth — we should be restoring all
safer schools and safer communities. I would urge all              kinds of things that she claims we're doing to the social
members to stand up and hold their heads high to                   safety net. Every time I hear that, I keep thinking about
support this very important legislation.                           consequences, good and bad, for your actions — and
                                                                   accountability. That's what always comes to my mind
     R. Hawes: Like my colleagues, I too stand to sup-             when I think about this.
port this piece of legislation that I think sends a very,                                                               [1650]
very important message. For me and I know for most                      I keep thinking about the culture of dependency
of my colleagues, this is about accountability, and this           that was built over the last decade and that we're try-
is about appropriate consequences.                                 ing to erase, because I personally believe there is noth-
     The word "consequences" was used several times                ing like the pride of earning one's way that can be re-
by my colleague from Oak Bay–Gordon Head, and I                    placed by a gift from anyone…. Earning your own way
think it's really appropriate that we talk about conse-            is something that I think all of us…. Some people call it
quences and particularly appropriate consequences. I               the work ethic. It's something that we need to instil in
know if you speak to the average person throughout                 our youth. They need to strive to be employed. They
this province — and certainly all of us are in touch               need to strive to be self-sufficient. They don't need to
with our constituents on a regular basis — one of the              be dependent. Those who have been sucked into that
most frustrating things that people repeat over and                culture of dependency need to be weaned off it. I just
over is the lack of consequences. They turn on the 6               find it philosophically offensive to listen to the two
o'clock news and see the carnage that's often portrayed            members opposite continue to talk about this.
there through things like kids in stolen cars running                   I've talked in this House several times about River-
from the law, this sort of thing, and the police saying            side Centre in my own community. That's a school run
that these are repeat offenders over and over — the                by the local school district that tries to take youth that
same group doing the same crimes with no real appar-               are troubled — who are identified early in their school
ent consequence. I know for most of us that have raised            career as potential dropouts or who have dropped out
kids…. We've tried to raise our own kids, for the most             and are, in some cases, living on the street — and re-
part, understanding that there are consequences both               connect them with education and with society to get
good and bad for your actions.                                     them into a productive mode and into employment.
     I think this bill is very appropriate. It's not a draconian        The last time I went there, there were a number of
bill, as was portrayed by the member for Vancouver–                kids taking various apprenticeship or pre-
Mount Pleasant earlier today. This bill lays out a series of       apprenticeship courses that had been street kids, living
options that can be selected by the sentencing magistrate,         on the street. They were kids who would have, under
so I really don't see this as being anything draconian.            this kind of an act, likely found themselves in a place
     I'm reminded that in my own community a few                   where they would have been facing sentences like this.
years ago, there was a young offender who regularly                Because they were given an opportunity to take some
stole vehicles. In fact, when a stolen vehicle was re-             pride in what they're doing, to gain some self-
ported, the police often knew where to go to look, and             sufficiency, they've disconnected from that former life-
they would find these vehicles usually within half a               style, have reconnected with society and are now out
mile of this young offender's home. He lived in a rural            employed. They have graduated, many of them last
area just outside my community of Mission. Very fre-               year. They are employed at this time in useful, func-
quently, whenever he needed a ride, he would just pick             tional employment, and they're earning their own way.
a vehicle, and off he would go. He would park it close             I can tell you they will never face consequences under a
enough to his house so that he wouldn't have too far of            bill like this, because they've left that lifestyle.
a walk. The police knew who was doing this. He had                      It's not a handout these kids are looking for, nor
been apprehended a number of times, each time being                should their parents be looking for a handout. They are
released. Ultimately this young lad, in a stolen car, ran          looking for an opportunity to gain a useful lifestyle, a
from the police and crashed his car into an innocent               useful place in society. That's what this government is
young housewife with a young family and killed her.                working so hard to create: those kinds of opportunities.
This was just a few years ago in my own community.                 I'm really proud of what our government is doing with
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                      BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                             7645

the social welfare programs, with the Ministry of Chil-         ways to connect to those youth and ensure that they
dren and Family Development and the wonderful                   understand their boundaries and the consequences of
work we're doing there and bills like this that would           the actions that they were involved in.
bring some accountability, some consequences for in-                I want to give an example. A woman came into my
appropriate behaviour that are a little more severe than        constituency office a few months back, who was wor-
what was there before. I believe society is crying out          ried about a group of youth that the neighbours in the
for that.                                                       area knew were causing problems, including identified
    I only hope that as this bill passes through this           break and entries in the local area. She came to me and
House and becomes law, there are magistrates who will           said she would like to find out about how to deal with
look at this and will understand that there are times to        the halfway house in the community. Doing a little bit
use the maximum penalties here. They will impose those          of digging, I found out that it wasn't actually a halfway
penalties in a way that will be useful to all of us and will    house and that these people she was dealing with were
help some of these kids be guided back on the proper            actually teenagers. So I mentioned to her: "Well, those
road, the road we're trying to establish for all kids in this   are probably not criminals. Those are actually kids."
province. We are showing great success and are really           She said: "Yeah, that's right. They're kids. But they're
moving forward in developing not a social safety net or         ravaging the neighbourhood, and they're out of con-
a culture of dependency but, rather, a pride in self-           trol. They're causing a lot of problems, and we need to
sufficiency. That's where we're moving.                         come down and lock 'em up and put 'em in jail for as
    I'm very proud to support this bill, and my col-            long as need be." When I asked her if she had ever spo-
leagues in this House, I'm very confident, will support         ken to these youth or if anyone in the community had
this unanimously.                                               spoken to these youth, her response was: "Oh no, no,
                                                                no. Nobody would ever speak to those youth."
     K. Manhas: I appreciate the opportunity to speak to            One of the problems we find is that those youth who
this bill and stand up in support. This bill reflects some      do travel down the wrong path often don't have a con-
of the changes in the federal legislation that many peo-        nection to society. They come from backgrounds where
ple may now have heard of. The Youth Criminal Justice           that connection hasn't come either from the home or
Act came into force earlier this year to replace the old        from the social environment that they grew up in. They
Young Offenders Act. I think it's fair to say that re-          get involved in an area where they find other kids who
storative justice is a very strong theme in this act, in        they get a social connection from, and they get involved
this new legislation.                                           in areas that would probably not be what we would
     Of course, one of the major changes was to allow           consider very positive choices in their own life.
the full strength of the justice system to come down on             I fully support any kind of a move — including the
those youth committing the more serious crimes but              moves that symbolically and through legislation we are
also to allow and, if I might say, encourage a greater          causing, and the federal companion piece — to encour-
use of restorative justice by the court system as a             age the court system to understand and to connect to
whole. I think this is a very positive change for our           those youth. We need to step back from a situation and
society and particularly our youth in it.                       realize that when we're dealing with youth, we're deal-
                                                     [1655]     ing with an individual's life, an individual who isn't
     I often have a chance to deal, in my own commu-            completely formed in their thoughts and thinking.
nity, with folks who are worried about crime that is                                                                 [1700]
happening in the community and with youth them-                     I want to step back and say I don't believe that youth
selves. Sometimes I have to sit back, and I cringe when         should not have consequences. I think the consequences
I listen to some people talk about the societal problems        should be clear; they should be strong; they should be
being caused by and stemming from and perpetrated               punishments that are strong enough that young people
by youth in the community. I have often heard that if           understand the severity of their crime. We need to en-
we had the police to deal with the youth who are caus-          sure that the boundaries of what is right and what is
ing problems in the community, the community would              wrong are very, very clear. But while we do that, we
be better off and safer because of it. I think it is cer-       need to ensure that these are young people who are go-
tainly not everybody who has these attitudes, because           ing through a lot of transitions and changes in their lives
there are people who I work with…. There's a great              and have the ability to move beyond this. That strong
group — members of the community — involved with                punishment may not mean that we give them a long
the youth matters program in the Tri-Cities who try to          sentence. Maybe it's a shorter sentence that is stronger,
go out and change that attitude, but there's no question        and that has more interaction and more engagement of
that youth in the community do feel that as well.               those youth to get them to understand what they caused,
     When I talk to youth, there is a feeling that they are     what the consequences of their actions were — to find
looked at as problem causers. I think one of the cultural       out if those youth, those lives, can be turned around.
changes we need to have occur is to recognize when              That individual's life is worth something, and I think we
we're dealing with youth and teenagers that this is a           have a responsibility to ensure that we try to connect
time that is a very pivotal point in their development          with as many of those individuals as possible.
— in their life. When we're dealing with crimes                     I believe that in some of the cases where punish-
amongst youth, I think it is most appropriate to look at        ments are not severe enough, the consequences and the
7646                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                   WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

boundaries are also looked at as fuzzy by the youth             You're not going to stop every crime or prevent every
growing up. If they see an area of weakness, they will          crime, but what do we do with that young person once
respond to that. As a young person, a human being is            that crime has been committed? I am very pleased that
very elastic in response to the degree that they feel they      the Attorney General has brought forward Bill 63, be-
will actually, as an individual, be impacted by it. So we       cause it does some specific things but allows us to also
need to ensure that those consequences are very strong.         focus on youth justice and how we handle that as a
But we do have a responsibility, within that context, to        society.
try to find out if those youth can make the positive                I think it's clear, as I start this debate, just to remind
choices to lead productive lives after that.                    the House that this bill isn't creating new offences. We're
    There are many, many youths that I have dealt with          not going out there and creating a bunch of new laws
and have spoken to who have gone through the crimi-             and new crimes. We're making some changes, but we're
nal justice system and are making positive impacts on           taking the same offences forward into this new bill.
the community around them, because they found an                    It does recognize what I think some of my constitu-
adult or they went through a system where someone               ents have talked about, and it's a frustration. Part of it
connected to them — where someone actually went up              is an emotional frustration, but part of it, I think, is an
to them and said, "You're important. Your life actually         empirical frustration; that is, the way we deal with
means something. What are you interested in?" and               youth in the justice system seems to be so light on the
actually engaged them to do something.                          penalty side sometimes or so far removed from a con-
                                                                sequence side as to not serve one of the purposes we
   [Mr. Speaker in the chair.]                                  have in our justice system. We have a justice system to
                                                                deal with punishment, to deal with victim support, to
    We have to realize that not every young person              deal with protection of the public, to deal with rehabili-
grows up in an environment or a household where                 tation of offenders. When we deal with youth, I think
they get that. I think every one of us can remember as          there's a frustration and a perception and in some cases
we were growing up who that person was that en-                 a reality that we've removed some of that from the jus-
gaged us and engaged us to be interested in something           tice system for youth.
in society and to actually want to go on and pursue                 By providing some custody for certain statutes
something. In the cases of young people who have                where previously there was none, I think we're starting
gone their entire life without having any of that en-           to bring that balance back a bit and to remember that
gagement, I think we have a responsibility to try to see        among young people who commit crimes — the much
if we can provide or facilitate that type of engagement.        smaller percentage that commit serious crime and the
    I don't want to go on too long, but I do hope that          smaller percentage still who repeatedly commit crime
those are some of the things that we can try to remem-          — we need to raise the bar. We need to make sure there
ber and achieve as we move forward in dealing with              is a sense that we are going to progressively deal in a
the young people, that we don't take one or the other           disciplinary manner with those behaviours. We're go-
stance and that we don't say, "Well, it's a young person;       ing to continually move in the area of ensuring that
they're not responsible," or we don't say: "They com-           victims feel that the justice system works for them, and
mitted a crime. They should go to jail, and they should         we continually work forward to make sure public
have to deal with it just like anyone else." Both sides of      safety is actually part of the youth justice system.
the equation exist.                                                 Bill 63 does bring in some custody issues, some
    We do need to create those consequences, and we             detention issues, and I think that's critical. It recognizes
do need to deal with youth to ensure they do lead pro-          that custody and duration of sentences for young peo-
ductive lives. I hope and believe that this bill will help      ple should be different from adults for a whole host of
get us there. I believe it's responsible of legislators to      reasons, but it brings that balance in a little closer.
show leadership in this area, and I think this is a first           Here in Victoria…. You've heard me speak many
step in that direction. With that, I will sit down and          times about our general issues in our downtown core
show my support for this bill.                                  and how the city police, the Victoria city council and
                                                    [1705]      the Vancouver Island health authority are working
                                                                together in a comprehensive manner to deal with the
     J. Bray: I'm pleased to rise and support Bill 63, the      various issues that are faced on our downtown streets.
Youth Justice Act. Sometimes we actually vote on the            We're making sure health professionals are actually
title of a bill, and the concept of the title of a bill is to   providing health services to people with mental health
actually give some concept of what the bill is about, so        issues and addictions, and we're ensuring that there are
people can have a quick idea of what it's about.                facilities for progressive steps of intervention — from
     A lot of the debate has been talking about, quite          outreach workers to second-stage housing and housing
frankly, youth crime. Certainly, I'll be talking in a min-      for those who are hard to house because of mental
ute about Victoria's situation, and youth crime is an           health issues. We have a made-in-Victoria progression
issue. But what we're talking about in this bill is actu-       of services that provides a continuum of services for
ally youth justice, and to me that's a critical difference.     people at various stages in their life.
Youth crime happens, and the mark of a society is how               We are also making sure that the police here in Vic-
we react to that and how we deal with that reality.             toria focus their attention not on dealing with people
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                     BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                                    7647

with mental health and addictions issues, because             fered tragically and therefore are not able to make
that's not their specialty. There are people in our down-     some of those same decisions.
town core — pimps, drug dealers — who prey on those               I think we really need to address the public's per-
individuals and who create havoc for the community            ception that youth justice is weak on punishment. I
and for those people's lives. That's where the police         want to draw now, as we go through Bill 63, to section
should focus their attention, and that's part of this plan.   28…. I think that some penalties, some recognition
That's why Victoria city police are to be commended           there are consequences, can deal with those youth who
for participating and for really making a visible differ-     can make other choices, because they're in fact capable
ence in our downtown core. It doesn't solve all the           of doing that and have the options of a home or other
problems, but when they deal with youth, they need to         services they can access and move forward.
know that the justice system is going to be evenly bal-           For those youth that have the complex issues, al-
anced between punishment, protection of the public            though this is not a brand-new concept, I think it's im-
and rehabilitation of the young offender. I think Bill 63     portant for us to look at. This is not new, as opposed to
moves us further along into that balance.                     previous legislation, but it focuses us on what youth
                                                     [1710]   justice is. It's section 28 that deals with programs for
    Now, there's another frustration in Victoria that I       young persons, and it says under subsection (1): " The
think Bill 63 can start to address. Many of my col-           minister may establish programs or services for or re-
leagues in the House have talked about the difficulties       lated to young persons, including but not limited to
that young people who are involved in the criminal            one or more of the following…." It talks about:
justice system have — the difficult lives they've had.                 "(a) an alternative measures or extrajudicial sanctions
Often they've been children in care, bounced around               program; (b) a community service program; (c) a
from family to family without any real attachments or             restitution or compensation program; (d) a victim and
roots; with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a com-               offender mediation or reconciliation program; (e) a day
                                                                  or residential attendance program; (f) a community
pletely preventable neurological birth defect but such a
                                                                  supervision program; (g) an intensive support and
significant impairment for people's ability to apply the
                                                                  supervision program; (h) a pretrial bail supervision or
knowledge they may have; urban aboriginal youth                   hostel program; (i) a pretrial detention program; (j) an
who are in between two cultures; and those that have              open or secure custody program; (k) a youth custody
suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse and end             incentive or monetary program; (l) any other program or
up on the street. That's one group of young people, and           service that provides for the administration and
I don't think there's anybody in this House who doesn't           supervision of young persons who are subject to
feel we should deal with them in a comprehensive and              sentences."
compassionate fashion for their safety and for the                Justice provides the opportunity for the state to
safety of the community.                                      provide a structured series of services to take some-
    In Victoria there's another group of youth. You'll        body who is making, in many cases, poor life choices
see them walking downtown. They're sitting in front of        and inject them into services that can help them have
the Shoppers Drug Mart; they're sitting in front of           more options in their life, to make different choices in
other places. They've got very expensive tennis shoes         their life, to get the services they need — educational;
on. In the summer they like to camp downtown. They            perhaps a structured shelter for a while; perhaps just
have other options. They're not dealing with some of          simply a roof over their head; perhaps a contact with a
these serious issues that our winter homeless popula-         health professional that can look after some of their
tion are, but they are making a choice. There is no cur-      health needs, mental health needs and their substance
few when you're living on the street. There are lots of       abuse issues; a counsellor that can help them deal with
services around. You can kind of have some fun, and if        some of the trauma they've experienced in their lives.
it gets really bad, you can go back home. That's a frus-                                                           [1715]
trating reality for us here in Victoria, because it's hard        Perhaps the stability of having the same place to go
to distinguish who requires those comprehensive ser-          or the same place to be detained for a month allows
vices — to move them forward in their lives and make          them to get some focus when they're not worrying about
them safe and healthy — from the other young people           whether they're going to get rolled in the streets tomor-
who seemingly have other options but are making this          row, where they're going to get their next meal, whether
choice to live on the street.                                 the friends they met last night — finally thinking they've
    When the youth justice system does not respond to         found some friends — are going to desert them.
their choices and the difficulties they create in the             It's critical in youth justice that we continue to look
community, there's no incentive for them to make any          for the innovative ways we can deal with children and
difference. There are no tools for the police to deal with    young offenders for two reasons. We want them to
those individuals so that the health system and the           stop offending, and we want to improve community
justice system can deal with those who have the more          safety. When we find effective programs that the minis-
complex issues. So when we start to raise some of the         ter has available to him or her, we need to sing their
sentences and contemplate custody in issues, it starts to     praises. We need to duplicate them. We need to use
send a message to the police that they can deal more          best practices.
effectively with those who have other options, and it             Youth justice isn't just about punishment, and it
starts to move us down to the population that has suf-        isn't just about detention and custody. It is also about
7648                                            BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

services, comprehensive services that improve the lives       for them to learn before they're out in our society so
of people who come into the youth justice system. It          they don't get themselves in trouble and revert to the
doesn't ignore what they do and doesn't reward repeat         decision-making that got them in trouble in the first
offenders by simply giving them a slap on the wrist,          place.
but it provides comprehensive services that allow                  Bill 63, the Youth Justice Act, allows us as a society
young people to move forward.                                 to remember that we have a responsibility to create a
     Now, section 35 deals with when you have a youth         system that protects the public. We have a responsibil-
in a program that has a detention component to it. It         ity to have a system that administers punishment when
talks about reintegration leave and day absences, and         people commit crimes, but it also has a responsibility.
what it recognizes is that it's not enough just to put        We as a society must ensure that we create the sup-
somebody in a youth detention centre and say they're          ports for people who haven't had those supports before
there for 30 days or 60 days or 90 days or a year: "We'll     so they can make different decisions in the future.
see you in a year, and off you go. Here's the local in-                                                            [1720]
come assistance office. Go apply. You're on your own."             I am very pleased to support Bill 63, and I'm very
     These are young people that have not had the struc-      pleased to have had the opportunity to talk about how
ture or the ability to learn life's lessons like most of us   we deal with youth justice, how it applies to my com-
have, coming from stable families, stable homes, stable       munity in Victoria and how we can make progress in
neighbourhoods and stable communities. They may be            that area.
16 or 17 and may not have learned some of the basic
life skills we learned at 12, 13 or 14. They're going to           P. Bell: Mr. Speaker, you're looking well this eve-
need structure. They're going to need guidance, and           ning.
they're going to need monitored activities as they move            I am very pleased to speak in support of Bill 63. It
from the detention system back out into the commu-            has been firmly embraced by constituents in my riding
nity.                                                         in just the brief time since it was originally presented to
     Section 35 recognizes that there are a lot of areas in   this Legislature by the Attorney General — yesterday, I
which you're going to want to let people who are in           believe. I've had a number of very positive comments
detention start to move back out into the community. It       from constituents. I believe it addresses the need for us
includes supervised and non-supervised, and it in-            to align more closely with the federal act and bring us
cludes programs recognizing that they're going to be          into line with people's thoughts and concerns around
back out in the community. Again, this is where you go        how we treat youth offenders.
from public protection and punishment into some form               Certainly, one of the common themes I hear in
of actual rehabilitation. It's a critical component for       Prince George and surrounding communities is the
youth, so it recognizes we have a responsibility.             frustration felt by our law enforcement agencies and by
     The act is very clear that we have a responsibility.     citizens in general about how we have treated youth
When a young person is in our custody, they're in our         offenders in the past. In fact, I have a constituent in the
total care, and just locking them up for a period of time     community of Mackenzie, which is a relatively small
isn't good enough. We have to provide them integra-           community of slightly over 5,000 people north of
tion back into the community, so I'm pleased to see           Prince George, who has found the way we have man-
that, of course. This is not any different than what          aged young offenders very difficult. He has been a vic-
we've had before, but it's a good chance for us to re-        tim of youth crime a number of times, and he's found it
member the responsibility we have.                            very frustrating that these young offenders are simply
     Section 36 recognizes that for some young people, if     given a slap on the wrist and kicked out the door after
they have housing, that's the most critical need they         they have performed some form of crime in the com-
have. If they are dealing with mental health issues and       munity. He doesn't see that as being fair and reason-
addiction issues, that's the most critical need. For oth-     able.
ers, the stability of employment is the most critical              This is a real step forward in terms of moving to-
need. Section 36 talks about how with somebody in             wards a better representation of how society feels
detention who's getting day passes to go to a job, their      about how we should treat young offenders. Ulti-
wages are monitored, and they're going to be responsi-        mately, this really is about protecting public safety.
ble for some of the costs of their care. They're going to     Youth justice and dealing with young offenders is
learn the responsibility of collecting a paycheque and        about creating a safer environment. It's about creating a
what a paycheque goes for. Any residual amounts left          safer society, because most crime originates in youth
over, they'll have in a bank account that will be ac-         originally, and then when they learn that trade as they
counted for when they are discharged from custody.            move up in life, of course they carry it on in adulthood.
     It provides them a structured way to learn what the      I really think if we are pre-emptive in our strike in
rest of us learn quite easily, which is that you get your     terms of dealing with youth crime, we'll be much more
paycheque, you pay your rent, you pay your hydro,             successful in terms of managing crime in society.
you buy your groceries, and the 85 cents you've got                According to all the psychological theories that I
left, you put in the bank. For young people here who          have heard, safety and security is the number one pri-
may not have had much employment experience and               ority for all individuals in society. If you cannot attain a
have not had a paycheque very often, it's a critical skill    safe, secure environment, then all of the other services
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                      BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                              7649

that are provided really do not amount to a whole               do this or if I don't." We've reached a point in society
bunch.                                                          where many of our youth who are involved on the
     We said very clearly in our New Era document that          criminal side or in violent activities know they'll get
we would provide for safer streets, safer schools and           nothing more than a slap on the wrist. That's not a de-
safer communities. I know my constituents embraced              terrent.
that vision when we brought it forward in the 2001                   We have to work beyond the issue of politics. This
election. I know we had lots of positive comments. This         is not a political issue. This isn't just a federal issue or
represents a fulfilment of that commitment. It is cer-          an issue for British Columbia; it's a societal issue that
tainly a step in the right direction of fulfilling that new-    we're trying to improve. The issue, when we talk about
era commitment. I am very pleased with this piece of            the severity of what's taking place with our youth and
legislation. It's a step in the right direction. I think if a   the violence that goes on, is astounding.
youth is going to participate in some of the crimes we               We all grew up, and I'm sure there were school
have addressed in this particular piece of legislation —        yard fights when we grew up. You know, it hasn't been
you know, in gang activity, on the schools — there's            that long since I've grown up, I was going to say, but
just no place for that in today's society.                      I've been grown up a long time, Mr. Speaker.
     Regardless of what community you live in, whether               When I was a youth going through school, we faced
it's a larger metropolitan community or a smaller rural         many of the challenges the youth today face, but it
community, certainly this is a serious issue. It's been         went to a certain point. Beyond that point, people
addressed, I know, in the safe schools task force report.       knew where the line was. I know I say that, and it's a
I think that report was commendable. There was a lot            debatable point, but there doesn't seem to be a line in
of good work done in that report. This piece of legisla-        society anymore with many of our youth. I say "many"
tion, I believe, addresses that. What we're talking about       in a somewhat reserved way.
is not moving to a model where youth would have to                   I'm going to go with the premise — I believe this in
spend the same type of time for the same type of crime          my heart, and I think most people would — that the
as an adult would, but we're moving in that direction,          majority of our youth are great. They're upstanding
and I think that's an appropriate step to take.                 youth contributing to our communities, going to school
                                                       [1725]   and doing the best they can to further themselves, fur-
     This, as I see it, is the fulfilment of another new-era    ther their education and further the communities they
commitment — our commitment to safer streets, safer             live in. A select few are the ones we have to deal with.
schools and safer communities. I am very pleased to             It's unfortunate that there are those few, but the reality
stand in support of this bill.                                  is that there are. There have been for many, many
                                                                years, from the beginning of time, and we have to look
     B. Lekstrom: I, like my colleague from Prince              forward at how we deal with that.
George North and my colleagues before him, stand to                  Community safety is what this bill is all about, as
support this bill. I would like to commend the Attorney         the member for Prince George North and many before
General for bringing this bill forward. This is an issue        him so rightly indicated. We have gone away from the
that isn't new to society. It's not new to British Colum-       issue of saying: "You're going to be accountable for
bia; it's not new to our country.                               your actions." As a youth growing up and a young lad,
     It was interesting hearing the member from the             there were many times when I watched many of my
opposition earlier saying that this bill wouldn't help.         friends go beyond what I thought was acceptable, and
This leads me to believe that that member had to be-            they paid the consequences. Many times they did not
lieve that what we were doing before was working,               get back into that trouble.
when in fact it wasn't. I think it was clear to each and             Today we've heard many, many talks on this —
every one of us in this Legislature and out in society          emotional, pointing to the facts — saying we're all here
that we had work to do. It doesn't mean everything              as legislators, regardless of political belief, to make our
was wrong before, but it meant to me there was a lot of         communities and our society a better place. Again, I
room for improvement. We're trying to make that im-             want to commend the Attorney General, because that's
provement. This new bill that's before the Legislature          the job he's doing. He's not bringing forward a piece of
today is a step in that direction, and I believe it's going     legislation to further political beliefs. He's bringing this
to help tremendously.                                           piece of legislation, Bill 63, forward to make our com-
     We talk about youth. We're dealing with youth that         munities safer, to offer alternatives for our justice sys-
are 12 years old and older here, 12 to 18. I'm a believer       tem, to implement sentencing that may act as a deter-
that regardless of family background…. Many children            rent. Only time will tell.
do come from some horrendous family situations that                  Again, I want to go back to one of the first points I
we try and improve with our investment in early                 raised. What we were doing previous to this wasn't
childhood intervention through the Ministry of Chil-            working. It needed improvement, and that's what this
dren and Family Development, and we're making pro-              bill is all about. It's about improving the ability to pro-
gress. Regardless, I believe children, when they're at          vide safer communities, about giving tools within our
that age, do know right from wrong. They know that              justice system that can move our society ahead.
when they do something, there will be consequences.                  I'm not going to take a lot of time, but I want to
It's not a matter of saying: "I know I'm going to jail if I     reiterate. We're working on our early childhood inter-
7650                                            BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

vention, which is vitally important. Our Ministry of              The federal act is an important issue here today as
Children and Family Development is doing some very            well, because it reflects the direction taken by Bill 63 in
incredible things to make sure the family environment         dealing with youth justice. Core principles are ex-
can foster the type of society we all want. Do we have        tremely important on the federal side, and I believe
work to do in these areas? You bet we do. I've said be-       they relate to this act here today. The principle is that
fore in this Legislature that if we ever reach a point        protection of society is the paramount objective of the
where everything is perfect, then there's no need for         youth justice system, which is best achieved through
any of us to be here.                                         prevention and rehabilitation. Young people should be
                                                    [1730]    treated separately from adults on a criminal law, and
    I would love the point where society was a caring,        measures to address youth crime must hold the of-
kind society, where there was no violence, no criminal        fender accountable.
activity, but there is a reality that that probably isn't         The end result gives the youth justice court the
going to happen.                                              power to impose adult sentences in appropriate cases.
    In closing, I want to reiterate. Whether you're 12        It allows an adult sentence for any youth 14 years old
years old, 14 years old or 16 or 18, you do know right        or more who is convicted of an offence punishable by
from wrong regardless of your background. It isn't            more than two years in jail and expands the offences
hard to know what's right in society and what's wrong,        for which a youth can be given an adult sentence. I
what's acceptable and what's not acceptable. I think it's     provide this information because the public is often
time we quit allowing some of these decisions and             confused — and understandably confused, I would say
some of those points of view to be used as a crutch to        — and has a hard time figuring out who is responsible
avoid the actions that do need to be taken in some            for the youth criminal justice system — specifically
cases. These are rare cases, but if we can move this          sentencing. That's what all the press has been over the
ahead, and create a safer environment for our commu-          years. Actions under the Criminal Code dealt with the
nities and for our children and families, this is the right   federal Youth Criminal Justice Act.
thing to do. I stand here, and I commend the Attorney                                                              [1735]
General for bringing this legislation forward.                    Bill 63, B.C.'s new Youth Justice Act, will give the
                                                              justice system the ability to impose sentences on youth
     K. Johnston: I really appreciate the opportunity to      who violate provincial statutes. You know, this gov-
be able to speak to Bill 63, the Youth Justice Act. I'd       ernment has taken many positive actions with regard
like, firstly, to say that I, too, would like to echo the     to youth over the last couple of years. I reflect on the
comments of the member for Peace River South when             initiatives by the Solicitor General in terms of street
he talked about the youth of British Columbia and how         racing and the fact that this street racing initiative has
it is only a very small majority that this act will ever      worked. Many of those street racers are in fact youth
apply to. Most of our youth are extremely positive,           and, I believe, are starting to get the message that if
extremely vibrant and a real credit to our society.           their vehicles can be impounded, maybe they should
Sometimes in the debates I think we tend to overfocus         cease the activity. So there's a direction there.
on those that may be across the line or get out of                I had the pleasure of attending the graduated li-
bounds a little bit.                                          censing announcement out in Richmond probably
     The new Youth Criminal Justice Act on the federal        about a month ago, where the Solicitor General was. It
side came into effect, as many have said, in early 2003.      was a moving experience to actually meet the parents
This replaced the Young Offenders Act which, of               of some young folks that had been killed in a tragic,
course, had many weaknesses and in the public eye             tragic accident. It wasn't really street racing; it was just
was just a horrible series of words, because the public       excess speed. It was one of those situations where there
did not believe that the act in any way protected soci-       was a bunch of kids in a car. Certainly, the faces and
ety from various young offenders. After years of con-         the story told by those parents led me to believe that
sultation, the federal government brought this act in.        the government did the right action in the graduated
I'm talking about this a little bit on the federal side to    licensing initiative and program. That's just another
start with, because I think it's related to the direction     example of this government looking at the actions of
the government is taking here today with regard to the        youth and trying to help them out.
B.C. act. I think there are many similarities and cross-          Of course, we had the PRIME initiative, which is an
overs.                                                        information-sharing initiative that this government
     The new federal act is a strategy based on three key     came forward with, in which all police agencies will be
areas that work together to protect the public: prevent-      coordinated under one information system in order to
ing youth crime, ensuring there are meaningful conse-         possibly share information on all crimes, youth crimes
quences that encourage accountability for offences            included — breaking and entering, car theft and every-
committed by youth and improving rehabilitation for           thing else. The ability to place into custody youth who
youth. The changes the federal government made share          have violated the Motor Vehicle Act and who have
a number of important features — flexibility for the          violated their prohibition is a tremendous step.
provinces in dealing with youth crime, treating violent           For me the most relevant part of this act is the part
and non-violent crimes differently, and focusing on           that talks about youth that trespass on school property
crime prevention in youth.                                    for the purposes of sexual exploitation or gang activity.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                    BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                                 7651

Now they can face custody instead of fines. In the rid-      There are two sections of the act that I would like to
ing I represent, Vancouver-Fraserview, we have two of        comment on in the brief period that I have at this mo-
the largest high schools in Vancouver, with roughly          ment to highlight what I think is the significance of the
2,000 students in each school. We also have 11 elemen-       act and the challenge of the act.
tary schools. I believe it's unbelievably important to            When it talks about youth custody, we're talking
have the ability to give greater sentences for those that    about youths who have come to the attention of the
prey on students on school grounds and specifically for      government or of society because there has been a
gang recruitment.                                            problem, a problem that could have many roots. It
     You know, when you visit these schools, often you       could have many explanations. But the reality is that
will see an awful lot of cars hanging around — cars          there is a problem, and someone must act to deal with
that I wouldn't have driven in my day, certainly very        that circumstance. The youth comes into a system
expensive vehicles. You get the sense that there are a       which is there to protect society but also to protect the
lot of, I would say, predators — folks hanging around        youth himself or herself.
and preying on these kids. So I think this is an abso-            It's interesting that when the person comes into the
lutely tremendous initiative, and this is the part that I    process and when those who have responsibility for
really think was the best of what's being put forward.       making a decision that this person must be taken into
     About a week or so ago the member for Vancouver-        custody…. It's at that point that I'd like to read the sec-
Kensington, the member for Vancouver-Kingsway and            tion of the act that begins to apply. A lot has gone be-
myself met with an inspector of a Vancouver police           fore in the life of that young person to this particular
department to talk about issues in southeast Vancouver       moment. I quote: "29 (1) The person in charge of a
with regard to gangs. We got into talking about gangs        youth custody centre is not required to accept a young
and kids being recruited. We talked about grow ops           person into custody under a warrant of committal
and kids working in those grow ops. I can tell you that      unless a certificate of a medical practitioner certifies for
keeping young people out of those gangs will help us         that young person all of the following: (a) the state of
really start to win the battle on crime. More impor-         health of the young person;(b) that the young person is
tantly, it will probably change a lot of life outcomes for   fit for transfer;(c) that the young person is free from
those kids that aren't recruited into those gangs. The       infectious or contagious disease."
ability to shut that activity down will be a profound             The key point here that came to my attention is that
thing for the area.                                          before a young person can be taken into custody, re-
     I, like most people, was not overjoyed at the report    gardless of what they have done or accomplished,
released last week by the Vancouver Board of Trade,          there must be a certificate indicating the state of the
talking about property crime. We as a society, of            health of that young person. I think it's very important
course, must do more in the community to address the         for us to ask: what is the content of that certificate?
property crime issue. Nothing makes people angrier                In my understanding, health has many dimensions.
than the violation of people's homes and especially the      There's an emotional dimension, there's a mental di-
violation of seniors — and so many incidents we've           mension, there's a physical dimension, and there's a
had in that regard in the last years. I know it angers       spiritual dimension. Those together indicate the health
everybody to the point that they all want to do some-        of a person. Unless all four of those dimensions are
thing. The seniors, being the most vulnerable people in      considered, then we have missed the whole point of
our society, certainly need more protection and more         trying to find a new direction and a new purpose for
support. I believe that curbing the participation in gang    this young person's life. Something has gone wrong,
activity will have an impact on the reduction of prop-       whether it was their fault, whether it's society's fault,
erty crime as well — again, going back to the whole          whether it was a fault in their genes, whether it was
thing of recruiting at schools.                              physical or mental or spiritual or a disability. All of
     I believe this act sends the message to a small mi-     that to me should be summarized and capsulized in
nority of kids who operate outside the rules of society      that medical information. It would be, then, on the ba-
that the province is serious about dealing with those        sis of that medical certificate that one would highlight
that pose a risk to public safety. Bill 63 parallels the     the particular need of responding to that youngster in
federal legislation, intent and direction in ensuring that   order to prepare the program which would go before.
serious offences can attract very serious consequences
                                                                                                                   [1745]
in the case of youth crime. We will always prefer reha-
                                                                  That's highlighted, in the next section, section 30,
bilitation for young persons in trouble, but this gov-
                                                             which gives the responsibility of care:
ernment is committed to safe streets and safe commu-
                                                                 "A young person who is admitted to a youth custody
nities, and actions must be taken to achieve this safety.        centre is subject to the care, control and custody of the
I believe this bill does that.                                   government, and all rights and powers of care, control
                                                    [1740]       and custody of a parent or guardian over the young
                                                                 person cease until that young person is released" —
    V. Anderson: In speaking to Bill 63, the Youth Jus-          again into the community.
tice Act, speakers who have gone before me have re-             In other words, the responsibility of a parent or
ferred to many different parts of the act. When we're        guardian to care for the well-being of that individual is
talking on one hand about youth and about justice….          now undertaken by those of us who have placed the
7652                                             BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003

person in what we loosely say is the control of the            Queen's University. It was my second year, and I had
state. It is a parental-guardian responsibility. When I        an opportunity to take a clinical corrections course that
link that to the medical certificate, a parent or guardian     provided me with a chance to work with inmates in
who takes a youngster for examination then has the             both a maximum-security prison and a minimum-
responsibility to take the results of that examination         security prison. It was a very interesting experience.
and to say, "Where is the need — the spiritual need, the       One of the things I came away with was that ware-
medical need, the mental need and the emotional                housing people in prisons, whether they're maximum
need?" and to develop the programs and responsibili-           security or minimum security, is certainly not the most
ties that will meet the need.                                  effective way to deal with those who are convicted of
     This act, at least in theory, is to provide the oppor-    offences in this country — at least for many of them. I
tunity for the young person to discover themselves in a        speak particularly of those who are there for non-
way that to that point they have not been able to do.          violent crimes.
Until they are able to do that, they're not in a position          However, there's more to justice and more to sen-
to make the kind of free choices and decisions we              tencing people who are convicted of crimes than what
would expect of them. We need the basic framework of           is best for them. In fact, there are at least three princi-
how that kind of care and concern of a parent and              ples that we use in society to sentence people who have
guardian can be undertaken collectively by us as a             been convicted of offences. First, of course, is rehabili-
community.                                                     tation. We talk a lot about rehabilitation. I think we
     The act, though, does not specify or give direction       believe, in our society, that we do a reasonable job. But
as to the programs and care of the guardian, so I'd like       my experience is that rehabilitation, of adult offenders
to highlight that this is but one part of the continuum.       in particular, is extremely difficult, extremely expen-
It's either a key that closes the door on a person's life or   sive and has probably a fairly low rate of success. With
the key that opens the door on the person's life, and it       youth, it's different. I support the notion that if youth
depends which of those keys we wish to follow up. To           are sentenced to incarceration, a very strong effort
me there's a responsibility for us, when we have under-        should be made by society to rehabilitate those youth.
taken to say this is an improvement, to demonstrate the            The second principle of sentencing that judges use
programs, the keys that are in place, so that this person      is the principle of deterrence. Deterrence applies both
has the opportunity that we collectively have the              to the person who has been convicted — society would
power and the authority and resources to provide.              like to deter that person from committing that offence
     On the difference, I think I would use only this one      or that crime and future crimes or offences — but it's
example. When we see pictures of persons who are               also deterrence for other people who may notice that
incarcerated, as we use that term, we often see under          someone has been given six months in jail rather than
them a number. If we see that person, and any of us            perhaps a suspended sentence or some other lesser
who have had passport photos taken know the differ-            sentence such as being on parole. It's important, I think,
ence in those pictures…. One can tell us who we are,           to most people in society that our sentences do deter
and one can tell us who we aren't. Many of the pictures        other folks from deciding to break the rules.
that are taken tell us who we aren't.                              The third principle I want to just mention, which I
     The picture that tells us who we aren't can have a        think should be used in the sentencing of all offenders
number under it. The picture that tells us who we are          — whether they be youth offenders or otherwise — is
can have our name under it, and that name means                what's known as denunciation or social repudiation.
there are relationships and personalities and qualities        This is a principle that, in my opinion, has lost its lustre
and characteristics. There is not a single person who          in the courts. I believe that society looks to the justice
does not have good qualities and good characteristics          system to send a signal when someone breaks the law,
and good opportunities, except for the circumstances in        and I think over the last few decades the signal has
and outside their life.                                        been becoming weaker and weaker. Society looks on
     So I highlight that this act does not solve our prob-     and watches how many people who are convicted of
lem, but it gives us the opportunity to solve the prob-        offences are not punished as stringently as the majority
lem by focusing in on that medical certificate and high-       of people in society think they should be. Then the
lighting the need and the program and the responsibil-         message is that you can get away with it and really not
ity we collectively undertake as parent or guardian.           very much will happen.
That's so we may say, when the person has gone from                                                                 [1755]
our care — whether it's 30 days or 60 days or 90 days              In balancing what I suggest are the three principles
— that they have a better opportunity than when they           — rehabilitation, deterrence and denunciation — it
came into that process. Otherwise, the promise of this         seems to me that one of the things Bill 63 does is recog-
act has failed. The act in itself gives us an opportunity.     nize the importance of sending a signal to the offender:
The results are the responsibilities upon ourselves.           "You've broken the law. You've done something seri-
                                                      [1750]   ous." We're not talking about minor things here. It also
                                                               sends a signal to the rest of us that if you break the law
    B. Bennett: I rise in support of Bill 63.                  in a serious way — it's always serious — that involves
    I had the opportunity in 1990-91 to work in two            harm to others and that sort of thing, you're going to be
prisons in Kingston when I was going to law school at          punished by being put away. That is a serious thing. To
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003                      BRITISH COLUMBIA DEBATES                                             7653

take anyone's freedom away from them is an extremely                This act is a fair balance between focusing on reha-
serious thing for any society to do, but it's necessary both   bilitation for young persons while at the same time
for the offender and, I suggest, just as necessary, just as    making it very clear that if youth commit the kinds of
important, for the rest of us to see that that is done.        offences that I just talked about, they will go to jail. I
     I noticed earlier in this debate that the opposi-         was young once…
tion…. Maybe it was earlier today in question period. I
honestly can't remember when it was, but the opposi-               Interjections.
tion was talking about how this B.C. Liberal caucus
was right wing in their views on criminal justice and              B. Bennett: I know it's hard to believe.
on youth justice in particular. I took the opportunity to          I can say for sure that the threat of incarceration,
look at some of the provincial statute offences that can       the threat of actually going to jail, is a deterrent for any
now, under this new act, result in custody for youth           young person, particularly a young man at the age of
just to see for myself whether or not these criticisms         17 or 18.
had any validity at all. I'll just reference for the House a       There's a lot of noise in the House right now. I'm
couple of these offences that now have the option for          having a hard time collecting my thoughts, but I'm
our courts to use custody.                                     getting close to the end now. I'll just close by stating
     One is youth who trespass on school property for          that I do support the act. I do want to make very clear,
the purposes of sexual exploitation or gang activity           however, that I think incarcerating young people is a
under the School Act. They can now face a maximum              very serious step. It should only be done in the most
of 30 days in custody instead of fines or instead of           serious of situations, and I believe that is accomplished
community service or probation. It seems that someone          with this legislation.
who trespasses on school property for the purposes of
sexual exploitation or gang activity should get some               Mr. Speaker: On second reading of Bill 63, the At-
sort of a serious reprimand, and that would be 30 days         torney General closes debate.
in jail. That seems like a reasonable thing to do. It
seems like a good signal to send to that person, to his            Hon. G. Plant: Well, no, in fact, Mr. Speaker. Not-
or her friends and to the rest of society.                     ing the continued interest of members in this subject, I
     Another example is youth who bring contraband into        move adjournment of debate.
a youth custody centre or adult correctional centre in vio-
lation of the Correction Act. They can now face a maxi-            Hon. G. Plant moved adjournment of debate.
mum of 30 days in custody instead of fines, community
service or probation. There again, it seems like a reason-         Motion approved.
able change to allow courts to levy a 30-day sentence.
     There are other examples. There's an example un-              Hon. G. Plant moved adjournment of the House.
der the Motor Vehicle Act where a youth who was
convicted of driving while prohibited or suspended                 Motion approved.
from driving can now face 90 days in custody instead
of the maximum 30. There again, with all of the street            Mr. Speaker: The House stands adjourned until 10
racing and all of the mayhem in our towns and cities           a.m. tomorrow.
with youth these days, it seems that's not an untoward
change either.                                                     The House adjourned at 6 p.m.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:10/28/2012
language:Latin
pages:39