February 14, 1994 (35th Parliament, 1st Session)


Art Hanger


Mr. Hanger

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.
It is important to point out that historically there has been case law, founded in common law, supporting police officers in these situations. I believe there have been several cases in Canada where police officers have shot individuals and have been exonerated through the courts for their actions.
The concern is that now every time a situation occurs in which a police officer has to use deadly force he will be evaluated totally on a charter basis. What other issues could be brought into such situations? Are there going to be political ramifications if a community says: "We feel that he erred in his judgment prior to the incident" or "Police in general have not been handling themselves properly in the community and as a result certain individuals feel they are being picked on?" Are these points going to be brought up in the hearings of police officers? That is my question.
I would like to have these matters specifically addressed by the minister. That has not happened thus far.
I am aware that the Canadian Police Association has been addressed and two submissions have been forwarded over the last two years. I realize that this legislation is part of what the Conservatives started. Again, let us be realistic. The Canadian Police Association and its representatives are rather on the political side themselves. Many of their arguments have been presented on that basis.
I think if we go into the practical evaluation of this piece of legislation that we will find that many police forces have not discussed this matter and have never heard of it. This is news to them even to the point of reading about it in the news. An honest evaluation and practical discussion about how this will affect policing has not been done.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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