November 21, 2005 (38th Parliament, 1st Session)


Bev Oda


Ms. Bev Oda

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for this opportunity to expand on the discussion that occurred at the heritage committee.
We all agree that this is a very important piece of legislation that has to be passed. Consequently, I wanted to make sure that we had thoroughly explored all aspects of it.
I know that within the military there are obligations regarding cultural properties that already exist and therefore, I asked for clarification on how this bill would work with those existing obligations. We were told that this bill not only complements what the military has as an obligation, but it enhances the obligation of the military and of all Canadian citizens and the Canadian judicial system. That makes very good sense because we are not replacing one with the other. In fact, we are strengthening our obligations to the international community.
I was assured by the department and the people who have studied this piece of legislation thoroughly that the retroactivity would not necessarily apply. We all have heard stories about past conflicts where cultural objects have been seen under certain circumstances as trophies to bring home if people were able to access such objects from another country during times of conflict.
I suggest in the terms of this legislation that would be an acquisition in good faith and there would be no retroactivity for those properties.
When we look at this bill and the conflicts that are happening in various countries and states that have a rich tradition of cultural heritage, I think it will help the world enhance the protection going forward.
My party has no problem with this bill and is pleased to support it.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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