The discussion goes on in the same vein. The conclusion reached, particularly after the production of the opinion by Mr. Varcoe, was that no further amendment to the Criminal Code was necessary. This was summed up on page 244 of the evidence where Mr. Lesage is reported as saying:
The opinion of the deputy minister of justice, which is accepted by the Canadian government, is that the provisions of the Criminal Code as they are now cover all the possibilities and are such that any of the acts mentioned in articles II and III are punishable under our law.
If this were not so, and if the government seem to be of the opinion to send this matter to a committee to do the same work as was done in 1952, if the government felt that legislation needed to be introduced, then why did the government not introduce the legislation? Despite that, despite the government's leaving the initiative to a private member, if the government still feels there is a gap in the criminal law, I believe the members of this house are entitled to hear the government say so. They may find us all willing to go along with any suggestion made, but as a private member I can only see a waste of time and duplication of effort by referring this matter to a committee. It was exhaustively examined in 1952 and the opinion of the Department of Justice has been given. Nothing has been said so far in the debate to put the matter in a different light so far as the opinion of the Department of Justice is concerned. It seems to me the bill is trying to do something which is completely unnecessary.
The crime of genocide, the crime that is purported to be set up by clauses 3 and 4 of the bill are, in my personal view, covered by the existing provisions of the Criminal Code. I have confirmed that personal view. I have satisfied myself and it has been bolstered by the debates of 1952, specifically by the proceedings in committee in 1952, and more strongly by the opinion of the deputy minister of justice which I have already quoted and set forth on the record of this debate.
I have not yet heard anything in this debate which convinces me that any subsequent cases or acts have altered the situation, so
that the opinion of the deputy minister given in 1952 is still just as valid today as it was then.
Topic: PROVISION OF PENALTIES UNDER UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION