Bill C-608 (Historical)
An Act to amend the Criminal Code (failure to inform)
This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.
Michel Guimond Bloc
Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)
Introduction and First Reading
(This bill did not become law.)
Disposition of Abolition of Early Parole Act
February 14th, 2011 / 4:40 p.m.
Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC
That is exactly why they did it in a press release.
The Bloc Québécois does not care whether the Bloc or the government sponsored the bill. However, this does seem to be important to my colleague, the Liberal public safety critic. That is not what is important. What is important is that we abolish the one-sixth rule, that we get rid of accelerated parole review, and that we stop undermining our current justice system and people's confidence in our ability to protect them.
The Conservatives have not yet grasped that people do not want harsh sentences, they want sentences that are served. They want sentences to be served in their entirety. Therefore, this Conservative negligence is further proof that this government is, in my view, more concerned with putting on a show than anything else.
However, I am assuming that this goodwill could perhaps shed a little more intellectual light on their view of public safety. I invite them to support other Bloc bills that are currently in the works, effective bills that will ensure public safety and victim protection.
The first Bloc Québécois bill, Bill C-343, would support the families of victims of crime. I will not repeat it, but this bill has received a great deal of support, and I invite them to support it. Another Bloc bill, Bill C-608, would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence not to report to the authorities instances of sexual or physical abuse of children. I invite them to support this bill as well as my bill on human trafficking, which would make it possible to impose consecutive sentences on traffickers and pimps and also to seize the assets of these criminals. Let us keep the momentum going: I invite them to support our other worthwhile bills.
And now I would like to discuss the urgency of this situation. Why pass this bill quickly and therefore limit the time for debate, given that there is obstruction on all sides? They would prefer to talk about it for days, months, or even years. The question is “"Why?” The answer is: Because it is urgent. We now know—and we all know it—that this provision is absurd, that it makes no sense and that it should be eliminated. We all know it. Yes, it is true that Earl Jones will soon be eligible, but he is not the only one. There are many guys like him that the media do not talk about, who get away with it and discover that crime pays well, because they are making money. They go to prison for a few months and then they are out again.
The Liberal Party of Canada and the NDP are saying that we have plenty of time to study this bill and that the overall system needs to be looked at. That is not true. When we look at Bill C-39, which is currently before committee, we see that not witnesses have yet been heard. And so, debate on the bill at committee stage is far from complete and it still needs to be sent back to the House. I can assure you that at this pace, we can expect Earl Jones and all the others like him—in Quebec, Canada or elsewhere—to have been released.
It would be untrue to say that splitting Bill C-39, as we did, is wrong and should never be done because it would be dreadful. That is hypocritical. In fact, last summer we split Bill C-23, much to the pleasure of the Liberals and the NDP. We kept certain provisions. Other provisions are currently being studied in committee.
I would like to remind the Liberal and NDP members that, if their current irresponsibility were copied by the majority of parliamentarians—which I hope will not be the case—it would lead to the possible early release of another economic predator, Mr. Jones.
Moreover, Judge Hélène Morin had the following to say about Earl Jones. She gave the example of the case of one of Mr. Jones' victims, Ms. JD—her real name has not been released. The story is quite tragic and shocking. Ms. JD's husband was killed by mass murderer Valery Fabrikant at Concordia University in 1992. While she was in mourning for her husband, she turned to Earl Jones for financial and management advice. She had accompanied her husband to a financial planning session in Pointe-Claire a few years previously.
To Ms. JD, Earl Jones seemed incredibly comfortable managing money, an area with which she was not very familiar. Over the years, she began to allow him to make decisions on her behalf more and more frequently.
This woman suffered unbelievable grief as a result of the actions of mass murderer Valery Fabrikant and then she found herself the victim of another predator, this time a financial one, Earl Jones. Can we put ourselves in this woman's shoes? Can we imagine how she must have felt when she found out that this man was going to get out of prison after only a few months? Do we agree that this is not right? And since it is not right, this partisan attitude is even less appropriate. Such an attitude should not prevail here. The public interest should be our priority.
Judge Morin said that Ms. JD was upset when Earl Jones made the headlines. The media described him as a financial predator but she believed that he actually cared about her and her family.
I am not making any of this up. It is normal. Those who commit a fraud of this magnitude and even those who commit smaller-scale fraud are very skilled manipulators.
Judge Morin added that, after all, Mr. Jones had counselled Ms. JD following the death of her husband. Before abandoning him, Ms. JD wanted to know the truth. As she wrote in her statement, the truth was that he had abandoned them, her and the others. He did not have any pity for his clients regardless of their age or needs. In addition to having to deal with the tragic death of her husband, she also had to deal with being a victim of the accused.
This guy was absolutely merciless. And he is just one of many. Fraudsters of that ilk, and even small-time fraudsters, show no mercy for their victims. For them, it is a way to make a fast buck. We can imagine how important it is to keep these people in prison in order to rehabilitate them and to reduce the factors that led them into crime. If they get out after a few months, how can we work with these men and women—for there are also women who do this—and rehabilitate them? It takes time.
However, when a law states that they must be transferred to a halfway house after one-sixth of their sentence is served, how can they participate in any programs on the inside? Is it safe to say that all risk factors have been reduced at that point? Have they worked on their criminogenic factors? Not everything is being considered here.
The petty politics that the Liberals and NDP are playing are only going to help people like Earl Jones and Vincent Lacroix, who are merely symbols; there are many others. The Liberals and NDP are going to allow their release, even though such criminals have not necessarily had the opportunity to take programs that target their criminogenic factors.
In my riding, in Montreal and Laval, we also had our fraudster. There have been a few, but one really stands out: Leon Kordzian. He unscrupulously cheated 25 people in Montreal and Laval out of $1 million.
He speaks several languages and is very intelligent. He defrauded a number of people of Armenian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Greek and Italian origin. He recruited them at a small, well-known, local coffee shop. He had contacts. It is even said that he might have had a contact at the bank. These people lost everything: their retirement, their homes. They are living a nightmare.
At the end of January, the leader of the Liberal Party came to my riding and was five minutes away from the coffee shop where Mr. Kordzian had operated. Did the Liberal leader meet with any of this fraudster's victims? Will he meet with them to explain that, because of his petty politics, this fraudster might get released after serving one-sixth of his sentence? Whether this happens in Ahuntsic, in Canada or in Quebec, the Liberals and the NDP will have to be accountable for this.
December 15th, 2010 / 3:40 p.m.
Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-608, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (failure to inform).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill on behalf of all of my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois. This bill would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence not to report physical or sexual abuse against a child to the proper authorities. It refers to minors under the age of 18. We hope to target cases in which someone witnesses such abuse in his or her immediate surroundings or someone in a position of authority within an organization, who, in order to protect that organization, refuses to report either physical or sexual abuse.
It is my hope that this bill will easily reach consensus in the House and that it will pass in order to protect children and the victims of physical and sexual abuse.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)