Evidence of meeting #45 for Justice and Human Rights in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was c-36.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Kim Pate

I think we should, but I think we should also look at what we do when we ask.... Your point about a victim's feeling a responsibility to come I think is a very real issue. It's a time when many people don't want to be re-victimized and don't want to revisit, for all kinds of reasons. I think recognizing that there are different reasons for that is important.

If we're going to really focus on the needs of victims, we should be looking much earlier in the process. At the time these offences happen, there should be massive amounts of support provided for individuals, not support that feels very much like an afterthought of providing an opportunity for impact statements in a context in which our system has never contemplated that, and for good reason. I am not speaking now just as someone who works within the system, but also as someone who is a mother and has children and has had the experience that I talked about.

To pretend that we're actually providing some support and assistance to victims by allowing them to do victim impact statements at any stage is false. It's not a system that contemplates victim involvement, except as witnesses or in some other way. If we really want to meet the needs of victims, we should be looking at the very real trauma and loss that happens and how we assist in those stages, and not try to mess about with fair and due process rights and charter rights in a context in which what we really want is a fair system. We've set up the system in the way we have because we recognize that if you came to me right after something had happened to my child, I wouldn't be able to think fairly about that individual at all.

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Fast

I'm going to have to cut you off there. We're about a minute over.

We'll move on to Monsieur Ménard for seven minutes.

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

First, I would like to ask whether anyone who has benefited from these provisions has ever committed another murder or homicide?

4:15 p.m.

Regional Director, Criminal Lawyers' Association

Michael Mandelcorn

Sorry, I didn't get the translation.

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Fast

Just repeat the question.

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

I will start my seven minutes over again.

Are you aware of any cases where an individual benefited from that provision and then committed another homicide?

4:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Kim Pate

I'm not aware of anybody.

4:15 p.m.

Victims of Violence

Sharon Rosenfeldt

I'm not aware of anybody.

4:15 p.m.

Regional Director, Criminal Lawyers' Association

Michael Mandelcorn

Except for the statistics that I quoted earlier about a violent offence, but I didn't define what that violent offence was, I don't know of any new murder....

4:15 p.m.

Victims of Violence

Sharon Rosenfeldt

No, I don't either.

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Mandelcorn, some victims told us about how emotionally taxing it was for them to come back every two years and go through the whole procedure again. I understand that you are not in favour of this legislation, but what if it were limited? What if their applications were turned down, they had to wait five years before being able to apply again? Would you be in agreement with this?

4:15 p.m.

Regional Director, Criminal Lawyers' Association

Michael Mandelcorn

I should note that I'm not a historian or very good at statistical analysis. I'm not aware of a case in which the initial review was unsuccessful whether the offender would have reapplied.

I've never dealt with a case like that. Maybe Ms. Pate or Ms. Rosenfeldt know.

4:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Kim Pate

I know of one man, but none of the women have reapplied.

4:15 p.m.

Victims of Violence

Sharon Rosenfeldt

I don't know of any.

4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Rosenfeldt, would it be an improvement for victims to know that a new application could not be filed within five years once the first application has been filed, testimony has been given, and the application has been turned down?