Evidence of meeting #38 for Justice and Human Rights in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was children.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Sure. I was just going to say the word a lawyer would use for that is “deterrence”. It helps to stop others in their tracks before they commit the act.

But thank you very much again for your attendance.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Thank you.

I have Mr. Scott.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Boivin.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Madam Boivin.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Scott takes many forms today.

To continue on from Mr. Woodworth, and to quote Justice Major, who was here on Tuesday:

That would be the hope,

—when you have a minimum—

but experience shows that the severity of the crime seldom acts as a deterrent, because there's a philosophy that says the criminal doesn't believe he's going to be caught.

That's sometimes the problem.

I would like to ask the chief—I knew I'd get your attention—if you think Rafferty would have committed his crime had there been a five-year minimum. Do you think that would have stopped him?

11:55 a.m.

Woodstock Police Service

Chief Rodney B. Freeman

I don't think this would have stopped him, no. He is an absolute monster, and he is now away, hopefully for the rest of his life, where he will never, ever harm another child, as is his accomplice. Those two were fuelled by the Internet, by pornography. They were googling a lot of extremely harmful websites, and they were determined that they were going to take a child that day, and it happened to be Victoria.

May 17th, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

You see me coming. That's my problem, in the sense that I don't know if we're just giving us, as a society, a sense of comfort, and in a sense a sad sense of comfort. Because if we're sending the message to society that by doing this you can feel more secure and that your kids are now safe, there's a problem, because they're not. There are still predators out there. There are still sick people out there. By doing so sometimes I think we avoid taking the real bull by the horns and addressing the real problem. So that's one of my problems, because I don't, in my heart, even though I'd love the sentence to be even bigger, I say to myself that it will not make somebody stop doing that.

What I do get comfort from is not looking at the bottom and the minimum sentence but looking at the top. I review the jurisprudence and I try to see if there's a problem. Normally if we try to fix something, it's because there is a problem. Otherwise, I don't know what we're doing. I'm looking, and I don't see a problem because I don't see the court being lenient with that type of infraction.