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

Noon

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

I am not trying to be stubborn with him.

Noon

Vice-President, Association of Families of Persons Assassinated or Disappeared

Michel Surprenant

Neither am I.

Noon

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Mr. Goguen.

May 17th, 2012 / noon

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Surprenant, you said that pedophilia could not be cured.

I'll ask the chief to comment on this too.

Actually, once they are released, they should be monitored. My understanding is that, under the current Criminal Code, the maximum probation period during which monitoring takes place is three years.

Do you think the Criminal Code should be amended as it relates to sexual offences against children so the probation period is longer?

I don't know whether you got that, Chief. I was just saying, basically, that pedophilia is probably not curable. Under the Criminal Code, the maximum probation period after being freed is three years.

Should the Criminal Code be extended to give a longer probation period in the case of sexual offenders against children?

My question is for Mr. Surprenant, first.

12:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Association of Families of Persons Assassinated or Disappeared

Michel Surprenant

Obviously, three years is not long enough. When you know a pedophile can't be cured, three years is nothing.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

So we should extend that period, perhaps amend the Criminal Code to provide for a longer monitoring period. Should it be for their entire life?

12:05 p.m.

Vice-President, Association of Families of Persons Assassinated or Disappeared

Michel Surprenant

Right now, there are provisions whereby a sexual predator can be deemed a long-term offender who is subject to supervision for a minimum of 10 years.

In the U.S., for instance, after the second or third offence, the predator is castrated or sent to prison for life. I would say there is still a ways to go between that extreme sentence and ours.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Chief?

12:05 p.m.

Woodstock Police Service

Chief Rodney B. Freeman

I'd like to comment that we could do a lot better in a lot of areas of the Criminal Code. I think that's why Canadians are looking at our system and sometimes viewing it as too weak. I think there are improvements we can make.

In the case of the kidnapping of a child under 16 years of age by a stranger, I believe that by establishing a five-year minimum we are making a statement. We are drawing a line in the sand saying that our children are our most vulnerable citizens, and should you kidnap one of them under 16 years of age, this is the minimum you're going to look at.

Right now, we're standing with our hands in our pockets and we're accepting—let's go way out there—that somebody could get probation for kidnapping a child under 16. Now that's way out there, and I appreciate that. But I think, first of all, that this member's bill has created this discussion, which I think is very helpful—I know it's helpful in our community—but I think that we as the lawmakers and the law enforcement community have to draw that line in the sand and say, if you do this, you're looking at five years minimum.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Okay.

Do I have any time left?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Yes, you have two minutes.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Chief, the accused have both been convicted now. They're being incarcerated. Will they ever be placed in the general population?

12:05 p.m.

Woodstock Police Service

Chief Rodney B. Freeman

I would have my doubts. Even inmates have their standards, and I don't think these two will ever see general population.....

I know Rafferty will not see general population, I wouldn't expect. McClintic is in a slightly different environment. I think she'll be in a controlled environment inside the institution.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

So even among people who are incarcerated, this is a very heinous crime. They wouldn't expose them to the risks of being in the general population, because even the convicted people don't accept this. Is that correct?

12:05 p.m.

Woodstock Police Service

Chief Rodney B. Freeman

That's right. They see them as the pitiful misfits that we see them as. As I say, even criminals have their standards, and child abduction, child rape, child murder is the very bottom of that cesspool.