Evidence of meeting #32 for Public Safety and National Security in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was health.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

11:35 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

In my opinion, it will be important for committee members to spend time with both of these people. Ms. Paquette will be able to give you an overview of the operational challenges of managing a treatment centre located in a penitentiary. In addition, I advise you to meet with the clinical director of the regional mental health centre. He may be able to shed a different light on the challenges of managing and delivering professional mental health services, given that security imperatives always seem to take precedence over mental health treatment services.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Is Mr. Lévesque still the clinical director?

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

No, Pierre Landry is the clinical director.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

So he will be able to explain how things work in terms of security, clinical management and so on.

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Do you think it would be a good idea to meet with the head psychiatrist, if we have time? I believe it is Mr. Da Silva.

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

In this particular case, I would strongly encourage you to meet with Ms. Roy, a psychiatrist. She provides services on a priority basis to the Special Handling Unit, which you will be visiting, and the regional reception centre. She will be able to give you a very good idea of the needs of offenders upon admission and of the Special Handling Unit.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Since the regional mental health centre is part of the facility and since we will be at the Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines site, perhaps we could see the regional reception centre.

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

Absolutely. The regional reception centre is in the same facility as the Special Handling Unit. Each of those organizations occupies about half of the facility. It will give you an opportunity to get a sense of both realities.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

The SHU is really the only super maximum facility in Canada, correct?

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

That is correct.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

At one point, I heard that they were trying to set up another one.

11:40 a.m.

Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Nathalie Neault

The Correctional Service of Canada did indeed suggest that a special handling unit could be opened again. It was a unit in the Saskatchewan penitentiary that existed more than 10 years ago but was closed. There was no need for extra bed space. In the past two years, there was talk of re-opening a special handling unit. Funding was even set aside. But we were told that the idea had since been rejected.

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Thank you very much, Ms. Neault.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Garry Breitkreuz

Are there any more questions from the Bloc?

Mr. Davies, do you have any comments or questions?