Evidence of meeting #36 for Public Safety and National Security in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was victims.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Ross Toller  Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada
  • Alexandra Budgell  Counsel, Department of Justice
  • Susan O'Sullivan  Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Right.

So you would probably know there was some litigation out there that.... But at the moment of settlement, you're not entitled to notice or are not necessarily going to find it. Any communication the individual has with his or her solicitor is privileged.

3:50 p.m.

Counsel, Department of Justice

Alexandra Budgell

That's right.

3:50 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

That's right.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

So you can't eavesdrop on conversations. So it is conceivable that a prisoner could settle a personal injury lawsuit without your knowing—at least not for some time.

3:50 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

Yes, that is correct.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

You indicated in your closing comments that you clearly view rehabilitation as a two-way commitment, but you fell short of endorsing this bill.

I'm curious, generally, but with respect to private member's bills, obviously some assessment goes on within the Correctional Service of Canada. At some point does the commission come up with a recommendation or are you here with neutrality and to answer my technical questions and any other technical questions from the committee members?

3:50 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

Yes, we're here with neutrality in regard to making an opinion, short of the fact that offender accountability is very important to the Correctional Service of Canada for the reasons I described earlier.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Okay.

So in my hypothetical case, where an individual came into a motor vehicle accident with a serious injury that could be in tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, what mechanically would be different? Currently, if I were a creditor of the inmate and if I knew he was coming into money, I could attach garnishee proceeds if I knew the day that the cheque was coming in. But if I'm reading this bill correctly, certain priorities will be established in favour of custodial and child and spousal commitments. What does that mean mechanically for the Correctional Service of Canada in terms of keeping track of those obligations out there?

3:50 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

Mechanically it's a difficulty right now. As I mentioned, if an inmate has a family court order against him for paying both spousal support and child support, we have no mechanism that makes us aware of that. In most cases, if we do become aware of that, it's inmate-generated, in other words, that we've been advised of that. So system-wise and mechanically wise, that's an issue.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

I don't mean to have you look into the future, but do you envision having to maintain some sort of registry? Or, for example, if I represent the spouse of an inmate who's owed money pursuant to a child support order, do you envisage my registering my judgment with the Correctional Service of Canada? Do you envision that kind of mechanical process?

3:50 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

From an implementation standpoint, I would see that we had to have some sort of mechanism that would bring awareness to a monetary award that was given. Those who have claim to the monetary award would have to be made aware of that in order to access those particular funds.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Thank you.

That's all I have, Mr. Chair.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Kevin Sorenson

We'll move to Mr. Scarpaleggia, please.

May 1st, 2012 / 3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Thank you.

Thank you for joining us.

I don't know if these are pertinent questions for you, but you mentioned that it's very hard to know what awards an inmate is getting, other than federal awards. On federal awards you said that it's fairly straightforward, that you're informed.

3:55 p.m.

Deputy Commissioner, Transformation and Renewal Team, Correctional Service of Canada

Ross Toller

The Correctional Service of Canada is informed. Other federal departments are not.