Evidence of meeting #38 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 restitution.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Howard Sapers  Correctional Investigator, Office of the Correctional Investigator
  • Marie-France Kingsley  Director of Investigations, Office of the Correctional Investigator
  • Catherine Kane  Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice
  • Elissa Lieff  Director General and Senior General Counsel, Family, Children and Youth Section, Department of Justice

4:15 p.m.

Correctional Investigator, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Howard Sapers

In fact, it may be possible to contemplate a list of awards that should be excluded from any scheme contemplated under Bill C-350, and you could attach that list as a schedule to the act. You could create a schedule relating to the new subsection 78(1) and then review that schedule from time to time. Certainly, residential school claims or, perhaps, claims arising out of human rights complaints are things you may want to exclude.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Thank you very much.

You also talked about—

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

Be brief.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

You also talked about disputes or disagreements and I found it very interesting that there's no mechanism in there for those, but I think we could probably come up with an amendment that would deal with those, to ensure that a mediator would be made available to make sure that the dispute resolution process took place, or something like that. Would you see that as a valuable addition to this bill?

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

Be very brief, if you can.

4:15 p.m.

Correctional Investigator, Office of the Correctional Investigator

Howard Sapers

This is where my concern really begins to manifest itself. With the layers of administration you would put on, do you want to create a legislative necessity for that with either a mediation process or another kind of process to arbitrate, negotiate, or settle disputes?

So could I contemplate a series of amendments? Certainly. Do I think that it would be the most appropriate way? That's exactly the question I raise in my opening comments. I question whether that's the most appropriate way to do it.

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

Thank you very much.

I think with the unanimous consent of the committee, since we're in the second round, I will offer Mr. Scarpaleggia five minutes at this point if he chooses to use it. Is that agreed?

May 8th, 2012 / 4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Chair, to be honest, all the questions have been asked—at least based on what I've heard. But I appreciate the offer. I'll maybe bank it for some other time.

4:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

4:15 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

No, I don't think there's any banking of time allowed at this committee.

So I think that's going to conclude our questions for you today, Mr. Sapers, and Ms. Kingsley. Thank you very much for appearing before the committee once again, and I'm sure we will see you from time to time.

As our other witnesses are here, we will suspend for just about two minutes while the other witnesses come to the table.

Thank you very much.

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

Welcome to our witnesses today. We have with us on Bill C-350, from the Department of Justice, Catherine Kane, the director general and senior general counsel of the criminal law policy section, and Ms. Elissa Lieff, the senior general counsel of the family, children, and youth section. Thank you very much for appearing on short notice. We do appreciate that.

I understand that you may wish to make only brief or no opening statements, so I leave that in your hands.

4:20 p.m.

Catherine Kane Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Thank you.

I have not prepared opening statements. Our understanding was that the committee might have some questions for us. I can briefly indicate that I would be prepared to answer questions with respect to the restitution provisions and the victims surcharge provisions, having had extensive experience dealing with those amendments over many years in my responsibility for criminal law policy in the Department of Justice.

My colleague would be well placed to answer questions with respect to family law enforcement, regarding at least the federal government's role in that area.

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair Randall Garrison

Okay. Thank you very much.

Then we'll begin with questions from the government side.

Ms. Hoeppner, for seven minutes.

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Thank you very much. I might not need seven minutes.

I'm wondering if you would give us your views on, or if you have been able to evaluate, the constitutionality of this bill in its present form.

4:20 p.m.

Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Catherine Kane

I'm not prepared to speak to the constitutionality of the bill. It would be other colleagues within the Department of Justice who may have been consulted with respect to its constitutionality. My understanding was that you had questions with respect to surcharges and restitution, and I was specifically asked to speak to those issues.