House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the rules and the regulations of the prison system as I understand them make it possible for anybody who does not wish to receive mail from a particular prisoner to let that be known and the prison will see to it that person does not send mail to that person.

I spoke earlier about inflammatory language and emotive rhetoric. I think we can say now we have seen one of the prime examples from this hon. member who takes a discussion of the principles of criminal law to such extremes.

We should focus on the real issues, making streets safe, making communities safe, making the laws stronger and having a justice system that is sensitive to the interests of victims. That is exactly what our priority has been these last three and a half years, whether with changes to the criminal law in relation to the drunkenness defence which created an awful lot of victims or changes to the access by defence counsel to confidential records.

Our strategy, as opposed to the strategy of those with the rhetoric across the aisle, is to do things to make sure we have fewer victims in this country. That is the strategy of this government.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has just witnessed an appalling lack of understanding of what victims want. Victims of crime want to be informed, if the minister wants specifics, in a timely fashion of the crown's intention to offer a plea bargain before it is presented to the defence.

Does the justice minister have a problem with that request? Will he tell Canadians today that he will legislate this before an election is called?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member shows breathtaking presumptuousness in pretending that he speaks on behalf of victims, in pretending that he and his colleagues alone understand the needs of victims. Of course they do not.

If we need any evidence of that proposition, think back to that day in 1995 when victims appeared in a room in this building. They were people who had lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers to tragic violent crime, people who had been shot to death. There were victims who came here in tears to ask

these hon. members to vote in favour of Bill C-68 to control firearms more effectively. And what did they do? They turned a deaf ear to those victims. They turned their backs to those victims. Almost all of them voted against the very bill those victims wanted.

The example given by the hon. member today demonstrates his inability to grasp this issue. Plea bargains by prosecuting crown attorneys are in the jurisdiction of the provinces. I have taken up with the provinces my concern that they approve those systems. If the hon. member would have regard for what we are doing he would know we have the interests of victims very much at heart.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Last fall, the Government of Quebec officially asked the federal government to return amounts set aside for parental leave as provided under the Employment Insurance Act so that it could implement its own family policy. However, last week we read in the media that the minister intends to make this conditional on reaching an agreement on manpower training.

Can the minister give us the assurance today that negotiating recovery of the amounts provided for parental leave under employment insurance will not be conditional on an agreement on manpower training?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Mercier should not be too concerned about the conditional aspect, since the Government of Canada is still confident an agreement on manpower will be concluded with the Government of Quebec. This has been a long-standing priority for all Quebec workers. I want to stress that as far as we are concerned, any conditions would be minimal.

To reassure the hon. member for Mercier, I would like to add that the government intends to be very flexible and is open to suggestions on parental insurance, as we are in all areas for which we are responsible.

In fact, I can confirm that our officials will meet on April 11, if I am not mistaken, for a second session to rough out the main aspects of this initiative, and we are therefore confident that we will be on target.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems, and I would like to be quite clear about this, that negotiating the recovery of amounts set aside for parental leave under employment insurance will not be conditional on reaching an agreement on manpower training, and I hope my impression is correct.

Is the minister prepared to do what it takes to ensure that an agreement on parental leave is reached between now and the next federal election?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it would have been nice if the official opposition had asked me to spend all available time on settling the manpower question once and for all.

The opposition is asking me to take time off from my work on the manpower issue to discuss parental insurance, which is very important to us as well. The federal legislation is very flexible, and we have no doubt we will be able to reach an agreement.

I can assure the hon. member that the Minister of Human Resources Development is a hard worker. We will do every thing it takes to deal with these issues and update Canadian federalism to meet the expectations of Quebecers.

Justice
Oral Question Period

April 8th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, on March 14 a pedophile, who is a nine time offender, was released into the community of Red Deer. I met with over 200 concerned parents in a gymnasium. At that meeting, the RCMP said that this person would reoffend. The prison officials said that he would reoffend. The parole board said that he would reoffend. They say that the next time his crime will probably be more violent.

The people in my community, the young parents who were there, asked whether one of their children would be the 10th victim. What message will the justice minister give these parents?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as a parent of young children, I recognize the concern that any parent feels about such an offender or such offences.

It is because I am a parent of young children that I drew particular satisfaction with the initiative of which I was a part when the government and the caucus introduced Bill C-55 to deal with exactly the kind of case that the hon. member has described.

The system has to change and it has to change in the way that we proposed in the high risk offender legislation. That bill, as the hon. member knows, will empower the sentencing court at the time sentence is passed to require that after the person is released from prison, unless they are jailed indefinitely, they can be supervised closely for a period up to 10 years to make sure that our children are safe from them. That is in addition to the provisions already in the code allowing the criminal court at the request of provincial AGs to ask that someone be locked up for the rest of their lives without possibility of release.

I believe Bill C-55 is going to make my choice-

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Red Deer.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is just not good enough. I looked into the eyes of these parents and they are feeling scared for their children. They are saying that the system and the justice department are failing them. They are not delivering. This pedophile committed nine other offences. The psychiatrists say he will reoffend. This individual is sick.

The Liberal answer that I got is not good enough. I want the justice minister to tell the people what he is going to do for them. This is happening right across Canada.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I shall have to send to the hon. member a copy of Bill C-55 which deals specifically with the kind of situation he has described.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Well, that's really good.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

There's a great answer, a photocopy.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

We'll send it to every pedophile.