House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parole.

Topics

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Madam Speaker, I am deeply disappointed by the member's comments. The idea that there would be a person in the House who feels that somebody who rapes a child should not go to jail is offensive. The assertion that anybody in the House would support that idea is offensive. It does a great disservice to this debate. It is particularly dishonest when we are talking about a bill that deals with first-time non-violent offenders. It is mind-boggling that the member would talk about whether people in the House support rape victims when we are dealing with a bill concerning first-time non-violent offenders.

On the bill that we are actually dealing with, fearmongering and hyperbole aside, I wonder if the member could provide three very simple answers.

One, what is the cost of this bill? We have been asking again and again and we have yet to get that answer.

Two, every jurisdiction that has tried longer periods of incarceration for first-time non-violent offenders has found that it has led to more recidivism. In case the member does not know what I mean by that, that means more crime, more victims, more victimization. It has been highly unsuccessful. I wonder what statistics he has and what he could provide in terms of rehabilitation.

Three, the Liberal Party, some two years ago in justice committee, presented amendments that would end the practice of accelerated parole for individuals who commit large-scale fraud. We have been pushing for that for years and yet the government has not acted. Now the government is trying to eliminate it all. Why?

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

February 15th, 2011 / 10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Madam Speaker, the question actually speaks to the arrogance of the member and the Liberal Party.

The member is trying to separate victims. Is a victim of a violent crime any worse off than somebody who has been defrauded in some way, who has had millions of dollars or thousands of dollars taken from him or her? The Liberals are trying to make different classes of victims.

That is what happens with members opposite. They do not care about victims. What they care about is trying to score some cheap political points. They have been trying to out flip-flop the NDP, so they have found themselves in a bit of a dilemma on crime legislation.

The Liberals know that Canadians do not trust them when it comes to anything to do with crime. They know that Canadians look to this government and to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety to finally restore balance in the criminal justice system. They find themselves in a bit of a quandary.

What do Liberals do when they find themselves in a quandary? They steal from the NDP. They think they should go back to their coalition partners and support the NDP because nobody believes the Liberals will ever get tough on crime.

The member talked about more criminals. I love the Liberal position on this issue. The Liberals are comparing Canada to the United States. It is absolutely unbelievable they would make that type of comparison. I would suggest that our societies are completely different. We have public health care in this country. We have a system that supports victims. We have all kinds of systems that help people avoid turning to crime. The problem is that the system was so tilted toward the people who commit crime during the years the Liberals were in power that we have to try to restore some semblance of balance.

While the member for Ajax—Pickering completely ignores what his constituents want, this side of the House will make sure that the people of Ajax--Pickering have representation from this side of the House. We will make sure that the criminals who commit crime, whether that member thinks it is a serious crime or not, will be put in jail because we feel it is serious even if the Liberals and the member for Ajax--Pickering do not.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives are raging about the Liberals speaking out against closure and yet only five years ago they were routinely raging at the former Liberal government for doing the same thing. That is rather rich coming from them.

The Conservatives talk about getting their act together. I would suggest they get their act together and start providing the costing that we and the Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering have been asking for consistently, not only on this crime bill but on other crime bills the government has brought forward.

All the Conservatives have to do is look at their American cousins, the Republicans in the United States. Newt Gingrich, one of the leaders, recognizes there is a way to be smart on crime, which that country is doing. For five years Republicans and Democrats in Texas have been working on being smart on crime. They are working in South Carolina. The Conservative government is totally out of sync.

If the Conservatives really want to do something about white collar crime, they should toughen up the financial services rules in this country to stop the fraudsters before they steal the money. The horse is already out of the barn and they are only now introducing legislation.

That is not to say the government should not be introducing legislation like this. We support the principles behind the legislation. What is the government doing about tightening up financial regulations so that guys like Earl Jones cannot steal money in the first place?

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Madam Speaker, it strikes me that the NDP members are learning to flip-flop from their Liberal coalition partners. I am a bit confused. They are now supporting it.

Regarding the cost, I bring it back to the member, it is the cost to the victims that we have to worry about here.

Crime costs this country $70 billion a year. That is a fact. That is what Statistics Canada says crime costs the Canadian economy, $70 billion a year. Under the Liberals things had gone so far in trying to support the criminals against the victims that we now have to try to restore some balance, and we will do that.

The head of Corrections Canada was at the government operations committee. He was asked continuously by the Liberals whether he could manage the tough on crime agenda of the Conservatives. He said, “I am confident, with the exceptional staff I have across the country, we will manage in a way that we can deliver good, effective corrections”. He said he could have it done.

When we talk about strengthening financial securities and having a financial securities regulator, every single thing we bring forward to strengthen financial management in this country, every single bill that we have brought forward, the member's party has voted against it.

The NDP should join with us, try to convince their coalition flip-flopping Liberal partners to actually see the light and stand up for victims ahead of criminals. Perhaps we could have a bill that all Canadians are proud of in a Parliament that Canadians can say--

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Order. The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, a brief question.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Madam Speaker, I was not planning on speaking, but the member said something that caught my attention. I think what he said, and he can confirm or deny it, was that there are members in the House who support the idea that a person who rapes a child should not go to jail.

The government talks about being tough on crime. If the Conservatives were half as tough on crime as they are on the truth, we would be further ahead.

MPs get together. We go to committee. Somehow it works most of the time, but when we come here or go out on the campaign trail, the truth gets lost in the fog.

I want to ask my colleague very simply, does he believe there is any single member of this House who believes that somebody who rapes a child should not go to jail?

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Madam Speaker, I certainly hope there are no members in the House who would support that, but the evidence tells me that. When I was sitting at the government operations and estimates committee, the chair rammed in a witness from the Church Council of Justice and Corrections. When that witness was asked, point blank, whether people who rape children should go to jail and she answered the question, “Not necessarily”, that gave me pause. Why would a witness like that be brought forward in committee? Why would it be rammed down our throats?

If the Liberals are now saying they do not actually support what the Church Council of Justice and Corrections said with respect to children, then great, and I applaud them for that. They should stand up for victims, vote for the bill and vote for all of the crime legislation we have passed, because that is really standing up for victims of crime.

They are so upset right now because they have been caught on camera supporting groups that do not support victims. That is what is bothering them, because when--

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, it is one thing to have a constructive discourse in this hallowed hall, but it is another thing entirely to utterly misrepresent the positions of another party and to tell untruths.

I ask the hon. member to retract the statements he has made. He is misrepresenting this party. He is telling untruths to the public and he is doing a disservice to his party, our country and this House.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

The hon. member has 20 seconds left to end his comments. I hope that during this debate, all members of the House will be mindful of serving the public interest.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Madam Speaker, what it really comes down to is that if the Liberals truly respect the victims of crime, they should look at the people they bring before committees who speak on their behalf, question what they are doing and what they are talking about. That is the reality. If they want to stand up for victims, they should not just do it when the cameras are on here in the House of Commons. They should do it at committee. That is when people are watching.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Madam Speaker, it debases this House when a member, on a bill, says something so patently outrageous as to suggest that any member of this House from any party would not abhor violence against a child, particularly rape of a child. To hold that there is a person in this House who would not want jail time for a person who raped a child is reprehensible. To try to cast an aspersion on any member of this House in that way is despicable and debases this House.

I would say that this is how this argument has degenerated. It is not an honest exchange of ideas about how we can make our communities safer. Instead there is mudslinging, saying that certain members do not care about victims, certain members do not care about criminals. There is probably not a person in this House who has not been touched by violence, whose family members have not been touched by violence. I have stories within my own family that I will not touch on.

However, I can tell members that it brings us all deep pain, whether it happens in our lives, or it happens in the lives of the people we love, or it happens in the communities we serve. Every member of this House steps forward to try to reduce that pain, to try to find a way to reduce victimization and make our communities safe.

When we start a debate, we have to start with that premise, that every one of us comes to this place honestly wanting to make safer communities and better places, that every single one of us, while we may have different perspectives on how we achieve it, wants only the best for our country, for our children and for our communities.

When someone talks about not caring about somebody who has raped a child, when someone talks about somebody not caring about victims, it is such ridiculous, over-the-top hyperbole that turns off Canadians and makes them think that none of us really cares about the work we are doing in this House.

I have said it so many times before. I can respect that the hon. member or any other one disagrees with me, and that is their right, that the approach we are advocating on crime is one that they do not support. However, let us take a look at the facts, and let us come back to this bill.

This bill is about first-time non-violent offenders, but the Conservatives are talking about rape victims. This is what they try to do. We were dealing with the pardon issue and every single one of us in this House said, “Let's get together and make sure we shut down loopholes that allow somebody like Karla Homolka to get a pardon”. And yet, when we had concerns about the 18-year-old single mother who writes a cheque for groceries that is fraudulent and suddenly is going to be caught up in the bill and we said we had concerns with that and that we should have an honest discussion about it, what was the Conservatives' response? It was that the member for Ajax—Pickering wanted to let Karla Homolka get a pardon. It is so dishonest, so disingenuous and does such a disservice to the debate that it has to be called out.

On this bill, let us look at the history. While they are trying to vilify this party, the truth is the principal ideas contained at the heart of this bill, which is to go after large-scale fraudsters, were principles that we espoused years ago. In fact, as I mentioned in justice committee, we proposed ending the provisions that would allow somebody who committed large-scale fraud from getting an accelerated parole review. We proposed that a couple of years ago. The Conservatives voted against it at that time. We continued to advocate for that over the last number of years, but it did not go anywhere until the case of Mr. Lacroix.

Mr. Lacroix was released. There was an enormous amount of publicity in Quebec. The government was caught with its pants down and suddenly, it demanded action overnight, ”Let's go. No debate. Don't think about it. Don't you care about victims? This is urgent.”

The Conservatives stand here and talk about rape victims, demanding that we pass their legislation without debate, without discussion. They bring about closure motions when this is something we could have dealt with two years ago.

Those are the facts.

The concern I have with respect to this bill is that, unfortunately, it does not just deal with large-scale fraud. This bill, as it has now been presented, would eliminate the one-sixth accelerated provisions for all first-time non-violent offenders.

I would point to Correctional Services Canada's own documents. I said a lot of this yesterday but I think it bears repeating. Correctional Services' own document, when it explains the importance of the accelerated pardon review for first-time non-violent offenders, states that the main focus of the accelerated pardon review was to address public safety and reintegration by enabling Correctional Services Canada and the national parole board to focus their attention on dangerous offenders at a high risk of reoffending and that studies have shown there is a tendency for low-risk offenders to be negatively impacted by the prison experience.

What does that mean? It means that for first-time non-violent offenders, long periods of incarceration often turn those minor offenders into major offenders. It means they go in for a more minor crime and come out a major criminal ready to commit major crimes.

More than 90% of people who will walk into a prison will walk out. Fundamentally the question we have to ask is: Who do we want walking out that door? Do we want someone who is rehabilitated, who is ready to make a positive contribution to society, pay their taxes and be a good citizen, or someone who has become a hardened criminal?

I know the answer for me. I would look at evidence and I would suggest that all members do that. One of the questions I have asked repeatedly in the House is for Conservatives to give us the information these decisions are based on. Can they show a single jurisdiction anywhere in the world, where these types of policies of longer and longer incarcerations have been anything but a complete failure?

We are going to be debating Bill S-10 which would take someone who gave away a Tylenol 3 a mandatory minimum. Someone who has six marijuana plants in a dorm room and gives some to their roommate would be treated the same as a Hells Angels member who has 200 marijuana plants.

It is going to make our prisons replete with young people. The problem is that all this has been tried before. I have asked for examples of where these longer periods of incarceration for first-time non-violent offenders has led to anything but higher recidivism.

I point to the examples in California, Florida and other states, and also in the United Kingdom which walked this road for about 20 years. Their experience was that when first-time non-violent offenders had the period of time they were incarcerated extended, the prison population ballooned and the ability to provide rehabilitation was diminished. It becomes a deadly cycle. The more people there are, the fewer dollars there are to be able to make the people who are in the prison better. That money gets stretched and pulled. It means that as people come out, the rate at which they reoffend continues to go higher.

I will add this in because the Conservatives always say we do not talk about victims. I am amazed I have to make these connections for them, but I will. If there is less crime, there are fewer victims. If there is less recidivism, there are fewer victims. If there is a lower rate of reoffending when people walk out of a prison, that means there is going to be less crime and fewer victims.

In California this began feeding itself. It became bigger and bigger. Then it had to privatize its prisons and things got even worse. Double-bunking became triple-bunking. The recidivism rate, the rate of reoffending, was driven to over 70%. This means that for every 10 people who walked out of a prison in California, 7 would reoffend.

The impact on California was devastating and not only in terms of the fiscal impacts. California was in a situation where it was nearly bankrupt. It had no money for health care, education or infrastructure. And worse, its crime rate had gone up.

I hear many Conservative members saying how dare we question the cost, that we should absorb it no matter what the cost is. That might be an argument we could entertain if the facts did not show that at the same time these costs were soaring, crime rates were going up with it.

A most recent example is with two different states in the U.S., New York and Florida, which took two very different paths. New York focused on prevention, harm reduction and reducing victimization on the front end. Florida took the conservative path of longer periods of incarceration. In the example of New York, there was a 16% reduction in incarceration. In Florida, there was a 16% increase in incarceration. It went in the opposite direction on incarceration.

According to Conservative logic, Florida should have been nirvana. It should have seen its crime rates fall, victimization down and people cheering on the streets. The opposite happened. It was in fact New York which saw a reduction in its crime rate. It was in fact New York which saw fewer victims. It was in fact New York which saw far greater results. Florida saw its crime rate rise. Crime went up. If we are going to walk these paths, why can we not look at evidence and the facts and see where this is driving us?

In the United Kingdom, a new Conservative government was elected which is trying to undo what it calls a punishment agenda, failed policies very similar to what we see the Conservatives pursuing. That punishment agenda did not work. It drove crime rates up and robbed money from the treasury which could have been used for other priorities. That government is finding it enormously difficult to undo.

One of the cases, ironically, it is studying that it wants to emulate is Canada which simultaneously enjoys low rates of incarceration and a low crime rate. Yet we are running from that. In fact, when we look across the board, it is the Conservative Party of Canada that stands alone pursuing these policies. Countries in the rest of the world abhor them. They have looked at the disastrous failed attempts and said they cannot go there and will not do it again.

That is why this is not a debate in abstraction. This is not some clash of ideas with no precedent or where things have not been tried. This is something that has been proven. The evidence is in front of us, if we were only to look at it.

I read this yesterday, but the debate will continue for the next couple of days and it is worth mentioning. The father of these policies, Newt Gingrich, with a contract with America, led the whole punishment agenda and threw it out there saying that is the way it was going to solve crime. He has now repented all of that and said it was a complete and total failure that states need to run from.

In The Washington Post on January 7, 2011, he wrote:

There is an urgent need to address the astronomical growth in the prison population, with its huge costs in dollars and lost human potential. We spent $68 billion in 2010 on corrections--300% more than 25 years ago.

Think about that. When the Americans commenced this journey 25 years ago, their incarceration rate was 300 times lower. At that time, the rate of incarceration between Canada and the U.S. was fairly similar. Now the divide is enormous. He went on to state:

The prison population is growing 13 times faster than the general population. These facts should trouble every American.

It should be noted that while the rate of incarceration in the U.S. has climbed by 300% over that period, Canada's rate of incarceration has remained stable. Interestingly enough, our violent crime rate and other crime rates have been falling greater than or, in some cases, equal to the United States, despite the fact that we did not embark on this enormous cost of prisons, the $68 billion that the U.S. is spending on corrections.

Mr. Gingrich continued:

Our prisons might be worth the current cost if the recidivism rate were not so high, but, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, half of the prisoners released this year are expected to be back in prison within three years.

That is an American statistic. As I mentioned, in California it is even higher at 70%. The American statistic overall is 50%. It is hardly something we would want to emulate.

He continued:

If our prison policies are failing half of the time, and we know that there are more humane, effective alternatives, it is time to fundamentally rethink how we treat and rehabilitate our prisoners.

We can no longer afford business as usual with prisons. The criminal justice system is broken--

I will read one more excerpt because it is important.

Some people attribute the nation's recent drop in crime to more people being locked up. But the facts show otherwise. While crime fell in nearly every state over the past seven years, some of those with the largest reductions in crime have also lowered their prison population.

He cites the example I gave of New York and Florida as follows:

Put another way, although New York spent less on its prisons, it delivered better public safety.

When the person who invented this idea and really drove it as a political force in North American politics is abandoning it, is it not time to take a pause, think carefully about what we are doing and wonder if there is not a better way to ensure that we reduce victims and improve community safety?

On this bill in particular I have repeatedly asked some pretty basic questions, but have never received an answer. If the government is going to invoke closure and say we have to deal with things right away, it should have answers to these questions.

One question is cost. I can recall in this House the Minister of Public Safety saying that the cost of the two-for-one remand bill was going to be $90 million. I mentioned yesterday that I took that to the PBO as it did not sound right. As soon as he agreed to my request to do a study, that number changed overnight from $90 million to $2 billion. The minister said that, oops, he had made a mistake and it is $2 billion. What precipitated it? It was knowing the PBO was going to look at the books.

After eight months of study it was not $2 billion; it was $10 billion to $13 billion. That is one bill. We have 18 other bills on the table. How irresponsible would we be as a Parliament if we voted for things where we did not know the costs? To put a blindfold over our eyes and be asked to vote in the dark with no idea of the fiscal implications of what we are doing is the height of irresponsibility.

The second question that would be obvious to ask is: What data does the government have on the impact that this would have to make communities safer?

The speeches in the House from every party are about how we can make our communities safer. I have given all kinds of evidence from different jurisdictions about my concerns on eliminating the one-sixth provision for non-violent, first-time offenders who have not committed large-scale fraud.

I agree, if it is large-scale fraud, like those by Earl Jones or Mr. Lacroix, let us make sure we eliminate that. We could do that today. That is a debate that should have happened over two years ago.

However, I have asked for the evidence, the science, on which the government is basing the decision to eliminate this for all individuals. Show how that enhances public safety. Show how that reduces victimization. That information has not been forthcoming either because it does not exist or because the results are not very compelling.

I want to briefly mention that we have seen cuts to the RCMP white-collar task force which need to be restored if the government is honestly interested in going after white-collar crime. We have a lawful access bill that would empower police to go after information electronically that has been languishing in the House for years. We have cuts to the national police service on things like CPIC and the sex offender registry. There are all kinds of cuts that the government should be restoring.

We have seen more than a 70% cut to crime prevention and more than a 40% cut to the victims of crime. We saw the government's hand-picked victims ombudsman, Steve Sullivan, fired after he said the plan for victims is unbalanced and would not work.

I say to the government very earnestly, if it is honestly interested in victims, if it is honestly interested in community safety, there is a path that is evidence-based and involves restoring a lot of the cuts it has made. The most effective way to make communities safe is by stopping crime from happening in the first place.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his defence of a position that most people in the House can actually support because it is based on fact.

My colleague raised the issue of Mr. Gingrich in the United States and the fact that all of us are in favour of reducing crime. However, in terms of cost benefit, one of the most effective and science-based approaches to reducing the number of criminals, reducing the number of victims and reducing crime is through early learning programs.

In Ypsilanti, Michigan, there is more than a 35-year experience with the head start program that showed that for youth crime there was a 60% reduction in youth crime, massive declines in welfare rates and improved access and outcomes in school. All of those work dramatically and effectively to reduce crime and the cost is merely a fraction of what it takes to incarcerate somebody, which can be anywhere upward of $120,000 a year for somebody in a maximum security prison.

The government literally annihilated a plan that we had put forward, which was signed with the provinces, for an early learning head start program. Will the hon. member comment on the effectiveness of early learning programs from the prenatal stage to age five, which, I might add, would also address one of the major problems that we have in jail, which is the issue of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects?

Would my colleague inform the government that it would be well advised, for the safety of the public and for the wise use of the public purse, to support a national early learning head start program?

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Madam Speaker, my colleague's question raises an important point concerning how we think about prevention because prevention is about more than just the programs the Conservatives are cutting, although those are vital. These are programs that help the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, church groups and others to build community capacity so that when somebody is starting to head down a dark path they can pull the individual back and give him or her hope and opportunity.

As my colleague says, early childhood education, early childhood learning, is an essential component to getting a head start in life. We know that the first three years for a child are the most formative, and we know that Canada is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of what we are providing with regard to early childhood learning and education.

We had reached an agreement with the provinces. It is important to restore that.

I also would point out the work of people like Dr. Irvin Waller who has pointed out that for every dollar we put into prevention we save $11 in the cost of incarceration and probation. There is an enormous amount of money that could be saved here.

It is ironic that if we do the right thing and invest in prevention, not only do we stop there being a victim in the first place, we also have the opportunity to reduce our costs. We reduce victimization, reduce crime and reduce costs and it becomes a very positive virtuous circle, which is what we want to strive for.

The alternative is that as we cut from prevention, as the government has, and as we cut from victims' services and from rehabilitation in prisons because the population is ballooning and we cannot handle it, we create a vicious downward spiral. It creates the exact opposite impact where we are throwing more and more money toward the punishment and nobody is ever getting better. Therefore, we are creating more and more crime and it becomes a vicious out of control cycle.

The member points to something very important and that is the need to invest in all forms of prevention, which includes ensuring that young people have education and food and are not going to school hungry.

When I was in Regina and had an opportunity to tour some of the worst neighbourhoods in the country with the former chief of police there, we went into homes where children had to pull tarps around an oven for heat. Clearly, that is not a situation that is conducive to somebody having a positive life.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Madam Speaker, the member for Ajax—Pickering is very eloquent at putting his point out but he is skirting around the bottom line, which is that it is certainly not fair in any sense that someone who has committed a serious white-collar crime would be eligible for parole after one-sixth of the sentence. I do not think any resident of his riding would find that fair. That is what it comes down to. Someone who has been sentenced to 12 years would be eligible for parole at two years. That is not appropriate and I do not think any Canadian would find that to be an appropriate sentence.

Members can flaunt all the U.S. statistics that they like. They can mention California or New York but this is the House of Commons. We are in Canada. An obsession with U.S. statistics may serve well in the U.S. Congress, but we should look at what works here in Canada. Certainly Canadians and residents in Ajax—Pickering would not believe it is appropriate to simply slap someone on the wrist for a serious crime. We need to take serious crime seriously, and that is what this bill is about.

Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Madam Speaker, the question from the member for Barrie gives me an opportunity to be very clear on our position, if he did not understand it before.

For serious large-scale fraud, there is no question that we are with the Conservatives 100%. We were with them two years ago when we introduced these ideas and said that we needed to end it. It is something that we feel should not be in place.

The reason I stated not just the United States but also the United Kingdom is that they walked this road of trying a policy for first-time non-violent offenders who are not large-scale fraudsters of giving long periods of incarceration, and it was a disaster.

However, if he wants to talk about Canada, Canada is a remarkable success story. We have a low rate of incarceration and a low rate of crime. It is something that we should look at and be proud of because it is one of the best systems in the world. It could be improved and made better but we should not toss it out of the window for a system that failed.