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House of Commons Hansard #227 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was punishment.

Topics

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions For PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Notices of Motions for the Production of Papers be allowed to stand.

Motions For PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Motions For PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-45, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Criminal Code, the Criminal Records Act, the Prisons and Reformatories Act and the Transfer of Offenders Act, as reported (with amendments) from the committee.

Corrections And Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Motion No. 1 will be debated and voted on separately.

Motions Nos. 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 13, 18, 20, 21, 22 and 23 will be grouped for debate but voted on as follows:

(a) Motions Nos. 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 13, 18, 20 and 21 will be voted on separately.

(b) A vote on Motion No. 22 applies to Motion No. 23.

Motions Nos. 4, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 17 will be grouped for debate but voted on as follows. Motions Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 17 will be voted on separately. An affirmative vote on Motion No. 10 obviates the necessity of the question being put on Motion No. 11. On the other hand, a negative vote on Motion No. 10 necessitates the question being put on Motion No. 11.

Motion No. 9 will be debated and voted on separately.

Motions Nos. 14 and 15 will be grouped for debate. A vote on Motion No. 14 applies to Motion No. 15.

Motion No. 16 will be debated and voted on separately.

Motion No. 19 will be debated and voted on separately.

Motions Nos. 24, 25 and 26 will be grouped for debate. A vote on Motion No. 24 applies to Motions Nos. 25 and 26.

I shall now propose Motion No. 1.

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3:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

moved:

Motion No. 1

That Bill C-45, in Clause 21, be amended by adding after line 13, on page 8, the following:

"(3) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Act or the regulations, the Service a ) shall require the offender to pay as restitution

(i) to the victim of an offence committed by the offender, or

(ii) to the family of the victim referred to in subparagraph (i) where the victim is killed or is unable to manage his or her financial affairs as a result of the offence,

thirty per cent of the gross payment referred to in subsection (1) or gross income; and b ) on the request of or made on behalf of any victim who wishes to undergo treatment or counselling for the purposes of relieving any physical or psychological trauma resulting from a sexual assault, an aggravated sexual assault or a sexual assault with a weapon committed by the offender against the victim, shall require the offender to pay towards the cost of that treatment or counselling an amount to be determined by the Service of the gross payment referred to in subsection (1) or gross income.

(4) Where an offender is required to make any payment under subsection (3), the offender shall not be required to make any payment under paragraph (2)(b).

(5) For the purposes of this section, "victim" means a person described in paragraph 2(1)(a)."

Mr. Speaker, it has been a while since we have had a look at Bill C-45. It was introduced in March 1994. Most of us have pulled it off our shelves, blown the dust off and are having another look at it.

Bill C-45 happens to be, in truth, a bill that was presented once upon a time by the old Conservative group and the bill had a different title.

The government of today took the bill, watered it down, nursed it around and called it Bill C-45 and now are attempting to convinced Canadians we will really do something about law and order once again.

In the two years we have been here I have already come to the conclusion, and I suspected right from the beginning but it is confirmed more and more, that the Liberals are tinkering around with criminals and legislation pertaining to them. This Mickey Mouse approach the government has had with regard to handling criminals has to come to an end.

I remind members of government and members of the separatist party as well, because they are always in bed together on these issues regarding crime and law and order, there are two parties to every crime, a criminal and a victim. Nowhere in any legislation has the government addressed what it will do with regard to victims. Never once, not even when the government received 2.5 million signatures from CAVEAT asking it to recognize the victims of crime.

It constantly considers the rights and privileges of the criminal: "We have to make sure the criminal is protected here and protected there in every aspect. His or her rights are really important".

I am talking about the Solicitor General and the Minister of Justice. They received thousands and thousands of letters trying to get them to realize there are victims of crime. There were letters from the Melanie Carpenter campaign. We keep adding to the list. Only recently a 10-year-old girl was abducted and murdered even while her family was at home.

No, we look at the legislation and it is a bunch of gobbledegook put together by a bunch of lawyers who run around in the little building over there called the justice hall of Canada. They put together a thick pile of documents which would take 14 Philadelphia lawyers to even interpret.

The whole basis of fighting crime is supposed to deal with the problems. Instead we come up with all this stuff that takes a bunch of bureaucrats, highly paid, to make sure we put all this flowery stuff on it which will not solve one thing. It has to start addressing some problems in the country which it not now addressing.

Motion No. 1 is an attempt by our party to get the government to recognize there are victims in the country.

In my riding a student of mine was raped and had to live in fear afterwards because the perpetrator was still free. She almost had a nervous breakdown, requiring medical and psychiatric attention.

The criminal was provided all of those services paid for by the taxpayers of Canada. The victim could get the same services. The only difference was she, her husband and their family had to dig into their purses and pockets to figure how they would pay for this.

I recall a mother in Calgary whose five-year old daughter had her throat slashed, her body thrown in a garbage bag and dumped in a dumpster by a thirty seven-year old perpetrator who said he could not help himself because the little girl kept coming on to him.

The little girl got life while the perpetrator will get 10 years. In the meantime the mother of this little girl, a single parent with other children, has gone through a terrible trauma. Not one penny of taxpayers' dollars has gone to help the victim in this case. However, that 37-year old killer has had psychiatrists, psychologists, dozens of legal aid lawyers throughout the whole period, helping him every whim of the way.

I see a section in the bill that says the government will start doing something about these guys when they are locked up in jail. It will let them work to earn some money. It will take 30 per cent of that money and see it goes back into the government to help pay for meals, et cetera.

This motion asks the people of the House to insist that any money collected from a perpetrator in prison will go to the victims to help them with their problem. Here is the chance for my Liberal friends to show their focus is on the victims of crime and not just the criminals day in and day out.

I look back over the last few months with the Bernardo and Homolka situation, I remember the Olson situation and the hundreds of victims touched by those kinds of actions. It is terrible when we talk about people like that, like Mr. Olson, who are in prison. He killed one person which cost him a life sentence with 25 years before possible parole. The second murder was free, the third one was free, the fourth one was free, the fifth one was free, the

seventh one was free, and on and on it goes. When will we stop making things free for these killers?

The least we can do is if we are to get any kind of money from them it ought to be directed to those most affected, the victims. I am really sick and tired of this Mickey Mouse pussy footing around while really not giving a hoot about anything but making sure we do this glorified stuff in the House. We make sure we present documents so thick that we do not even have the time to read them. Certainly any common, ordinary Canadian could not understand them.

It is time we got down to common sense and addressed the problem instead of creating 160 pages of gun law that will not do a stinking thing or creating another 45 pages of another law called Bill C-41. I am still trying to figure out what it will resolve. When will we acknowledge there are two people in crime, the victim and the criminal, and for a change concentrate on the victims instead of the criminal?

We will look after criminals' basic rights. They are entitled to them. They are innocent until proven guilty. When they are convicted they will be sent to jail. When they are in jail they ought to have to work. If they do not work they should not eat. That is what happens in the rest of the world. If they do earn money and if is to be, as this bill says, 30 per cent of their earnings going back to the government, I say no. Let us put it toward the victim. Let us help them with the problems they face. Let us think about them for once.

We would be more popular in our ridings if we put the victim first instead of the criminal in our legislation. Here is the chance. I beg hon. members to support Motion No. 1.

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3:45 p.m.

Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the motion presented by the hon. member would have limited effectiveness and is considered unnecessary in light of other mechanisms already in place to deal with restitution to victims.

The Criminal Code also includes current provisions for compensation and restitution to victims by offenders. The proposal made by the opposition, which would make restitution commensurate with 30 per cent of inmates' total gross income, would have very little impact in compensating victims because of the low level of inmates' income.

I would also emphasize that this proposal would be very costly and difficult to administer, particularly since the Correctional Service of Canada is not in the business of assessing the validity of victims' claims.

A similar motion was defeated by the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, of which the hon. member is a part and where he had ample time to put forward his claims.

I would urge the House to reject the motion.

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3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have decided not to speak on this issue quite simply because the parliamentary secretary has just spoken in exactly the same vein and I too find this motion inappropriate. To put it bluntly, we are against it.

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3:45 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we are discussing Bill C-45 and the motion put forward by my colleague from Wild Rose.

The most important part of the bill is the rights of the victim. According to the Solicitor General, the amendments in Bill C-45 are intended to restore public confidence in the federal correction process. When we talk about restore, that means to bring it back to its original state by rebuilding or repairing. Look at the work crew that is attempting to restore public confidence in the system. It is the same group that has perverted the justice system. It is the same group that has let Canadians down. It is the same group that has introduced things like section 45, allowing murderers back out on to the streets in 15 years.

Now the members of this group come out and ask for the confidence of Canadians. "Trust us", they say. "We know what is wrong with the system. We will fix it because we have heard your concerns. We will ensure that your rights are protected." On and on we listen to this rhetoric. I say it is absolute nonsense.

The only thing the government is concerned about is looking good and sounding tough. It wants to look as if it is doing something to protect Canadians, to punish criminals and to make the streets and communities safe. "Let us pass gun law legislation. We will not have any more crimes committed with guns." This is the kind of gimmick politics we have been seeing coming from the government.

When it is gun control the government says that there is way too much crime. When Canadians are asking for the reinstatement of the death penalty, crime is on the decline. Where is it? Canadians are asking for the death penalty.

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3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, may I point out that the hon. member is not speaking on Motion No. 1 at this time. He is giving us a general speech on gun control and everything under the sun except Motion No. 1.

Corrections And Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I listened to the hon. member for Calgary Northeast and I am sure he is coming to his point just about now.

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3:50 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am indeed coming to the point if the hon. member would be patient enough to listen.

Bill C-45 calls for a full term detention of offenders who commit sexual offences against children. What about sexual offences against adults? What about sexual offences against women? What about sexual offences against anyone who is over the age of 12? Is that not a serious crime too? Of course it is. Yet it is not addressed in this bill. Why? All sexual assaults, regardless of the age of the victims, are serious and deserve full term sentences. Why are there no provisions for indefinite sentences once the offender has been incarcerated? This is also a part of the victims' compensation.

Now we are getting back to the compensation, seeing the criminals pay for the crimes they have committed. If this work crew wanted to build a strong foundation, the first thing they would do is demand full term detention for all dangerous offenders deemed capable of repeating their offence. In fact they would consider indefinite sentences for offenders who are deemed capable of being repeat serious violent offenders. This too is compensation. Some say it is cruel and unusual punishment. I say no way, as do the Canadian people.

The only thing I have seen that is cruel and unusual is a justice system that allows thugs and punks like this back out on to our streets to hassle, cause trouble, rape, assault and murder. Who should determine whether or not an offender should be released? How about trying a new approach? Ask the frontline workers instead of political hacks. Ask the victim or victims.

A politically appointed board consisting of persons owed political favours is not the best system. Remember, they are part of the same group that is asking for a chance to restore public confidence in the system. Let the institutional staff, the people who deal with the prisoners day in and day out, determine the possibility of reoffending.

Canadians are demanding real changes. Canadians are demanding that in all cases where a parole board decision results in an offender being released and reoffending a review must be mandatory. Taxpayers' dollars are going to be wasted to retain a bunch of political hacks who have no business to be sitting on a parole board. Put only qualified people in these important positions and use the money that is left for more important purposes, such as victims' compensation.

Throughout this bill the victim is either forgotten or merely an afterthought. This is more of the same from the crew that is asking for trust that they will restore the system.

Bill C-45 states that offenders earning income while incarcerated can have up to 30 per cent of their earnings deducted to help with their upkeep. Let us talk a little bit about their so-called upkeep. Corrections spend $67 million a year for health care for criminals. Some of that money is for sex changes and cosmetic surgery. Programs for special offenders, natives, females and the handicapped have $23 million. Education and personal development programs cost $65 million. Prisoners have cable TV, computer systems, babysitting services, conjugal visits with wives, girlfriends, and in some cases prostitutes, golf courses, health spas, cottages. The list goes on and on.

Maybe the government should consider charging GST on some of those services to recoup some of the lost money. The government wants to claw back that money and support that system further? It is absolute nonsense. Prisoners get laptop computers and educational services costing millions and millions of dollars. On top of all this, these criminals get paid. Is that not decent of Canadian taxpayers? I am sure they are feeling good about the support they are offering to this criminal element.

I am sure there are some students out there who are struggling this September because they do not have computers and have had to take out loans to go to school. I would like to see some of that money directed to them. Meanwhile, the government gives out goodies to crooks. It is unbelievable.

The government wants to claw back some of the money it pays to criminals for sitting in jail. Do not pay them in the first place. These millions and millions of dollars should and could be spent more wisely helping victims instead of paying for prostitutes to visit prisons, helping victims instead of paying for sex changes, helping victims instead of helping the criminal. That is a novel idea for a Liberal.

This bill does nothing to offer treatment or compensation to victims. Instead it takes a little bit of money back from the criminals and puts it back into the pocket of the government, that will turn around and supply them with the same type of material.

The government claims that this bill will make offenders who are convicted of a new offence while on parole serve one-third of their new sentence before being eligible for release. What we need is a law that insists that any offender convicted of a new offence while on parole must serve the complete time left on the previous sentence, be sentenced with a minimum period of time for reoffending while on parole, and then serve the full term of the new sentence. How else will these offenders be convinced that given a

chance to be a member of society they must be a member of society in good standing.

According to the Solicitor General, between 1989 and 1994 no fewer than 78 convicted murderers murdered again while they were out on conditional release. These programs cost money, and we are going to throw it back into the whole thing by clawing back. Close to 5,000 people convicted of a lesser violent offence, such as child molesting, manslaughter, rape, or attempted murder, repeated their crimes while out on conditional release.

Canadians are demanding that real sentences be imposed. The other side will scream that this will not work, that locking them up and throwing the key away is not the answer. It is part of the answer. Even the members on the other side realize that locking up criminals is the answer. They did ask for approval for harsher sentences for hate crimes. Why are they giving them higher sentences for hate crimes? Is it not the answer? If harsher sentences will reduce hate crime, full term sentences for crimes committed while society has given someone a second chance will go a long way to prevent that person from committing another crime and maybe it will stop them from committing the crime in the first place.

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3:55 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Get out and visit some victims and you will not smile so much. You will not find anything to laugh about.

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3:55 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

It is interesting to read what is included in this bill. What is more intriguing is what is left out. The Reform Party has been demanding that crimes committed with a firearm be given a full term sentence. If the government is so concerned about gun control and crimes involving guns, why did they not include full term sentences for offenders convicted of using a gun while committing a crime?

In conclusion, Bill C-45 is nothing more than a lame attempt by the government to reassure Canadians that it cares. This bill could have been useful. The Liberals had their chance. It could have been effective. However, it is not even close to addressing the real problem, and that is compensation for victims.

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3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a brief point of order. I did not want to interrupt my friend from Calgary, which is why I refrained, but I wanted to stand on the same point of order the hon. member for Saint-Hubert spoke of earlier.

We are on report stage on this bill. These amendments are very specific amendments to very specific sections.

With great respect, there will be ample opportunity to address the general principles of the bill in third reading debate and opportunities to address capital punishment, gun control, no parole, or whatever. But if we are dealing with a motion such as Motion No. 1 which talks very specifically about what to do with the compensation that is paid to prisoners, it is my respectful submission that the remarks should be confined to the motion and not to the principles of the bill in general.

I would ask with great respect that the Chair be vigilant in the speeches that follow, not only on this motion and this group but other motions and other groups.

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4 p.m.

The Speaker

The point of both hon. members is well taken. I would encourage all hon. members to be quite specific in their remarks. I was not being facetious when I said the hon. member was coming to his point. In my view toward the end he came to it.

I would encourage that it not take as long as the hon. member wanted to take in setting up where he is going. I am sure all hon. members will understand that these motions are very specific and I would ask you, my colleagues, to pay very close attention to what you are saying with regard to these motions.

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4 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, bearing in mind the comments that have been made with regard to the point of order, I intend to stick as closely as I can to Motion No. 1. However, if I stray too far from the topic, I will certainly be guided by the Speaker's admonition.

I rise today to speak to Motion No. 1 of Bill C-45. This amendment proposed by the Reform member would ensure that the victims of violence receive restitution. Without this amendment 30 per cent of all income earned by an inmate would go to Corrections Canada to pay for room and board while victims or the victims' families are left empty handed.

The financial burden placed on victims who require psychological counselling or medical treatment is an added assault upon the victim and the victim's family. If money is to be expropriated from criminals it should be directed to the victims first.

Placing the victim first is a concept that the bleeding hearts of this country have yet to grasp. The rights of criminals have superseded the rights of victims for far too long. This intolerable situation must be reversed. This however can only be accomplished through significant changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act of which Bill C-45 is devoid.

I would like to read an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Montreal Gazette yesterday:

A pedophile named Martin Dubuc was convicted last week for offences against children, again. This is the same Martin Dubuc who, as a boy's hockey coach in Laval, was convicted in 1986 for molesting team members, the same creep who, after his release from prison, did not let a lifetime ban on coaching in Quebec stop him.

He simply changed locales, becoming a coach and eventually president of Minor Hockey Association of Southwest Montreal. But that neglect by the recreation establishment is an old scandal. The new scandal involves the schools. It came to light last week when Dubuc pleaded guilty to using the telephone to threaten several boys aged 10 to 13 and to incite them to touch themselves sexually. Somehow, he had slithered his way into elementary schools as a

substitute teacher. And this was not a slip up by just one organization. In recent years, three different school boards in the Montreal area had hired Dubuc.

The case illustrates the chilling ease with which predators with long criminal records can worm their way into positions of trust and authority to harm children.

The author says: "This was not a slip up by just one organization". One slip up occurred within our penal system and it is a slip up that occurs regularly because correctional services has not been empowered by legislation to keep dangerous offenders behind bars where they belong. However, the biggest slip up can be attributed to the federal government where there exists this warped mentality that places the rights of criminals before the protection of society.

Currently the Corrections and Conditional Release Act allows the National Parole Board to suspend the parole or statutory release of federally sentenced offenders. Conditional release can be suspended for a variety of reasons but for sex offenders it is usually because there are indications of impending further sexual offence.

This provision within the Corrections and Conditional Release Act is necessary particularly in the case of child sexual predators who prey upon the most innocent members of our society. Sex offenders have one of the highest repeat rates of any criminal group with an estimated 40 per cent reoffending within five years of release. However, this provision is not enough.

Bill C-45 is a watered down version of a Conservative bill. The Tory bill called for the full term detention of dangerous offenders and for the continued detention of those determined to be violent criminals at the end of their sentence. There are absolutely no provisions within the act nor are there any amendments in Bill C-45 to detain an offender identified through due process as being at high risk to reoffend. Unless someone is deemed a dangerous offender prior to sentencing, indefinite detention is not permissible afterward. This situation must be rectified.

The Correctional Service of Canada in co-operation with the National Parole Board, the appropriate attorney general and a judge must be given the power to examine the prison history of offenders, including reviewing the courses they have taken and the perceived impact of those courses in controlling their behaviour. They should be able to order a psychological assessment of an offender during the last year of the criminal sentence if they have reason to believe the inmate still poses a threat to society.

If the offender is deemed a high risk to reoffend they should have the authority to keep that individual locked up. An omission of this nature is indicative of a government that does not understand that crime prevention includes the reduction of opportunities to commit crime. It is suggestive of a government that places the rights of the criminal ahead of the rights of the victim.

Last week the news media carried the admission of the Minister of Justice that he was somehow guilty of not funding crime preventive measures because of fiscal restraints imposed by his government. A provision of this nature, an amendment to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act which could be facilitated through Bill C-45 is a preventive measure, a measure with relatively low financial cost compared to the very high return of the saving of innocent lives.

This omission by the solicitor general was not missed by my colleague from Surrey-White Rock-South Langley. I would like to take this opportunity to commend my Reform colleague for filling this necessary gap in the corrections bill through her private member's bill.

Bill C-240 if passed would keep individuals convicted of serious violent crimes who are deemed to have a high risk of repeating their crime off the street, something Canadians are demanding. Canadians can no longer tolerate a corrections system that releases high risk offenders back into their communities. They can no longer tolerate it.

Statistics revealed yesterday by well-known columnist Diane Francis showed that between 1989 and 1994, 78 convicted murderers murdered again while on conditional release; 4,960 persons convicted of lesser violent offences such as child molestation, manslaughter, rape or attempted murder repeated their crimes while on conditional release. Ms. Francis points out that this includes only those who have been caught.

Canadians can no longer tolerate the likes of Wray Budreo, who psychiatrists diagnosed as a sadistic pedophile having a 30-year history of molesting children, being released unsupervised from a maximum security prison because correctional services did not have the power to detain him even though the parole board ruled him likely to reoffend. They cannot tolerate it because the cost is far too high.

Not being able to assess and detain Fernand Auger cost Melanie Carpenter her life. The release of Joseph Fredericks, a man with a 34-year history of sexual assault, assessed by case workers to likely commit further violent sexual crimes cost Christopher Stephenson his life.

I will end by quoting a letter written by Andrew Tate which appeared on February 16 of this year in the Times-Colonist , Victoria, British Columbia:

My heart and support go out to Steve Carpenter, family and friends regarding the abduction and murder of his daughter Melanie. I support his crusade to change the parole system for convicted, violent sex offenders and I strongly agree with the two angry Reform justice critics' demands that there should be no parole for violent offenders. Our premier agrees on this serious matter. Violent sexual offenders should not be granted parole for any reason and should serve out their full sentences. The federal government must enact tougher legislation. I believe that Melanie Carpenter's death could have been avoided if we had a more competent, no-nonsense, justice minister.

I conclude by saying that I believe the words of this Canadian reflect sentiments which echo throughout the country.

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4:10 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to address the motion which was made by my hon. colleague from Wild Rose. In that motion he proposes that we require the offender to pay restitution to the victim of an offence committed by the offender. We cannot separate this motion from any of the other concerns which we have with respect to the bill.

I have stood in the House many times and said these very words: This bill is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough.

Who can argue with the intent and the measures proposed in the bill? For example, strengthening the power of the National Parole Board to detain high risk sex offenders until the end of their sentence. That is very good. Strengthening the sentencing provisions for any person convicted of an offence while out on conditional release. All right. Strengthening the accountability of members of the National Parole Board or expanding the list of offences which would allow the detaining of offenders to the end of their sentence, or allowing Correctional Services Canada to deduct the costs of incarceration from income earned from offenders while in penitentiary. Good. That is the point we come to. What is going to be done with that money?

The signal which needs to be sent to the criminal element is that their victims are hurting and the money which they earn should go to help those victims. Their crimes have hurt certain people. I would even go so far as to say that those people should not even be let out until they have compensated them.

The point I am trying to make is that many of these things are a step in the right direction, but they do not go nearly far enough.

While I was travelling and spending the last two years listening to my constituents, one of the people I talked to about the failings of our criminal justice system said: "You cannot argue with these proposals but the Liberals do not go far enough. What are they afraid of? Why do they not do what is right? Why do they not fix it completely and not just tinker with it? Why are the Liberals afraid to bring in legislation which is as tough as the people want?"

Liberal members have to be hearing the same pleas that we Reformers are hearing. Why would the government not bring in legislation which would make these people happy? Why would the Liberal government not bring in legislation that would get really tough on criminals? All the government has to do is do what the people are asking.

Here are some of the things they are telling me about the criminal justice system and what should be in the bill: Force these criminals to compensate their victims for the loss and suffering. I heard the Liberal member opposite say that it is already there. Why is it not happening? That is a very weak excuse for not approving the motion which the hon. member for Wild Rose has put forward.

There should also be no statutory release for violent criminals and sex offenders. When a prisoner has breached the conditions of their parole or conditional release once, they should be kept in prison until the end of their sentence. Details of released child sex offenders should be accessible to all police forces in Canada. That should be in here.

When prisoners receive an additional sentence while serving a prison term, the prisoner should serve the full term of the sentence remaining for the first offence and then the full term for the second offence. That is what people are telling us. Parole and conditional release should be revoked not just in the case of a conviction for another crime but for being suspected of another crime.

Parole board members should be held accountable and liable for the mistakes they make by releasing violent criminals who then go on to commit violent acts. They should be held accountable.

The number of appeals that go to the parole board by prisoners should be limited to no more than one appeal every two years. I realize that again we are taking a step in the right direction.

Violations of prohibition orders imposed on sex offenders should result in an additional prison term.

There should be automatic HIV or AIDS tests for all prisoners and all sex offenders. When I visited the prison in Prince Albert this summer I was appalled that these people did not have to submit to these tests. Prisoners should lose some of their rights. They should have to compensate their victims. They should not be putting other people in prison at risk because they will not submit to HIV tests.

Bad behaviour in prison should result in extended sentences or even corporal punishment. The guard that I talked to said this should happen. Otherwise what can be done with them is very ineffective. Corporal punishment should be reintroduced for

prisoners who misbehave. They were saying to bring back the paddle.

I should like to give a case study on how the corrections system fails us. In June a person sent me a copy of a warning bulletin issued by the Metropolitan Toronto Police which reported the release of an habitual criminal from prison. The person had a record of over 100 criminal convictions, was a known member of a motorcycle club, was known to be involved in the distribution of heroin, and was considered by his case management team as a high risk to reoffend. The warning to police officers was as follows:

Warning! Subject is extremely violent and should be approached with caution! Any police contact whatsoever with the above named individual should be reported immediately to the reporting centre.

Canadians will find it incomprehensible that the National Parole Board let this guy out of prison. The solicitor general explained it this way:

In light of these legislative provisions, it was determined that this person did not meet the criteria for detention.

If this hardened criminal considered by his case management team as a high risk to reoffend and known to be extremely violent could not be kept in prison because of legislative provisions, who can be kept in jail? The people of Canada are demanding that this law be changed and changed now.

The solicitor general admitted the failure of the corrections and parole legislation and system by reporting that this dangerous drug trafficker had committed further crimes while on conditional release and that he had been arrested by police. There is no excuse for such legislative and bureaucratic incompetence. If the Liberals cannot fix it then Canadians will know which party to put in power that can fix it.

The Ottawa Citizen reported on August 19 the victim impact statements of two Ottawa city police who were shot during an armed robbery attempt. One of the officers had this to say during the sentencing of the man convicted of attempting to murder him:

I will never understand why a prisoner has to be statutorily released before completing their sentence when we have a parole system to decide if they are worthy of early release. Had these individuals served their full time for previous crimes they would not have been able to do this.

Maybe criminals should not be released until their victims have been fully compensated, until their victims have healed. It may make them think twice about what they are doing.

Frankly I just do not understand. No one I talked to can understand it either. The time to change is now. I appeal to Liberal members opposite and to the Bloc to support the proposed amendment that victims be compensated by the criminals for the crimes they have committed. I would like to see some real democracy in this place.

I would like to see some members opposite listening to the debate, listening to the arguments, judging for themselves, asking their constituents what they think about the amendment, and then voting accordingly. That is what should be happening and that is why I am making a speech saying that we do not go far enough in the House in fixing what is broke with the criminal justice system.

I was sent to Ottawa to be the voice of my constituents. If I voted for this bill I could not go back home and look my constituents in the eye. They demand better from me, and I suspect the Liberal members across the floor are being told the same thing.

I appeal to the House to support the amendment that would require criminals to compensate their victims more fully.

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4:20 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to Bill C-45, an omnibus bill which amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Criminal Code, the Criminal Records Act, the Prisons and Reformatories Act and the Transfer of Offenders Act.

I am pleased to support the amendment put forward by the hon. member for Wild Rose. It deals with placing responsibility and accountability for crime on the criminal, something which is sorely lacking in our justice system.

We are debating the bill as a result of Reform's focus on law and order and our belief and the belief of millions of Canadians we have received this message from that the rights of Canadians should be put first before those of the criminals.

The bill is not the government's idea. It borrowed the bill from the previous government and even watered it down somewhat. It contains some provisions that will help strengthen the justice system, for example the detention of offenders who commit sexual offences against children. However this provision does not go far enough. Why should offenders who commit sexual offences against women or even men be exempted from full term or continued detention? Are these not considered serious offences?

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4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are back to where we were a few minutes ago, that is speaking of Bill C-45 in general and not at all of Motion No. 1 which we have before us and which actually deals with inmates' income and the percentage that victims should receive.

This is not at all what the hon. member is in the process of speaking to us about. He is speaking of the bill in general. This is

not the stage to be doing that, I believe. That is why I wished to draw your attention to this matter.

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4:20 p.m.

The Deputy Chairman

I thank the hon. member for Saint-Hubert. I am counting on the member for Vegreville to restrict his remarks to the motion before us at this time.

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4:20 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This is the second time the member has risen to make the same point.

I have sat in the House for two years now and have heard a lot of debate and comments on each issue. I believe it is in Your Honour's power to direct members on how close they have to stick to the exact meaning of a bill or an amendment. I have heard a lot of members stray. I cannot recall which speech but perhaps the member herself strayed sometimes to make a point, to get to a certain issue in a roundabout way. I think members are allowed to have that flexibility.

To continue to rise and object like this I do not think is in good taste. I feel members should be able to make their points. It is an important issue. It is something that is affecting the lives of victims of crime. I believe that you should allow-

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4:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Centre and other members will appreciate there is a standing order that requires members to be relevant to the matter before the House.

Most people would say that rule is observed more in the breach than in the observation of it. When we come to the report stage and we are dealing with specific motions I hope my friend would agree with me it is more important than in other stages that members try to speak to the debate.

I am sure the next remarks of the hon. member for Vegreville will relate directly to the motion before the House.