Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, there were 14,016 adults in federal penitentiaries as of March 5, 1996. There is a prison overpopulation of 1,553 inmates in Canada.
The number of prisoners increases annually by 6 per cent. Before long, the Solicitor General will have no choice but to build new prisons or renovate existing ones in order to absorb this population increase.
Overpopulation in prisons threatens the lives of correctional officers and leads to conflicts between inmates. I call on the minister to put his intention to work with the provinces into effect to reduce the costs of inmate imprisonment and of prison overpopulation by signing an agreement with the Government of Quebec to use the facilities offered by the new provincial prison in Rivière-du-Loup.