Motion No. 1
That Bill C-55, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 11 to 15 on page 3 with the following:
"752.1 (1) Where an offender has been convicted of a serious personal injury offence defined in section 752 and, on application by the prosecution, at any time during the time the offender is serving the sentence imposed for the offence, the court is of"
Motion No. 2
That Bill C-55, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 4 the following:
"(1.1) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where an offender has been convicted of a serious personal injury offence defined in section 752 and has previously been convicted of such an offence, the court shall find the offender to be a long-term offender without an application being made in that regard."
Motion No. 3
That Bill C-55, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 17 to 28 on page 6 with the following:
"fend if the offender has been convicted of a ) an offence under section 151 (sexual interference), 152 (invitation to sexual touching) or 153 (sexual exploitation), subsection 173(2) (exposure) or section 271
(sexual assault), 272 (sexual assault with a weapon) or 273 (aggravated sexual assault); a .1) an offence under subsection 160(3) (bestiality in presence of or by child), section 170 (parent or guardian procuring sexual activity), 171 (householder permitting sexual activity by child) or 172 (corrupting children), subsection 212(2) (living off the avails of prostitution by a child) or 212(4) (obtaining sexual services of a child); a .2) an offence involving a person under the age of eighteen years under section 155 (incest) or 159 (anal intercourse) or subsections 160(1) and (2) (bestiality and compelling bestiality); a .3) an offence involving a person under the age of eighteen years under section 144 (rape), 145 (attempt to commit rape), 149 (indecent assault on female) or 156 (indecent assault on male) of the Criminal Code, chapter C-34 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970, as they read immediately before January 4, 1983; or a .4) has engaged in serious conduct of a sexual nature in the commission of another offence of which the offender has been convicted; and''
Motion No. 4
That Bill C-55, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 27 on page 12 with the following:
"fifteen years from the day on which that person"
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to discuss more criminal justice matters, specifically Bill C-55 and the need to toughen the law when it comes to release of offenders and the designation of certain offenders, especially violent offenders.
There is no question we need some substantive changes in the sentencing procedures as well as in the area of incarceration.
In a way prisoners have it too good on one side and on the other the line is not clear, if they step over it, on what should happen to them or what could happen to them. As a result there is a certain arrogance that has developed within the prison population of those who are bent on committing a lot of crime. There is no punishment within the correctional system. It is obvious this attitude would manifest itself in the lives of so many offenders and so few have their attitudes corrected in the system as it exists.
That has been evident to me as my colleagues and I have travelled across the country and have stopped in at various prisons in Canada. Some of us have been to the United States and looked at some of those prison procedures and methods of incarceration, but we are talking about Canada and the attitude of prisoners in Canada.
Are the politicians of the day doing what is best not only for the country, for the community, for the innocent, but also for the prisoners themselves? For the most part I would have to say a resounding no, the politicians of the day and the government of the day, the Liberal Party, certainly are not doing what they should be doing to curb the attitude of the criminal.
In response to their view of what should be done and to the outcry from the public, the justice minister brings forward Bill C-55. When we look closely at the bill it appears to be doing the right thing. It is incremental in its scope as far as change is concerned but ultimately it is not really coming close to what has to be done when we look at the rate of victimization in the country from the hands of those who are constantly reoffending.
My first motion seeks to deal with the dangerous offender application and to bring about the provision that would allow the crown to give notice at the time of conviction of an application review. What we are seeking to do is have that review take place at any time during the offender's release.
I have had an opportunity to look through some of the more recent convictions of offenders who have been released. After they have served their sentence or a portion of their sentence they have been released. All the reports clearly point to the fact that they are going to reoffend. Yet because of the present provision the law does not allow for a dangerous offender application to go forward after they have been incarcerated. It has to be done at the time of sentencing.
That is an injustice because so many times offenders are released back into society they immediately reoffend and are put back into the system again. That is at a great cost to the taxpayer, but then an unnecessary victimization is taking place because the crown or the government, corrections Canada, has chosen not to make that application at the very front end. There should be a provision to make an application of dangerous offender at any time during the incarceration of that offender.
I looked at some offences that took place in my own riding. I am going to make mention of one in particular, a fellow by the name of James Tocher, a pedophile. As far as I am concerned a pedophile is a dangerous offender, but there is no provision for that classification in Bill C-55 presented by the justice minister.
The justice minister for one reason or another has failed to expand this whole area of dangerous offender.
Mr. Tocher has been charged on numerous occasions with pedophilia. The last account was for three young boys he attacked in Calgary this year. He is subject to sentencing. He is a former hockey coach and he made these attacks, these manipulations, very carefully. Unfortunately pedophiles are very devious people in the sense that they manipulate their way so that they can get a hold of children almost at anytime.
Since 1984 Tocher has been in and out of prison. He would spend a few months in prison, be released for a few months more after reoffending and then be released and reoffend. He has been before the courts five or six times and all basically relating to the same thing.
After the second time I would suggest that this man should not walk the street, and yet this is the case. He has been in and out, in and out, and no application made. It is often the case that the crown will not proceed in that fashion because it costs too much. The cost of victimization and revictimization is much higher than what dollars and cents would be to hear the case and make an application for dangerous offender.
A man like Tocher should be classified as a dangerous offender right off the bat or at anytime during that first sentence served. Once he has served his sentence and it is clear that he is going to reoffend the application can be made again and his time extended and extended if necessary.
That is one of the other provisions that we had made in our review of this legislation, as an amendment, that after 15 years if it is clear that this person is a dangerous offender and is going to reoffend then at that time there would be an opportunity for review, not in the short order provisions that have been placed by the justice minister on Bill C-55 where he has extended it from three years to seven years. We would like to see the review take place after fifteen years of time served.
I have colleagues who are going to speak to this area to a much greater degree. My colleague from Surrey-White Rock-South Langley will certainly do that.
A third point that we feel is very necessary and again dealing with dangerous offenders is the sentence served upon second conviction of a personal injury offence would be an indefinite one. The subject has not learned his lesson the first time. By being subjected to a second offence and through the court hearing it would be an automatic indefinite sentence and a minimum service of time of 15 years. We are designating that as two strikes and you are out. In California is a law where there is a three strike provision which has certainly targeted a small element of the criminal society. It has put them under a restraint that takes any violent offender out for life. This is one area that we would like to see extended into our provisions in the Criminal Code. Here is the opportunity for the Liberal government to do exactly that.
I want to quickly point out that when it comes to long term offenders we would like to see that list of offences include many of the sexual offences and especially sex crimes against children. Those are our four amendments. My colleagues are going to deal with each one of those in a broader context. I am trusting that the Liberal government and those in this House will take consideration of what has been provided for here and vote in favour of the amendments.