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House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it appears that I am lucky enough to be the last speaker for the last few minutes on this debate. It is like being the hammer rock in curling; hopefully if one is witty enough maybe one can just clear house.

It has been far too broad and expansive a debate to even try to summarize things. I would like to use these last few moments to add a couple of points to what has already been put on the table.

Everybody here will agree that crime, punishment, safety and justice are issues we hear about in our ridings all the time. It does not matter what our political stripe is. Canadians are talking about them and Canadians want to talk about them.

I am always amazed at how with the same set of circumstances we can come up with two so different sets of conclusions.

What we have heard for most of the day from the majority of the Reform Party speakers is an ongoing barrage about tougher enforcement, more boot camps, more prisons, lock them up and hang them high. It hearkens back to the day when Spanky wanted to go to Singapore, buy a stick and learn how to beat children better.

We really have not heard anything innovative from the Reform Party, with the exception of the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca who actually brought a very balanced approach to the whole day. I am glad he spoke toward the end because there are many parts of his remarks which I can certainly work with. The Reform Party has one view of the world by and large. The member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca is clearly in contrast with most of his political party. He smiles in front of it intellectually.

The Reform Party says one thing. The NDP would much rather talk about victims rights than increased levels of punishment. We have tabled documents in the province of Manitoba. The NDP was very well received in terms of taking care of victims rights but also in taking care of the root causes of crime.

I mentioned the aboriginal community when I rose for one of my interventions. There was the shocking, horrifying fact that the Kingston women's penitentiary was 100% aboriginal population, that every single woman there was aboriginal for a period of time in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. The figure is still hugely disproportionate to the population. Three or four per cent of the population is aboriginal. Seventy or eighty or ninety per cent of the prison population are aboriginal. Something is clearly wrong when there are figures like that. This needs to be addressed.

In the province I come from it is a very real issue. I know that if I had been walking home instead of J. J. Harper one winter evening, I may have been stopped by the police but I probably would not have died that night. I know that if Helen Betty Osborne had been a white girl rather than an Indian girl, it would not have taken 16 years to solve her murder. It would have been a far more pressing issue. People would have seized themselves of the issue.

Obviously the issue of the aboriginal people and their presence in our penal institutions and our justice system needs to be addressed first and foremost. I am surprised that was not one of the main focuses of the Reform Party's motion today.

We have seen the U.S. model. We heard ideas about boot camps and other things that are clearly from the U.S. We saw what happened in the U.S. as it tried to lock up a whole generation of young black men. That was the solution to crime in the United States. The U.S. tried to lock up a whole generation.

The U.S. built more prisons and then privatized them, turning them into for profit ventures. Private prisons, what a concept. Locking people up for profit. I am surprised this did not come from the camp to my left because it is clearly in keeping with its ideology.

Prisons are big business in Canada too. The one thing I would like to use my last moment to comment on is the privatization of the education system within our Canadian prisons. Former Correctional Service Canada employees are quitting their jobs and contracting out the education of inmates on a for profit basis, and they are not the low bidder. In the prairie region, the contracting company's bid was millions of dollars higher than that of Evergreen School Division which used to deliver the service, quality service at a lower cost.

It makes one wonder. If we care about this kind of thing at all, why would we pay more money for less service? When I say less service, the contracting company owned by former Correctional Service Canada employees is not even licensed to give any kind of credit for the high school training given. More money is being paid for less service and the graduates do not even get any kind of credentials when they leave the system.

Penal institutions for profit and the privatization of the education system within the jails are things I wanted to point out.

SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It being 5.15 p.m., it is my duty to inform the House that the proceedings on the motion have expired.

This being the final supply day in the period ending March 26, 1999, it is my duty to interrupt the proceeding and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 1

That Vote 1c, in the amount of $1,975,500, under PARLIAMENT—Program Expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (C) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999, be concurred in.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

In my opinion the yeas have it. And more than five members having risen :

Supplementary Estimates (C), 1998-1999Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Call in the members.

(The House divided Motion No. 1, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, there may have been some confusion earlier because I rose at the same time as the Progressive Conservative members. I made a mistake. I wished to vote the same as the Bloc Quebecois.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

The Speaker

There may have been a small mistake over there, but not over here.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

moved:

Motion No. 2

That Vote 1c, in the amount of $12,551,750, under JUSTICE—Program Expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (C) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999, be concurred in.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I propose that you seek unanimous consent that members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting yea.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there agreement to proceed in such a fashion?

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Reform Party members present vote no on this motion. It is a bad motion.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois members are in favour of the motion.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon NDP Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP vote no on this motion, with the exception of the member for Burnaby—Douglas who votes yes.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Progressive Conservative Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, those members of our party present, including my colleague, the member for St. John's West, vote no on this motion.

Division No. 343Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata Independent York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents I would vote no to this motion.

(The House divided on Motion No. 2, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 344Government Orders

March 16th, 1999 / 5:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.