Mr. Speaker, our Government is committed to making the protection of society the guiding principle in decisions affecting the corrections system. The Safe Streets and Communities Act made important amendments to the International Transfer of Offenders Act to enshrine in law a number of additional key factors in deciding whether an offender would be granted a transfer back to Canada. These factors would include whether, in the opinion of the minister, an offender would, upon return to Canada, endanger public safety; continue to engage in criminal activities following his or her transfer; and endanger the safety of any child, particularly in cases of offenders who have been convicted of sexual abuse.
Decisions would also take into consideration whether a criminal has been participating in his or her rehabilitation and cooperating with law enforcement. These amendments reflect the government’s commitment to strengthening the rights of victims, increasing the responsibility of offenders and making our communities safe.
With regard to (a), from January 1, 2006, to March 14, 2012, CSC received 1,657 international transfer applications from Canadian citizens convicted and sentenced abroad. Out of this number, the Minister of Public Safety rendered a decision on 730 cases. The other 934 applications are still in process, have been withdrawn by the applicants, denied by the sentencing country, deemed ineligible by either country, or the offenders were released by the other country and possibly deported to Canada.
Of the 730 decisions rendered, the Minister of Public Safety approved 514 and denied 216.
With regard to (b), under both the current International Transfers of Offenders Act, ITOA, and the amended act further to the passing of Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, CSC does not provide an opinion or a recommendation to the Minister of Public Safety. CSC’s mandate in processing the applications is mainly to collect, summarize and submit the relevant information to the Minister of Public Safety for decision.
With regard to (c), since 2006, of the number of rejected transfer applications, 36 applicants sought judicial recourse to overturn the Minister of Public Safety’s decision.
With regard to (d), 13 judgments were rendered in favour of the Minister of Public Safety, 15 judgments were rendered in favour of the applicants, and four judgments have yet to be rendered.
It should be noted that the total number of judgments does not match the number of applicants because some matters were discontinued.