That, in the opinion of the House: (a) rights of victims deserve proper consideration in our criminal justice system; (b) the parole system must avoid unnecessary revictimization; and (c) the government should amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act prior to the next election, so as to provide victims with an explanation of how dates are determined for offenders’ eligibility for temporary absences, releases and parole.
Mr. Speaker, in the interest of how important it is to advance the rights of victims in a timely manner, I will be very brief in my intervention today, given the fact that we are in the last hours of this House sitting in this session.
Earlier today, I introduced a bill that would make it a requirement that victims be provided with an explanation of how dates are determined for their offender's eligibility for temporary absences, for release or for parole. This is a simple change that would ensure victims are given information up front, rather than finding out through some other channel that their offender was returned to society.
Mr. Speaker, I should be clear that I introduced a bill, and that today we are debating a motion.
This simple change could save a lot of heartache and unnecessary revictimization for the victims of crime. As such, I would suggest that if the government wants to demonstrate that it cares about victims, it can adopt the bill as its own. The official opposition is prepared to support it, at all stages, before this House rises, to ensure that victims are provided with the information that they need.
I have waited 11 years to be able to stand here and introduce my very first private member's bill and my first motion on the floor of the House of Commons. This is an issue of victims rights that is very near and dear to my heart. I am grateful for the opportunity and for the support of my colleague, the member of Parliament for Oshawa, in bringing this moment to today's floor.