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View Joël Godin Profile
Madam Speaker, first, I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Marylène Levesque, who was killed by an inmate on day parole.
I also want to commend my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles for the speech he gave today. What is more, I want to thank him for moving this motion. Before I read out the motion, I would like to say that I will be sharing my time with the excellent member for Elgin—Middlesex—London.
Today, we are debating a motion. However, I do not think that Parliament should have to take such action just to get the government to listen to reason. Democracy and procedure require us to study today's opposition motion. It is moving things forward. In fact, the government seems to be receptive. We will see what happens when we vote on this tomorrow.
The motion reads, and I quote:That the House: (a) condemn the decision of the Parole Board of Canada that led to a young woman's death by an inmate during day parole in January of this year; and (b) instruct the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to conduct hearings into this matter, including a review of the changes made by the government in 2017 to the board's nomination process, with the view to recommend measures to be taken to ensure another tragedy such as this never happens again.
Let me summarize the facts. Eustachio Gallese, a 51-year-old man, was found guilty of killing his wife in 2006 by beating her with a hammer and stabbing her repeatedly. He was granted day parole despite his history of violence against women. My goal today is to talk some sense into parliamentarians. This is 2020, and it is unacceptable for a Canadian woman to be victimized because of an administrative error or poor judgment on the part of the Parole Board members who made it possible for this man to commit the unthinkable.
When the Parole Board extended the offender's day parole last September, it mentioned a risk management strategy. I do not understand how anyone could have thought they were managing risk with a strategy that enabled this man to do what he did. Mr. Gallese was allowed to meet with women, but only to satisfy his sexual needs.
Our current laws governing sex work were introduced by the Conservative government in 2014 and prohibit the purchase of sexual services. How could the Parole Board of Canada allow one of its clients to do just that? I said “client”, but what I really meant was “murderer”. How could they give this man permission to commit a crime? It is illegal to purchase sexual services, yet a federal institution approved the practice. Those people knew perfectly well where that man was going. That raises some important questions.
The Liberal government's correctional system has been called a revolving door, and it has cost innocent people their lives. Canada's Conservatives strongly condemn the Parole Board of Canada's decision to release a convicted murderer with a history of domestic violence on day parole so he could meet women to satisfy his sexual needs.
Ask any Canadian. Everyone agrees. That is unacceptable. How could anyone mess up so badly? Today's motion, the product of some conscientious work on the part of my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles and the official opposition, urges the government to take action.
This was a senseless decision. It was plain wrong, and last month it led to the death of a young woman, something that could have been prevented. We must have the means to prevent this from happening again. There must be justice for Marylène Levesque, and we must ensure that such unspeakable crimes never happen again.
We must protect honest Canadian citizens and put them first, ahead of those in prison, the criminals and the repeat offenders. That is essential. We must protect our society from people who unfortunately are deviant or criminal or who suffer from mental health issues. There are many reasons to justify this action. We must put mechanisms in place to protect our society.
How could they release a murderer who killed his wife on day parole? His history with women was well known. How could they let him become a client of an erotic massage parlour so he could satisfy his sexual urges? He killed his wife, was aggressive with several other women, and yet the Parole Board agreed to let him satisfy his sexual urges in a hotel with the board member's consent. I do not understand what happened. I do not know why the murderer did this. Above all, I do not understand why the board member let this man cause irreparable harm.
We have to wonder where we are headed with this government. What does the future hold for our society? We have to protect our citizens. We have to protect the victims. We should not bring in measures to support and pamper our criminals even more. They have to suffer the consequences of their actions. Our society has to protect Canadians, both women and men.
As my colleague from Shefford said, Dave Blackburn, a leading expert, was indeed a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada. We had an excellent roster of candidates who made us optimistic about our chances for forming the government. Unfortunately, democracy decided otherwise.
In an article in the Quotidien on January 29, Dave Blackburn said that the Parole Board of Canada's decision to release this offender on parole, essentially giving him free rein to commit his irreparable act, was unjustifiable.
This government is incapable of governing and making effective decisions in the interest of Canadians. I will give some examples that illustrate the current government's incoherence when it comes to protecting honest citizens. I will list them without elaborating: the Tori Stafford case; Bill C-75, the firearms bill, which vexes honest citizens, hunting enthusiasts and sport shooters; and the legalization of cannabis.
In closing, I would like to remind hon. members that the 2019-20 departmental plan mentions a continuing increase at the national level in the number of offenders managed in the community. Their average annual number rose to 9,000 in 2017-18 from 7,700 five years earlier, a veritable explosion. I think that the measures the government across the way has implemented since coming to power in 2015 are not working. It is not dealing with things in a clear manner and it is not protecting the public.
I was going to talk about a file we should be working on to provide help to people in need, to make our society even more prosperous.
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