Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
That it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that, during its consideration of Bill C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act, the Committee be granted the power to expand the scope of the Bill in order to forbid those convicted of the murder of a child from serving any portion of their sentence in a healing lodge.
He said: Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Durham.
This morning, we moved a motion that we consider to be very important. I would like to give a brief overview of Bill C-83, which seeks to change inmates' conditions, since the motion is very closely related to the bill. Bill C-83 seeks to eliminate the use of administrative segregation in correctional facilities and replace it with structured intervention units, to use prescribed body scanners, to establish parameters for access to health care, and to formalize exceptions for indigenous offenders.
This bill obviously contains some reasonable measures that are worth considering. We should all consider how we can change and improve the overall prison program. However, we have a problem in that regard.
Everyone agrees that a criminal has to serve their lawful sentence, but we cannot allow penitentiaries to become five-star Hilton hotels. Otherwise, there will be no incentive for individuals to give up their life of crime.
After our initial reading of the bill, we are not only disappointed, but also discouraged to see that this government is still working to help criminals instead of thinking of the victims.
Three weeks ago, we asked the Prime Minister and his team why they transferred a child murderer to a healing lodge instead of keeping her behind bars at a maximum-security penitentiary. The Prime Minister was either incapable of answering the question or unwilling to do so. On this lovely, rainy Friday on Parliament Hill, hundreds of people are outside asking the same question. They do not understand why this child murderer is at a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.
I gave notice of this motion at the beginning of the week, and it just so happens that, on Wednesday, October 31, Global News published an article by Abigail Bimman about the brother of murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic. Her own brother is disgusted by what is going on. He says his sister is not indigenous, that she manipulated the system, and that she should be sent back to a maximum-security penitentiary to serve her sentence. Her brother says his sister “is no more indigenous than I am green from the planet Mars”.
This case has been the subject of much debate here in the House of Commons. The government accused us of raising a sensitive issue and said we should not take advantage of the death of a police officer, but I believe Canadians understand that the Liberal government's position was untenable. It is unacceptable for a child killer who claims to be indigenous to be sent to an indigenous healing lodge. To be clear, healing lodges are minimum-security facilities. There is no security, so people can come and go and do as they please, even if they do not have that right. A child killer should not be in a place like that.
I believe that what our motion is calling for is very reasonable because Canadians believe that child killers should not be held in healing centres or minimum-security prisons. They should serve their sentence in maximum-security penitentiaries.
Furthermore, we just learned that the Minister of Public Safety received a report from Correctional Service Canada regarding its investigation of the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Ms. McClintic from a maximum-security prison to a healing centre. I am therefore asking the minister to table this report at the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security so we can consult it, read the recommendations concerning Bill C-83 and ensure they are implemented.
At some point, there must be some common sense in this country. Unacceptable things are happening. I know it is not that easy to govern a country. We will be in that position next year, but in the meantime it is the Liberals' job.
All we are doing is proposing a few things to help keep the country running smoothly and ensure that Canadians continue to trust our justice system and believe that criminals will have to face consequences. Giving criminals a chance to live a good life while leaving victims to cope with sadness and sorrow is simply unacceptable.
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