Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)

Question No. 1988--
Mr. Bev Shipley:
With regard to forensic toxicology tests and the National Forensic Laboratory Services (NFLS) section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: (a) how many blood tests were conducted by the NFLS from 2015 to date, broken down by year; (b) how many blood tests are projected to be conducted by the NFLS in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021; (c) what is the projected yearly budgetary increase required for the NFLS as a result of the legalization of cannabis; and (d) what is the projected increase in turnaround time for test results as a result of the legalization of cannabis?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the RCMP's National Forensic Laboratory Services, NFLS, receives requests for different types of forensic services from across Canada, excluding Ontario and Quebec, who manage and operate their own public forensic laboratories. NFLS tracks the number of service requests, not "blood tests", it receives for forensic analysis.
With regard to (c), at this time, the projected yearly budgetary increase required for the NFLS as a result of the legalization of cannabis is not available.
The government will ensure that the resources are in place to deliver the programs and services that accompany this important transformation.
With regard to (d), the NFLS currently has established target diary dates for its toxicology services program. Included in the above-mentioned proposal to confirm funding is a plan to build NFLS capacity to meet any increase in demand for services. The NFLS service model already includes a monitoring function that assists in prioritization of urgent service requests.

Question No. 1994--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to Bill C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act: what are the projected implementation costs of the legislation, broken down by each policy measure contained in the Bill?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated before, eliminating the use of administrative segregation within Canada's correctional system and replacing it with structured intervention units, SIUs, will require both the enactment of new legislation, Bill C-83, and the investment of new resources.
The objective is to ensure that the system can properly separate certain offenders as necessary for safety and security reasons, while still providing them with on-going meaningful human contact and the interventions, programs and social supports that their circumstances require, including access to program officers, indigenous liaison officers, elders, chaplains and others. If the new legislation is enacted, the Government of Canada will invest close to $300 million over six years, and then some $70 million annually thereafter, to implement the new SIU approach.
For this approach to be successful, the correctional system must also strengthen its mental health programming. This will include the enhanced assessment and early diagnosis of inmates at intake and throughout incarceration at all levels, plus enhanced primary and acute mental health care, support for patient advocacy services and 24-7 health care at designated institutions. If this new legislation is enacted, the Government of Canada will invest more than $150 million over six years, and then more than $70 million annually thereafter, to implement these mental health care improvements.
More specific financial details will become available through the on-going budgetary process, including the usual estimates presented for approval to the House of Commons.

Question No. 1996--
Mr. John Brassard:
With regard to the government’s announcement that it will be waiving the record suspension application fee for individuals who have criminal records related to the possession of cannabis: (a) how many individuals have criminal records solely from possession of cannabis convictions; (b) how many individuals have criminal records from possession of cannabis convictions in addition to convictions on other charges; and (c) what is the projected cost to the government of waiving the record suspension application fee for those convicted of cannabis possession?
Response
Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) and to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services, CCRTIS, maintains the RCMP national repository of criminal records. The repository is a record database and was not designed to provide statistical analysis. As a result, the content of the repository cannot be aggregated and disaggregated in a way that would accurately depict answers as they relate to these questions.
With regard to (c), at this time, the implementation costs of the proposal are not available.
The government will ensure that the resources are in place to deliver the programs and services that accompany this important transformation.
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