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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-02-21 16:14 [p.25646]
Mr. Speaker, ultimately, that is the big issue we have here. We have raised this issue several times.
One of the reasons we see the abusive use of solitary confinement in our federal corrections system is the lack of resources. That is one of the things that came back repeatedly during the study of the bill, because we are looking at completely reformatting how our prison system operates but are bringing administrative segregation back under a different name. After repeated questioning, both the minister and the officials were unable to explain to us how much funding would be available or how all of this would be implemented. That is problematic as there is enough fine print in this legislation that, in the event there is a lack of resources to deal with offenders who have serious mental health issues, the only recourse would be to put them in solitary confinement.
The government is going to respond, through the amendments it has brought at report stage, by saying not to worry and that it is dealing with it because there is a review mechanism. However, the problem with that review mechanism is that we are looking at 30 days after an initial decision has been made; 30 days again, after which it goes to another committee; and another 30 days after that. Therefore, it is nowhere near respecting the United Nations' norms and the Mandela rules. Rather, it is going to deal with all of this bureaucracy that ultimately is undermining mental health outcomes and the rights of these individuals.
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