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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-02-04 11:16 [p.876]
Madam Speaker, I will not reiterate what others have said, but I can confirm that Bloc Québécois members are shocked by these events.
This was not an isolated incident for this individual. In 1988, he assaulted the mother of his children, Joanne Lafrance. In 2004, he killed his partner, Chantal Deschênes. There is a well-established history of such behaviour. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 15 years. In the fall of 2019, he was let out on day parole. According to his parole officer, he was granted day parole so he could meet women to satisfy his sexual needs.
What kind of society lets a notorious repeat sexual offender out on parole so he can meet his sexual needs? Apparently that is a social reintegration strategy. I can hardly believe it. That kind of approach just does not compute.
Clearly, the motion before us is an important one. The process needs to be reviewed. We need to start by condemning the Parole Board's decision. I think that goes without saying; no need to belabour the point. Next, we have to hold hearings to find out if any changes need to be made.
I would point out that the union president and the president of the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec say that this is an unusual decision. They must not have seen this very often to describe it as unusual. The Parole Board of Canada itself is asking for a review of the analysis grid. I think we need to take this seriously. As a society, we cannot accept situations like this.
We offer our condolences to the victim's family and to the families of all the other victims. However, at some point we have to assume our responsibilities. I think it is time to review this process.
If Parole Board of Canada board members need more training then let's provide that training. If we need to appoint new members, then let's do that. If we need to change the selection criteria for members of the Parole Board of Canada, then let's do that. We have to start with an inquiry to determine what happened and ensure that it does not happen again because this situation is unacceptable.
For all these reasons and those raised by my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this motion and offers its deepest condolences to the families of this individual's victims.
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