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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-04 12:34 [p.888]
Mr. Speaker, the system that was designed to protect the public clearly failed in this situation.
First, I would like to extend my condolences to Marylène Levesque's family and friends. Her tragic death obviously should never have happened and it has no doubt caused a great deal of discomfort to them and to Canadians, as we hear a little more information each day about what took place. I believe that anyone who reflects on what took place would want to see some sort of justice on the issue.
To that end, this tragic death cannot and will not go unaccounted for as far as ensuring there is justice. As has been pointed out, a couple of investigations will be taking place: the criminal investigation and the broader internal investigation.
I have been listening to the debate, and four Conservatives have spoken on the issue. Three of them made reference to Tori Stafford. I raise this because I wonder why the Conservatives, at times, tend to put the politics of an issue ahead of what is really important.
I was here when the Conservatives brought up the Tori Stafford incident when Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to a healing lodge. The Conservative Party was quite upset over that. I remember listening to more than one member of Parliament give an incredible visual description of what had happened to Tori Stafford. They tried to give the impression that it was the Government of Canada's fault, as if this government had ultimately allowed for the healing lodge placement of Ms. McClintic. I remind Conservatives that as we got more into the debate, we found out that it was actually Stephen Harper's regime that had her transferred to a medium-security facility, which made her eligible to be brought over to a healing lodge. We also found out that under Harper's regime, other child murderers were put into other medium-security facilities.
Why do I bring that up? Another Conservative speaker has said that our system is broken. Now this tragic death is being brought up, and again the Conservatives seem to be more concerned about trying to blame the Government of Canada, as if we are the ones to blame for the tragic death.
I believe that all members, no matter their political party, understand exactly what has taken place. All of us are offended that an individual on parole committed the outrageous offence of murder. Ms. Levesque is the victim here. That is why I started off by extending my condolences to her family and friends, as we all try to get a better understanding of the situation. I think the response to date by the government has been very respectful of all sides of the issues that have come before us.
Having this internal review is a good starting point. It is a way for us as legislators to get a better understanding of not only what took place to lead to this particular individual's release, but some of the commentary that was being provided by the case manager with respect to this particular file. I see that as a good, positive step forward.
When I think of the comments I have heard about the appointment process, I have no reservations about doing a comparison. Opposition members have said that it is the government that makes appointments to the Parole Board. They are trying to imply that this is what ultimately led to this tragic incident. Again, I do not believe that for a moment.
In fact, as the parliamentary secretary for public safety pointed out, the regional vice-chair is a Stephen Harper appointment. Any new board member that will be hearing cases has to be approved by that vice-chair. There is an extensive process of training that takes place.
For the Conservatives to imply that somehow this government has either direct or indirect culpability in what has taken place is just wrong. I have heard it from more than one member opposite. They have had four speakers on this issue, and at least three of them have tried to imply that.
If they are genuine in what they are trying to raise today and it is a legitimate concern, then they do not need to go along that line. Yes, there are some important facts that need to be discussed and investigated, but I would suggest that the appointment process today is far superior to what it was under the former Conservative government. All one would need to do is take a look at that.
I am really intrigued by how this debate has been broadened, and I think there is a great deal of merit to that. Years ago, I brought up the issue of violence against women and girls, in particular in our indigenous communities, and called for a public inquiry. I was very happy to see the government act on this initiative. I was also very happy when the former public safety minister brought in legislation to allow victims of rape, for example, to get recordings of parole hearings and be present during them.
I wanted to move what hopefully the official opposition will see as a friendly amendment. Considering that the Parole Board of Canada explicitly opposed permitting the offender to visit a massage parlour, we seek to amend part (a) of the motion.
I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells, that the motion be amended by replacing the words “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” with “condemn the management of this offender, which may have contributed to the murder of a young woman.”
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant: Why do you hate women?
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