Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2017-05-10 14:58 [p.11018]
Mr. Speaker, marijuana is not the only issue where the Prime Minister says one thing and does another, because despite a firm commitment to limit the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, there is still nothing to be seen of the promised reforms.
Solitary confinement is a practice of last resort because it has serious consequences on the physical and mental health of inmates.
Can the Prime Minister tell us exactly when we will see these much-needed reforms?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2017-05-10 14:58 [p.11018]
Mr. Speaker, we want to ensure that federal penitentiaries provide a safe and secure environment, one that is conducive to inmate rehabilitation, staff safety, and public protection.
That is why we are trying to reduce the use of administrative segregation in the federal correctional system, especially for women, indigenous peoples, and those suffering from mental illness.
We will continue to work towards implementing the recommendations of the coroner's inquest into the death of Ashley Smith. There are investments in budget 2017 that will increase the capacity to provide mental health services to all inmates in federal penitentiaries.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present petition e-482, a petition organized by my friend, who is now a senator, Kim Pate, of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, in both official languages. This petition calls upon the Government of Canada to review and remedy all cases of women prisoners held in administrative segregation over the past five years.
I believe this is a very important petition to bring forward because of some undeniable facts: first, women with mental health issues are still being held in administrative segregation at alarming rates, despite the findings of the 2007 Ashley Smith inquest; second, indigenous women and women with debilitating mental health issues are the fastest growing prison population and the groups most affected with being harmed or dying in segregation; third, many international and national organizations, including the United Nations, have called upon the government to remedy the excessive use of solitary confinement in our prisons; and finally, in a 2011 report, Juan Mendez, a UN special rapporteur on torture, concluded that solitary confinement can constitute torture. In his opinion, prolonged solitary confinement in excess of 15 days should be subject to an absolute prohibition.
It is in this context that I present this important petition this morning.
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