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Results: 1 - 15 of 62
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, can you seek permission for me to speak to my amendments?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I was invited to be here, but not given notice of the meeting until later in the day today, and I was in British Columbia.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, if there is consensus, is there any chance I would be allowed to ask a question?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I was invited by the committee. Am I allowed to ask any questions?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Mr. Cotler.
First of all, thank you to all the witnesses for being here. Your evidence is very helpful.
Do any of you see anything in Bill C-54 as currently drafted to deal with the circumstance that Christine Russell described in which her victim impact statement was changed?
I don't see anything here in Bill C-54 that would change that process or protect victims from having that occur to their statements.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I guess it's my law school background. I look at the bill and I know that the Supreme Court of Canada has already said that the paramount concern is public safety, and still that happened to Christine. So I'm just looking at ways we could improve the bill, based on your evidence, and that seems to me to be a hole.
I wonder if any of you or all of you want to comment on the testimony of Sue O'Sullivan as federal ombudsman for victims' rights. She spelled out a number of things. Frankly, until she listed them—and I look to my colleagues in the Conservative party as well—on reading the bill, I had thought those things were there. But I went back and looked, and she's right. There's nothing in the bill right now that says victims should be advised of the forensic facility location, that victims should be advised in advance of movements, that victims should be given advance information on release. You were here in the room when she testified.
Do you have any comment on whether you would support the amendments that Sue O'Sullivan suggested to improve Bill C-54?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I'll state right now for the chair that I'm concerned. I want to be able to present amendments that would bring forward Sue O'Sullivan's amendments, but I was told the deadline for my amendments was a few days ago. I don't know how I am going to be able to bring them forward, so I'm looking to government members who perhaps can figure out a way to do that.
The last thing I want to ask is kind of hypothetical, because the witnesses who made the point earlier aren't here to help explain their point. I'm referring to Bernd Walter's and Richard Schneider's testimony.
Let me just try this with you, Mr. McCormack. Obviously, if somebody has committed a murder, it's very unlikely that they would throw themselves into the criminal system as opposed to the NCR system, or that a lawyer would advise that. But wouldn't you agree with me that for a lesser crime—not lesser in the sense necessarily of trauma; I'm not diminishing the nature of a crime—for a sexual assault, scary assaults of all kinds, where the sentence in criminal justice might end up being less than three years, and the offender looks at the risk on the NCR system...?
I think that's what I understood the other witnesses to be explaining, that you might end up having a lawyer say that your chances may be better to roll the dice and go into the criminal justice system, and then the offender is released without control, without their medications, and so on.
I wonder if you would see that as being a risk at all?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, I actually don't think that any of the other witnesses, and I can go back over the committee Hansard—
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
—used the term “stigma”. I think what they were referring to was a question of public safety and whether there was a risk that there would be people who would not go into the mental health stream, given the extended period of time here.
There's one last quick thing, Mr. Chair, if I have time.
Would you agree with the federal ombudsman on victims' rights, Sue O'Sullivan, that we need to focus—as well as on changes to the NCR system—on prevention? Really, for public safety, that's a key piece, because obviously Mr. Kachkar wasn't in the NCR system. He wasn't known to the system.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, did you just say that I'm allowed to move my amendments?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Okay, so they're deemed moved, but I don't get to move them.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you.
If someone asks a question on them, am I allowed to answer questions on them?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I think they've used the term “PV” here for Parti vert. So it's actually not in the name of a private member. It's actually here as Green Party amendment 1.
As you see, it is on clause 9, which is amending section 672.54. You can follow it on page 4, at lines 35 to 40.
I'm proposing this amendment based on testimony that was received by the committee from the Canadian Bar Association to reinstate the “least onerous and least restrictive” requirement that has been used in not criminally responsible cases in the past.
I just want to cite this from the Canadian Bar Association evidence, at page 5:
Currently, the Court or Review Board must discharge absolutely any accused found not criminally responsible, unless they pose a significant threat to the safety of the public.... In making this decision, the Court or Review Board must consider the need to protect the public from dangerous persons,
—we certainly want to do that—
the mental condition of the accused, the reintegration of the accused into society and other needs of the accused. Where an accused does pose a significant threat to the safety of the public, the Court or Review Board must select the “least onerous and least restrictive” form of disposition....
Now that Bill C-54 makes it very clear and codifies what's already the law under the Supreme Court of Canada—that the safety of the public is the paramount consideration—I'm putting forward this amendment to say that certainly the balancing is very strongly in favour of the paramount consideration being public safety. The least onerous and restrictive qualification is now balanced against that paramountcy of public safety and security.
That provision, as the Canadian Bar Association recommends, can be reintroduced into the legislation very simply—through the mechanism of my Green Party amendment 1.
Thank you.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
No, I'm not an independent. I represent the Green Party. All the House of Commons documentation makes it clear.
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