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Results: 1 - 15 of 1665
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
You're assuming correctly, sir, after 60...or how many meetings?
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Okay.
Thank you for joining us today to shed some light on the main estimates for us. I sometimes get the impression that justice is the poor cousin of the budget. It certainly does not represent a large percentage of it. Be that as it may, I feel that we have important work to do.
My first question goes to Mr. Legault.
Not too long ago, the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights was passed. But I see no substantial impact of it in your plans and priorities for the 2015-2016 year. I get the impression that, once again, you are going to be asked to perform miracles—and my congratulations for managing to do so—by making do with what you already have.
Am I mistaken?
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
This was my question. In the main estimates, can we see any impact of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights?
From what you are saying, you are going to have to help the provinces with the implementation. Clearly, that sort of thing requires an expenditure.
Are you ready to implement the resources for 2015-2016?
If we look at the allocations, we see that the Victims Fund has not moved: it is still $12.4 million, to be paid to non-governmental organizations. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights is a big deal, but I really do not see its impact in the main estimates. Maybe I am not looking in the proper place.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Am I correct in saying that the budget for—
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
As for the ombudsman, am I correct? I see a flat line, not in the sense of death but in the sense of it not moving upward with more obligation. Am I correct in what I read and what it looks like in the budget?
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Saunders, I'm sure you read the Calgary Herald with great pleasure this morning. I was both a bit shocked and not, because that's pretty much what I hear on the ground too, not only for your prosecutors but for prosecutors in general. Just in case you haven't, it said:
Emails and documents obtained by the Herald from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada...through access-to-information legislation showed senior lawyers in the Alberta office have been warning superiors that under-staffing and a relatively junior workforce could place cases in jeopardy.
I will spare you a reading of the entire article, but I will say that it is quite troubling. I heard the reply that the minister gave in the House today, but I am not sure that I am comforted by it. With all the responsibilities that now fall to your department, especially all the terrorism-related matters, are there enough prosecutors, as the minister said, or is there still a way for the situation to be improved?
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
All across Canada?
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Or because the case was not heard in a reasonable time.
I know that is a problem for provincial crown prosecutors. Perhaps you have just been lucky. Federal lawyers, whether they are crown prosecutors or other kinds of lawyers, say that things are moving quickly at the Department of Justice. With legislation changing all the time, the committee can also see how quickly things are moving. It is difficult to keep their heads above water.
However, you are not worried at all. Personally, I find it a little worrisome that people on the inside are telling superiors that there is a problem. But you seem to be admiring the emperor's new clothes.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
You cross your fingers and hope that there is not too much—
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
On division.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
That is unanimous. For once, I agree with my colleague opposite.
(Motion agreed to)
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
I could not let him have the last word—
Voices: Oh, oh!
Ms. Françoise Boivin: No, no, just kidding.
Actually, I thought you would propose, since we have so much time left until the 23rd of June, that we could maybe start a study on the, I don't know, need for legal aid in Canada, the need for prosecutors, naming some more judges, but I figure the government is done now with the justice committee.
But joking aside, and it's not actually a joke, I want to convey the same. We've had some hard-fought battles through the years, but honestly, to all the staff for their help and to everybody around and my colleagues, for enduring me all that time, and you also, thank you all and enjoy.
I'll see some of you on October 20.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, thank you for having come to testify before the committee in the past. You have come here quite regularly, since the so-called “law and order bills” seem very popular with your government. This is probably your last appearance before the committee, and so I am going to try to take advantage of the five or six minutes I have to go back to certain points.
You seem very proud of the amounts that have been allocated to you. From what I see the figures are not even at the level of the real expenditures in 2013-2014. Since everything was delayed by the government, this has allowed us to examine both the economic action plan and the 2015 main estimates. In 584 pages, I saw two minuscule allusions to justice. Sometimes I get the impression that your government is
tough on crime on paper, but not so much on resources.
We all remember that
justice delayed is justice denied.
Those who work in the justice system at all levels, be it the judges, crown attorneys or defence attorneys, all say that their work has become extremely complex because of the multitude of new laws and amendments to the Criminal Code, as well as insufficient resources. I am sure you have heard the same comments. There are still a large number of judges missing at several levels, for instance in Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere. There are still enormous problems in connection with legal aid. You tell us that your role is the following:
to ensure that the justice system is “fair, relevant, and accessible”.
And yet, one morning in January 2015, I read that 50 DUI cases had been thrown out by the court because the trials had not taken place within a reasonable time frame. There is a problem somewhere. You have to stop sticking your head in the sand and simply going before committees trying to give the impression that all issues have been solved everywhere. Regarding trials, the delays are increasingly unreasonable and the costs are growing.
We all know that your department spent a fortune challenging all sorts of things and going right up to the Supreme Court to ensure that justice-related laws were constitutional, only to be told ultimately that they were not. There are some major issues and we don't hear you piping up very loudly about them. I would like to know what you have to say about that.
I also have a specific question for you. Your expenditure budget mentions a sum of $1.9 million in connection with prostitution. I am curious to know whether you have had any reports since that bill was passed and implemented and if there have been any changes whatsoever. I am very surprised to see that no additional sums have been allocated to the ombudsman for victims, whereas this was an extremely important part of your Conservative law and order platform. This is what leads me to say that you are
tough on paper, but not so much on resources.
Services have to be provided, but there will be no additional funds.
Forgive me, but this is probably our last opportunity to see you in committee. In light of the fact that the federal government budget is over $300 billion, I think that what is allocated to justice should be at the very heart of the lives of Canadians, but this does not measure up.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Those are the only two in the budget. I'm correct to say that those are the only two paragraphs, the two that you just mentioned, that are in this budget. It doesn't go very far to support...to have more judges, to have more crown attorneys, prosecutors, around the country.
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