Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act (Bill C-54)

On Monday, May 27th, 2013 in Debate
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Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, we are now debating time allocation on the bill and the Conservative majority will get the time allocation they want. Whenever there is time allocation, the position I hold being a member of a party with one seat is that those of us in the backbenches over in this corner will not get any opportunity to participate in debate. Over and over again time allocation means that we do not get a speech on the key issues.

I am surprised the Minister of Justice believes the bill has been well received. I have seen from the experts in the area of mental health and the experts in criminal justice that there is no evidence whatsoever for the changes that are being proposed and that the bill needs a proper, full and thorough debate in this House.

I ask the Minister of Justice how he could miss the comments of Professor Anne Crocker, who did a report for his own department, and said, “I would say there’s no current evidence indicating the need for changing the way things are being done at the moment”.

Then she went on to say, “You wonder why you commission reports [referring to the Department of Justice] if you’re not going to use them”.

Hon. Rob Nicholson: Mr. Speaker, we have actually commissioned a couple of reports and I referred to some of the statistics in the final report that was given to us in November 2012. Indeed, there was one from 2006 that underscored some of the challenges that we have.

The member asks who we have been listening to. I make no bones about it, we have been listening to victims. We meet with victims groups. I would give the member the same advice that I would given to the NDP on a hundred different occasions. Sit down with victims groups across this country. I know members are busy and have lots of things to do, they have a constituency to look after. Even if they are down to one seat, as the Green Party is, they can still make time for victims groups across this country. I think they will be very impressed. I believe once having sat down with victims groups, members will be very supportive of what this government is doing to better protect victims.

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