Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I will try to make it very brief although there are many points I want to make.
I think I am one of the few members of Parliament who actually objects to Bill C-58, not criminally responsible bill. I did attend the hearings. There certainly were a lot of witnesses who were very concerned that it would further stigmatize the mentally ill and that it was not justified based on any of the empirical evidence of how the current system was working.
I note the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health noted that “the seriousness of the offence does not equate to the likelihood of reoffending”.
I hate to see capitalizing on quite horrific sensationalized individual acts of violence and convert that into an attack on an entire regime that has not been shown to be at fault, in fact, has no connection to any of these quite sensationalized individual acts.
I would urge my friend, the parliamentary secretary to reconsider and allow Bill C-58 to go for further study and amendment.
Bob Dechert: Mr. Speaker, it is Bill C-54 to which we are referring.
I can assure the member that these new provisions would only apply to a very small number of people who fall into the category of not criminally responsible accused.
The member rightly said that she was one of the very few members of Parliament who opposed the legislation. That points out exactly my point in answer to the earlier question about how absurd it would be to have the vast majority of members in the House pass legislation, then have prorogation happen, which is a very normal thing, which has happened over 100 times over the last 100 years as we heard from the government House leader a little while ago, to then have that legislation revisited so the few people who voted against it could take another kick at the can. To me that seems a really great waste of parliamentary resources.