Green Party of Canada Caucus in Favour of the Opposition Motion

February 05, 2020

OTTAWA – The Green Party Caucus will be voting in favour of the Conservative opposition motion in the House of Commons today.

Yesterday the Conservative Party presented the Opposition Motion that a) condemns the decision of the Parole Board of Canada that led to the murder of Marylène Levesque by an inmate, Eustachio Gallese; and b) instructs the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to conduct hearings into this matter.

The Green Party of Canada extends deep condolences to the family and friends of Marylène Levesque.

Mr. Gallese was convicted of a previous murder in 2006, yet was released on day parole in March 2019 under a “risk-management strategy” which permitted him to meet with women to appease to his “sexual needs.”

“There are two areas of deep concern that need to be reviewed in order to ensure the series of mistakes that led to Ms. Levesque’s death will never be repeated,” stated Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Paul Manly. “Firstly, we need to examine the process of appointment to the Parole Board of Canada. This process must be depoliticized, and replaced with a mixed-gender expert panel, whose members have significant training and expertise. Secondly, this tragedy also reveals that we need a system to legalize sex work. Legalization and proper regulation would make it far safer for sex workers.”

According to reports, Mr. Gallese, who was convicted for killing his female partner and has a history of violence against women, had been identified as violent by the massage parlour where Ms. Levesque worked and was barred from the business. Mr. Gallese made a separate arrangement to meet Ms. Levesque in a hotel where he killed her. If the massage parlour had been able to report Mr. Gallese’s behaviour to police without fear of criminal repercussions then Mr. Gallese’s parole would have been revoked. This is the problem with the current laws around sex work, the people who work to protect sex workers face criminal prosecution if they involve police in cases that involve violent clients.

“This case demonstrates a complete failure in the decision-making, the training and the protection that the Parole Board of Canada is meant to provide to society,” said Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “This tragic case is not only evidence of serious negligence but also, of systemic failures. At the time of this decision, the Parole Board of Canada members were almost all men. Further investigation is required to bring some justice in this tragedy.”

“Sex workers are a particularly vulnerable sector,” said Jenica Atwin, Green MP for Fredericton. “The decriminalization of sex work would not only make it safer, but would also mean that there would be better statistical tracking and data aboutof the industry, currently there is a signficant gap in the data – meaning a lack in representation for female, male and LGBTQ+ sex workers.”

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