Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act (Bill C-54)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the chance to rise to thank the hon. member for Burlington again for the very collegial way in which he navigated the committee hearings on the bill, and also for the fact that, rather unusually, two opposition amendments were accepted. Again, I thank the member for allowing me to speak at the committee.

I still, as members may imagine, have grave concerns about the direction of this bill, and I would like to ask the hon. member for Burlington a question.

Does he have any theories as to why it was that a bill of this importance, dealing with the not criminally responsible regime, was brought to the floor of the House and developed by the Department of Justice without any consultation at all with the not criminally responsible review boards?

Mr. Schneider, who testified last week to this issue, said that the review boards were not consulted at all. I think this may be a case of the Conservative administration thinking that if something is not broken, it is going to fix it until it is.

Mike Wallace: Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for attending those meetings and for bringing forward amendments. I also thank her for her professionalism at committee.

The fact is that the minister came to committee and talked about consultation. There was consultation across this country with every provincial government of every stripe, and the discussion was that we needed to move forward on this high-risk designation.

We as a Conservative government like to take action. We like to move forward. We like to make decisions on what we should be doing and address whatever problem comes to our attention. In this case, there have been a number of issues across this country with respect to those who have been found NCR committing brutal, serious, personal criminal offences. We consulted with the provinces and with those in the business of prosecuting those offences. We asked what solutions they would like to see come forward in terms of changes to the legislation. Consultation was done, as the minister put forward, and that is why this bill is here today. We heard over and over again from victims at committee that we should pass this legislation as soon as possible.