Inside Politics

Liberal MP demands evidence behind mentally ill offender crackdown

From today's Notice Paper, courtesy of former justice minister turned hyperscrupulous Liberal justice critic Irwin Cotler, comes a very thorough written query on the motivation and methodology behind the government's recent bid to crack down on mentally ill individuals deemed not criminally responsible for their actions:


With regard to Bill C-54, Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act:

(a) in developing this legislation, on what (i) studies, (ii) case law, (iii) doctrinal sources did the government rely;

(b) what statistics does the government track with respect to people found not criminally responsible (NCR) on account of mental disorder;

(c) for each of the last ten years, broken down by province and territory and by type of offence, (i) how many people have been found NCR, (ii) which people found NCR have been released without conditions, (iii) which people found NCR have been released with conditions, (iv) how long has each person found NCR spent in treatment prior to release, (v) which people found NCR and released have been convicted of a subsequent offence, (vi) what was the nature of the subsequent offence, (vii) which people found NCR and released have been found NCR of a subsequent offence, (viii) what was the nature of the subsequent offence;

(d) for each of the last ten years, what was the recidivism rate for all federal offenders;

(e) broken down by province and territory, (i) which treatment facilities accept people found NCR, (ii) which of these facilities are privately owned, (iii) what is the capacity of each facility, (iv) how many people are currently housed in each facility;

(f) what analysis has the government performed to determine whether this legislation will result in a need for increased capacity in these facilities;

(g) what are the conclusions of this analysis;

(h) what steps is the government taking to ensure adequate capacity in these facilities;
(i) what funds are currently designated for (i) the construction of new facilities to house people found NCR, (ii) the expansion of existing such facilities;

(j) what government programs exist to fund any such facilities that are privately owned;

(k) what funds have been allocated to any such programs for each of the past ten years;

(l) what steps is the government taking to mitigate Charter litigation with respect to people found NCR who may be unable to secure space in an appropriate facility;

(m) has Bill C-54 been examined by the Department of Justice to ascertain consistency with the Charter;

(n) which officials performed the examination, (i) when was the examination initiated, (ii) when was the examination completed, (iii) what were the conclusions of this examination;

(o) when was the Minister of Justice presented with these conclusions;

(p) was a report of inconsistency prepared;

(q) was a report of inconsistency presented to Parliament; and

(r) has there been an assessment of the litigation risk relative to the enactment of this legislation and, if so, what are the conclusions of this assessment? 

 
Under the Standing Orders, a response is due within 45 sitting days. Stay tuned!


Tags: blackberry jungle, irwin cotler, justice legislation, order paper question watch

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