Legal and Constitutional Affairs – March 6, 2014

In Committee from the Senate of Canada

Legal and Constitutional Affairs – March 6, 2014

The committee holds its third meeting on the federal government’s bill (C-14) dealing with individuals found not criminally responsible (NCR) or unfit to stand trial due to a mental disorder. The bill amends the mental disorder regime in the Criminal Code to specify that public safety is the paramount consideration when decisions are made about a NCR accused person. It would also create a high-risk designation, as well as ensure that victims are more included in the judicial process.
Senators first hear from Isabelle Malo, who expresses via videoconference her strong support for the bill. Her father-in-law, Ronald Malo, was stabbed to death in 2012 by a neighbour who had been harassing him and his wife for 15 years. Bruno Jetté also testifies via videoconference about his experiences working as a teacher for 33 years in psychiatric facilities.
Chloé Serradori and Doris Provencher, who are both representing the Association des groupes d’intervention en défense des droits en santé mentale du Québec, outline their concerns with C-14. Fédération des familles et amis de la personne atteinte de maladie mentale representatives Christiane Trudel and Hélène Fradet share both their positive comments and concerns with the bill.
The final witness of the meeting is Carol de Delley, who calls for stiffer penalties for those found NCR. Her son Tim McLean was beheaded on a Greyhound bus in 2008. Senators question her over the Manitoba Review Board’s recent decision to grant McLean’s schizophrenic killer, Vince Li, unescorted day trips. That decision has generated much criticism and debate. (March 6, 2014)