The Minister of Justice, the Honourable Guy Favreau, today announced to the House of Commons details of two measures foreseen in last Monday's Speech from the Throne. Both measures concern correctional reform and are part of the Government's plans to modernize Canada's entire treatment of offenders. Speaking in the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, the Minister outlined the Government's intentions on:
(1) The Special Committee on Corrections: a group of specialists to be named shortly in addition to the joint Parliamentary committee on corrections already proposed on the Order Paper.
(a) Terms of Reference: as now approved by Cabinet, the Terms of Reference of the Special Committee on Corrections are as follows: "To study the broad field of corrections, in its widest sense, from the initial investigation of an offence through to the final discharge of a prisoner from imprisonment or parole, including such steps and measures as arrest, summonsing, bail, representation in Court, conviction, probation, sentencing, training, medical and psychiatric attention, release, parole, pardon, post release supervision and guidance and rehabilitation; to recommend
as conclusions are reached, what changes, if any, should be made in the law and practice relating to these matters ih order better to assure the protection of the individual and, where possible, his rehabilitation, having in mind always adequate protection for the community; and to consider and recommend upon any matters necessarily ancillary to the foregoing and such related matters as may later be referred to the Committee; but excluding consideration of specific offences except where such consideration bears directly upon any of the above mentioned matters." (2) The Free Vote on Capital Punishment: In order that Members of both Houses of Parliament may have at their disposal all the elements necessary to make a truly free and informed decision on the possible abolition of capital punishment, the Government will publish an Information Paper on this subject. The Paper will present objectively, without taking any determined position, all significant facts and arguments advanced by both defenders and opponents of abolition. It will contain notably a brief history of capital punishment, statistics showing its apparent value or irrelevance as a deterrent, and notes on the experience of other countries.