Mr. Bob Dechert
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Northumberland—Quinte West very much for his long service in the House of Commons. I had the privilege of serving with him on the justice committee in two sessions of Parliament. I know he served very capably on the defence committee, the public safety committee, and many other committees. His experience as a police officer gave him first-hand knowledge of the things we discussed in the justice committee. His knowledge was invaluable to the deliberations of the justice committee on all of the bills that the government passed. I will very much miss his wise counsel in this place and I wish him the very best in his future endeavours. I think he is going to see a little more of his fishing rod over the next few months and years than he has over the last nine.
Having said that, my response to his question is that many jurisdictions in the world have this kind of a clemency system. It is actually quite common. It puts this very important decision in the hands of the individuals who are directly accountable to the people.
He referred to the family of one of the victims of Clifford Olson. I believe he was referring to Sharon Rosenfeldt. I heard her very heart-wrenching and gut-wrenching testimony about how this sneering, heinous criminal would ask to be released at his parole hearing every two years and then take the families of his victims through the awful murders he committed of their children. They had to go there every two years and go through that process over and over again. This is what this bill is aimed at reducing. It would give the families of victims some peace knowing that such individuals will stay behind bars and never harm another Canadian.
Subtopic: Life Means Life Act