William Warren ALLMAND

ALLMAND, The Hon. William Warren, P.C., O.C., Q.C., B.C.L., LL.D

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
Birth Date
September 19, 1932
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Allmand
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=62c8fd64-eb59-4bf9-b138-bd43854deedf&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister and solicitor, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (November 27, 1972 - September 13, 1976)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (November 27, 1972 - September 13, 1976)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (September 14, 1976 - September 15, 1977)
  • Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (September 16, 1977 - June 3, 1979)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (September 16, 1977 - June 3, 1979)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine East (Quebec)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
October 25, 1993 - February 24, 1997
LIB
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 831)


September 18, 1996

Mr. Allmand

Mr. Speaker, I wish to be recorded as voting for Motion No. 1.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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September 18, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have 15 petitions from over 1,000 Canadians in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland which say that abolishing the opportunity for prisoners serving life sentences of 15 years or more to apply for a judicial review of their parole eligibility will only serve to increase both human and economic costs of the criminal justice system and increase fear and misconceptions about crime among the Canadian public.

Therefore, the petitioners call on Parliament to oppose the repeal of section 745 of the Criminal Code or the restriction of prisoners access to just and fair procedures as well as to launch a concerted public education campaign to promote the need for more responsible and humane criminal justice approaches to enhance the safety of all Canadians.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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September 16, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me in this debate on Bill C-45, a bill that would substantially amend article 745 of the Criminal Code.

Many members of the public might ask what is article 745 of the Criminal Code. This provision was introduced in 1976 at the time when this House abolished capital punishment. At that time, with the abolition of capital punishment, the House decided that the penalty for murder would be a life sentence, but it also provided that those convicted of murder would be eligible for parole at 25 years for first degree murder and a period not less than 10 years for second degree murder.

At the same time, the House also provided that these convicted murderers, if they had a parole eligibility date of more than 15 years, could apply for a review of their parole eligibility date at 15 years by applying to the court in the province where the murder was committed and where there would be a judge and jury appointed to review the reasons the individual would give for reducing the parole eligibility from 25 years.

In the law it stated that the judge and jury in considering this application would have to have regard to the character of the applicant, his conduct while serving his sentence, the nature of the offence and other matters as the judge would deem relevant.

Therefore, after looking at all this evidence the jury, by a vote of two-thirds, which would be eight of twelve, could decide to reduce the parole eligibility date from 25 years to 20 years or 17 years or something like that.

Once they would have done that, if they made such a decision, the individual would then have to go to the parole board. All the judge and jury would do is consider a change in the parole eligibility date. For the individual, if his parole eligibility was reduced from 25 years to 20 years, then when 20 years arrived he would have to go to the parole board and prove he was no longer a danger to the public and that he was rehabilitated.

If he convinced the parole board at that second step that he fulfilled those conditions then he would be released, but he would not be released if he could not demonstrate those conditions. There is no suggestion by any of us who support section 745 of the Criminal Code that anyone who is still dangerous to the public or who is not rehabilitated be released. We would be completely opposed to the release of those individuals.

It is a two step process under section 745. First you apply to have your parole eligibility date changed to something less than 25 years and if that is agreed to by the judge and jury then you must go to the parole board and prove that you are no longer a danger to the public and are rehabilitated.

This provision was not a loophole. It is clearly in the legislation of 1976. A suggestion by some members that this is some sort of hidden provision in the law, that it was sneaked in, is completely false.

I had the responsibility of introducing this bill. It was introduced in this House. It was spelled out in black and white like all bills and it was clear to all those who can read and write that it was in the bill. Those who suggest today that it was some kind of hidden provision are merely misleading the public.

The reason we introduced this new process was that the abolition of capital punishment was a free vote matter. Being a free vote

matter the whips were not on and there was a lot of negotiation with individual members in the House as to what they would accept in place of capital punishment. The bargaining went back and forth, we had committees of all parties of the House, those who were for and against the abolition. I dealt with those who were for the abolition and we worked out this very complex solution. It was not my preferred version but that is how it ended up in the bargaining in the House and that is what was legislated.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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September 16, 1996

Mr. Allmand

With respect to Team Canada's trips to China, Latin America and Southeast Asia, how many contracts for Canada have been thus far concluded, what is the name of the company in each case, what is the subject and value of each case, and how many jobs are created in Canada in each case?

Return tabled.

Question No. 30-

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed As Orders For Returns
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September 16, 1996

Mr. Allmand

I listened to the hon. member and I never complained while he was speaking and I wish he would have the courtesy to listen to me.

This provision has worked well. It has not been used irresponsibly, and the record will demonstrate that. Since 1976, 175 inmates have been eligible to apply under this provision. However, up until December 1995 only 74 or 42.3 per cent of those eligible have applied. One might ask why have they not all applied. It has been suggested that if it is such a great provision why have they not all applied? It is obvious that many have not applied because they know they do not have any chance in the world of having their parole eligibility reduced from 25 years so they do not bother. That can be the only explanation. Only 75 or 42.3 per cent have applied.

Of those who have applied, 63 reviews have been completed out of the 74, and 13 of those were totally refused any reduction in their parole eligibility date, and 50 were granted either partial or whole reduction. In other words, they were given some sort of reduction, down to 15, and others were given the total reduction.

There is a suggestion insinuated in the House that once they get this reduction in parole they are released. They are not. They still have to go to the parole board, which takes another one or two years. That has been the record so far and I know of a case where the parole eligibility was reduced three years ago and that individual still has not had a hearing before the parole board.

What has happened with those 50 who had either partial or whole reduction in their parole eligibility date? Only 17 were granted full parole and 8 were granted day parole. Only 25 out of the 175 eligible since 1976 have been granted finally by the parole board either partial or full parole. The rest have either been turned down or have not had their cases heard.

Of those who were granted parole and put on the street, two were returned to prison for breaking their parole conditions and only one committed another offence, and it was not murder.

That is the record. This provision has not been a failure, has not led to massive threats to the public, has not led to repeated murders. On the whole it has worked well.

Bill C-45, now before the House, suggests the decision of the jury in these cases should be a unanimous decision rather than a decision of 8 out of 12. One must ask why when the provision has worked so well.

In any case, there are two amendments before the House, one by the hon. member for Bellechasse who suggests that it should be 9 out of 12 and another amendment by the member for Kingston and the Island who suggests that it should be 10 out of 12. I will support either one of those amendments, although my preference is to abolish section 745 altogether and have parole eligibility at 15 years for first degree murder and parole eligibility for second degree murder at 10 years. Before 1976 parole eligibility was at 10 years and there was no great abuse of the system.

In the minute or two I have left I want to reply to some of the arguments raised by the Reform Party. It suggests that when we support section 745 we are equating the life of a murdered person with 15 years. I heard several members say we are suggesting that the murdered person's life was worth only 15 years. That is nonsense. Nothing can replace the life of a murdered person, whether it is capital punishment or 30 or 100 years in prison. Nothing can replace that life. It is to misrepresent our position to suggest that by having a parole eligibility date of 10, 15 or 25 years that we are equating that number of years with the value of a person's life. That is totally false and unfair.

It has also been suggested that because we support this provision we are inflicting additional pain on the families of the victims. If there is any kind of parole or any kind of application for parole, the case will be brought up once again before the parole board or the courts. I do not think it is correct. I have sat in on some of these hearings. Some families of victims are upset by parole hearings and some are not. To suggest that it is universal is incorrect.

I would say to the hon. members in the Reform Party that their conduct in bringing up these cases over and over again, even when many people are not aware that these cases are before the courts, in the House, on television and radio, is doing much more to bring back to life the horrible events of the murder than the application before the parole board or the court and jury in the area concerned.

The suggestion by the Reform Party that getting tough and having no parole and that life means life will protect the victims and reduce the numbers of murders is again totally false. That has been done in many of the states in the U.S. They have brought back capital punishment. There are high rates of capital punishment and their murder rates are way beyond those in Canada. In other words, the tough actions being suggested do not protect the public, do not reduce crime and it would not help the victims. The murder rate in

Canada has declined for four consecutive years now with the laws we have. It is approximately 2.2 per 100,000 population. The murder rate in Florida and in the southern adjoining states where capital punishment was brought back is about 10 per 100,000, much higher. They are doing exactly what the Reform Party has suggested.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
Full View Permalink