Matthew DUBÉ

DUBÉ, Matthew, B.A.

Parliamentary Career

May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
  Chambly--Borduas (Quebec)
October 19, 2015 -
  Beloeil--Chambly (Quebec)
  • N.D.P. Deputy House Leader (November 12, 2015 - )

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 190)

June 19, 2019

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the sponsor of the motion, the member for Milton. Since I have been working on the public safety file, I have seen the consequences these cases can have on people's lives. If I may, I have more I would like to say on the subject.

I should point out that I support the member's motion. During the previous Parliament, we supported the legislation that was introduced. We had many disagreements with the previous government on matters of law and order and on how to achieve our public safety objectives. We did not agree on how to protect our communities or how to promote rehabilitation. That is also important to achieving our public safety objectives.

In that context, we supported the Victims Bill of Rights. It is also important to understand the impact these crimes have on the victims. In some cases, repercussions can last an entire lifetime, depending on the seriousness of the crime. There are gaps with respect to the enforcement of the act and the resources available to the Parole Board of Canada.

One example comes to mind, and that is the legal obligation to inform victims when there has been a change in the status of an offender who could cause them harm, particularly in the case of the most horrific and violent crimes. In recent years, some high-profile cases have brought to light how badly the law is being enforced. Some victims were not informed or were not informed in a timely manner, which does not respect the spirit of the law that was passed.

The government surely does not intend to change the law, but it must ensure that these organizations have the resources they need to keep victims informed in accordance with existing legal obligations. That is one of the reasons why I support the motion.

It is not easy. In this digital age, there is a 24-hour news cycle and the news is available on television and on our phones. We know that, unfortunately, horrific crimes are being committed in every part of our society.

We need to look at this in several stages. I am sorry that I missed part of the parliamentary secretary's speech. At the end, I heard her talk about crime prevention. That too is important. From what I see and hear, victims often do not want other individuals or families to go through the same grief or trauma as they did.

Another way to show respect for victims is to prevent similar crimes from being committed against other individuals or other groups in our society. Unfortunately, as hon. members know, we have a lot of work to do in that regard. We know there are aggravating factors that can lead to a crime being committed. We need to address the housing crisis, deal with mental health issues and reduce poverty. Sometimes, through no fault of their own, people are in situations where their own illness or their difficult circumstances take them down a very dark path that has significant repercussions on the lives of other innocent Canadians. It is a scourge on our society. I think we can all agree that we need to address all this.

Something else that needs to be considered is the objectives of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is key to achieving public safety objectives. I have said that several times since the beginning of my speech, but it is important. Unfortunately, that is rarely a popular aspect to address.

There are significant, palpable tensions within our criminal justice system. They reflect the need to understand that these crimes involve victims, who need respect and adequate resources so they can get on with their lives and feel like justice has been done.

At the same time, we also have rehabilitation objectives that, sadly, do not always align with the popular will. Since becoming the NDP critic, I have seen several cases. Listening to the parents of victims, I can only imagine the grief and rage they must be feeling. Those feelings are completely normal. No one here would blame them.

That being said, we need to gear the system towards rehabilitation, not to diminish the impact of crimes on victims or the importance of victims, but to ensure that our society is safe. The issue of record suspensions is a good example, even though the offence in that case is not a particularly heinous crime. In the case we are talking about now, these are people who will be in jail for the rest of their lives and who will never get to seek that kind of relief. However, I still want to cite some statistics, because they are relevant, even though the crimes in this case are very different from the crimes that are eligible for a record suspension.

First, 95% of people who were granted a record suspension did not reoffended. Second, three-quarters of Canadians believe that record suspensions, which allow individuals to reintegrate into society, are a positive thing. As I said, these statistics are about a program that does not necessarily apply to the crimes addressed by my colleague's motion, but I did want to mention them, because we need to acknowledge the importance of rehabilitation.

No matter how serious a crime may be, if the system allows an individual to reintegrate into society, we, as legislators, want this to be done with zero, or almost zero, chance of reoffending. This is also important for other inmates. Prison is often referred to as a crime school, and we obviously want to avoid that.

Since my time is running out, I will get back to the main point and reiterate that we support the motion. We do, however, have many concerns.

First, as I mentioned, we need adequate resources and ministerial direction to ensure that the current law is applied so that victims remain informed.

Second, there are some gaps with respect to the type of information provided, and we believe that the law should be updated in that regard. As the motion states, the government must address this issue to reconcile privacy and victims' needs. For example, the motion speaks about individuals' absences when on conditional release, but they are usually granted for medical reasons. It would be appropriate to inform victims when such absences are granted and to explain the process to them so they are better informed. A victim who is better informed is better able to achieve the desired goals, which is to get their life back on track and to grieve. We want to avoid revictimizing them.

We must consider all these factors, determine whether the law passed in the previous legislature was properly enforced, then think about how we can update it. That would be quite appropriate.

Earlier this week, in another debate on another bill, my colleague from Elmwood—Transcona spoke about an important element that I feel is very pertinent to the motion we are debating. He stated that the laws passed by Parliament often include a review period. Laws are reviewed after three or five years. However, this is often not done, or we seem to think that it is not important. It is our duty, as parliamentarians, especially in the case of a law on victims' rights.

I thank the member for Milton. I support her motion and I urge the government to take this opportunity to ensure that we do all we can so that there is also room for victims in this process.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Parole System
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June 18, 2019

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, people from my riding are here in Ottawa to protest against the Telus tower that is being forced on Otterburn Park. Students Romane, Laurence and Emma-Rose from École Notre-Dame launched a petition signed by about 100 students to protect their magnificent woodland.

If the minister will not listen to the citizen movement or to the municipality, will he listen to the young people who want to protect the environment from the Telus tower? Will he block the tower in Otterburn Park?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Telecommunications
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June 17, 2019

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. She eloquently explained our role here.

We are debating a bill on access to information. The term privileged information is often thrown around. What I find interesting is that information is considered a privilege. In Ottawa, only a select few, such as the government agencies that respond to our requests or the ministers, have access to certain information. The idea is to protect the privilege, or information, that we have.

Information has an impact on people's lives, mostly thanks to the media. Journalists use privileged information to uncover stories or report on the government's actions, for example.

While my colleague was giving her speech, I was looking through the requests received by departments. The Minister of Health has not yet responded to an access to information request regarding her department's response to the opioid crisis.

The purpose of the bill is to make information more accessible to the public. Could my colleague explain why the bill does not meet this objective?

If we are supposed to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, how can we make information more accessible, in accordance with the law, instead of hiding it?

I do not think the bill meets these objectives.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Access to Information Act
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June 17, 2019

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. He did a good job explaining the flaws in the access to information bill currently before us, but I would like to take this opportunity to say that we need to look even further. As he mentioned in his speech, the government came on the scene saying that it would be the most transparent government in the history of the universe. The Liberals talked about being open by default. However, my colleague pointed to various things that have thwarted those efforts. One example is omnibus bills, which my colleague mentioned.

How can we properly scrutinize bills when the details that will have the greatest impact on Canadians's lives are presented over dozens of pages in a bill that is 100-pages long? Ultimately, that approach means that there is very little transparency and not enough consultation on the part of the government. It is ironic that the government is always going on about consultation, since it only seems to consult Canadians when it does not want to do something. When consultation is needed to improve a bill, there is no consultation. My colleague could talk a little more about that.

Why does my colleague think the government did not adequately consult people, particularly the Information Commissioner? If the government had done its job properly, it would have produced a better bill. In the end, we did not get the intended results.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Access to Information Act
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June 12, 2019

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, we have been calling on the federal government to respect Otterburn Park and its residents for years.

The Prime Minister went to Mont-Saint-Hilaire to prance around and talk about the environment. Telus wants to build a tower in the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve green zone, which he visited on Monday.

Will the Prime Minister respect the environment in my riding, listen to residents and ban the tower in Otterburn Park, or will he simply use our green heritage as his backdrop?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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