Yvan LOUBIER

LOUBIER, Yvan, B.A., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Bloc Québécois
Constituency
Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)
Birth Date
April 10, 1959
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yvan_Loubier
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=d3c0bcbc-2d31-4153-9833-c9601f52093e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
consultant in economic policies and international trade, economist

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
BQ
  Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
BQ
  Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
BQ
  Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
BQ
  Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)
January 23, 2006 - February 21, 2007
BQ
  Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 361)


November 9, 2006

Mr. Yvan Loubier

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that you are prepared to hear what I have to say to the end.

When we are faced with a reality such as this, we sit down and pay attention to the crime rate. In some regions of the country it has gone down. Why? In Quebec, emphasis was placed on rehabilitation. There are dangerous offenders, but not many, and before an individual is declared a dangerous offender that person is first considered a long-term offender. This criminal can be supervised for 10 years.

Let us look at the crime rate in Quebec. It speaks for itself. Quebec is the place where there is the least amount of serious crime, but it is also the place where emphasis has been placed on rehabilitation. It is also the place in Canada where people are quite aware of the importance of gun control. This also says a lot. There are predispositions. There is intelligence in an approach.

The Prime Minister and his government have decided to do away with the firearms registry, to remove all controls and now weapons are pouring in from Montana, crossing the Canadian border, which is a real sieve. They are pouring in. Everyone is armed and it is a circus.

This is not how things work. First, we must keep the gun registry. Second, we must improve enforcement along our borders. Let us set up controls at the border, to prevent gun smuggling. One can go anywhere—a bar, a pub, whatever—ask for a handgun and get it very quickly. There is an incredible traffic going on for these weapons. That is the second measure to take, instead of passing cosmetic bills like this one, to make the Conservatives look good, because they want to show that they are the only ones defending justice. My foot!

I just said that these are two important measures, but the Conservatives are totally opposed to them.

Third, how about investing in prevention? We see some very young people—aged 10 to 12 or 13—working with henchmen from criminal organizations. For example, these young people help hand harvest cannabis plantations in Ontario, Quebec or elsewhere, and are paid $20 an hour. They work with organized crime and they learn to make quick money the easy way. Could it be that, as they get older, these young people will continue to deal with the criminal world and become part of it, instead of becoming honest members of our society? The purpose of prevention is to keep them from doing that. It is to ensure that those young people who are at risk can integrate our society and rehabilitate themselves, before they become adults and join the ranks of organized crime.

When do we hear about crime prevention for young people? When do we hear Conservatives talk about rehabilitation? Never.

I will conclude by simply saying that the Conservatives also claim to be great protectors of public funds. Looking at how they manage that money is my pet project. They claim to be great protectors of public funds. However, because of the measures that they want to take, jails will be full of people who, after three offences—regardless of the merits of the case and the good judgment of judges and coroners—will join the inmate population, thus increasing it significantly.

I would like to give you a few figures relating to the cost of rehabilitating a prisoner. In Canada, keeping a person in the prison system costs an average of $88,000. I am not talking about maximum security. Maximum security—incarcerating dangerous offenders—costs $120,000 per year. That is a lot of money.

Do you know how much it costs to supervise an offender? About $26,000 per year. $26,000 compared to $120,000 or $88,000 speaks volumes.

First of all, the Conservatives opted for Criminal Code reforms that provide no new tools for fighting criminals. Second, they did so merely to look good and give people the impression that they are strong supporters of a police state and the victims, even though they are doing nothing to help victims. What they are really doing is creating criminals, promoting recidivism and creating potential victims.

Third, they have not considered prevention and rehabilitation, even though that is what works. Wherever this approach has been used, crime rates have dropped and there have been fewer serious offences. Wherever there is a sense that the people's representatives do not support rehabilitation, we get situations like in Edmonton and Calgary, where the crime rate is sky-high.

Maybe this means something.

Furthermore, these ineffective measures, which are completely useless for protecting potential victims, cost an arm and a leg; they are a huge waste of public funds. As I said, measures like these create fertile ground for recidivism. There are people who go to prison and end up staying there 10, 12, 15 years. Most studies show that when they come out, their risk to re-offend is higher than it would be if they had had access to rehabilitation, as they do in Quebec and other countries. We have to think about this and stop going for the right-wing police approach by claiming to be the only ones fighting for justice. Give me a break.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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November 9, 2006

The logic is impeccable.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Judges Act
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November 9, 2006

Mr. Yvan Loubier

Mr. Speaker, I would like to resume with a more civilized tone. The Conservatives have a tendency to shout like that and sound off indignantly. They should express their indignation about their own government's failure to act on organized crime. They should stop throwing stones at the Bloc Québécois. I have a good memory. In 13 years, there were three major reforms to the Criminal Code to get the Hells Angels and other such criminal gangs behind bars. Those three major reforms were introduced by the Bloc Québécois. We did everything we could to get those reforms passed. The Conservatives were reluctant to adopt the reforms needed to fight real criminals with real tools.

Getting back to his example, what does Bill C-27 have to offer? From the first serious offence for assault or a heinous sexual crime—which we find just as heinous as my Conservative colleague does—a coroner can ask that the convicted individual be designated a dangerous offender. They want to give such criminals three chances. Where is the logic in this bill?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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November 9, 2006

Mr. Yvan Loubier

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague and NDP friend for this question.

Reverse onus for the proceeds of crime is not the only amendment to the Criminal Code introduced by the Bloc Québécois. There were three others, and they were all major.

One of them, for example, is what led to operation springtime 2001 and its outcome, which targeted criminal biker gangs and made it easier to prove someone's membership in a criminal gang. We followed up with reverse onus. These are real tools, unlike the nonsense being presented here today. And those real tools were the Bloc Québécois' contribution.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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November 9, 2006

Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on this bill. I may not be a lawyer, but I have enough brains to read bills. I can tell whether a bill is in tune or not with the reality. My 13 years of experience as a member of Parliament and lawmaker in this place have taught me the difference between good bills and bills that do nothing for society in Quebec or Canada.

Bill C-27 before us does strictly nothing to help fight crime, reduce crime or discourage potential criminals from offending. This is a totally pointless bill which does not meet these objectives.

I listened earlier to the hon. member from the Conservative Party according to whom being against this bill is to be against the victims of crime. What demagoguery.

Bills like this, which do no good, may in fact interfere with the normal court process. Judging by the experience of the Americans in recent years, after they introduced similar legislation, this is the kind of bill that can hamper crime-fighting efforts instead of providing additional tools to fight crime. No study has shown that this three strikes and you are out policy can do any good.

In the United States, where the crime rate is the highest in the world, experience has shown in recent years that having that kind of policy in place does not make the crime rate go down. There are mostly studies that establish a connection between the likelihood of reoffending and the length of incarceration. That is the exact opposite of what we have just heard in relation to this bill.

In addition, this bill ignores a basic legal principle: the presumption of innocence. Even before a criminal commits another offence, he has to prove that he is not a dangerous offender and that he should not be incarcerated indefinitely. The offender has the burden of proof. I do not believe that giving an individual such a responsibility in the justice system is the right approach or that it is in keeping with the principle that every individual should be given a chance. This reverse onus is not in the tradition of British law, except in certain specific cases, such as proceeds of crime.

Recently, through the efforts of the Bloc Québécois, we passed a bill under which, after being convicted, an individual who has taken part in organized crime activities must prove that he acquired all his property legally: the Mercedes, the house, the secondary residence. This type of exception is what we should have, when we look at all the organized crime rings.

Opération printemps 2001 showed us what it cost in legal resources and tax dollars to prove that all the property belonging to the Nomads, Hells Angels and other organized crime rings had been acquired illegally.

When we look at this bill, we can see that it can even undermine the legal process. I was listening to my Conservative colleague earlier. He said that he had received calls from his constituents asking him why we should wait for the third time before declaring someone a dangerous offender and incarcerating that person indefinitely.

I would ask him the same question in reverse.

Why wait for the third offence when today, depending on the seriousness and brutality of a crime, a crown prosecutor can ask that someone be declared a dangerous offender after the first crime?

It is not necessary to wait for the third time. If the first crime is particularly brutal, the crown prosecutor can ask that the individual be declared a dangerous offender. The judge may grant the request and declare the individual a dangerous offender after the first offence.

Why wait for the third offence to be committed when, in the current system, with the flexibility afforded lawyers and judges, we can use intelligence and discernment to determine, right from the first offence, if rehabilitation is possible based on the nature, seriousness and brutality of a crime?

I said earlier that the United States experimented with this type of policy. Their prisons are full. It has been said that the Prime Minister is a carbon copy of George W. Bush. The government wishes to copy the Americans not only in military and economic policies, and support for oil companies, for example, but also in the changes it wants to make to the current justice and correctional systems in place in Canada.

In the United States, prisons are bursting at the seams. The rate of incarceration is sevenfold that in Canada. Yet, even with a policy of “three crimes makes a dangerous offender”, the US homicide rate is triple that in Canada and four times greater than Quebec's rate. That must mean something. When a system does not work, for example in the United States—a country with one of the highest rates of criminalization—we must not copy that system and we should try something else. We must not duplicate the American system. To make themselves look good, the Conservatives have introduced this type of legislation while acting as though they alone can guarantee the safety of individuals, the prosecution of criminals to the bitter end, as though they alone will ensure that justice is served in this country. This is a completely twisted claim with respect to the discourse and the content of the bill.

As lawmakers, we bear enormous responsibility. This responsibility certainly includes the treatment of victims, both the past victims and potential victims of criminals. We need to look after them, but to do so, we need to have the right tools. In the last 10 years, serious crime in Canada has gone down. So they should not come to us with just the 2004-05 data and say that the situation is absolutely frightful and so terrible that something must be done. Certainly it should, but not through measures that are out of touch with reality, like these.

We need real action, but that is not what the Conservatives are offering. It is just the appearance of action. They want to show that they made some political promises that made no sense at all during the last election campaign, including this policy of three crimes equals a dangerous offender. So they introduce this bill. I cannot make head or tail of it. It has no relation to reality and adds nothing. It does not add any tools for fighting serious crime in Canada.

Among the things that should be done—but which they have not done—is the essential tool of firearms control. We just received the most recent data from Statistics Canada. We are not making this up; it is Statistics Canada. It tells us that Quebec and Prince Edward Island have crime rates that are much lower than the rest of Canada. The city with the highest crime rates and most serious crimes is Edmonton. Calgary takes second place. That is significant.

When people come from a region where the crime rate is the highest, could they not be a little bit more intelligent and find some way to deal with crime? Firearms control and the firearms registry are what we need. Yesterday, for example, they were saying on the news that 80% of the crimes in Edmonton were committed with unregistered firearms. Therefore, 20% of the arms were registered. Is that not a sign that controls should be tightened? We need to have a well managed registry.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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