I have had the good fortune to be 1 of 30 Members of Parliament out of a total of 308 chosen to sponsor a Private Member’s Bill. Being chosen gives me the honour of introducing Bill C-292, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (victims’ restitution and monetary awards for offenders).
Cornwall - Oct. 13, 2011 - I have had the good fortune to be 1 of 30 Members of Parliament out of a total of 308 chosen to sponsor a Private Member’s Bill. Being chosen gives me the honour of introducing Bill C-292, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (victims’ restitution and monetary awards for offenders). This is the second time I have been chosen in my seven years as an MP. I was also chosen in 2009 where I sponsored a PMB restoring the Executive Curl to the uniform of officers serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. This bill was especially meaningful to me because my older brother, who is now deceased, served in the navy. I had the good fortune of receiving unanimous consent by all Members to enact this legislation. Many current and retired sailors expressed their gratitude and appreciation to me for introducing this legislation.
This new legislation I have introduced is different. It proposes that inmates incarcerated in prison who are given monetary settlements for actions taken against prison personnel, administration, the institution, or the government should not personally benefit from these awards. My bill directs any funds awarded to an inmate be paid to their victims, family members of the prisoner who have outstanding support claims, or to victim groups.
You may find it difficult to believe but, in some cases prisoners are actually awarded damages. These awards are usually a few thousand dollars. It seems unfair to me that a prisoner living in an institution, paid for by the taxpayer, should be receiving more funds from Canadian taxpayers through court actions while his/her victims and/or family are suffering.
If this becomes law inmates receiving these types of settlements would be required to satisfy any outstanding awards granted by the courts to their victims. My bill would help ensure the proceeds go to any outstanding victim award, to satisfy any unpaid child or family support obligations, or be paid into a victims fund to help victims of crime.
I have spoken to many of my Conservative colleagues regarding this bill and have received positive responses. I am hoping that the opposition parties will also give their support to my bill, and like my first PMB, that this one will pass with unanimous consent of the House. I like to think of this as my personal contribution to our Government's agenda of putting the rights of victims before the rights of criminals.
Member of Parliament
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