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S'enregistrer au Flux RSS Le Sénat du Canada

Post under ‘harper’ tag

How much will provinces pay for Harper’s law and order?

30 June 2021 at 09h30



Public Safety

Costs of Public Safety Legislation

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

We are currently studying a 900-page bill. Yet the government has introduced a number of bills to amend the Criminal Code. All the so-called law and order bills have certain consequences and carry huge costs.

Before Bill C-25 on truth in sentencing was passed, the Minister of Public Safety had estimated that the additional costs would be $90 million. Once the bill was passed by the House of Commons, the minister revised his prediction and said that the bill would cost $2 billion over the next five years.

This sort of mistaken estimate reminds us of a certain G8 and G20 summit, whose costs went up by 500 per cent. I am talking about the original costs compared to the bill we are going to get in the coming weeks.

The Leader of the Government in the Senate will tell us that it is a matter of security. But the government has to be able to put a figure to the services it provides for the public.

In spite of the government’s refusal to cooperate, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, redid the calculations using the data that were available to him. In his opinion, costs will go up by between $8 billion and $13 billion, an increase of 400 to 650 per cent.

Given that the government has once again shown a total lack of transparency toward Parliament and the Parliamentary Budget Officer, can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give this chamber a clear indication of how much the passage of Bill C-25 will cost?


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, in mentioning the summits, Senator Hervieux-Payette has obviously misstated the facts when talking about the amount of security costs for the event. They were not increased tenfold; they were costs put out transparently and openly, and the government was even congratulated by the Parliamentary Budget Officer for being transparent and open about the security costs. Once everyone has had a chance to assess the costs, they will be reported openly and transparently.


With regard to the costs of the Correctional Service of Canada, there is no secret of the fact that the Minister of Public Safety differs significantly from the report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. As the minister pointed out, the objective of this legislation is to protect Canadians. Our primary objective is to keep dangerous criminals in prison. It is rather interesting to note that crime across the board costs Canadians $70 billion. Minister Toews was referring to figures that were provided by the Correctional Service of Canada.

We have no reason to doubt the figures that were given to us by the Correctional Service of Canada. However, on this, I refer honourable senators to the views of the NDP Manitoba minister as published in The Globe and Mail on June 23. Here is what Public Safety Minister Toews said on this issue:

The cost of the crime to Canadians is approximately $70 billion a year and the cost of incarcerating dangerous repeat offenders is warranted in that context.

I could not agree with him more.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: I hope I understood correctly that the leader will ensure she will reconcile the figures that she has given us and the ones Mr. Page was providing, because at this time there is confusion. We are accountable to the taxpayers and we need to know the exact cost. We need to know the cost for the federal government and the provincial government. As honourable senators know, prisoners with a sentence of less than two years are incarcerated under the auspices of the provinces. We need to know those costs because taxpayers are paying these bills.

Senator LeBreton: I could not agree more. That was one reason that all provincial and territorial attorneys general were supportive of the government’s initiative on the two-for-one credit. Knowing that they will not get some special two-for-one deal through the courts, many people are now facing their trials and going into the federal system; whereas before they cost the provinces a considerable amount of money the longer they delayed their trial as they fought the system. Since these individuals were being compensated in their sentencing with the time they had served in advance of their trial, it has taken a considerable amount of pressure off the provinces. These people are no longer in their institutions and therefore this has created considerable savings for the provinces.

Absolutely, honourable senators, the government will be open and upfront about the cost. However, as I said before, the government and the minister rely on the figures provided to us by public servants at the Correctional Service of Canada, and we have no reason to doubt their estimates.

Delayed: exclusive interview on CBC The National regarding the incestuous business relationships of the Harper government

21 June 2021 at 14h36


Eureka Watt Prize

25 November 2021 at 09h29


Today I am launching my Eureka Watt prize, an award that I will hand out every month to the “brightest” Canadians. Eureka Watts range from a scale of 250 Eureka Watts to 0 measured on the Eureka Wattmeter.

The first recipient of the Eureka Watt prize is none other than the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. He has shone by his lack of transparency and his relentless disinformation regarding Canada’s role in torture of transferred Afghan detainees. For this reason Mr. Harper deserves 0 Eureka Watts.


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