Speech Bill C-375- December 8, 2017- An Act to amend the Criminal Code (presentence report)

Bill C-375 would amend section 721 to require that probation officers always consistently, in every pre-sentence report, report on any mental health disorder of an offender as well as report on programs and services related to mental health that are available to the offender

I believe Bill C-375 has the potential to create confusion and result in unfairness and inconsistencies in the administration of justice. To that end, there is a considerable variance in terms of the behaviours and conditions that fall under the umbrella of mental illness. The fact is that not all mental illnesses and disorders are the same. Even within some disorders, the degree of impact can vary considerably. In addition to that, there is a real potential that the effect of Bill C-375 could cause delay and further backlog our criminal justice system, which is already backlogged.

Rather than taking a one size fits all approach that can create inconsistencies, lead to confusion, result in backlog, or slow down the administration of justice, I would submit that the best approach is to do what is taking place, which is to leave it to the discretion of trial judges.

  • Date December 8, 2017
  • Tags House of Commons