Honourable senators, I rise to speak at third reading of Bill C-309, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (concealment of identity). Bill C-309 amends sections 65 and 66 of the Criminal Code by creating two new “concealment of identity” offences…
Although they represent only 4% of the Canadian female population, Aboriginal women comprise over 32% of federally-sentenced women. Over the past ten years, the number of federally-sentenced Aboriginal women has increased by 86%, making Aboriginal women the fastest growing federally-sentenced population. Aboriginal women are also disproportionately represented federally-sentenced female inmates with mental health needs.
As many of you are aware, Kinew James, a 35-year-old federally sentenced Aboriginal woman, died at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon on January 20th, 2013. Ms. James had mental health needs, having admitted to self-harming behaviour and had threatened to hang herself while incarcerated at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario. And [...]
Honourable senators, over the last month I have had the pleasure of exchanging emails with hundreds of Canadians on the subject of mental health treatment for offenders. I wanted to learn more about their concerns, their experiences and their ideas on how to promote human rights, including safety for all Canadians.