Jenny in the House: Bill C-83 and the constitutionality of solitary confinement

During the February 21, 2019 report stage debate on Bill C-83, Jenny asked questions about solitary confinement, or as it is sometimes called, "administrative segregation", in correctional facilities. The bill still allows for up to 20 (instead of the current 22 to 23 hours) of isolation and segregation, but BC Supreme court and the Ontario Superior Court have both ruled that this kind of solitary confinement is not constitutional:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, my colleague raises a very valid point about the lack of consultation, which we have heard from a number of stakeholders who raised concerns with respect to the bill and why they do not support it.

That was also indicative of the number of amendments that the Speaker read at the beginning of this debate, where he spent at least half an hour talking about them. I do not think, as a new member since 2015, that I have gone through a bill where the Speaker spent half an hour outlining the amendments to the bill we were debating. That is also indicative of the lack of foresight from the government side and the lack of homework with respect to the bill.

Having said that, one of the issues the government did not address, which is also central with respect to the bill, is the constitutionality of solitary confinement. The B.C. Supreme Court and the Ontario Superior Court have ruled that it is unconstitutional to have this kind of administrative segregation take place. Would the member agree with the court decision?"

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2019/2/21/jenny-kwan-2/

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