Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Asking questions about C-83 , solitary confinement, and mental health

During the February 21, 2019 report stage debate on Bill C-83, I asked questions about addressing the potentially damaging mental health impacts of solitary confinement, or "administrative segregation", with respect to Bill C-83:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, the bill itself, Bill C-83, will effectively make some tweaks to existing legislation, one of which is to rebrand solitary confinement as administrative segregation in what are called “structured integration units”. The B.C. Supreme Court and the Ontario Superior Court have ruled that administrative segregation is unconstitutional. This bill in and of itself does not fix that issue. In fact, as the member identified, one area of concern that he has centres around mental health.

The bill still allows for indefinite isolation and segregation of up to 20 hours instead of the current 22 to 23 hours This segregation can cause permanent mental health damage to inmates, who need to be integrated into society. I would like to have the member comment with respect to the mental health aspect of this action being taken, as is allowed under this bill."

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2019/2/21/jenny-kwan-1/

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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