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Archived - Minister Blaney Highlights Royal Assent of Bill to Support Victims of Crime

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Amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act on escorted temporary absences

December 17, 2014       Ottawa, Ontario             Public Safety Canada

Today, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford, highlight the Royal Assent of Bill C-483 – An Act to Amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (escorted temporary absences)

This Private Member’s Bill, introduced by Mr. MacKenzie in March 2013, amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) to extend the Parole Board of Canada’s authority to approve or deny escorted temporary absences for offenders serving a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

Quick Facts

  • The Bill eliminates the automatic transfer of releasing authority for escorted temporary absences from the Parole Board of Canada to the Correctional Service of Canada at day parole eligibility. The Parole Board of Canada remains the decision-making authority for escorted temporary absences after an inmate has reached day parole eligibility.
  • Transfer of releasing authority for escorted temporary absences now occurs only if three criteria are met: 1) the inmate has passed day parole eligibility; 2) the Parole Board of Canada has granted the inmate a rehabilitative escorted temporary absence (e.g., for family contact); and 3) the inmate successfully completes the escorted temporary absence. If these three criteria are met, decision-making authority will transfer from the Parole Board of Canada to the Correctional Service of Canada.
  • Decision-making authority would be immediately transferred back to the Parole Board of Canada if the inmate fails to successfully complete a subsequent rehabilitative escorted temporary absence. 
  • The Correctional Service of Canada retains authority to authorize escorted temporary absences for medical reasons, judicial proceedings, and Coroner’s inquests at any time in an inmate’s sentence.
  • The amendments to the escorted temporary absence scheme only apply to offenders serving a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

Quotes

“With these changes, the Parole Board of Canada has more authority with respect to the escorted temporary absence of offenders serving minimum life sentences. Our Government continues to stand up for victims of crime, keeping our streets and communities safe, and ensuring a fair and efficient justice system.”

- The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“I am delighted that Bill C-483 has received Royal Assent. This Bill helps victims of crime access and participate in the decision-making process for escorted temporary absences for offenders. This Bill ensures more transparency in the process of releasing life-serving offenders back into the community.”

- Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford

Contacts

Jason Tamming
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-991-2924

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657

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For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.


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