Order Fixing November 30, 2019 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force: SI/2019-88
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 153, Number 17
SI/2019-88 August 21, 2019
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CORRECTIONS AND CONDITIONAL RELEASE ACT AND ANOTHER ACT
Order Fixing November 30, 2019 as the Day on which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force
P.C. 2019-1181 August 7, 2019
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to subsections 41(1) and (3) of An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes November 30, 2019 as the day on which sections 3, 7, 10, 11, 14 and 28 to 30 and subsections 31(1) and (2) of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Pursuant to subsections 41(1) and 41(3) of An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act (the Act), this Order fixes November 30, 2019, as the day on which sections 3, 7, 10, 11, 14, 28 to 30 and subsections 31(1) and (2) of that Act come into force.
The Act, which received royal assent on June 21, 2019, introduces amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) that would transform federal corrections by eliminating the use of administrative and disciplinary segregation in all federal correctional institutions and introducing a new model of correctional interventions to provide an environment conducive to staff safety, the protection of the public and inmate rehabilitation. The objective of this Order is to bring these amendments into force.
In October 2018, the Government tabled proposed legislation (Bill C-83) to eliminate the use of administrative and disciplinary segregation in federal correctional institutions and to introduce a new interventions model to promote rehabilitation in a secure environment.
The legislative amendments transform the federal correctional system by
- eliminating the use of administrative and disciplinary segregation in all institutions;
- implementing a new model of correctional interventions through the use of Structured Intervention Units (SIUs);
- introducing independent external decision makers (IEDMs) to ensure oversight and transparency;
- strengthening health care governance;
- addressing the specific needs of Indigenous offenders; and
- better supporting victims.
Some amendments to the CCRA introduced under the Act came into force upon royal assent, such as the obligation to consider the least restrictive measures and determinations when managing offenders, increased access for victims to audio recordings of Parole Board of Canada hearings and the requirement for the systemic and background factors unique to Indigenous offenders to be considered in all correctional decision-making. However, the provisions relevant to SIUs, IEDMs and health care are to come into force on a date fixed by the Governor in Council to allow the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) sufficient time to implement these transformative changes.
This Order brings into force the legislative provisions that eliminate the use of administrative and disciplinary segregation in all federal corrections institutions and those that introduce a new correctional interventions model to provide an environment conducive to staff safety, the protection of the public and inmate rehabilitation.
Stakeholder input throughout its legislative development helped to strengthen the Act. For example, during the review of Bill C-83 by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Security and Public Safety (SECU), representatives of the John Howard Society of Canada, the Native Counselling Services of Alberta and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies called for external oversight to prevent the long-term isolation of inmates in an SIU. Informed by their testimonies, the decision was made to introduce independent external decision makers to ensure oversight and transparency in decisions related to inmates in SIUs.
On January 17, 2019, Public Safety Canada and CSC co-hosted a stakeholder round table in Ottawa. This event allowed the Government of Canada to describe the analysis and rationale for key elements of the proposed legislation, as well as discuss the implications of a number of the amendments that had been proposed as a result of SECU’s study of the Bill. Another vital component of the round table was to provide key stakeholders and those with lived experience in Canada’s correctional system, with an opportunity to share their perspectives on Bill C-83 and discuss how its provisions would be implemented in practice.
The subsequent review of the Act by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI) provided another important opportunity for the Government to hear feedback on the Act. Expert witnesses included representatives from the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, the John Howard Society, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, CCLA, BCCLA, and the Office of the Correctional investigator of Canada. Following SOCI’s review, the Senate accepted 11 amendments to the Bill, many of which the Government accepted in whole or in part when it was reported back to the House of Commons. These included
- the requirement for mandatory mental health assessments of all inmates within 30 days of intake and within 24 hours of transfer to an SIU; and
- a clarification that decisions respecting an Indigenous offender’s level of risk shall not take into consideration the systemic and background factors affecting Indigenous peoples of Canada or the Indigenous culture and identity of the offender, including his or her family and adoption history, unless those factors could decrease the inmate’s assessed level of risk.
Corrections and Criminal Justice Division
Public Safety Canada
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