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Pana Merchant

The Hon. Pana  Merchant, B.A. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Pana Merchant represents the province of Saskatchewan and the Senatorial Division of Saskatchewan. She has served in the Senate of Canada since December 12, 2002.

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Closure of Prisons

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Statement made on 24 April 2012 by Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette:

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, passage of Bill C-10 will result in a huge increase in the inmate population and will force the federal and provincial governments to build new prisons.

However, Mr. Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, made a decision last week that is at odds with this information when he announced the closure of the Kingston and Laval penitentiaries. Oddly enough, the recent federal budget does not include funds for the construction of new prisons to replace these institutions.

Can the leader tell us what strategy her government will use to deal with the increase in inmates resulting from Bill C-10 and the reduction in cells to hold these inmates, either in Kingston or Laval, and what is the overall plan for the appropriate incarceration of these inmates?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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