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Speech in Senate Chamber: Senator Cools sponsors M.P. Albina Guarnieri’s bill, Bill C-251, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (cumulative sentences).

Hon. Anne C. Cools moved the second reading of Bill C-251, to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (cumulative sentences).

She said: Honourable senators, I should like to commend and praise Albina Guarnieri, the distinguished member of the House of Commons for Mississauga East. I applaud her for her efforts in bringing forward Bill C-251 and for her success in its passage by the House of Commons in June.

It is my honour that she has asked me to be the sponsor of this bill here in the Senate. Honourable senators, Bill C-251 addresses sentence insufficiencies in cases of malevolent and wilfully cruel multiple offenders, particularly multiple murderers.

The summary which accompanies Bill C-251 states:

The enactment also provides that where a person is sentenced for first or second degree murder and is at the time the sentence is imposed subject to a sentence for any offence other than murder, the person will not be eligible for parole until he or she has served the parole ineligibility period required by law to be served for that other sentence - the lesser of one third of that sentence and seven years - and the parole ineligibility period required by law to be served for the first- or second-degree murder.

Honourable senators, Bill C-251 proposes to amend the Criminal Code to provide that, in such related instances, the sentencing judge will have the discretion to order that such multiple offenders shall serve an additional parole ineligibility period not exceeding 25 years for the murder for which the offender is being currently sentenced, in addition to that parole ineligibility period that must be served for that other murder.

Honourable senators, Bill C-251 attempts to address many questions in respect of sentencing, parole eligibility, and section 745 of the Criminal Code regarding judicial review of parole ineligibility dates of first- and second-degree murderers.

On motion of Senator Cools, debate adjourned.

The remainder of this day's Senate Debates available here.