PM to announce new designation for mentally ill offenders

Stringent new rules for offenders found not criminally responsible for violent crimes

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce changes to the Criminal Code Friday that will include greater restrictions on high-risk violent offenders found not criminally responsible for their actions. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce today proposed changes to the Criminal Code that would include stringent restrictions for people found not criminally responsible for violent crimes, according to sources close to the file.

Among the changes the prime minister is expected to outline in Vancouver will be a new legal designation – “high-risk non-criminally responsible accused,” the sources told Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service.

Offenders given that designation would be ineligible for unescorted passes and would also have to wait three years before getting a review by mental health boards. The review boards would also have to follow stricter guidelines.

Only the courts would have the power to revoke that status.

The changes are also expected to include a bigger role for victims at every stage as soon as trials are completed.

The Conservative government has been signalling changes to the treatment of mentally ill high-risk offenders for months, in the wake of high-profile cases in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

Both Government House Leader Peter Van Loan and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson have confirmed since the House of Commons returned from its winter break that a new bill to make these changes was coming soon.

Heritage Minister James Moore is expected to be with Harper when he makes the announcement.


Thank you / Merci

Laura Révilien

Communications Officer / Agente de communications

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime | Bureau de L’ombudsman fédéral des victimes d’actes criminels
Department of Justice Canada | Ministère de la Justice du Canada

31 thoughts on “PM to announce new designation for mentally ill offenders”

  1. Just reading some of these response’s are just so stupid. Carol de Delley I am truly sorry for your loss and any other relative who lost someone they love. Is anyone even bothering to STOP and THINK and I mean really think about this whole law. People who have schizophrenia already hate themselves enough because they consider themselves lower than dirt. Everyone is prepared to end someone else’s life because of the crimes they commit. Some people with mental illness don’t know they’re sick until it’s too late because they’re not educated about it or they’re too embarrassed to say anything cause their ashamed. Did you know that it takes a gene from BOTH your parents in order for schizophrenia to be carried on? I bet that half or a third of the answers is a NO because no one was educated about it. You are more likely to be killed by a drunk on the street than a person with schizophrenia.They are more scared of us than we are of them. We are setting out a witch hunt with this law. No one deserves to be locked up because they weren’t educated about what they had going on in their mind. Vince Li even says that he wishes that the RCMP should of killed him and he would do anything to have forgiveness, that even if he did go off his meds he would seek help. This is an attribution error. Everyone is blaming one person instead of looking at the whole picture. The world is causing the disease and making an individual pay for it. I DARE YOU TO REALLY RESEARCH THIS TOPIC AND THEN IT CHANGES HOW YOU THINK ABOUT IT. Even though I doubt you’ll really look it up and reply saying something very unoriginal.

    1. You claim there isn’t any reason to worry about sick people already proven that their killers .Most people want sick people to get the help they need as long as they have never killed or almost killed innocent people. If all they do is harm themselves because of their own disease than most people would not want them locked up. If they are proven killers than its a different scenario. If an alcoholic finally after years of driving drunk runs over your kids or strikes your car and members of your family are killed, do you want him locked up,or do you want him to go to jail?I bet you would expect him to go to jail for vehicle homicide even though it was not intentional. But if your nut case after years of ups and downs intentionally kills people you want him back on the streets. Once you murder the line should be drawn and you should be locked up as long as any other cold blooded murder.Its your or their disease and own up to it if your a danger to society. Any other conclusion would be reckless and would only be sought after by reckless people and the nuts themselves

    2. John nails it and tells it like it is GB. Its not our fault you or your friends are nut case murders so don’t expect us to approve a get out of jail free card for murdering nut cases or pukes who want to gamble with innocent lives

  2. Why is it so hard for the courts to just throw the book at this poor excuse for a human being?? I don’t care if he has a mental illness or not. He’s an animal and needs to be locked up for the rest of his life! Or better yet, have him remain in the hospital until drs are sure that he is completely better, and then throw his behind in jail, throw away the key. He took a life and if the courts won’t knock him off, he should have his life taken away by rotting in a 3″3 jail cell where he belongs.

  3. These bleeding heart scumbags and politicians who created a system where the rights of murdering nut cases trump the rights of the law abiding general public have made this country a joke. Start charging anyone involved with the release of these nutcases with accessory to murder or whatever crimes they commit in the future and I think you will find the get out of jail free cards would stop quickly. Once you commit 1st degree murder you should be hung regardless of mental issues or not. I would not be surprised the way that this country and its politicians are ruining this country at a fast pace, is the next thing you hear is that these bleeding heart scumbags will be drafting up hate laws so people who move their family away from these nut cases after their back among us can be charged with hate crimes. These murders will have no criminal record so unless you do your research in old newspapers or on the internet you will not know that these murders are next door and only a couple of missed pills away from killing you or your family .This country and its laws are a Disgrace and a slap in the face of all its law abiding citizens and especially the families of people murdered or harmed by these sick 1 pill away murdering nut cases.

  4. I am appalled at our society that would allow this dangerous person back onto our streets.
    Surely the person making the decision to do so should be reprimanded at the very least; fired if I had my way.
    These people with mental illnesses deserve our pity, but only while locked up safe and sound somewhere where they can’t harm anyone else. The family of the victim deserves better. If any “sane” person committed this act and they were given unsupervised access to the public after 6 years, there would be people picketing outside the Prime Ministers office. Instead this is being allowed?!
    Any person with mental illness, who commits violent crimes should have to spend as much time behind bars as anyone without mental illness. Sure you can pity them. Sure you can empathize with them with statements like:”They would never have done such things if they weren’t ill”. The fact still stands that the victims demand justice, and if that means keeping a mentally ill person behind bars for the same time for a normal person; so be it! Too many bleeding hearts in this country would disagree with what I say and fine, but let me ask you this. Honestly would you want this person on the streets if the victim was a member of your family? Seriously would you?
    Put him back behind bars and keep him there the same amount of time as anyone else, it is the only way to true justice for the victim.

    1. “Locking someone up” is not always the solution believe it or not. The US has, unfortunately, demonstrated that a “tough on crime” attitude serves no benefit. Offenders deemded “not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder” are released into the public just as non mentally ill offenders are released into the public. Should we not make sure they receive the proper treatment rather than cause more harm before we release these individuals?When decisions within the criminal justice system are made, we need to make decisions through logic rather than emotion. Emotionally, it seems that people must “pay” for the crimes they have committed. To an extent this is true, but it’s dangerous to put too much emphasis on this. Reintegration is an important element of the Criminal Justice System. If we have the option to help an offender and provide them with the medical attention they were deprived of prior to their offence, it is logical to provide them with such. The mentally ill will continue to violate the law if we do not provide them with the treatment they require. Often times, placing a mentally ill individual in a prison causes more harm than good. Most importantly, in order to be criminally responsible an offender requires the proper mens rea. The fact is, offenders who are deemed “not criminally responsible” do not have the necessary mens rea as a result of their mental disorder. To overlook this, it is a violation of the Charter of rights and freedoms. yes, in a democratic society offenders have rights and freedoms as well. I guess the justice system isn’t always black and white.

      1. And if one of them killers that you let out once your part of the legal NCR enablers team starts hearing the same voices again that he heard when he murdered his last victim gets you locked into his mind in another manic episode, your law degree and charter of rights won’t mean so much as you or your family become murder 2,3 or 4.If you survive but your family doesn’t will you recommend NCR again for same murderer so he can have a third crack at murder or will you tear up the charter of rights and freedoms in front of your families graves?

  5. I am getting tired of our health care system which includes mental illness always putting the general population at risk by allowing those who will do harm should they NOT take medication for which they alone are responsible for, free among us. I am sure that if an elected official’s son/daughter met the same fate as Tim McLean, there would be no waste of time on getting laws put in place – THAT is the tragedy of all of this.

  6. My son had schizophrenia. It was so horrible for him he killed himself. I feel for Tim’s family, the loss of your child is the most painful experience in the world. I wish my son had not been given this horrible disease that tortured him for almost five years. I wish he had found the right medication to treat it. I wish we were able to give him more hope. He was a wonderful boy, an awesome brother who was dealt the worst in life. We tried everything. He spent months in hospital, everyone tried to help him. I am so grateful that he never hurt anyone and always remained the gentle person he was. Robert Li has committed a horrible crime but knowing that people with SZ can be treated – should he not be given that chance? Can’t Robert be given some hope? He is on his meds, he is taking them willingly. If he was my child I would want him to have hope.

    I don’t know Robert Li’s family, but my heart goes out to his mother. She did not choose this for her son, she probably tried as hard as we did to find help for her son. We need a better mental health system that has the ability to successfully treat people with mental illness. Not six months to a year waiting to see a psychiatrist.

    Someone with schizophrenia is more likely to be a victim of violence than to be violent themselves. The general population is more violent than the population who has schizophrenia.

    To the McLeans – I’m so sorry for your loss. The pain we both feel for the loss of our precious boys is unbearable. There is a lot of work to be done in this country to make sure neither of these types of deaths happen again.

    1. vince li ,not robert, and the family of Timothy McLean because Im his mom and my name is de Delley,has been for almost 25 yrs and to my knowledge no McLean has lobbied for anything(not bitter just a fact). My deepest condolences in the passing of your beloved son. I too lost my boy to this horrible illness yet my boy was never sick. I agree early intervention treatment meds etc PRIOR to a killing occurring.

    2. You must remember, your boy didn’t cut some ones head off then eat it in front of 40 other passengers on a bus. Maybe VINCE LI can visit your house next what are you thinking. The guy should have been killed there on the spot ..The cops kill other innocent people in this country, why not this sicko. You feel for her(Tims Mom) you don’t even understand your so wrapped up in your own sons suicide your blind to what really happened here. What planet you from any ways..Oh and as far as Vinces mother they better hope she can’t reproduce.. We’ve all lost someone we love, get over it. sorry but you just slapped Carol in the face and didn’t even mention her name..

  7. vote Harper off! No one likes him! Please do not let Liu out! He will kill agsin! The young people in Canada need to start voting again!

    1. Also, we should be able to elect online, that’s why no one is doing it, and we do not have the proper people running our country. The politicians purposely make it that way so they can continue to win. Younger people cannot always take the time off work.

  8. Almost 7,000,000,000 people on this planet and you’re worried about a few killers, molesters etc. being mistreated or denied an opportunity to rehabilitate and become members of society?

    I believe the voices in the heads of the perps should be recorded and played through Beats™ worn by the military, charged with the eradication of any and all those poor souls that never had an opportunity to fully develop. Maybe next time round….sooner or later they’ll figure it out. The cycle is endless after all, isn’t it?

  9. This is not a good idea. What we need is an increase in funding for social and mental health programs, not tougher laws targeting the sick. If you step back and look at the whole picture, you will see that these “offenders” are just as unlucky as the victims. These laws will do nothing to improve the safety of Canadians, as we are dealing mostly with first offences, and recidivism is rare when treatment is successful. All this does is punish people unlucky enough to be mentally ill.

    1. Murdering Child molesters,pedophiles, etc,all could some day be classified as your unlucky offenders and be criminally not responsible as well do to their sickness with your philosophy Don.Those poor Unlucky sick Murderers won’t be be staying in your house over night is my bet Don but hopefully they may be living next door to people like you that are willing to gamble that these unlucky murderers stay on their meds and don’t add you or one of your family to the unlucky graveyard group

      1. Sorry I went off my meds and killed your daughter,sorry I went off my meds and killed your wife,sorry I went off my meds and killed all your family,sorry I didn’t know I needed meds and killed your whole school class.Sorry I kept my dog with rabies in the yard and it bit your son and he died.Thanks for giving me another chance to prove myself.I can hear it all now while some poor unlucky victim is being buried and their family suffering for the rest of their lives. Pathetic bleeding hearts even support murder these days.With Jury’s letting murders go because they were unlucky enough to be made up of bleeding hearts and now the crown accepting NCR ,our
        Society is screwed.

        1. Lily White, Your ignorance to mental health issues and MODERN correctional methods is astounding. You should be locked up and face the torture of the system you deem to be so infallible.

          1. Kyle your the one that’s ignorant ,,she’s being sarcastic bud,, and We shouldn’t be having this debate// It was blatant and 40 witnesses and the murdering maniac should have been shot and pee – ed on right there ..Mental issues is right and I believe you
            have some,,,,,mental issues lmfao!

          2. Kyle,when one of those killers that you and the rest of the NCR enablers team gave a get out of jail free card starts hearing the same voices again that he heard when he murdered his last victim and gets you or your family locked into his mind in another manic episode, your expert rehabilitation methods won’t mean so much as you or your family become murder 2,3 or 4.If you survive but your family doesn’t will you recommend NCR again for same murderer so he can have a third crack at murder or will you tear up the charter of rights and freedoms in front of your families graves?

        2. Your so right Lily, A cop shoots a 17 year old child on the bus for what, waving a knife and no one even close to him, and no big problem he had a knife lol! but they won’t kill this maniac ,,because he needs mental health care lmfao! Our society is so mixed up we don’t know what is right and obviously what is terribly wrong..Go find a hole to hide in That’s what I say..Oh and Kyle doesn’t have a clue.. 🙂

      2. If these people who are considered to have a mental illness.. If they can live on their own then they are responsible for their actions. Looks to me Don u have not lost loved one due to someone’s illness. I on the other hand have. To pick up the pieces is hard still. This person took a good man from his child and family.. This little girl grew up without her dad. A well respects young man.

      3. Kyle you or one of your family either already got a pass after hurting or murdering someone or your scared you or someone close to you may act on criminal urges that may result in you or them being in the system looking for a get out of free card .Hopefully by then they keep murders locked up and you can take your chances among them and not among us in the the general public

    2. Listen it was planned and we as Canadians are a part of a test…lmfao! more money here more money there what are you guyz thinking the dude cut some ones head off with a knife and ate it what are you people really thinking, really. Ya take a .35 cent bullet and let the cops shoot him. He doesn’t deserve more life and he surely doesn’t deserve the people of this country supporting his worthless carcass. Really more money for people that commit these crimes what are you thinking people? lol.

    3. Don, we’re talking about a dude that cut some ones head off, he was smart enough to get on the bus he was smart enough to cut someones head off. He was smart enough or well enough to get dressed that day and he cuts a head off of some young man and ya want more money to protect this guy..Who the heck are you anyways …LMFAO! Yes the mental health needs more money so do I, so whats your point anyways ..This isn’t suppose to be a platform to put more money into mental health, Its about letting some freakin sicko that chopped a young mans head off back on the streets . I honestly hope he doesn’t come around me. I’m scared and I don’t know what would happen,, I’d probably go temporarily insane and well best of luck to That guy…Peace Out! lmfao!

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