CBC’s Power & Politics reported this evening—available at the 24:30 mark here—on a study of current and projected prison spending by the Conservative government. To discuss the findings, the CBC turned—starting at the 28:40 mark—to a panel of MPs, including Conservative Shelly Glover. Ms. Glover, a former police officer, first suggested that “numbers can be skewed any which way you want, depending on who’s doing them.” She did, though, concede that spending will increase. Host Evan Solomon then moved on to Liberal Mark Holland and New Democrat Joe Comartin.
After Mr. Holland and Mr. Comartin had been permitted to offer their thoughts, Mr. Solomon turned back to Ms. Glover with a specific question about spending on rehabilitation. Ms. Glover’s answer was as follows.
There’s a problem when you talk about numbers. First and foremost, when you talk about that number you just provided, does that include things that perhaps don’t cost money? For example, in our prison systems, we promote reunification of families. That doesn’t cost a dime. We promote that our inmates visit counsellors when they need to speak to someone. That doesn’t cost a dime. So, again, numbers can be skewed any which way, but I do take issue with the misleading comments made by my colleagues. I worked in this system. I’ll tell you straightforward, Canadians are seeing an increase in crime. I don’t care what Stats Canada has reported because they only count reported crime. They do not count unreported crimes. And as a police officer, I’ll tell you, I worked sex crimes for four and a half years, 92% of sex crime victims do not report their crime. Because they don’t have faith in the justice system, they’re fearing retribution, they really do have a number of reasons for not reporting. And the other thing is, let’s not forget, the Liberals have an interest here because, predominantly, prison inmates vote Liberal during elections. Cops vote Conservative. There is a clear interest for the prisoners to be voting for soft on crime legislation that the Liberals put forward.
Sadly, CBC had to cut away then to a UN press conference.