In retrospect, it’s really not all that surprising that Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu invited the country’s most heinous murderers to quietly off themselves in their cells. This is the man, after all, who on account of his background as a victims’ rights advocate was recruited by the Conservatives to add a whiff of legitimacy to their law-and-order agenda. With Boisvenu, the Conservatives got two good things rolled into one incredulous package: he’s a warm Conservative body from Quebec, where (for a variety of reasons) Conservative fortunes haven’t been great; and he has a very tragic backstory that could be properly politicized—it’s the second line of his official bio—in pushing through the crime bill.
He had an irrational approach to crime prevention and the like well before he advocated for the self-murder of certain prisoners. Here’s the guy who, when faced with a damning (?) Statistics Canada report documenting how the country is significantly safer than in 1999, had this to say: “Someone, somewhere is manipulating the numbers.” He’s the guy who said he was “going to talk to those [StatsCan] guys” because, well, things can’t possibly be any safer in Canada because rapes, murders and assaults still happen. He’s a guy who in describing himself as “tough on crime” suggests that anyone who doesn’t see things his way is somehow “soft on crime.”
Boisvenu’s sortie today is a reminder why dispassion is crucial when crafting crime legislation—dispassion that the government is sorely lacking.