Pierre Hugues Boisvenu’s response to Maria Mourani

Concerning Pierre Hugues Boisvenu’s recent response to Maria Mourani (Quand le Bloc ne dit pas la vérité…):

Both sides here appear to be using the guise of victim advocacy to score points for their separate mandates: The Bloc pushing offender rehabilitation; the Conservatives, a “tough on crime” stance that really has more to do with criminals and society, not victims of crime.

And that is fine to a point. It is natural that Madame Mourani would be an outspoken supporter of offender rehabilitation. Her background is the sociological study of street gangs;  a specific sub-culture that is always at the center of rehabilitation reform.

It would appear that because M. Boisvenu is now talking the Conservative party-line of “lock ’em up” politics that he has become one of Harper’s boys. Not so fast. Long before becoming a Senator, long before his first introduction to Harper, Senator Boisvenu was stressing the need for stronger laws in Quebec to keep repeat offenders off the streets and protect citizens.

What is a little surprising is to find M. Boisvenu so ready to identify himself with Conservative values and taking-points (“Nous consacrerons”, “Nous sommes le premier gouvernement”). As a Senator, M. Boisvenu is an independent, he does not owe an allegiance to any particular power. And I would hope that he can see that while the Conservatives have done much to advance the cause of victims (the Office of Victims Ombudsman was indeed their creation), under the current round of budget proposals there is a “clawing back” of Federal support for victims programs that we had thought had become somewhat institutionalized.

As for the Bloc? Well, I would have to agree with my friend Andy Coyne in a recent Maclean’s article that they have largely become  an “also-ran” of Quebec politics (We can’t do much about the Bloc): ” Let the Bloc wither, in its own good time—but on its own dime.”

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