Statement by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) in response to the final report of National Joint Board of Investigation 


January 21, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Parole Board of Canada

Today, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) issued the following statement in response to the findings and recommendations of the Correctional Service of Canada and Parole Board of Canada National Joint Board of Investigation (BOI) report.  This investigation examined the release and supervision of an offender on day parole charged and subsequently convicted of first-degree murder.

On January 22, 2020, Marylène Levesque was murdered in Sainte-Foy, Quebec by an offender on day parole. The offender, Eustachio Gallese, subsequently plead guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced on February 27, 2020, to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Marylène Levesque. What happened in Quebec on January 22, 2020 is an absolute tragedy, and something that should never happen.

As a result of this incident, on February 3, 2020, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) convened a National Joint Board of Investigation (BOI).

The BOI was composed of five members with the requisite skills and experience to carry out this investigation. The BOI was co-chaired by two community members independent of CSC and PBC, both of whom are distinguished criminologists.  The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the various aspects of the offender’s release and supervision and to make recommendations to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

Today, CSC and PBC publicly released the BOI’s findings and recommendations.

The BOI made five recommendations to CSC aimed at addressing these factors and preventing this kind of incident in the future. There were no recommendations for the PBC.

With regard to the PBC, the BOI report noted the following:

  • The Parole Board members who made the conditional release decisions on March 26, 2019, and September 19, 2019, met all PBC training requirements and had the level of knowledge necessary to perform their tasks.
  • The PBC training plan for new Board members was well structured and complete.
  • The Parole Board members correctly applied the criteria set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA).
  • The Parole Board members fully applied the Risk Assessment Framework set out in the PBC Decision-Making Policy Manual.
  • The PBC had at its disposal all the relevant and available information for sound decision-making.
  •  While the September 2019 written decision did not fully reflect what occurred at the hearing, this was not identified as a factor in Ms. Levesque’s death. 

Importantly, the report acknowledges that the Board Members explicitly prohibited the offender from visiting massage parlours for sexual purposes.

Parole contributes to public safety through the gradual, managed and supervised release of offenders into the community. This provides the best protection for our communities, as opposed to releasing offenders into the community at the end of their sentence.

Violent reoffending by offenders the Board has released into the community is extremely rare -   99.9 per cent of offenders complete their day parole without a violent offence - and when incidents do occur the PBC takes them very seriously.

The PBC thanks the BOI co-chairs and members for demonstrating their expert, thorough and professional work throughout this investigation.

The PBC is committed to its public safety mandate and continues to strive to fulfill it, in accordance with the law, to the highest standards. The protection of society is the paramount consideration for the Board in all conditional release decisions.

Jennifer Oades

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