Statement by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC)
following its appearance before the Standing Committee
on Public Safety and National Security


March 10, 2020

Officials from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC or the Board) today appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) in relation to its study of the circumstances that led to the death of Marylène Levesque on January 22, 2020, by an offender on day parole.

Officials appearing on behalf of the PBC included its Chairperson, Jennifer Oades; Executive Vice-Chairperson, Sylvie Blanchet; and its Regional Director General, Quebec Office, Martin J. van Ginhoven.

The PBC welcomed today’s appearance as an important opportunity for its officials to explain the Board’s legislated mandate and the conditional release decision-making process to Committee members, and to answer their questions. It also allowed PBC officials to address some of the misinformation and misunderstanding around parole that this case has generated among Parliamentarians, the media, and the public.

The following key information was highlighted for Committee members:

PBC officials also emphasized a number of important facts to Committee members in an effort to address and correct some of the misinformation this case has generated. In addressing this misinformation and these misunderstandings, PBC officials underscored the following for Committee members:

PBC officials also indicated to Committee members that as much as the PBC strives for excellence in its conditional release decision-making, unfortunately predicting human behaviour is not – and likely will never be – an exact science.

In keeping with the serious nature of this incident and the loss of a young life, the CSC and PBC have convened a joint Board of Investigation into this case to look at the circumstances surrounding this incident.

Two co-chairs who are external to government are leading the Board of Investigation. Any recommendations from this BOI will be thoroughly examined by both CSC and PBC with respect to their respective mandates, and corrective measures implemented, as appropriate.

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. Public safety remains our primary focus.

For more information:

PBC Media Relations

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