Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


May 26, 2015

Mental health services and the criminal justice system

S. Simpson: The Justice Minister knows that more than half of all the offenders in our corrections system today enter with a mental health or an addiction problem. Even before the government's own report told them to get serious about crime reduction, the chief of police in Vancouver sounded the alarm about Liberal neglect in mental health services and the impact on police services in Vancouver.

Can the Justice Minister tell this House how she plans to respond to a growing crisis that was caused by the government's failure in mental health services?

...

S. Simpson: The reality is that you have police in Vancouver, you have police elsewhere, you have service providers all crying out for a government that has failed for 14 years to deliver on this issue, saying it's falling to them to try to provide a service and pick up the slack because the government has failed. That's the problem we face today.

Vancouver police made more than 3,000 arrests last year under the Mental Health Act. That's more than eight every day. Further, police estimate they handle as many as 100 calls a day for incidents that involve people with mental health conditions, people who are not getting service from this government.

Can the Justice Minister explain why police officers are having to pick up the pieces for the absolute failure of this minister and this Liberal government?

Watch: https://youtu.be/LbbcJ01Mkzo

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