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Tory crime bill will make matters worse for mentally ill: expert

At least one group that never got a chance to make its pitch before a Commons committee reviewing the omnibus crime bill is now coming forward to voice its concerns after Conservatives used their majority Monday night to push the bill through the House of Commons.

Forensic psychiatrist and Canadian Psychiatric Association board member Gary Chaimowitz will be in Ottawa Wednesday to put forward a series of recommendations aimed at addressing the problem of mental illness in provincial and federal prisons — something critics have argued is completely ignored in Bill C-10.

“The issue exists notwithstanding this bill, but the bill will likely exacerbate the crisis for patients with mental illness in the criminal justice system,” Chaimowitz said in an interview Tuesday, noting that in some parts of the country as much as half the inmate population could be suffering from mental illness and not receiving proper treatment.

“It is timely.”

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