POLITICS
02/22/2012 05:36 EST | Updated 04/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Marc Bellemare: Rich Prisoners Should Pay For Incarceration, Ex-Minister Says

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OTTAWA - Former Quebec justice minister Marc Bellemare has one way of helping the state save money: make well-to-do criminals pay for their stay behind bars.

Bellemare was in Ottawa today to voice his support for Bill C-10, the federal Conservatives' get-tough-on-crime legislation.

His support is a stark contrast with the current Quebec justice minister, Jean-Marc Fournier, who has been consistently scathing in his criticism of the bill.

But the former Charest cabinet minister told a Senate committee he supports the bill and says it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Bellemare wants prisoners who can afford it to pay for their incarceration. He says that's what happens in Connecticut.

Bellemare was short on details, however, when asked how the government would get the money.

NDP MP Francoise Boivin accused Bellemare of playing politics and said the idea just isn't feasible.

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