The Paroled Board of Canada turned down the application June 4. Day parole would allow Piovesan to be released to a halfway house for up to six months at a time. Such a decision would come with stringent conditions, according to Karen Thomson, communications manager for the Parole Board of Canada. The parole board would also impose special conditions reflective of the case.
In denying the application, the parole board assessed the risks associated with granting day parole to Piovesan, Thomson said.
“Public safety is the paramount consideration for the board, which has to determine if the risk is manageable in the community, and at this point, the board has determined that (Piovesan's) risk is not manageable,” Thomson said.
Any decision of the board can be appealed within 90 days, she said. Piovesan may also apply for a new review a year after the negative decision. Thomson couldn't elaborate on exactly what led to the board's denial of the day parole application, but those details will soon be released in a report.
“The board has up to 15 days to put together the report, although it is usually completed within a week of the hearing,” she said.
In 2010, Piovesan pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal negligence causing death when he killed teenagers Jazmine Houle, Caitlin Jelley and Steven Philippe on June 21, 2009 in a drunk driving incident on Regional Road 80 in Hanmer. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and a 10-year ban on driving.
According to information provided in the agreed statement of facts between Piovesan and the Crown, Piovesan’s blood alcohol level at the time of the incident was between 165 and 220 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. It is an offence to drive with blood alcohol in excess of 80 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood.
Corrie Lamoureux-Houle, mother of Jazmine Houle, attended Piovesan's day parole hearing on July 4. The hearing was held at the minimum-security Frontenac Institution in Kingston, where Piovesan is currently incarcerated.
“It was quite a detailed process, and I really didn't expect it to take 2.5 hours,” she said. “It seemed he just didn't have the answers the board wanted to hear. They repeatedly had to ask him to elaborate on his answers; obviously, with their decision, the board didn't hear what it wanted to hear.”
In fact, Lamoureux-Houle said seeing the man who killed her daughter filled her with anger – not necessarily for the fact he had killed her daughter, but because the man sitting in front of her on July 4 seemed to be the exact same person she saw in 2010.
“He only shows tears when he talks about his guilt and how this has affected him,” said said. “ He never once mentioned Jazmine, Caitlin or Philippe. All we could see was his profile the entire time. He never once turned his face toward us, nor did his parents or his aunt. Even as we were reading our impact statements, he stared straight at the parole board members.”
Lamoureux-Houle said it seems to her that Piovesan still hasn't taken blame for what he's done.
Going into the hearing, she said she was pessimistic about the potential outcome, and feared the parole board would grant Piovesan the right to relocate to a halfway house in Sudbury. However, throughout the hearing, she said those fears were laid to rest, because she could tell nothing was going in Piovesan's favour.
Following all of the presentations, which included impact statements from Lamoureux-Houle, her husband and Lisa Jelley, as well as Piovesan's mother, it took only about 10 minutes for the board to arrive at its negative outcome, she said.
She said it would be “unfair” to her daughter, Caitlin and Philippe had Piovesan been granted day parole.
“I have no idea why he even wants to come back to Sudbury,” Lamoureux-Houle said. “Through the questions asked by the parole board, I believe there was nothing in his plan that showed any time he has spent incarcerated has worked toward his rehabilitation.”
While Piovesan was sentenced to seven years, “I was sentenced to life without Jazmine,” Lamoureux wrote in her victim impact statement.
“My life changed forever, in the blink of an eye, in a split second, and I find myself searching every day for meaning,” she wrote. “For the first time in my life I cannot see my future.”
Northern Life has requested a copy of the parole board's decision on denying Piovesan's day parole application. Futhermore, a phone call to Piovesan's parents has not been returned.
Posted by Arron Pickard