While the Coalition puts concerns for criminals ahead of safe communities
Despite attempts by the Liberal-led coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois to impose their soft-on-crime agenda, the Conservative Government has managed to pass Bill C-59, the Abolition of Early Parole Act. The Coalition joined forces as they tried to allow white collar criminals to have early parole – after serving only one-sixth of their sentence. I was glad to vote in favour of this Bill and watch it pass through the House of Commons.
Another piece of legislation I believe my constituents will be very happy to see, judging by the recent survey responses I am reading, is Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s introduction of The Citizen’s Arrest and Self-Defence Act. This Bill will expand the circumstances in which citizens’ arrests* can be made, and streamline and simplify the self–defence and defence of property provisions in the Criminal Code.
As the Prime Minister stated, Canadians who have been the victim of a crime should not be re-victimized by the criminal justice system. That’s why we have introduced changes to the Criminal Code so Canadians know they have the law on their side and that our justice system targets criminals and not victims.
Currently, the ability to make a citizen’s arrest is very restricted and is only permitted if an individual is caught actively engaged in a criminal offence on or in relation to one’s property. Bill C-60 would authorize an owner, a person in lawful possession of property, or a person authorized by them, to arrest a person within a reasonable amount of time after they find that person committing a criminal offence either:
- on their property (e.g. the offence occurs in their yard); or
- in relation to their property (e.g. their property is stolen from a public parking lot).
Meanwhile, the Opposition Coalition is worrying about the well-being of criminals.
Employment insurance for criminals?
On February 16th, the Ignatieff-led Coalition voted in favour of a Bloc Quebecois Private Members’ Bill (C-343) which would give EI to youth injured as a result of committing a crime. For example, if a 16-year old falls down the stairs while robbing a house, this bill would provide thousands of dollars through EI so they could be cared for, for up to a year! This is simply offensive to victims and their families, as well as to hard-working, law-abiding Canadian taxpayers. Neither I nor this Government will ever support a bill that rewards criminals as this one does.
International Transfer of Offenders
The Opposition Coalition wasted no time when the House of Commons resumed in February, almost immediately gutting important legislation that would amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act. Bill C-5 would ensure that the Minister of Public Safety can consider the safety of communities first when Canadian citizens convicted of crimes abroad apply to serve their time in Canada.
I am definitely disappointed that the Ignatieff-led Coalition continues to put partisan politics, and their concern for criminals, ahead of protecting Canadians.
To me, the worst part is that the soft-on-crime coalition deliberately deleted every single reference to victims in this bill, save one. Why can’t they show the same concern for law-abiding Canadians and the victims of crime as they do for the perpetrators?
Lack of concern for children
On February 10th, the Liberals reversed their previous stance and decided to oppose legislation that will impose mandatory prison sentences on drug dealers that sell drugs near schools. How can you possibly justify opposing a bill which would help protect children from drug dealers?
To make matter worse, the NDP recently forced a Parliamentary Committee to hear from witnesses who think that child rapists don’t necessarily need to go to prison.
Liberals worried about ‘harsh sentences’ for criminals
Earlier last year the Liberals refused to support our Government’s bill which would crack down on drug traffickers and organized crime. They claimed that the legislation would be “too harsh” on criminals, and doubted whether the costs would be worth it. That legislation would introduce mandatory jail time for drug traffickers. Drug trafficking severely harms our communities. It destroys lives and families.
I fully support our Conservative Government’s stringent justice measures. Mr. Ignatieff seems to think that we shouldn’t punish criminals because of the cost. However, Canadians demand justice, and our government will deliver it as promised. We will continue to put the rights of law-abiding Canadians before the rights of criminals.
conservative government continues to
strengthen the justice system
*NOTE: This citizen’s arrest authority applies when it is not feasible in the circumstances for a peace officer (i.e. a police officer) to make the arrest.