As you enjoy the last weeks of summer, I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a brief update on what our Conservative Government has accomplished on your behalf over the past session of Parliament.
Fifteen months ago, Canadians made a historic decision in selecting a strong, stable, national, majority Conservative Government to help lead the country through a time of global economic fragility. Since then, our Government has worked hard and made critical choices resulting in accomplishments that are making a difference in the lives of all Canadians.
A GOVERNMENT FOCUSED ON SAFE STREETS AND COMMUNITIES
Last year, our Conservative Government campaigned on the promise of safer streets and communities. It was all part of our plan to protect families and to ensure communities thrive during these tough economic times. Fifteen months later, our Government stands by a proud record of safer streets and communities through our tough-on-crime plan.
I was proud to vote alongside my Conservative colleagues in ending the wasteful and ineffective Long-Gun Registry – a provision which was not only a $2 billion boondoggle, but one that only targeted law-abiding farmers and duck hunters, and failed to target real criminals.
I am also very proud of our Conservative Government’s Safe Streets and Communities Act, which was passed within the first 100 days of the 41st Parliament, as promised. It is a suite of law-and-order measures that cracks down on crime and delivers real support for victims and their families.
Contained within the Safe Streets and Communities Act, we have worked to protect children through the Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act, which increases penalties for sexual offenders against children. Our Government has voted to protect hard-working families through such measures as the Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act, which targets organized crime by imposing tougher sentences for the production of illicit drugs for the purposes of trafficking; Sébastien’s Law (Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders), which better protects Canadians from violent and repeat young offenders; the Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders Act, which eliminates the use of conditional sentences, or house arrest, for serious and violent crimes; the Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act, which extends the ineligibility periods for applications for record suspension (previously called a “pardon”) to five years for summary conviction and 10 years for indictable offences; and the Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) Act, which adds additional criteria that the Minister of Public Safety could consider when deciding whether or not to allow the transfer of a Canadian offender back to Canada to serve their sentence.
Fairness and justice for victims and their families have also been a focus of our Conservative Government. The Safe Streets and Communities Act strengthens their rights through the Increasing Offender Accountability Act, which enshrines a victim’s right to participate in parole hearings and address inmate accountability, responsibility, and management; and the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which allows victims of Terrorism to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism. We will continue to strengthen the rights of victims in Canadian courtrooms – rights which have been neglected under the previous Liberal government.
Our Government understands that new Canadians are a vital part of our economic recovery, as well as our long-term prosperity. That’s why we’ve taken action to protect their rights within Canada though the Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act, which authorizes immigration officers to refuse work permits to vulnerable foreign nationals when it is determined that they are at risk of humiliating or degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation or human trafficking.
Our Government’s excellent record on public safety is clear. It’s what hard-working, law-abiding Canadians asked of us before the election of last year, and it is all part of what we promised to Canadians during the campaign.
We’re ending the revolving door of Canada’s justice system and keeping real, dangerous criminals in prison longer. We’ll continue to listen to hard-working Canadians to ensure that our criminal justice system provides balance – and, we will do all of this without raising taxes on families or businesses, or opening new penitentiaries. It’s a record all Canadians can be proud of, and I am looking forward, with anticipation, to what will be an equally productive Fall session of Parliament.
Thank you for reading.
Leon Benoit, MP