omnibus crime bill
CJCD Mix 100 News
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - A report on the impact of the federal omnibus crime bill in the NWT predicts that the new legislation will mean over 3800 additional bed days, or the equivalent of 11 extra inmates during the first year the bill is in force.
Minister of Justice Glen Abernathy said the territory can manage that increase right now.
"We've got enough room within, we've got enough vacancy within, we can double up where necessary. We can manage for quite some time and that's what we'll do, we'll manage within. We're also going to look at alternatives to find ways to get lower risk offenders out to alternatives." Read more »
By: Tonda MacCharles, The Star
OTTAWA—The federal Conservative government is shifting the way lawmaking is done. Private member’s bills — which get less legislative analysis or parliamentary debate than government bills — are the new black.
Since Sunday, four private member’s bills that make changes to criminal and corrections law have been publicly backed by the government as good additions to its tough-on-crime agenda.
Here’s what the latest batch would do: create a new criminal offence for recruiting young people into gangs, levy $5,000 fines or jail terms up to 10 years for wearing a mask or face paint at a riot (five years if it’s an “unlawful assembly”), give federal prison officials more authority to dismiss inmate grievances by deeming them “vexatious” or “frivolous,” and set up a forced debt recovery scheme for inmates who win money from lawsuits against the Crown to require payment of outstanding child support, restitution orders or victim surcharges.
Another private member’s bill on Wednesday moved toward the final stage of Commons approval, to loud applause from Conservative benches. Bill C-304 would repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and prevent rights claims based on hate speech from being brought before human rights commissions.
The bills may all be fine in principle, but opposition critics see them as the new political tool of a government bent on appealing to its base while side-stepping public accountability. Read more »
A Nova Scotia man says the federal government's "tough on crime" law is making it impossible for him to restart his life.
Chris Conrad was 19 when he was busted for selling marijuana. He was sentenced to six months of house arrest and a year of probation. It was his first and only offence.
"I just didn't know what I wanted to do with my life at the time. So I guess you could say I took the easy road — what I already knew how to do to make money," he said.
Now 25, he has done his time. He went to university and planned to apply for a pardon so that when he graduated, he could enter the workforce without a criminal record. Until March, offenders had to wait five years to apply.
Conservatives change the rules Read more »
Overcrowding in Saskatchewan's jail could go from bad to worse when a federal crime bill takes effect, according to the provincial ombudsman.
Kevin Fenwick's latest annual report, released Monday, warns that the ongoing problem of crowded jails is likely to deteriorate further.
The crime bill, which passed a final vote in the House of Commons on March 12, includes mandatory jail sentences for certain crimes.
Critics of the bill have argued that mandatory minimum sentences will burden Canada's prison and court systems.
"Correctional centres in Saskatchewan already house almost twice as many inmates as they were designed for," Fenwick's report states in part. Read more »
BY VANESSA BROWN, LEADER-POST
Curtailing judges’ power to hand out community sentences in certain circumstances places restorative justice under threat, Saskatchewan’s ombudsman warns.
The federal omnibus crime bill, passed last month in the House of Commons, includes legislation that limits conditional sentencing and introduces new mandatory minimum sentences, among a host of other provisions.
Both “considerably threaten” the effectiveness of rehabilitative programs, said ombudsman Kevin Fenwick during a discussion on Bill C-10 held Saturday at Holy Rosary Community School. Representatives from advocate groups that work with current and former inmates also spoke at the conference. Read more »
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today welcomed the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on Ipeelee, which upholds the 1998 Gladue decision regarding sentencing of Aboriginal people.
"We commend the Supreme Court of Canada for this decision, one which instructs judges to craft 'fair and balanced sentences' as a central part of our justice system," National Chief Atleo said. "The decision recognizes the deep trauma still experienced by our peoples through decades of policies and practices such as residential schools that attacked our languages, cultures and families. This ruling upholds the principles of fairness and proportionality in sentencing." Read more »
Editorial: The Law Times (by Glenn Kauth)
If people were wondering what the federal government’s priorities are, it left no doubt about them last week with its actions on crime, the environment, and labour relations.
Last week, of course, the omnibus crime bill received Royal assent. While the legislation will crack down on criminal wrongdoers with stiffer penalties, a report from Postmedia last week indicated the government is considering changes to environmental rules that would prohibit activity causing an “adverse effect” on fish. Currently, Postmedia reported, the law targets activity causing “harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.” Read more »
BY JEREMY WARREN, THE STARPHOENIX
Tim Wise, renowned anti-racist author and educator, has a warning for Canada: Don't be like the U.S. and stay away from bad legislation such as mandatory minimum sentencing.
Wise, an American, gave the warning at the beginning of his Thursday night talk at TCU Place. He told the large crowd at the free event that it's easy for Canadians to laugh at the often farcical politics and culture of America, but some of that is creeping north.
"You have apparently decided to mimic the some of the worst of what my nation does," he said, using the Conservative government's omnibus crime bill and its new mandatory minimum sentencing as an example. Read more »
By: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post
The Conservative government’s omnibus crime bill passed the Commons on Monday night. No matter the problem, the solution this unimaginative legislation provides is the same: longer sentences. Read more »
BY TOBI COHEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS
OTTAWA — The Conservatives have used their majority to pass the so-called omnibus crime bill within the first 100 sitting days of Parliament as promised, despite continued opposition from Canada's largest provinces which vowed Monday not to sit back idly as the measures come into force.
The deeply polarizing Safe Streets and Communities Act, which passed by a vote of 154 to 129, effectively will become law in a matter of hours, if not days, when the bill receives royal assent. The Tories will mark their 100 day milestone on Friday. Read more »