Here in Quebec, we have an original approach to youth crime that works. In 2010, the severity of youth crime in Quebec was the lowest in Canada, proof that we are not "soft" on crime but rather that we are smart and "tough" on its root causes. But now the Harper government wants to ignore the evidence and change that approach.
The Conservative government's new crime bill, Bill C-10, is likely to be voted on in the Senate this week. The legislation is misguided, ill- advised, will cost billions, and goes against what other jurisdictions have learned. The goal of the government should be to help, not shackle, its citizens
The most vocal criticism of Bill C-10 has been that the proposed legislation will incarcerate minors with hardened criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, let's make it clear that no adolescent under 18 years can be held in a detention centre for adults.
The tragic irony is that the boogeyman of Harper's Bill C-10 -- the first time offender who fell victim to circumstances that those who now condemn him could never begin to navigate, will in fact emerge the hardened criminals they are painted as. We will have created the crime we seek to erase.
The Tories are invoking closure on the omnibus Crime Bill. Canadians may be sleepwalking while the seat of their country's democracy is being slowly choked. We barely have a properly functioning Parliament due to the anti-democratic instincts of the Harper Conservatives.
With Parliament's resumption this week, the Senate will consider the Conservative omnibus crime bill, C-10. In particular, amendments by the Government are expected as early as today to correct a mistake the Conservatives made in the House, a mistake which could have been avoided had the Government paid attention.
Last week we saw a glimmer of hope for our democratic future with the mobilization of tens of thousands of Canadians who came together in a dramatic display of engagement and concern for their country in response to the Conservatives passing bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill now before the Senate.
For 21 years, we've been commemorating Dec. 6 as a day of mourning and remembrance for the 14 young women at École Polytechnique brutally slain by an angry male who hated feminists. Yet this morning felt profoundly different. Today, in spite of real progress, we feel we all must begin the fight again.
It is clear that as a result of the omnibus crime bill we will have more crime, less justice, skyrocketing costs, fewer rehabilitation opportunities for offenders, less protection and voice for the victims, and less protection for society. This is a sad day for Canadian criminal justice.
The Conservative government is intent upon increasing inmate populations in both federal and provincial correctional centres. It is particularly tragic that, if only by neglect, they are willing to risk the health and safety of both correctional officers and inmates in order to accomplish their goals.
The federal government of Canada is set to institute the broadest, most regressive, costly, and ineffective criminal justice policies in this country's history, and the harm the Harper government is set to inflict on Canadian citizens, taxpayers, and communities is nothing less than criminal.
While there is a certain societal fascination with the scandalous and salacious -- particularly in politics -- we cannot let it overshadow the real issues and their merits. Indeed, this is why the false calls to my constituents are so particularly disturbing -- they have nothing to do with my record or stance on the issues.
There are obvious potential caveats to the open primary system, but right now, with a party backed up against a wall with no place else to go, there aren't really a multitude of options. I applaud Mr. Rae for having the bold initiative to think outside the proverbial box.
The premier is an intelligent woman; she must know that the very expensive elements of the crime bill have nothing to do with making our streets safer.
If we keep focusing on cosmetic solutions involving super-jails and more police with bigger guns, we will be guilty of marching along to the popular and populist banal rhythms of the fear-mongering politicians.
We all want more social safety, but these initiatives won't get us there. Instead, the Conservatives are prepared to spend billions on policies that have long been discredited, and have no hope of any tangible return on investment.