Harper to Announce Crackdown on Gang Crime, Mandatory Jail Terms for Drug Crimes

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will shift his focus from the economy to law-and-order on Thursday, when he travels to Vancouver — decried by his public safety minister as Canada’s gang capital — to announce measures to crack down on gang-related crime.Prime Minister Stephen Harper will shift his focus from the economy to law-and-order on Thursday, when he travels to Vancouver — decried by his public safety minister as Canada’s gang capital — to announce measures to crack down on gang-related crime.OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will shift his focus from the economy to law-and-order on Thursday, when he travels to Vancouver — decried by his public safety minister as Canada’s gang capital — to announce measures to crack down on gang-related crime.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office would not confirm the details of Thursday’s announcement.

But Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said this week priority legislation for the government includes imposing mandatory prison terms for certain drug crimes and making all gang-related homicides automatic first-degree murder.

The Conservatives promised both measures in their election platform for last fall’s federal vote.

Van Loan flew to B.C. last week to meet with police, politicians, and the families of two victims of a 2007 gang shooting in Surrey, B.C. that killed six people.

At a press conference during his visit, Van Loan described B.C. as having “the largest number of very sophisticated organized-crime groups, those that are the most proficient at what they do, the most violent at what they do.”

Since early February, there have been seven gang-related killings by gunfire in the province’s lower mainland.

On the same day that Harper makes his announcement in Vancouver, the province’s justice minister, Wally Oppal, and Public Safety Minister John van Dongen are scheduled to meet in Ottawa with federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, who is responsible for ushering anti-gang legislation through the House of Commons.

Nicholson’s spokesman, Darren Eke, said Tuesday to “stay tuned” when asked whether there will be legislation to accompany the prime minister’s announcement.

“This government is continuing to move forward on its crime agenda,” said Eke.

The October 2008 election platform promised any killings “committed in a gang-related context” would be automatically deemed first-degree murder.

The government also pledged to revive failed legislation, which died when the election was called, that would impose mandatory jail terms for serious drug crimes “such as trafficking and running large cannabis grow operations or crystal methamphetamine labs.”

A third pledge was to create a new criminal offence for drive-by shootings, which would carry a mandatory prison sentence.

Van Loan told reporters in Ottawa late Monday the top government priority on the anti-crime front is to tackle gang-related crime and he expects Nicholson will respond by introducing mandatory prison sentences for drug crimes.

“The wave of gang killings in British Columbia right now is driven by criminal organizations that all function on the drug trade and it is the drug trade that’s at the core of that violence that’s making those communities unsafe,” Van Loan said.

He also said he expects “some action” on the Conservative promise to make gang-related killings first degree murder because “that’s something that would obviously assist police in the context of these organized crime gangs.”

In B.C., the provincial government has been lobbying Ottawa for legislation that would make it easier for police to tap into online communications, such as e-mails.

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Ujjal Dosanjh told Nicholson the streets of Toronto and Vancouver have erupted into “war zones” under the Conservative watch.

“In 2006, these sheriffs rode into town slinging rhetoric and pretending to have a silver bullet for every criminal offence,” said the Vancouver South Liberal MP. “Canadians want these bumbling sheriffs to wake up and smell the gun smoke from the streets of Vancouver to the buses in Toronto.”

Nicolson, in turn, accused the Liberals of being “the gang that could not shoot straight.”

– Article from CanWest News Service.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    A George W. Bush butt boy, that’s what the good Mr Harper truly is. They have the same stupid faith based BS floating around in their empty heads. And their policies support criminals being in charge of the drug trade in Canada and the USA. But with their lofty arrogance, they choose to ignore reality. They stupidly believe that if you can’t buy it legal, then problem solved. What they fail to understand, is in a free society, we don’t want faith based morality shoved down our collective throats. We know they are full of ( ) and many believe that the earth is just 5000 years old, and a snake talked, that’s grounds to lock their dumb asses up.

  2. Anonymous on

    I said from the start,(just ask my wife), that Harper was so far up Bush’s ass that we’d have to get rid of Bush to see the real Harper.

    Well, we can see him now, just for a sec before he buries his head deep up Obama’s nether regions.

    At least there should be some light in his new home so that he may actually see what the hell is going on.

    Mark my words. A new era is dawning. Obama will lead us to the path of freedom.

    Damn. Sometimes I wish I was American. Like now. Though Canadian I be.

    eNDProhibition

  3. Anonymous on

    Can see in that picture in this article he is high on something. It sure isn’t weed. Must be Cocaine.

    Hard drugs and alcohol are worse than weed. We need health and peace for the public.

    I swear when liberals were in power at least there wasn’t the 9/11. Also so what if they were keeping money to themselves at least there wasn’t so much blood baths.

    Conservative Harper type people are terrorists themselves. Blood craving scum. No public health care.

    I always vote. Not for rich scum that’s for sure. Cops are mentally unstable. They even killed my friend in Afghanistan. Republicans are scum too.

    USA/UK is waste of resources until I see a difference in a decade. Man Europe is safer. Black people always dying which is by there own kind OKAY!!!

    there’s now 55% of the american population of the new generations making a forward changes.

  4. Joe and his six pack on

    By ending the drug war and legalizing tax it regulating it this takes the profits out of the hands of the gangs this is how we win a drug war. This is like dropping a bomb right in the gang’s laps. By destroying their means of profits which is what they are shooting them self over the city `s street corners on who controls the street corners of sales .While other gangs fight for the same corner. Harper only wants to move on this to appease the republican war mongrels in the USA drug war. And because of the medical marijuana victory that gives the government one year to fix so that the people who need it as a medicine can get access to it. Harper does not get we have 33 million people in Canada we have 18 million that are baby boomers ready for retirement in about 3 to 4 years from now. We also have 10 million pot smokers in Canada also some who are baby boomers so is Harper going to put 10 million people in jail when we will need 7 million nursing home beds in the next 3 to 4 years. Harper has been in power for 2 years and none of his budget has any new money in it for health care did not even hear the word mention health care with this man. Who will work in this new economy just police and prison guards will become our nurses which a lot smoke pot to relax for this plant does not cause a hangover and only makes you high for a couple of hours then it is a nice an relax atmosphere. Harper wants to create a war zones. Canada will become just like a war torn country it will start to resemble Iraq as bodies are found slain in the streets just like it is now. By allowing the gangs to control the profits of the drug trade they can bribe the police in to helping them corrupting the police force as we become a police state while our freedoms that we are suppose to be fighting for in Afghanistan is just a lie because as an retired solder I like to smoke pot to help settling my stomach after eating and Harper wants to make that a crime. What did all the body’s of the Canadian solders come home in coffins fight for and die for when there brothers and sisters and family members are being chase by police for smoking a herb that is better than alcohol. I hate beer I hate hard liquor I should have the choice of a safer substance that I choose. Why Does Harper want to create a slave Country in which he want to in prison none violent people in a corporate own Corporate run at the tax payers expense and house people in a cage so the corporation can bid on outside project which they will get the inmates to do the work in chain gangs at a dollar a day pay each while the prisons will make a big profit for the work done is this Harper way of creating new jobs and creating a slave population in the process control by a corporation that will send us back ward 50 years. Prohibition of alcohol did not work and we have the prohibition of the drugs trade to remind us why it did not work because marijuana is in big demand and it is time to legalize it and stop arresting responsible users just like alcohol users. The USA is now realizing this and why does a looser like Harper wants to follow a failed policy. The only reason I can see is he will get a big cash flow from kick backs if he gets his way.

  5. Sephex on

    Up the punishment for the crime, and they will up their gun count in response. Prohibition is only adding to our wasteful police & judicial system.
    Why are we in Canada moving backwards, while California ( and many other states ) are progressing forward?!

    Wake Up Canada! End the Prohibition.

  6. Anonymous on

    Harper is a goof, very stupid.

    Set traps to catch people with guns. Do not increase drug related charges. Jesus the idea of pushing harder drug laws = making crime even worse. He and the americans already created the great depression again. Rich people are not smart at all, just don’t care about the public. Greedy scum. They want all the money to themselves and say you know what public we don’t care just die.

    With overpriced cheap quality cement, oil, gas, etc. And for cutting jobs making unemployment sky rocket to 85%.

    Harper is a drug dealer himself and won’t admit to it. By giving government dope that tastes like shit and full of lead. And for grinding it all up and adding liquid chemicals to it all.

    Harper enjoyed having cock up his ass by bush, now he’s scared of Obama making the right choices maybe.

    Harper should be fired too! He doesn’t care about anyone. Only his own family what a prick. Cold-hearted prick. Just like Bush and Richard Nixon.

    When has rich snobs ever tried helping the innocent law-obiding citizens? As in the voters that are rich and greedy.