Conservatives Reintroduce Dangerous and Costly Crime Legislation

CANNABIS CULTURE - Though crime rates in Canada are at their lowest in four decades, the Conservative government today reintroduced crime legislation in a massive omnibus bill that includes mandatory minimum sentences for minor marijuana offences and other extreme and costly measures.

The giant bill, known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, is made of up nine bills the Conservatives were unable to pass due to opposition in the last session of parliament.

As well as the drug bill previously known as S-10, it includes legislation that would boost police powers, ban house arrest for a list of offences, eliminate pardons for certain crimes, increase penalties for sexual offences against kids, and increase sentences for young offenders.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson unveiled the legislation this morning and issued a statement with the following list of included bills:

  • The Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act (former Bill C-54), which proposes increased penalties for sexual offences against children, as well as creates two new offences aimed at conduct that could facilitate or enable the commission of a sexual offence against a child;

  • The Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act (former Bill S-10), which would target organized crime by imposing tougher sentences for the production and possession of illicit drugs for the purposes of trafficking;

  • Sébastien's Law (Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders) (former Bill C-4), which would ensure that violent and repeat young offenders are held accountable for their actions and the protection of society is a paramount consideration in the treatment of young offenders by the justice system;

  • The Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders Act (former Bill C-16), which would eliminate the use of conditional sentences, or house arrest, for serious and violent crimes;

  • The Increasing Offender Accountability Act (former Bill C-39), which would enshrine a victim's right to participate in parole hearings and address inmate accountability, responsibility, and management under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act;

  • The Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act (former Bill C-23B), which would extend the ineligibility periods for applications for a record suspension (currently called a "pardon") from three to five years for summary conviction offences and from five to ten years for indictable offences;

  • The Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) Act (former Bill C-5), which would add 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;

  • The Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and related amendments to the State Immunity Act (former Bill S-7), which would allow victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, including listed foreign states, for loss or damage that occurred as a result of an act of terrorism committed anywhere in the world; and

  • The Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act (former Bill C-56), which would authorize 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.

In July, Statistics Canada reported that crime rates in Canada have reached their lowest level since 1973, with homicide rates the lowest since 1966. This doesn't bother the Conservatives, however, who throw logic and caution to the wind, claiming Canada needs new prisons to lock up people who commit unreported crimes.

The bill has been universally panned by critics who say it is irresponsible, dangerous and sure to cost billions of dollars in increased enforcement, prosecution, and prison costs.

"Mr. Nicholson, in his comments today, was commenting about the length of time and the number of witnesses and the amount of evidence we've taken," NDP Justice Critic Joe Comartin told CTV. "What he didn't mention was that the evidence generally was overwhelmingly opposed to most of this legislation, and the witnesses who came forward pointed out the faults and the frailties of the approach they're taking."

Comartin said, according to Justice Department statistics, just the drug section of the bill would "incarcerate between 3,000 and 5,000 more people in Canada by that one piece of legislation, which is only part of this bill."

Liberal Leader Bob Rae told the press the 110-page bill will "significantly increase the prison population at the rate of $108,000 per inmate per year."

"The Conservatives are taking us in an ideological direction that has nothing to do with increasing public safety and everything to do with this obsession that they have with the symbolism of denunciation of crime," he said. "We’re all opposed to crime. I haven’t met anybody who’s advocating it, no one in my constituency is soft of crime. We all want to deal with it but this is not the way to do it."

Nicholson refused to give the specific costs of the bill or release the government's projections of increases to the prison population.

Two groups that work directly with convicts, the John Howard Society and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, told newspapers they want to government to reconsider.

"Most people in jail are considered non-violent, by police and correctional authorities," the groups said Monday. "In order to prevent more men, women, and especially children, from being marginalized, victimized, criminalized and imprisoned, Canadians are telling us and politicians that they would rather see their hard-earned tax dollars spent on public housing, child care, pensions, health care, mental health services, public education, victims and other social services."

The drug-related portion of the legislation, known as Bill S-10 in its last incarnation, includes mandatory minimum prison sentences for growing small amounts of marijuana and would increase maximum sentences for pot from seven to 14 years. Read more about the bill on Cannabis Culture.

Though S-10 made it through the Senate, the Conservatives had trouble passing the bill during the last session of the House of Commons, but the omnibus bill is expected to pass now that the party has a majority government.

HELP STOP THE BILL FROM BECOMING CANADIAN LAW

Please contact Members of Parliament and Senators and tell them you do not support the Safer Streets and Communities Act.

Find your Member of Parliament's contact info on this list or search with your Postal Code.

Find a link to your Senator's contact info on this list - or call them all!

Sign up at WhyProhibition.ca to get involved in marijuana activism online and receive regular updates about protest actions in your area.

Watch Cannabis Culture for more info about the Safer Streets and Communities Act and upcoming activism events.

Comments

harper and jails

Harper has those lush, feminine lips. I'm thinking he gets a thrill by thinking about locking all those rough boys up in prison, with their muscles and sweat. Sitting on a toilet in plain view...I'm sure he's sitting in his office rubbing his dick just thinking about all those men in concrete and steel cells...oh yeah, that's it Stephen...you go boy! ha! ha!

THE GOOD OLD "BOYS" CLUB.

YEAH THEY'RE THINKING ALL KINDS OF PERVERSE THINGS LIKE LOCKING UP PEOPLE WHO MIGHT VOTE AGAINST THEIR BIG GOVERNMENT PLANS AND THE IMMENSE AND COSTLY PRISON INDUSTRY BEING EXPORTED BY THE AMERICANS AND THE EUROPEAN PILL MAKERS LIKE BAYER.

BOW TO THE ALL POWERFULL GOVERNMENT DO GOODERS AND THOS ALL TO FAMILIAR MERCHANTS OF FEAR AND YOU WILL FALL INTO A SOCIAL DISASTER JUST LIKE THEY HAVE HERE IN AMERICA WHERE ONE IN SIX PEOPLE IS CURRENTLY IN THE PENILE SYSTEM OF PRISONS AND PROBATION AND MANDATED COUNCELING AND DRUG TESTING.

I HOPE YOU ALL PUSH THESE FAKE CONSERVITIVES OUT OF YOUR GOVERNMENT AND GO WITH THE REAL ONES WHO KNOW THE REAL INVESTMENTS MUST BE MADE TO EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE AND THE ECONOMIC FUTURE THAT DEPENDS ON A HEALTHY AND A FREE SOCIETY.

GROW YOUR OWN, FREE YOUR MIND, FREE THE PLANET!!!!!!!!!

the democratic party of

the democratic party of America ARE NOTHING but whistle-blowers the truth will be told.

Anti Italian

how does the government percecute the people for murder when the government is commiting murder!!!

omnibus bill

The current plan that the conservative government wants to push through, is actually an organized crime endorcement.
Law enforcement agianst prohibition agrees that the war on drugs has failed miserably, and infact has grown the industry of organized crime. It also servs to cause more deaths due to the forcing underground economy's that are violent in nature.
killing the people the conservatives say theyre protecting. as an adult i can tell you this, if i want to use cannabis for medical uses then NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL, and if i chose to use anything that is NONLETHAL,then i should be able to have it, alcohol and tobacco causes over 600,000 deaths annually and this is a conservative approximation, however no one in history has ever died from cannabis.
the prohibition of it shows who's corrupt, as the truth about prohibition is painfully obvious.
so who ever supports prohibition is now pushing for private prisons and crazy laws to jail people for being non violent for kickbacks from these private prisons. either it be from jailing patients and non violent users of cannabis or , immigrants running from the countries that are killing them.
This shows what every Canadian who I have talked to causes sleepless nights and shame to call themselves a Canadian, when others ask where are you from?.

No No and No to bill S-10.No

No No and No to bill S-10.No to mandatory sentences for growing small amounts of marijuana.The seeds of freedom will never tolerate to be enchained !And by the way I would like to say Hi! to Charles Baudelaire who has enlightened my youth !

C-54 sounds good

Any bill like C-54 that attacks sex offenders is good anywhere on earth, but you would find tough resistance to it in Vatican City or anywhere in Utah. Kiddy touchers should be put to death though, the other bills sound a little stupid.

What do you expect from a

What do you expect from a Justice Minister who became a Catholic School Board Trustee after his and Kim Campbell's defeat?
SELF-RIGHTEOUS NARROW-MINDEDNESS, LONG DETENTIONS & LOTSA PUNISHMENT!!!

The democrats hit Bacon - gottis are informants

how long does it take a Gotti to take a shit?

9 months!!!

Sign The Peteition, Don't let us, become the U.S.

The Harper Government has introduced "The Safe Streets and Communities Act" into Parliament. Essentially, making sentences longer, and adding many manditory minimum sentences, particularly for drug crimes. This approach to crime is a proven failure. Manditory minimums will fill our prisons, create more hardened criminals, cost the taxpayers of Canada billions of dollars per year, and leave us no safer then we ever were. In fact, it will leave us less safe. Criminologist, lawyers and judges will tell you that this is a disaster for our justice system, our economy and our society. Therefore, we hereby call on the Government of Canada to prevent the passage of this "Safe Streets and Communities Act" into law.

SIGN THE IPETITION: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/kill_harpers_crime_bill/

You Canadians need to stop this bill

Dont let them pass this crap,it is very hard to undo these laws once they get the power grab. this is tearing our country to the south of you in half .we messed up by letting our government get the upper hand on us dont you guys be tricked into the same boat, it will bankrupt your country and turn people against people. signed a friend from your south.

Canadian Bro

Nice to see some friends from the south are paying attention to people outside there border.
We are heading down the same road as you guys.
It was almost legal here 5 or 6 years ago. Then Harper got in with a majority government & is pushing the movement back 30 years.
The way i see it is that our own governments should have no right to complain about foreign human rights issues while they continue to persecute their own citizens for making a personal choice.
Our laws are based on pure lies. Governments just need someone to bully, now that they persecuted all of the commies. It is big business for them, a job creator. Total overhead to taxpayers though.
Pure stupidity.

Looks like the Canadian

Looks like the Canadian government wants to cash in on others misery just like the good ol USA.

After the conservatives got

After the conservatives got a majority now they are frothing at the mouth to destroy cannabis freedom.
Alot of they're stuff in the crime bill is good for canada. But when it comes to cannabis use it shouldn't even be considered a crime to use or possess.
These Clubs the politicians are involved in are indeed a secretive topic. Because of these Clubs it allows them to get away with soooo much. Canadians need to remember within their clubs they have visions and goals to reach. Who knows what goals they want to reach.
When we're talking about these Clubs we're talking about Circles of Friends (with money), or Friends with Benefits (money and decision making power). Oh, guess what, your not in the circle and you are not they're friend.

Going back in time

I am outraged. I agree that the laws should down harder on violent, and sex offenders be them old or young offenders. But why punish pot smokers who by and large are non-violent, work and pay taxes in this country. We have been persecuted far too long for making a personal choice. I am a diabetic, so what are my options to take the edge off after a hard day at work. Let me see, there is liquid dope that may cause me to lose a limb or kill me, & there are pharmaceuticals prescribed by my doctor. We all know what they are & what damage they do to you, especially mixed with booze. I've watched close friends die a slow death. I'm sure lots of you have had similar experiences like this as there are a few diabetic's out there.
If Harper's cronies want to punish me for this, they will lose a big taxpayer & I am in a fighting mood. Time for a national REEFERENDUM to resolve which road Canadians want to travel in the future. It would cost a few million but would save billions.
Another option would be for anyone charged, is to fight it court & tie up the court system, Haven't we already been down this road?
Growers are doing God's work with his blessing.
Harper practices a different religion altogether.
Dictator or Evangelist? Or both.
Evil sometimes goes along with power.
Harper: Stay the hell out of my bedroom!

Diabetics Unite !

I have been a type 1 diabetic for over 47 years. I hear what you say !
I have found pot to be the only thing that works to reduce the pain and reduce the effects of many years of being a diabetic.
At 65 I still lead a fairly active working life - mostly due to pot.

If Harper & his narrow minded, ultra right wing, god fearing zellots dare mess with the only medicine that works for me ........ you bet I will fight.

Yes - lock up the perverts & killers - provide treatment for those who require it - leave the peaceful pot smokers to medicate & enjoy the good life.

Diabetic's Unite

I am only type 2 but it does have a big effect on my energy level & health. Life changer 10 years ago.
Just like to kick back & relax after a hard week at work. Sometimes i pick up my guitar & unwind with a toke. I drank their poison for years & still enjoy a couple, but puts me to sleep after 3 or 4 beers.
Perfectly legal though.
I think all diabetic's should band together for medicinal licenses because the only legal drug available (booze) will shorten our lives. I guess we are not allowed to take the edge off.
My doctor is against drugs but eager to hand out prescriptions. Would the country be a better place if all potheads were forced to take oxies & drink alcohol. This is a lethal combination.

I am a type 1

I am a type 1 diabetic(needle twice a day), was diagnosed when i was 21 and now im 33. I began consuming cannabis 4 years after I got diabetes. I got to say its a reliever for the occasional ups and downs of blood glucose. To save my eye sight and feet Id rather consume cannabis then any pharmaceutical synthetic.

Another facet of illegalization of marijuana is to retract people from medicinal choice. They want to choose our drugs for our body ailments. Its clear govn't shakes hands with ceo's of pharmaceutical companies.

Bill c-10

Hey man, by putting pot smokers in jail, the Harper government is making our communities safer!
That's why this bill is called "the safe streets and communities act"!
And once they abolish the gun registry, we'll all be able to buy as many firearms as we want and nothing can trace them back to us!
See??
Safety first!

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