The Opposition has successfully delayed the passage of the controversial omnibus crime bill which was set to be voted on Wednesday one last time.
The NDP employed procedural delays following question period that left no more time for further debate and the final vote.
But before moving on to a series of votes on private members bills, the Conservatives did manage to pass a time allocation motion to limit debate on the bill to one more day.
That debate will resume Friday and the final vote will be deferred until Monday.
“Today, the soft-on-crime Opposition moved to adjourn Parliament rather than debate the Safe Streets and Communities Act. This is ironic coming from the NDP, since they should know that those who don’t show up to work shouldn’t get promotions,” government House Leader Peter Van Loan said in a statement.
The comment was a direct jab at the party, whose late leader Jack Layton used those words against former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff during the last election in reference to his shoddy House of Commons attendance record.
“We call on the opposition parties to stop playing silly games, get on board with victims’ advocates and pass the Safe Streets and Communities Act without further delays,” Van Loan added.
The Tories have vowed to pass the bill within 100 sitting days of the 41st Parliament — March 16, according to the parliamentary calendar.
Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, ultimately returned to the House of Commons Tuesday for debate after several minor amendments were approved by the Senate in relation to the State Immunity Act and the ability of terrorism victims to sue their perpetrators.
As the first member of the Opposition to address the Senate amendments, NDP justice critic Jack Harris launched a sort of one-man filibuster Tuesday, speaking for three hours in a final bid to reiterate his party’s concerns with the bill.
Critics have argued the cost of the bill will be enormous, that it favours incarceration over rehabilitation and reintegration and that it will lead to prison overcrowding. They’ve also slammed the Tories for pushing it through without sufficient debate, pointing to the late day Senate amendments as proof. Liberal justice critic Irwin Cotler put forward similar amendments during a Commons committee review of the bill, but his ideas were ultimately ignored.
An amalgamation of nine justice bills, most of which were defeated in previous Parliaments when the Conservatives had a minority, Bill C-10 also sets minimum mandatory sentences for drug trafficking and production, eliminates house arrest for a number of offences and cracks down on young offenders, Canadians imprisoned abroad and those seeking pardons.
– Article from The National Post.
Crime bill vote pushed back to Monday
by CBC News
The expected passage of the government’s omnibus crime bill has been pushed back to Monday.
Debate on the bill is expected to continue in the House of Commons Friday, with a vote now slated for next week.
On Wednesday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and associate defence minister Julian Fantino, a former police chief, held an event to tout Bill C-10 in anticipation of a final vote on the controversial proposals in the House of Commons.
They were joined by representatives from victims’ groups at a community centre in Woodbridge, Ont., where Nicholson said the bill meets the expectations of Canadians and is responding to what is happening on Canada’s streets.
“It’s been a long road ladies and gentlemen, but we are there,” he said. “By moving to pass the safe streets and communities act our government is fulfilling our commitment to hold criminals fully accountable, protect families and stand up for victims of crime.”
Addressing one of the main criticisms of the bill, Nicholson said tougher sentences will not create new criminals, it just keeps existing ones behind bars for a more appropriate amount of time.
“This is a step forward in protecting victims and standing up for ordinary law-abiding Canadians,” Nicholson said. “I’m very proud to be associated with it and I look forward to its implementation.”
Fantino said the government listened to law enforcement agencies and civilian organizations “on what needs to be done about crime, victimization and public safety in our country.”
“This is a response to what Canadians want,” he said.
Bill C-10 arrived back in the House of Commons Tuesday, returned to it by the Senate with six amendments.
It was up for debate for several hours, and after Nicholson reviewed the merits of the bill and tried to dispel myths about it, NDP justice critic Jack Harris stood and talked for more than two hours, until the allotted time was over and question period began.
The amendments that were made relate to the part of the bill that would allow Canadians to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism.
Bill C-10 is a comprehensive bill that makes sweeping changes to the criminal code, the corrections system, and the youth justice system.
A number of its measures have been controversial, particularly the introduction of new mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes and other sentencing changes that will put more people behind bars, and for longer periods of time.
The added costs of housing more offenders will largely fall to the provinces, which has provoked tense federal-provincial relations.
The Conservatives used time allocation motions several times with the bill to move it through its various stages in the House of Commons. It’s a tactic that is derided by the opposition parties who say the government is trying to stifle the democratic process through its frequent use of time allocation on C-10 and other pieces of proposed legislation.
– Article from CBC News.