On Eve of Crime Bill Vote, Experts and Groups Join Call for a New Path for Canadian Justice

As MPs ready to vote on the Omnibus Crime Bill, Bill C-10, a growing group of organizations and experts are joining over 30,000 Canadians to call for their MPs to stop Bill C-10, and create a Citizen’s Assembly for Canadian Justice.


The initial endorsers include diverse organizations such as the John Howard Society, Canadian Union of Public Employees and Indigenous Environmental Network, with experts such as David Daubney, a former Progressive Conservative MP who chaired the House Justice Committee from 1987 to ’88.

“The Assembly would bring together citizens, experts and organizations to create a new justice strategy that would make Canada safer, not meaner,” said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. “We can build on the tradition of Royal Commissions to engage Canadians in a national conversation about Canadian justice, and make sure our values and the evidence guide decisions.”

The endorsers are backing 30,000+ Canadians who have joined an online letter writing campaign. Last week, this community organized 160 demonstrations at MP’s constituency offices where they delivered the Leadnow.ca petition and the Canadian Bar Association report condemning the bill.

The issue is motivating Canadians who see it as a test of character. “Is this a country that learns to treat the causes of crime and rehabilitate the people who commit crimes,” said Biggar, “or are we a country that ignores the evidence and uses mandatory sentences to fill the jails with our most vulnerable people?”

Leadnow.ca is an independent advocacy organization that brings generations of Canadians together to hold our government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

For background on the petition: http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-canada-safe

The following organizations, public figures and experts are today joining the 30,000+ Canadians who have asked their provincial and federal governments to stop the Omnibus Crime Bill and create a Citizen’s Assembly for Canadian Justice.

The John Howard Society
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Pivot Legal Society
Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Indigenous Environmental Network
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Educators for Sensible Drug Policy
Canadian AIDS Society
Canadian Federation of Students
Reclaim our Democratic Canada
It Could Get Worse
BC Humanist Association
David Daubney, former Progressive Conservative MP (’84-88) and Chairperson of the House of Commons Justice Committee (’87-’88)
Irvin Waller, President of the International Organization for Victim Assistance and Professor at the University of Ottawa focused on protecting victims and reducing crime
William Gibbs, former Chair of the National Parole Board
Ed McIsaac, former Executive Director of the Office of the Correctional Investigator
Michael Jackson, Queen’s Counsel lawyer and professor at UBC focused on First Nations and penal law and policy
Lorraine Berzins, Smart Justice Network
Fred Phelps, Canadian Association of Social Workers
Susan Boyd, Professor in Studies in Policy and Practice at the University of Victoria, focused on drug policy
Winnie Ng, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University
Mary Cornish, Human rights and pay equity lawyer
Mark Yantzi, Community Justice Initiative
George Biggar, Senior policy adviser for Canadian legal aid systems

– Press release from Leadnow.ca.