Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »

Feds Suit Up For Crime Bill Battle

By Hempology | November 22, 2007

Tri City News, Port Coquitlam B.C.

November 18 2007


In almost every neighbourhood, there is a marijuana grow op.

In almost every community, there is a meth lab.

And when police raid these operations, high-powered guns are usually part of the seizure.

While police may do their part, the justice system doesn’t do its part as most raids and seizures take place without consequences to the perpetrators, said federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, who was in B.C. last week to talk about the Conservative government’s proposed ‘Tackling Violent Crime Act.’

“When people see these offenders back on the street, when neighbours see the people who had the meth lab back living at the house, it sends the wrong message,” Nicholson said in an exclusive interview with Black Press.

Nicholson said his government is so determined to see changes to how Canada’s justice system handles its most dangerous and prolific offenders that the Conservative party is willing to take it to a confidence vote.

“We are bringing this before Parliament and any attempt to sabotage that [justice] bill is a confidence measure – that’s how serious we are,” said Nicholson.

He was touring B.C. along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week to drum up support for the crime bill that would see mandatory sentences for possession of weapons and violent offences while keeping dangerous offenders and sexual predators behind bars. And he recognizes it is Ontario, not B.C., where support for the bill is needed.

“The opposition laughed at us last time we introduced these bills. This time we’ve upped the ante,” he said. “Right now, we are trying to build public support from coast to coast.”

While the Tackling Violent Crime Act doesn’t address issues around marijuana grow ops and meth labs, the feds plan to introduce such crime legislation soon, he said.

“The legislation will deal directly with grow ops and meth labs, trafficking and importing, but we do expect opposition on that.”

When asked why it seems judges in Ontario hand out stiffer sentences than judges in B.C., he wouldn’t comment. But he did say that the new justice bills will create stricter guidelines for judges to follow.

“There is going to be mandatory jail time for various offences and we will be providing guidelines for minimum sentences. Right now, judges only have maximum sentencing guidelines and no minimums.”

getting tougher

If adopted into law, the Tackling Violent Crime Act would create mandatory jail sentences for convicted offenders who use guns in a violent crime.

It would also create tougher bail provisions, putting the onus on the offender to prove why he or she should be released.

The act would also create tougher sentencing and management of sexual and violent offenders. For example, if a person were convicted of a violent sexual assault using a knife, that person could more easily be designated a dangerous offender, putting him in jail for life.

The proposed legislation would also change the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 and it would give police better tools to detect and investigate drug- and alcohol-impaired driving and increase penalties if charged.

If this bill is adopted, drivers suspected of being impaired would have to do a roadside test. If they fail, they would have to provide a blood or urine sample to confirm whether they consumed drugs.

Topics: Articles | Comments Off

Comments are closed.