There are many root causes to crime, and they all need addressing – for example, I’ve spoken about the opioid and mental health crises many times.
But there’s one root cause that is due to failed Liberal policy. Violent criminals and sex offenders are being released all too easily on bail, and many are reoffending again with devastating consequences. Stabbings on the TTC, fatal shooting of an OPP officer in Haldimand, random attacks outside coffee shops in Vancouver, the tragic list keeps growing.
During the last Conservative government, mandatory minimum sentences were tightened for firearm-related offenses and bail for violent offenders was much tougher. But in 2019, the Liberal Bill C-75 mandated that judges release criminals on bail at the “earliest reasonable opportunity.” In 2021, the Liberal Bill C-5 repealed mandatory minimum sentencing for many violent gun-related crimes.
Are we seeing the consequences of these changes? The fact that violent crime is up across the country – not just isolated to a few municipalities, regions or Provinces – and many of these crimes are by offenders on bail against total strangers is telling. Even more telling though, is that Police Chiefs from across Canada, as well as every Premier and Territorial Leader are calling for bail and judicial reform to reverse these changes. That’s why Conservatives have introduced Bill C-313 – bail reform legislation to get it done.
This is not a partisan issue as the Liberals and NDP have made it out to be. While Conservatives have been the most vocal advocates for reform in Parliament, they are clearly not alone. We also aren’t simply sitting on the sidelines pointing fingers, despite numerous portrayals to that effect by the Liberal-NDP coalition.
Rather, we have been relentless in pushing the government to take real action on these and many other fronts as well as tabling our own solutions.
In addition to Bill C-313 from Kamloops MP Frank Caputo, MP Pierre Paul-Hus introduced Bill C-325 to bring significant reforms to Canada’s Criminal Code and Corrections and Conditional Release Act, undoing some of the harmful changes made by Bill C-5 enacted by the Liberals last fall. This Bill is currently at second reading in the House of Commons.
Pierre Poilievre has also said a Conservative government will reform our broken bail system to ensure the small number of dangerous repeat violent offenders do not end up on the streets.
Change both to our judicial system and to Parliament can’t come soon enough.