VAUGHAN, March 7, 2012 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, accompanied by the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, today welcomed the final vote in the House of Commons on the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10).
“Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to crack down on child predators and violent drug traffickers,” said Minister Nicholson. “We promised to do that in the first 100 sitting days of Parliament and today we will deliver on that commitment.”
“More than 7.4 million Canadians became victims of crime in 2009 alone,” said Senator Boisvenu. “We want to prevent further victimization and that means keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets.”
“Our government is achieving results in our commitment to building safer communities. I advocated for such legislation during my years as police chief, and am very pleased that this Government is delivering on our commitments,” said Minister Fantino. “We are ensuring those guilty of victimizing law abiding Canadians will serve sentences that better reflect the severity of their crimes.”
The Safe Streets and Communities Act re-introduces the following reforms:
- The Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act (former Bill C-54), which will increase penalties for sexual offences against children, as well as create 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 targets serious drug crimes, including those committed by organized crime, by imposing tougher sentences for the production and trafficking of illicit drugs;
- Sébastien’s Law (Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders) (former Bill C-4), which will better protect Canadians from violent and repeat young offenders and make the protection of society a paramount consideration in the management 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 will eliminate the use of conditional sentences, or house arrest, for serious and violent crimes;
- The Increasing Offender Accountability Act (former Bill C-39), which will 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 will extend the ineligibility periods for applications for a record suspension (currently called a “pardon”) to five years for summary conviction offences and to ten years for indictable offences;
- The Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) Act (former Bill C-5), which will 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 will 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 will 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.
An online version of the legislation can be found at www.parl.gc.ca.