Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

November 26, 2009 11:27 ET

Government of Canada to Put Public Safety First in Considering International Transfer of Offenders

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety and Mr. Daniel Petit, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, today announced the introduction of legislative amendments to the International Transfer of Offenders Act, the next step in making the "protection of society" the primary focus of the Canadian corrections system. These amendments support the Government's commitment to strengthening the rights of victims, increasing the responsibility of offenders and making our communities safe.

"This government remains committed to making the protection of society the guiding principle in decisions affecting the corrections system," said Minister Van Loan. "Canadians want to know their communities are safe from serious criminals. By increasing offender responsibility when assessing requests for transfer from other countries, we are putting public safety first."

The legislative amendments announced today would clarify the International Transfer of Offenders Act by enshrining in law key factors in deciding whether an offender would be granted a transfer back to Canada. These factors would include whether, in the opinion of the Minister, an offender would upon return to Canada:

- Endanger public safety;

- Continue to engage in criminal activities following his or her transfer; and,

- Endanger the safety of any child, particularly in cases of offenders who have been convicted of sexual abuse.

Decisions would also factor whether a criminal has been participating in his or her rehabilitation, and cooperating with law enforcement.

"The protection of society must come first. Our government is committed to action that produces results that ensure Canadians are safe in their communities," said Parliamentary Secretary Petit.

The government has continuously taken action to get tough on crime and protect our communities.

Recent actions include the introduction of legislation that would:

- End early parole for criminals (Bill C-53);

- Strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry (Bill C-34); and,

- Propose a new approach to corrections to strengthen victims' rights and increase offenders' responsibilities (Bill C-43).

For more information about the proposed legislative amendments, please see: Backgrounder.

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