Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

August 11, 2008 12:42 ET

Government of Canada Reviewing the Youth Criminal Justice Act

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2008) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada, will today hold a roundtable discussion on the functioning of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The roundtable is part of the Minister's cross-country tour to meet key youth justice stakeholders and partners in all regions of Canada to seek their input on improvements to the YCJA.

"Our goal is to strengthen the YCJA, reduce crime and keep our communities safe," said Minister Nicholson. "Today I will meet with youth justice stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador to hear a wide range of views on how best to improve the Act and make it work for Canadians."

Minister Nicholson announced the YCJA review in October, 2007. Since then, he has met with his provincial and territorial counterparts as well as youth and partner organizations across the country. The Government of Canada is seeking the input of provinces and territories as they play a key role in administering the YCJA.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Minister Nicholson will host meetings with his provincial counterparts and stakeholders in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Next week, he will travel to Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon to complete the series of provincial and territorial roundtables.

In addition to the YCJA review, the Government of Canada has tabled legislation to amend the YCJA to include deterrence and denunciation as principles of sentencing and to strengthen provisions related to pre-trial detention. These new measures will protect communities from young offenders who pose a significant risk to public safety.

"Canadians want action on youth crime now. That's what this government will deliver. Our approach is meant to be tough and at the same time fair," said Minister Nicholson. "We will respect the rights of the accused but will not allow those rights to take precedence over community safety, the needs of victims or the rights of law-abiding citizens."

In keeping with its commitment to community safety, along with its plan to strengthen the YCJA, the Government of Canada has also:

- Passed into law the comprehensive Tackling Violent Crime Act that aims to better protect youth from sexual predators, protect society from dangerous offenders, get serious with

- drug-impaired drivers and toughen sentencing and bail for those who commit serious gun crimes;

- Passed legislation to increase penalties for those convicted of street racing;

- Passed legislation to end conditional sentences for serious personal injury offences.

- Introduced a National Anti-Drug Strategy, including legislation that would provide mandatory jail time for serious drug crimes;

- Invested in community projects across Canada that focus on youth;

- Tabled legislation to protect Canadians against identity theft; and

- Tabled legislation to tackle property theft, including the serious crime of auto theft.

For further information about the youth criminal justice system and the YCJA visit www.justice.gc.ca/youth.

Interested Canadians can also express their views by sending their submissions to ycjareview@justice.gc.ca by Friday, August 15, 2008.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621
    or
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    www.canada.justice.gc.ca