Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

August 12, 2008 14:38 ET

Government of Canada Reviewing the Youth Criminal Justice Act

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 12, 2008) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada, today held 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.

"The comprehensive review of the YCJA has given me a unique opportunity to hear from Canadians and listen to their views and concerns about youth justice," said Minister Nicholson. "Although each region has its own distinct challenges, there is also a shared desire to hold youth accountable through measures that are proportionate to the seriousness of the crime."

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.

Yesterday, Minister Nicholson held a roundtable discussion with his provincial counterparts and stakeholders in Newfoundland. On Wednesday he will participate in a roundtable meeting in 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.

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

Interested Canadians can also express their views by sending their submissions to by Friday, August 15, 2008.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary
    Department of Justice Canada
    Media Relations