Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

March 24, 2011 11:15 ET

Harper Government's Abolition of Early Parole Act receives Royal Assent

Criminals convicted of white collar crimes will no longer be released from prison after serving only one-sixth of their sentence

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) - The Honourable Larry Smith, Senator, on behalf of the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, today announced that Bill C-59, the Abolition of Early Parole Act, received Royal Assent.

"Our government is once again demonstrating its commitment to restoring Canadians' faith in the justice and corrections system by ensuring serious convicted criminals are no longer released at one-sixth of their sentences. The passage of this legislation is welcome news for all Canadians who believe criminals should serve sentences that reflect the severity of their crimes," said Senator Smith. "We will continue to take tough action that makes criminals accountable to those they have victimized with their crimes. We have much more work to do."

The government also highlighted Bill C-39, the Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act. Today's announcement will move Canada one step closer to a system of earned parole.

"Our government is pleased with today's progress that further protects the rights of victims and makes criminals more accountable for their crimes. However, there is still more work to be done," added Senator Smith.

The proposed amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act would:

  • make the protection of society the paramount principle of the system;

  • enshrine victims' participation in conditional release board hearings, and keep victims better informed about the behaviour and handling of offenders;

  • increase offender accountability;

  • authorize police to arrest an offender breaking release conditions, without having to obtain a warrant; and

  • emphasize the importance of the seriousness of an offence in Parole Board of Canada decision-making.

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