Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

July 22, 2009 12:39 ET

Minister of Justice in Vancouver to Discuss Drugs, Gangs and Organized Crime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 22, 2009) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is in Vancouver today visiting a facility that trains first responders in identifying and avoiding dangers associated with "grow ops" and methamphetamine labs, as well as meeting representatives from the local legal community, law enforcement, various ethnic community groups and the Vancouver Board of Trade.

"This Government is dedicated to hearing the concerns of communities, so it can respond appropriately in helping them create safer communities," said Minister Nicholson. "We have accomplished a great deal that will help police crack down on crime, but other important justice legislation needs to be passed as soon as Parliament is back, so that police will have even more tools to fight against drugs and organized crime."

On February 27, 2009, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-15, which would impose mandatory penalties on drug producers and traffickers, and specifically target the criminal enterprise of gangs and other violent criminal organizations.

"Drug labs and grow ops are signs of gangs and organized crime activity, and their very presence puts our neighbourhoods at risk, particularly when children are being targeted," said Minister Nicholson. "Bill C-15 sends a clear message - if you produce and traffic in illicit drugs, if you run grow-ops in residential neighbourhoods, and if you threaten the safety of Canada's communities, you will serve jail time."

The Minister's visit to the training facility and his meetings in Vancouver reflect the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to taking tough action against crime and helping build safer communities.

Internet: www.canada.justice.gc.ca


THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA'S JUSTICE AGENDA

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

The Government of Canada is taking action to help ensure the safety and security of our communities. It is standing up for victims of crime, and putting the rights of law-abiding citizens ahead of the rights of criminals. To that effect, the Government has:

- Passed the comprehensive Tackling Violent Crime Act, which



- has toughened sentencing and bail for those who commit serious gun
crimes;

- better protects youth from sexual predators;

- better protects society from dangerous offenders; and

- gets serious with drug impaired drivers.


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

- Passed legislation to end conditional sentences for serious personal injury offences, including sexual assault.

- Passed legislation that will ensure all murders committed in connection with organized crime will become first degree murders, subject to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 25 years. The bill also created a new broad-based offence to target drive-by shootings.

- Established the National Anti-Drug Strategy to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs in Canada.

- Established the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

THE FORWARD AGENDA:

Fighting Organized Crime Bills

As part of its plan to fight organized crime, the Government has tabled the following legislation:

- Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Serious Drug Crimes

This legislation would impose mandatory jail time for serious drug crimes, and will allow special penalties to be imposed when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes, or if they involve youth. It would also allow a Drug Treatment Court to suspend a sentence while the addicted accused person takes an approved treatment program. Drug Treatment Courts encourage the accused person to deal with the addiction that motivates their criminal behaviour.

- Identity Theft

This legislation aims to better protect Canadians from identity theft by giving police the tools they need to move against this activity before the damage is done. It would create three new offences targeting the early stages of identity-related crime, all of which would be subject to 5-year maximum prison sentences.

- Auto Theft

The legislation is aimed at tackling property crime in general, but in particular the serious crime of auto theft, which often involves organized crime.

Eliminating Conditional Sentences for Serious Property and Violent Crime Bill

This legislation would add new requirements to further restrict when a conditional sentence can be imposed, so that conditional sentences would no longer be available to criminals who commit serious crimes.

Bill to Restrict '2-for-1' Credit for Time Served

This legislation would clearly limit the amount of credit that the courts may grant to convicted criminals for the time they served in custody prior to their sentencing.

Bill to Repeal the 'Faint Hope Clause'

This legislation would ensure that criminals who commit first- or second-degree murder would no longer be able to apply for early parole. It would bring an end to "faint hope" reviews, which would spare families the pain of attending repeated parole eligibility hearings and having to relive their losses over and over again.

Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Bill

The legislation would ensure law enforcement officials have the tools they need to fight crime in today's modern environment by updating certain existing offences as well as creating new investigative powers to effectively deal with crime in today's computer and telecommunications environment.

Bill to Help Protect National Security

This legislation seeks to reinstate essential Criminal Code provisions vital to combating terrorist activity while at the same time respecting human rights.

Modernizing Criminal Law Procedures Bill

This legislation would provide new tools to help law enforcement do their jobs. It would create a new offence to help prevent individuals from fleeing a province or territory in order to avoid prosecution. It would also: 1) give peace and public officers greater access to warrants relating to search and seizure. 2) streamline the identification process in police stations.

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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