C-75: A direct insult to victims of crime

Since assuming office in 2015, Justin Trudeau and his government have established a disturbing track record on criminal justice and public safety.

The number one priority of any government should be putting the safety of all Canadians first. On the contrary, the words and actions of this Liberal government have consistently demonstrated an egregious approach to dealing with criminals; putting their rights ahead of crime victims and defending their actions with a straight face. From Justin Trudeau’s irresponsible rhetoric on welcoming returning ISIS terrorists to his total lack of action regarding the ongoing crisis at the border, it has become clear that Justin Trudeau does not take the safety of Canadians seriously. Unsurprisingly, Bill C-75 is no exception.

Canadians should be deeply concerned with this legislation. Bill C-75 proposes a significant and dangerous watering down of our criminal justice system. This Bill takes several serious Criminal Code offences, from the participation in terrorist group activities to impaired driving causing bodily harm, and kidnapping a child under 14 and reduces their severity from jail time to now “slap on the wrist” offences. This Bill will allow these crimes and others to be prosecuted at the summary or lowest level. Bill C-75 also delays consecutive sentencing for human trafficking; a serious crime that deserves to be treated and punished as such.

Under the previous Conservative government, a strong focus was rightly placed on victims of crime; notably, with the introduction of the Victim’s Bill of Rights and enacting tougher restrictions on offenders found not criminally responsible” or “NCR” on account of a mental disorder. To the shock and disbelief of many, Vince Li, accused in the decade-old Greyhound bus beheading near Portage La Prairie was found NCR.

Justin Trudeau disagrees with the responsible approach to justice and disagrees with putting victims first. Adding insult to injury, Bill C-75 would reauthorize judges to use their discretion when imposing the victim surcharge. Regrettably, convicted criminals who find themselves in difficult financial situations have apparently tugged at the heartstrings of the prime minister.

This legislation is a direct insult to victims of crime in Canada and sends the wrong message to law abiding Canadians. Canada’s Conservative opposition, under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, strongly opposes this dangerous and reckless assault on our criminal justice system and stand firm in our belief that the rights of victims should be prioritized over the those of convicted criminals. Is this unreasonable, Mr. Prime Minister?

Candice Bergen, P.C.

Member of Parliament (Portage-Lisgar)

Opposition House Leader

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