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A drug user smokes crack in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in February of 2009. (JOHN LEHMANN/John Lehmann/Globe and Mail)
A drug user smokes crack in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in February of 2009. (JOHN LEHMANN/John Lehmann/Globe and Mail)

Background

Nine Tory crime bills in one Add to ...

The omnibus crime bill includes nine former crime bills the Harper government failed to pass when it held a minority in Parliament. They are:

1) The Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act, which would impose mandatory minimum sentences for a range of sexual offences involving someone under the age of 16 and create two new offences, one for making sexually explicit information available to a child and another for agreeing or arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child.

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2) The Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act, which would impose mandatory penalties for certain drug crimes and special penalties for drug offences carried out by organized criminal gangs or those that target youth. Possession of six marijuana plants for the purposes of trafficking, for instance, would result in a mandatory six-month term. Production of cannabis oil or resin would mean a year and a half behind bars.

3) The Protecting the Public from Violent Young Offenders Act, which would make public safety a primary goal of young offenders legislation, keep violent and repeat young offenders off the streets while awaiting trial, require courts to consider adult sentences for youths aged 14 and up convicted of the most serious crimes, enable the courts to impose harsher sentences on other violent and repeat offenders, and allow the publication of the names of violent young offenders.

4) The Ending House Arrest for Property and Other Serious Crimes by Serious and Violent Offenders Act, which would prevent judges from imposing conditional sentences for crimes involving serious personal injury, crimes which carry a maximum prison term of 14 years or more, and some other specified offences – escaping prison, luring a child, criminal harassment, sexual assault, human trafficking, abduction, theft over $5,000, breaking-and-entering, and arson – when those offences are prosecuted by indictment rather than the less serious summary conviction.

5) The Increasing Offender Accountability Act, which would enshrine a victim’s right to participate in parole hearings and address inmate accountability, responsibility and management under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

6) The Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act, which would replace the term pardon with “record suspension” and deny suspensions to people convicted of sexually abusing children, as well as those convicted by indictment of more than three offences. Criminals convicted by indictment would have to wait 10 years for a record suspension. Those receiving less serious summary convictions would have to wait five years.

7) The Keeping Canadians Safe (International Transfer of Offenders) Act (previously Bill C-5), which would give the Minister of Public Safety more leeway to deny a transfer to Canada of Canadians convicted abroad.

8) The Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and related amendments to the State Immunity Act, which would allow victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, including listed foreign states, for loss or damage that occurred as a result of an act of terrorism committed anywhere in the world after Jan. 1, 1985.

9) The Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act. This so-called anti-strippers measure would authorize immigration officers to refuse work permits to vulnerable foreign nationals when it is determined that they are at risk of humiliating or degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation or human trafficking.

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