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Keeping Canadians and Communities Safe
I ran for Parliament in 1997 because, as a Crown Prosecutor and defense lawyer, I was troubled by the number of victims of crime who felt they were being systematically ignored or re-victimized.
I was given the opportunity as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to bring improvements to the criminal justice system that led to the passage of ground-breaking legislation that:
- Protected exploited persons and communities
- Combated child sexual exploitation
- Supported and funded child and youth advocacy centres
- Imposed tougher penalties on child predators and for sexual offences against children
- Protected Canadians from online crime
We also passed the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights that gave victims statutory rights to information, protection, participation, and to seek restitution.
The Criminal Possession of Firearms Act passed by the Conservative government established mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed using firearms.
We also strengthened the sex offender registry, increased the age of consent, imposed mandatory minimum sentences for gang-related firearm offences, increased penalties for domestic violence, and improved the monitoring of dangerous offenders.
Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s Crime Severity Index declined in each year while Conservatives were office. Yet, after 11 consecutive years of reductions, over the past 4 years under Justin Trudeau the Crime Severity Index has risen. The sad reality is that violent crimes are on the rise in Canada.
Our judicial and policing systems need new tools to address the emerging threats from street gangs, sex offenders and others who have exploited revolving doors in the justice system. But Justin Trudeau’s priorities are elsewhere. He points to the legalization of marijuana as one of his primary legislative achievements.
Rather than taking Canada's crime problem seriously, Trudeau has reverted to the failed Liberal playbook of demonizing law-abiding firearm owners and overlooking the real serious criminals: gangs and traffickers. Canadians from large urban centres to remote and rural communities know that Trudeau won't do the hard work necessary to make our communities safer.
As Prime Minister, I will continue to fight for victims of crime and will enact policies and deploy resources to make our communities safer by:
- Toughening sentencing laws to bring greater accountability and fairness to protect Canadians who are vulnerable to the worsening problem of rural crime
- Enacting consecutive sentences for multiple human trafficking offences, while closing the revolving door of bail
- Broadening the criminal definition on the removal of images to include all harmful and abusive images of children
- Reinstating the funding the Liberal government put on hold that has helped front-line organizations deal with victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation
- Combatting child sexual exploitation with legislative changes, including mandatory minimum penalties for serious violent offenses, fully vetted to ensure Charter compliance and written to withstand the "reasonable hypothetical" law created by the Supreme Court
- Increasing funding to support Child and Youth Advocacy Centres and open new centres where the need is greatest
- Working in partnership with provincial and territorial governments to provide funding for education while developing a national strategy to combat domestic violence
- Strengthening the accessibility and adherence to Protection Orders and Peace Bonds to ensure more effective enforcement by police
- Focusing on real criminals, not law-abiding Canadians, by cracking down on gun and gang crime and by allowing law enforcement and border patrol to monitor and seize illegal guns and the vehicles transporting them at the border or in our communities
- Creating a repeat offender designation, so that once classified, offenders are no longer eligible for slap-on-the-wrist penalties
- Toughening parole eligibility considerations and criminal sentences for the most despicable and heinous crimes to remove the chance of an early release
- Ensuring the voices of victims of crime are truly heard in the criminal justice system, and that victims receive the support they need and remain properly protected by the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
- Redefining and expanding the definition of terrorism offences and enact stronger sentencing measures
- Repealing Bill C-71 and the Order-in-Council Liberal gun grab and take the $600 million the Trudeau government plans to spend on a wasteful gun buyback program and invest that money with frontline police and Canada Border Services Agency to go after the smuggled guns that pose the real threat to Canadians