As everyone knows, our government is rushing an ineffective, costly and cruel Crime Bill through Parliament.
There are many reasons to oppose this bill.
The get-tough-on-crime approach as represented by the Omnibus Crime Bill is a proven failure. Conservative Texans are warning us not to follow a failed fill-the-prisons approach to justice, and the Canadian Bar Association, representing 37,000 Canadian legal professionals, has said the bill “would move Canada along a road that has failed in other countries, at great expense.”
Mandatory sentences backfire; they take precious resources from crime prevention programs and rehabilitation, and turn minor offenders into hardened criminals.
Across the country, Canadians are speaking out. Prime Minister Harper claims that Canadians support tough on crime laws, but tens of thousands of Canadians are publicly demanding their provinces refuse to pay for the Crime Bill. Quebec and Ontario have already refused to pay for a strategy that has been tried, and failed.
We need to make Canada safer, not meaner. To reduce crime we should focus on what’s already working — prevention and rehabilitation — and address the major causes of crime by reducing inequality and supporting people who need help.
The Conservatives’ cruel Crime Bill will do none of this, and ultimately will make our communities meaner, and less safe.