Bill C-4: Sebastien's Law
June 28, 2021Ottawa Journal (June 28 – July 02, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)
Our government has maintained its commitment to get tough on crime, to ensure the protection of our families and communities. In March of this year, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, continued this commitment to Canadians by introducing Bill C-4 (Sebastien’s Law). This bill proposes to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act by imposing sentences to match the severity of crimes committed by young offenders.
Sebastien Lacosse was brutally murdered at the age of 19 by a group of teens at a house party in Laval, Quebec. Two members of the gang of teens responsible for Lacasse’s murder have since committed other violent crimes. In response, Sebastien’s parents have become advocates for victims of violent crimes. Sebastien’s Law is a tribute to his memory.
Bill C-4 will simplify the rules to keep violent and repeat offenders off the street. Courts would have better tools to keep repeat violent young offenders in custody while they await trial, keeping the public safe.
Courts will also be required to consider adult sentences for youth 14 years or older who commit the most serious crimes – murder, manslaughter, and aggravated assault. The bill would; however, require these sentences to be served in a youth correctional facility until the convict turns 18.
Violent young offenders pose just as much of a threat to society as adult offenders. Sebastien’s Law would require courts to consider releasing the names of young offenders when it is deemed necessary for the protection of society. Community members have a right to know when a violent offender is being released onto the streets, regardless of the offender’s age.
Our government continues to place a priority on public safety and holding criminals accountable for their actions. For more information about Sebastien’s Law, visit the Department of Justice website: www.justice.gc.ca .