Cracking Down on Crime: Our Government’s Achievements
January 03, 2021

Ottawa Journal (January 03 – January 07, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

Since coming into office, our Government has accomplished a great deal when it comes to cracking down on crime and better protecting Canadians.
 We have succeeded in implementing several policies in our tough on crime agenda, such as passing legislation:

  • to tackle violent crime (the Tackling Violent Crime Act), which strengthens the Criminal Code in the following five areas:
  • tougher mandatory jail time for serious gun crimes;
  • new bail provisions which require that those accused of serious gun crimes show why they shouldn't be kept in jail while awaiting trial;
  • better protection for youth from adult sexual predators by increasing the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 years to 16 years;
  • more effective sentencing and monitoring to prevent dangerous, high-risk offenders from offending again; and
  • new ways to detect and investigate drug-impaired driving and stronger penalties for alcohol impaired driving;
  • to combat illegal copying of films in movie theatres;
  • to increase penalties for those convicted of street racing;
  • to end conditional sentences (house arrest) for serious personal injury offences;
  • to ensure all murders committed in connection with organized crime are designated first degree murders, subject to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 25 years. The bill also created a new broad-based offence to target drive-by shootings;
  • to protect Canadians against identity theft by giving police the tools they need to move against this activity before the damage is done; and
  • to bring more truth in sentencing by eliminating the practice of giving 2 for 1 credit to convicted criminals for the time they served in custody prior to their sentencing. 
Furthermore, we are pleased to note that recently Parliament passed our legislation aimed at tackling property crime in general, but in particular, the serious crime of auto theft, which often involves organized crime. 
Our Government recognized that car thieves who endanger the lives of law-abiding Canadians with their reckless behaviour must be stopped. When this new law comes into force, repeat offenders of motor vehicle theft will face a mandatory minimum penalty of six months imprisonment. Furthermore, this new legislation includes provisions that:
  • establish a new offence for altering, destroying or removing a vehicle identification number (VIN);
  •  make it an offence to traffic in property obtained by crime; and
  •  make it an offence to possess such property for the purpose of trafficking.

It was our Government that created the Office of the Federal Ombudsman of Victims of Crime to serve as an independent resource for victims in Canada. In 2007, we committed $52 million ($13 million per year over four years starting April 1, 2021) for a package of programs, services, and funding to help the Federal government and the provinces and territories respond to a variety of needs of victims of crime. Budget 2010 provided additional funding of $6.6 million over two years. 
 Currently, Minister Nicholson has 15 pieces of legislation before the House of Commons and the Senate, including initiatives aimed at:
  • eliminating conditional sentences (i.e. house arrest) for criminals who commit serious crimes;
  • eliminating the faint hope clause, thus ensuring criminals who commit first- or second-degree murder would no longer be able to apply for early parole;
  • imposing mandatory jail time for serious drug crimes, along with tougher penalties to be imposed when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes or if they involve youth;
  • cracking down on white collar crime and fraud by toughening sentences;
  • proposing a mandatory requirement on suppliers of Internet services to report any child pornography tips they receive or content they find on their servers;
  • strengthening the way our young offenders system deals with violent and repeat young offenders;
  • imposing mandatory prison terms for sexual offences against children;
  • imposing consecutive parole ineligibility periods for multiple murderers, thus ending the practice of sentence discounts for these criminals;
  •  streamlining the application process when specific court orders or warrants need to be issued in relation to an investigation for which a judge has given a wiretap authorization;
  • improving criminal procedures to cut the number of long, drawn-out trials, or mega trials; and
  • providing police they tools they need to investigate crimes in a high tech world.

Our Government has delivered on its commitment to Canadians to crack down on crime. We will continue to ensure that our justice system is equipped with the right tools to make our communities and streets safer.