Ottawa Journal (November 07 – November 11, 2021)
David Tilson, MP
Law-abiding Canadians want to be able to walk down the street at night – without fear of harm. They want to know that they are safe in their communities. Above all, they want to know that their children are protected. Our Government recognizes this and we believe that Canadians deserve a country where these things are a reality. This has been a priority of our Government since we were first elected and it remains a top priority today.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pass all of our vital legislation to protect Canadians in previous parliaments. The opposition parties opposed and obstructed, delaying some of our bills again and again since we first took office five years ago. They proposed amendments that would have diluted the bills, removing or weakening key measures to protect Canadians.
Now we’re acting on the strong mandate we received on May 2nd, to continue working to help keep Canadian families safe. We promised to reintroduce and pass our legislation in an omnibus bill within one hundred sitting days. We’re doing exactly that.
The Safe Streets and Communities Act delivers on our commitment to protect Canadian families. With stronger sentences for adult sexual predators that prey on our children, we’ll keep high-risk criminals off the streets longer. The Act will also create two new offences, so we can deter conduct that enables the commission of sexual offences against children.
Our new legislation also contains our previous bill to end ‘house arrest’ for serious crimes. This is true to the principle that for our safety, dangerous offenders need to be removed from our communities. We’re therefore, proposing to strengthen sentences for organized drug crimes. We’re also making sure that the safety of Canadians is considered when deciding whether to allow the international transfer of a Canadian offender back to Canada.
Another important part of the Act will finally address the way the justice system treats violent and repeat young offenders. Whether the victims are senior citizens or their own class mates, serious crimes must be taken seriously. We will ensure fair and appropriate measures are taken and that the protection of society is taken into account.
This builds on the substantial progress we’ve made on making our communities safer and particularly on protecting our children.
Our Government took measures to protect children from adult sexual predators, including raising the age of protection from 14 to 16. We strengthened the tools law enforcement uses to track sexual predators, such as the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank. We’ve also updated the law to keep up with new areas of crime with measures to protect children from online sexual exploitation.
Furthermore, we’ve addressed sentencing for other serious crimes, including gun crimes. Canadians expect sentences to recognize the real impact of crimes and to protect society by keeping criminals off our streets, a principle we continue to uphold in our new legislation.
Canadians deserve and expect a Government that takes their safety and security seriously. Our Government is committed to making our streets and communities safer. The Safe Streets and Communities Act is the right step forward to protect Canadian families.