Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic September 20, 2011 - 11:34 am

Tories table their criminal-reform legislation

"Canadians want and deserve to feel safe in their homes and their communities"

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POSTMEDIA NEWS

OTTAWA — The Harper government tabled sweeping criminal-reform legislation Tuesday, which it says will make Canadian streets safer.

The omnibus crime bill, dubbed the Safe Streets and Communities Act, comprises nine individual justice bills, many of which were introduced in the previous parliamentary session but which the then-minority Tory government could not push through.

Speaking in Brampton, Ont., on Tuesday accompanied by a number of representatives from victims-rights groups, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the new legislation will include measures to protect children from sexual offenders, will target organized drug crime and will crack down on young offenders.

The legislation will also take away the option of house arrest for those who have been convicted of serious violent and property crimes, such as sexual assault, human-trafficking, arson, break and enter, child-luring and kidnapping, he said.

“Since coming into office, our government has accomplished a great deal when it comes to cracking down on crime and better protecting Canadians,” he said.

“But we know more needs to be done. Canadians want and deserve to feel safe in their homes and their communities.”

The government has vowed to pass the bill within the first 100 sitting days of the new parliament, which began Monday.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae slammed the legislation, suggesting the government is taking Canada in an “ideological direction” that has more to do with its “obsession” with the “symbolism” of denouncing crime than actually increasing public safety

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