Justice Minister hails elimination of two-for-one credit for time served – one of few pieces of legislation that didn't die when Tories shut down Parliament
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson holds a news conference in Ottawa to discuss new sentencing laws on on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010.
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 6:50PM EST Last updated on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 8:24PM EST
A federal bill that eliminates the two-for-one credit came into force Tuesday – one of the few pieces of justice legislation that did not die on the order paper when the federal parliament was prorogued in late December.
“This will bring more truth in sentencing and give Canadians confidence that justice is being served,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson told a news conference.
“This awarding of extra credit led to the perception that sentences were too lenient … it undermined people's confidence in the criminal justice system.”
The new law says only the time actually served before sentencing can be deducted from the time a criminal must spend behind bars after the sentence is handed down.
Judges may give extra credit in cases where circumstances justify it. But, if they give more than a day and a half for every day served pre-sentencing, they must explain their decision.
The Senate actually passed this legislation – Bill C-25 – back in October. But Mr. Nicholson said it is normal to wait for six months to bring crime bills into force to give provinces and territories time to adjust – an assertion that was confirmed by parliamentary experts and the opposition.
Mr. Nicholson has been critical of the Liberal-dominated Senate for being slow to pass crime bills. In fact, only five pieces of justice legislation introduced in the House of Commons during the previous session made it to the Senate. Two of them, including this one, were passed without amendment. Conservatives will have a plurality in the Senate when Parliament resumes in March.
Another 18 crime bills died at prorogation. The government can reintroduce them at the stage they were at before Parliament was prorogued but that will require the unanimous approval of the House of Commons.
And there is no assurance that opposition members, who complained loudly about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue, will agree to seeing the bills restored.
“What possible reason would they have” to delay passage of the bills? asked Mr. Nicholson.
“To say that, oh, they didn't like prorogation so they're going to start opposing bills that better protect Canadian victims and law-abiding Canadians – legislation that updates the Criminal Code of this country after over a hundred years that it has been on the books? That's a bad reason. I've got questions for them if they are just going to hold this up because they're in a snit about something here.”
Locking up innocent and guilty men in dirty overcrowded disease and drug
invested jails while awaiting trial, is punishment, severe punishment.
This is a cheap, dirty conservative trick to exercise "control" over the judiciary.
The greatest Canadian Control Freak is Mr. Stephen Harper who now wishes to tell Judges how to do their business according to the Criminal Code of Mr. Stephen Harper.
There is an old saying "lead follow or get the hell out of the road". Mr. Harper gets in the road of every other competent Canadian who does their duty to society while Mr. Harper's desire for increasing power causes him to engage in stunts that are becoming increasingly more prejudicial to Canadians while in fact, creating a great population in Criminal Universities.
2/23/2010 11:16:55 PM
"I think the Legal Aid system is what needs the most attention. Lawyers are ripping the public off big time! "
It's unfair to "Blame Lawyers", who have a collection of personalities that is as wide as any other large group in Canada.
Its also unfair to blame the entire profession for the misdeeds of just a few.
Likewise, the Harper Government wishes to reduce all jail credits for time served for the offenses of just a few criminals who get most of the news attention.
It is Canadian Politicians who are "ripping off the Public Big Time".
I'll explain the connection.
A large number of politicians, example Stockwell Day think they know something about law, and publicly shoot themselves in the foot until Mr. Harper puts masking tape on their mouths and only takes it off when they promise to repeat word for work what Mr. Harper tells them to say.
Our Politicians, "appoint judges", who are "politically selected" for being "politically correct" so that when appointed as judges they will male "political decisions" rather than legal decisions.
This attracts the worst ckumbags in Canada who once apointed as judges make decisions for their friends , against those who they don't like or those who express any opinion that they don't agree with that has absolutely nothing to do with law or the legal decision.
These same judges make "Orders for Costs", which, invariably go to lawyers employed by THEIR FORMER LAW FIRMS who often still display that judges name.
Many judges remove their name from their "old" law firm and refuse to sit on any case with the remotest of perceivable conflicts.
Others do not, they regularly flagrantly sit on cases that everyone in the court room knows is a real conflict and that it will be a corrupt decision.
The Kangaroo is not a native species of Canada but Kangaroo Courts and Kangaroo justice is.
. A politically correct decision, a simple minded very stupid decision that only makes the problem worse.
Mr. Harper, chooses cheap political tricks that are guaranteed political successes, he refrains from any political decision that might carry political liability even if it is very obviously the right decision long term for Canada. Its that short sighted approach that is disturbing.
Mr. Harper should have got rid of the corrupt Judicial Council, introduced psychological screening for judges and given them MORE discretion in making sentencing decisions after all, if they are to be entrusted with absolute power, why not make sure they qualify in the first place?
Mr. Harper is a bit like Fidel Castro, he likes to micro manage the entire business of state and its politically successful, but disastrous for the country in the long term.
Mr. Harper can fool most Canadians most of the time but not anyone who has a brain and understands the very dirty way he runs government.
He came to office, declaring an end to the corruption of government and has become even worse than what he has replaced.
What's next, transportation of those deemed to be criminals to a malaria invested island in a Banana Republic?
I would like to thank everyone who has had the courage, and devoted the time
to post their comments on this article,they are the few of the Canadian
population who are not those who are fooled most of time by Mr. Harper.
The problem is, Mr. Harper projects his party to those who he thinks will vote for him, the uneducated, the moronic bigots and those who hold radical politically correct views that are not shared by those who are educated or brought up to think for themselves.
The posts on this article are a very real reflection of those who think in Canada and it's a sad reality that these posts will have little effect on Mr. Harper's next election.
Meanwhile, Please Keep posting.