Letter – Crime bill is sinister for Canadians

I am a 31-year-old female, and I am Canadian. I didn't vote for Stephen Harper

Crime bill is sinister for Canadians

I am a 31-year-old female, and I am Canadian. I didn’t vote for Stephen Harper’s sinister government, and neither did the majority of Canadians. Their agenda is against the best interests of Canadians in terms of so many things, but in particular I am thinking of civil liberties, the environment and their cruel crime bill that is being pushed through into law.

Fact: The Omnibus Crime Bill is a proven failure. Conservative Texans are warning us not to follow a failed fill-the-prisons approach to justice, and the Canadian Bar Association, representing 37,000 Canadian legal professionals, has said the Bill “would move Canada along a road that has failed in other countries, at great expense.”

Fact: Mandatory sentences backfire. They take precious resources from crime prevention programs and rehabilitation, and turn minor offenders into hardened criminals.

Fact: The Crime Bill will make inequality worse. It’s not tough on crime, it’s tough on Canadians suffering from mental illness, addictions and poverty. It targets youth for harsher punishments, and it will put more Aboriginal people in prison.

Fact: The Crime Bill threatens valuable programs. Mandatory sentences will clog the justice system and fill prisons, forcing the provinces, who pay for most of our justice system, to raise taxes, increase debt, or cut spending on essential programs like health and education.

Fact: To reduce crime we should focus on what’s already working — prevention and rehabilitation — and address the major causes of crime by reducing inequality and supporting people who need help.

Rosemary Bockner,Victoria

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