Ottawa – Hon. Kevin Sorenson, Member of Parliament for Battle River-Crowfoot, stood firm in his opposition to Bill C-75 after it passed third reading in the House of Commons before being sent to the Senate for debate.
“I have received hundreds of emails, calls, and letters from constituents opposed to this ill-conceived piece of legislation which downgrades many serious offences listed in the Criminal Code as strictly indictable,” said Sorenson.
“I cannot accept that a person convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm or other horrific crimes could, through a summary conviction, spend only two years less a day in prison or worse yet, receive a monetary fine.”
In early Spring, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-75, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other acts and to make consequential amendments to other acts. According to the justice minister, the stated objective of this omnibus bill was to reduce delays in the justice system in response to R. v. Jordan. This court ruling imposed strict time limits on criminal cases to address the thousands of trials across Canada that have been stayed, including charged murderers, for going over the imposed time limits.
Conservative MPs have taken great exception to the part of the legislation which turns a number of serious offences, currently classified as indictable offences, and as such punishable by a maximum penalty of ten years, into hybrid offences. Hybrid offences can be proceeded in court as either an indictable offence or a summary offence. Summary offences are tried by a judge only, are usually less serious offences, and are punishable by either a maximum of up to two years less a day in prison or a fine. These hybrid offences will now include, but are not limited to: causing bodily harm by criminal negligence; impaired driving causing bodily harm; participation in activities of criminal organizations; and abduction of person under the age of 14.
“We tried to have these and other serious offences kept strictly as indictable offences. We did have one small success in having a couple of terrorism related offences not hybridized,” stated Sorenson.
“The Liberals however ignored us and Canadians from all across this country including many of my constituents. As a result, the protection of society will be jeopardized. I urge all those opposed to Bill C-75 to let Senators know how they feel. Hopefully, they will listen,” concluded Sorenson.
For more information contact MP Sorenson at 613-947-4608.