Protecting Canadians and their families

Law abiding Canadian families deserve the peace of mind that violent, dangerous and sexual offenders are prevented from committing further crimes.

  • Aug. 27, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Law abiding Canadian families deserve the peace of mind that violent, dangerous and sexual offenders are prevented from committing further crimes.  While there are some politicians and academics who try to say that there is no problem, Canadians say they were feeling less safe than they once did. 

 The federal Conservative government believes that the biggest part of the problem is that criminals are, quite simply, not being held accountable for their crimes.  Holding people accountable for the choices they make must be the first, and most important, step in fighting crime.

 That is why our Conservative government passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act which puts in place tough new rules that ensure that gun criminals, impaired drivers, violent and sexual offenders serve tougher sentences for their crimes.  Now, we are taking the next step to protect families by introducing a new tool that will help authorities track dangerous criminals even after their time behind bars is complete. 

 Under this new pilot program, violent and sexual offenders will be required to wear special electronic tracking bracelets which will broadcast their location to corrections officers and local police forces.  This will enable authorities to monitor high-risk offenders at all times.  Should a former convict tamper with their bracelet, break a curfew, or engage in a high risk activity like going near a school, the local police will know about it so they can, if necessary, intervene quickly. 

 This is just the latest example of how the Conservative government is putting the rights of victims and law abiding families ahead of criminals.  For 13 years, Canadians had to cope with a Liberal Party crime policy that put a priority on the rights of offenders and refused to hold criminals accountable for their acts.

 As the Official Opposition, Stéphane Dion’s Liberal Party has done nothing to help advance the Tackling Violent Crime Act and they have used every dirty trick in the book to delay and obstruct passage of legislation that has been sent to the Standing Committee on Justice for review.  They continue to back house arrest for property crimes – including auto theft.

 Liberals have gone so far as to suggest more soccer fields and hip-hop studios would help combat youth crime.  It’s no wonder a former Liberal attorney-general from Ontario said the federal Liberals’ attitudes towards crime were “stuck in the summer of love.”  Under Stéphane Dion, Canadian families would be less secure and less safe.

 Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is currently holding meetings across Canada on proposed changes to the Young Offenders Act.  He pledged to be tough, but fair.  The new legislation will respect the rights of the accused.  It will not, however, allow those rights to take precedence over community safety, the needs of victims or the rights of law-abiding citizens.

 While Stéphane Dion and the Liberals remain out-of-touch with the real concerns of law-abiding families, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government will always do whatever it takes to keep Canadian families safe.

 Please contact my Constituency office for assistance on these or any federally related matters, postage free, at: #6, 4612 – 50th Street, Ponoka, T4J 1S7; tel: 403-783-5530; toll free: 1-800-665-0865 or visit my web site: www.blainecalkinsmp.ca.