Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Good, Bad, Or It Depends?

Suggested Offences With Mandatory Minimums
CC 46-48 (Treason)
CC 83.01-83.3 (Terrorism)
CC 151-154 (child Sex Offences)
CC 229-239 (Murder, 1st degree)

The case AGAINST Mandatory Minimums
-Judges are better able to look at a case and decide what is fair
-Judges are better able to decide what would be best for the public
-Judges are not subject to the whims of the population, given their jobs are secure
-In the event of very poor rulings, they can be appealed
-Mandatory minimums are very costly to the public
-Mandatory minimums result in “social costs” to the public
-There is no general deterrence
-Politicians in general cannot be trusted to pass good laws
-Politicians take so much power anyway, a separate judiciary is necessary
-Government should stay out of people’s lives as much as possible
-Given fraud and corruption within gov’t it is hypocritical for them to be passing such laws
-Judges are best able to “make that exception” when needed
-Mandatory minimums make it hard, if not impossible to make punishment fit the crime. It always must.

Articles Cited:
Research At A Glance
Mandator Minimum Penalties
Mandatory Minimums Unfair and Expensive
PBS Special on Mandatory Minimums

The Case IN FAVOUR OF Mandatory Minimums
-Politicians can (theoretically) be thrown out, judges cannot
-Although far from perfect, public input can help draft laws
-While judges are well intended, different perspectives can lead to widely differing sentences on cases of similar facts
-Consistency is necessary in applying sentencing principles
-If bad rulings occur and are not struck down, they can create ”precedent” for future bad rulings. Having set standards eliminates that possibility
-If not mandatory minimums, then guidelines (as is also the case in US/UK)
-Some offences are so bad they “require” prison time (as mentioned, it covered offences like murder, terrorism, child sex offences)
-Of course, this is not to imply that all, or even most offences should carry mandatory minimums
-The crimes being proposed for mandatory minimums are committed so rarely, that there would be ”no dragnet” of people.
-For certain offences, the well being of society needs to trump individual rights
-The Principles of Sentencing (see below) to see a need to balance both individual rights and society’s (the group’s rights)
-Items (a), (b), (c) put societal interest first, while (d), (e), (f) put individual interest first

What Does The Law Say?

Note: the information here is not necessary to prove that mandatory minimums are necessary, but rather to explain when the rationale behind sentencing.

Also the Bill C-42 was introduced to remove so-called ”conditional sentencing” for certain offences. The rationale being, if house arrest is inadequate, the probation would be even more so. In effect, it would ”create” mandatory jail sentences (though the length not specified).

Purpose and Principles of Sentencing
Marginal note:
Purpose
718 The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to protect society and to contribute, along with crime prevention initiatives, to respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing just sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:

(a) to denounce unlawful conduct and the harm done to victims or to the community that is caused by unlawful conduct;

(b) to deter the offender and other persons from committing offences;

(c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary;

(d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders;

(e) to provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community; and

(f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgment of the harm done to victims or to the community.

Objectives — offences against children
718.01 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence that involved the abuse of a person under the age of eighteen years, it shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of such conduct.

Objectives — offence against peace officer or other justice system participant
718.02 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence under subsection 270(1), section 270.01 or 270.02 or paragraph 423.1(1)(b), the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence.

Objectives — offence against certain animals
718.03 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence under subsection 445.01(1), the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence.

Fundamental principle
718.1 A sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender.

Restrictions on Conditional Sentencting, Bill C-42

R v. Proulx (2003) for conditional sentencing

“The requirement in s. 742.1 (b) that the judge be satisfied that the safety of the community would not be endangered by the offender serving his or her sentence in the community is a condition precedent to the imposition of a conditional sentence, and not the primary consideration in determining whether a conditional sentence is appropriate. In making this determination, the judge should consider the risk posed by the specific offender, not the broader risk of whether the imposition of a conditional sentence would endanger the safety of the community by providing insufficient general deterrence or undermining general respect for the law. Two factors should be taken into account: (1) the risk of the offender re-offending; and (2) the gravity of the damage that could ensue in the event of re-offence. A consideration of the risk posed by the offender should include the risk of any criminal activity, and not be limited solely to the risk of physical or psychological harm to individuals.

Once the prerequisites of s. 742.1 are satisfied, the judge should give serious consideration to the possibility of a conditional sentence in all cases by examining whether a conditional sentence is consistent with the fundamental purpose and principles of sentencing set out in ss. 718 to 718.2. This follows from Parliament’s clear message to the judiciary to reduce the use of incarceration as a sanction.

A conditional sentence can provide significant denunciation and deterrence. As a general matter, the more serious the offence, the longer and more onerous the conditional sentence should be. There may be some circumstances, however, where the need for denunciation or deterrence is so pressing that incarceration will be the only suitable way in which to express society’s condemnation of the offender’s conduct or to deter similar conduct in the future.

Generally, a conditional sentence will be better than incarceration at achieving the restorative objectives of rehabilitation, reparations to the victim and the community, and promotion of a sense of responsibility in the offender and acknowledgment of the harm done to the victim and the community.

Where a combination of both punitive and restorative objectives may be achieved, a conditional sentence will likely be more appropriate than incarceration. Where objectives such as denunciation and deterrence are particularly pressing, incarceration will generally be the preferable sanction. This may be so notwithstanding the fact that restorative goals might be achieved. However, a conditional sentence may provide sufficient denunciation and deterrence, even in cases in which restorative objectives are of lesser importance, depending on the nature of the conditions imposed, the duration of the sentence, and the circumstances of both the offender and the community in which the conditional sentence is to be served. A conditional sentence may be imposed even where there are aggravating circumstances, although the need for denunciation and deterrence will increase in these circumstances.

No party is under a burden of proof to establish that a conditional sentence is either appropriate or inappropriate in the circumstances. The judge should consider all relevant evidence, no matter by whom it is adduced. However, it would be in the offender’s best interests to establish elements militating in favour of a conditional sentence.

Sentencing judges have a wide discretion in the choice of the appropriate sentence. They are entitled to considerable deference from appellate courts. Absent an error in principle, failure to consider a relevant factor, or an overemphasis of the appropriate factors, a court of appeal should only intervene to vary a sentence imposed at trial if the sentence is demonstrably unfit.”

R v Proulx makes a pretty compelling case in favour of “conditional sentencing” a.k.a. “house arrest”. This case is recognized and relied on when handing down sentences. Many defense lawyers argue that conditional sentencing would better serve everyone (in most cases) than physical prison.

The restrictions that came from Bill C-42, however, means that certain offences are no longer eligible for conditional sentencing. This means that Judges will have to choose jail sentences, since probation would be considered unfit.

Overall, a very interesting topic to cover.

Canada’s Bill C-46: Police Can Demand Breath Sample — 2 Hours Later

(Changes to Criminal Code, which put onus on drivers to prove they weren’t drinking 2 hours ago)

CLICK HERE, for the full text of the bill, which received Royal Assent and is now law.

Here Is Original Legislation

Operation while impaired

253 (1) Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

Marginal note:

For greater certainty
(2) For greater certainty, the reference to impairment by alcohol or a drug in paragraph (1)(a) includes impairment by a combination of alcohol and a drug.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 253; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 59;

This is reasonable enough. Let’s see what it looks like after the changes

Rationale Behind This Bill
SUMMARY

Part 1 amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to drug-impaired driving. Among other things, the amendments

(a) enact new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is equal to or higher than the permitted concentration;
(b) authorize the Governor in Council to establish blood drug concentrations; and
(c) authorize peace officers who suspect a driver has a drug in their body to demand that the driver provide a sample of a bodily substance for analysis by drug screening equipment that is approved by the Attorney General of Canada.

Part 2 repeals the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to conveyances, including those provisions enacted by Part 1, and replaces them with provisions in a new Part of the Criminal Code that, among other things,

(a) re-enact and modernize offences and procedures relating to conveyances;
(b) authorize mandatory roadside screening for alcohol;
(c) establish the requirements to prove a person’s blood alcohol concentration; and
(d) increase certain maximum penalties and certain minimum fines.

Part 3 contains coordinating amendments and the coming into force provision.

How Criminal Code Now Reads

Operation while impaired

253 (1) Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

Marginal note:

For greater certainty
(2) For greater certainty, the reference to impairment by alcohol or a drug in paragraph (1)(a) includes impairment by a combination of alcohol and a drug.
Marginal note:

Operation while impaired — blood drug concentration

(3) Subject to subsection (4), everyone commits an offence who has within two hours after ceasing to operate a motor vehicle or vessel or after ceasing to operate or to assist in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or after ceasing to have the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment

(a) a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drug that is prescribed by regulation;

(b) a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drug that is prescribed by regulation and that is less than the concentration prescribed for the purposes of paragraph (a); or

(c) a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood alcohol concentration and the blood drug concentration for the drug that are prescribed by regulation for instances where alcohol and that drug are combined.

Marginal note:

Exception
(4) No person commits an offence under subsection (3) if

(a) they consumed the drug or the alcohol or both after ceasing to operate a motor vehicle or vessel, or after ceasing to operate or assist in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment or after ceasing to have the care or control of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment; and

(b) after ceasing the activities described in paragraph (a), they had no reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of a bodily substance.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 253; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 59; 2008, c. 6, s. 18;

(3) Subject to subsection (4), everyone commits an offence who has within two hours after ceasing to operate a motor vehicle or vessel or after ceasing to operate or to assist in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or after ceasing to have the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment

Within 2 hours of driving, if they consume alcohol…. What the hell?

The burden would now be on the person to prove they weren’t drinking 2 hours ago.

This new law, will almost certainly face court/constitutional challenges. While being (perhaps) well meaning, is too broad, too easy to abuse, and evades basic principles like:
1/ presumption of innocence
2/ probable cause needed

We will keep an eye on it.

Unifor Denies Crawling Into Bed With Government

(The new release from the Federal Government)

(Not surprising, the endless pandering about the “wage gap”)

1. The Media Is Not Loyal To The Public

Truth is essential in society, but the situation in Canada is worse than people imagine. In Canada (and elsewhere), the mainstream media, periodicals, and fact-checkers are subsidized, though they deny it. Post Media controls most outlets in Canada, and many “independents” have ties to Koch/Atlas. Real investigative journalism is needed, and some pointers are provided.

2. Fall 2018 Economic Update

economic.update.2018

The good part starts on page 40 of the Update. It has to do with “Support For Canadian Journalism”

Here is the problem that the Canadian Government identifies:

In recent years, changes in technology and in the way that Canadians consume news have made it difficult for many news outlets to find and maintain financially sustainable business models. At a time when people increasingly get their news online, and share news and other content through social media, many communities have also been left without local news outlets to tell their stories. Concerns have been expressed that, without government intervention, there may be a decline in the quantity and quality of journalism available to Canadians, including a significant loss of local news coverage.

In November 2018, the Prime Minister, together with other world leaders, committed to take action to support a strong and independent news sector in the digital age. The Government recognizes the vital role that local journalism plays in communities all across the country, and is committed to finding ways to help keep people, and communities, connected through local news providers

Yes, that is correct. The Government realizes that in modern times, the old format of news (large offices and staff), has become obsolete, and financially unviable. This is particularly true in the age where anyone with a laptop and a camera can post online and gain a substantial following.

CanuckLaw itself is run on a shoestring budget, with little expenses. So yes, it is easy to sympathise with those who have had a lengthy career in media.

However, this is the new reality. Media itself is reducing the barriers to entry where literally anyone can be a contributor online. Rather than maintaining a monopoly (or near monopoly) on news, major outlets are facing strong competition from a population who can drastically undercut it. Further, these people will have no loyalty to any political party or government. This is good for a free and open media.

However, the Federal Liberals have decided that propping up the media financially is a better idea.

Access to Charitable Tax Incentives for Eligible News Organizations

Budget 2018 announced that the Government would explore new models that would enable private giving and philanthropic support for trusted, professional, non-profit journalism, including local news. To that end, the Government intends to introduce a new category of qualified donee, for non-profit journalism organizations that produce a wide variety of news and information of interest to Canadians. As qualified donees, eligible non-profit journalism organizations would be able to issue official donation receipts, which allows donors to benefit from tax incentives for charitable giving (including the Charitable Donations Tax Credit for individuals and deductions for corporations). As qualified donees, these organizations would also be eligible to receive funding from registered charities.

A New Refundable Tax Credit to Support News Organizations

To further support news journalism in Canada, the Government intends to introduce a new refundable tax credit for qualifying news organizations. This new measure will aim to support Canadian news organizations that produce a wide variety of news and information of interest to Canadians. The refundable credit will support labour costs associated with producing original news content and will generally be available to both non-profit and for-profit news organizations. An independent panel will be established from the news and journalism community to define eligibility for this tax credit, as well as provide advice on other measures. Once established, the effective date of the refundable tax credit will be set for January 1, 2019.

A New Non-Refundable Tax Credit for Subscriptions to Canadian Digital News Media

To support Canadian digital news media organizations in achieving a more financially sustainable business model, the Government intends to introduce a new temporary, non-refundable 15-per-cent tax credit for qualifying subscribers of eligible digital news media. In total, the proposed access to tax incentives for charitable giving, refundable tax credit for labour costs and non-refundable tax credit for subscriptions will cost the federal government an estimated $595 million over the next five years. Additional details on these measures will be provided in Budget 2019

Yes, the government will be spending about $595 million over 5 years, $119 million annually, to prop up dying media outlets.

The story is explained by Candice Malcolm, but in a nutshell, Unifor, the union which represents — among others — 13,000 media workers, is officially committing to opposing the Federal Conservative Party.

This of course raises a huge red flag. A union that will be taking $120 million/year to subsidise failing media outlets is officially opposing the government’s main opposition party.

In fact, this arguably violates the Conflict of Interest Act. A political party using their power to award public funds to an industry, namely media, who can promote their interests.

3. Conflict Of Interest

4 For the purposes of this Act, a public office holder is in a conflict of interest when he or she exercises an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives or friends or to improperly further another person’s private interests.
Marginal note:

General duty
5 Every public office holder shall arrange his or her private affairs in a manner that will prevent the public office holder from being in a conflict of interest.
Marginal note:

Decision-making
6 (1) No public office holder shall make a decision or participate in making a decision related to the exercise of an official power, duty or function if the public office holder knows or reasonably should know that, in the making of the decision, he or she would be in a conflict of interest.

It sounds harsh. However, from the literal wording in the Conflict of Interest Act, the subsides and political allegiance do appear to violate it.

4. Interview With Howard Law Of Unifor

On Friday, November 23, Unifor representative Howard Law did return a phone call for an interview. Here is a summary of that interview.

(a) The subsidies are meant to keep jobs from being lost, and to prop up sections of the media that are becoming unviable with technology changes.
(b) There is no deal of any kind to provide favourable coverage to any political party.
(c) Unifor, the union, promotes progressive causes all the time. They do not oppose any party because of financial considerations like what people suggest here.
(d) The media workers will continue to operate objectively.

While Mr. Law’s comments are reasonable on the surface, there is still no question that this at least appears to be a form of bribery. Governments handing millions of dollars to a friendly media reeks of propaganda and corruption.

But for now we will wait and see what comes of this.

Canada’s Private Members’ Bills: Pandering on Your Dime

(All of the Canadian Parliament’s Bills are online)

Are you concerned about your tax dollars being wasted? Do you suspect that parliament is doing nothing productive? Uncertain about the endless pandering on your dime? Well, let me tell you …

…you are exactly right about that.

Let’s take a stroll through the index of pending legislation for this 42nd session of Parliament, and see exactly what our honourable Members of Parliament have been up to. Examples of some of the “less urgent” matters to be discussed. Here are some of the honourable mentions.

CLICK HERE to get a good look at all of the: (1) Government; (2) Private Member; and (3) Senate bills of the 42nd session of parliament.

(1) CLICK HERE, for bill C-210, a bill to ensure a gender-neutral national anthem. Royal Assent February 7, 2018.

(2) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-216, to designate October 15 as National Perinatal Bereavement Awareness Day. First reading.

(3) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-231, to establish a National Food Waste Awareness Day. First Reading.

(4) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-237, Gender Equity in Elections. First Reading.

(5) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-306, establishing May 18 as Crimean Tatar Deportation Awareness Day. First Reading.

(6) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-309, to designate the 4th week of Sepember as Gender Equality Week. Royal Assent June 21, 2018.

(7) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-317, to designate October as Hispanic Heritage Month. First Reading.

(8) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-318, to designate June 2nd as Indian Residential School Reconciliation and Memorial Day.

(9) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-361, to make National Aboriginal Day an official holiday.

(10) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-376, to designate April as Sikh Heritage Month. Third Reading.

(11) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-386, to make September 30 Orange Shirt Day: A Day for Truth and Reconciliation. First Reading.

(12) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-391, an act to develop a strategy for repatriating Aboriginal remains. Second reading.

(13) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-393, to exempt Quebec from the National Multiculturalism Act. Actually, this one makes sense. First reading.

(14) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-403, to designate November as Diabetes Awareness Month. First reading.

(15) CLICK HERE, for Bill C-416, to designate October as Hindu Heritage Month. First reading.

(16) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-215, to raise the penalties (or at least consider it an aggravating factor), if the victim of a crime is an Aboriginal woman. Third reading.

(17) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-218, to designate October as Latin American Heritage Month. Royal assent June 21, 2018.

(18) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-222, to advance Canada’s linguistic plurality. First reading.

(19) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-232, to establish May as Canadian Jewish Heritage Month. Royal Assent March 29, 2018.

(20) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-241, to designate February 21 as International Mother Language Day. First Reading.

(21) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-244, to designate the 3rd week of February as Kindness Week.

(22) CLICK HERE, for Bill S-255, designating August 1 as Emancipation Day.

To Summarise Our New “Days” and “Months”
February (3rd Week) – Kindness Week
February 21 -International Mother Language Day
April – Sikh Heritage Month
May – Canadian Jewish Heritage Month
May 18 – Crimean Tatar Deportation Awareness Day
June 2 – Indian Residential School Reconciliation and Memorial Day
June 21 – National Aboriginal Day
August 1 – Emancipation day
September (4th week) – Gender Equality Week
September 30 – Orange Shirt Day, a Day For Truth and reconciliation
October 15 – National Perinatal Bereavement Awareness Day
October- Hindu Heritage Month
October – Latin American Heritage Month
November – Diabetes Awareness Month

Looks like the calendar is about to become a lot more full. Good thing there aren’t REAL ISSUES that could be discussed.

More to come, but this article strictly dealt with “pandering” bills.

Poly #2: Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr

(Kelowna-Lake Country M.P. Stephen Fuhr)

It would be nice to actually talk to a government M.P. Kelowna-Lake Country M.P. Stephen Fuhr is not too far from here. With the ongoing matters, particularly with the Canada Post legislation, he has been away from home. Anyway, this was done to gain information on 5 topics

(a) Bill C-71 (firearms)
(b) Bill C-75 (criminal code)
(c) Bill C-76 (elections)
(d) UN Global Migration Compact
(e) Supply Management

I did email him 5 questions. Questions are in regular text, answers are in bold/italics:

Hello

I had some some questions/concerns about some policies that were ongoing

(1) This Bill C-71, if what I read is right, it looks like re-establishing a gun registry. Is that the case?

With regards to your first question on Bill C-71, the government has been clear we would not re-instate the national long gun registry and have kept that commitment. C-71 fulfills our government’s campaign promise to address gun control and to take action to combat criminal gun and gang violence.

As a result Bill C-71 will make five important changes:

First, it will enhance background checks. It will remove a five-year limitation so an applicant’s full record is considered, helping ensure that those with history of violent or criminal behaviour, or mental illness associated with violence, can’t get a firearms licence.

Second, C-71 will require all sellers to confirm that a buyer’s licence is valid before the purchase of any firearm, including a rifle or shotgun. Oddly, that’s currently voluntary under the law, and only mandatory for restricted and prohibited firearms. While many still ask, by law retailers only need to have “no reason to believe” the buyer does not have a valid licence.

To be clear, it’s the buyer’s license, not the firearm, that’s being verified. This is not a long gun-registry: no information about the firearm is exchanged.
Third, the legislation will help police investigate gun-related crimes by requiring stores to maintain records of their sales, as was the case in Canada from 1979 until 1995 (and in the United States since 1968). Most already do so for safety and liability reasons, and because it affects their insurance.

Store records are private, not accessible to governments, but police would be able to gain access given reasonable grounds and with judicial authorization as appropriate. These records will help police trace guns discovered at a crime scene and detect trafficking.

Fourth, the bill will ensure the accurate and consistent classification of firearms by RCMP experts in accordance with the technical criteria in the Criminal Code. It repeals Cabinet’s existing authority to overrule RCMP determinations, taking political considerations out of the process.

Fifth, C-71 will bolster community safety in relation to the most dangerous firearms by requiring specific authorizations whenever restricted or prohibited guns (mostly handguns and assault weapons) are moved through the community—except between a residence and an approved shooting range. The rules for transporting non-restricted firearms (such as rifles and shotguns) will not change.

Separately, and in addition, the Government has also taken action to help combat criminal gun and gang violence committing up to $327.6 million over five years, and $100 million annually thereafter, to help support a variety of initiatives to help communities reduce criminal gun and gang crime.

(2) Bill C-75, making terrorism a summary offence? How can that be?

Bill C-75 is a substantive response to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) July 2016 decision in R v Jordan, which called on all those within the justice system to work together to address the issue of court delays.

As you may know, the failure of the judicial system to be able to provide justice in a timely manner has resulted in some serious cases being stayed, which many would argue does not make communities feel safer.

Following the decision in Jordan, federal-provincial-territorial ministers and officials collaborated to work on solutions to address delays in the criminal justice system. This bill is intended to bring about a culture shift within the criminal justice system, something the Supreme Court in the 2016 Jordan decision has stressed is required. As the criminal justice system is shared by all levels of government, accordingly, many of the reforms proposed in this legislation reflect collaborative efforts to address court delays, and have been identified as priorities by federal, provincial, and territorial Justice Ministers.

With regard to the legislation and certain offences, it is important for Canadians to know that in deeming certain offences as hybrid offences, the offence remains an indictable offence unless the Crown elects to proceed by way of summary conviction.

In undertaking the Government’s Criminal Justice System Review, the Minister of Justice and her Parliamentary Secretary held Canada-wide roundtable discussions in every province and territory with justice system partners and interested parties. Participants also included victim advocates, restorative justice proponents, representatives of front-line community support systems, and importantly, representatives from areas such as health and mental health, housing, and other social support systems. In these meetings, participants raised pressing issues about the criminal justice system.

With this legislation, our Government is taking an important step forward to act on what we heard and create a criminal justice system that is just, compassionate, and timely and reflects the needs and expectations of all Canadians

(3) Bill C-76, getting rid of voter ID requirements….? Again, hoping that I am reading this wrong

On the issue of voter identification and Bill C-76, the bill will reintroduce the Voter Information Card as a piece of identification someone can use when they vote. We encourage you read the following Baloney Meter article which provides more information on the importance of the Voter Identification Card: https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/baloney-meter-is-voter-information-card-a-doorway-to-electoral-fraud-1.3933707 .

(4) Also, there is the UN global migration compact that I keep hearing about. Why the heck would we even consider giving our sovereignty to the UN?

With regards to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, there is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding this issue and we wish to dispel the myth that Canada’s borders are open; our borders are secure, ensuring an orderly migration system that protects the safety of Canadians while respecting our international obligations to legitimate asylum seekers.

In light of your concerns, we encourage you to read the following column written by our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Minister of International Development, and Canada’s UNHCR Representative: https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/why-canada-will-lead-the-charge-on-the-uns-global-refugee-plan/ .

Canada has a longstanding history of welcoming refugees and people in need from around the world, including some of the world’s most vulnerable people trapped in often unsafe or violent situations in their home country that are outside of their control. As the number of displaced persons reaches unprecedented levels, the Government of Canada remains committed to upholding its humanitarian tradition to resettle refugees and offer protection to those in need.

(5) When NAFTA was getting renegociated, Trump made comments about how our dairy industry is rigged to prevent competition. Is this true, and doesn’t that violate the principle of free trade? It’s infuriating that my food costs twice what it should

Finally, with regard to your question about supply management and the cost of dairy products for Canadian consumers, our dairy industry sustains 221,000 Canadian jobs and contributes $19.9 billion to our GDP and for that reason the government remains committed to maintaining Canada’s supply management system. That being said, through Canada’s commitments under the WTO, CETA, CPTPP, and USMCA, Canadian farmers and processors maintain approximately 90% of the Canadian dairy market, while foreign dairy suppliers will have the opportunity to compete for a share of the Canadian market equivalent to approximately 10% of Canadian milk production. In this way we support our farmers and processors, maintain consumer confidence that the dairy products they consume are made in Canada, while giving consumers more choice through a more competitive market place.

Some clarity on these would be nice.

Thanks
Alex

Thank you again for writing to Mr. Fuhr. We trust that this information will be useful in addressing your concerns.

Sincerely,

The Office of Stephen Fuhr, CD, MP

Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country
Room 313 Justice Bldg.| Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0A6
Email: stephen.fuhr@parl.gc.ca
Tel: 613.992.7006 | Fax: 613.992.7636

While Mr. Fuhr did send a lengthy email back, there were some positives and negatives. Regarding the UN Compact, I was directed an article the Immigration Minister submitted to Maclean’s magazine.

It is nice to get information straight from the source, but the article reads like a puff piece, that glosses over many legitimate questions about the compact. Indeed, for such a project to even be considered, a lot of details need to be worked out and then disclosed. Here is my followup email to Mr. Fuhr’s office (in italics).

Note: If and when a response ever comes, it will be posted in its entirety.

Hello,

Yes, it was informative, in some sense. But with regards to the UN global migration pact, I actually found the content of the Macleans article to be more alarming.

(1) The immigration minister keeps referring to ”refugees”, yet the UN compact keeps referring to ”migrants”. This seems to be a blurring of the lines here. Are we taking refugees, or migrants? Further, how many do you plan to take?

(2) As with people coming across the border from New York and Minnesota, Hussan got offended at the notion these were ”economic migrants”, calling it ”divisive”. However, once you travel from one safe country to another, then they are in fact economic migrants. It is an accurate description.

(3) Europe, in particular, Germany and Angela Merkel, has had lots of problems with this issue since 2015. How would this be different?

(4) There seems to be little mention in the UN compact of assimilating to the host culture.

(5) There is no real mention in the UN compact of screening or background checks. Ibrahim Ali rings a bell.

(6) There is no mention of how the host country would meet these costs.

(7) While the Macleans article referenced work and entrepenuership, the UN compact makes little mention of work or self-sustaining. Would Canada expect they work, or is it welfare?

(8) The Macleans article promotes Middle East/Africa as locations. However, given treatment of women/LGBTQ, as well as FGM, honour killings, etc…. in those locations, how can we ensure the safety of Canadians?

(9) What health measures are in place to prevent any possible infectious diseases? There is always that risk from any foreign travel.

(10) As for sovereignty, are we in control of our country, or does the UN call the shots?

Far from being re-assuring, the lack of detail in the compact, and from the immigration minister make me wonder what exactly we are getting into. Does this not cause concern that we are signing over our sovereignty for something so vague?

Alex

At the time of publication, this followup had been sent to his office 5 days prior. Again, any response will be posted. And if he agrees to a telephone or in person meeting, the full content will be disclosed.

Canada’s Bill C-76 (Vouch Voting, No I.D. Necessary)

(Voting is critical to a democracy, but there must be safeguards)


The full text for UN Global Migration Compact is RIGHT HERE.

Please sign this: PETITION E-1906 CLICK HERE


Bill C-76 is now getting its third reading in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

For some additional reading and context, this article covers citizenship and criminality for voting, while this article covers voter ID laws. They cover Canada/US/UK/Australia/New Zealand.

Cased in this omnibus bill, C-76 (which Liberals claim they hated while in opposition), is this, which waters down the requirements to vote legally in a Canadian election. From the summary:

The enactment also amends the Act to modernize voting services, facilitate enforcement and improve various aspects of the administration of elections and of political financing. Among other things that it does in this regard, the enactment….
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(d) authorizes the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with information about permanent residents and foreign nationals for the purpose of updating the Register of Electors;
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(e) removes the prohibition on the Chief Electoral Officer authorizing the notice of confirmation of registration (commonly known as a “voter information card”) as identification;
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(f) replaces, in the context of voter identification, the option of attestation for residence with an option of vouching for identity and residence;
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(g) removes the requirement for electors’ signatures during advance polls, changes procedures for the closing of advance polls and allows for counting ballots from advance polls one hour before the regular polls close;
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(h) replaces the right or obligation to take an oath with a right or obligation to make a solemn declaration, and streamlines the various declarations that electors may have the right or obligation to make under specific circumstances;

Yes, this is what is seems. (e) allows for Voter ID cards to be used as actual ID; (f) without ID, you can just sign an attestation or have somebody vouch for you; (g) means no signatures necessary in advance polling; (h) No oath needed after all?!

Rebutting those claims:
Leftist and social justice types claim that having strict voter ID laws is discrimination, as it makes it harder for poor people, and disadvantaged groups to get their voices heard. These disadvantaged people don’t often have proper ID or paperwork. They also claim that there is no evidence of “voter fraud”, despite what more right leaning people claim. However, these assertions are easily debunked.

(1) How is it discrimination to ensure that everyone voting has photo identification. There is no discrimination for the simple reason that everyone gets treated the same.

(2) Everyone who is a citizen of Canada or a legal resident has some sort of paper trail. They have a birth certificate (if born in Canada), or a citizenship card (if immigrated legally). However, if someone in the country illegally was trying to vote, then they wouldn’t have “documentation”.

(3) Everyone legally in the country is able to get photo ID, and to imply they are unable to is condescending. This seems like a ruse to make it easier for non-citizens to vote.

(4) There is the rebuttal that there are no documented cases of voter fraud. However, if the person is “undocumented”, then there would be no documentation of fraud. Bizarrely, lefties are actually correct about this.

(5) If, as they claim, large groups are unable to get valid photo identification for years on end, should they really be making decisions on the future of the country?

Now, for some of the revisions in the bill:


ORIGINAL

Alternative proof of residence

143(3) An elector who proves his or her identity by providing two pieces of identification of a type authorized under subsection (2.1) that establish the elector’s name may instead prove his or her residence by taking an oath in writing in the prescribed form — the form including the statement that he or she has received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(1) — if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling division who

(a) proves their own identity and residence to the deputy returning officer and poll clerk by providing the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), respectively; and

(b) attests to the elector’s residence on oath in writing in the prescribed form, the form including the statements that

(i) they have received the oral advice set out in subsection 143.1(2),
(ii) they know the elector personally,
(iii) they know that the elector resides in the polling division,
(iv) they have not attested to the residence of another elector at the election, and
(v) their own residence has not been attested to by another elector at the election.

REPLACEMENT

Subsection 143(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Solemn declaration
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(3) An elector may instead prove his or her identity and residence by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing if he or she is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling station and who
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(a) provides the election officer referred to in subsection (1) with the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph (2)‍(a) or (b), respectively; and
(b) vouches for the elector by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(2) in writing.


ORIGINAL

Name and address corresponding closely to another
146 If a name and address in the list of electors correspond so closely with the name and address of a person who demands a ballot as to suggest that it is intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes the prescribed oath.

Person in whose name another has voted
147 If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she takes an oath in writing in the prescribed form. The form is to state the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of requesting a second ballot at an election contrary to section 7 or of applying for a ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 167(1)(a).

Name crossed off list in error
148 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector takes the oath referred to in section 147 in writing.

Failure to prove identity or residence
148.1 (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to take an oath otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote

REPLACEMENT

Sections 146 to 148.‍1 of the Act are replaced by the following:

Name and address corresponding closely to another
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146 If the name and address of a person who asks for a ballot do not appear in the list of electors but a different name and address in that list correspond so closely as to suggest that they are intended to refer to that person, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes a solemn declaration in the prescribed form.
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Person in whose name another has voted
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147 (1) If a person asks for a ballot at a polling station after someone else has voted under that person’s name, the person shall not be allowed to vote unless he or she makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing.
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Requirement before making solemn declaration
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(2) An election officer shall, before the person makes the solemn declaration, advise the person in writing of the penalty that may be imposed under this Act on a person who is found guilty of voting or attempting to vote more than once contrary to section 281.‍5 or of requesting or applying for a ballot or special ballot in a name that is not his or her own contrary to paragraph 281.‍7(1)‍(a).
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Name crossed off list in error
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148 If an elector claims that his or her name has been crossed off in error from an official list of electors under subsection 176(2) or (3), the elector shall not be allowed to vote unless the returning officer verifies that the elector’s name was crossed off in error or the elector makes the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.‍1(1) in writing.
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Failure to prove identity or residence
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148.‍1 (1) An elector who fails to prove his or her identity and residence in accordance with section 143 or to make a solemn declaration otherwise required by this Act shall not receive a ballot or be allowed to vote.
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When elector refuses to make solemn declaration
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(2) If an elector refuses to make a solemn declaration on the ground that he or she is not required to do so under this Act, the elector may appeal to the returning officer. If, after consultation with the election officer in whose opinion the elector is required to make the solemn declaration, the returning officer decides that the elector is not required to make it, and if the elector is entitled to vote in the polling division, the returning officer shall direct that he or she be allowed to do so.


The bill goes on and on. Rather than go through the entire document, here is the takeaway:

The federal government, under the guise of “inclusivity” is watering down the requirements to vote. Demanding photo ID is a necessary step to ensure: (1) that the people voting are who they say they are; (2) that they have the right to vote in an election; (3) that they are not voting multiple times.

This requirement is not excessive, or an unreasonable thing to ask. However, it is an essential step in ensuring the fairness and accuracy of our elections.

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