From drive-by shootings, to gang violence, to random assault; the friends and family of victims of crime understand first-hand how the protection of Canadians requires constant vigilance.  We cannot afford to take the security of law-abiding families for granted.

In July 2011, Statistics Canada released a report showing that 2.1 million crimes were reported in Canada last year.  That’s 2.1 million crimes too many.

On May 2, Canadians gave Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government a strong mandate to continue working for safer streets in communities from coast to coast to coast.  And that’s exactly what we’re doing.  Since taking office, we’ve improved sentencing, put more police officers on our streets, and delivered better tools for our justice system to fight crime.  Now, our Government is taking action to do more.

Before the last session of Parliament concluded, we reintroduced and passed some important legislation that delivers for the safety of Canadians and their families.

Our Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act – also known as mega-trials legislation – became law.  When there are numerous charges against multiple accused and a need to call many witnesses, mega-trials can take up a lot time, money and court resources.  This new law will give our justice system the tools needed to stop the waste and delays when administering mega-trials.

We also reintroduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act.  This law will help to ensure the safety of Canadian communities by cracking down on individuals who commit the illegal act of smuggling vulnerable migrants into our country.

In addition, our Government has asked for the public’s help in identifying 30 individuals accused of being complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity.  These individuals have attempted to remain in the shadows of Canada’s legal system for too long.  Canadians may visit the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) website for more information.

Since our Government publicized the names and photos of these individuals, CBSA’s Border Watch line has had tips pouring in, which has resulted in the apprehension of five individuals.

Moving forward, our Conservative Government will also stay true to its pledge made during the 2011 campaign.  This coming fall, we will table our comprehensive law and order legislation that we committed to passing within 100 parliamentary sitting days following the election.

This bundle of legislation includes action to crack down on organized drug crime, and end house arrest for serious and violent criminals.  It will establish tougher sentences for sexual offences against children, and strengthen the handling of violent and repeat young offenders.  Furthermore, it will give police the tools they need to investigate and prevent acts of terrorism.

These are extremely important pieces of legislation that help to protect society and hold criminals accountable.  In addition to this bundle of legislation, we will also re-introduce laws to end the failed and wasteful long-gun registry once and for all.

In a perfect world, Canadians and their families would never have to worry about their safety at work, at school, or at play.  But the Statistics Canada report proves that we live in a society with threats to our well-being.  Our Conservative Government wants to ensure our justice system puts the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadians ahead of the rights of criminals.  One victim is one victim too many.

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