“This legislation is long overdue,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “As I stood and voted for our Safe Streets and Communities Act, my thoughts turned to a young Barry’s Bay girl and her horrible, brutal, senseless murder. The thought that her murderer was never publically identified and back on the streets after only 3 years, the result of a flawed justice system, outraged the entire Bay community. Today’s vote was long overdue.”

First introduced as legislation on May 16, 2007, until Canadians elected a strong, stable majority Conservative Government, the Opposition in Parliament was determined to pursue their policy of being soft on crime and the people who commit those offences.

“One of the priorities that I ran on during the spring election was the safety of Canadian families and the communities we live in,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP. “Promised in our election platform to be passed within the first 100 sitting days of Parliament, just like my promise to abolish the long-gun registry, promise made, promise kept!”

The Safe Streets and Communities Act includes comprehensive reforms that had been debated during the previous session, but never became law.  The components of the Act include:

  • increased penalties for sexual offences against children,
  • tougher sentences for organized drug crime,
  • Sébastien’s law: to better protect the public from violent and repeat young offenders,
  • ending house arrest for serious crimes,
  • providing victims with the right to attend parole hearings,
  • eliminating pardons for serious crimes,
  • additional discretion for the Minister of Public Safety when considering the return of Canadian offenders from abroad,
  • increased accountability for victims of terrorism, and
  • increased protection for vulnerable immigrants from human trafficking and exploitation.

“Our Government received a strong mandate to keep working for safety of Canadians and their families. Canadians can count on our Government’s commitment to standing up for the rights of victims ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.

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