Bill C-75 Letter
Earlier this spring, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-75, a 300 page piece of legislation that proposes to make sweeping changes to the Criminal Code. I am writing to express my concerns about a number of these changes. While I support in principle several sections of the bill (in particular the intimate partner violence reforms), I am nevertheless deeply troubled by the government’s proposal to make numerous indictable offences eligible for a summary conviction. Essentially, the bill proposes to allow summary convictions as a possible prosecutorial option for crimes that were previously indictable offences. This means that crimes traditionally punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment could be reduced to a mere fine. Upon examination of the bill, I was dismayed by the wide variety of serious crimes that Bill C-75 proposes to make eligible for more lenient sentencing.
This list includes, but is not limited to: leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist group, participation in activity of a terrorist group, prison breach, obstruction or violence against an officiating member of the clergy, impaired driving causing bodily harm, abduction of a child under the age of 14, forced marriage, arson for a fraudulent purpose, material benefit from trafficking, and advocating genocide. I think most Canadians would agree that the mere possibility of a summary conviction for these heinous crimes is unsupportable. To make matters worse, C-75 also proposes to stall the implementation of consecutive sentences for human trafficking, as well as to weaken the victim surcharge introduced by our Conservative government.
Over the course of my career, I have made a concerted effort to ensure that the best interest of victims and law abiding citizens remains at the forefront of our justice system. Legislation such as Bill C-75 runs contrary to this notion. Not only does it prioritize criminals; it also has the potential of seriously weakening public trust and confidence in our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, although I did have the opportunity to address some of my problems with the bill in the House of Commons, the Liberal government has prematurely and unilaterally closed debate on this subject.
Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns regarding Bill C-75. Should you share my distress about this legislation, I encourage you to share this letter and make your voice heard by contacting the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (please see contact information below).
The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
House of Commons
Center Block Suite 441S
Once again, I thank you for your time and for your attention to this serious matter.
The Hon. Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P
Niagara Falls- Fort Erie- Niagara-on-the-Lake