Fighting back against Harper's omnibus crime bill

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Unionist
Fighting back against Harper's omnibus crime bill

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Unionist

Continued and expanded from [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/manitobans-rally-against-harper-crime-b....

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Quebec+minister+challenges+senator+o... Justice Minister challenges senator over anti-crime bill[/url]

Quote:
Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier issued a challenge Wednesday to Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, after the Conservative senator said Quebec is “soft on crime,” to come up with scientific evidence that Ottawa’s proposal for stiffer sentences will work better. [...]

The Quebec minister objects that changes in C-10 to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, to treat some young offenders as adults, would undo Quebec’s practice of counselling and rehabilitating minors who commit crimes so they do not become repeat offenders.

[...]

Fournier has proposed to federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson amendments to C-10 that would allow Quebec to continue with its approach to young offenders, and Fournier says he will be sending Nicholson more proposed amendments next week.

But he said Nicholson has not been in contact with him. [...]

While Fournier is opposed to tough measures against first offenders, he expressed frustration that Nicholson has ignored a request he made to toughen sentences for repeat impaired driving offenders.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The HarperCons appear to be running roughshod like a steamroller over all and any opposition, with a view to crushing dissent.

Whoa! I'd better cut down on the coffee today.

Unionist

This is really unfortunate - the federal NDP had better get on track fast. Maybe name Françoise Boivin as interim leader?

Grits side with Quebec in crime bill spat with Feds

Read it and weep.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
laine lowe laine lowe's picture

They intend to pass this omnibus bill before midnight. They have imposed a 5 min. per party review of each clause in order to speed up the process.

Is it just me, or is this not a piece of legislation that cries for a filibuster move?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Or at least some F-bombs from Pat Martin! Laughing

Unionist

But I thought I just saw a headline on RDI saying they had relented under pressure from the NDP and would not impose closure!? Gotta look around now...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

If the provinces are on the hook for 90% of the price of this fascist legislation,they should be able to VETO federal bills.

I hope the provinces do not give an inch to this.

On the other hand,Quebec's dormant sovereignist movement may actually have REAL issues besides language to sell and package another referendum.

King Stephen already recognized Quebec as a 'nation within Canada'

Time for Quebec to act like a nation and use this piece of legislation for what it really is---toilet paper.

Unionist

A study in contrasts:

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/07/grand-chiefs-want-to-halt-pms-crime... Grand Chiefs want to halt PM's crime bill[/url]

Quote:
The Grand Chiefs said the bill will negatively impact First Nations when it comes to sentencing, post-sentencing and youth criminal justice.

[url=http://todaysndp.ca/news/memo-mcfadyen-harper-won-majority]From the Manitoba NDP's campaign material, in September:[/url]

Quote:
Stephen Harper’s new crime bill is a good start, but there’s more to do. Greg Selinger and Today’s NDP will continue to push the federal government to create a new stand-alone criminal offence for car-jackings, home invasions, gang recruitment and knife crimes.

 

Gaian

Perhaps someone has come across something that Niki Ashton has had to say about the bill in Parliament? Is she not consulting the Grand Chiefs?

pcml

The Liberals have now made it # 4 for their convention

 http://convention.liberal.ca/justice/117-legalize-and-regulate-marijuana/

And now even Senator Claude Nolin is piping up !

 http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20111216/nolin-opposes-crime-bill-111216/ 

 

Bravo !

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

First off,kudos to Nolin..A REAL Progressive Conservative.

Secondly,if the Libs are serious about decriminalization,I would seriously consider voting for them next election.

Why the hell doesn't the Libs and NDP finally merge?...Bring in the Bloc and Greens as well....At this point,it's the only shot of defeating the Cons.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The next election is four years away. Lots of time to forge the NDP into a real contender for power. If the other parties want to move to the NDP, no problem, eh?

Sineed

Boom Boom wrote:

The HarperCons appear to be running roughshod like a steamroller over all and any opposition, with a view to crushing dissent.

Whoa! I'd better cut down on the coffee today.

If coffee increases opposition to the Conservative agenda, then it should be double-doubles for everybody!

This is from a few wks ago, but it's pertinent:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/quebec-justice-minister-sa...

Quote:
Both Ontario and Quebec are balking at paying the costs associated with the federal government's new crime bill, joining other provincial and opposition politicians worried about the tab for expanding the prison system.

I don't know how this would work logistically, however. I mean, firstly, can Ontario and Quebec simply ignore federal legislation? And also, how do they make Ottawa pay? When people are arrested and going to trial, the costs are entirely borne by the provinces. Convicts only go to federal prisons if they are sentenced to two years or more.

This opposition sounds nice, and I cheered when I heard it. But I don't see how it can work.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Isn't Quebec a 'nation within Canada'?

Wouldn't 'nationhood' mean full control over domestic policies?

Quebec has a legal leg to cop out of this bill.

 

Unionist

Sineed wrote:

I don't know how this would work logistically, however. I mean, firstly, can Ontario and Quebec simply ignore federal legislation? And also, how do they make Ottawa pay? When people are arrested and going to trial, the costs are entirely borne by the provinces. Convicts only go to federal prisons if they are sentenced to two years or more.

This opposition sounds nice, and I cheered when I heard it. But I don't see how it can work.

You just need some imagination. The provinces could engage in civil disobedience. Extremely favourable plea bargaining for crimes where minimum sentences have been increased. Or, no charges laid at all. That's what I'd do. That's why they won't let me be premier.

Now, if you reply that provinces would be too scared shitless to rock the boat, you might or might not be right. But that's how Harper prevails over everyone. He acts, with strategic and tactical nerve, and they capitulate in disarray.

I think the appropriate thing for us to do is to praise and encourage the opposition of some provinces, while calling governments like that of Manitoba by their true names. There should be a political price to pay for attacking one's own youth and Indigenous people and the mentally ill and the poor, while planting moist kisses on the buttocks of Stephen Harper.

Dontcha think?

 

pcml

With all due respect

It is not "Decriminalization"  
Please do not say that 

Besides that is just a made up word for fence sitting cowardly bent politicians and more importantly not SAID

This resolution says Legalize !!!

"" BE IT RESOLVED that a new Liberal government will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving ""

I guarantee you this policy passing will reverse the ndp/liberal seat numbers by the next election

Some plan to make sure of it

 

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

pcml:

This will NEVER happen under a Lib regime. It DOESN'T MATTER what the membership passed, and I think you know it.

Dream on.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

That's why the opposition must merge.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

The next election is four years away. Lots of time to forge the NDP into a real contender for power. If the other parties want to move to the NDP, no problem, eh?

Actually, in the 2015 election, I strongly suspect Harper will again take advantage of there being four opposition parties, and will cruise to another majority government. If Harper plays his cards right, he could conceivably become Canada's longest consecutively serving Prime Minister. All because the Opposition to him remains so divided. Frown

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yes, but easier said than done, as long as the NDP and Liberals hate each other so much. That's music to Harper's ears.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Division is the the hallmark of Tory power.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
BE IT RESOLVED that a new Liberal government will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving

Either very bad drafting, an intent to suffocate the marijuana industry, or hand it over to big business!

The liberals will "ensure the regulation and taxation of its...use"???

Are they going to pass regulations prescribing the size of joints and the frequency of permitted smoking — and levy a tax every time you light up?

And if they are going to "legalize" marijuana, what exactly is "illegal" trafficking, importation or exportation? If I'm legally in possession of some weed, will it be illegal for me to share it, or have it with me when I fly in from Mexico? And aren't the current penalties for "illegal" trafficking, importation, and exportation, and impaired driving, already "strict" enough?

ETA: Too bad the "period" key on your keyboard isn't working, pcml. It must be very hard for you to surf the internet when you can't even type a "dot"!

Fidel

If you're not a passenger on one of the CIA's unmarked Air America fleet carrying a shitload of dope and detainees to be tortured, then it's illegal.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Fidel:

LOL!!!!!!!

Sineed

Unionist wrote:

Sineed wrote:

I don't know how this would work logistically, however. I mean, firstly, can Ontario and Quebec simply ignore federal legislation? And also, how do they make Ottawa pay? When people are arrested and going to trial, the costs are entirely borne by the provinces. Convicts only go to federal prisons if they are sentenced to two years or more.

This opposition sounds nice, and I cheered when I heard it. But I don't see how it can work.

You just need some imagination. The provinces could engage in civil disobedience. Extremely favourable plea bargaining for crimes where minimum sentences have been increased. Or, no charges laid at all. That's what I'd do. That's why they won't let me be premier.

But the work in the criminal justice system is done by thousands of people. You'd have to get the cops, crown prosecutors and judges all engaged in a coordinated effort to break the law. How could that work?

Edited to add: maybe if direction came from the Attorney General it could work. But the Attorney General directing everybody to break the law?? Hmm...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sineed wrote:

But the work in the criminal justice system is done by thousands of people. You'd have to get the cops, crown prosecutors and judges all engaged in a coordinated effort to break the law. How could that work?

Edited to add: maybe if direction came from the Attorney General it could work. But the Attorney General directing everybody to break the law?? Hmm...

Hey, thousands of people were all involved in the 9/11 plot to destroy the World Trade Center through controlled demolitions, according to Fidel, and not one of them has ever confessed or ratted on the others.

Compared with that, this "civil disobedience" campaign would be a piece of cake!

Unionist

Sineed wrote:

But the work in the criminal justice system is done by thousands of people. You'd have to get the cops, crown prosecutors and judges all engaged in a coordinated effort to break the law. How could that work?

Edited to add: maybe if direction came from the Attorney General it could work. But the Attorney General directing everybody to break the law?? Hmm...

Yes, political direction was exactly what I had in mind. And is it even "breaking the law" to engage in plea bargaining, or simply refusing to prosecute outright certain offences?

I need a lawyer here. Would this be lawful?

 

Bärlüer

Unionist wrote:

Sineed wrote:

But the work in the criminal justice system is done by thousands of people. You'd have to get the cops, crown prosecutors and judges all engaged in a coordinated effort to break the law. How could that work?

Edited to add: maybe if direction came from the Attorney General it could work. But the Attorney General directing everybody to break the law?? Hmm...

Yes, political direction was exactly what I had in mind. And is it even "breaking the law" to engage in plea bargaining, or simply refusing to prosecute outright certain offences?

I need a lawyer here. Would this be lawful?

The government of Quebec did precisely that when the PQ was elected in 1976 ("refusing to prosecute outright certain offences") in the case of abortion (when they occurred outside certified hospitals under the supervision of a committee of 3 doctors—the only circumstances in which they could legally be done after the introduction of amendments to the Criminal Code in 1969).

However, the issue with C-10 relates essentially to sentencing (the mandatory minimum schemes), as far as I understand (I haven't actually read the bill). It is thus much harder—if even possible—to exert control over the "final result" that is sentencing by way of adjusting prosecutorial directives.

(BTW, legally speaking, while one might be inclined to think that the prosecution of criminal law is attributed to the provinces by virtue of s. 92(14) of the Constitution, which encompasses the "administration of justice" [you often hear/read such statements, in fact], this is actually not the case (see, e.g., A.G. (Can.) v. Can. Nat. Transportation, Ltd., [1983] 2 S.C.R. 206). It is the Criminal Code that actually confers upon the AG of the provinces the power to prosecute Criminal Code offences (and upon the AG of Canada for non-Criminal Code offences).)

Sineed

Bärlüer wrote:
It is the Criminal Code that actually confers upon the AG of the provinces the power to prosecute Criminal Code offences (and upon the AG of Canada for non-Criminal Code offences).)

Thank you for your knowlegeable reply. Since this bill involves sentencing, does this mean there are no changes to the Criminal Code? Or does the Criminal Code also include directions on sentencing (totally not a legal person here; I'm a pharmacist who works with people who have addiction problems and a great deal of contact with the criminal justice system).

And it seems that if the AG directs judges in his/her province to not impose sentences that this bill legally compells, that's a breathtaking act of activism such as you never see from AGs.

Bärlüer

Sineed wrote:

Bärlüer wrote:
It is the Criminal Code that actually confers upon the AG of the provinces the power to prosecute Criminal Code offences (and upon the AG of Canada for non-Criminal Code offences).)

Thank you for your knowlegeable reply. Since this bill involves sentencing, does this mean there are no changes to the Criminal Code? Or does the Criminal Code also include directions on sentencing (totally not a legal person here; I'm a pharmacist who works with people who have addiction problems and a great deal of contact with the criminal justice system).

There are changes to the Criminal Code—which indeed includes directions on sentencing—and to other assorted statutes. Most of the changes relate to sentencing/conditional release/etc. There are modifications across the spectrum: higher mandatory minimums, changes to some criteria/guiding principles, restriction of the cases where an imprisonment sentence can be served in the community, etc.

Quote:
And it seems that if the AG directs judges in his/her province to not impose sentences that this bill legally compells, that's a breathtaking act of activism such as you never see from AGs.

The imposition of penalties cannot be "directed" by the AG. It is the judge's discretionary power—a discretion that is more and more being chipped away by mandatory minimum sentences.

Unionist

So if I understand correctly, Bärlüer, a provincial AG could lawfully (for example) direct all crown counsel not to prosecute certain types of cases at all - e.g., a province could say, "in protest against the minimum 6 month sentence for growing 6 plants [or whatever it is], we will not be prosecuting at all in the case of fewer than 50 plants and/or evidence of actual trafficking". Is that right?

If the only way to influence sentencing, in the face of minimums codified by law, is to stop the matter coming before a judge in the first place, then that's what provinces can and should (selectively) do.

Rather than just complain about the "cost" of these measures (as some provinces have done), why not put their mouths where their money is?

ETA: On reconsidering my question about "plea bargaining", I guess that wouldn't work quite so easily, because a judge has to rubber-stamp the plea bargain - and she would still be bound by the minimum sentences, right?

 

pcml

What this will do is make police into judges in fact even  more than they already are

some of them alreasy say they only bust one in ten people for possession 

criminals themselves arent they then?

 

and yes the liberals could very well turn into cowards and hypocrites as far as a members vote on this issue

sadly that will only show them just  like the ndp and greens, hypocrites and cowards

but until they are exposed as  cowardly as the others they deserve some support

I say it is merely a matter of time until its re legalized and wouldnt be surprised if in the end it is conservatives who do it

just like with alcohol prohibition

 

as far as the joke comments about the term legal it means the same as alcohol is legal
it still has regulations

at least they are not just trying to hide behind phoney words like "decriminalization"

like some others 

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:

The government of Quebec did precisely that when the PQ was elected in 1976 ("refusing to prosecute outright certain offences") in the case of abortion (when they occurred outside certified hospitals under the supervision of a committee of 3 doctors—the only circumstances in which they could legally be done after the introduction of amendments to the Criminal Code in 1969).

By the way, thanks for inserting that historical information. If I once knew that, I had forgotten it.

Québec should stick to its guns (so to speak) on all these social issues. It's the best favour they can do for the rest of Canada.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The Liberals dropped the ball in 2003 when they balked at their promise to decriminalize possession of 30 grams or less and instead chose to keep the law in limbo and the final straw for me was that they supported the crime bill (initially)

How can I trust them to decriminalize cannabis now?

pcml

You cant because they are not calling for that invented word any more
They are calling for legalization

Of course the chances are slim
Its not like in Quebec City at the 2006  ndp convention  for example where 200 of the 600 resolutions dealt with the drug war on canadians yet every last one was stopped from even being talked about

Yes they may be just as cowardly
But if they are not just cowards and liars many many many will rejoin and the greens will cease to exist and the ndp will shrink more than they already will

Too many are now working on this to see it treated like it was in the ndp

Again though if nothing happens I am sure the lowest turn out in history at the polls is then coming

Its too bad there are not some who are not just cowards and hypocrites

I wish all those involved great sucess

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

pcml:

Yeah, you go ahead. You keep thinking that.

Newfoundlander_...

alan smithee wrote:

Isn't Quebec a 'nation within Canada'?

Wouldn't 'nationhood' mean full control over domestic policies?

Quebec has a legal leg to cop out of this bill.

No the Quebecois are, stupidly, recognized as a "nation witin a united Canada".

Bärlüer

Unionist wrote:

So if I understand correctly, Bärlüer, a provincial AG could lawfully (for example) direct all crown counsel not to prosecute certain types of cases at all - e.g., a province could say, "in protest against the minimum 6 month sentence for growing 6 plants [or whatever it is], we will not be prosecuting at all in the case of fewer than 50 plants and/or evidence of actual trafficking". Is that right?

(Just a quick clarification: the 6-month mandatory minimum would be for production of 6 to 200 marijuana plants for the purpose of trafficking.)

It seems to me that they could do what you suggest. As for the chances of that occurring.... 

Unionist wrote:
ETA: On reconsidering my question about "plea bargaining", I guess that wouldn't work quite so easily, because a judge has to rubber-stamp the plea bargain - and she would still be bound by the minimum sentences, right?

About joint recommendations: the judge always has discretion to reject the joint recommendation (resulting from plea bargaining or otherwise) of counsel as to the appropriate sentence, but he has to have good reason to reject such a recommendation.

That said, yep, the judge is always bound by the legislated minimum sentence. Unless those were to be declared unconstitutional... But I think that case law along those lines hasn't been very favorable.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Speaking of omnibus crimes, [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1102203--ttc-approves... one[/url] really sucks.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Unionist

Great! Thanks, Boom Boom!

 

Unionist

From the CCPA web site:

[url=http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2012/01/12/it%E2%80%99s-up-to-the-senate-...'s up to the Senate to stop the crime bill[/url]

Quote:
In 1991, women across Canada were relieved when a bill recriminalizing abortion failed to gain the support of the Senate. Women Senators crossed party lines to vote against the bill, which resulted in a tie vote and the defeat of the legislation. While the crime bill does not invoke the emotional response that abortion does, and while there is not a cohesive group representing opposition to the bill (such as the 52% of the population opposed to the abortion bill), there are ample reasons for the Senate to veto this bill.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

But, but...we hate the Senate!

I'm so confused!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

LaughingLaughing

Unionist

[url=http://diablogue.org/2012/01/06/canadian-psychiatric-association-gets-po... Psychiatric Association gets political on Harper crime bill[/url]

Quote:

The CPA says the Harper’s “get tough on crime” agenda may impact people with mental illness disproportionately, adding to their present over representation with the criminal justice system.

 

Dr. Gary Chaimowitz, a board member with the CPA, told the Hamilton Spectator that mandatory minimum sentences being proposed in the government’s omnibus bill do not exempt those with mental illnesses.

Unionist

 

This is a Facebook link, so not sure if everyone can read it - so I'll post the whole item. It's organized by Red Power United (Native Rights Movement). And it's a shame that I haven't heard a single NDP leadership candidate comment, or asked to comment, on this matter. Maybe I just missed it?

[url=https://www.facebook.com/events/257992334269637/]Rally to Protest Oppression Crime Bill C-10[/url]

Quote:
Ottawa's Omnibus Crime Bill, C-10 unjustly targets Canada’s most vulnerable communities, including First Nations and people suffering from mental illnesses. It strips away judicial discretion and removes our traditional emphasis on rehabilitation. These are basic principles of the Canadian justice system. The bill will cost the Canadian economy countless billions of taxpayers’ dollars for an approach that even Texas admits doesn’t work.”

Instead of investing in jails we need to invest in Aboriginal healing circles and social programs..

This legislation criminalizes addiction rather than investing in treatment programs, and will lead to a spike in incarceration.Young offender facilities, correctional centers and federal institutions are breeding grounds for gang recruitment and criminal organizations.

Putting more people in prison will simply create a bigger revolving door and that many of the people incarcerated will come out of prison eventually angry and more likely to continue a life of crime. Particularly since prisons have very little in the way of rehabilitation for aboriginal people.

Bill C 10 under mandatory minimum sentencing; take's away from the discretion of a judge to take an Aboriginal offender’s background into account and Aboriginal based sentencing principles such as restorative justice.

Impact on First Nations

• Aboriginal people already represent up to 80% of
inmate in institutions in the prairies, Bill C10 will
increase Aboriginal representation in jails.

• Aboriginal youth comprise a majority of our populations
and are over represented in jails already, Bill C10 will
have more Aboriginal youth in custodial centres before
trial. Our youth at risk require intervention and support
services to prevent ongoing criminal behavior.

• Bill C‐10 will require new prisons; mandate incarceration
for minor, non‐violent offences; justify poor treatment
of inmates and make their reintegration into society
more difficult.

• First Nations require resources to actively engage in
child poverty, providing services for addictions, gangs,
and additional Aboriginal Justice Strategy resources to
allow communities opportunities to work at
rehabilitating offenders and helping them to reintegrate
into society.

• Bill C‐10 will actually also eliminate conditional
sentences for minor and property offenders and instead
send those people to jail at the cost of $100,000 per
year to incarcerate someone.

• With mandatory minimums replacing conditional
sentences, First Nations people in remote, rural and
northern communities will be shipped far from their
families to serve time

Under Bill C 10 Aboriginal people will face further discrimination and oppression by these laws and policies.

Please join us on Tuesday January 31, 2012 at 130 p.m.
@ The Manitoba Legislative Building
, on the day the Senators return to the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill from their Christmas holiday adjournment.

Have signs ready and Stand up for your democratic right to express our understanding of this oppressive policy.

We are not radical as Harper would like Canadian's to believe, we are practicing and protecting our freedoms by showing up to express our concerns for the well being of our Nation's.

Bring Signs, Smiling Faces and Middle Fingers!!

┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐ BILL C 10

NDPP

Canada: Conservatives' Reactionary 'Tough on Crime Bill' Soon to Become Law

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/cana-j31.shtml

"...To be sure, it is a telling indication of the government's priorities that the criminal justice system and the military are among the only programs that will escape massive budget cuts in the coming years. But even more important than dollars and cents is the suffering that will be inflicted on the prison population as a result of mandatory sentencing..

Under cover of their 'law and order' agenda, the Conservatives are building up the repressive apparatus of the state, promoting the police, along with the military, as an elite owed special respect..."

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Well,now a Con senator wants to bring back the rope.

Fuck Canada...The minute I have the chance,I am OUTTA HERE!

Bacchus

Well considering his daughter was raped and murdered, I can understand his reaction. Im sure almost any parent has feelings like that when their child is endangered or hurt

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