MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Safety First: Justice and Corrections Legislation Advances Through Parliament”
On Monday, we began by debating Bill C-36, which would repeal the “faint hope” clause so that criminals who commit first or second-degree murder will no longer be able to apply for early parole. By ending “faint hope” reviews, we’ll spare families the pain of attending repeated parole eligibility hearings and having to relive their losses, over and over again.
Fortunately, our efforts paid off, and by Wednesday Bill C-36 was passed in the House with the support of Liberal MPs. I am hopeful that Liberals in the Senate will be equally cooperative and that this legislation will be passed into law quickly.
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson introduced Bill C-58, which will require Internet service providers (ISPs) to report online child pornography to authorities.
This legislation will further help to fight the sexual exploitation of children by requiring ISPs to report to a designated agency tips they receive from the public. They would also be required to notify police and safeguard evidence if they believe a child pornography offence has been committed using an Internet service they provide.
Currently, such actions are voluntary. The bill would set graduated fines for failure to comply. Mandatory reporting will strengthen our ability to protect our children from sexual predators and it will help police rescue young victims and prosecute the criminals responsible.
Also this week, MPs debated Bill C-31 which would modernize criminal law procedure and make the justice system more efficient and effective.
Among other things, the bill creates a new offence to help prevent individuals from fleeing a province or territory in order to avoid prosecution. It also proposes to give law enforcement greater access to search and seizure warrants. And it streamlines the identification process in police stations, allowing the fingerprinting and photographing of persons in lawful custody who have not yet been charged or convicted of specific offences.
On Thursday, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan introduced legislation amending the International Transfer of Offenders Act. Through Bill C-59, our government is taking the next step in making protection of society the paramount principle of our federal corrections system.
This legislation would establish additional factors to consider in deciding whether to grant requests by criminals serving time in other countries to transfer back to Canada to serve their sentences here.
The Bill would provide the Minister of Public Safety greater discretion to deny such requests; for example, if in the Minister’s opinion the offender would endanger public safety; continue to engage in criminal activities; or, endanger the safety of any child, in cases of offenders convicted of a sexual offence involving a child, as well as whether the offender has been participating in rehabilitation and cooperating with law enforcement.
Canadians want to know their communities are safe from serious violent criminals and our Conservative government will continue to put the safety of Canadians first.