Your health and safety has always been a top priority for this government, and we will continue to work toward keeping your family and communities free of threats and safe from harm. That’s why we have put into effect the “Safe Streets and Communities Act,” which includes reasonable, necessary changes to the youth criminal justice system ensuring that violent and repeat young offenders are now fully answerable for their crimes.
Key to these changes is that the safety and security of law-abiding Canadians, like you, will now be given full consideration at sentencing. This is a significant and powerful shift as we work to defend victims, and safeguard your family and community – it’s putting you first.
However, the past has shown that the justice system has been unable to keep young offenders in custody, even when they posed real threats to society. To address this issue, we have made it easier to sentence youth offenders to custody. We have also simplified the pre-trial detention rules which, when necessary, ensure that these young offenders are kept off the streets while awaiting trial.
These young individuals also need to know that their senseless actions have very real consequences. Local authorities and their communities deserve to have access to information which would help in keeping their residents out of harm’s way. Now, when young offenders are found guilty of violent offences, consideration is required in lifting the publication ban on the names of these youth. We will be working with the police to make it easier to identify patterns of re-offending so that those particular conditions can be properly addressed and avoided in the future.
Finally, the Crown is now required to consider seeking adult sentences for youth who commit serious violent offences of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault. These acts cannot be tolerated and we must do what we can to discourage them from continuing. It is only fair to victims and the families of the victims of violent crimes that whoever is responsible be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Again, our goal in implementing these changes is to ensure that you are safe and secure in your community. We are acting on our promise to stand up for victims and to do what we can to protect you and your loved ones.
– Colin Mayes is the member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap.