The Canadian Psychological Association has made a submission to the Senate as have the Canadian Bar Association, representing over 37,000 lawyers across the country.
The fact is . . .
". . . considering that Canada already has some of the safest streets and communities in the world and a declining crime rate. This bill will do nothing to improve that state of affairs but, through its overreach and overreaction to imaginary problems, Bill C-10 could easily make it worse. It could eventually create the very problems it’s supposed to solve." (thestar.com ’10 reasons to oppose Bill C-10’)
How the Canadian Bar sees this Bill . . .
“The Canadian Bar Association, representing over 37,000 lawyers across the country, has identified 10 reasons why the passage of Bill C-10 will be a mistake and a setback for Canada:
1. Ignoring reality. Decades of research and experience have shown what actually reduces crime: (a) addressing child poverty, (b) providing services for the mentally ill and those afflicted with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, (c) diverting young offenders from the adult justice system, and (d) rehabilitating prisoners, and helping them to reintegrate into society. Bill C-10 ignores these proven facts.
2. Rush job. Instead of receiving a thorough review, Bill C-10 is being rushed through Parliament purely to meet the “100-day passage” promise from the last election. Expert witnesses attempting to comment on more than 150 pages of legislation in committee hearings are cut off mid-sentence after just five minutes.
3. Spin triumphs over substance. The federal government has chosen to take a “marketing” approach to Bill C-10, rather than explaining the facts to Canadians. This campaign misrepresents the bill’s actual content and ensures that its public support is based heavily on inaccuracies.
4. No proper inspection. Contrary to government claims, some parts of Bill C-10 have received no previous study by parliamentary committee. Other sections have been studied before and were changed — but, in Bill C-10, they’re back in their original form.
5. Wasted youth. More young Canadians will spend months in custodial centres before trial, thanks to Bill C-10. Experience has shown that at-risk youth learn or reinforce criminal behaviour in custodial centres; only when diverted to community options are they more likely to be reformed.
6. Punishments eclipse the crime. The slogan for one proposal was Ending House Arrest for Serious and Violent Criminals Act, but Bill C-10 will actually also eliminate conditional sentences for minor and property offenders and instead send those people to jail. Is roughly $100,000 per year to incarcerate someone unnecessarily a good use of taxpayers’ money?
7. Training predators. Bill C-10 would force judges to incarcerate people whose offences and circumstances clearly do not warrant time in custody. Prison officials will have more latitude to disregard prisoners’ human rights, bypassing the least restrictive means to discipline and control inmates. Almost every inmate will re-enter society someday. Do we want them to come out as neighbours, or as predators hardened by their prison experience?
8. Justice system overload. Longer and harsher sentences will increase the strains on a justice system already at the breaking point. Courts and Crown prosecutors’ offices are overwhelmed as is, legal aid plans are at the breaking point, and police forces don’t have the resources to do their jobs properly. Bill C-10 addresses none of these problems and will make them much worse.
9. Victimizing the most vulnerable. With mandatory minimums replacing conditional sentences, people in remote, rural and northern communities will be shipped far from their families to serve time. Canada’s aboriginal people already represent up to 80 per cent of inmates in institutions in the Prairies, a national embarrassment that Bill C-10 will make worse.
10. How much money? With no reliable price tag for its recommendations, there is no way to responsibly decide the bill’s financial implications. What will Canadians sacrifice to pay for these initiatives? Will they be worth the cost?
Canadians deserve accurate information about Bill C-10, its costs and its effects. This bill will change our country’s entire approach to crime at every stage of the justice system. It represents a huge step backwards; rather than prioritizing public safety, it emphasizes retribution above all else. It’s an approach that will make us less safe, less secure, and ultimately, less Canadian.
Trinda L. Ernst is president of the Canadian Bar Association.” (thestar.com ’10 reasons to oppose Bill C-10’)
There are just 2 days left . . .
There are 2 days left of discussion for Bill C-10 in the Senate. Please send your email with your concerns to the Senators. You can also follow the proceeding when they are broadcast by clicking on the 'watch/listen' tab at the following link: http://www.parl.gc.ca/SenCommitteeBusiness/CommitteeMeetingSchedule.aspx?parl=41&ses=1&Language=E&comm_id=11
SAMPLE LETTER: (via MrLoveTeaching on YouTube)
Email addresses below.
My Concerns Regarding Omnibus Crime Bill C-10
I am writing to you because I am deeply concerned about the Omnibus Crime Bill, Bill C-10, as it ignores the extensive evidence about how we can achieve our shared goal of making our communities safer.
I am writing because our Senate can provide the sober second thought that we need now.
I am writing to ask you to carefully explore the evidence, listen to diverse voices, and make thoughtful changes to this bill that will make Canada safer, not meaner.
I ask that the Senate take the time necessary to review all of the evidence and talk to the experts. Many respected experts and organizations are profoundly concerned about this bill. Let's learn from the experiences of places that have tried this punishment-focused approach to justice, like Texas, which have seen it fail completely.
Bill C-10 has been rushed through the House of Commons without proper attention to its costs, consequences, and the legitimate concerns of our provinces, First Nations and countless other individuals, organizations and experts.
I ask that you ensure that the diverse interests of the provinces, the particular needs of Quebec, and the stated interests of Aboriginal people who are currently disproportionately represented in our prisons, are given a full and fair hearing.
If Bill C-10 proceeds unchanged, it would radically shift Canadian justice away from prevention and rehabilitation, and towards punishment and exclusion, at a massive social and financial cost.
I ask that the Senate take the time necessary to review all of the bill's consequences, and consider positive alternatives that are proven to reduce crime.
I ask that you refrain from passing this bill until a reasonable estimation of cost is attached to this bill.
Thank you very much.
EMAIL ADDRESSES OF CANADIAN SENATORS:
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com BakerG@sen.parl.gc.ca firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com PoyV@sen.parl.gc.ca firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
I wrote today and already heard back from one Senator: