Keeping our Streets and Communities Safe
Protecting our youngest and most vulnerable members of society has always been one of our top priorities. Through our words – and more importantly – our actions, we have consistently taken a tough stand against dangerous pedophiles who prey on our children in the most heinous, unthinkable way.
Most recently, several key components of our Safe Streets and Communities Act came into force. As a result, all penalties related to child sexual exploitation have increased.
The components of the Safe Streets and Communities Act coming into force will:
• Establish mandatory prison sentences for seven existing Criminal Code offences such as luring a child, sexual assault, and aggravated assault. As a result, conditional sentences (i.e. house arrest) will no longer be available for any of these offences.
• Increase mandatory prison sentences for nine sexual offences involving child victims, such as possessing, making, accessing or distributing child pornography and sexual exploitation.
• Increase maximum penalties for four child sexual offences, including increasing the maximum penalty from five to 10 years for the indictable offence of a parent or guardian procuring their child for illegal sexual activity where the child is less than 16 years of age.
• Create two new offences with mandatory prison sentences making it illegal for anyone to provide sexually explicit material to a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence against a child; or use telecommunications, including the Internet, to communicate with another person to make arrangements to commit a sexual offence against a child.
• Require judges to consider prohibiting suspected or convicted sexual predators from having any unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 16 or any unsupervised use of the Internet or other digital network.
Statistics Canada recently announced that the rate of police-reported sexual offences against children rose by 3 percent between 2010 and 2011. In addition, there was a 40-percent increase in the rate of police-reported child pornography incidents, the largest increase of any Criminal Code offence in 2011.
Our Government introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act on September 20, 2011, fulfilling our election commitment to move quickly to re-introduce comprehensive law-and-order legislation to combat crime and terrorism.
We will never waiver on our commitment to ensure our families and our communities are safe. It’s disappointing that the NDP has opposed all our new anti-crime measures. They’ve been fighting to defend the status quo in the justice system, even when it puts the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of victims.