Toews speaks to Chamber on tackling gang and youth crime
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, delivered remarks at the Chamber of Commerce, highlighting action taken by the Harper Government to tackle gang and youth crime, and support victims.
“Our Government remains committed to improving safety for Canadians where they live, work and raise their families,” said Minister Toews. “We have delivered on this promise by passing comprehensive legislation that holds violent and repeat young offenders accountable, and gives victims of crime a voice in the criminal justice system.”
As part of its actions to combat gang and youth crime in Canada, the Government has:
• toughened sentencing and bail provisions for serious gun crimes;
• strengthened the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous high-risk offenders;
• ensured that murders connected to organized crime will be treated automatically as first-degree murders and we have imposed mandatory jail time for drive-by or reckless shootings;
• ended sentence discounts for multiple murder; and
• passed legislation to abolish the faint-hope clause which allowed early parole for murderers.
With the coming into effect of amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (part of the Safe Streets and Communities Act) on June 13, 2012, the Government announced concrete action to ensure the voices of victims of crime are heard. These amendments include measures to enshrine victim participation in conditional release hearings, and keep victims better informed about the management of offenders.
“To assist those youth who are most at risk of offending, our Government continues to work with communities to tackle gang and youth crime by investing in community-based projects,” said Minister Toews. “Most recently, our Government provided $7.5 million annually in funding to help youth steer clear of and escape gangs.”
On February 21, 2012, the Harper Government launched the next phase of the Youth Gang Prevention Fund, which will continue to provide youth in gangs or those at risk of joining gangs with life skills to help them make smart choices and stay away from gangs and crime.