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View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
View Rob Nicholson Profile
2018-11-08 12:04 [p.23440]
Mr. Speaker, it is the role of Parliament to set guidelines for the courts.
Back in the early 1990s when I was part of the government, we introduced a bill to put stalking into the Criminal Code and make it a specific crime. I believe the maximum sentence for that was five years. However, one of my own colleagues said that maybe a judge would want to give a sentence of more than five years. Why would we limit it to five years? I said that it was our job to set guidelines for the courts, whether it is the maximum or minimum sentence. That is what we do as a Parliament.
The hon. member will ask how we can do this. For example, why would we limit it for someone who commits first degree murder and insist that it be 25 years? Again, these things reflect the seriousness of the crimes.
Here is the other thing. When a court imposes a very light sentence on someone who has committed a serious crime, it hurts people's confidence in the criminal justice system. They have a problem with that. One of the things we always wanted as a government was that people would have confidence in the criminal justice system and believe that it would do what it is supposed to, which is to hold people accountable for what they have done, to protect the public and to stand up for victims. That is exactly what we did in our 10 years, and I am very proud of our record.
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