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Troy Carriere
View Troy Carriere Profile
Troy Carriere
2015-04-29 15:32
Good afternoon.
I have a prepared statement that I'll read to everybody this afternoon because it has a direct link to why we're here.
On October 7, 2013, a police service dog, Quanto, and his handler, Matt Williamson, were called to the area of 90 Street and 118th Avenue at 5:15 a.m. in regard to a stolen vehicle in the city of Edmonton. A pursuit with the stolen vehicle began through downtown Edmonton. The stolen vehicle struck a median near a service station, was disabled, and the driver fled on foot. The suspect refused to follow police direction to stop. As a result, police service dog Quanto was deployed to apprehend the subject. The suspect was engaged by Quanto in the parking lot near the RCMP K division, which is also located in the city of Edmonton. During the apprehension, the suspect stabbed Quanto numerous times. The individual then dropped the knife and was taken into custody by police. PSD Quanto was rushed to an emergency veterinarian clinic but sadly died from his wounds at approximately 5:30 a.m. on October 7.
The suspect, Paul Vukmanich, 27 years of age, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest for armed robbery. He was subsequently charged with several weapons offences, resist arrest, and cruelty to animals.
The loss of PSD Quanto was devastating to every member of the Edmonton police service canine unit, especially Constable Williamson and his young family. Hundreds of emails, phone calls, Facebook posts, and other messages over social media were sent to the Edmonton Police Service. There was overwhelming response and support from the community and other policing agencies from across Canada. This tragic event struck a public nerve that, in my 22 years of policing, I have never been witness to.
On February 28, 2014, Vukmanich—again, 27 years of age—pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and other offences including evading police. Crown and defence lawyers recommended a plea deal for 26 months. The presiding judge specifically said that 18 months of the sentence was for the dog's death. While the judge said he wanted to impose more time, he decided that the recommendation wasn't so out of line that he could overrule it. The conviction was a precedent for animal cruelty charges.
The crown had also requested on behalf of the Edmonton police service that Vukmanich be ordered to pay the estimated $40,000 to police to cover the costs of a new dog and its training, and that's a very conservative cost. The judge said that the restitution matter should be handled by a civil court. This placed a financial burden on the Edmonton Police Service as a result of Vukmanich's actions that day.
The animal cruelty charge was successfully prosecuted in this case, but having participated in this process, I did feel there was a significant gap. The animal cruelty charge is very wide in its scope and was not designed to speak to specific incidents involving service animals who are poisoned, injured, or killed while in the execution of their duties by the illegal actions of an individual or individuals, whether intentional or recklessly committed.
Bill C-35, in my opinion, will address the need to have a specific offence section that addresses such incidents that unfortunately service animals face on an all too common basis. The way the bill is framed is pretty common-sense based and uses plain language. This will allow law enforcement and crown prosecutors to align the appropriate charge section with a specific incident.
As in all criminal offences, there is a wide range on the spectrum of what the alleged crime was, the circumstances leading up to the incident, and what the appropriate punishment should be. Regarding the adage of whether the punishment fits the crime, I believe that Bill C-35 does have the appropriate dual-offence sentencing criteria.
As an indictable offence, the minimum sentence is appropriate in my opinion. A significant event would have to take place, such as the death of a police service dog, for a crown prosecutor to proceed with an indictable offence. Therefore, I support a six-month imprisonment term. There has to be a deterrent, or in some cases, consequences to prevent further offences.
As a summary offence, I feel it's very important that a fine be an option, as there is a significant financial burden on law enforcement. This can be seen not only in the loss of law enforcement service animals but veterinarian bills, loss of time for a canine team, and the overtime that usually results while a service animal recovers from its injuries.
Since the inception of the Edmonton Police Service canine unit in 1967, there have been five police service dogs killed in the line of duty. These range from being struck by a vehicle while pursuing a suspect to stabbings and gunshots.
Fortunately these incidents are rare, but in the past 10 years we've had two other police service dogs survive after being stabbed, and others struck with objects, punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed, and attacked by other dogs.
Without a doubt, canine teams across Canada have one of the most difficult jobs, with the most unknowns and the most hazards in the communities that they serve. But that is also why these dedicated and impassioned police officers sign up to do the job. This is why they train, why they mentally prepare for every possible situation that can think of, and then put it into action when it comes time.
Regardless of all the training and preparation, some situations that occur, such as the event on October 7, 2013, can shock and devastate the most experienced handler. I believe we owe it to law enforcement animals to provide a level of protection. They dedicate their lives to the protection of the communities they serve, and some make the ultimate sacrifice when necessary, with total disregard for themselves.
Thank you.
View Françoise Boivin Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you all for being here. Thank you, Staff Sergeant, for reminding us about Quanto and making him more than just the title of a bill, making him feel almost human to the committee.
Thank you, Mr. Kaye, for telling us about all the other dogs. It doesn't matter how many. One is already too many.
Madam Bergeron, I'm in awe of what you're doing. It's amazing what you can do and it just makes us humble in that area. I'm of those people who said your dog is beautiful, so I am guilty as charged. She is very quiet. Way to go, Lucy.
Ms. Cartwright, thank you for everything the SPCA does around this country for animals. I always say, and will always repeat very proudly, how much I find that we need to protect those who are most vulnerable. We love animals but they can't defend themselves. If we don't take measures to defend them, I don't know who will.
I don't want to discuss law too much with you because we had other panels for that. I just have two basic questions. The first one is for Staff Sergeant Carriere and Mr. Kaye.
Do you think the sentence in the Quanto case would have been different with Bill C-35 or would it have been similar? I'm not saying it's a good or a bad thing. Is it more the fact that Bill C-35 is finally pinpointing and creating a category...? I heard the minister say, unless I didn't understand him correctly, that the sentence was all right in the Quanto case, which seems to say that the Criminal Code, as it is right now, could be seen as sufficient to address the type of situation that was present in the Quanto case.
I would like to hear you both on that factor.
For Ms. Bergeron and Ms. Cartwright, my question concerns the fact that we kind of put them in an order. The police dogs seem to have a higher standing with Quanto's law than assistance dogs or military animals. Are you okay with that? That's all I want to know from your side.
Maybe we could start with Mr. Carriere and Mr. Kaye.
Troy Carriere
View Troy Carriere Profile
Troy Carriere
2015-04-29 16:09
Sure, and I'll speak a little, in particular, to what we saw dealing with Quanto and working with the crown prosecutor. Unfortunately, we have to have a special crown prosecutor assigned because of the cases that we see in Edmonton to deal with animal cruelty charges. He was an exceptional individual who helped us work through this. We were fortunate, I think, in the sense that this was a guilty plea overall, which makes it easier than going to trial. I don't know if we would have seen the same sentencing if it hadn't been an agreed statement of facts. I know 18 months for some may seem significant enough. I disagree. This is where I see the new bill being appropriate.
Again, we have to look at a couple of important points.
In this case, with the new bill it's consecutive, whereas in a lot of cases it's concurrent when we go to court with other charges.
We have a five-year maximum with the indictable component of this new bill if there's a service animal killed in the line of duty, such as Quanto, which I think is also appropriate. There has to be a strong deterrent. This is partly a bit of my opinion of what I saw with the public. As a police officer, do we have our own biases? Absolutely. Unfortunately, we see the crimes too often, and of course, you may get a little jaded. But what I saw and heard clearly from the public was that they wanted a bill to deal with this specifically. They wanted a bill to make sure there was a deterrent, and if somebody did hurt a service animal, that there was some punishment that fit the crime.
I'll give you an example of how far some comments that came to me went. I had an email from an individual who is in his late fifties now, from Calgary. I can't remember all the details, but it stuck in my mind because he himself as a young man in the seventies had been involved in an incident with the Calgary Police Service. One of their dogs was injured severely and he was the accused in this instance. He was charged with some weapons offences and did his time. It was two years or less, for sure. But now that he reflects back on his time, he feels there needs to be a bill to protect these service animals. I guess that one touched me a little, because here was an offender realizing that there wasn't a significant section to deal with this.
Speaking of the crown on this case, it's such a wide scope with an animal cruelty charge that it would have been very difficult, if we'd gone into a trial situation, to debate the fine parts of it. Then I think we heard that an animal cruelty charge was never put in place to deal with situations that law enforcement has seen, again, unfortunately, on an all too common basis. I think somebody talked about the fact that we're here talking about a service animal that was killed, but on a very regular basis I see my service animals being hurt. There has to be something done, because again, I think we all agree that we have to speak for them. If we don't, then who does?
I have dealt with people trying to submerge my dog underwater. I have seen him when he's been kicked in the face and having to get several sutures, and again, they do this without question. I think any handler who's done any time on the street will say with 100% certainty that their dog has probably saved their life.
I can think of a specific incident where an individual I was tracking in downtown Edmonton was waiting to ambush me with a pool ball in a sock. I had no idea he was there, and I can thank my service dog for finding him and dealing with him, because I would probably have been the subject of a massive injury had he not been there.
So do I think this is appropriate? Absolutely. I think it is necessary and it's time. I think it's been all too long. I thank the government and each of you for supporting this bill, because that's what I'm hearing from many people.
View Robert Goguen Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to all the witnesses for sharing their experiences and heightening the value of the service animals that protect us in situations of danger each and every day. Also, kudos to the four-legged witness down there, Lucy, who is being very quiet.
Mr. Carriere, I think you touched on a very important distinction that Ms. Boivin was talking about in Quanto's case, where there were 18 months attributed and the total sentence I think was 24 or 26 months.
View Peter MacKay Profile
CPC (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Dear colleagues, I am happy to be here to discuss the bill on service animals.
It's always a pleasure to be with you, colleagues. We're here, as you know, to discuss yet another piece of criminal justice legislation that the government believes will contribute to making Canadian communities safer.
I thank you in advance for this committee's hard work and commitment to do a thorough and rigorous review of important bills, both government and private members'. I hope that my remarks today will assist you somewhat in the review of Bill C-35, the justice for animals in service act, referred to colloquially as Quanto's law.
Quanto, as many of you will know, was an Edmonton police dog that was fatally stabbed on October 7, 2013, while assisting police in apprehending a suspect. The tragic killing of this beautiful law enforcement animal struck a chord with a lot of Canadians, and many in the police, legal, and community groups called for greater recognition and protection of service animals.
Bill C-35 fulfills a 2013 commitment in the Speech from the Throne to enact a law such this in recognition of the daily risks undertaken by animals used by police to assist them in enforcing the law and protecting society.
Quanto's killing was also the most recent instance in which a police service animal was killed in the course of a police operation, and there are other examples that I'm sure you will be studying.
In addition to proposing to create a new Criminal Code offence that would specifically prohibit the killing or wounding of a law enforcement animal, Bill C-35 would also extend specific protection to trained service animals that assist persons with disabilities and military animals that assist the Canadian Forces in carrying out their duties.
The members of this committee, I'm sure, are aware that the person who killed Quanto was subsequently convicted under existing section 445 of the Criminal Code for the wilful killing of a dog, along with other offences arising out of the same set of events on October 7, 2013.
The criminal responsible was sentenced as a result to a total of 26 months in prison on various charges, of which the sentencing judge attached 18 months specifically for the killing of Quanto. The court also banned him from owning a pet for 25 years and banned him from driving for five years. In sentencing the offender, the judge stated, “The attack on this dog wasn't just an attack on a dog. It was an attack on your society and what is meaningful in our society”.
The government agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment and believes that the creation of a specific Criminal Code offence, coupled with a specially tailored sentencing regime, would contribute to the denunciation, both general and specific, as well as deterrence of such crimes. These are well-known sentencing principles, I know, for this committee.
I would like to take a moment to review with you just what Bill C-35 proposes in terms of amendments to the Criminal Code.
Just to turn quickly to the substance of this bill, the bill would clearly define which animals would fall within its ambit.
Secondly, the legislation sets out the element of the new offence. The prescribed conduct is the killing, maiming, wounding, poisoning, or injuring of a law enforcement animal while it is aiding a law enforcement officer in carrying out the officer's duty and a military animal while it is aiding a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in carrying out that member's duties or a service animal performing its tasks.
The necessary mental element is wilful and without lawful excuse, a common standard used in the Criminal Code, in order that accidental or negligent conduct would not be criminalized by this new offence. Obviously, there is a great deal of discretion within the courts for findings of fact based on evidence.
Finally, thirdly, similar to the existing section 445 of the Criminal Code, “Injuring or endangering other animals”, the new offence would be subject to a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment when the accused is prosecuted on indictment and 18 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine for a summary conviction. So there's a hybrid element to the offence.
It is the sentencing regime that distinguishes this new offence from section 445, and it does so by introducing a provision, section 718.03, which expressly directs the sentencing court to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence as sentencing objectives in respect of this new offence.
This provision will apply whether the animal in question is a law enforcement animal, military, or service animal. However, with regard to an offence committed against a law enforcement animal, Bill C-35 would require the sentence imposed for the offence to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed on the offender for an offence committed at the same time. And as is the case where a law enforcement animal is killed while assisting a law enforcement officer in carrying out his duties, and the offence is prosecuted by way of indictment—so there is a selection here—the offender would be liable to a mandatory minimum penalty of six months. This joins the some 60 other mandatory minimum penalties already found in the Criminal Code.
During second reading of this bill I was pleased to note there was broad support across party lines for it. I see this as one of the more non-partisan issues and non-partisan legislation that may come before this committee. In fact, there is a great deal of support for the enactment of the provisions in the Criminal Code that deal with the intentional injuring and killing of law enforcement animals, military animals, or service animals.
At the same time, I acknowledge that there will no doubt be questions raised with regard to the proposed mandatory minimum penalties, where a law enforcement animal is killed while assisting a law enforcement officer engaged in enforcing the law and prosecuted by indictment. To pre-empt the questions that I know will come, I believe that a mandatory minimum penalty is warranted in these instances, both for general and specific deterrence and denunciation of this type of offence involving service animals. Like members of the military, members of the police, some of whom are members of this committee, these are service animals that are in harm's way—it's the only way I can describe it. They are doing a duty that is a higher calling expected of an animal, in the same way that police officers, of course, assume a certain degree of danger and liability.
Therefore, with respect to the mandatory minimum penalties imposed by this bill, I would ask the committee to take note that this provision was carefully tailored in several ways.
First, the prospect of the mandatory minimum penalty being imposed only arises in regard to the intentional killing of a law enforcement animal while aiding a law enforcement officer in carrying out those duties.
Second, the potential application of the mandatory minimum is further limited by the fact that it would only apply where the crown prosecutor proceeds by way of indictment. Prosecutorial discretion is always exercised, with a careful eye to proportionality, constitutionality, and totality, the same considerations used by a judge. Where the crown elects to prosecute this offence as a summary conviction, the mandatory minimum penalties, obviously, don't apply.
Finally, in terms of the length of the mandatory term of imprisonment, the six-month term of imprisonment is at the lower end of the range.
I would pause here to underscore, as I mentioned earlier, that the judge who sentenced Quanto's killer specifically imposed an 18-month sentence of the 26 months that were handed down for the killing of that service animal.
Bill C-35 also proposes to amend the Criminal Code to require that a sentence imposed for an assault on a police officer, or certain other peace officers, will be served consecutively with other sentences imposed on the offender arising out of the same set of circumstances.
We are strongly of the view that attacks on those officials who work on our behalf to protect society also represent an attack on our society and that such a provision is justified to express society's denunciation of such conduct and as a general deterrent.
To conclude, Mr. Chair, I would be pleased to answer questions by you and members of the committee with regard to this important bill.
I again thank you for the work of this committee. I'll take the opportunity to thank all those members of police, military, and those who use service animals for things such as comfort and mental health counselling that we are now seeing through canine and equine companionship, which is an extraordinary use of animals in society.
For the furtherance of the principles of justice, we had a recent example of a dog in the Edmonton Police Service which accompanied a child who was obviously feeling the trauma of a sexual assault. That dog was allowed to be on the stand with that young girl while she gave her testimony. I think this is the type of innovation that actually brings great credit to our justice system, and it shows and highlights some of the great people we have working alongside those animals to further the interests of justice.
Thank you, Chair.
Michael Zigayer
View Michael Zigayer Profile
Michael Zigayer
2015-04-27 16:31
I think the minister answered your question well.
Of course we looked at the Supreme Court's recent decision regarding this legal issue. In summary, we think that the penalty set out in the bill will not be seen as cruel and unusual punishment. The minister brought up the ruling in the Quanto murder case a few times. The court imposed a 26-month sentence for several offences. The judge stated that 18 months of the sentence were imposed specifically for killing the animal. We could speculate that, in the absence of other offences, the judge might have imposed a sentence of more than 18 months for the animal's killing. The assumption can be made.
When you look at the notion of cruel and unusual punishment, a six-month minimum is not excessive, considering the sentences the courts have handed down in the past for similar offences.
In this case, we considered other situations and concluded that the bill's provision
would resist or survive a constitutional challenge.
View Ève Péclet Profile
NDP (QC)
You held consultations and considered the case law. My honourable colleague Mr. Casey said there were some dozen cases over the past few years. What did the prosecutions consist of? If we focus only on animal cruelty and not on any other offences people were accused of, which parts or sections of the Criminal Code were used the most in the cases you considered? What sentences were imposed? We are talking about Quanto, but there are also other similar cases.
View Steven Blaney Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to thank the members for adjusting their busy schedule to allow this meeting to take place earlier.
As you just said, Mr. Chair, I am pleased to be here today, joined by Ms. Kathy Thompson. She is our assistant deputy minister for community safety and countering crime. I'm also accompanied by the director of the firearms and operational policing policy division, Mr. Lyndon Murdock.
Mr. Chair, I'm here this morning to present the common sense firearms licensing act, which is a piece of legislation that builds on our government's record of firearms policies that keep Canadians safe without adding needless red tape for those who are predisposed to obey the law, namely, law-abiding hunters, farmers, and sport shooters.
We believe that firearm policies should be safe and also sensible. That is why we've created new prison sentences for the criminal use of firearms, and why we've made significant investments in background checks for new applicants for firearm licences. It's also why we've removed needless red tape like the gun shows regulations and the firearms marking regulations, and why we've ended the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry once and for all, including in my Province of Quebec.
These are policies that are safe and sensible.
The bill before us today continues along the same lines: with policies designed to increase public safety by eliminating red tape for law-abiding Canadians.
Allow me to explain briefly the key measures in this bill. I know that this aspect of the bill is of interest to my fellow member of Parliament, Bryan Hayes.
First, the act will strengthen firearms prohibitions for those convicted of spousal violence. According to a 2013 report, those most commonly committing violence against women are husbands and those in romantic relationships with the women. So it is important for public safety to make sure that firearms are taken away from individuals at risk. Anyone found guilty of an indictable offence involving domestic violence will have a firearms possession and acquisition licence withdrawn for life.
In addition, the legislation allowing the simple and safe licensing of firearms will also require new firearms owners acquiring a firearm for the first time to take the mandatory safety course. I believe that it is important for anyone wishing to acquire and possess a firearm in this country to receive the mandatory training provided by our organizations. This is not only to fully grasp the extent of the responsibility but also to understand the requirements of safety, maintenance, training, technique and knowledge involved in handling firearms.
The legislation will also remove bureaucratic obstacles to the sharing of information on the import of prohibited or restricted weapons. This will allow us to come to grips more easily with the black market and with arms trafficking. We have noticed that our legislation has gaps—especially with regard to the Canada Border Services Agency—that can be used by those wishing to import weapons into the country illegally. That is why we are going to clarify the legislation to allow the Canada Border Services Agency to share information with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to close all the loopholes that illegal traffickers could exploit.
These three specific measures in the bill will improve the safety of Canadians.
The legislation will also help ensure that our firearms policies are sensible. That is why the legislation will merge the “possession-only” licence with the “possession and acquisition” licence. My colleagues from the NDP may remember that this was a measure that was suggested by the late Jack Layton. It does not make sense that individuals who have owned firearms for many years would not be allowed to make new purchases with their own hard-earned money. The bill before us today will give purchasing power to approximately 600,000 experienced and law-abiding firearms owners.
The legislation will also create a six-month grace period at the end of a five-year firearms licence. As you know, Mr. Chair, the firearms licence is valid for five years, and then anyone who owns firearms or is willing to keep his licence has to renew it. The problem is that if you don't renew it by the time your licence expires and you own a firearm, you are turned into a criminal overnight. You do not become the subject of criminal charges if you forget to renew your driver's licence by a day or two. Well, the same principle shall and will apply to firearms licences with this bill. We completely disagree with the premise that any Canadian ought to be criminalized for errors in paperwork.
Further, it will remove the needless red tape around the authorization to transport firearms. Let's be clear this morning: all the transportation of firearms regulations remain in place, and once this bill is adopted, they will remain the same. We will make sure that we are simplifying the process so that we are cutting red tape.
Lastly, it will ensure that unelected officials are enforcing the law rather than making it. It will ensure that the elected government is able to stop chief firearms officers from taking arbitrary action and allow the elected government to classify firearms if, based on expert evidence, the Canadian firearms program has made an error.
These are safe and sensible changes.
Why? Because, for too long, the gun control policies developed under previous federal Liberal governments have targeted legitimate gun owners rather than attacking the source of the problems we have experienced, dangerous criminals and those possessing illegal weapons.
I am proud to be part of a government that has decided to respect law-abiding citizens. We are reducing red tape for law-abiding citizens, but we are making sure that those making violent use of firearms will face the full force of the law.
Some false notions about this bill have been spread around and I would like to clarify them. Specifically, after the bill was introduced, the Liberal Party saw fit to orchestrate a fear campaign, designed to drum up donations, that falsely claims that this bill will let people take pistols and other handguns into grocery stores and shopping centres. That is completely ridiculous; it is irresponsible and I call upon that party to stick to the facts and to stand up for public safety in our country instead of trying to raise funds. The fact is that restricted weapons can be transported to an approved destination, such as a shooting range or a gunsmith, only by the most direct route. Remember that the weapons must not be loaded and they must have a mechanism that locks the trigger. A restricted weapon must be in a padlocked container and, if the passenger leaves the vehicle, the weapon must not be visible or stored in the trunk. That is the law; it will remain in effect and it will be strengthened.
The Liberal Party also said that the bill “would take the power to classify firearms out of the hands of police...and put it into the hands of politicians...”. Once again, this is false. The police do not classify firearms; Parliament does, but has no mechanism to correct mistakes if they occur.
How do we do that? We do it through the Criminal Code and did so in fact in 1995 under a Liberal government. This is certainly a good opportunity to remind them what was put in place.
The Canadian firearms program interprets the legislation, and sometimes they make mistakes. The example we saw last year of the CZ858 and the Swiss Arms family of rifles is a perfect example and we intend to correct that mistake. That is why this legislation allows elected parliamentarians to correct these types of mistakes.
Mr. Chair, as I draw to a close I would like to highlight how proud I am of the broad support for this legislation. Hunting and conservation groups from coast to coast to coast support this legislation. Police officers support this legislation. Former Olympians support this legislation. Taxpayers support this legislation.
Here is what the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs had to say about this bill:
The Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs is thrilled with this initiative. Quebec hunters are very pleased with this bill because it simplifies the licence issuing process for law-abiding users, while reinforcing the concepts of safety and education.
Hunters and anglers are responsible citizens who want to enhance public safety in our country and who support measures to simplify red tape. Clearly, support for these secure and reasonable policies is very strong. Unfortunately, we have seen members of the New Democratic Party state that they would like to re-establish a costly and ineffective long gun registry. Of course, Mr. Chair, we have a program in place for handguns and restricted weapons. During the debate, we saw a Liberal member from downtown Toronto, who clearly wants to get into a game of political one-upmanship with the New Democrats, compare hunters, law-abiding citizens, with jihadi terrorists. It is important for us to maintain perspective. But statements of that kind will surprise no one who knows that these are the parties who have sometimes expressed contempt for law-abiding citizens. I feel that this is the time to pick a different target, if I may use that expression.
Earlier this week, Mr. Chair, we saw the opposition parties oppose measures whereby our hunters and anglers will no longer be treated as second-class citizens in society.
I will be happy to answer questions in order to provide any required clarifications to the bill that will allow firearms to be simply and safely registered.
Thank you very much.
View David Wilks Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much.
Finally, under Bill C-42, a mandatory lifetime prohibition on the possession of prohibited or restricted firearms would apply following any conviction for an offence involving the use, threat, or attempt to commit domestic violence, rather than only in cases where the possible sentence is imprisonment for 10 years or more. Does this mean that even for relatively minor offences, such as domestic dispute involving mutual threats of violence, a person would be prohibited from possessing a firearm for life?
Julie Besner
View Julie Besner Profile
Julie Besner
2015-04-23 9:51
First of all, there has to be a conviction on indictment. For example, for simple assault or another low-level threat there would most likely be a prosecution by summary conviction offence. There the court retains discretion whether or not to impose a prohibition order, and it can do so, with the proposed amendments in this bill, up to life for all classes of firearms. If an individual is convicted on indictment of a domestic violence offence, the prohibition will be for life for restricted or prohibited, and a minimum of 10 years up to life for non-restricted.
View Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Profile
NDP (QC)
I have a question about that.
Do you have any studies showing that minimum sentences, for example, have a deterrent effect on the actions?
View Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Profile
NDP (QC)
Do you have any studies that show that sentences, like those in Bill S-7, have a deterrent and preventive effect?
Gillian Blackell
View Gillian Blackell Profile
Gillian Blackell
2015-03-31 10:21
You're talking about maximum sentences. What's important is that sentences correspond to the seriousness of the actions. If we look at…
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
What are some of the penalties? If someone has knowledge of this going on or assists in a barbaric act, what are some of the things we can do with a peace-bond power to penalize those who would perpetrate or participate in such activities?
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