Western Attorneys General and Solicitors General ask for action on Organized Crime and Gangs within 40 days
News Release – September 18, 2009
Western Attorneys General and Solicitors General today called on all federal Members of Parliament and Senators to co-operate to pass and proclaim key federal legislation to help protect Canadians from organized crime and gangs. Specifically, Ministers asked for:•Immediate proclamation of the organized crime bill (C-14); and
•The quick passage of pending legislation on credit for time served (C-25), lawful access (C-46 and C-47); national sex offender registry reform (C-34); and mandatory minimum penalties for drug trafficking offences (C-15).
To support this call for action, Ministers will be sending a letter to all federal parties outlining their expectations on the progress of legislative reform and need for further reforms to deal with:
•Use of encryption and non-traceable prepaid cell phones by organized crime;
•Further modernization and streamlining the lawful access provisions of the Criminal Code;
•Strengthening the bail regime under the Criminal Code; and
•Addressing inadequacies in the Youth Criminal Justice Act to recognize denunciation and deterrence as sentencing principles and to strengthen provisions dealing with pre-trial custody for young offenders.
Ministers will be meeting with their Federal/Provincial/Territorial colleagues at the end of October and will review action then.
Ministers also discussed the importance of keeping our communities safe by:
•Supporting a more modern national criminal intelligence database for better sharing of intelligence on organized crime;
•Improving the justice system response to missing persons in their jurisdictions, particularly to address missing Aboriginal women. This includes the Manitoba task force, the implementation in Saskatchewan of the reforms recommended by the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons, and the investigations in Alberta – project KARE – and British Columbia – Highway 16 investigation;
•Promising approaches to prevention, intervention and suppression to address the pathways that lead youth and young adults into gangs. They recognized the importance of involving other governments, agencies, all justice sectors and other ministries in helping to rid communities of gangs; and
•Improving justice system efficiency through case management, early Crown involvement and disclosure, and adequate federal funding for legal aid.
This is the second meeting of Western Attorneys General and Solicitors General and the next meeting will be planned following the next Federal/Provincial/Territorial meeting.
For more information, contact:
Justice and Attorney General