NDP stalls final vote on crime bill

Procedural tactics by the NDP in the House of Commons managed to postpone a final vote on the Conservative government’s sweeping crime bill late Wednesday.

OTTAWA, Ont. — Procedural tactics by the NDP in the House of Commons managed to postpone a final vote on the Conservative government’s sweeping crime bill late Wednesday.

The stalling tactics mean Bill C-10 likely won’t come to a final vote until early next week — a perhaps fitting end-game for a bill that has attracted no end of partisan acrimony in parliament.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson accused New Democrats of being more interested in procedural games than doing the right thing for Canadians.

“All you hear from them: ‘we don’t like the procedure, we had an amendment here that we wanted.’ I say, c’mon, let’s get on with it, let’s do the right thing for the people of this country,” Nicholson shouted in the Commons during a heated exchange Wednesday.

The omnibus legislation, which includes nine, separate crime-related bills on a wide range of issues, was a key plank in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s re-election campaign last spring.

The Conservatives promised to pass the bill within 100 sitting days of the new parliament, and should still easily meet that target despite the delay.

The NDP gamesmanship, however, spoiled the government’s carefully orchestrated communications plan, which included flying Nicholson, a Conservative senator and junior cabinet minister Julian Fantino to Woodbridge, Ont., earlier Wednesday for a news conference with high-profile victims rights advocate Sheldon Kennedy.

“Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to crack down on child predators and violent drug traffickers,” Nicholson said in Woodbridge.

Conservatives, victims rights advocates, some police organizations and some addictions organizations maintain the measures will lead to safer communities and fewer victims of crime.

But the government itself has never set a measurable target for assessing crime reduction during a period when Canadian crime rates have generally fallen to their lowest level since the early 1970s.

“We believe that eventually the crime rate will continue to proceed in the right direction,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said last September.

The bill’s many critics say bitter experience shows that the move to mandatory minimum sentences, longer jail terms, less judicial discretion and harsher treatment of minors won’t increase public safety but will prove costly.

Just Posted

Red Deer city council aims to force larger non-profits to become more accountable

New bylaw defines which not-for-profits must pay for a business licence

Red Deer city council will seek public input on portable signage March 4

Council gave initial approval to retaining 100-metre separation distance

Smaller, more affordable, lots wanted in Red Deer’s Evergreen neighbourhood

Council approves first reading of requested lot-size changes

RDC’s new name to be unveiled in February

The next big milestone for Red Deer College is a new name,… Continue reading

Lacombe considering licensing cats

Council is expected to take a look at cat potential licensing regulations next month

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Opinion: Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Ontario riding

MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying… Continue reading

World champion Osmond says it’s “really nice” not to know what future holds

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Kaetlyn Osmond has a world title, Olympic medals… Continue reading

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children’s hospital

DALLAS — Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for… Continue reading

UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt

LONDON — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband… Continue reading

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

Most Read