Stand Against Harper’s Crime Bill

14 Nov

Dear friends,

In the last few days a group of provinces have taken a powerful stand against the Conservatives’ cruel Crime Bill. Quebec and Ontario have said that they will not pay the huge costs for a federally imposed fill-the-prisons approach to justice that has failed everywhere it has been tried.[1] Many other provinces are pushing back, publicly and privately, against policies that will cost us dearly while creating a revolving door for prisoners. [2]

From prosecutors to prisons, our provinces and territories are responsible for paying for most of our criminal justice system. If the provinces work together and refuse to pay for the Crime Bill’s costly and ineffective measures, then the federal government will have to go back to the drawing board and negotiate a better way forward.

This is a crucial moment. Alberta’s provincial government is currently supporting the bill, despite concerns about the bill and its costs. We need to speak together right now to show Premier Alison Redford that his constituents do not want to pay more money to be less safe.

Click here to tell Premier Alison Redford to refuse to pay for the cruel Crime Bill, and support a Citizen’s Assembly for Canadian Justice:

http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-alberta-safe

Opposition to this bill is growing across the political spectrum. Newfoundland’s Justice Minister, Conservative Felix Collins, just spoke out and called the Crime Bill a “costly gaffe” that would “undermine democracy.” [3]

Collins said that “most groups, most experts and most witnesses who have given presentations on this bill would advocate that the federal government is proceeding in the wrong direction, and that this procedure has been tried in other areas before and has proven to be a failure.” [3]

Collins is right about the experts. Take the Canadian Bar Association, which represents 37,000 legal professionals. They strongly criticized the Bill for its “punitive approach to criminal behaviour, rather than a focus on how to prevent that behaviour in the first place, or rehabilitate those who offend.” [3]

Click here to take action: http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-alberta-safe

And then there’s tough-on-crime Texas. In 2004 Texas had the highest incarceration rate in the world. In 2005 they had a budget crisis. That’s when Texas got serious, and discovered that crime prevention, through drug treatment programs and a host of other proven solutions, is cheaper and more effective than mandatory sentences and other fill-the-prisons policies. [4]

Texas has learned something that Canadians have known for a long time: it is better to help people be a part of society than it is to pay to force them out.

We need a united provincial alliance. Click here to send a message that you want to make Canada safer, not meaner:

http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-alberta-safe

Thank you so much.

With hope and respect,

Matthew, Tria, Emma, Jamie, Ryan and Adam on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

References:

1. Provinces won’t foot bill for crime legislation, McGuinty warns PM:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/provinces-wont-foot-bill-for-crime-legislation-mcguinty-warns-pm/article2222867/

2. Quebec Justice Minister Jean Marc Fournier says province wont pay costs of new federal crime bill:
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20111101/quebec-justice-minister-jean-marc-fournier-says-province-wont-pay-costs-of-new-federal-crime-bill-111101/#ixzz1caunK100

3. N.L. joins Ontario, Quebec in criticism of crime bill:
http://m.ctv.ca/topstories/20111102/newfoundland-feds-crime-bill-111102.html

4. Texas Conservatives reject Harper’s crime plan:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/17/pol-vp-milewski-texas-crime.html

Leadnow.ca is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

Tell Alberta Premier Alison Redford to stand up for Canadian justice

www.leadnow.ca

The federal government is rushing to pass a cruel Crime Bill that will cost our provinces billions and make our streets more dangerous. Other provinces are stepping up and refusing to pay for the bill. Tell Alberta’s premier, Alison Redford, that you don’t want to pay more to be less safe.

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