Bill C-393 - Minimum Sentencing for Knife Crimes
Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It has been 876 days since my families life was forever changed and ripped apart, when a 'knife' took the life of my only son... he was innocent... had no weapon... could not defend himself, since he was attacked by 12... he did not know his killers... he was trying to protect another...
over 200 people stood by and watched him bleed to death
Aaron gave his life for another... his life was stolen
He should have received a Medal... my child is dead and his killer(s)live on...

with the upcoming Election it is important that we cast an informed vote... please listen to the SILENT CRIES OF OUR MURDERED CHILDREN... we need JUSTICE, it will only come if we change our criminal LAWS...

Bill C-393 - Minimum Sentencing for Knife Crimes

This bill was first introduced by Conservative MP Gord Brown on May 17, 2005

This act proposes to create mandatory minimum sentences for carrying a concealed weapon and for manslaughter on an unarmed person inflicted with a knife that was previously concealed.

The act mandates a reduction in parole eligibility for both offences and creates a second or subsequent offence for carrying a concealed weapon, as well as including carrying a concealed weapon as an offence withing the absolute jurisdiction of a provincial court judge.

The act would also provide direction to sentencing courts with respect to consideration and calculation of pre-trial custody.

The act provides direction to the National Parole Board with respect to supplying relevant information to crime victims, asserts the obligation of the board to not adjourn conditional release hearings without justification and creates a future conditional release eligibility consequence for offenders that waive scheduled hearings.

Gord Brown Outraged by Liberal response on Knife Sentences

Ottawa – April 15, 2005 - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville today expressed outrage that the Liberal government will not look at minimum sentences for knife crimes.

“Everyone in the justice community knows that real consequences are a real deterrent,” says Mr. Brown.

During Question Period in the House of Commons today Paul Macklin, Parliamentary Secretary to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler stated that minimum sentences do not work.

“They are not effective as a deterrent,” he said.

Mr. Brown was following up on a question he asked yesterday about the increase in knife crime incidents across Canada. Justice Minister Cotler indicated that he will not entertain any notion of minimum sentences for knife crimes.

Responding to Mr. Brown’s question about current minimum sentencing laws for firearms, drunk driving and other crimes, Mr. Macklin today stated that they do not work.

“The Justice Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary are wrong,” says Mr. Brown. “Even children understand that if you steal or if you hurt someone, there will be consequences. Consequences provide that single moment of sober second thought.”

People carry knives as potential weapons because there are no consequences, Mr. Brown explains. Police in cities like Kingston are concerned about this.

“People who murder with knives can end up spending literally only months in jail. What kind of a message is this Liberal government sending to potential criminals?”

He notes that despite the Liberal “hug-a-thug” attitude to criminals he is moving forward with his plans to introduce a Private Member’s Bill that calls for mandatory minimum sentences for knife crimes.

Following is the text from Question period:

Mr. Gord Brown (Leeds—Grenville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, anyone familiar with justice in Canada, including violent crime victims, must have been shocked yesterday to hear the justice minister say mandatory minimum sentences do not deter crime. I understand Liberal nervousness about crimes with mandatory jail sentences. I was asking about crimes with knives, not cash envelopes and chequebooks.

Can the minister explain his outrageous view that is an insult to crime victims, police and law abiding Canadians who demand protection?

Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member really should do a little research. If he did the research, he would find out that mandatory minimum penalties do not generally work.

If we look at the experience in the United States, we will see that they are now removing so many of their mandatory minimum sentences simply because the courts and the lawyers in the system have found ways around them and they really have not become effective as deterrents.

Mr. Gord Brown ( Leeds—Grenville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the minister's academic banter may sound enlightened in the we know best taxpayer subsidized limousine lecture hall, but it rings hollow to people victimized by knife crimes and the police who fight crime on our streets each and everyday.

Could the minister explain yesterday's answer in light of existing mandatory minimum sentences for firearm homicide, drunk driving and other crimes? Is he perhaps looking at a Liberal knife registry?

Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member looks at the record he will find out that we have more mandatory minimum sentences relating to gun use and gun crime than any other area within our law. The fact is that is already in place and we have to work with many tools within our arsenal in order to deal with crime. Mandatory minimums are there, but we also need to put resources with our police. We need to make sure they have all the tools necessary to meet the needs of our communities.

Gord Brown Shocked by Liberal Attitude to Punishing Knife Crimes

Ottawa – April 14, 2005 - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, today expressed shock and outrage at the Liberal government’s attitude toward people who commit knife crimes, including homicides and assaults

“We are calling for minimum sentences for people who commit these types of crimes with knives,” says Mr. Brown. “The Liberals say they won’t impose them because they don’t think they will be a deterrent.”

In Question Period in the House of Commons today, Mr. Brown pointed out the concern being expressed about knife crimes and the fact that people carry knives as weapons.

Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler replied: ”When it comes to mandatory minimum, we will not go ahead and introduce something that all the evidence shows is neither effective nor a deterrent.”

Yesterday, Dan Murphy deputy chief of the Kingston Police commented that: “Everyone’s carrying them.” It is expected that knife crimes will reach an all-time high in Kingston this year.

“There are no deterrents to carrying and using them,” says Mr. Brown. “You can kill someone with a knife and face no minimum sentence. Yet if you kill someone with a firearm you face a minimum four year sentence.”

“Mr. Cotler’s response is typical of the Liberals’ “hug-a-thug” attitude toward criminals,” says Mr. Brown. “His response seems to indicate that we shouldn’t have any minimum sentences for any crimes.”

Mr. Brown is set to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the House that will call for minimum sentences for knife crimes that match those for firearms.

“Almost the same number of people are killed each year by knives as by guns,” says Mr. Brown.

Following is the text of the question and answer:

Mr. Gord Brown (Leeds—Grenville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, after another knife killing in Kingston, Ontario, Deputy Police Chief Dan Murphy expressed concern about the growing number of people carrying knives to use as weapons.

Statistics Canada says from 1999 to 2003, guns killed 833 people, while knives killed 787.

People who kill with knives face no minimum sentence.

Will the justice minister tell us when his government will take knife crime seriously and impose mandatory minimum sentences?

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we take all crime seriously.

When it comes to mandatory minimum, we will not go ahead and introduce something that all the evidence shows is neither effective nor a deterrent.

We want to combat crime, but not with ineffective deterrents

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"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Aaron's Story