Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has put forward a new plan for A Safer Canada. Details are below.
CRACKING DOWN ON GANGS
This pillar includes five new policy measures to combat gang crime and help make our communities safer.
A Conservative government will take action to make it easier for police to target gang members and put them where they belong: behind bars.
Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government have completely failed to address gang violence in Canada.
Their justice bill is proposing lighter sentences, or even just fines, for serious crimes, including gang-related offences. The actions of the Liberals are emboldening criminals and gang members, instead of deterring them.
This failure has real consequences for Canadians. It puts them at risk by letting violent gang members remain at large on our streets.
Andrew Scheer’s plan consists of the following proposals:
1. Ending automatic bail for gang members
Right now, even the most notorious gang members are entitled to bail. That means dangerous criminals who are known to police often go right back out on the streets. This is a risk to our communities and wastes valuable police resources. A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will change that and make sure that arrested repeat gang offenders will be held without bail.
2. Identifying gangs in the Criminal Code
Every time prosecutors go after gang members, they must first prove to the court that their gangs are criminal organizations. This includes well-known gangs like MS-13 and the Hells Angels. This makes no sense and is another huge waste of resources. A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will create and maintain a list of proven criminal organizations which will help law enforcement prosecute gang members faster.
3. Revoking parole for gang members
Parole is a privilege, not a right. Currently, paroled offenders are required to abstain from drugs and alcohol and promise to keep the peace. A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will also require those on parole to cut ties with gangs. Statistics show offenders are more likely to re-offend on parole if they’re in a gang. If you’re associating with gangs while on parole, you go back to jail.
4. Tougher sentences for ordering gang crime
Right now, gang leaders who order others to commit crimes can receive very short sentences in prisons, often served alongside other gang members. A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will bring in mandatory sentences in federal prison for directing gang crime, sending a strong message to gang members that they belong behind bars.
5. New sentences for violent gang crime
Gang-related murders, assaults, robberies, and other violent acts are steadily on the rise and pose the biggest threat to Canadians’ safety. A Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will create new offences for committing and ordering violent gang crime and attach mandatory sentences in federal prison for each.
GUN LAWS THAT TARGET CRIMINALS
This pillar contains seven new policy measures to get tough on the criminals who use guns to commit violence.
A Conservative government will put criminals with guns behind bars for a long time.
Criminals don’t follow laws; they break them. Canada needs firearms laws that actually target criminals.
A Conservative government’s firearms laws will get illegal guns out of our communities and make sure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Justin Trudeau’s approach to guns fails to address the real problem – criminals who use guns to commit violence. A blanket handgun ban will do nothing to curb gun violence and will instead only make criminals out of law-abiding firearms owners.
The Liberals have a long history of targeting law-abiding firearms owners instead of criminals. We think this is backwards.
Andrew Scheer’s plan consists of the following proposals.
1. Prison time for knowingly possessing a smuggled gun
The vast majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms. A particularly high number are committed with firearms illegally smuggled into the country. There is no legitimate reason to be in possession of a firearm that has been smuggled into Canada. That is why a Conservative government under Andrew Scheer will ensure that anyone who is knowingly in possession of a smuggled gun is sent to federal prison.
2. Tackling “straw purchases”
Law enforcement and municipal leaders have flagged concerns around guns purchased legally being diverted into the hands of criminals. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will ensure that anyone found to engage in this behaviour will face serious consequences, including prison time and a lifetime ban from owning firearms.
3. Create a CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force
Many guns used in crime are illegally smuggled into Canada by organized crime. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will create a CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force. This task force will oversee an increase of frontline officers, deployment of new technology, and further use of criminal intelligence. They will also be authorized to work with law enforcement counterparts on both sides of the border to identify smuggling routes and ensure that smugglers and those employing them are put behind bars where they belong.
4. Temporary gun seizures for detained mental health patients
It is important to ensure that individuals who are mentally unstable do not have access to firearms. Provinces have established legislation relating to detaining individuals experiencing mental health distress for their own protection. However, there is a patchwork approach between provinces as to how those who have firearms licenses are dealt with. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will ensure that any firearms owner detained under provincial mental health legislation will immediately have their firearms seized. They will be able to apply, after a period of time, to have their property returned if they can demonstrate that their condition has stabilized.
5. Lifetime firearms ban for violent and gang criminals
Gun laws need to target criminals, not law-abiding gun owners. Individuals who have demonstrated serious violent behaviour or have been involved in gang activity have forfeited the right to ever be trusted to own a firearm. A Conservative government by Andrew Scheer will make lifetime firearms bans mandatory for all serious personal injury offences and gang crimes.
6. New penalties for selling guns to prohibited users
When the courts decide that an individual should never be trusted to own a firearm, government should uphold that decision. Any individual who knowingly provides a firearm to an individual who is the subject of a gun ban is committing a serious crime. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will ensure that these individuals face serious prison time and that they themselves will be prohibited from owning a firearm for life.
7. New tools for police to solve gun crime
Law enforcement agencies across Canada have continually said that they face challenges getting convictions for firearms crime. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will take steps to improve this situation by encouraging firearms manufacturers to improve traceability, require the submission of ballistic data on crime guns, and by ensuring that the RCMP crime lab is appropriately resourced.
This pillar contains six new policy measures to provide police forces with the resources they need to keep our communities safe.
Conservatives believe a government’s responsibility to protect its citizens is its most sacred obligation.
The men and women of our police forces work incredibly hard to keep us safe. We owe them a debt of gratitude for what they do – but more importantly, we owe them the resources they need to do their jobs.
Justin Trudeau has failed to provide police with the equipment they need to keep Canadians safe. This failure has consequences. With gang violence on the rise, police need more and better resources to rid our streets of gangs.
Andrew Scheer’s plan consists of the following proposals:
1. New funding to fight gangs
Gang murders are at the highest point since statistics started being collected. It is important for the federal government to step up and assist other levels of government. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will cost-share new anti-gang law enforcement initiatives with provinces and territories.
2. Create a Police Infrastructure Grant program
There are more than 70 municipal policing agencies in Canada. Often, these forces have much less purchasing power than larger agencies like the RCMP. This is particularly true in rural and suburban areas, as well as some smaller urban centres. These agencies cannot always purchase new equipment to combat gun and gang violence and keep officers and the whole community safe. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will create a grant for these agencies to buy new equipment.
3. Better information sharing to solve gun crimes
Police agencies in Canada operate under a patchwork of rules and procedures when it comes to tracking information on guns used in crime. This leads to gaps in sharing information and intelligence that could help to solve crimes. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will make sure that information on guns found at crime scenes is given to the right authorities.
4. Stronger background checks for gun licences
A recent audit of firearms licensing shows that there are lengthy delays both in issuing licences to law-abiding gun owners and in investigating risks to the public. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will ensure that the Canadian Firearms Program has what it needs to conduct rigorous and effective background checks.
5. More support to keep young people from joining gangs
Putting criminal gang members behind bars is important – but Conservatives want to stop young people from joining gangs in the first place. That is why Conservatives created the Youth Gang Prevention Fund in 2006 and made it permanent in 2011. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will increase the funds available for the Youth Gang Prevention Fund by 25% to ensure continued support for counselling, skills development, and other important programs.
6. Making prison time meaningful
Our prison system spends $60 million each and every year on jobs and skills training for prisoners. However, the government does not measure how effective these program are. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will conduct an audit of all correctional services programs to make sure inmates are ready to rejoin society upon their release.