Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is “hopeful” the opposition parties will agree to reinstate 14 crime bills that died with Parliament's prorogation late last year.
“What would their motives be not to agree? If a piece of legislation is good for Canadians ... why wouldn’t they give us their complete support?” Nicholson said Tuesday.
The 14 government-sponsored justice bills that died include imposing mandatory minimum sentencing for marijuana grow-ops of between five and 200 plants, increasing sentences for “white collar” fraud, tougher sentencing for auto thefts, and eliminating the “faint hope” parole clause for convicts serving life sentences, among others.
“To say, oh, they don’t like prorogation so they’re going to start opposing bills that better protect Canadian victims and law-abiding Canadians ...
That’s a bad reason,” Nicholson said. “I’ve got questions for them if they are just going to hold this up because they’re in a snit about something.” Nicholson made his appeal Tuesday while celebrating Bill C-25, which came into effect Tuesday and eliminates the courts’ practice of awarding prisoners a two-for-one - sometimes even three-for-one - credit for time served in pre-trial custody.
There is a hilarity to the Nicholson argument. The MORE Nicholson pushes the urgency, the more he says we require quick passage in the name of protecting our citizens, the more he highlights how irresponsible his own government. We arrive at this position, not because of Liberal Senators, soft on crime lefties, but because this government voluntarily ABANDONED their crime agenda. To now come to the table and start demanding this and that, the height of illogical arrogance. In a strange twist of fate, it is now up to the opposition to get tough on crime, because the Conservatives went soft, in the name of political expediency.
The opposition should hit back hard. Let Nicholson rant and rave with his increasingly tired arguments. The facts will never absolve the bombastic demands, this is the government's chosen path, they bear FULL RESPONSIBILITY. The Conservatives "held up" the business of the nation, tossed aside months of work and effort, and the opposition CAN'T reward this behavior, no matter the dueling optics. The simple fact of the matter, for all the rhetoric, any attack on the opposition as obstructing the crime agenda, can be met with the most easy of retort. If Nicholson wants to keep the prorogue issue on the frontburner, so be it, it highlights YOUR failings, not a indictment of ANYBODY BUT THE GOVERNMENT. Let the Conservatives make "tough on crime" the centerpiece of the throne speech and spring agenda, they've lost the moral imperative, they've been exposed as callous players, self interest before citizenry, and no amount of table pounding changes reality.