Politics on TV: Renewing the crime agenda - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Renewing the crime agenda

The three things you need to see


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Rob Nicholson on the renewed crime agenda
  2. MPs debate its merits
  3. Veterans Ombudsman’s latest report

Renewed crime agenda:

Power & Politics spoke with Justice Minister Rob Nicholson about today’s announcement regarding tougher penalties for child sex offenses, a victims’ bill of rights, and tougher laws on mentally ill offenders who commit violent offences. Nicholson said the announcement lays out the justice agenda for the next year, but wouldn’t give too many specifics other than to expect increases in penalties, nor would he reply if C-30 on Internet surveillance would be coming back. Over on Power Play, he went into a bit more detail about the how protection of the public would be paramount before individuals found not criminally responsible they are released from treatment facilities. Don Martin also spoke to University of Ottawa Criminologist Michael Kempa, who said that the victims’ rights portions are more robust than those found in American courts, and that while crime continues to decrease, sexual offences are not reducing at the same rate as other crimes.

MPs debate the crime agenda:

Evan Solomon had an MP panel of Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Françoise Boivin and Irwin Cotler to discuss Nicholson’s announcement. Findlay said that two million criminal code offences are conducted every year, some of which are on rise, and these measures keep offenders off of the street. Boivin said that she wishes above all that they would focus on prevention so that there would be no victims. Cotler said that problems like access to justice, legal aid, wrongful convictions, and Aboriginals in system are going unaddressed. Solomon called out Findlay saying there was a 43 per cent recidivism rate, stating that it’s 14 per cent for sex offenders, to which Findlay backtracked and said it was a more general rate for repeat offenders.

Veterans’ Ombudsman:

Power Play spoke with Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent, whose latest report talks about how veterans who fill out and submit their paperwork are not able to see which documents the department flags as evidence of their claims. Parent said that veterans should be able to know what evidence is used against them so that they have opportunity to clarify or bring forward new evidence, but currently the only way to find out is through a lengthy ATIP process. While the government says they will be making changes, Parent said that he will make a follow-up report.

Worth Noting:

  • Liberal leadership candidate George Takach said that he’s the “economy candidate” before the “tech candidate,” and that his priority is broadband to low-income families.
  • Heritage Minister James Moore appeared on Power Play with singer Johnny Reid to talk about the importance of showcasing Canadian talent and protecting artist rights.
  • Neither political show mentioned the royal succession bill passing the Commons at all stages with no debate this morning – despite the fact that it is unconstitutional and in effect de-patriates our constitution back to Britain.