The opposition has called it misguided and at least two provinces have vowed not to pay for it.

Still, the omnibus crime bill cleared the Commons on Mon-day evening, just 45 sitting days after it was tabled.

The Safe Streets and Communities Act - a hodgepodge of nine justice bills, most of which were defeated in previous Parliaments when the Conservatives were in minority status - easily passed thanks to the government's majority in a vote of 157-127.

"Parliament has debated these measures, some of them for as long as four years," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said earlier in the day as he called on all MPs to unanimously sup-port the measures, even though this clearly was no longer necessary, nor likely to happen. "The time for talk is over. The time for action is now."

The government fast-tracked the bill, invoking closure every step of the way, and Nicholson expressed hope the bill also would move through the Senate "expeditiously."

It is likely to pass second reading before Parliament breaks for the holidays and the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs will begin hearing from stakeholders and examining the bill clause-by-clause in the new year. Bill C-10 is poised to become law by March 16, the 100th sitting day of the 41st Parliament.

The Senate will consider six government amendments pro-posed by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews following consultations with stakeholders after House Speaker Andrew Scheer ruled them out of order.

Nearly identical to some of the 38 proposals tabled by Liberal justice critic Irwin Cotler, the amendments aimed at strengthening provisions that allow victims of terrorism to sue their perpetrators were ultimately rejected by a Commons committee.

The late day flip raised the ire of the opposition, which argued this was an abuse of democracy and proof the government was pushing the bill through with-out adequate debate.

Other critics, including the Canadian Bar Association and the John Howard and Elizabeth Fry societies, have railed against the bill for favouring incarceration over rehabilitation and reintegration.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

This is nauseating. You should all be really worried for Canada's future.


06 December 2011

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