Remember the 2015 election campaign? Remember how Justin Trudeau said Omnibus Legislation has no place in a democracy? There were a lot of promises made about fixing Canada's justice laws and modernizing the courts. And the bills from the new Government came rolling out. Bill C-28 was aimed at the punitive and inflexible Victim Surcharge regime from Harper and the CPC. Bill C-38, meant to proclaim into force Bill C-452 from 2015 which addressed human trafficking. Bill C-39 sought to remove unconstitutional and superceded sections from the Canadian Criminal Code. Generally, all were needed reforms with vast agreement in principle from directly involved groups.
But 2 1/2 years in and none of them got very far in Parliament for one reason or another. Needing to demonstrate progress as the 2019 election nears, the Government did what their predecessors did regularly by design. They tabled Bill C-75, which combined all three previous bills and had amendments on 12 existing Acts, coming in at over 300 pages. Recent judgements from the Supreme Court highlighted issues not previously addressed. Once again, like electoral reform to reel in the "Fair Elections Act", suddenly omnibus bills seemed not so bad.
Well, not according to most outside of government. Law Societies across the country, University Law faculties across the country, Civil Rights organizations and Provincial governments were not impressed. Despite the usual "consultations" and review, over 300 amendments were proposed in House Committee. Government members of the committee supported a great many of the changes, a rare occurence.
Can C-75 be made palatable enough to become law before the next election? Will it make anything better? Does it make some factors worse as many insist? Do the Trudeau Liberals need to say they delivered on this promise?
Law and order? Try Political Messaging instead. The View Up Here examines C-75
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