Our Conservative Government?s plan to steer Canada through this global economic downturn is – and should be – the primary focus of parliamentary and operational efforts by the Government of Canada. Yet you may be wondering ?what else is going on in Ottawa??
Budget legislation may capture the headlines, but other government bills currently under examination in Parliament propose reforms and initiatives that will also make an important difference to Canadians. The following is a brief selection:
Consumer Product Safety
Bill C-6 will modernize existing product safety laws to further protect the health and safety of Canadians. These amendments would strengthen the government?s ability to act swiftly when unsafe products are identified, through stricter bans on the manufacture, importation, advertisement and sale of unsafe products, along with increased fines and penalties. Recall powers and the tracking of unsafe products through the supply chain will also be enhanced.
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
Bill C-9 would enhance and modernize legislation and regulations to better ensure the safety of Canadians when dangerous goods are handled, transported and imported. Among other measures, improved tracking and security, more security training and screening for personnel working with dangerous goods, and strengthened enforcement, will help boost public safety. The amendments will also maintain trade and market access which is vital to our economic interests.
Bill C-14 would address the lethal impact of gangs and organized crime on Canadian families and communities. This legislation would make murders connected to organized crime activity automatically first-degree, meaning life imprisonment. It would also create a new offence for drive-by and other reckless shootings and the sentence would be increased if the offence was committed for a criminal organization or with a handgun.
Bill C-15 would impose mandatory prison sentences for serious drug crimes specifically for those who produce and sell illegal drugs. This is another tool to fight back against gangs and organized crime. Mandatory jail time would be even further increased for those dealing drugs to youth or near a school or an area normally frequented by youth.
Bill C-16 would crack-down on polluters, poachers and wildlife smugglers. Many of Canada?s environmental laws have not been updated in over two decades. These amendments would, for the first time, impose mandatory fines for serious environmental offences and give enforcement officers new powers to investigate cases. In addition, fines imposed by the courts would go to the Environmental Damages Fund which provides funding to local environmental improvement initiatives.
Bill C-3 moves to further protect Canada?s sovereignty in the north and safeguard Arctic waters from pollution. This legislation will give Canada more control over marine activity in the Canadian Arctic and to help ensure that ships do not pollute our waters.
Our Conservative Government continues to develop and draft additional legislation to be introduced in Parliament in the near future, such as a bill to limit the use of ?credit for time served?, whereby convicted criminals receive ?2 for 1? or even ?3 for 1? credit for time served prior to sentencing.
You can keep up to date on all legislation tabled in Parliament at www.parl.gc.ca.