On March 13, 2012, the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) received royal assent by a vote of 154 to 129. This Act was first introduced by the Government of Canada in September 2011. According to a press release by the Department of Justice Canada, this Bill proposes various amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada, including provisions to “increase the mandatory minimum penalties for nine existing offences to better reflect the serious nature of these offences, as well as to bring greater consistency in sentencing in these cases.”
There has been much opposition to Bill C-10 from a variety of different stakeholders from across Canada. Numerous stakeholders within the mental health community have also raised concerns that provisions under Bill C-10 which propose mandatory minimum sentences for offenders would negatively impact on offenders with mental health conditions.
To access the Safe Streets and Communities Act, visit www.parl.gc.ca.
See previous Mental Health Notes article “Provincial HSJCC responds to omnibus crime bill,” available at www.ontario.cmha.ca/mhn.
See also “Omnibus crime bill: Tories say they’ll ‘space out’ crime measures after rushing through parliament,” Toronto Star, March 13, 2012 atwww.thestar.com.