Criminal Justice Policy / government / legislation / proroguing parliament

Ottawa Public Forum on Prorogation


Prorogation as Opportunity:
Proposing New Directions for Criminal Justice Policy in Canada

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4:00pm – 5:30pm

Ottawa Public Library – Main Branch

120 Metcalfe Street

Ottawa, ON

Since their election in 2006, the minority Conservative Government of Canada has made ‘tackling crime’ one of its priorities.  In the years since, they have introduced and passed a number of ‘justice’ bills which will result in longer sentences for individuals who have committed a wide-range of non-violent and violent offenses.  They have also conducted reviews of the Youth Criminal Justice Act as well as the policies and practices of the Correctional Service of Canada which have recommended the reintroduction of denunciation and deterrence as central sentencing principles for adults and youth alike.

When the 2nd session of the 40th Parliament of Canada was prorogued recently, many voiced their opposition to a political move arguably intended to stifle political debate on important issues such as the Afghan detainee scandal.  However, this occasion also represents an opportunity to reassess the direction of important legislative proposals, policies and practices that impact Canadians, particularly in the area of criminal justice where at least 14 bills are currently in limbo (see ON THE DOCKET below).

We invite members of the public to participate in a public forum that will assess the current direction of criminal justice policy in Canada.  In this session, we will also consider alternatives to costly, ineffective and unjust measures being adopted in this country that have proven to decrease public safety in other jurisdictions.

Coffee, water and snacks will be provided by the Organizing Committee of the Thirteenth International Conference on Penal Abolition in Belfast (June 23-25, 2010).


Confirmed speakers at this event include Kim Pate (Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies –, Tara Lyons (Executive Director, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy – and Justin Piché (Co-managing Editor, Journal of Prisoners on Prisons –  Craig Jones (Executive Director, John Howard Society of Canada – has also been invited to speak at the event and will confirm his participation in the coming weeks. The forum will be chaired by Eugene Oscapella (Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa –

For more event information, e-mail


From 2008:

C-25: An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act

From 2009:

C-15: An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

C-19: An Act to amend the Criminal Code
(investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions)

C-26: An Act to amend the Criminal Code

(auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime)

C-31: An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act

C-34: Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act

C-36: An Act to amend the Criminal Code
(Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act)

C-42: An Act to amend the Criminal Code

(Ending Conditional Sentences for Property and Other Serious Crimes Act)

C-43: An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act

and the Criminal Code

C-47: An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations

C-52: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for fraud)

C-53: An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act

(accelerated parole review) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

C-55: An Act to amend the Criminal Code

(provision of bodily substances by offenders and defendants upon request to ensure compliance with alcohol and drug prohibitions related to bail and conditional release)

C-58: An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service

C-59: An Act to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act


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