Tagged with: Canadian Politics
By KERRY DIOTTE
As a federal politician, crime, justice and community safety are almost always at the top of the list of concerns I hear about from people.
These topics have especially dominated the news and the minds of many people I’ve talked to lately.
Just the other day I met with constituents in my local office, both of whom were crying out for changes to the way we seek to have safer communities.
One 77-year-old man complained he and his wife had suffered 54 break-ins or petty crimes in and around their Londonderry area home since 1990.
Few people were arrested for the offences, despite the fact that he’s got scores of surveillance video, he told me.
What’s more, he said their farm in Mayorthorpe was hit by thieves and vandals who made off with $40,000 in stolen goods and did $30,000 in vandalism.
The man is upset there aren’t more police resources to probe such crimes. He figures Canada needs to toughen laws to put repeat offenders away for longer stretches. “It’s become a justice industry,” he says. “It’s not justice.”
A retired veteran of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) I met with the same day echoed similar frustration with the approach to public safety.
His concern centres around a lack of resources from the federal government to deal with people released from federal prisons, deemed to be high risk to re-offend “sexually or violently.”
The former EPS officer who’s still active in the criminal justice system says these high-risk ex-cons have typically been kept in prison until the last day of their sentences and don’t get the benefit of statutory release.
The former officer told me a trio of city police detectives in Edmonton do their best to supervise an average of 30 of these high-risk offenders who walk among us — a high percentage of those ex-cons being sex offenders.
The retired officer argues more resources are direly needed to stop these hardest of hardened ex-cons from re-offending. As proof the system isn’t working, he brought me a list of eight such, hard-core ex-cons who indeed did re-offend.
Those re-offences include the aggravated assault of a woman confined to a wheelchair, sex assaults against children under the age of 16 and several homicides, he said.
“If these cases are going to remain the responsibility of policing agencies across Canada, they need proper funding from the federal government for training and adequate personnel,” he said.
To me, that’s a no brainer.
The concerns of these two men are the tip of the iceberg. Recently Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons lamented that Canada has a “broken court system.”
Simons raised numerous concerns including that courts don’t have enough judges or other resources to deal with the workload.
I believe that’s particularly true because of a Supreme Court ruling called the Jordan decision. That ruling means accused criminals must get a trial is a timely manner or they must be released.
Canadians have already been shocked that several people charged with violent crimes didn’t get a trial fast enough and were released scott free.
Simons rightly a point out it’s a federal government responsibility to appoint federal judges and there are a whack of vacancies.
This is hardly news to our Conservative caucus.
We’ve been hammering at the federal Liberal justice minister for months now as vacancies for judges remained unfilled for no good reason.
When repeatedly questioned in the House of Commons by Conservative deputy justice critic Michael Cooper, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has blathered a lot of non-sensical excuses for the delay including talking about the fact we need to aim for “diversity” when hiring judges.
In my view, public safety can’t take a back seat when there aren’t enough judges appointed and people charged with murder and other violent crimes are walking free without being tried.
Another controversy keeping crime high on people’s radar was the recent defeat of Wynn’s Law by the federal Liberal majority government.
Backed by Conservatives, it would have closed a loophole in the law so that those applying for bail would have to have their criminal records and pending charges shown to a judge.
Liberals made a bogus argument that, somehow, disclosing someone’s criminal record or pending charges would bog down the justice system. Just TRY to figure out that loopy Liberal logic.
Violent crime has also been much on the minds of many in Edmonton, in part because the city had experienced more than two dozen homicides and 2017 is only half over. By June 29 the city had recorded its 25th murder.
The spike in murders was enough for police to call a news conference to ally public fears and reassure citizens the city is still relatively safe.
Given all these recent headlines, it’s understandable Canadians are worried about community safety and concerned not enough is being done by governments to assure the public.
Public safety should be a top priority for any government. Our Conservative opposition will continue to urge the Liberal government to fill vacancies in the federal courts and stand up for victims of crime and law-abiding Canadians.
E-mail me at email@example.com to share your thoughts on these issues.
It’s been less than two years since October 2015’s election of a Liberal majority government. But as the latest House of Commons session drew to a close it was clear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party had broken many key campaign promises and disappointed Canadians as a government. Here is a Dirty Dozen of Liberal Lowlights:
- HEARTLESS: During his election campaign Trudeau was all about “sunny ways” and heartfelt hugs. But the Liberals were heartless in voting down Wynn’s Law, a bill that would have made it mandatory for judges to view an accused’s criminal record and any pending charges during bail hearings. Every Liberal in the House but one voted against the bill as widow Shelly Wynn sat in the gallery, tears streaming down her face. Her police officer husband was killed by a career criminal who’d been granted bail. Neither his criminal record nor his pending charges were revealed at that bail hearing.
- FLIGHTS OF FANCY: During the election campaign, the Liberals promised to hold an “open and transparent competition” to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets excluding the Lockheed Martin F-35 Stealth. The Liberals later said it had to address a “capability gap” in our forces by making an interim purchase of 18 Super Hornets from Boeing. But now it’s backing away from that pledge after Boeing complained that Bombardier Inc. is getting an edge in the aviation industry due to unfair government subsidies.
- OFF BASE: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan lost all credibility with those in the Canadian Armed Forces when he falsely claimed to be the “architect” of Operation Medusa – a major anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. Despite repeated calls for him to step down, Trudeau kept the disgraced minister on the job.
- PARTISAN POLITICS: After huge Opposition backlash, Liberals had to back down from appointing Madeleine Meilleur as the non-partisan official languages commissioner. Meilleur, a life-long Liberal, is extremely partisan.
- CLEARLY FALSE: During the election campaign Liberals promised to be more open and transparent than the previous government. But a scathing June report by Parliament’s information commissioner Suzanne Legault lashed the Liberal government for its lack of transparency. Indeed Legault said the Access to Information Act “is being used as a shield against transparency.”
- DON’T COUNT ON IT: Despite promising to run a deficit of “only” $10 billion for two years and to balance the budget by 2019, Liberals proposed a $28.5-billion deficit in its latest budget and the prime minister now refuses to say when, if ever, we’ll have a balanced budget. Canada’s youth will be stuck paying off the tab.
- POSTHASTE: Justin Trudeau repeatedly promised 2015 would be the last election where people are elected in a first-past-the-post system. But the Liberals ditched that controversial promise after the Conservative Opposition argued such a radical change shouldn’t take place without a national referendum.
- CASH FOR ACCESS: Liberals were rightly slammed for months when it was revealed they’d been holding scores of fundraisers that gave private access to cabinet ministers and the prime minister. Those raised questions from Canada’s ethics commissioner and were a violation of the Liberals’ own “Open and Accountable Government” rules.
- ETHICAL LAPSES: The prime minister has breached House of Commons ethics rules by taking a trip on a private helicopter to visit a billionaire family friend. Canada’s ethics commissioner launched a formal probe into the affair but Trudeau has repeatedly refused to say how often, if at all, he has met with the commissioner.
- HEAVY HANDED: Liberals tried ramming through unilateral changes to the way Canada’s Parliament operates, including ending Friday Question Period and proposing a single day when the prime minister would answer all questions in Question Period. After much opposition and public outcry they backed down on many of those changes.
- CRIPPLING CARBON TAX: The Liberals are imposing a national carbon tax despite critics saying it will kill jobs and hurt the economy especially since the U.S.A. has no plans to have such a levy.
- TAX THIS: The Liberals have raised a slew of taxes on just about everything, most recently on beer, wine and Uber rides.
Thank you to all the fathers and father figures who invest their time, wisdom and love into their children.
The unconditional love of a parent helps give a child the inspiration and courage to succeed.
And, our communities and personal lives are strengthened by these men.
This father’s day, I hope you’ll join me in showing your appreciation.
To every father, I wish you a…
Happy Father’s Day!
I had a truly amazing experience travelling to London and Manchester UK to be part of a Commonwealth UK election assessment observer team along with my MP colleague Matt Jeneroux and more than 30 other Commonwealth parliamentarians and officials.
Our preliminary report on the June 8 election is online now and a final report will be out in the coming weeks.
Thanks to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK for the training and for being great hosts.
To mark this week, I was pleased to highlight Edmonton – Festival City!
Do you want an exciting summer job? An opportunity to exercise your creative muscles?
Position Title: Creative summer intern
Language Requirements: English, other languages considered an asset
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
• Good skills at photography and videography
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, outgoing personality
• Willingness to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends to attend events with the Member of Parliament
• Effective interpersonal skills, good judgment, discretion, initiative, professionalism and team spirit
The office of Kerry Diotte, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach, is looking for a summer intern to help develop and carry out creative projects and to also assist in the day-to-day tasks of a political office. This paid internship is a unique opportunity to learn about politics and develop your creative skills.
Interested candidates may apply before May 26, 2017 by sending their resume and creative work sample to Sally Harris at Kerry.Diotte@parl.gc.ca. Creative work could include writing samples, photos or videos etc.
Please feel free to forward this opportunity to interested individuals.
All applications will be held in confidence and only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Crimean Tatar Deportation.
The same evil ideology is at play in both the Soviet regime’s brutal deportation of an entire nation, and in Vladimir Putin’s unending war against Ukraine.
This Liberal government must do more to stop Liberal aggression.
May is multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness month.
MS is an unpredictable and often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
This week, I was honoured to be the Conservative champion for the MS Society.
And today my colleagues and I wore carnations to show solidarity with the entire MS community.
Visit the MS Society’s website to learn more about MS and the important work they do to help all those who #LiveWithMS. https://mssociety.ca
Thanks again to all those who attended and contributed to my town hall meeting on supervised injection sites. And a special thank you to the expert panelists.
While opinions differed, it’s clear that there was a need for more community consultation.
Canadians value the rights and freedoms guaranteed to them in our free and democratic society – rights like freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
Our country’s continued strength and stability is dependent on our shared commitment to safeguard these rights.
On March 23, 2017, the House of Commons voted on M-103, a controversial private member’s motion introduced by Iqra Khalid, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Erin Mills.
This motion passed.
I voted against M-103, you can see the recorded vote here.
I came to this decision after careful examination of the text of the motion and after considering the concerns raised by the vast majority of my constituents who reached out to me on the topic.
I had supported an earlier Conservative motion that was more inclusive. It condemned racism and discrimination towards Muslims and all religious groups. It’s curious that the Liberals played politics by not supporting that earlier motion.
The Liberal motion M-103 reads:
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This motion singles out Islam without reaffirming religious freedom for all faith groups.
It also focuses on a controversial term – Islamophobia – without defining it.
This raises a genuine concern that this motion could be a first step towards restricting legitimate freedom of speech and shut down reasonable debate rather than encourage it.
I strongly condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination against any religious community.
Unfortunately, any attempts to amend the wording of this motion were rejected.
That’s why David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills – Grasslands, introduced a similar motion on our Conservative Opposition day, which I supported and the Liberals rejected.
That motion reads:
That the House: (a) recognize that Canadian society is not immune to the climate of hate and fear exemplified by the recent and senseless violent acts at a Quebec City mosque; (b) condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance, and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities; and (c) instruct the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating all types of discrimination in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It’s unfortunate that despite the support of all other parties, the Liberals voted against this motion and defeated it.
Every Canadian has the right to religious freedom – to be able practice their faith without fear of intimidation, coercion or violence.
Freedom of expression – so long as it isn’t violent or threatening – is also a sacred right.
As the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach, I’m committed to protecting these rights.
It’s my sincere hope that any dialogue and studies in response to M-103 will be inclusive and protect all the rights that we value as Canadians.
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