September 21, 2011

Omnibus Crime Legislation

Let me just get started by saying that I included a link to a very recent Globe & Mail article that will give anyone interested more details about the legislation going forward.

In my most humble opinion, I have to take notice that the Steven Harper's Conservative majority government is finally beginning to "stretch its legs."

After receiving a majority mandate from the Canadian people on May 2nd 2011, the flow of politics in Ottawa has been "business-as-usual", with a few exceptions of course. But now that Fall Session 2011 has begun, we'll begin to see things happen at a much more feverish pace.

The "Omnibus Crime Bill" is actually simply a combination of nine separate bills compiled into one, 102-page document that aims to fulfil the majority of the tough-on-crime promises made by the Conservatives during the election campaign earlier this year.

It includes everything from imposing mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of different crimes, to creating a new process which victim of terrorism in this country can seek redress.

But enough about the particulars. I included the link to the article (click on the title of this entry) for the exact purpose of giving my readers an opportunity to look into the issue further, whether you agree with it or not.


I believe that the Omnibus Crime legislation that the Conservatives are tabling this Fall session will do exactly what Harper and the Party want it to do: reduce so-called "loopholes" in the Canadian justice system.

With the particulars aside, and considering how this legislation is going to look to the average Canadian, one comes to a predictable conclusion. This legislation, though its rumoured is going to be very expensive to implement, won't really be noticed by Canadians for the most part.

What I mean to say is that the vast majority of Canadians, those law-abiding, work during the week, middle class folks won't really pay much attention to the particulars of the legislation...including the cost. It is something that will be phased in over a period of years (especially when one considers the massive retrofit project going on in the prison system), thus will not inspire too much controversy from those who don't have the time or energy to follow every last happening on Parliament Hill.

The Opposition, naturally, vehemently opposes the new legislation. It is, for lack of a better phrase, their job to oppose it, regardless of what it entails. When one considers that, and adds the fact that the Conservative Party was returned to power with a majority mandate, one begins to be able to see how the outcome will unfold.

Steven Harper and the Conservative Party promised that the bill(s) would be passed within 100 sitting days of the beginning of the Fall session on Parliament Hill. This looming deadline is something the Opposition isn't comfortable with letting the Conservatives accomplish (at least on time). This is the part that makes me smile as a Conservative myself. Sure, the Opposition doesn't want the Conservatives to be successful, but when push comes to shove, Harper, with the backing of the majority of the seats in the House of Commons, will triumph. To that there is no doubt.

The various pieces of legislation aimed at fighting crime have been circulating around Parliament Hill since midway though the past decade, when Steven Harper formed his first minority government. Each and every time the Conservatives thought they were in a position to get the legislation passed, the Opposition would band together and crush it before it could leave the House of Commons. Now, they won't be able to do that.

The Conservative Party made it an election promise that if they were returned to power with a majority mandate, they would push through all of the crime bills that had failed previously. The Canadian people they proceeded to give them that exact majority mandate. So, from a purely analytical perspective, the Conservatives are only holding up their side of the bargain.

That is not to say that Conservatives will be idle whatsoever in the coming years that they'll enjoy majority power in the House of Commons. It is my sincere hope that they begin to get this country back on track. Even if the deficit is not completely tamed by the time another election hits us in 2015, I have a solid feeling that it'll be on its way to being conquered once again.

If the Tories can keep it together long enough to get that done then they will be known as the party that was able to spend enough money (go into enough debt) to steer the country through the "great repression" intact and flourishing.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are only just beginning to flex their political muscle, so to speak. Here's to hoping that when all is said and done and when it comes time for my evaluation of their term in a majority position, I feel as if my vote on May 2nd 2011 counted for something.

Over and out,

Dan Collins

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