Today I wrote local Sen. Gerry St. Germain and other senators to request that he and his colleagues sincerely explore the evidence, listen to diverse voices and make thoughtful changes to (Bill C-10) that will make Canada safer, not meaner.
I asked that the Senate respect the many professionals and organizations who are profoundly concerned about this bill. For example, consider the list of 10 major problems with the bill, by Trinda L. Ernst, Q.C., president of the Canadian Bar Association (http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1086785–10-reasons-to-oppose-bill-c-10).
Let’s learn from places that have tried this punishment-focused approach to justice, like Texas, and seen it fail completely.
Bill C-10 was rushed through the House of Commons without proper attention and public information as to its costs, cumulative consequences and the legitimate concerns of our provinces, First Nations and countless other individuals, future generations, organizations and experts. Should it pass unchanged, it would radically shift Canadian justice away from prevention and rehabilitation, and towards punishment and exclusion, at a massive social and financial cost. The many measures in Bill C-10 will put people in prison who do not belong there, including many suffering from mental illnesses.
My confidence that he may listen and act accordingly is with faint hope, as evident by the silence and rubber-stamping by my local MP has demonstrated. The Conservatives’ misguided imposition of their will needs to be questioned by other voters.
I hope other voters write regularly too, regardless of their affiliation, to ensure the MP knows that he may not be voting in accordance to the majority of constituents.
Pat Petrala, White Rock