14 March 2007

Response from the Government

As you will recall, a few months back I sent an essay to the Minister of Justice on the subject of strengthening Canada's laws revolving sexual and other violent offenders (The original post about the essay can be found here, while a link to the essay itself can be found here). In the time between sending that paper and today, there was a Cabinet shuffle that saw Vic Toews replaced by Harold Nicholson, who was at the time the Leader of the House. Nonetheless, it was current Minister Nicholoson who responded to the paper. I received that response today.

First thing that I noticed was the typo. I appreciate the sentiment, but had to chuckle when Nicholson apologized for the "lenghty delay in responding." Oops!

Other than that, the two-page letter ran over Canada's New Government's steps to crack down on violent sexual crimes since taking office. He was nice enough to include an October 17th news release and backgrounder on Bill C-27, which was the government's initiative to make for "more effective sentencing and management of sexual and violent offenders." It also promises to make it easier for the Crown to obtain dangerous offender designations for repeat offenders "by reversing the onus where there is a third serious violent or sexual offence," something which I am certainly in favour of doing and hope that there will be no run-ins with the courts over any potential conflicts with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The response didn't make reference to anything I directly in the essay, which was somewhat disappointing, but I was glad to receive a response and an assurance that the Government does take this matter seriously and is taking steps to address violence against women and children in this country. I may even send a response to Minister Nicholson's response to see how long we can keep the dialogue running. If I do, I'll be sure to post it here.

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