The Omnibus Crime Bill C-10 is not law yet!
Omnibusters are keeping up the resistance and have some awesome ideas about what steps we can take now to prevent the “Safe Streets and Communities Act” from becoming the travesty of justice that it is.
The C-10 crime bill that puts prisons before communities, that imposes mandatory minimum sentences for minor crimes, and that denies rehabilitation passed yesterday in the House of Commons 157-127. The Bill, which was controversially rammed through Parliament, was passed 45 days from when it was tabled, excluding it from the due process of scrutiny to which such sweeping legislation would normally be subjected. C-10 was roundly and strongly criticized, not only by activists, but also by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ligue des droits et libertés, as well as the justice ministers of Ontario, Québec, and Newfoundland. The costs of the bill, forewarned by Correctional Services Canada, have yet to be made public. In August CSC warned that there were not even double occupancy prison cells to accommodate the explosion of inmates that C-10 will engender.
So, what can we do next?
In tandem with our allies at LeadNow.ca, It Could Get Worse will be keeping up the fight to prevent this law from damaging Canadians’ lives and crippling provinces’ budgets. We will be taking a 3-pronged approach:
- Pressure your Premiers! The MLAs (and MNA’s in Quebec) have an important role to play is halting the progress of this heinous piece of legislation. Your provincial governments will be forced to pay for the prisons that C-10 will build, unless we can stop it from going forward.
- Seduce the Senate! In spite of Harper’s sweeping appointment to the Senate, remember that Senators are people too! Some of them have other careers and are public personalities. So while they may not be directly accountable to any constituents, they are not accountable to Stephen Harper. They are, however, susceptible to public opinion. Right now, the Senate party break-down looks like this: Tories 55, Libs 42, Independent 2. We will be releasing a statement with the names and contact info for the 10 Conservative Senators most likely to be swayed by reason and democratic principles later this week. We will be calling and e-mailing them, and will be urging Canadians to do the same. The power of the Senate is to introduce amendments that the Conservative Government was too short-sighted and cruel to introduce themselves.
- Mobilize the Media! Our site contains tonnes of useful links to petitions, articles, and informative points on the dangers C-10 and its astronomic potential costs. The Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Huffington Post, Globe & Mail, The Economist, the CBC, CTV and countless independent media like rabble and Forget the Box have published articles and op-eds denouncing Bill C-10. Share the articles, share our videos, make your own, and get the word out: mandatory minimum sentences and more prisons are not the answer to crime in Canada, which was at 38-year all-time low at the time this bill was proposed.
And here’s some inspiration from the Raging Grannies!