Guelph MP Valeriote Hosts Crime Bill Protest

Thursday, November 24, 2011

  • The flawed model of mega-prisons instead of social justice and preventative programs

    The flawed model of mega-prisons instead of social justice and preventative programs

Written by Office of Frank Valeriote, MP

 Thursday afternoon, concerned citizens of Guelph gathered at the constituency office of Guelph MP, Liberal Frank Valeriote to express their opposition to the Conservative omnibus crime bil.

“In my many discussions with law and order professionals: Guelph’s Chief of Police, correctional officers, prosecutors and probations officers, we have come to the same conclusion that our crime policy must be evidence based in order to be smart on crime,” said Valeriote. “We all agreed that spending more money to incarcerate is far more costly and much less effective than spending money and focusing on preventative programs for mental illness and substance abuse.

The omnibus crime bill, comprised of a number of earlier justice bills, just wrapped up hearings at a special legislative committee after a gruelling 20 hour clause by clause examination of the bill. Liberal Justice critic, eminent lawyer and former Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Irwin Cotler, P.C., MP introduced 38 amendments in an attempt to correct some of the more glaring errors in the legislation; however, each was defeated by the Conservative dominated committee. While there are parts of the bill that Valeriote supports, Conservatives demonstrated an unwillingness to amend the misguided parts.

“We cannot stand idly by as the Conservatives try and implement a model that we already know has failed,” said Nora Chaloner, Chair of the Guelph chapter of Council of Canadians. “All of this money that is being diverted to build mega-prisons and lock up more Canadians would be better spent, in this time of fiscal restraint, on meaningful social justice programs.”

“The Conservatives made it clear that they will not listen to opposing voices or opinions on their ideological quest to change the face of Canada,” said Valeriote. “Guelphites and all Canadians deserve a safe space where they can make their opposition known to these important issues, and I am glad that I could provide my office today to make sure these voices are heard in Ottawa.”

“My office is always open to concerned citizens,” continued Valeriote. “Activism and advocacy were the primary reasons I ran for Member of Parliament in the first place. I cannot make truly informed decisions without the contribution of these engaged members of our community.”

Frank Valeriote will be presenting petitions from the group to the House of Commons in the coming weeks.

For more information: Office of Frank Valeriote, MP 519-837-8276

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