May 27, 2013

Canadians are often reminded of horrific crimes and the dreadful outcomes that can result from them, whether through the news, social media or in their very own communities. The recent epidemic of teen suicides following online bullying is just one example. While Canada is regarded as one as the best countries to live, work and raise a family – there’s always more that can be done. Once and for all, the rights of victims need to be held above the rights of criminals.

Our Conservative Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. Indeed, our Government has a strong track record of taking real action for victims, including establishing the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, creating the Federal Victims Strategy, and eliminating the faint hope clause which prevents convicted murders from applying for early parole.

But there is clearly more to be done. That’s why we are working to bring forward legislation to implement a Victims Bill of Rights. This bill will further enhance our Government’s commitment to victims of crime by entrenching their rights into a single law at the federal level.

In late April, our Government launched consultations with victims of crime, victim advocates and victim-serving organizations to discuss key priorities for the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. This is in keeping with our Government’s plan for safe streets and communities, one of four priorities identified by Prime Minister Harper. The plan includes tackling crime, victims’ rights, and fair and efficient justice.

Online consultations will be open to the public until June 30, 2013.  Anyone who is interested in participating is urged to visit the Department of Justice’s website,, for more information.

Bill C-444 an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (personating a peace officer or other officer)

I would also like to provide an update on my Private Members Bill, Bill C-444. The Bill passed 2nd reading on February 14, 2013 with support from all parties. It then went through committee stage where the Bill was examined in more details. It was then reported back to the House of Commons on April 24, 2013 and is currently waiting to be discussed for 3rd and final reading. My hope is that this happens before House of Commons recesses for summer.I would again like to thank all Canadians who have come forward in support of Bill C-444. I hope through these efforts, there will be some measure of comfort won by victims of these crimes.

Until next time

Earl Dreeshen,

MP Red Deer