Criminal Justice

08 Jun 2021 ARPA Submits Brief to Senate Committee on Reducing Recidivism

Bill C-228, An Act to Establish a Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism, has passed second reading in the Senate and is currently being discussed at the Committee on National Defence and Security. ARPA Canada recently submitted a written brief on Bill C-228 to the Committee, and we encourage you to read the submission here or at the end of this post. Bill C-228 seeks to address recidivism, or repeat offences, by people coming out of the Canadian prison system. Currently, recidivism rates are high for offenders being released from both Federal...

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20 May 2021 ARPA Submits Recommendations to the Ontario Justice Committee to Combat Human Trafficking

  Last week, the Ontario Standing Committee on Justice Policy discussed Bill 251, Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021. ARPA Canada submitted recommendations on Bill 251 through both a written submission and an oral presentation to the committee. We encourage you to read the submission here. Human trafficking is a major concern in the Province of Ontario and preys on vulnerable people, primarily women and girls. Between 2009 and 2018, the number of police-reported human trafficking incidents in Ontario (0.9 per 100,000 population) was nearly double the Canadian average (0.5 per 100,000 population). Although...

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12 May 2021 Bill to Reduce Recidivism Passes House of Commons

On Wednesday, May 5, Bill C-228 passed third reading in the House of Commons. This bill, entitled An Act to Establish a Federal Framework to Reduce Recidivism, was introduced by MP Richard Bragdon, and has received widespread support in Parliament, passing with a vote of 297 to 32. It is exciting to see such extensive support for an excellent Bill. Bill C-228 seeks to address recidivism, or repeat offences, by people coming out of the Canadian prison system. Currently, recidivism rates are high for offenders being released from both federal and...

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26 Apr 2021 Bill C-22 and Restorative Justice: How the Liberal plan to drop minimum sentences for drug crimes could actually be a good thing

By Daniel Zekveld I will always remember my first experience visiting a prison. I was in my University choir, and we stopped at a medium-security prison while on tour to sing for their chapel service. Throughout our performance and through our brief interaction with inmates afterwards, many of them were brought to tears and were amazed that a group of University students would sing for them and chat with them. The whole choir received a letter from one of the people imprisoned there following the visit, and he explained how that...

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01 Oct 2020 Federal Liberals retable criminal ban on “conversion therapy” with major legal implications for pastoral ministry

On October 1, 2020 the federal Liberal government tabled Bill C-6 (which was before Parliament earlier this year as Bill C-8). The bill defines conversion therapy as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” In case that is unclear, let me apply it directly to the pastoral work of the church. This bill, if passed as written, would make it a criminal offence to help a person struggling with...

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20 May 2020 Criminal charges withdrawn against street preacher David Lynn

The Crown withdrew its criminal charges against David Lynn today, almost a year after he was arrested while street preaching in Toronto’s “gay village” at the opening of “Pride Month”. This case was politically charged from the outset. Lynn had been charged with two criminal offences: mischief and causing a disturbance. The entire incident was video recorded, however, and it quickly came to light that these charges were dubious at best. ARPA Canada’s Law and Policy Director reviewed that video last summer and wrote about the case on ARPA’s blog. At...

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11 Mar 2020 Federal Government Introduces Bill to Ban “Conversion Therapy”

The federal Liberal government, as promised in their election platform, introduced a bill this week to criminally ban “conversion therapy” nation-wide. Bill C-8 defines conversion therapy as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour,” but not services or treatments related to a person’s “gender transition” or to a person’s “exploration of their identity”. Most of the legislation talks about how conversion therapy would be regulated. The legislation proposes to ban...

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02 Mar 2020 Ontario court lets off two pimps, declares prostitution law unconstitutional

In 2014, Parliament passed the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36) to implement the “Nordic Model” of prostitution law in Canada. This model, and our current law,  prohibits the purchase of sex, while granting immunity to those who are prostituted. It also prohibits third parties, particularly pimps, from promoting and profiting from prostitution. The Nordic Model recognizes the prevalence of coercion in prostitution and is designed to ensure that abuse and violence can be reported by prostituted women (and men) without fear of legal repercussions. A provincial...

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20 Sep 2018 Debate on expanding euthanasia continues, ARPA releases new policy report

This fall, Parliament will examine the issue of expanding euthanasia to “mature minors” and to persons with mental illness. Since 2016 (Bill C-14), Canada has permitted anyone who is at least 18, has a grievous and irremediable medical condition, and whose death is reasonably foreseeable, to receive “medical aid in dying” (MAiD). To put it in stark terms, the law now permits medical professionals to kill their adult patients, as long as the patient consents and has the requisite medical conditions. In Spring 2015, ARPA released its first Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia...

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07 Sep 2018 Portraying Parental Rights

Portraying Parental Rights When Bill S-206 came out to senate again I took the opportunity to call a few senators regarding this issue.  After our phone calls, I was asked by two senators if I was interested in meeting up during the summer months to continue our conversation.  I had the privilege of meeting these two senators and spoke on various items, including Bill S-206 on corporal discipline.  One senator completely agreed with me as parents need to discipline our children, yet not in a cruel way. The other one I...

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