LILLEY: Liberal law allowing Paul Bernardo prison transfer part of a pattern

The safety and comfort of criminals is more important than the safety of the public for the Trudeau Liberals

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What the review into the Paul Bernardo transfer should highlight for all Canadians is how ingrained the Trudeau government’s soft-on-crime approach really is.

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As the review showed, the transfer followed all the laws and policies, especially those passed by Trudeau in 2019 to make life easier for inmates.

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It’s right there at the top of the Executive Summary of the report released this past Thursday by Anne Kelly, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada.

Kelly stated prisoners are classified by criteria set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and “Periodic security reviews are undertaken in adherence with the ‘least restrictive’ principle in section 28 of the CCRA.”

The review even spells out the criteria of section 28, which states, “the Service shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the penitentiary in which they are confined is one that provides them with the least restrictive environment for that person.”

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When Kelly said Bernardo’s transfer followed the rules, this is what she is talking about, but the question should be, where did that rule come from?

Bill C-83 was passed into law by the Trudeau Liberals in 2019 and it amended section 28 of the CCRA to those exact words, “least restrictive environment.”

Kelly was following the law passed by Justin Trudeau and supported by every Liberal caucus member, including current Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino who called the transfer of Bernardo “shocking and incomprehensible.”

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Mendicino voted for the law that let this happen, so he shouldn’t be shocked.

“Either the Trudeau government should issue a directive, which is currently in their authority, to require that all mass murderers stay in maximum security penitentiaries, or they should adopt Conservative bill C-423,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said.

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Poilievre said the proposed bill from the Conservatives would be legal because it wouldn’t target an individual inmate but would set guidelines for the Correctional Service of Canada on where and how certain inmates can and should be housed.

“When I’m prime minister, I will adopt a law keeping all mass murderers, just like Paul Bernardo, in a maximum security penitentiaries,” he said.

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Don’t expect the Trudeau Liberals to follow the lead of Poilievre on this file, even though it would be completely legal and highly popular with Liberal voters. The Trudeau Liberals soft-on-crime approach is anchored in a belief that the justice system should never treat criminals harshly.

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Around the same time they passed BillC-83, the Liberals also passed Bill C-75, which made it easier to get bail. It enshrined in law that when considering bail the “principle of restraint” needs to take priority.

The law spells out that in bail “a peace officer, justice or judge shall give primary consideration to the release of the accused at the earliest reasonable opportunity and on the least onerous conditions.”

The least onerous conditions for bail, the least restrictive conditions for those convicted, these bills, along with moves to reduce sentences for serious crimes – including gun smuggling and trafficking – show that for the Trudeau Liberals, the safety and comfort of the criminal is more important than the safety of the public.

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