A private member’s bill promoted by Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes continues to move forward.
The bill has recently passed review by the standing committee on justice and human rights.
“This bill endeavors to crack down on criminals that kidnap and sexually assault their victims, giving judges the discretion to increase parole ineligibility for these types of crimes,” said Mayes.
“The goal of this is to help ensure our communities are safer places to raise our families.”
Now that Mayes’ bill has passed committee stage, it will be sent to the House of Commons. If the House supports the bill, it will then go to the Senate for review.
If the bill passes Senate review, it will then be sent to the governor general for royal assent and will become law.
On March 11, the government introduced bill C-53, also known as the Life Means Life Act, which would mandate incarceration for the duration of the natural life of a person convicted of the same offences targeted by Mayes’ bill.
“I am continuing to pursue my bill in event that the government’s bill does not receive royal assent before the next election,” said Mayes.
“My sincere hope is that the government’s Life Means Life bill will indeed achieve royal assent before the election because it is a robust proposal and aimed at the same objectives as my bill, making Canada safer and respecting victims of heinous crimes and their families. However, in the absence of any guarantee that Life Means Life will pass before the election, I will continue to carry my bill through the legislative process as I intended to do before the government announced its bill.”