Jan 08 2006
A Conservative government would get tough on crime by imprisoning criminals longer, hiring more police, cracking down on gun offences, and raising the age for sexual consent.
Tory Leader Stephen Harper unveiled the party platform in Toronto, near the scene of the Boxing Day shootings that killed 15-year-old Jane Creba, an innocent bystander.
"We should be able to walk freely on our streets. We should feel safe in our neighbourhoods. We should live without fear in our cities," Harper said.
"We need to put more cops on our streets, and we need to crack down on smuggling."
The Conservative "Stand up for Security" plan would increase minimum prison sentences for most gun crimes, such as raising it from four to 10 years for manslaughter and murder using a gun, and increasing mandatory jail terms from one year to five for using a firearm or imitation firearm during the commission of a crime.
The Tories would create a new category of gun crime as well, imposing a minimum five years in jail for stealing or trying to steal a gun or possessing a gun contrary to parole restrictions.
They would eliminate the gun registry for rifles, saying the money saved would go to hire more police, filling more than 1,000 vacant RCMP positions and working with provinces and municipalities to hire at least 2,500 more police officers.
The handgun registry would continue.
A Tory government would also raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16, automatically sentence 14-year-olds who are charged with serious crimes as adults and spend $10 million a year over five years on crime prevention programs and measures to assist youth at risk.
It would end house arrests for drug traffickers and impose mandatory minimum jail time for marijuana grow operators and meth lab producers.
And it would beef up border security, issuing sidearms to border guards and reinstating the federal Ports Police.
That was welcome news to Customs and Excise Union (CEUDA) president Ron Moran.
"We are very pleased," Moran said.
"This represents the most serious plan that we have seen from any political party to enforce effective control at our border crossings and to give Canada Customs agents the powers and resources they need."
2006 The Chilliwack Progress