During his news conference in Edmonton, the Leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, voiced his alarm about the rising rate of violent crimes across Canada, particularly in the province of Alberta. Poilievre began the defense of his position “jail not bail” by citing a number of recent violent instances, such as two killings in Calgary, a deadly shooting outside the Chinese consulate, a stabbing at a bus stop, and an assault on a teenager at a shopping mall in Edmonton. Poilievre also cited a number of other recent violent incidents.
The leader of the Conservative Party has pointed the finger of blame at “woke Liberal, NDP mayors, and premiers” throughout the country for what he calls a “wicked crime spree across this country.” He said that the policies of Trudeau and the NDP allow the same violent offenders who have been arrested several times to remain free on the streets and scare innocent people.
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Between July 2022 and January 2023, the number of violent crime occurrences that occurred at Edmonton LRT and transit centers climbed by 75%, while the average crime severity index in downtown Edmonton jumped by 29% over the same time period. In 2020, the violent crime severity index in Canada reached its highest level in more than a decade, and among the provinces of Canada, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta had the highest violent crime severity indices in 2021.
Poilievre said that the solution is to do away with the practice of catch-and-release and replace it with the policy of “jail not bail” for violent repeat offenders. He voiced his disapproval of the bail changes that were passed in 2019 since they released more offenders into the community without addressing the issue of overcrowding in prisons. According to him, not only does it, not lower imprisonment rates, but it also gives criminals a day pass so that they may commit more violent crimes outside of prison.
The head of the Conservative Party advocated for more funding for rehabilitation and treatment centers rather than campaigning for a ban on hard drugs and medications that are subsidized by taxpayers. He underlined that a very small number of people are responsible for the great bulk of criminal activity in Canada. As evidence, he used the fact that in Vancouver, 40 criminals were arrested 6,000 times in 2022, which is comparable to 150 arrests per offender each year.
In conclusion, Poilievre advocated for “jail, not bail” and for stricter steps to be taken in order to confront recurrent violent criminals. The growing number of violent crimes that have been committed in Canada highlights the need for a criminal justice system that is more efficient, one that protects the general public and encourages rehabilitation for those who have committed crimes.
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