Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 32: Justice (25-42)

Legislative Progress of Bill C-22 and its predecessor Bill S-251

June 21, 2019

Legislative Progress of Bill C-22

The Bill introduced for First Reading on Feb. 18, 2021 in the House of Commons proposes the following specific reforms:

  • Repeal MMPs for certain offences to address the disproportionate impact on Indigenous and Black offenders, as well as those struggling with substance use and addiction. This would restore the ability of a judge to impose appropriate sentences that respond to the facts of the case before them, including the individual’s experience with systemic racism and the risk they pose to public safety. This moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach, which has not deterred crime but has resulted in unfair outcomes and a less effective criminal justice system, as well as longer and more complex trials.
  • Allow for greater use of CSOs in cases where an offender faces a term of less than two years imprisonment and does not pose a threat to public safety. Under these circumstances, judges would have the option to order that the term be served in the community under strict conditions, including house arrest, curfew, and mandatory counselling or treatment for substance abuse. This change would allow for more effective rehabilitation and reintegration by enabling individuals to maintain their employment, or continue caring for children or family members in need. This approach has been proven to reduce recidivism.
  • Require police and prosecutors to consider other measures for simple possession of drugs such as diversion to addiction treatment programs, rather than laying charges or prosecuting individuals for simple possession of an illegal drug. The proposed amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act reinforce the Government’s commitment to treat substance use a health issue, and address the opioid crisis. It also aligns with calls heard from many in the law enforcement community and local leaders across the country.

Bill C-22 died on Aug. 15, 2021 with the dissolution of Parliament due to the federal election

Bill S-251: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (independence of the judiciary) and to make related amendments

  • May 29, 2018: Introduction and First reading in the Senate
  • Nov. 27, 2018: Second reading and referral to committee
  • June 21, 2019: Bill dies in the Senate with the dissolution of Parliament