first_imgThe federal government’s new anti-crime law is good news for Nova Scotians, Justice Minister Cecil Clarke said today, Feb. 28. Earlier this week, Parliament passed Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act. The legislation covers minimum sentences for gun crimes, protecting young people from sexual predators, tougher penalties for drunk drivers, and stronger provisions to manage high-risk offenders. The bill is expected to receive royal assent today, making it law. “The passing of this bill shows how the government of Canada is listening to Canadians’ concerns about crime and is working to put the needs of law-abiding citizens first,” said Mr. Clarke, who is in Ottawa for the royal assent ceremony in the Senate. “More importantly, the act paves the way for further legislation that will give Canadians the safety and security they deserve and expect.” The act establishes longer minimum prison sentences for individuals who use firearms to commit crimes. It also shifts the onus to individuals accused of serious gun crimes to explain why they should be granted bail. The act raises the age of consent from 14 to 16 years, targeting those who prey sexually upon children. It allows for stricter conditions and more effective sentencing and management of dangerous and high-risk offenders. It also strengthens laws against impaired drivers. The federal government has stated its commitment to doing more in the future to tackle crime, including mandatory jail terms for serious drug crimes, combating identity theft, and reforming the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A stronger youth act is also the focus of the campaign recently launched by Mr. Clarke. The goal is to have all seven of the Nunn Commission’s recommendations adopted by Parliament. To date, Mr. Clarke’s campaign has attracted the support of Nova Scotians across the province who have added their names to the petition for the act to be reformed. The petition and background information are available at read more