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Safe Streets and Communities Act

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Safe Streets and Communities Act
House of Commons of Canada
  • An Act to Enact the Justice For Victims Of Terrorism Act and to Amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Other Acts.
CitationBill C-10[1]
Enacted byHouse of Commons of Canada
Enacted bySenate of Canada
Royal assentMarch 13, 2012
Legislative history
First chamber: House of Commons of Canada
Bill titleBill C-10
Introduced byMP Rob Nicholson
First readingSeptember 20, 2011[2]
Second readingSeptember 28, 2011[2]
Third readingDecember 5, 2011[2]
Second chamber: Senate of Canada
Bill titleBill C-10
First readingDecember 6, 2011
Second readingDecember 16, 2011
Third readingMarch 1, 2012
Conference committee bill passed by House of Commons of CanadaNovember 24, 2011[2]
Conference committee bill passed by Senate of CanadaFebruary 28, 2012
Status: Current legislation

The Safe Streets and Communities Act (French: Loi sur la sécurité des rues et des communautés) is an act passed by the 41st Canadian Parliament 154–129 on March 12, 2012.

When Parliament re-convened in September 2011, the Minister of Justice introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act, an omnibus bill of nine separate measures. The measures include replacing the pardon system with 'record suspensions', mandatory minimum sentences for certain sexual offences and mandatory minimum penalties for certain drug offences, making it illegal to make sexually explicit information available to a child, increasing prison sentences for marijuana offences, reducing the ability of judges to sentence certain offenders to house arrest, allowing immigration officers to deny work permits to foreigners who are at risk of being sexually exploited, and enabling Canadians to sue state sponsors of terrorism for losses due to an act of terrorism.[3][4]

A particularly contentious aspect of the bill was the proposed enhancement of powers given to government authorities to monitor online communications,[5] but this proposal was abandoned after an online petition opposing those measures garnered over 70,000 signatures.[6]

One of the smaller bills incorporated into this legislation was Bill C-23B, formerly called "Eliminating Pardons for Serious Offences." This section made significant changes to the country's pardon laws. Part 3 of the bill replaced the term "pardon" with "Record Suspension" and eliminated pardons for those with Schedule 1 criminal offences on their record or those with more than three offences each carrying a sentence of two years or more.[7]

The bill caused much controversy. While the Canadian Police Association said the bill would work towards keeping communities more safe, it added it was concerned about the cost.[8] The Quebec government said it would refuse to pay for the bill, calling it a short-term "Band-Aid solution."[8] The Ontario government would also refuse to pay.[9] Texan conservatives Judge John Creuzot, Republican Representative Jerry Madden, and Marc Levin also spoke out against the bill; according to Madden, "It's a very expensive thing to build new prisons and, if you build them, I guarantee you they will come. They'll be filled, OK? Because people will send them there."[10]


  1. ^ "Bill C-10". www.parl.gc.ca. House of Commons of Canada.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bill C-10 at LegisInfo". Parliament of Canada.
  3. ^ Chase, Steven (September 20, 2011). "Weighty Tory crime bill targets drugs, sex offenders, 'out-of-control' youth". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  4. ^ Chase, Steven (September 20, 2011). "Sweeping Conservative crime bill only 'the beginning'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  5. ^ "Internet privacy experts raise concerns over crime bill". CBC News. August 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "70,000+ Strong Petition Sways Government Plan - OpenMedia".
  7. ^ "(S.C. 2012, c. 1)". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Meagan (November 1, 2011). "Quebec will refuse to pay for omnibus crime bill". CBC.ca. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Fisher, Robert (November 4, 2011). "ANALYSIS: McGuinty sends shot across Harper's bow". CBC.ca. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Milewski, Terry (October 17, 2011). "Texas conservatives reject Harper's crime plan". CBC.ca. Retrieved November 1, 2011.