moved for leave to introduce Bill C-413, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (leaving province to avoid warrant of arrest or committal).
Mr. Speaker, there is a large problem in Canada with warrants that are issued across the country but are unenforceable because they are non-returnable warrants.
Eighteen months ago, the Vancouver police found on city streets over a three month period 726 people who had a total of 1,582 warrants against them for crimes committed elsewhere in Canada. A quarter of them faced multiple outstanding charges and 84% of them had lengthy criminal records with an average of 19 convictions per person.
My bill would address this issue by amending the Criminal Code of Canada to provide that every person who knows or believes that a warrant of arrest has been issued or will be issued to them and leaves the province of jurisdiction before or after a warrant of arrest or committal has been issued will be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years less a day.
This is an issue that has been going on for a long time. It is of prime importance in my province of British Columbia where I suppose people travel to a kinder climate to flee these warrants. We must address the issue.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)