Certainly. It's somewhat ironic, the fact that we're talking about a victim fine surcharge designed to provide funding and protection to victims of crime, and so often our clients, and other low-income folks across Canada, who are engaged in oftentimes petty crimes, breaches of bail conditions, simple possession of illicit substances.... I don't mean in any way to belittle or, quite frankly, victimize those people—because they are incredibly strong and resilient—but this type of legislation, in which a judge cannot take into account the lived reality of a person before them, is in and of itself victimizing.
Certainly, the sort of laundry list of possible outcomes that I discussed, whether it's individuals giving up a third or two-thirds of their paltry income assistance or a person living in constant fear of arrest, is a picture of the law being used to victimize people further. Again, we really do push for the discretion of judges to account for what people are experiencing on a daily basis. These are folks who are criminalized by their very existence.