Mr. Speaker, the city of Cranbrook is family friendly, but that reputation is under threat because of Bill C-75's existing offender release legislation. Bill C-5, now being studied at the justice committee, would remove mandatory minimum penalties and introduce new catch-and-release conditional sentencing orders. This would make the existing situation worse. In fact, the Attorney General of B.C. has acknowledged the problem and pointed a finger right at the federal government's legislation.
As we work to address the opioid crisis, Canadians should not be left to accept criminal behaviour, vandalism or violence in our communities. Residents have had enough. Individuals are being threatened with machetes. Businesses are being broken into, and students are being intimidated at work. How many other small communities across Canada have the same situation?
As we consider Bill C-5, we must pursue legislation that serves to make our communities safer. This will only be realized when the government stops aiding offenders and begins to prioritize victims.