That, given that, after eight years of this government's soft on crime policies,
(i) violent crime has increased by 32%,
(ii) gang-related homicides have increased by 92%,
(iii) violent, repeat offenders are obtaining bail much more easily,
(iv) increasing daily acts of crime and violence are putting Canadians at risk,
(v) five Canadian police officers were killed in the line of duty in just one year,
the House call on the government to enact policies that prioritize the rights of victims and law-abiding citizens, namely:
(a) fix Canada's broken bail system by immediately repealing the elements enacted by Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which force judges to release violent, repeat offenders onto the streets, allowing them to reoffend;
(b) strengthen Canada's bail laws so that those who are prohibited from possessing firearms and who are then accused of serious firearms offences do not easily get bail; and
(c) ensure that Canada's justice system puts the rights of law-abiding Canadians ahead of the rights of violent, repeat offenders.
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Fundy Royal.
There are two reasons we are here today talking about bail reform and violent crime.
The first reason is that Canadians across the country are growing increasingly alarmed by the violent crime wave impacting every major community and our rural communities across the country. Canadians are waking up every day to headlines of violent crime, police officers being murdered and people being murdered on public transit. That is why we are here. We hear their concerns and are here to represent them and demand change.
The second reason we are here today is to demand change from the Liberals, which have done absolutely nothing to address the violent crime surge in this country. They have taken no responsibility. They have made no commitments to Canadians that they are taking this seriously and will do anything about it. They have brought forward no new ideas on how to address the need for immediate bail reform in this country, address the violent crime surge in this country and address the repeat violent offenders who are being caught and released by police over and over again and who are wreaking havoc on our communities on a daily basis.
That is why we are here today. We want to talk about bail reform and crime for our Conservative opposition day motion, which was just outlined.
What I would say to Canadians is that it is not just in their heads that violent crime is going up. It is going up. In fact, it is up 32% in the last eight years under the Liberal Prime Minister. More than that, gang murders have almost doubled. They have gone up 92% in the eight years that the Liberal Prime Minister has been at the helm.
We have also seen, as I mentioned earlier, that police officers are being murdered on the job. There were five in the last number of months, particularly over the holidays. A young new constable in the Ontario police, Greg Pierzchala, was murdered by a violent repeat offender who was out on bail. He was shot and murdered by that man. That man also had a weapons prohibition order. He was deemed too dangerous to possess a firearm by our law system and had a long rap sheet of harming people in his community. This repeat violent offender was let out on bail, and then he murdered a young, innocent police officer over the holidays. That story, unfortunately, is becoming less and less unique in this country.
This is not just happening in Toronto. Of course, folks from Toronto will know better than I do that public transit is becoming less and less safe. In fact, increasingly, women are concerned about riding the subway because people are being murdered. There are teenagers swarming people and stabbing them to death. People are being lit on fire. People are being assaulted and pushed to the ground. We just saw a CBC reporter get assaulted and die. Four days earlier, an elderly woman had the same thing happen in Toronto. They were just walking down the street minding their own business and were murdered.
In Vancouver, the community is facing serious drug issues, with people face down in the street overdosing. It is horrible. I think everyone agrees that we need immediate action on that. We are also seeing terror inflicted on that community, on the most vulnerable communities and in Vancouver at large by a very small group of people. In fact, last year, 40 people were arrested 6,000 times. That means each of those 40 people was arrested 150 times in one calendar year. That is every two or three days, or sometimes multiple times a day. Police say they are sometimes arresting the same person committing violent acts twice in one day. Forty people were arrested 6,000 times. I think that is astounding, so I will keep repeating it. What kind of justice system do we have if 40 people can wreak havoc and commit 6,000 crimes in one year?
The bail system is broken in this country, and it is not just the Conservatives saying this. The Conservatives have been saying we need bail reform for quite some time, but it is also a non-partisan issue. It is also said by every single premier in Canada. It is all three premiers of the territories and all 10 premiers of the provinces, representing Conservatives, the NDP and Liberals. This is a non-partisan issue.
They all signed a historic letter to the Prime Minister in the last couple of weeks demanding bail reform. Do members know how difficult it is to get every region of the country to sign on to one letter and agree on a specific policy? It is pretty rare and very difficult, and they did that on their own volition. They came together, signed the letter and demanded bail reform from the Prime Minister. One would think we would have heard the Prime Minister call a press conference and say he is going to do something about this as every region in the country is concerned about it, but there were crickets. Nothing is happening on the Liberal benches.
Liberals have made no announcement and no commitment to bring in bail reform. When we have asked questions in question period, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the man tasked with the responsibility for the Criminal Code, says that is on police and provinces, blaming police and provinces for the issues in this country.
The minister says they are open to ideas. There is an idea right here from the premiers, every single premier in this country, in fact, and more ideas, if the Liberals would like them, from the Toronto police, the epicentre of violent crime in this country. The Toronto police penned a letter, on their own, to the Prime Minister of this country proposing three measures concerning bail. In fact, police associations across the country and municipal police forces are saying bail reform will save lives. That is what police are saying. Those are the frontline people putting their lives at risk for community safety, the ones dealing with violent repeat offenders, saying that we need bail reform and Canadian lives will be saved.
The data tells us that as well. I recently heard from Chief Myron Demkiw of the Toronto police, who said there were 44 murders by shooting in Toronto last year, 44 innocent lives taken by violent criminals using guns. Of those 44 murderers, 24 were out on bail. If our bail system was a little tougher on repeat violent offenders, 24 people would still be alive. Therefore, the data shows that the police are correct that bail reform would save lives, and yet there is nothing from the Liberal benches. They are not taking this seriously. They are taking no responsibility, and people are dying. I do not understand it. They are tasked with public safety.
The Minister of Public Safety spent the better part of January touring the country and talking to hunters about taking away the tools they use because the Liberals are getting tough on guns, as they say, gun control, on duck hunters, farmers and sport shooters. He spent considerable time and resources going to talk to hunters about taking their firearms away. Meanwhile, police officers are being murdered in Toronto. People are being murdered on the subway. Why was the public safety minister of Canada not touring our cities to talk to police about what they are facing on a daily basis? Where are the time and resources on that?
This is a Liberal government that is going to spend billions and billions of dollars going after people like me, people on these benches who have firearms legally and lawfully, who hunt and shoot with their families. That is what the Liberals are focused on. That is what all the resources are being focused on by the Liberal government when it comes to guns, for the most part. Meanwhile, people are being murdered by repeat violent offenders who continue to get bail. That falls at the feet of the Liberal government.
We can look at Bill C-75, a bail reform bill the Liberals brought forward a few years ago. When we talk to police, all those changes in policies that made it easier for repeat violent offenders to get bail are coming home to roost now. That is what we are hearing from the brave frontline police officers in this country.
We need to repeal the most harmful aspects of Bill C-75. That would be leadership from the Prime Minister: to get tough on crime, tough on the 40 people being arrested 6,000 times for violent crime in Vancouver, and ensure that we save 24 people in Toronto next year. The statistics are about the same every year in Toronto: Over half of the shooting murders are by people who are out on bail. Let us save those lives next year. That could be done in the next few months. That could be announced today by the Liberal government.
To conclude, the Conservatives have a tough-on-crime record. In fact, under Stephen Harper, in the 10 years he was Prime Minister, crime went down 26%. They brought forward 80 criminal justice bills. It was a top priority for Stephen Harper. In the eight years that the Liberal Prime Minister has been at the helm and in power in this country, violent crime reversed and went up 32%. There is a clear difference in approach to dealing with crime, and a Conservative government will be the one to save lives in Canada, get tough on crime, treat law-abiding citizens with respect, put victims' rights first and ensure that repeat violent offenders stay off our streets.