July 19, 2024
The Supreme Court of Canada’s 2022 ruling striking down the “stacked sentencing” option the Harper government gave judges is one of the daftest, most offensive documents it has issued in recent years, writes Chris Selley.

Locking up murderers is a slam-dunk issue for Poilievre’s Conservatives

No normal person believes serial killer Robert Pickton should be eligible for day parole just 22 years after his arrest

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre added three items to his policy book this week, each of which is likely to generate significant discussion. He supports the idea of online porn sites having to establish users’ age … though his office quickly clarified that he’s dead-set against any form of “digital ID,” so what that means in practice I have no idea. (What we do know is, kids will continue to access online porn unless their parents are vigilant about it.) And he supports the idea that “female sports, female change rooms (and) female bathrooms should be for females, not for biological males” … though he also conceded he wasn’t sure how many such “female spaces” were in any way federally regulated.

The third item is the best one, very doable and completely within federal jurisdiction. But I suspect also the one we’ll hear the least about, because it’s pretty much impossible for the other parties to use as a wedge issue.

This week we learned that Robert Pickton, almost certainly (and one must hope) Canada’s most prolific serial killer of women, had become eligible to apply for day parole on just the 22nd anniversary of his arrest — which was Thursday. In response to this objectively outrageous situation, Poilievre vowed to reintroduce legislation that would allow for longer sentences for multiple murderers than for one-offs — an idea so sensible on every level that only the Supreme Court of Canada (unanimously!) could possibly have given it the kibosh.

It also highlights one of the most maddening things about the Pickton case: Upon his six second-degree murder convictions in 2010, the Crown stayed 20 other first-degree murder charges against him.

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