The Trudeau Liberals are making good on a promise on new bail reforms, through the introduction of Bill C-48.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says the bill will make it harder for repeat violent offenders to make bail.
“The onus will now be on them to justify to a court why they shouldn’t remain in custody as they wait for a trial.”
The bill will also broaden the existing onus regime for victims of intimate partner violence and require courts to consider the history of convictions for those accused of violence and the safety of the community when making a bail decision.
Justice Minister David Lametti also addressed concerns about potential negative impacts the bill could have.
“The goal of C-48 is improving public safety. At the same time we want to make sure these law reforms do not make things worse for Indigenous people, black people, and other vulnerable groups.”
Officials were unable to provide statistics but the government intends to work with the provinces and territories to share their information, along with Statistics Canada to get a better picture moving forward.
“We hope that we have threaded the needle,”said Lametti speaking to media after the announcement. “With respect to not going too far, in terms of either going too far in either clogging up the bail system, or having a disproportionate impact on groups that are already over represented in the criminal justice system generally.”
If C-48 passes and recieves royal assent, a review of the bill and its measures will be held after five years.