Statement: Bail Reform Legislation Receives Royal Assent
December 7, 2023
OTTAWA – Tom Stamatakis, President of the Canadian Police Association, Mark Baxter, President of the Police Association of Ontario, John Cerasuolo, President of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and Jon Reid, President of the Toronto Police Association, jointly released a statement today following Royal Assent being given to Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bail reform). This important legislation was supported by all members of the Canadian Police Association, and was originally introduced following the high-profile murders of police officers in Ontario, and across Canada, by violent offenders who were, at the time of the attacks, on release from previous convictions.
“Front-line police personnel applaud all Members of Parliament for their work on passing common sense bail reform that specifically targets serious, repeat violent offenders. Perhaps most importantly, this legislation which was passed unanimously by all elected Members of the House of Commons, sends a strong signal to our Courts that community safety must be a key concern when considering whether proven, prolific offenders should be granted bail and released before being held accountable for their actions.” – Mr. Tom Stamatakis, President, Canadian Police Association.
“Police associations, and the members we collectively represent, sincerely appreciate the work done by former and current Justice Ministers David Lametti and Arif Virani, building on the consensus developed by leaders of provincial and municipal governments across Canada, on this important issue. The safety of our communities should be a thoroughly non-partisan issue, and Bill C-48 proves that when all stakeholders come together, we can quickly identify solutions to address serious problems.” – Mr. Mark Baxter, President, Police Association of Ontario.
“We hope that this legislation is only the first step in meaningful justice reform that recognizes that bail is a fundamental right, and the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our justice system, but that we can work collaboratively to identify potential evidence-based legislative and administrative changes to address the concerns that many Canadians have expressed when highlighting their concerns of deteriorating public safety in their communities. We believe that by working together, we can better protect the public and ensure a fair and effective justice system.” – Mr. John Cerasuolo, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association.
“The past 15 months have been difficult for the policing community in Canada, with eight murders of police officers who were engaged in the exercise of their duties across the country. Passing this bail reform legislation is important action that shows that their sacrifices are recognized, and that our elected officials are ready to take concrete steps to help protect not just our law enforcement personnel, but also the communities they serve.” – Mr. Jon Reid, President, Toronto Police Association.
The Canadian Police Association (CPA) is Canada’s largest law enforcement advocacy organization and the national voice for 60,000 police personnel across Canada. Membership includes police personnel serving in 160 police services across Canada, from Canada’s smallest towns and villages as well as those working in our largest municipal and provincial police services, and members of the railway police, and first nations’ police personnel.
For additional information:
Mr. Michael Gendron
Communications Officer, Canadian Police Association
(613) 299-6516 / firstname.lastname@example.org