Monday , 6 February 2023
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Premiers demand bail reform for cases of weapons offenses

It’s unanimous. All 13 Canadian provincial and territorial premiers  want to see tougher bail conditions, particularly for offenders facing weapons charges. The premiers have released a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling on the federal government “take immediate action to strengthen

Canada’s bail system to better protect the public and Canada’s heroic first responders”

The letter continues, “There have been a growing number of calls for changes to prevent accused persons, who are out on bail, from committing further criminal acts. The justice system fundamentally needs to keep anyone who poses a threat to public safety off the streets. And this starts with meaningful changes to the Criminal Code, an area solely within the federal

government’s jurisdiction.”

The premiers are calling for a so-called “reverse-onus” for possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm, noting the accused, “should have to demonstrate why their detention is not justified when they were alleged to have committed an offence where there was imminent risk to the public, as is already the case with several offences involving firearms. A review of other firearms-related offences is also warranted to determine whether they should also attract a reverse onus on bail.”

The call comes in the wake of the murder of Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala, 28, who  was shot and killed by a career criminal on bail for a weapons offence near Hagersville . A week later Peel Police arrested a man who was on a release order for a separate attempted murder and firearms offences.

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