Joined: Aug 28, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
|Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:24 pm Post subject: Greens Applaud Budget Officer's Report
June 25, 2010
For Immediate Release
Greens Applaud Budget Officer’s Report
OTTAWA – The Green Party is applauding the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report on the federal penal system and calling for increased opposition to the Conservatives’ plans for mass incarceration and prison expansion.
“It is the responsibility of Parliament to protect citizens from crime by using Canadians’ hard-earned taxes as effectively as possible,” said Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader. “Mass incarceration has proven itself to be expensive and ineffective. It is bad social policy. This government and its opposition parties are simply not fulfilling their responsibilities to Canadian citizens.”
Canada's Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, projects that one government bill will lead to approximately 4,000 more incarcerations and will require 13 new federal prisons. This will also mean at least $10 billion in increased federal and provincial spending over the next five years.
“Canada’s correctional system has become unsustainable and will not be fixed until we begin investing in effective crime prevention measures rather than mass incarceration,” said Jared Giesbrecht, Justice Critic for the Green Party of Canada. “This Parliament is passing ad hoc legislation that leads to unending prison expansion and ever-increasing burdens on provincial government.”
“It is imperative that the federal government develop a plan for the criminal justice system that is sustainable in the long-term,” said Jared Giesbrecht. “This government has shown itself to be grossly irresponsible by spending without a reasonable expectation of positive returns. A responsible government will shift the focus of expenditure away from incarceration and onto rehabilitation and prevention. This is a more prudent, evidence-based, and effective use of resources.”
Recognizing the increased pressures on public spending, the Green Party would:
Develop a long-term, fiscally sustainable criminal justice plan in cooperation with the provincial, territorial, and aboriginal governments.
Focus upon education and meaningful work for offenders in order that they might pay at least part of the costs of their crime and housing in prison.
Amend the laws to provide for stiffer sentencing and full restitution in white-collar crimes. Sentences must fit the severity of the crimes.
Provide meaningful support for victims of crime and ensure there is stable funding in place for crime prevention programs that hold offenders accountable upon release.