Life means life. Vote Conservative. That’s the message Prime Minister Stephen Harper is peddling.
The Conservative leader promised Tuesday that a re-elected Conservative government would make “life means life” legislation for the most heinous crimes its top legislative priority.
“Canadians expect their government to protect them from the worst type of criminals,” said Harper, speaking at a campaign stop in Toronto’s Etobicoke-Centre riding. “That’s why our government introduced Life Means Life legislation, and that’s why reintroducing and passing it will be our top justice priority this fall.”
First introduced in March 2015, the bill would amend the Criminal Code to ensure those offenders convicted of the most serious of crimes, such as murders involving sexual assault, kidnapping, terrorism, or the killing of police officers, will be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives with no access to parole.
“A prison sentence should mean what it says,” the Prime Minister said. “And a life sentence should mean exactly that - a sentence for life.”
Attacking the soft-justice approach of his Liberal and NDP election rivals, Harper continued: “Justin [Trudeau] and [Tom] Mulcair think heinous murderers like Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson should still get a chance to apply for parole and be released into the community after 25 years.”
Harper slammed NDP leader Mulcair for having a “dangerous ideology-driven” approach to criminal justice policy that would put the “so-called ‘rights’ of criminals ahead of the rights of victims,” before adding, “[Liberal leader Justin Trudeau] simply doesn’t understand the needs and priorities of Canadian families.”
Appearing alongside the Prime Minister, Sharon Rosenfeldt, president of Victims of Violence and mother of the late 16-year-old Daryn Johnsrude, who was murdered by Clifford Olson in 1981, reportedly welcomed the pledge.
Expressing her support for the Conservative Party’s proposal, she said: “The public rightfully expects and trusts that governments will do everything in their power to protect our children, our families and our communities. That is what this legislation is about, and that is why our organization has consistently asked for it, and that is why we stand in support of it today and the Conservative Government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”
“Thank You, Prime Minister.”