Federal and provincial government seems to be on same page for bail reform

The Honorable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, spoke in Regina on the federal government’s agreement to consider bail reforms.

This comes after Saskatchewan and some other provinces called on the federal government to tighten bail conditions to keep the more dangerous criminals off the street.

Last week the federal Justice Minister said he would try and move quickly on targeted reforms to the criminal code when it comes to bail.

Blair, who was chief of police in Toronto for 10 years, says he understands the need to talk about bail reform.

“I know from experience that there are some people in our society that are simply so dangerous that our society needs to be protected from them and that’s one of the responsibilities of our police and our courts,” says Blair.

While it’s now announced that discussions need to be had around bail reform, Blair recognizes that all aspects need to be considered including the risks of over-incarceration.

“We recognize that it’s important that our criminal justice system protects society from those individuals and at the same time we also want to make sure that in our work we don’t over-incarcerate particular populations or people who are perhaps more vulnerable,” says Blair.

Future conversations will be had between the federal and provincial governments on what bail reforms may become.

Some of the considerations for reforms include stricter conditions for repeat offenders, high-risk offences, and risks to public safety.

More from 620 CKRM