An article in the National Post on 23 February, 2023 by Tom Blackwell discusses a case of a Milton man being charged under Canada’s Criminal Code after shooting one of four men who broke into their home and tried to assault his mother.
A discussion of the legal system and the right to defend yourself in your home ensued. At the end of this discussion the following quote was found in the comment section of the article:
“Our entire Criminal Justice System is upside down right now. Criminals are to be Punished. Society is to be Protected. It should be as simple as that…”
My question is, does this person make sense in light of what is happening in Canadian justice these days?
Canada currently is a country that seems to reward criminal behaviour, not punish it. Our justice system is said to be based on what criminologists call the Medical Model. People are not criminal by nature, they are ill and can be cured/rehabilitated and shouldn’t be punished in all but the most serious circumstances, if this theory is correct.
There is much controversy surrounding our criminal justice system in Canada in the modern era and our ability to make sense out of our Criminal Code seems to be diminishing over time.
Let us remember that our current Criminal Code came into being back in 1892. That was the year my Grandfather was born and transportation was by means of horse and a buggy! The charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba had yet to take place, let alone the First World War!
One might question if what worked back in 1892 still works today and does our system of justice need revision?
Recent commentary surrounding the Bail system in Canada makes it sound as if the criminals are setting the agenda and not the courts. Our politicians seem hesitant, to say the least, in bringing forth a solution to the current catch-and-release system in play.
Many want to blame the current Liberal Government for the drastic situation that exists in the criminal justice system, but believe it or not, it began long before the current Trudeau era began in 2015. One only has to look at the Constitution Act, 1982 to connect the dots…to, low and behold, another Trudeau.
This is not to totally blame our politicians for they are only representative of what the electorate determine to be needed at any given time. What has been missing in this narrative is the political will to seek out and attack the root causes of criminal behaviour in society and come up with a viable solution. I suppose that the cost of doing this is partially to blame but the cost of not doing it has resulted in our current dilemma.
Updating Canada’s justice system to meet the needs of modern Canada would be a gargantuan task that no current politician may want to bet their political future on. So, do we sit, as Shakespeare would perhaps put it; “hoisted with our own petard”.
This brings me back to the comment above, which claims that our entire criminal justice system is upside down right now. If true, start thinking what can be done about it?