CACP Statement: Bail reform and legislation addressing firearms-related offences

    01/16/23 - 01/16/27

    January 16, 2023

    (Click here to download a copy of the following statement.)

    CACP Statement: Canada’s police leaders welcome and support the call by Canada’s Premiers for changes to the bail system and legislation addressing firearms-related offences

    The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) welcomes and supports the call to action contained in a letter from the provincial Premiers to Prime Minister Trudeau calling for changes to the bail system and to legislation addressing firearms-related offences. Our common goal is to prevent violent repeat offenders who pose a threat to society from being released into the community if they are accused of, and/or have been previously charged with, offences involving firearms.

    The CACP reiterates that the right for the public and our officers to be protected from the criminal behaviours of violent and repeat offenders, particularly those charged with firearm-related crimes, must be given far greater weight than is currently the case when bail and sentencing matters are considered.

    The CACP is encouraged to hear that provincial leaders are making it a priority to eliminate the preventable harm and senseless tragedies attributable to violent, repeat offenders across Canada. This is a complex issue requiring solutions that address the challenges faced at each step of the judicial process while ensuring the delicate balance between public safety and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The justice system involves various players — the police, prosecutors, judges, and correctional service professionals — and we must all work together to achieve positive change. It is also important to remember that the justice system exists within a larger public safety structure involving other community and health services. While it is important to discuss how we manage those accused of crimes, we must also keep in mind that prevention and addressing root causes of crime are equally important.