Mar 04, 2015
By Jane Brown
Canada’s Prime Minister wants life to mean life. Stephen Harper is expected to announce changes over the noon hour to Canada’s life penalty for convicted killers that would make life truly mean “life behind bars”. He will be joined by Justice Minister Peter MacKay.
Parents whose children were murdered in the past three decades have been invited to the announcement at the Chinese Cultural Centre on Sheppard Avenue East here in Toronto.
Changes to the penalty for murder have been vigorously debated in the Justice and Public Safety departments and among federal cabinet ministers over the past several weeks. Observers say those changes are especially fraught because how murder is punished, sets the tone for the Canadian justice system.
In the Conservative government’s 2013 throne speech, a promise was made to hold some convicted killers in prison for life, while also respecting the Constitution’s guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.