Honourable Bill Blair, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Blair,
Congratulations on your appointment to the newly created position of Minister for Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. Protecting Canadians from those who wish to harm them is one of the highest responsibilities of any Government.
Unfortunately, this Liberal Government has failed to manage Canada’s borders. Canadians are demanding action. In fact, a recent poll showed that 70% of Canadians felt that the Government had no plan to address the illegal border crosser situation. I would urge you to divert from the course set by your predecessor and stop seeking to solve this problem by throwing ever increasing amounts of money at it. Canadians expect our immigration system to be compassionate and fair. It is not compassionate, nor fair, when individuals are forced to live in homeless shelters, university dormitories, and tent cities because the Prime Minister has compromised the integrity of our immigration system with a flippant, ill thought out social media post. The solutions are complex, but begin with working to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.
With regards to your mandate to reduce organized crime, as a former Chief of Police, you know that the best way to reduce gang crime is to put dangerous criminals behind bars where they belong. I would urge you to advocate against suggestions by the Justice Minister that sentences for serious crimes should be reduced. Particularly, I would encourage you to immediately seek an amendment to clause 186 in Bill C-75 which reduces the sentence for participating in the activities of a criminal organization to as little as a fine. This Bill sends the completely inappropriate message that being in a street gang that inflicts chaos in our communities is morally equivalent to speeding. It needs to change. In crafting policy, I hope that you will recall your words in July 2009, where you said “It often appears that criminals do not fear the consequences of our Justice system. There are many who are still engaged in dangerous criminal activity after many arrests, dozens of convictions and even lengthy periods of incarceration. We will continue to arrest them and put them before the courts. We will continue to convict them, and even if they can never be rehabilitated, there is an irrefutable logic in incarcerating such people in order to protect the rest of us from their criminality”
However, I would encourage you to repudiate past views that you have frequently and enthusiastically expressed regarding the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry. In the past you have strongly advocated measures targeting law abiding hunters and farmers. These opinions can be seen in the shaping of Bill C-71, the legislation which creates a back-door gun registry. I would urge you to work to amend this Bill to remove measures that will do nothing to target dangerous criminals.
In closing, I would like to reiterate the high degree of responsibility that you now hold for keeping Canadians safe, and our borders secure. I look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead, and ensuring that both you and your Government are held to account.
Pierre Paul-Hus, M.P.
Charlesbourg – Haute-Saint-Charles
Shadow Minister for Public Safety