Answer: We believe that crime prevention initiatives must be revamped to balance national objectives with local imperatives. A variety of initiatives could strengthen communities across Canada, particularly those struggling with a young population with few social and economic opportunities.
Community police are an invaluable resource and critical component of any effective crime prevention strategy. Canadian municipalities need financial support to help them expand community policing and to ensure that their forces properly reflect the diverse population of Canada (as should the RCMP).
We believe that real rehabilitation is a key component of crime prevention. This means, among other things:
- An end to the abuse of solitary confinement
- An end to double-bunkingin federal prisons
- Support for mental health issues, before, during, and after incarceration, along with diversion to mental health programs whenever possible
- An end to mandatory minimums
- Meaningful work programs in prison, including prison farms
- A parole system that supports prisoners as they reintegrate into society
- Real action to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in our prisons
We need a justice system that prepares offenders to contribute to society, not one that demonizes them and makes successful reintegration impossible. This is a crime prevention imperative.
Question: What is your party’s position on medical marijuana? Should your party form government what direction will you give municipalities on the contentious issues of medical marijuana dispensaries?
Answer: Marijuana prohibition has not worked. The Green Party of Canada fully supports removing marijuana from the drug schedule. The Green Party would legalize marijuana, create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small growers, and institute a tax rate similar to that on tobacco.
The war on drugs has been disastrous for our country. The Canadian government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars enforcing drug laws and the industry has only grown. All we have to show for our efforts is a drug trade that operates underground with impunity, a mistrust of law enforcement among marginalized communities, and a criminalized youth. We need a new strategy for healthy and strong communities. Legalization and taxation is the only sensible way forward.
Question: Working within the existing CPS Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum and Canada’s National Counter-Terrorism Strategy, CPS has developed the ReDirect Strategy to prevent youth radicalization by engaging youth-at-risk in early intervention. What measures will your party take to prevent youth radicalization?
Answer: Greens want to develop effective programs to prevent the ‘radicalization’ of Canadian youth, identifying those drawn to extremist movements and engaging clerics and communities where terrorist networks have been known to recruit. Part of these solutions will include better employment programs for Canadian youth. All of these solutions will require working constructively and respectfully with impacted communities.
The Harper Conservatives' anti-terror legislation, Bill C51, does nothing to accomplish these goals. In fact, many experts have said that the speech chill provisions in the Act will make it harder for effective de-radicalization efforts. As Elizabeth May said in the House of Commons, "In the U.K., they just passed the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015, which proactively puts programs in schools, mental health institutions, and prisons to address the threat of radicalization...Surely we should be following the lead of those countries that are using approaches to engage to preempt and avoid radicalization in those institutions. The bill before us does not do that."