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Department of Justice

While certainly the Harper government wishes to reduce the discretion of justices in almost every scenario, I view subsection 3.1 as an escape valve. This legislation is ideological but it is also strategically drafted. Creating an escape clause to the general rule, while also leaving "the circumstances" undefined and ambiguous was done so that the legislation would survive a challenge.
UPDATE, March 28: The Conservative Government tabled a revised version of their legal costs Thursday, bumping the total number
OTTAWA – The Conservative government has spent $482 million on outside legal fees since it came to power in 2006. And more
Scheduled to roll out at the end of this month, the federal government's Web Renewal Action! Plan will change how government information is posted and archived online, and not for the better. It clearly outlines the intention to drastically cut the number of government websites available to Canadians. Even more worrisome is the fact it's also contemplating preserving only that which receives a suitable number of clicks. Because everyone knows the most important information is always the most popular.
Friday the House began debating C-54, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act. From the Prime Minister's recent announcement of the legislation, one could easily get the impression that Canada is overrun with dangerous psychopaths and that Canadians should be fearful. Yet, the available evidence indicates that very few mentally ill people commit violent acts, even fewer are found not criminally responsible (NCR), and only a miniscule percentage of those found not criminally responsible (NCR) reoffend after treatment. Indeed, while high-profile cases of horrific acts have attracted much media attention, the reality is that these cases are exceptionally rare.
A Department of Justice lawyer, Edgar Schmidt, recently challenged his employer in court, alleging that the process that
Our current federal government's approach to dealing with crime and helping victims has been simple and simply wrong: keep people in jail longer, increase sentences, expand mandatory minimums and focus on punishment, not prevention or rehabilitation.
I suggest this whole incident be seen as an important moment. It is clear many, many Canadians are scared about the ideologically driven Federal government under Harper: Mr. Harper: take note. Conservative values are not Canadian values and many people are increasingly enraged by your policies.