CACP Statement: Bill C-48 on Bail Reform

    05/17/23 - 05/17/28

    May 17, 2023

    Click here to download the following CACP statement.

    CACP Statement: Canada’s police leaders welcome and support Bill C-48 on bail reform

    The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) welcomes and supports Bill C-48 calling for legislative amendments to the Criminal Code related to Canada’s bail system. The proposed amendments align with the calls to action put forward by Canada’s police leaders.

    We commend the federal government for acting on the urgency for legislative change and for recognizing that our proposed amendments were not calling for a complete overhaul of Canada's bail system, but rather changes that are specifically aimed at keeping violent and repeat offenders who pose the greatest threat to public and officer safety from being released into the community while they await trial.

    We are pleased to see that Bill C-48 gives far greater weight to a suspect’s criminal history when bail and sentencing matters are considered. While we would have recommended that a suspect’s full criminal history be contemplated, rather than just going back five years, the government has built in a review process in the next five years that will allow for an evidence-based and legislative review to address any remaining issues related to public safety.

    We also applaud the initiative to not only implement reverse-onus bail conditions for serious violent offences involving a weapon, but for expanding these provisions to offences involving intimate partner violence.  

    We are convinced that the legislative changes put forth in Bill C-48 will go a long way to help eliminate the preventable harm and senseless tragedies attributable to violent and repeat offenders across Canada.