Safe Streets and Communities Act (S.C. 2012, c. 1)

Assented to 2012-03-13

Safe Streets and Communities Act

S.C. 2012, c. 1

Assented to 2012-03-13

An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts

SUMMARY

Part 1 of this enactment creates, in order to deter terrorism, a cause of action that allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters. It also amends the State Immunity Act to prevent a listed foreign state from claiming immunity from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts in respect of actions that relate to its support of terrorism.

Part 2 amends the Criminal Code to

  • (a) increase or impose mandatory minimum penalties, and increase maximum penalties, for certain sexual offences with respect to children;

  • (b) create offences of making sexually explicit material available to a child and of agreeing or arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child;

  • (c) expand the list of specified conditions that may be added to prohibition and recognizance orders to include prohibitions concerning contact with a person under the age of 16 and use of the Internet or any other digital network;

  • (d) expand the list of enumerated offences that may give rise to such orders and prohibitions; and

  • (e) eliminate the reference, in section 742.1, to serious personal injury offences and to restrict the availability of conditional sentences for all offences for which the maximum term of imprisonment is 14 years or life and for specified offences, prosecuted by way of indictment, for which the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years.

It also amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to provide for minimum penalties for serious drug offences, to increase the maximum penalty for cannabis (marijuana) production and to reschedule certain substances from Schedule III to that Act to Schedule I.

Part 3 amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to

  • (a) clarify that the protection of society is the paramount consideration for the Correctional Service of Canada in the corrections process and for the National Parole Board and the provincial parole boards in the determination of all cases;

  • (b) establish the right of a victim to make a statement at parole hearings and permit the disclosure to a victim of certain information about the offender;

  • (c) provide for the automatic suspension of the parole or statutory release of offenders who receive a new custodial sentence and require the National Parole Board to review their case within a prescribed period; and

  • (d) rename the National Parole Board as the Parole Board of Canada.

It also amends the Criminal Records Act to substitute the term “record suspension” for the term “pardon”. It extends the ineligibility periods for applications for a record suspension and makes certain offences ineligible for a record suspension. It also requires the National Parole Board to submit an annual report that includes the number of applications for record suspensions and the number of record suspensions ordered.

Lastly, it amends the International Transfer of Offenders Act to provide that one of the purposes of that Act is to enhance public safety and to modify the list of factors that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may consider in deciding whether to consent to the transfer of a Canadian offender.

Part 4 amends the sentencing and general principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, as well as its provisions relating to judicial interim release, adult and youth sentences, publication bans, and placement in youth custody facilities. It defines the terms “violent offence” and “serious offence”, amends the definition “serious violent offence” and repeals the definition “presumptive offence”. It also requires police forces to keep records of extrajudicial measures used to deal with young persons.

Part 5 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow officers to refuse to authorize foreign nationals to work in Canada in cases where to give authorization would be contrary to public policy considerations that are specified in instructions given by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

The enactment also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Safe Streets and Communities Act.

PART 1JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF TERRORISM ACT

Enactment of Act

Marginal note:Enactment of Act

 The Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act is enacted as follows:

An Act to deter acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians

Preamble

Whereas Canadians and people everywhere are entitled to live their lives in peace, freedom and security;

Whereas Parliament recognizes that terrorism is a matter of national concern that affects the security of the nation and considers it a priority to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

Whereas acts of terrorism threaten Canada’s political institutions, the stability of the economy and the general welfare of the nation;

Whereas the challenge of eradicating terrorism, with its sophisticated and trans-border nature, requires enhanced international cooperation and a strengthening of Canada’s capacity to suppress and incapacitate acts of terrorism;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) reaffirms that acts of international terrorism constitute a threat to international peace and security, and reaffirms the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism;

Whereas Canada ratified the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism on February 15, 2002;

Whereas hundreds of Canadians have been murdered or injured in terrorist attacks;

Whereas terrorism is dependent on financial and material support;

Whereas certain states that support terrorism should not benefit from state immunity in this regard;

And whereas Parliament considers that it is in the public interest to enable plaintiffs to bring lawsuits against terrorists and their supporters, which will have the effect of impairing the functioning of terrorist groups in order to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

INTERPRETATION

Marginal note:Definitions

2. The following definitions apply in this Act.

“foreign state”

« État étranger »

“foreign state” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the State Immunity Act.

“listed entity”

« entité inscrite »

“listed entity” has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code.

“person”

« personne »

“person” includes an organization as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code.

PURPOSE

Marginal note:Purpose

3. The purpose of this Act is to deter terrorism by establishing a cause of action that allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters.

CAUSE OF ACTION

Marginal note:Action
  • 4. (1) Any person that has suffered loss or damage in or outside Canada on or after January 1, 1985 as a result of an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under Part II.1 of the Criminal Code, may, in any court of competent jurisdiction, bring an action to recover an amount equal to the loss or damage proved to have been suffered by the person and obtain any additional amount that the court may allow, from any of the following:

    • (a) any listed entity, or foreign state whose immunity is lifted under section 6.1 of the State Immunity Act, or other person that committed the act or omission that resulted in the loss or damage; or

    • (b) a foreign state whose immunity is lifted under section 6.1 of the State Immunity Act, or listed entity or other person that — for the benefit of or otherwise in relation to the listed entity referred to in paragraph (a) — committed an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 and 83.18 to 83.23 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Conditions  — hearing and determination of action by court

    (2) A court may hear and determine the action referred to in subsection (1) only if the action has a real and substantial connection to Canada or the plaintiff is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

  • Marginal note:Presumption

    (2.1) In an action under subsection (1), the defendant is presumed to have committed the act or omission that resulted in the loss or damage to the plaintiff if the court finds that

    • (a) a listed entity caused or contributed to the loss or damage by committing an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under Part II.1 of the Criminal Code; and

    • (b) the defendant  —  for the benefit of or otherwise in relation to the listed entity referred to in paragraph (a)  —  committed an act or omission that is, or had it been committed in Canada would be, punishable under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 and 83.18 to 83.23 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Suspension of limitation or prescription period

    (3) A limitation or prescription period in respect of an action brought under subsection (1) does not begin before the day on which this section comes into force and is suspended during any period in which the person that suffered the loss or damage

    • (a) is incapable of beginning the action because of any physical, mental or psychological condition; or

    • (b) is unable to ascertain the identity of the listed entity, person or foreign state referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:Refusal to hear claim

    (4) The court may refuse to hear a claim against a foreign state under subsection (1) if the loss or damage to the plaintiff occurred in the foreign state and the plaintiff has not given the foreign state a reasonable opportunity to submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with accepted international rules of arbitration.

  • Marginal note:Judgments of foreign courts

    (5) A court of competent jurisdiction must recognize a judgment of a foreign court that, in addition to meeting the criteria under Canadian law for being recognized in Canada, is in favour of a person that has suffered loss or damage referred to in subsection (1). However, if the judgment is against a foreign state, that state must be set out on the list referred to in subsection 6.1(2) of the State Immunity Act for the judgment to be recognized.