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MP Viersen: Canada’s Bail System is Broken

January 31, 2023


Over the past 8 years, Conservatives have repeatedly warned that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ‘catch-and-release’ bail reform and soft-on-crime policies would fail to keep Canadians and first responders safe. With a 32% rise in violent crime across Canada, it is clear these Liberal policies are hurting our communities and urgent action is needed.

Just last month, Randall McKenzie was charged with the tragic murder of 28-year-old rookie Ontario Provincial Police officer Const. Grzegorz “Greg” Pierzchala. At the time of the murder, McKenzie was out on bail for 2021 firearms offences and had a warrant out for his arrest.

In Alberta, we regularly hear about violent or repeat offenders back out on bail and re-offending in our communities.

That is why this week, my Conservative colleagues on the Justice Committee have called for the immediate investigation into Canada’s broken bail system as Parliament resumes this week. We join the 13 premiers of the provinces and territories who have unanimously called on the federal government to act immediately to strengthen the bail system.

Police associations across the country are also calling for changes to the bail system in order to ensure that individuals charged with violent offences to not have the opportunity to hurt or kill any innocent Canadians. Canadian Police Association president Tom Stamatakis stated: “There are a small number of prolific and violent offenders who continue to present a danger to society when released, and we need to find common-sense reforms that will address those cases,”

The time to act is now. Conservatives are urging all members of the Justice Committee to support our efforts to fix Canada’s bail system and keep Canadians safe. This must be a top priority during this spring session.

Arnold Viersen, MP

Peace River – Westlock