November 24, 2016

SCHEER: WHY WON’T ANYONE STAND UP FOR VICTIMS?

Liberals put ideology ahead of victims

OTTAWA — Deplorable. That is what Conservative leadership candidate Andrew Scheer is calling a recent ruling by an Ontario Superior Court judge that struck down a mandatory minimum sentence of one year for adults who engage in sexual activity with minors.

“Justin Trudeau said the Liberals “will always support our judiciary.” Well, I don’t support the judge in this case. Everyone has an advocate besides the victim. Liberals care more about supporting judges than actual victims of crime,” said Scheer.

“Rulings like this from activist judges illustrate perfectly why I favour a tough-on-crime approach,” said Scheer. “In this day and age when sexual violence against women and girls is of such great concern, it defies common sense how a judge could possibly consider a single year in prison ‘grossly excessive’ punishment for molesting a child. I'd also like to know what 'reasonably hypothetical' circumstances the judge was referring to."

In the sexual-interference case, the 50-year-old man fondled a 15-year-old girl’s breasts during a sleepover. The judge ruled that a year in prison would be “grossly excessive”, despite stating that she doubted he was truly remorseful.

“These sorts of crimes are already underreported because victims fear they won’t be taken seriously by the justice system,” said Scheer. “What kind of message does this ruling send to other victims of sexual violence who might be afraid of coming forward?”

Earlier this month, Liberal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Reybould announced that the Liberal government intends to cut the use of minimum sentences because Liberals believe judges can evaluate criminal circumstances and impose sentences “better than anybody else”.

“Clearly, this ruling shows how wrong the Liberals are in that regard,” said Scheer.