So I received a flyer through the door today from Patrick Brown, making him the first candidate to get in contact with me. Unfortunately, it was clearly printed before the election was called and makes no mention of it at all.
Instead, it is a commercial for Bill C-21. It doesn’t really say very much about it, but is full of words like ‘Corporate Thugs’, ‘Parasitic Crimes’ and ‘Tough new Laws’. Clearly Brown wants to portray himself as ‘tough’.
(At this point I have to concede that yes, Patrick Brown is tough. He’s one of the very few people in the city that can beat me in a 5k run…)
However, I’m not that taken by this ‘tough on crime’ posturing. It’s worth remembering that Corrections Canada is not ‘Punishments Canada’, and has as it’s mission not just incarceration but ‘actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens’.
The cost of incarcerating a Federal male prisoner is around $87,665 per prisoner/per year. To just promote a policy of increased punishments for those that get caught does not address the cost to the taxpayer of maintaining these prisons, nor the costs to the country of removing people from the workforce. More importantly, as reflected in Corrections Canada’s mission statement, the goal of the justice system is not simply retribution, but ultimately restoration – of individuals, of offenders, and of society.*
This is the second communique I’ve received from Brown highlighting his ‘tough on crime’ stance. Every time I receive one I feel less inclined to vote for him.
* I can’t recommend a better book about restorative justice than “Returning to the Teachings“, by Rupert Ross.