The Conservative Party has proposed that upon re-election they will create a new law directed to combating violent youth crime. Unfortunately due to a failure to stay current with Canadian law the Conservative Party has only illustrated their ignorance concerning the Canadian legal system.
The Conservative website describes the campaign promise of a tougher law on violent youths:
The law will ensure that persons aged 14 and older who are convicted of serious violent offences (presumptive offences) are automatically subject to enhanced youth sentencing (which includes life sentences).The Conservatives use the term enhanced youth sentencing but as they include 14 year sentences for violent offences and life sentences for first- or second-degree murder, the Conservatives are clearly referring to the imposing of adult sentences on violent young offenders. This is clearly evident by the fact that there isn't a more adult sentence then life in prison.
Why this is important is because the Supreme Court of Canada as recent as May 2008 ruled in the case of R. v. D.B., 2008 SCC 25 that:
A young person who commits a presumptive offence should not automatically be presumed to attract an adult sentence.The Court went on to state if there was such a presumption it would be in conflict with Section 7 of the Constitution and therefore be unconstitutional. This ruling therefore invalidates that significant portion of the Conservative campaign promise.
If one major flaw wasn't enough, the proposed Conservative violent youth crime law contains yet another. On the same Conservative website it states that in regard to violent young offenders "upon conviction they will be named and a publication ban will not apply." The problem with this is that the Supreme Court in the same ruling as cited above stated:
The onus on young persons to demonstrate why they remain entitled to the ongoing protection of a publication ban is also a violation of s. 7 of the Charter.So again another feature of the Conservatives latest campaign promise is shown to be contradictory to our constitution, and only adds to the evidence that the Conservative Party does not have enough sufficient knowledge of our legal system to be guardians of it.