NEWS RELEASE · 24th September 2011
BC Conservative Party
At the annual general meeting for the BC Conservatives today, John Cummins made two policy announcements; both addressing justice gaps in the province.
"As Conservatives we believe in the law - that it should be applied evenly, fairly and without discrimination," said Mr. Cummins. "Today I am announcing two important changes a new BC Conservative government would make to uphold the law in BC."
British Columbia is one of only a small number of provinces where the police cannot lay charges. This means that when the police arrest a criminal, they recommend charges to the crown prosecutors who then decided if the case merits charges. A consequence of this is that prosecutors, who are overworked, pick and choose the cases with the highest chance of conviction that fit into their heavily booked schedules.
As a result many criminals go free, or lesser charges are dropped. This is one of the reasons BC has what is described as a catch and release justice system.
"A new BC Conservative government would restore the ability of the police to lay charges, which combined with more prosecutors, will allow more criminal trials to go forward, which acts as a deterrent to prevent crime."
The Pacific Salmon are an icon of British Columbia.
Sport and commercial fishing has defined British Columbia. The commercial salmon fishery off our coast was one of the greatest in the world. But through mismanagement by the Federal Department of Fisheries, and their failure to enforce the law, the fish and the industries they supported are threatened.
The Cohen Commission was set up by the federal Conservative government to look into the collapse of the Fraser River salmon fishery.
At that enquiry a DFO fisheries officer testified that 97% of all fish caught under native food, social, and ceremonial licenses was sold commercially. That means that while most fishermen have to follow one set of rules, another group ignores the rules and destroys the resource for everyone.
"A new BC Conservative government will empower both provincial wildlife officers and the police in this province to enforce federal law. People illegally selling fish caught under food, social, and ceremonial licenses would be arrested, and charged.'
"A new BC Conservative government will enforce our current federal fishery laws to the letter, and safeguard our precious fisheries resource for all British Columbians!"
Public Inquiry to BC Rail
Comment by Karen on 25th September 2011
Would the BC Conservative Party call for an inquiry in the BC Rail scandal if they were so lucky as to form government? The Basi/Virk trial was a blatant and disgusting display of manipulation of the BC court system by both our elected officials and those who profess to uphold the law. This issue must been seen through to a satisfactory conclusion or the system will not ever merit respect.