Justice Minister set to reveal plans to reform bail system


Justice Minister David Lametti is set to make an announcement this afternoon about how his government plans to reform Canada’s bail system, after months of calls for tougher laws from premiers, police and opposition.

He is scheduled to hold a news conference with a number of cabinet colleagues, including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett.

Proposed changes to the Criminal Code come amid pressure from the provinces and territories to reduce the number of repeat violent offenders who are granted bail.

A number of high-profile cases have brought attention to the issue, including the recent stabbing deaths of a woman and her daughter in Edmonton, which police say were committed by a man who was on bail at the time.

The federal Conservatives say that’s the result of what they call a “catch-and-release” system, and have been publicly calling for stronger laws.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees anyone charged with a crime will not be denied reasonable bail without just cause, and Lametti has said he will be bringing in targeted reforms that respect that right.