Report from your Crowfoot MP

Standing Up to Organized Crime - Organized crime can be found operating anywhere.  Sometimes it is not readily apparent that criminal activity is not 'random', or an isolated incident.  Organized crime employs violence and intimidation to achieve its criminal objectives, posing a serious threat to Canadian communities.  Criminal Intelligence Service Canada estimates that 750 organized crime groups operate across Canada (CISC, 2009).
Our Conservative Government is serious about protecting Canadians from the threat of organized crime and we are adopting new regulations that would target crimes typically associated with organized criminal gangs and make them "serious offences" under the Criminal Code.  Organized crime is involved in numerous criminal enterprises including all aspects of the drug trade (production, importation, exportation and selling), prostitution and illegal gambling activity, auto theft, identity theft, financial crime such as securities and mass marketing fraud, environmental crime and the illicit movement of firearms, tobacco, and people.
Currently, some of the criminal acts committed by organized crime groups do not meet the definition of serious offence under subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code because they are not punishable by sentences of five years or more.  As such, investigators and prosecutors cannot use the various provisions available in the Criminal Code that target organized crime.  Our regulatory changes will include specific offences to prohibit organized crime activity.   They will make many special procedures available in organized crime investigations and prosecutions in areas such as peace bonds, wiretaps, the granting of bail, seizing proceeds of crime, parole eligibility and stiffer sentencing considerations.
Our efforts to provide Canada's law enforcement agencies with greater access to these crime-fighting tools are supported by all provincial and territorial justice ministers. This new action will give police and prosecutors stronger tools to target organized crime activity, and help keep more dangerous criminals behind bars.
We know Canadians are concerned about crime.  As far as our government is concerned, one victim of crime is one too many.  We know that there are real costs to families and society if we let criminals roam the streets because our government has not provided our police and prosecutors with what they need to protect our families and our communities.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, AB T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail sorenk1@parl.gc.ca