MP Parm Gill’s stand against gang recruitment with Private Members Bill C-394

Conservative MP Parm Gill doesn’t like criminal gangs invading his riding of Brampton-Springdale (in Ontario) and is taking steps to make recruiting gang members a crime punishable by 5 years in prison.

He has introduced a private members bill, Bill C-394, to amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act to help reduce the problem.

The bill’s summary reads:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to make it an offence to recruit, solicit, encourage or invite a person to join a criminal organization. It establishes a penalty for that offence and a more severe penalty for the recruitment of persons who are under 18 years of age. This enactment also makes a related amendment to the National Defence Act.

The relevant section of the proposed Act reads thus:

467.111 Every person who, for the purpose of enhancing the ability of a criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament, recruits, solicits, encourages or invites a person to join a criminal organization, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable,

(a) in the case where the person recruited, solicited, encouraged or invited is under 18 years of age, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months; and

(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

According to a Vancouver Sun story, Parm Gill spent time researching possible solutions to gang recruitment by consulting everyone from police to community groups and teachers before introducing his private members bill.

He went home so disturbed by some of the tactics he was told were used to recruit young people into gangs – members hanging around outside Boys and Girls Clubs, or forcing siblings as young as eight to carry drugs and weapons – that he crafted a private member’s bill to try to prevent it from happening.

The Vancouver Sun story also reported that the government supports the bill and will help ensure it is passed.

In February, Gill introduced Bill C-394, the Criminal Organization Recruitment Act, into Parliament which if enacted would make it a crime – punishable by up to five years in jail – to recruit, solicit or encourage anyone to join a gang. This week Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that the Conservative government would back the bill. The bill had a second reading on Tuesday.

Criminal sanctions probably aren’t as useful a deterrent to gang crime as Mr. Gill wants to believe, though.  The threat of jail time hasn’t deterred thousands upon thousands of drug dealers from plying their trade, so the threat of 5 years in prison for recruiting gang members isn’t likely to stop that either.






1 thought on “MP Parm Gill’s stand against gang recruitment with Private Members Bill C-394

  1. There is a flip side to this.

    Should one organize a group that is vigorously opposed to various actions or policies of a particularly oppressive government and then embark on a recruiting drive for that group then that person or the head of that group may fall under the purview of this legislation.

    Groups with a focus like Katey Montague has started, loose organizations like these run afoul of legislation like this when it is in the hands of police officers, crown prosecutors or politicians with an intent to suppress dissent or public backlash.

    Groups like the Tea Party would be a perfect target for legislation like this. In the event of a hostile government the Reform Party would have been a perfect target as well…..the list goes on.

    Even the writing of a blog or making contributions to blogs can be considered to be “gang recruitment”. The law is far to broad and needs a major overhaul.

    I think this legislation needs to be stopped.

    There needs to be a series of modifications to existing legislation like the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    The better solution is to simply enforce the laws on the books. Not create new ones.

    Start handing out stiffer sentences, stop concurrent sentencing policies, reduce time off for various “good behavior” like breathing and going to the bathroom, create prison work camps with a heavy emphasis on “work” and remove many of the privileges that have turned our prisons into luxury vacation retreats.

    Add to that a reduction in the number of criminals that enter this country as “refugees” and tighten up our deportation policy regrading the deportation of convicted immigrant criminals. This is the better way.

    Regards, Don Laird
    Edson, Alberta, Canada

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