Blue Line

Canada’s premiers, police chiefs to talk bail reform as Ottawa faces calls for change

April 21, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Apr. 21, 2023, Ottawa, Ont. – The association representing Canada’s chiefs of police is expected to meet with provincial and territorial premiers today to talk about reforming Canada’s criminal justice system.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, who chairs the Council of the Federation, says premiers aim to hear chiefs’ public-safety concerns and their perspectives on how Ottawa should amend federal law, including on bail reform.

Premiers have been calling on the federal government to renew and enhance its Guns and Gang Violence Action Fund, which supports provincial and territorial public-safety initiatives.

That request follows previous calls for Ottawa to create “reverse onus” measures for certain offences that would require a person seeking bail to prove why they should not stay behind bars.


Justice Minister David Lametti committed to move forward quickly on “targeted reforms” to the Criminal Code that would update Canada’s bail system after meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts last month.

The virtual meeting with police chiefs, which is also expected to touch on broader public-safety concerns, is taking place after recent violent attacks and murders in Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto.

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