Federal justice minister plans to talk bail reform with provincial counterparts



Justice Minister David Lametti says he will discuss reforming Canada’s bail system when he meets with his provincial counterparts this Friday.

Earlier this year, the premiers called on the feds to establish a “reverse onus” system for firearm offences that would require the person seeking bail to show why they should not stay behind bars.

Lametti told a Parliamentary committee meeting Monday he is prepared to make changes to the Criminal Code and has already talked with some provincial counterparts about the issue.

But he says bail is a fundamental right and any law making it harder to access runs the risk of being contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lametti wouldn’t say when the Liberal government plans to act but says it is a priority.

Federal Conservatives have been pressing the government to toughen up access to bail for repeat offenders, particularly in cases involving firearms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2023.

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