NINA Grewal, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells on Wednesday asked Justice Minister Peter McKay during Question Period in the House of Commons what the government was doing to protect Canadians from released offenders deemed a high risk to reoffend. The question came after the arrest earlier this week of Raymond Caissie who was charged by Surrey RCMP with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch.
Grewal asked: “Mr. Speaker, the community of Surrey is rightly outraged. On Monday, a convicted high-risk sex offender that was released into their community last year was charged with the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch. Cases such as these make it clear that we must continue to make the protection of our communities a top priority, especially when it comes to protecting children. In last year’s Speech from the Throne, our government committed to supporting victims and punishing criminals. Can the Minister of Justice update this House on our progress?”
McKay responded: “Mr. Speaker, while I cannot speak on the specifics of this case, what I will say is that after years of soft on crime policies from Liberal governments that catered to criminals, Canadians can count on this government to re-establish Canada as a country where those that break the law are punished with penalties that match the severity of the crime.
“To date, our government has made it a priority to protect our most vulnerable, our children, by introducing legislation that will crack down on child sexual predators. We have also raised the age of consent; passed tougher measures for dangerous offenders; ended the use of house arrest for child sexual offences; and created new offences to address this behaviour. The worst of the worst deserve serious consequences – and that is what our government has committed to – so Canadians can continue to feel safe in their communities.”
Outside the House, Grewal said: “It is outrageous that convicted rapists whom authorities believe likely to re-offend can be permitted to move into our community and prey upon innocent young women. Innocent people should not have to live in fear because our laws are not strong enough. As parliamentarians we must do more to ensure that dangerous offenders are not released back onto the streets to prey upon new victims.”