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Canada Justice Minister Kaycee Madu wants pepper spray for all

07:07  22 july  2021
07:07  22 july  2021 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Alberta’s justice minister is asking the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to allow people to carry and use pepper spray in self-defence.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Justice Minister Kaycee Madu. © Provided by Edmonton Journal Justice Minister Kaycee Madu.

“I suggest consideration be given to allowing individuals, including vulnerable persons, to carry capsaicin spray, commonly known as ‘pepper spray,’ for self-defence,” reads a letter written by Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu.

“As you are aware, pepper spray is currently a prohibited weapon. It is sadly ironic that a vulnerable person carrying pepper spray for self-defence could quite possibly receive a longer sentence than her attacker.”

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In an interview with Postmedia, Madu noted the recent hate-motivated attacks on Albertans, “especially defenceless minority women.”

“We have done everything we can within provincial jurisdiction to deal with this issue. For example, we established the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program, we established the hate-crime co-ordination unit, we set up the hate-crime liaison office,” Madu said.

“Now that we have put those things in place, I think it’s important for us to then ask ourselves, what can the federal government do here?”

Madu said the federal government is responsible for the Criminal Code, and so he is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to amend the code to allow for the use of pepper spray as a means of defence.

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“I think when you are a vulnerable woman who is faced with an attack by folks that you don’t know, where they’re coming from, the question is, what tool (is) out there, what type of empowerment can we provide to them that would help them ward off the attackers?” he said.

“I don’t think anyone out there would doubt that pepper spray is an effective tool in helping them ward off these attacks.”

In the letter addressed to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, Madu asks the minsters to also consider implementing a mandatory minimum sentence for hate-driven crimes.

“Hate-motivated crimes deserve special consideration under legislation due to the pervasive effect they have on faith and minority communities,” Madu wrote. “Albertans need to know that when justice is brought upon those found responsible for hate-motivated crime, perpetrators will be truly punished without the leniency that has been seen of late.”

The justice minister points to an example from last month in Edmonton where a man was sentenced seven months for three separate race-motivated assaults. Madu added with the time the man had already served, he would be back on the streets 35 days later.

“This is clearly unacceptable and demonstrates a pattern of leniency in our criminal system when it comes to hate-motivated crime sentencing,” writes Madu.

With files from Anna Junker

ktaniguchi@postmedia.com

twitter.com/kellentaniguchi

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usr: 0
This is interesting!