LEGISLATION RESTRICTING CREDIT FOR TIME SERVED RECEIVES ROYAL ASSENT
OTTAWA – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Mr. Daniel Petit, M.P. for Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice today welcomed the granting of Royal Assent on Bill C-25, legislation that strictly limits the amount of credit granted for time served in custody prior to conviction and sentencing.
“This legislation is an important achievement in implementing our Government’s tackling-crime agenda,” said Minister Nicholson. “It better reflects truth in sentencing and gives Canadians greater confidence that justice is being served.”
Once this legislation comes into force, the courts will be provided with clear sentencing guidance and limits for granting credit for pre-sentencing custody. These include:
- making it the general rule that the amount of credit for time served be capped at a 1-to-1 ratio (i.e., give only one day of credit for each day an individual has spent in custody prior to sentencing);
- permitting credit to be given at a ratio of up to 1.5 to 1 only where the circumstances justify it;
- requiring courts to explain the circumstances that justified a higher ratio; and,
- limiting the pre-sentencing credit ratio to a maximum ratio of 1 to 1 for individuals detained because of their criminal record or because they violated bail.
“Canadians believe criminals must serve a sentence that reflects the severity of their crimes,” said Mr. Daniel Petit. “This bill ensures that the courts will no longer be able to grant credit at a 2-to-1 ratio for pre-sentencing custody.”
Bill C-25 received support from provincial and territorial governments, victims' associations and police forces from across the country during the legislative process.