STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ON THE PASSAGE OF THE CITIZEN'S ARREST AND SELF-DEFENCE ACT AT THIRD READING
OTTAWA, May 1, 2012 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the following statement today:
We are very pleased to announce that, today, our government's Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act passed third reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Senate. We promised to introduce this legislation to clarify the law on citizen's arrest and streamline the laws on self-defence. Today, we are one step closer to delivering on that promise.
The Criminal Code currently allows Canadians to defend themselves and their property. Canadians are, however, very limited in their ability to make a citizen's arrest. A citizen's arrest is only permitted if an individual is caught actively engaged in a criminal offence on or in relation to their property.
This Act will build on the existing legislation, allowing a law-abiding citizen to make a citizen's arrest within a reasonable time after an offence is committed. It will also simplify the self-defence and defence of property provisions in the Criminal Code.
Canadians want and deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities, and this means being able to appropriately defend oneself or one's property in emergency situations. Canadians who have been the victim of a crime should not be re-victimized by the criminal justice system. Our government is committed to ensuring that law-abiding Canadians come first in Canada's judicial system.”
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