Prime Time Crime


(Prime Time Crime exclusive June  3, 2008)


Democracy or Dictatorship


  By Sandra Martins-Toner

This morning members of F.A.C.T. asked a question in regards to the article in the Vancouver Sun called "Debated or not, bills are rammed through with Liberal closure." The question asked was "What prospect is there that Bill M-217 (seeking compensation for victims) will ever re-surface in the legislature?"

The article written by Vaughn Palmer detailed how the Liberals wrapped up the spring session of the legislature with a show of force, using their majority to terminate debate and expedite passage of an unprecedented number of bills.

The disheartening response I received from the reporter was "Sorry. That (Bill M-217) is an opposition bill and they are almost never called for debate by the government, never mind passed."--Vaughn.

While the members of FACT (and all those who wish for victims of crime to be represented fairly by our Government and Justice System) remain optimistic that M-217 might actually find its way through the legislative process and become law, Mr. Palmer has a good point. The Campbell Liberals have pushed forward their own initiatives and personal agendas at the expense of every citizen of BC.

The "Blitzkrieg" passage of all the legislation moments before the close of session last Thursday demonstrates the control our Premier exerts over his Cabinet, and the total disregard he holds for the process of law.

If only I could remind our law makers that they too could suffer the loss of a child or a loved one to a violent crime. We are human, and need for those who are supposed to be representing us to actually listen. I would never wish upon anyone what my family, and many other families have suffered due to the loss of our children, and loved ones. To know that someone took my little boys life, stole from us a life full of memories, and things yet to come.

F.A.C.T. and its members will not allow for the needs of the victims/families to be swept under the carpet. We will continue to pressure the Government to hear our voices, and not silence us. We ask that all Canadians who believe in this great cause to stand up and demand what we so rightly deserve. Victims/families of crime are tired of being a minority in this country; we deserve to be helped during our grievous times. We deserve to have the time necessary to grieve and heal from our losses, without losing our homes and all we have worked for.

Our Government has forgotten that they are here for the people of Canada, to provide peace, order and good government. To ensure that law abiding Canadians are treated fairly and justly.  This is not happening! Party politics is trumping common sense policy making. For a good, just and timely piece of legislation to be black balled simply because it was tabled by the opposition would be the height of hypocrisy. Public safety and the protection of society should NEVER be a partisan issue, its simple good sense.

FACT has spent this past week promoting Bill M-217 and encouraging our supporters across Canada to lend their support. We will continue to push this issue, and any other matters pertaining to crime and the victims of crime until such time as our elected leaders remember that they were elected, and should be accountable to those that put them in power.  

We should all keep this in mind; legislation without representation is not Democracy, itís a Dictatorship.

Sandra Martins-Toner is the founder and executive Director of F.A.C.T. and can be contacted at


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Contributing 2008