Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 03/20/2013 4:19 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 03/20/2013 7:52 PM | Updates
Ottawa’s tough-on-crime stance is costing the taxpayer a whole lot more than we ever bargained for, a Manitoba social agency says.
Commenting on a new Parliamentary budget study out today, the John Howard Society says the worst predictions it made back when the Harper government was loading anti-crime bills into the Commons are now coming home to roost. And it’s the taxpayer who’s stuck with the bill.
The new study says spending on criminal justice climbed 23 per cent over the last decade, just as crime rates fell 23 per cent.
The report, a first of its kind, took a comprehensive look at criminal justice costs over time, put the price tag at $20.3 billion in 2011-2012.
"The report shows that spending on criminal justice increased 23 per cent while crime continued to fall," noted the Manitoba John Howard Society in a statement today.
The Society, which advocates on behalf of inmates and criminal justice issues, identified the tough on crime stance as courting hidden costs to taxpayers a year ago.
The group's Manitoba executive director John Hutton said the vindication is bitter sweet because the report bears out every warning the society made when Bill-C-10, was working its way through Parliament. The mandatory-minimum laws were enacted in October, further crowding overburdened provincial jails, he said.
"They hoodwinked us," Hutton said.
The report shows that 75 per cent of the costs of the new federal crime bills are being off-loaded onto the provinces. Provincial incarceration rates were also on the rise, while federal rates actually fell, the report said. That was a political sleight-of-hand that allowed the federal government to conceal the bulk of costs to taxpayers, he added.
"It’s important information because it’s the taxpayer who pays and the federal government was hiding 75 per cent of the cost. They weren’t talking about these costs, to the provinces. They were only talking about 25 per cent of the costs, to them. They were able to hide 75 per cent of the costs," Hutton said.
Updated on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 7:52 PM CDT: fixes last sentence to say "75 per cent of the costs"
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Indigenous Canadians and the environment lose out in this year's budget
Lathlin leads in The Pas byelection
Dan Lett talks to the ‘conscience of the electorate’ on federal budget day
Bowman welcomes federal public-transit fund
16 dead, 5 trapped in flooded northern China coal mine
Sister says the city's latest homicide victim was trying to start a new life
Winnipeg doing well at cutting down water use and waste, study says
Public transit, national security among funding highlights in federal budget
Winnipeg transit riders and well-off families the winners in this year's budget
Saskatchewan town holds survey over 'rape' slogan
Federal budget pleases provincial Tories, disappoints NDP
Canadians lead the world in using the smiling poop emoji
Jets coach sticks up for Byfuglien
High-risk sex offender on trial for assaulting man
A defiant Byfuglien faces the media
CAA Manitoba says poor school zone signage is causing higher ticket numbers
Jets admit to playoff learning curve
Ducks OK with being target of Jets crowd
Pallister demanding freeze on cottage fee hikes
Bombers, QB Willy still working on contract extension -- for now
Slow progress on rooming houses
Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame will see athletes, builders, dynastic teams join its ranks
Fans impress with Jets fever
One man stable after Wilkes rollover
TransCanada Highway reopens between West Hawk, Ontario
Oh My Darling to play WECC May 24
Court sentences ousted Egypt president to 20 years in prison
Local anti-microbial technology company wins San Francisco office, opportunity
Fire on Keewatin now out
Brody and Brandt bringing #roadtriptour to MTS Centre this fall
Committee makes job offer to potential provincial ombudsman
Poverty not just in inner city
Missing man safely located
The Pas to elect indigenous MLA
Accused killer confessed to police
Snow no longer in the forecast; warmer weather on the weekend