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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Canadian crackdown

It seems that the problem of street racing happen everywhere, not just in the United States. In May of this past year, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, announced that Canada's New Government is pushing a new bill that would make street racing a separate criminal code. With this bill, much stiffer penalties would become the normal. Any way, here is where you can find his speech.
25 May 2006
Vancouver, BC
Notes for an Address byThe Right Honourable Stephen HarperPrime Minister of Canada
Good morning ladies and gentlemen: Canada is a great country.And one of the things that has made it so is our traditionally low crime rate.Which is in no small measure due to the work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Created in 1873 by Sir John A. Macdonald, the North West Mounted Police – as they were then called – were instrumental in bringing law and order to the Canadian West.
From horseback patrols on the frontier to helicopter scans over the Greater Vancouver Area, they have always been there for Canadians.
I thank the Mounties for welcoming us here today.And for their exemplarily service to this country.Our traditionally low crime rate is due in large part to their efforts.Their dedication.Their professionalism.And their bravery.
There is little the RCMP can do, however, to change the times in which we live.
And times are changing.
Our communities are changing.
A plague of guns, gangs, and drugs is afflicting our streets.
And the RCMP and other law enforcement officers need help and support from above.
Something our Government is going to provide. No more excuses.No more broken promises.No more favouring the rights of criminals over those of their victims. We will crack down on gun, gang, and drug crime.
We will protect the Canadian way of life.In fact, we’ve taken important steps to this end by introducing legislation to:
Establish mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes;
and
End conditional sentences – including house arrest – for serious offences.
We will continue moving forward on our agenda of safer communities later this spring by introducing legislation to raise the Age of Consent from 14 to 16.
And this is just the beginning. And that means, among a variety of things, cracking down on street racing – a reckless crime that all too often kills.
Fighting street racing was an issue championed by my former colleague the late Member of Parliament for Surrey North, Chuck Cadman.
A selfless man who devoted his years in Ottawa to fighting for safer streets.Let’s be clear.Street racing is not about kids having fun.
It’s reckless.
It’s dangerous.
And all too often it kills.
Chuck, who sadly passed away last year, knew this.
One of the impetuses for Chuck’s involvement on the street-racing file was the tragic death of Irene Thorpe.
Irene, a recently widowed mother of two, was taking an evening stroll in Vancouver when she was struck by a street racer who – after having reached speeds of up to 140 km/h - had spun out of control.
This unthinkable and horrific act took place on a city street.
A street on which mothers drive their kids to soccer practice.
A street on which people cycle to work.
And a street along which people take evening strolls.The magnitude of this tragedy coupled with the light sentence handed down to the perpetrators prompted Chuck to action. He became a tireless advocate of tougher sentences for street racers.
In December 2002, Chuck introduced a private member’s bill that sought to toughen sentences for street racers.
Unfortunately, his bill was never passed into law.
Since his untimely death last summer, his wife, Dona, has taken up the cause about which he was so passionate. I would like to commend Dona for carrying on Chuck’s good work, and thank her for the dedication and commitment she has demonstrated during her battle to crack down on street racing.
Because street racing is a serious problem that is claiming new victims each year. Consider its toll in 2006 alone.
In January, three young men were killed on an east Vancouver highway when their car spun into a ditch, splitting into two as it hit a power pole. Another passenger later died in hospital. In that same month, Tahir Khan of Toronto, who was set to become a Canadian citizen only days later, was killed when his cab was involved in a horrific crash with a street racer.
And a man in Burnaby was killed when he lost control of his car and struck two oncoming vehicles, sending their occupants to hospital on Mother’s Day. Simply put, street racing kills.It’s a serious crime for which offenders should serve serious time.
That is why Canada’s New Government will introduce a bill that will tackle street racing head on.First, we will create a new criminal code offence for street racing.
One that will result in stiffer sentences for street racers.
Furthermore, our bill will impose driving prohibitions on those convicted of street racing. With the prohibition a driver faces increasing with each repeat offence. These are measures that are very much in line with the intentions of Chuck’s private member’s bill.
Because just like him and so many tireless advocates, our Government is committed to making our streets safer.
We’re committed to a justice system that hands down serious time to those who commit serious crimes. We’re committed to healthy communities in which Canadians and their families can flourish.
In the weeks and months ahead, my Government will continue to work hard to build a safer, stronger, more secure Canada for all Canadians.
Thank you.
Face it, street racing is just plain old stupid. There is no need for it. If you do feel the need to race some one, go to a dragstip. Ther are also tons of street racing simulations around. Nobody ever gets hurt in those. Above all, just use your head.


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