Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
OPINION...Dion's rationale a bit curious
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 16 Mar 2007, p. 6

Full Text

Ontarians, specifically those in the Greater Toronto Area, are getting their first up-close look at Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion in action this week as the Grits' boss tours the area in what could be an election practice run. Dion, who will spend the next few days in the area-- including a stop at Milton's Country Heritage Park today-- has targeted the area, identified as a prime population growth spots in this week's census, primarily because of its richness in votes. By most accounts Dion is a "nice guy" who, perhaps while lacking the bravado of predecessors Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien, faces a tougher job than those two of selling himself to Ontario voters as a potential prime minister simply because of his lower profile. One charge Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have levelled at Dion and the Liberals is that they are "soft on crime" and, judging by Dion's opening day on the Ontario tour, one would be hardpressed to disagree. Dion said Wednesday that he would support Harper's efforts to make it harder for people arrested on gun crimes to get bail. In effect, he would support the Conservatives' measure that would require accused gun offenders to justify why they should be released on bail-- the so-called "reverse-onus" provision. However, Dion drew the line on backing the Tories' plan for tougher and longer sentences for some crimes. "It will not be effective," said Dion. "(We) will have a higher incarceration rate but not a lower crime rate." While it's true the incarceration rates would likely climb, we have a hard time seeing the negatives of keeping criminals-- particularly those using guns-- in prison longer. Certainly Dion's promise of more police and RCMP officers and a crackdown on identity and Internet crime is welcome, but people who choose to use guns in committing crimes should pay a higher price than they currently are. Perhaps, however, Dion has a better idea. If so, we'd love to hear it.

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Date of Publication:
16 Mar 2007
Personal Name(s):
Dion, Stéphane ; Martin, Paul ; Chrétien, Jean ; Harper, Stephen
Corporate Name(s):
Country Heritage Park ; RCMP ; Liberal Party ; Conservative Party
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OPINION...Dion's rationale a bit curious