EDITORIAL – Here’s how to figure out if federal bail reform bill goes far enough

Justice Minister David Lametti. (Image: Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE’S A FAIRLY SIMPLE WAY of figuring out if federal Justice Minister David Lametti’s bail reform bill will work.

After many months of pleading by community leaders and politicians at all levels, Lametti has finally introduced measures aimed at making it tougher for prolific offenders to win a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Among those who are skeptical it will succeed is Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Frank Caputo, who says that, while Lametti’s biil will toughen reverse-onus laws that put the burden on accused to show why they should get bail, it’s not tough enough.

While the bill targets repeat violent offenders who use weapons, and some firearms offences, Caputo says what’s needed is a change in the legal test for reverse-onus in general.

This past weekend, Lametti insisted he’s limited with how far he can go due to constitutional restrictions.

Time will tell who’s right, and whether the upcoming reforms will do the job. And there’s a way to find out.


Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired daily newspaper editor.  He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: