The uproar from opposition members in Ottawa over comments made by Conservative senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu may very well turn out to be a good thing for Canada. I agree that the senator’s suggestion we offer the choice of suicide to certain inmates of our penitentiaries may not have been the best choice of words. If this leads to the opening of the debate on the death penalty, however, that will be a good thing.
The last execution in Canada occurred in 1962, which was 14 years before the death penalty was officially abolished in 1976. Since that time, first-degree murder has carried a mandatory life sentence with no parole for 25 years.
A death penalty would be quite moral and justified for murderers such as Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo or Robert Pickton—the concept of, their life for lives they took, seems just to me.
It seems odd that a country that funds abortion on demand, regardless of the term of the pregnancy, shrinks from taking the lives of its most heinous criminals. Is it just or moral that an unborn child is considered only tissue that can be discarded on the whim of it’s mother, yet a murderer’s life is sacrosanct?
Banning the death penalty is not moral, it’s just modern.
Senator Boisvenu became a victim’s advocate after his daughter, Julie, had been kidnapped, raped and murdered in June 2002. The 27-year-old woman had been out celebrating a job promotion in Sherbrooke, Que., when she disappeared.
The senator is just the sort of advocate we need to re-open a debate interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel says has been closed in Canada for decades. Ms. Turmel also claims, incorrectly, that Canadians are generally against capital punishment. The fact is, a 2010 Angus Reid survey of global attitudes on capital punishment found that 62 per cent of Canadians endorsed the death penalty for homicide convictions.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, ever the opportunist, is no better than the inept Nycole Turmel. He chose to ignore the thrust of the senator’s words and take them literally, saying the senator’s comments were “suggesting something [counselling suicide] that frankly is criminal.”
This is why we need a debate on the death penalty. Too many of our politicians are out of step with the majority of Canadians.