Poilievre says Supreme Court decision to allow parole opportunity for Quebec shooter 'violates sense of justice'

Prosecutors requested that the country's top court impose a 50-year parole period before eligibility for Bissonnette.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre released a statement on Friday condemning the Canadian Supreme Court over its decision to not allow a sentence of more than 25 years for the Quebec mosque shooter.

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to reduce the sentence of Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder for his attack on Muslim worshippers at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on January 29, 2017, violates our sense of justice," wrote Poilievre.

Alexandre Bissonnette, who opened fire at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City, killed six people and wounded a further 19. He was previously sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole in Feb 2019.

Prosecutors requested that the country's top court impose a 50-year prison sentence before eligibility of parole for Bissonnette.

All nine judges dismissed the request and agreeing that "not only do such punishments bring the administration of justice into disrepute, but they are cruel and unusual by nature."

"My first thought is for the families of the victims. I cannot imagine how they are feeling today. As Prime Minister, I will use the notwithstanding clause to restore the law so that every life taken counts again in a killer's sentence and that the worst murderers stay behind bars for life," he wrote.

"Because of the Court's decision, other multiple murderers will now be eligible to have their sentences slashed. Evil men like Justin Bourque, who shot and killed three RCMP officers and wounded two more in Moncton in 2014, or Edward Downey, who killed Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter, Taliyah Marsman, in Calgary in 2016.

"Both of them will almost certainly now be eligible for early parole. This decision will also mean a shorter sentence for Alek Minassian, who killed 11 people and injured 15 more in the Toronto van attack.

"That case has been on hold pending the decision in the case today. The first duty of government is to keep people safe. As Prime Minister, I will ensure that every life is valued and that mass killers face the full consequences of their actions. All of them," he concluded.


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