The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the prison sentence of Alexandre Bissonnette, responsible for the attack at the Grand Mosque in Quebec, at 25 years without parole, has drawn very different reactions from the parties in Ottawa, some hours after the publication of the judgment.
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This verdict from the highest court in the land prevents the accumulation of consecutive sentences, which had been made possible by changes made to the Criminal Code by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper in 2011.
“The horror of the crimes does not negate the fundamental proposition that all human beings carry within them the capacity to rehabilitate themselves,” reads the 100-page judgment delivered on Friday.
For conservatives Rob Moore and Pierre Paul-Hus, this decision is “extremely disappointing”.
"This decision means that mass murderers like Alexandre Bissonnette, a man who wantonly murdered six people in their place of worship, can be free to walk the streets," they said in a statement.
Above all, the Supreme Court's conclusion paves the way for other sentence reviews for people who have been sentenced to terms ranging from 25 to 50 years, as could be the case for Justin Bourque, who had obtained 75 years of prison for the murder of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers in Moncton.
"This is unacceptable. Canada's worst murderers must stay behind bars. [...] Furthermore, this ruling fails to recognize the value and rights of the victims of these despicable acts and allows for sentences that simply do not reflect the gravity of crimes such as mass murder,” the two ruled. Conservative MPs.
More moderate in his reaction, the deputy New Democrat leader, Alexandre Boulerice, nevertheless recognized that "the judgment of the Supreme Court today must be very difficult to hear" for the Muslim community, still reeling from the shock of the January 29, 2017 attack.
“The NDP respects the independence of the Court, but as federal lawmakers, we have a responsibility to act to tackle hate head-on and to do everything in our power to prevent such a tragedy. senseless from happening again,” he added in a statement.
The Bloc Québécois, for its part, welcomed the judgment, specifying that it “respects the decision of the Supreme Court, which is consistent with the approach of the Quebec justice system, focused on the possibility of individuals to rehabilitate themselves”.
Recall that the person responsible for the attack was first sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment without parole, before it was lowered to 25 years by a judgment of the Court of Appeal. Quebec, however, challenged this decision, taking the case to the Supreme Court.