(But not, of course, parents such as Dr. Bennett and most of her constituents in St. Paul's. They could afford nannies to do the job so that their offspring did not have to be contaminated by contact with lower-class offspring in the same daycares--such as their nannies' own children.)
Equally thoughtfully, the Conservative government is providing more opportunity for these improperly raised children to find suitable prison spaces as they get older:
The Conservatives introduced a pair of crime bills yesterday that will put an estimated 4,000 more people in jail, even though they watered down their election promises for tougher gun sentences.
The two bills, one to stiffen mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and another to eliminate conditional sentences such as house arrest for a long list of crimes, were the first parts of a larger, get-tough-on-crime package promised in the recent election campaign.
Federal justice officials estimate the gun-sentence bill will add 300 to 400 people to the federal prison population, an increase of about 3 per cent. And they estimated as many as 3,800 people a year who would get conditional sentences now will probably go to provincial jail instead -- 15 to 20 per cent more inmates
Mr. Day said the federal government will set aside $225-million to $245-million over five years to build new federal prisons. But critics said the operating costs will be far higher, and provincial jails and courts will need much more money.
The federal gun-sentence bill was, in fact, a softening of the Conservatives' election promise for far tougher gun sentences. It was watered down so the law could survive a Charter of Rights challenge in the courts and get political support in the minority Parliament.
They had promised to extend most one-year minimums for crimes such as gun trafficking to five years, and that existing four-year minimums for serious gun crimes such as murder or kidnapping using a gun would be extended to 10 years. But they introduced a more complicated scheme that applies lighter sentences except for repeat offences.
Minimum sentences for eight serious gun crimes, such as kidnapping using a gun, will be toughened from four years to five for a first offence -- but only if the crime is committed using a restricted weapon such as a handgun, or by someone linked to organized crime.
Only someone convicted of a serious gun crime three times would face a 10-year minimum sentence.
At first glance, the left's opposition to stiffening sentences for gun crimes appears at odds with its general anti-firearms stance.
But the contradiction is only apparent, not real. The left seems to have an animistic belief in the power of a gun to turn an otherwise peaceful, law-abiding man into a bloodthirsty killer just by touching it. Or even looking at it. Maybe even just thinking about it.
So naturally it would be unjust to give a criminal an increased sentence simply because he used a gun. For it is the gun that controls the man, and not the other way round. It would be like using mental disease or defect to increase a man's criminal responsibility instead of mitigating or eliminating it.
So expect to see stiff opposition to this crime bill just on that basis alone. We shall not see genuine, thoroughgoing penal reform in this government's lifetime, or even our own, but at least this bill is a step in the right direction.
Source: Globe and Mail