A key bill to overhaul Canada’s criminal justice system passed its second reading in the House Tuesday, with just one dissenting voice.
The bill is expected to be voted on as soon as Thursday.
The government has been holding up a vote on Bill S-3, a series of measures that aim to address the issues raised by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s decision to bar convicted terrorists from getting bail in Canada.
It was a key issue in the Liberal government’s election platform, and it has been the subject of debate in the Commons for the past month.
Conservatives argue the legislation is needed to address an increasing number of serious crimes and crimes against the state, but critics say it fails to take into account the rights of those charged with the most serious crimes.
The legislation is also expected to face further scrutiny at the upper house in the near future, when the Liberals have promised to pass the legislation by Christmas.
The federal Liberal government has promised to bring in sweeping changes to the Criminal Code to deal with the growing number of violent and non-violent criminals.
“Bill C-5 has been a critical piece of the Criminal Law Reform Act,” Justice Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement.
“The bill will do more to strengthen our nation’s justice system and protect the rights and freedoms of Canadians.”
The bill was introduced by the Conservatives and was originally passed by the Commons in 2016.
It is aimed at bringing in a new “justice” commission that will advise on how to improve the criminal justice process, but has been criticized by critics who say the bill fails to properly address the rights afforded to all Canadians.
In a speech before the first reading of Bill C of 2017, then-prime minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted the government to “build a system that protects the most vulnerable in our society.”
But critics have said that in the meantime, the Criminal Codes of the provinces and territories are the only effective way to ensure the rights to freedom of expression and association are protected.
“Criminal law in Canada is in disarray,” MacKay told a news conference last year.
“There are no good lawyers in Canada who would argue with us about how to do justice.”