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Organized Crime Legislation

 As stated in the Criminal Code, section 467.1(1), a "criminal organization" means a group, however organized, that

  1. is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and, 

  2. has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences, that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any one of the persons who constitute the group. 

It does not include a group of persons that forms randomly for the immediate commission of a single offence.

Factors to consider

In determining whether an individual participates in OR actively contributes to any activity of a criminal organization, the Court may look at the following:

  • If they use a name, word, symbol, or other representation that identifies, or is associated with, that criminal organization;

  • If they frequently associate with any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization;

  • If they receive any benefit from the criminal organization;

  • If they repeatedly engage in activities at the instruction of any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

Police powers under Bill C-95

This legislation provides police agencies new powers to use in their fight against organized crime. The amendments include:

  1. A new offence – participation in a criminal organization – with a penalty of up to 14 years in jail.

  2. Greater police discretion in using electronic surveillance against gangs for up to a year compared with the previous 60 days.

  3. Expanded proceeds of crime laws to allow seizure of all proceeds from gang-related offences.

  4. Additions to the Criminal Code concerning the use of explosives in criminal gang activity.

  5. A new peace bond, designed to target gang leadership, would allow a judge to prohibit associating or communicating with other gang members.

  6. A change in bail provisions. Anyone charged with a gang-related offence would be held without bail until trial, unless he/she could show why detention was not justified.

  7. Tougher sentencing.

  8. New sentencing provisions in the Criminal Code aimed at delaying parole eligibility for certain organized gang offences.