White-collar crime victims meet with PM
Published Thursday, August 27, 2009 6:40PM EDT
Victims of white-collar crime met with the Prime Minister Thursday in Quebec City.
It's the only real good news clients of disgraced financial advisor Earl Jones have had in months.
Stephen Harper told the Earl Jones clients, along with victims of the Mount Real financial scandal, that he wants to see tougher penalties in the criminal code, but that he is having difficulty passing legislation through Parliament.
Speaking to a crowd at Laval University, Harper said "we will continue to state our government's strong support for improving the criminal justice system in this country, and that includes both violent crime as well as white collar crime.
"In the case of white collar crime we had legislation before parliament in the past to remove house arrest for serious white collar crime. The opposition defeated that legislation. So we are going to be retabling it and obviously doing some further improvements."
According to Joey Davis, whose mother was investing with Jones, the PM needs the help of scammed investors.
"We will be working with the justice minister and his department," said Davis after his 45 minute meeting with Harper.
The Coalition of White Collar Crime in Quebec, a new organization that includes victims of the 2005 Mount Real swindle, supports the federal government's push for a national securities and investment watchdog.
Janet Watson, of the Mount Real Victims' group, said Quebec's AMF has dropped the ball.
"There obviously has to be a much better campaign, publicity campaign, advertising campaign to educate the public," said Watson.
Watson says if the provincial government continues to oppose a national watchdog, it will have to take measures to ensure no more investors lose their money to financial swindlers.