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New law will ensure some life sentences are for life:PM Harper

The Harper government says it plans to introduce legislation that would keep what it calls “Canada’s most heinous criminals” behind bars for life with no chance of parole.

The government says the law would apply to those convicted of first-degree-murder involving the killing of police officers or correctional officers; who commit acts of terrorism; carry out kidnappings or sexual assaults that result in murder; or commit crimes “of a particularly brutal nature.”

It would also apply to those who commit high treason.

Currently, those who are convicted of first-degree murder face an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Speaking in east Toronto today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the legislation will help protect Canadians and ensure that a life sentence means exactly that — a sentence for life.

The legislation fits into the Harper government’s tough-on-crime agenda and follows through on a promise made in the 2013 Speech from the Throne.