April 5, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Promise Holmes Skinner is a senior manager with Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto. She was interviewed by CBC News to talk about Bill C-75.

Bill C-75 is a 300-page bill with a host of proposals designed to improve efficiency and reduce delays at Canadian courts. Holmes Skinner says a few of the reforms may have a greater impact on Indigenous overrepresentation than others. This includes reforms on bail condition and jury selection. 

"People are being convicted of doing activities that are not illegal … because they're already wrapped up in the system and they live in poverty and they have a lack of resources," Holmes Skinner told CBC Toronto.

According to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Indigenous people accounted for 25% of all inmates in Canada, yet just 4.3 per cent of the population, in 2016.

Bill C-75 still needs parliamentary approval before it is passed. Holmes Skinner is happy to see this bill come forward. "It's not the answer but it is vital," she says.

During her time at King’s, Holmes Skinner was a member of the executive team on King’s University College Students’ Council. She held the position of VP Operations.  She graduated in 2010 with a degree in Criminology and Sociology.

Read the CBC news story.