JUSTICE–Justice Bills Focus on Youth Offences, Cross-BorderPolicing Sixteen and 17-year olds in Nova Scotia would be treated asadults in court if they are charged under the Motor Vehicle Act,under legislation expected to be introduced in an evening sessionof the House today, April 18, by Justice Minister Michael Baker. “Amendments to the Youth Justice Act and Motor Vehicle Act willprovide another level of public safety, and complement ourefforts to change federal legislation governing youth justice,”said Mr. Baker. “Sixteen- and 17-year olds charged withprovincial motor vehicle offences would be dealt with as adults.They will have to show up for their court appearance in the sameway as adults do.” There would be tougher penalties for stealing motor vehicles. Drivers of all ages could have their licences revoked for twoyears for stealing a vehicle or taking one without an owner’sconsent or knowledge. Second-time offenders would face a five-year suspension, up from the current two years. Amendments would also require police to impound a motor vehicleused to race. On a first offence the vehicle would be impoundedfor 24 hours, 30 days for a second offence. Mr. Baker is also expected to introduce three other bills. TheCross-Border Policing Act is based on uniform legislation beingintroduced across Canada. It will make it easier for police toinvestigate crimes that cross provincial boundaries. Currently,provincially appointed police officers lose their status if theyleave their home jurisdictions. “This legislation has the support of the Canadian Association ofChiefs of Police and other law enforcement organizations,” saidMr. Baker. “It’s another public safety measure to help policeinvestigate criminal activity that involves suspects in otherjurisdictions.” The legislation sets out appointment procedures, responsibilitiesof police officers and civilian oversight procedures. Mr. Baker says the Justice Administration Amendment (2005) Actwill make minor “housekeeping” changes to several pieces oflegislation. Proposed Elections Act amendments would help ensure a moreeffective enumeration/confirmation process, and enable thedevelopment of current and more accurate voters’ lists byallowing access to more sources of information. These amendmentsalso remove the prohibition against inmates, who are serving twoyears or more in custody, from exercising their right to vote, asdetermined by the courts.