Reasonable Doubt: Doubling the victim fine surcharge is the wrong way to go

A recent story involving our Conservative government has caught my eye in a chilling way. Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson announced the introduction of an act to amend the Criminal Code with respect to the victim fine surcharge. The victim fine surcharge is imposed in addition to any other punishment for an offender convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Currently, the victim fine surcharge is 15 percent of any fine imposed (i.e. if an offender is ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, the victim fine surcharge is an additional $150 the offender is required to pay). If no fine is imposed, the victim fine surcharge is $50 for summary offences and $100 for indictable offences. A judge can waive the imposition of the surcharge if it will cause undue hardship for the offender. Reasons must be given when the surcharge is waived.