A parliamentary committee studying the Conservative government’s controversial omnibus crime bill heard conflicting testimony Tuesday about whether it will do more harm than good.

Members of Parliament on the justice and human rights committee heard from a number of witnesses who were for and against Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act.

One called the government's actions "undemocratic" while another said critics shouldn't be concerned about its cost because of its protection for victims of crime.

The bill combines nine pieces of legislation that were introduced in previous sessions of Parliament but not passed before the spring election. Among its measures are tougher sentences for some drug offences and sexual offences against children, stiffer sentences for young offenders, limiting access to conditional sentences for certain offences and other changes to the parole and corrections systems.