Mar 12, 2012
The CBC reports here that Monday night Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill, will be voted on in the House of Commons. Amendments were made that would allow terrorists and their supporters to be sued. This bill is very controversial. One of the aspects of it that has been heavily criticized is the creation of mandatory minimum sentences for offences such as drug offences. The author of the aforementioned article, Meagan Fitzpatrick, writes:
They [mandatory minimum sentences] preclude judges from considering the specific circumstances of the offender and the offence and tie their hands, Arbour said. With marijuana-related offences, mandatory minimum sentences “go completely against the modern thinking by world leaders about the direction that the so-called war on drugs should take after 40 years of failure,” she said.
Imprisonment has a huge impact on a person’s civil liberties. Public security is also very important. The rights of the individual and the security of society have to be balanced. Whether this bill achieves balance or whether it impacts civil liberties too much is up for debate.