Liberals To Support Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Liberal MPs are set to give the Conservative government help tonight in passing tough drug-crime legislation, despite the risk of a backlash at the party grassroots.

Under the bill, soon to be law, people convicted of serious drug crimes will automatically face prison terms of six months or longer. The legislation is particularly tough on any offender who traffics drugs or gets young people involved in drug crimes.

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has said the tougher sentences are aimed at “serious drug traffickers, the people who are basically out to destroy our society.”

Critics argue the proposed law does nothing to rehabilitate drug users and it will simply mean more crowding in prisons. Most witnesses at the Commons committee examining Bill C-15 argued against it.

Nonetheless, the Liberal caucus has decided to support the bill tonight, and that has some Liberal party members seeing red. Late last week, normally supportive Liberal bloggers went public with dissent.

“I think it’s a terrible idea,” Toronto lawyer James Morton, deputy chair of the Liberals’ council of riding presidents, wrote on his blog.

Jim Curran, a former riding president from Niagara Falls, compared this to the Liberals’ support of the Harper government’s move in 2008 to give the immigration minister more power to decide who gets into the country.

“This is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen the Liberal Party of Canada support in decades. It’s right up there with that immigration bill we let pass last May that cost us about five ridings in the GTA,” Curran wrote on his blog, referring to the results of the October election.

The worry seems to be that the Liberal caucus is swallowing its principles so it can’t be accused of being “soft on crime,” as the Conservatives often allege.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters yesterday that the party supports more “appropriate” sentencing and that’s why MPs will vote in favour of the bill tonight.

“In the context of some occasions where the sentences have not been appropriate, we’re in support of C-15,” said Ignatieff, who was at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Whistler, B.C.

“We support stronger measures, but there isn’t one hammer to this problem. We have to have federal investments in innovation and treatment and services in order to deal with these problems.”

Liberal MP Mark Holland (Ajax-Pickering) said in an interview the party is backing the bill because it contains enhancements to the drug-treatment system.

– Article from The Toronto Star.



  1. indijo on

    This all the evil US Empire’s fault, in the hands of the greedy, power-mad Machiavellians. It’s all gonna come down in the US eventually. The empire must fall!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ex Liberal Supporter on

    Mark Holland is a two faced piece of shit.

  3. Moody/USA on

    Come on Canada!!! Stop kissing American butts. Think for yourselves, cant you see what mandatory minimums have done for the United States. The War on Drugs is nothing more than a war on the American people, absolutley nothing more. So the elite in this country can build and operate more prisons. We have lobbyist in the US that go to great lengths to see that mandatory minimus stay in place because incarceration is worth billions of dollars.
    Here is exactly how these pathetic laws started from the floor of the United States Senate.

    What Canadian who really loves their country and their countrymen would pass a law about marijuana born from the racist speech brought to and passed on the floor of the United States Senate using this kind of veribage.

    These are some of the statements said by Harry J. Anslinger, during the hearing on marijuana:

    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

    “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

    “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

    “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

    “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

    Harry J. Anslinger was an outspoken racist and the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a unit of the Treasury Department, between 1930 and 1962. Known as the “Father of the Drug War” and as the “First Drug Czar,” Anslinger helped fight against opiates, cocaine, and marijuana.

    Many believe that Anslinger’s intense interest in making marijuana illegal had to do with his collaboration with industry giants, such as Hearst Newspapers and DuPonts, who both had motives to make hemp illegal.

    Harry J. Anslinger was the man who brought the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 to the floor of the Senate, where it was passed.

    The STUPID decisions made by the United States Senate have really worked out well for the American people, here are the numbers:

    20 million Americans have been incarcerated in the last 20 years for a Non-violent crime. 15 million for possession alone.

    America is only 5% of the world’s population, but we now imprison 25% of all prisoners throughout the entire world…

    Only 13% of drug users are African American, yet they account for 67% of those sentenced to jail for drug offenses…

    The moron Harry J. Anslinger and the United States Government are responsible for the numbers above, and the rest of us are complicit.

    Please, do not follow this ignorant direction.. It will tear your contry apart, it has ours.

  4. reggaesmoker on

    So a person can go to jail in canada for passing a joint to another person if there within a certain distance of certain areas. This passing of the joint is trafficking by law.

  5. TAS on

    I did my part, i told people , wrote people, and i even vote people.. For what? So the liberals can help Harper? Now we have a drug war in Canada. Drug war = war on me! I will go to jail as so many have before me, for growing a gift from my GOD…Mother Earth.