Supporters of Bill S-10 and Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson
Rob Nicholson is leading the charge to impose Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for drug offenses in Canada
Rob Nicholson used to be opposed to Mandatory Minimum Sentencing:
"As a Tory backbencher in 1988, Nicholson was vice-chairman of a parliamentary committee that rejected the expansion of automatic incarceration, asserting that it doesn't work, overcrowds jails and takes too hefty of a social and financial toll." (source: Hill Times)
Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson defending Bill S-10, Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for low-level, non-violent drug crimes.
Senator John D. Wallace
As to the honourable senator's question of where the interest of organized crime begins and where to slot in the beginning point in production to gear to that, that could be an endless debate. The point is that there has to be a beginning — the beginning point of six plants was one that was not taken lightly — and there is no question that the focus of this bill is to deal with serious drug crime. It is the government's view that production from six plants and up does constitute serious drug crime.
Video Senator John D. Wallace
Bill C-15 Senate Committee
November 19, 2009
John Martin - Criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley
The proposal has been around in one form or another since 2008. It's known as Bill S-10 and as usual, critics are howling and screaming in opposition to it.
The only thing different this time is that the soft on crime, hug-a-thug crowd is complaining about the cost of building more prisons and keeping some offenders locked up. It seems they figured out that going to bat to keep offenders in the community rather than behind bars wasn't much of a vote-getter. So now they're confining their opposition to the financial consequences.
Thankfully, it appears the general public has figured it out and is solidly behind the government's anti-crime measures - as evidenced by the Tories running away with the lead in one poll after another. It's really quite simple: we can invest in public safety now and take select offenders out of circulation so they can't commit more crimes.
Darryl Plecas -
RCMP University Research Chair in Crime Reduction & Director, Centre for Criminal Justice Research School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of the Fraser Valley (bio)
Generally speaking, I am a strong supporter of Bill C-15*. I have concerns about a few things, but the bill is certainly better than what we have now. My biggest concern is that it simply does not go far enough. We are still tinkering with something and digging ourselves into a big hole (source) *Note: Bill C-15 was the previous incarnation of Bill S-10.
Video Bill C-15 Senate Committee
October 29, 2009
Darryl Plecas being questioned by Senator Larry Campbell. Plecas admits that 5 plants does not qualify as a "grow op."
Ed Fast- Conservative MP (Abbotsford, BC)
Ed Fast - Liberals reverse gears on drug crime bill
Rick Norlock - Conservative MP (Northumberland-Quinte West)
Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock said he's confident a majority of Canadians support his government's efforts to get tough on drug traffickers by making minimum sentences mandatory.
Bill S-10 targets traffickers who sell drugs to youth, are linked to organized crime, employ weapons or violence, and put others at risk.
"I think the preponderance of people would say that you just can't give somebody a slap on the wrist for that, and that there should be a mandatory minimum sentence," Mr. Norlock said. (source)
Our message is clear: if you sell or produce drugs, you’ll pay with jail time. Also important to note, we have no intention of decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. Specifically in regards to Bill S-10, this bill is targeted at drug traffickers, not the recreational user. We know that drugs are the currency of Organized Crime, and our Government will continue to crack down on crime and ensure the safety and security of our communities. Drug trafficking and drug production is without a doubt the most significant source of illicit money for organized crime groups.
Dean Del Mastro - Conservative MP (Peterborough)
The bill targets people who are selling drugs to children and peddling date rape drugs, he said. "Both of which we have problems with in this community," Del Mastro said. Seizures of narcotics are on the rise, drug use is on the rise, he said. But according to Holland and Liberal policy, he said, a trafficker would only get a stern talking to and sent home. The federal government has taken a three-pillar approach to drugs, Del Mastro said, focusing on prevention, treatment and enforcement.
Don Morgan - Saskatchewan Attorney General
Saskatchewan Attorney General Don Morgan says his province wholeheartedly supports the federal legislation but has not determined what the costs will be.
"We don't know and won't know until it's been operational for awhile," he says. "But there's no doubt it will increase the time demands on prosecutors and the time requirements on our court system."
Morgan says the prosecutorial costs will probably be manageable, adding that provinces must do their part to crack down on crime. However, he said he has some concern about what the rules could mean for prisons.
"The one that's going to be a little harder to manage in most provinces is going to be the correctional facilities," he said, noting that most provinces are now operating at or near capacity.
"So if you had something that all of a sudden imposed a significant increase, that's really going to create some challenges." (source)
Andrew Swan - Manitoba Attorney General
Manitoba Attorney General Andrew Swan says he too is supportive of the federal government's tough-on-crime agenda, though it could lead to more demand for legal aid. Swan says the government used to be an equal partner in funding the program.
"Successive federal governments have choked that legal aid system so that, now in Manitoba at least, the federal government is paying about 20 per cent of the total cost."
"If there is the prospect of a mandatory minimum sentence, it may put more pressures on that area," he added. "We have a very good legal aid system here in Manitoba. We plan to keep it that way, but we could certainly use federal help." (source)
Charles Momy - President, Canadian Police Association (police union)
"The drug trade is often linked with other serious criminal behaviours and social issues, including street gangs, organized crime, robberies and violent crime" states Charles Momy, President of the Canadian Police Association (CPA). "These amendments are focussed on the supply chain when serious offences occur. We are favourable to mandatory minimums as a means to strengthening the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act." (source - CPA media release)