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Help the BCCCS fight the Conservative Government’s Cruel Omnibus Crime Bill.
The BCCCS need you to help us Stop the Conservative Government’s Cruel Omnibus Crime Bill. Please take action through the campaign launched at leadnow.ca to Make Canada Safer, Not Meaner.
About Bill C-10:
On Sept. 20, federal justice minister Rob Nicholson tabled C-10, the government's so-called "omnibus" crime bill which wraps up nine individual pieces of legislation into one. Bill C-10 follows the “tough on crime” agenda of Harper’s conservatives, based on America’s failed path of mandatory sentences and massive prison expansion. Mandatory sentences and prison expansion backfired in the United States, a country with only 5% of the global population and 25% of all the world’s prisoners. Today, state after state is in crisis and is repealing those laws.
The stakes are huge: If this bill passes we’ll be spending billions to trap people and create a permanent underclass of Canadians.
Bill C-10 and the BCCCS:
Bill C-10 would introduce mandatory minimum penalties for serious drug offences, and increase the maximum penalty for the manufacture of drugs in Schedule II of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (like marijuana) from seven to 14 years. This will place the BCCCS’ compassionate cultivators at much higher risk as it would eliminate the flexibility of judges, through case-by-case discretion, to minimize charges, convictions, and sentences.
Bill C-10 and harm to the public:
Time after time, we have seen the economic and health based benefits of evidence-based harm reduction policies. This Crime Bill would move us in the wrong direction. Who benefits from one-size-fits-all punishments, massive prison expansion, and throwing more of Canada’s youth, poor, and marginalized in prison? Crime rates have actually decreased in Canada over the past decades.
Experts agree that the Crime Bill would make Canada a more dangerous place. The Canadian Bar Association, which represents 37,000 legal professionals, strongly criticized the Bill for its "punitive approach to criminal behaviour, rather than a focus on how to prevent that behaviour in the first place, or rehabilitate those who offend."
From prosecutors to prisons, our provinces and territories are responsible for paying for most of our criminal justice system. For every billion dollars our federal government forces our provinces to spend on new prisons, a billion dollars that could have been spent preventing crimes by supporting programs for at-risk youth, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and strategies for mental health. If the provinces work together and refuse to pay for the Crime Bill’s costly and ineffective measures, then the federal government will have to go back to the drawing board and negotiate a better way forward.
Visit www.leadnow.ca or come into the BCCCS to sign the petition and to send letters to BC's premier and the Federal Minister of Justice expressing your concerns with the Crime Bill.