|The black block is metaphoric, but only symbolic ~ the MSM have not spoken.|
Some of the mandatory sentences increase to two years for growing or dealing near a school or park, and even more time with other 'aggravating factors' ".
"The bill even includes life sentences for some non-violent marijuana Crimes."
Neither the Opposition Parties nor the Government have yet responded, although it is fair to say that at this point only we social media types have asked any questions whatsoever and we are being ignored because, as they are so fond of saying in the MSM, we are "not really journalists".
Jan 04, 2010: I did just find this news of Michael Ignatieff's reaffermation of intent to decriminalize though. But once again, it comes not from the MSM, but from "Cannibus Culture".
The oddest part is that although you hear hints of this sentiment on "Power and Politics", on "At Issue", and "Power Play" and other casual comments here and there throughout the MSM, no one from the MSM seems to be saying it on line.
Maybe they are just worried that if they do actually say it on Social Media, someone might actually be able to find it and quote it!
This story is not over! I am hoping that the silence is not permanent and I will be attempting to get at least a few comments from the Opposition Parties, not that I do not see their reluctance to tip their hands. They let it slip two years ago that they were about to vote non-confidence and form a loose coalition. I'll bet that they now wish they had kept that under their hats until after the vote. I know I wish that they had.
THIS JUST IN:
Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM
Subject: Bill S-10 / Project de loi S-10
On behalf of Michael Ignatieff, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent email regarding Bill S-10, the Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act.
Significant evidence relating to this legislation has emerged since this bill was introduced, as a result, members of the Liberal Caucus intend to conduct extensive study in the House of Commons. We believe that strong drug laws are part of what is needed to fight gang violence, but equally important are crime prevention initiatives and the proper funding of law enforcement agencies which is where the Harper Conservatives are failing Canadians.
As with his entire agenda, Stephen Harper’s focus is only on sentencing – he does nothing to promote community safety, to address drug addiction in a meaningful way, or to actually reduce crime. While we support taking measures to reduce gang-related violence, we worry that this is an example of the Conservatives emulating the failed drug policies that were unsuccessful in the United States.
Thank you for taking the time to write to the Leader of the Opposition.
The Office of Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Opposition
This just in: An email I got a while back from Marlene Jennings setting out the Liberal intentions about this Bill.
JenniM8@parl.gc.ca to me
Mar 11 (5 days ago)
Dear Kim Leaman:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding your concerns of Bill S-10 An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Please excuse my delay in responding.
While the Liberal Party believes that strong drug laws are necessary to fight crime, we agree with you that minimum sentencing for drug offences are not the best way to solve violence. Instead, more effort needs to be directed towards sufficient funding to deal with many types of crimes that affect Canadian families; this is where the current government is failing Canadians. The root cause of many drug-related crimes is addiction, and instead of providing a band-aid solution for drug offences, like locking more people in jail, we need to focus more on crime prevention programs that break the cycle of drug dependence. In the last full year of a Liberal Government, the National Crime Prevention Centre supported 509 projects in 261 communities for a total of $56.9 million, however, the conservatives have slashed funding and programs by more than half.
Bill S-10 is worrisome due to the fact that it emulates the sentencing policies in the United States, which as you know have clearly been a failure. This is why we do not support the idea of mega prisons and instead, focus more on effective prevention and rehabilitation measures. While locking people up with minimum sentences is a quick fix and an attempt to look tough on crime, as many as 70% of current prison inmates are identified as having substance abuse problems and will return to their old ways after they have served their prison sentences. Frankly, minimum sentences do not offer a long-term solution to drug related problems without rehabilitation.
The provisions contained within Bill S-10 are ineffective. The bill targets minor offenders instead of dealing with larger criminal organizations, which are the real problem. In addition, the costs of the implementation of this bill are exorbitant. Liberals are concerned that the that the government has refused to provide accurate information on the costs of this bill’s implementation, the burden of which will fall on the provinces, which has been estimated cost is over $200 million for British Columbia alone!
Moreover, this bill does not only remove judicial discretion, but it has the potential of unevenly criminalizing young and low-income Canadians. For instance, a student who produced six plants would be awarded the same penalty as someone in an organized crime ring who produced 201 plants! An 18 year-old who offers a single Tylenol 3 pill to his 17 year-old cousin would be awarded a two year sentence! Liberal Senators had proposed substantial amendments to this bill to correct such deficiencies, however, these amendments were twice rejected by the Conservative government. It is clear that the government is unwilling to cooperate on the issue, which is why we have decided not to support this legislation.
Many stakeholders have also expressed their dissent to this bill. Their concerns are very similar to yours and they project our opinion of this bill very accurately. Stakeholders have told us that there is no evidence to support the benefits of minimum sentencing and that this bill is taking its focus off criminal organizations and putting it on minor offenders. I wholeheartedly agree with these positions.
As long as the current government fails to cooperate with us we will certainly not support this bill. This bill does nothing to address crime prevention and puts Canada on a path similar to the system in place in the United States, which has clearly failed.
The Honourable Marlene Jennings, P.C., M.P.
Liberal Critic for Justice and the Attorney General of Canada
Yet More Feedback!
Fry.H@parl.gc.ca to me
March, 16th, 2011 ~ 9:41 PM
Thank you for your email on Bill S-10, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, which introduces Penalties for Organized Drug Crime Act.
As a physician, and a former member of the House of Commons Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs (SNUD), I see drug use and addiction as a medical problem that requires medical solutions. It concerns me that Bill S-10 treats addiction as a criminal issue. However, those who exploit addicts, such as pushers and organized crime who sell drugs, must be dealt with harshly under the Criminal Code.
Under this Conservative government, the International Transfer of Offenders Act has been made irrelevant. The Act, which Canada was instrumental in organizing in 1978 under Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, allows for the repatriation of Canadian prisoners to the Canadian penal system where they can serve a sentence and be effectively re-integrated into Canadian society.
I am very concerned about the recent escalation of drug-related gang violence in Vancouver, and other major Canadian cities. For this reason I voted in favour of Bill C-14, which made murders connected with organized crime activity automatically first-degree offences. However, I do not believe that Bill S-10 is an appropriate tool to address organized crime; instead, I believe it is likely to lead to the incarceration of low-level producers and dealers. Given the failure of mandatory minimum sentences to reduce drug use in the United States, I fail to see why a punitive approach to drugs would produce more positive results in Canada.Thank you again for your correspondence. Please feel free to contact my office at any time if I can be of further assistance on this issue or any other.Sincerely,
Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P.
I will let others get opinions from the Government side of the House. I have heard quite enough from them on this subject as it is!