So this morning bill c-15 was debated. The Liberals silence was deafening. They struck down an amendment presented by the NDP to take clause 3 (mandatory minimums for posession of schedule 1 substances) out of the bill.
I applaud the members for Vancouver East, Halifax, and Western Arctic for their eloquent opposition to such a terrible bill. It is good to see that in the absence of leadership from the party that I am today ashamed to belong to, some members of parliament are willing to put the health and safety of Canadians ahead of political positioning. I was particularly impressed by the member from Halifax, Megan Leslie, and her attempt to convey the fact of the matter:
Not a single study
EVER DONE ON MANDATORY MIMINUMS
has EVER suggested
that mandatory minimums work.
16 experts testified on the efficacy of mandatory minimums. 13 of which said they do not support the bill, and provided huge numbers of studies from Canada (including from our own justice department), the US, and the UK. Those 3 who said they support the bill could not provide a single study to support their position. A one-sided debate no?
Ms. Leslie also brought up what I think is the most important underlying issue to this bill:
The Conservative party is tabling this bill not because they think it will work. They don't care if it will work or not. The point of introducing this bill is to appear "tough on crime" before the election.
I expect this kind of political and intellectual dishonesty from the Conservatives. But I never thought I would see this despicable behaviour supported by a party that I have a membership with.
A dark day indeed.