Stephen Harper has taken yet another step towards being the worst prime minister in our country’s history. Mr. Harper has appointed eight new puppets in the senate, one the illiterate hockey coach Jacque Demers, another the husband of a cabinet member, and he stands to appoint more later this year. For someone who holds the position that senators should be elected, he sure seems to enjoy appointing them.
This is a significant story because the huge omnibus crime bill that has passed in parliament, and is waiting on the senate’s to-do list, has been under serious scrutiny from those of us who have actually looked at it.
The bill includes what died previously in parliament as bill c-15, which brings in mandatory minimum sentences of 6 months for growing as little as 5 marijuana plants. This is at a time when most US states are repealing mandatory minimums for drug crimes. Governor David Patterson of New York has said that: “few initiatives have failed as badly and for as long as the Rockefeller Drug Laws [mandatory minimums for drug possession]”.
This bill also includes provisions that would give police the authority to take bodily fluid samples from a driver who appears to be high. However, there is no test that can reliably determine if a driver is stoned. The only test available gives false positives and can only tell if the person has smoked marijuana in the past month, not if they were stoned while driving. This means a lot of innocent people will be locked up, costing you, the taxpayer, millions every year.
The Canadian Criminal Justice Association(CCJA) has declared these provisions unconstitutional as they violate one’s charter rights to privacy and security of person. Imagine that, something about police officers randomly pulling people over, and forcibly taking bodily fluids for no reason, seems slightly authoritarian. Because of the CCJA’s objection, our prime minister is stacking the senate with people who will vote the way he tells them to. Forget the ‘Triple E’ senate, he is working on the ‘Triple I’ senate: Ignorant, Incompetent, and Immoral.
It has been a source of national pride for a long time that we have more sensible laws than the US, however there are now 13 states with more lenient drug laws than Canada. This is a dark time in our country’s history. This is change I can’t believe.