Tuesday • 2012.03.13
C-10—Safe Streets and Communities Act
Summary: Bill C-10 is the wasteful, dangerous and costly “omnibus crime bill,” introduced by the Conservatives.
Decision: Christin Milloy would vote NAY on C-10. (41st Parliament, 1st Session)
C-10 is a monster amalgamation of 9 separate bills, mostly old bills which the Conservatives were unable to pass in the previous minority parliament.
Simply put, this bill is an egregious affront to liberty, and a criminal waste of taxpayer dollars. Here are just some of the colossally negative implications of this bill:
- The cost to taxpayers is estimated at more than $19 billion, with $14 billion to be downloaded onto the provinces.
- It is also estimated to cost the provinces in excess of $145 million per year moving forward
- A significant increase the prison population, at the rate of $108,000 per inmate per year, mostly for non-violent offences.
- Mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of minor offences (including non-violent offences), which eliminates judicial discretion in sentencing
- Mandatory prison sentences for minor marijuana offences
- Anyone caught cultivating six marijuana plants will now receive a longer prison sentence than somebody who sexually molests a child
- Harsher penalties for young offenders, including the publishing of young offenders’ names, stigmatizing them for life.
- Violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — a lot of the new sentencing rules can and will be challenged based on the right to liberty, the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I strongly encourage concerned Canadians to read the entire bill (which, sadly, passed into law on the very day on which I write this article).
This bill offends my sensibilities not only as a Libertarian, but as a responsible, intelligent Canadian. As many critics have pointed out, Canada is currently enjoying its lowest levels of crime since 1973. Our economy, on the other hand, is in terrible shape. Now is not the time to pass oppressive, costly, backwards legislation.
I am against C-10. It forces Canadians to foot the bill for their own harm.