moved for leave to introduce Bill C-209, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to introduce this private members' bill, which seeks to eliminate mandatory minimum penalties in the Criminal Code and various other laws.
I note, as members may note, that we have recently received a similar government bill, Bill C-5, that also aims to eliminate mandatory minimum penalties. However, Bill C-5 only removes some, not even all, of those that have already been found to violate the charter by the courts in Canada.
I was the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands representing my constituents when mandatory minimums were increased. It was during the Parliament when Mr. Harper was the Prime Minister. It was then that we dove deeply into the evidence around mandatory minimum penalties. It became very clear that no criminologists anywhere in the world, nor any jurisdictions, had found that using mandatory minimum penalties actually reduced or addressed crime. They did have the effect, though, of increasing the number of people incarcerated, with additional financial burdens on the provinces.
I am very honoured to put forward the bill this morning, and I hope that it will meet with the approval of my colleagues.