Opposed to Easing up on Penalties for Gun Crimes

I debated Bill C-5 An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the House on December 14. The Bill proposes to remove mandatory minimum sentences for a number of drug crimes, but more concerning, a number of serious crimes involving guns. As you will see from this clip, Conservatives are most opposed to easing penalties on gun crimes, whereas the Liberals are defending the bill by focusing on providing more options for drug possession, which is much less controversial. It is easing up on gun crimes that makes this bill unacceptable.

Bill C-5 also adds a set of principles to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, to determine whether to lay charges for possession. Peace officers already have the flexibility to do this. A directive was previously issued to prosecutors instructing them to avoid prosecuting simple drug possession cases unless there are major public safety concerns.

  • Conservatives believe that serious, violent offences that are committed with firearms deserve mandatory prison time.
  • The legislation would eliminate a number of serious firearms offences that would receive mandatory prison time, including robbery with a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent to harm, and weapons trafficking. House arrest rather than jail time would become an option for a number of offences including sexual assault, trafficking in persons - material benefit, and kidnapping.
  • Conservatives have serious concerns with the Liberals proposal to allow criminals to serve house arrest rather than jail time for offences including those involving sexual assault, human trafficking, and kidnapping.
Read the Hansard Transcript of Greg's intervention #1
Read the Hansard Transcript of Greg's intervention #2