HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html MP Report By Jay Hill, M.P.
Pubdate: Wed, 26 Oct 2005
Source: Tumbler Ridge News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Tumbler Ridge News
Author: Jay Hill, M.P.
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)


Liberals Fear Drug Traffickers Won't Plead Guilty

If we needed any further proof that the federal Liberals have twisted 
priorities, it came this week during debate on my private member's bill 
that would help keep drugs away from schools.

Bill C-248 would impose mandatory sentences of one year or more for the 
first offence and two years or more for a subsequent offense for those 
convicted of drug trafficking within 500 metres of an elementary or high 

Conservative, New Democrat and Bloc Quebecois MPs indicated they support 
advancing my bill to the Standing Committee on Justice for further study.

However, the federal Liberal Government said it doesn't like my 
legislation. Why?

Well, MP Robert Thibault, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of 
Health expressed concern on the government's behalf that adult drug 
traffickers caught peddling drugs near a school may not plead guilty if 
they know they'll face jail time.

Well heaven forbid Liberals and drug traffickers are forced to endure the 
hassle of a criminal trial!

Our criminal justice system does not exist to cater to the convenience of 
the government or drug dealers. It exists to protect the best interests of 
our society and to punish and deter those who threaten our safety and 
security. The Paul Martin Liberals are, once again, more concerned about 
protecting criminals than protecting our children.

Bill C-248 is specifically designed to target those adults responsible for 
getting drugs into our schools.

According to 1996-97 statistics, just 64 percent of drug traffickers served 
any jail time. And the median sentence was just four months! The rest got 
off lucky with either probation or a fine!

Mandatory prison time alone will not keep drugs out of schools, but it's 
the type of legal backing from the federal government that teachers and 
community workers need to complement ongoing drug education and awareness 

Recent studies indicate that as many as 40 percent of students have used 
drugs in the previous year. The use of cocaine, which had declined 
throughout the eighties is on the rise once again. And nine percent of 
Canadians aged 12-17 use cannabis daily.

If kids really want to buy drugs, they'll find them somewhere. That doesn't 
mean we have to make it easy for them and it certainly doesn't mean it has 
to be at school.

Mandatory jail time sends a very clear message about the dangers -- and the 
consequences -- of drug-related activities. This is especially important in 
light of the current debate over the decriminalization of marijuana 
possession which is sending mixed-messages to teens about so-called "soft 

The Liberals also oppose Bill C-248 because, according to Mr. Thibault, it 
doesn't address drug trafficking in skate parks, arenas and other areas 
children frequent.

This is typical of the Liberals. They are prepared to do nothing simply 
because this one particular piece of legislation doesn't offer a one-stop 
solution. Why don't we at least start somewhere? Why don't we start by 
jailing drug dealers who prey upon our children while they're at school?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom