ontario news watch

Liberal mandatory minimums bill doesn’t go far enough: Murray Sinclair

OTTAWA — The former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says Liberal legislation to remove some mandatory minimum penalties from the Criminal Code doesn’t go far enough.

Murray Sinclair says Bill C-5 does not go nearly far enough to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous and Black people in the criminal justice system. 

He says the government has not provided data to justify a “piecemeal approach” that leaves two-thirds of mandatory minimum penalties in place. 

Sinclair made the comments this morning at a hearing of the Senate’s justice committee, which is studying the bill after the House of Commons passed it in June.

The changes would reverse some of the “tough on crime” measures passed under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. 

If the Senate passes the bill as it is written, mandatory minimums will be removed from all drug offences and from some firearms and tobacco-related offences.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press