1. Harper froze federal legal aid funding in this country a decade ago.
2. There also aren’t enough judges in Quebec or Alberta nor are there enough federal prosecutors in most provinces.
3. Public Works and Government Services Canada lets cases go to court with $1,000-an-hour lawyers rather than negotiating with the costs ending up on the Justice Department’s bill.
4. Harper has lost five major cases that ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
5. The Conservative government hasn’t been applying constitutional tests to legislation before it goes to Parliament.
6. Legislation related to child kidnapping would force judges to hand down a 4 year minimum mandatory jail sentence but at present judges are handing down 8 year sentences and more often than not, it’s 16 or 20 years if there is violence or a killing.
7. The Conservatives are promising to spend $20 million to help sex trade workers as part of their new prostitution law but that’s over five years across the 10 provinces and three territories and Harper could pass the money out to his favourite religious groups rather than women’s organizations or sex-trade worker associations.
- THIS IS NOT LEGALIZATION – Possession of small amounts for personal use is all that will not be illegal. For everything else, the penalties will be stricter as the government tries to muscle its way into the industry. “Canadians already know where to get cannabis, and they will continue to obtain it the same ways they always have.”
- INCREASING MAXIMUM SENTENCES – So the government plans to keep more cases in the lower court by increasing the maximum penalty for ‘less serious’ offences to 2 years less a day (which is served in provincial institutions). I don’t know about you but when I think about what that would mean to me if I was sentenced to two years less a day in jail, I’m confident I’d consider it pretty serious.
- MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION – So much is uncertain. What will happen to the present dispensaries? Will they disappear after legalization?
- POTHOLES – “How can you have people found guilty when they are not impaired?” “Unlike alcohol, there are no proven links between THC blood levels and impairment.” “There is also the question of medicinal users, who would typically have elevated THC levels most or all of the time and many veteran dope smokers would be able to drive with undiminished skills at the rookie THC levels proscribed by C-46 because of their body’s greater tolerance.”
- AND NOW THE BRAMPTON COURT – It’s not only the College Park courthouse that is under pressure but also the Brampton Courthouse has problems with drug cases being tried on time…claimed to be lack of resources. “We have a retention problem because our salaries and working conditions are unfavourable compared to our counterparts,” said Ursula Hendel, president of the Association of Justice Counsel, referring to provincial Crown attorneys, who prosecute the bulk of criminal offences in Ontario.”