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If enacted, the bill would impose mandatory minimum sentences on certain drug crimes - including those of the nonviolent variety - in a misguided attempt to target "serious drug traffickers, the people who are basically out to destroy our society," as Justice Minister Rob Nicholson explained.
Opponents of the measure, however, dispute Nicholson's claim.
As the Chronicle writes, "MP Libby Davis (NDP-Vancouver East) told Vancouver's Cannabis Culture magazine [that] 'The evidence shows very, very strongly [...] that mandatory minimum sentencing is not an effective policy when it comes to drug crime.'" According to "Vancouver marijuana activist and Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery, [...] 'Mid and upper-level traffickers will get no particular increase in punishment, because a major dealer would already get six months or a year for any kind of trafficking.'" He asserted that the measure would instead affect "people who wouldn't normally go to jail" and that young people would comprise the vast majority of those new prisoners.
Although, according to the Chronicle, the Canadian Senate - where the bill next stops - "typically -- but not always -- defers to the House" in legislative affairs, opponents of the measure hope but do not necessarily expect that the Senate will "act to block the passage of C-15" or at least "kill the bill by refusing to act on it before new elections are called." If the Senate does not exercise the above mentioned options, however, Canada will take a rare step backward by enacting draconian, harmful, and ineffective mandatory minimum drug policies just as other nations - including the United States - are beginning to realize the negative consequences such measures carry.
According to an August 9, 2009 article posted by Canwest News Service, "Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Sunday that Canada will train Mexican police officers to assist Mexico in its brutal drug war against rival drug cartels" ("Canada to Train Mexican Officers to Fight Drug Cartels").
The training plan is part of Harper's recently announced anti-crime bill, the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program, which he unveiled in anticipation of the "so-called Three Amigos Summit," an annual meeting of North American leadership from Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
Moreover, the Bulletin notes, "unlike needles," crack kits "could be reused by drug addicts several times." Victoria should be applauded for approving this laudable idea that not only assists crack users in ingesting the drug more safely but also expands upon the success of harm reduction measures more typically associated with heroin users.
On June 25, 2009, the Vancouver Sun ("Canada Primary Source of Ecstasy in Drug Trade") reported that this year's "United Nations report on the world drug trade reiterates what [British Columbian] police forces have been saying for a couple of years now: Canada has become a global producer of 'party' drugs, especially ecstasy. accounted for more than 80 per cent of the methamphetamine labs reported worldwide in 2007 -- almost 6,000 of them.
The Chronicle reports that, "Bowing to the wishes of [...] Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Party Members of Parliament (MPs) joined Monday with Harper's Conservatives" to approve the measure after an unsuccessful filibuster attempt by opposing NDP and Bloc MPs.
He said unionized contractors and the 14 building trades worked on the policy since the last round of bargaining and it applies to everyone on the job site, including managers and administrative staff.
Scollan said the agreement only applies to the 350 members in his association.
Workers could also be tested if there is a reasonable suspicion of impairment.
The program tests for alcohol and nine other drugs." The article adds, "Bruce Margetts, president of Nanaimo's Crane Force Ltd., said industry employers have been fighting for a drug testing policy for years. ' Being in the crane business, the liabilities are absolutely staggering,' he said.