Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Speak Up Now or Forever Hold Your Peace!

 On November 20th, 2007 the long anticipated Conservative changes to the nation’s drug laws began their first reading in Parliament. While in theory that means there’s a long way to go and many obstacles before these changes (collectively known as Bill C-26) actually become the law of the land, never underestimate a determined government’s power to ram through legislation at breakneck speed (i.e. the terrorism laws quickly enacted after 9/11).

Shortly after their election the Conservative Party completely removed any mention of Harm Reduction from their Anti-Drug Strategy, putting many innovative and cutting edge projects in jeopardy. Determined to pursue a War on Drugs approach to substance use in Canada (an approach that is a demonstrable failure in the very land it originated, the United States), this is what the Conservatives have decided to replace Harm Reduction with.