I wrote my MP telling him to vote NO on Bill C-15. He wrote back saying how he supports it.
Click here to view a copy of what he wrote.
“I strongly believe Bill C-15 will provide the necessary improvements to enhance our criminal justice system. Crime is constantly evolving in Canada so it is crucial that our criminal justice system evolves with it. Our Government is taking action to help ensure the safety and security of our communities. This is the latest step in our continuing commitment to tackle crime.
Bill C-15 will increase the minimum sentences for illegal drug activity linked to organized gangs. The Bill will specifically target the people who supply drugs in our communities. An emphasis will be put on drug dealers caught selling to youth or around school areas. Focusing on these types of dealers will decrease youths’ exposure to drugs and diminish their buying ability. This Bill will also disrupt the drug business for organized crime syndicates, which is how such groups make their capital.
Bill C-15 provides new tools to help law enforcement do their jobs. It creates a new offence to help prevent individuals from fleeing a province or territory in order to avoid prosecution; it gives peace and public officers greater access to warrants related to search and seizure; and it streamlines the identification process in police stations, allowing the fingerprinting and photographing of persons in lawful custody who have not yet been charged or convicted of specific offences.
Our Government recognizes the concerns you have with Bill C-15. As such we are also introducing Bill C-14. Gang violence has dramatically increased in Canadian cities during the last several years, and has become a major focus of metropolitan police forces. Bill C-14 will address this by invoking stronger penalties for gang members who commit murder and drive-by shootings. These tougher sentences will allow judges to give longer prison terms to convicted gang members, keeping them out of the community and making the community safer. Disrupting these criminal activities connected to gangs for longer will decrease other organized crime such as murder, drug trafficking, auto theft, the illicit movement of firearms, human beings and vehicles, and identity theft.
Despite misconceptions in your letter, the Government of Canada is committed to anti-drug strategies to help rehabilitate Canadians who are addicted to drugs, and reduce drug dependency. Through the National Anti-Drugs Strategy, the Government of Canada is taking a targeted approach to reducing the use, production and distribution, as well as the crime associated with illicit drugs. We believe this will lead to stronger, safer, and better communities.
Specifically, the priority areas of the strategy focus on preventing illicit drug use, treating drug dependency, and combating organized crime and drug production such as marihuana grow-ops and meth labs. Our strategy, which builds on and refocuses current programs, represents an investment of $64 million over the next two years. This is an addition to the $285 million currently being spent across Departments on drug-related programs.
Our Government is taking action towards reducing drug use among Canadians, particularly vulnerable groups, and is supporting effective approaches to treatment for drug dependencies. We maintain this commitment while we continue to improve the effectiveness of our criminal justice system.
Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to write. I always appreciate input from my constituents as we continue to work together to improve our criminal justice system.”
Well, it seemed like what is probably a boilerplate response, but what it contained still upset me. More power to the police, more prohibition, and more bullshit policies that don’t f-ing work. So I wrote back:
Having read your email, I am even more opposed to Bill C-15 than ever. First, this bill would give expanded power to the police, which usually comes at the cost of eroding our civil liberties. As well, you state how this will cost an additional $64 Million dollars of taxpayer money… this is money taken away from education and health care and other useful services. If you truly want to effectively voice my concern, you will reconsider your stance on this bill.
Let me say that I am all for helping people with drug problems, and preventing drug abuse in our communities, especially with youth. But the prohibition approach just isn’t working. It never worked for alcohol, and it is not working for drugs.
The more money you dump into drug prohibition, the more you try to ‘crack down hard’ on it, the worse it the problem gets. Drug prohibition only drives up the cost of drugs, but does little to stop the flow of them. Drug prohibition cannot possibly work, given the simple economic law of supply and demand. Prohibition limits the supply, but does nothing to impact the demand. This means drugs become more valuable, so more people are willing to risk trafficking and selling it.
Legalization of drugs would eliminate the underground market, would stop the funding of terrorist groups, would do MORE for treating drug addiction, and would save the billions spent on prohibition and incarceration of drug offenders.
DEA’s, Law Enforcement and Drug Czars will always tell you that prohibition is working, and will work better with more money, but that is because their livelihood depends on it.
A different approach is needed. Drug use and abuse needs to be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue.
By supporting Bill C-15, you are perpetuating an obsolete paradigm and contributing to a nanny-state here in Canada.