The Trudeau government are aiming to reduce the severity of sentences for a number of crimes, including gun offences which the Liberals campaigned on tackling during the 2021 election.
Trudeau’s Justice Minister David Lametti held a press conference on Tuesday where he detailed the government’s plans.
The Liberals will reduce the severity of crimes like illegal firearm possession, gun trafficking, and discharging a firearm with intent in the form of Bill C-22.
Trudeau will even reduce prison time for those who use firearms in a robbery.
This press conference came only a day after the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre. During this, the Trudeau Liberals made clear that they wanted to tackle gun violence, according to the Toronto Sun.
Lametti will reduce the sentences for a number of gun crimes. Lametti described this policy as ensuring that people’s lives aren’t ruined by a single mistake.
“These are people with health problems. These are single mothers. These are young people who perhaps have made a couple of mistakes,” he said.
The Conservative Party immediately jumped on the Liberal’s decision, saying it was “unacceptable.”
“47 percent of Canadians feel that gun violence is a threat to their community,” said a tweet. “Bill C-22: Liberals removing mandatory prison time for serious gun offences.”
Bill C-22 will also aim to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for those in possession of drugs.
“Serious criminals deserve to be seriously punished and kept away from our communities,” said a spokesperson of Lametti’s to CBC. But too many lower-risk and first-time offenders, including a disproportionate number of Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians, are being sent to prison and locked up for too long because of policies which are proven not to deter crime or help keep our communities safe.”
During its February introduction, the bill received both praise and criticism. Both the Greens and the New Democrats have called for decriminalization of the possession of drugs.