Since coming to power in 2006, the current Canadian government has persisted in attempting to push its tough-on-crime agenda, including the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes—despite the proven failure of such measures in the U.S. context.

The now-majority government has introduced a new Omnibus Crime Bill—Bill C-10, The Safe Streets and Communities Act—and is expediting its passage, contrary to available evidence and in defiance of the objections of opposition parliamentarians, justice experts, the editorial boards of most leading newspapers and concerned civil society.

Regrettably, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network’s 2006 briefing paper on the dangers of such measures is still all-too-relevant, as is the Network's 2009 submission to a Senate Standing Committee considering an earlier iteration of this bill.

On October 18, the Legal Network and a group of likeminded NGOs held an important public event, “Thrown under the omnibus: What you need to know about The Safe Streets and Communities Act", to demonstrate opposition for Bill C-10 and explore its multifaceted impacts on Canadian society. Please click here for more information about the event.

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