Canada’s Mandatory Minimum Sentences Declared Unconstitutional, Again

BC Provincial Court Judge Reg Harris has found that Canada’s mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking drugs are unconstitutional. Specifically finding that “the impugned legislation casts a net much wider than is necessary to address the stated objective of protecting young persons,” and that “persons can become subject to the mandatory minimum in circumstances where their actions do not run the risk of exposing youth to the vagaries of drug trafficking.”

This is not the first time that Harper’s tough on drugs legislation has been found unconstitutional. Just under a year ago, BC Provincial Court Judge Joseph Galati sentenced Joseph Ryan Lloyd to 191 days behind bars, saying that that the 1 year mandatory minimum sentence prescribed was a violation of the Charter of Rights and declared it “of no force and effect.” Last year also saw the courts find that it was unconstitutional to forbid licensed medical marijuana users from possessing cannabis edibles.

Harper’s Con-government has an extensive history of writing unconstitutional legislation. In 2013 Ontario’s top court ruled that their three-year mandatory minimum sentence for gun possession is “cruel and unusual punishment,” and their 2014 anti-prostitution law is excepted to be ruled unconstitutional in the future. They also face similar criticism of their Citizen Voting Act, recent changes to the Citizenship Act, and their omnibus budget bills.

Written by Alternative Free Press
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