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Canada to introduce reforms to justice system to address systemic racism: scrapping of minimum sentences, and diverting people charged with minor offences out of the criminal justice system

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The Trudeau government is moving to repeal mandatory minimum penalties for drug offences and some gun-related crimes, saying they do not make Canadians safer and unfairly...




OTTAWA -- The federal government is expected to introduce Thursday long-awaited reforms aimed at reducing the over-representation of Black, racialized and Indigenous people in Canada's criminal justice system.



His updated mandate letter last January further instructed Lametti to "address systemic inequities in the criminal justice system, including (measures) to promote enhanced use of pre- and post-charge diversion and to better enable courts to impose sentences appropriate to the circumstances of individual cases."



That suggests the government intends to give judges more discretion in sentencing, rather than the mandatory minimum sentences imposed by Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government as part of its tough-on-crime agenda.



Government has been moving gradually in the direction of treating drug addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue.

Making drug treatment courts the default option for first-time simple possession offences would be another step in that direction.


Great news. Still need to go further (decriminalization of all simple possession), but a step in the right direction.

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