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Trudeau to Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Drug Offences

The Liberals are set to introduce a bill in the House of Commons today that will repeal mandatory minimum penalties for drug offences.

On Friday, the government gave the House of Commons a procedural heads-up that a bill to amend the Criminal Code and federal drug laws would be introduced on Monday.

The Liberals had tabled similar legislation in February, which failed to gain parliamentary approval, before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kickstarted an election campaign in August.

Had it passed, the bill would have allowed for greater use of conditional sentences, such as house arrest, counselling or treatment, for people who do not pose a threat to public safety.

The government alleged that the bill would resolve the fact that too many lower-risk and first-time offenders were being imprisoned, capturing a disproportionate number of Indigenous and Black people.

The bill, to be introduced by Montreal MP and Justice Minister David Lametti, is one of several pieces of business scheduled for the House of Commons, including a push from the Opposition Conservatives to split a new pandemic aid bill in two so MPs could vote separately on support to businesses and workers.

The Liberals say they want the aid package approved before MPs go on their winter holiday break in two weeks.

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