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Law Union calls on Ontario to Resist Omnibus Crime Bill
In the aftermath of an Ontario court striking down another "mandatory minimum sentence" last week, Ontario lawyers and legal rights advocates are urging Ontario's Attorney General, Hon. John Gerretsen, to take steps to mitigate the impact of the federal government's new crime legislation before it begins coming into force on August 9, 2012.
The Law Union of Ontario has written to Attorney General Gerretsen asking for the Minister to comply with the spirit of two Ontario court rulings by resisting the measures implemented under Bill C-10, the "Omnibus Crime Bill", through provincial policies.
The letter calls on the Attorney General to:
- Instruct Crown prosecutors to give serious consideration to consenting to probation in place of jail sentences;
- Encourage Crowns to pursue other reasonable offences that preserve judicial discretion in sentencing instead of those carrying mandatory minimums;
- Direct Crowns to seek non-custodial sentences for non-violent offences and for offenders who do not pose any public safety risk; and,
- Promote greater reliance on mental health and addiction diversion strategies, similar to measures expected in Quebec that promote treatment over imprisonment.