Harper's "Safe Streets and Communities Act" Keeping Citizens Anything But

July 23, 2014

There’s been a lot said in the news lately about the Harper government’s “Tough on Crime” Bill C-10. The legislation dictates that citizens will be subject to mandatory minimum sentences for minor crimes including the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And although the Conservatives have received stern warnings from current and former American law enforcement officials about the “costly failure” of the U.S. war on drugs, Bill C-10 remains on the horizon, set to significantly change the Canadian legal landscape.

As a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Toronto, Canada’s largest metropolis, Bill C-10 will be a boon for my business in the coming years. I’m picturing my phone ringing off the hook as a steady stream of court dates unfolds defending countless numbers of citizens facing incarceration for minor crimes. If I were purely a businessman, Bill C-10 would be great news. But as a firm believer in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and even simply as a concerned citizen, Bill C-10 saddens me. It’s a frightening move towards an expensive drain on our legal and law enforcement systems, and more importantly, an infringement on some of our most basic rights.

Did you know that according to the Charter, every citizen has the right to be free from:

  • Unreasonable search
  • Unreasonable seizure
  • Arbitrary arrest
  • Arbitrary detention

Unfortunately though, throughout my years spent working as a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Toronto, I’ve seen far too many cases where police have violated these constitutional rights; searching citizens without reasonable cause, or being all too quick to make an arrest without justification. Where these constitutional violations exist, as a Criminal Lawyer I have the duty to insist that any seized drug evidence be excluded from the trial, and in most of my cases this has resulted in the acquittal of my clients.

As we begin to see the repercussions of the “Safe Streets and Communities Act” within our justice system, mounting an effective defense against drug charges will become increasingly important. Every good Criminal Lawyer knows that a case is won long before trial- it’s through intense preparation, research, and investigation that the path to success is determined in any given case. I certainly know this to be true, having won cases where clients have been charged with everything from drug trafficking to impaired driving to first degree murder. I pride myself on my ability to create successful outcomes for my clients, and my clients in turn trust that they will be granted a fair trial. If you’re curious about my proven track record as a Criminal Lawyer in Toronto, visit the “Successes” page for more information, or call the office to schedule an initial consultation.

What do you think about Bill C-10? Do you think mandatory minimum sentences will sway gang violence as the Harper Government predicts?

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