Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Steven Blaney Profile
Mr. Speaker, we certainly are always touched when the members from our own ridings are impacted by these tragedies involving driving and alcohol.
My answer would be something I just found a few minutes ago. Drunk drivers themselves are asking for stiffer sentences. An individual got three and a half years behind bars after killing a 21-year-old woman when he was driving drunk. That was two decades ago. Today this individual came back and said that this was not enough. He said that it was a crime for which he should have paid a bigger sentence. When we are at the point where drunk drivers are asking for stiffer sentences, I believe it is time for parliamentarians to take our responsibility and set the standard.
Five years is what we already see in many courts, but it establishes a base and sends a signal that this crime is not acceptable in our society. That is why mandatory minimum sentences are there. They are not for all crimes, but they are there to send strong signal. We know that drunk driving is the number one cause of deaths related to the Criminal Code.
Hopefully the committee will be given the opportunity to debate the bill. Certainly it is open for discussion and debate, but that is the argument I would bring to the members of the committee.
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