Mr. Speaker, when the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Patricia Hynes-Coates, appeared in committee and was asked about mandatory minimum sentences, this is what she said:
As a mom, as a stepmom, as a victim, I can't support it. There's no evidence to support that this will actually make a difference. We know once we bury our children or bury a loved one, it's too late. We need to focus on deterring it before it actually happens.
I also want to quote Mr. Andrew Murie, who is the CEO of MADD Canada. In earlier testimony with regard to a previous Conservative bill that proposed to bring in six-year mandatory sentences, he said, “penalties that only happen after somebody is dead don't stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. It will have zero effect.” He went on to emphasize that his organization would rather see an emphasis on deterrence, and that is precisely what Bill C-46 has focused on.
I would also remind the member that the mandatory minimums he quoted as applying only to impaired driving causing death were robustly discussed by the justice committee applying to all impaired offences. We know that where the evidence supports an appropriately severe sentence for someone who has taken a life, the courts have all the authority they will require in this legislation to make sure that justice is done.