Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

February 29, 2008 16:49 ET

Statement by Minister Nicholson on the Supreme Court of Canada's Decision Regarding Mandatory Minimum Sentences

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2008) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada issued the following statement following the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Michael Esty Ferguson v. Her Majesty the Queen et al. on the constitutionality of s. 236 (a) of the Criminal Code, which imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of four years incarceration when a crime is committed with a firearm.

"I welcome the Supreme Court of Canada's decision to uphold this law, which demonstrates the right of Parliament to create mandatory minimum sentences to keep Canadians safer."

Yesterday, the Tackling Violent Crime Act was finally given Royal Assent and passed into law. Among other things, this new law strengthens the Criminal Code by creating tougher mandatory prison sentences for serious gun crimes. It imposes a minimum prison penalty of 5 years on a first offence and 7 years on a second or subsequent offence.

This government also believes that drug producers and dealers who threaten the safety of our communities must face tougher penalties. This is why we are also moving to impose mandatory jail time for serious drug offences that involve organized crime, violence, or youth.

"Our Government was elected to build a strong, safer, better Canada. We said we would work to make our communities safer and protect our youth from a life of drugs and crime, and we remain committed to that goal."

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Darren Eke
    Press Secretary