Conservative government refused to pass a bill increasing penalties for drunk driving

The Conservative government refused to pass a bill that would have increased penalties for drunk driving introduced by a Tory backbencher that had support from both the NDP and the Liberals.

The Harper government decided to not move forward with MP for Prince Albert, SK Randy Hoback’s Bill C-590, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (blood alcohol content), which introduced severe penalties where a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is well above 0.16% or the driver caused significant property damage, even though it was approved by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for unanimously.

Almost half the fatally injured drivers in Canada had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit and make up 31% of the alcohol-related deaths, according to statistics Canada.

“The goal is to prevent these drivers from getting behind the wheel as they cause a greater number of fatalities and are more likely to be repeat offenders,” Mr. Hoback told the House of Commons on June 5. “As time at the end of this Parliament session is quickly running out, I therefore ask that we pass Bill C-590 as quickly as we can to give the Senate enough time to deliberate and pass it before the fast-approaching summer is upon us.”

Marco Muzzo, the 29-year-old billionaire charged in the crash at Vaughan that left three children and their grandfather dead allegedly had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit at the time of the accident, police sources revealed.

“Although Canada has very tough laws and penalties for impaired driving, more than 750 motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists were killed every year between 2003 and 2005 in traffic accidents involving drunk drivers,” Rosane Doré Lefebvre, NDP MP for Alfred-Pellan, QC said in support of the bill. “Even one death is one too many, but this is more than two people per day. That is far too many, and we need to implement measures to address this problem.”

“The Traffic Injury Research Foundation has found that impaired drivers with a blood alcohol content of over 160 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood represent close to 70% of impaired drivers killed in car accidents,” Sean Casey, Liberal MP for Charlottetown, PE told Parliament. “When we are talking about this crime, I do think stiffer penalties may be an effective deterrent, since many people who get behind the wheel while impaired would not be prone to criminality in general.”

20 Responses to Conservative government refused to pass a bill increasing penalties for drunk driving

  1. Vaughan says:

    If anything, Marco Muzzo is a great example why we shouldn’t have tougher penalties. Marco made one mistake and he is obviously very sorry for what he did. Have you never made a mistake in your life?

    • stuvy says:

      Drunk driving isn’t a mistake. It’s not like Muzzo slipped and fell into his car and accidently drove it into that family. He got into that vehicle knowing he was trashed, and drove anyway. They should fill the book with bricks before throwing it at him.

      • Vaughan says:

        I know Marco very well. He’s a good kid. You’re just jealous of his wealth.

        • Anonymous says:

          At 29, Marco is not a kid. He’s an adult who is responsible for his actions. He made a conscious decision to drive while intoxicated.

          If your family members had been his victims instead of someone else’s, I’m guessing you’d feel a little differently.

          • Vaughan says:

            As I said before, I know Marco very well. Even after a few drinks, a 29-year-old Marco will have far better reflexes and judgement than a 65-year-old grandfather. I do not think the accident was Marco’s fault. Yet, he is going to sit in jail on the day of his wedding. How do you think his mom’s feeling? Don’t you have any sympathy for his fiancée who would’ve been looking forward to her big day and now has to deal with her future husband locked up for a crime he probably didn’t even commit?

        • Zak Attack says:

          Mr Muzzo made a choice and decided to drive impaired. If we go with your (sad) wealth-related commented, he could have chosen to pay for a limo or cab. Everybody is “sorry” after they have made a mistake. But there is no excuse for Mr Muzzo’s actions.

        • Anonymous says:

          Seems you have completely disregarded that 4 lives were lost. Choosing to consume alcohol & drive did that! A grown man made that choice and you are looking for sympathy for him. He should have taken a cab. If he had, those lives wouldn’t have been lost. Period.

        • Anonymous says:

          He drove drunk and killed 4 people don’t you have any sympathy for their family .

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          Mistake or not he fucked up. He should have to pay the price in jail. Not with Daddy Warbuck money. Justice should be the same for everybody. Not just those that can afford to pay their lawyers to get them off.

        • metaljohn777 says:

          I’m sure every acquaintance of every criminal is quite willing to state that so-and-so ‘is a good kid’. Muzzo chose to commit a crime and deserves the harshest possible consequences. Sadly, others have paid dearly for his choices. Unfortunately, I’m sure justice will be watered down because of who he knows and how much money he has. If so, that will be evidence of systemic failure – one law for the wealthy and one for everyone else. And based on your argument below that ‘even after a few drinks etc…’ are you proposing that drinking and driving be allowed via some kind of ‘pro-rated’ system based on age? Perhaps you ought to share Muzzo’s jail cell. As far as how his family / fiancee is feeling, perhaps he should have thought of this before choosing to commit a crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure wish that with an attutude like that. It never happens to you or your family….

    • Anonymous says:

      He made a choice

    • Harry says:

      You can say “I’m sorry I forgot the mail” or “I’m sorry that I forgot your birthday.” Can you say I’m sorry for getting drunk, driving & killing 3 people?

  2. stuvy says:

    mistakes are something people make on their math homework.

  3. Rick Davie says:

    He killed 3 children. This is a no brainer folks. I know Mr Greenspan has announced his vigorous defence statement. Having not read one alphabet of it, I can tell you it’s basic content. My client is sorry can he go home now please? What else could he possibly say. The van and it’s passengers had no right being there.

  4. voice for those who can't says:

    Im all broken up over his wedding and fiance being sad. I’m just a tad more broken up for the 3 young children who don’t get to have any chance of growing up and all that life could bring to him. God I hope his defence isn’t ” I have great reflexes when I blow twice over the limit”
    Prayers please for the FOUR victims in this tragedy.

  5. Richard Smiley says:

    He is a repeat offender. This is not a case of “one mistake”. “The Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed to the Star that a man with the same name and birth date as Muzzo has faced various provincial offences in six different jurisdictions in the GTA.”

  6. Dee Dee says:

    Everyone got a life sentence the moment it happened, those who lost loved ones and the one who lost his life, just not physically. It is tragic all around as so many people impacted. However, it irks me when the “fortune tellers” say it is bitter sweet that the Neville-Lake family will be rich from the money they get from the Muzzo family. Seriously? Shouldn’t those people be focusing on helping the Neville-Lake family (or what remains of it now) get through today, tomorrow, the day after that. How can anyone even think something like that. What is wrong with people. It is not about money. Before this, their lives were rich with family – 3 young children. It is not a windfall. It is about a tragedy, a very horrific tragedy that no amount of money could ever erase … for anyone involved.

  7. Rondo Normal says:

    Vaughan: I think you’re in the minority. You might want to rethink your position.

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