Final House of Commons vote expected on bill reforming mandatory minimum sentencing

OTTAWA โ€” Federal MPs are expected to vote this afternoon on whether to adopt the Liberals' mandatory minimums bill and send it to the Senate.

Bill C-5 would amend the Criminal Code to remove mandatory minimum sentences for all drug convictions and for some firearms and tobacco-related offences.

Prosecutors would also be required to consider referring defendants to treatment programs or other support services instead of charging them for simple drug possession offences.

Justice Minister David Lametti has argued the changes, which reverse "tough on crime" measures passed under Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, would target the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system.

Canadian courts have already struck down some mandatory minimum sentences, calling them unconstitutional.

If the bill passes both the House of Commons and Senate, it will be Liberals' first major move on the file after promising to review mandatory minimums in 2015.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press