An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and
Status: Received Royal Assent (now law)
Background: Bill C-5 was introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of
Justice on December 7, 2021. The bill would amend the Criminal Code and the
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to change certain criminal sentencing
requirements, including repealing various mandatory minimum penalties, and
creating more options to deal with drug possession.
Analysis: Bill C-5 would give greater discretion to judges when sentencing an
offender in specific instances and would provide opportunity for alternative types of
sentences that may be more appropriate. At the same time, there are concerns
about reducing penalties for certain violent or harmful crimes. The bill also seeks to
view drug use and drug possession as a health and social issue and fails to
recognize that every crime is a moral choice. Yet, the bill contains some important
restorative justice principles and recognizes that providing alternative sentences
instead of jail time for minor crimes may help improve behavior.
You can read more about an identical bill from the previous session of Parliament