Justin Trudeau might repeal some mandatory minimums if elected

If elected, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says he’d consider repealing some of the mandatory minimum sentences introduced by the Conservative government.

“Where we have concerns is in the overuse and quite frankly abuse of mandatory minimums,” he said in an interview with The West Block’s Tom Clark Friday.

“It’s the kind of political ploy that makes everyone feel good, saying, ‘We’re going to be tough on these people,’ but by removing judicial discretion, and by emphasizing mandatory minimums, you’re actually clogging up our jails for longer periods of time and not necessarily making our communities any safer.”

And while he said a Liberal government would “trust our judges to make reasonable choices,” he didn’t say which mandatory minimums he’d consider striking down.

A Liberal government would also reverse provisions of Bill C-24, which allows the government to rescind the citizenship of dual citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage, or those who take up arms against Canada.

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Trudeau said he rejects “[t]hat idea that you can create two classes of citizenship – for two individuals who commit the same crime, there might be a different penalty for one than the other depending on where their parents were born.”

“I think it’s a very slippery slope to have to have a state be able to say, ‘You know what? You’re no longer a Canadian citizen,’ because what that does, however heinous the crime one person might commit, it makes citizenship conditional on good behaviour for everyone else.”

Current criminal penalties are tough enough without needing to revoke citizenship, he said.

“If a Canadian commits a terrible crime against this country, well we have penalties for that. We have life imprisonment, we have severe consequences that I don’t know, probably shouldn’t include a plane ticket to some faraway country.”

You can watch the full interview with Justin Trudeau on The West Block with Tom Clark on Global Saturday at 7 p.m. in all markets and again on Sunday morning. Trudeau and Clark also discuss the environment, supply management and Trudeau’s plans to run a budgetary deficit.

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