Over six years after her son was killed by a drunk driver, a woman from Leduc, Alta. is still pushing for a change to the Criminal Code.
Sheri Arsenault will be presenting her arguments before the Senate Justice Committee Thursday morning as she calls for a mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who kills someone as a result of driving while being impaired.
She’s hopeful amendments will be made to Bill C-46.
“For six years now, we have been petitioning for a five-year mandatory minimum, and what’s in Bill C-46 right now is a mandatory minimum of $1,000 for a drunk driver or impaired driver that causes death, and that is just a slap in the face to victims,” she said.
Arsenault has been petitioning for these changes for the last six years, after her 18-year-old son Bradley and two of his friends — Thaddeus Lake and Kole Novak — were killed by a drunk driver.
This isn’t the first time Arsenault has asked the government to do this. In fact, changes were almost made in 2015 with the previous Conservative government and their Bill C-73.
“He (former justice minister Peter MacKay) presented a government bill that was more than we had hoped for. It covered so many loopholes, it made the deterrents much stronger for those that drive impaired and especially those that cause death.”
Bill C-73 never came to pass as the Conservatives were ousted from power later that year.
Arsenault said ever since, it’s been extremely disappointing, frustrating and difficult to make her case to the current government.
She said when she spoke with Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault and presented her case to him, he “kiboshed” it and was no help.
At the end of the day, Arsenault wants to see a punishment that she says fits the crime.
“We’re pushing for a mandatory minimum of five years, which we all know would never be served with early parole and statutory release provisions. But it’s a starting point where then they can take into account aggravating and mitigating factors.
– With files from Brenton Driedger