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Sen. Kim Pate to introduce bill aimed at mandatory minimum penalties

From CBC - April 10, 2018

An Ontario senator tired of waiting for the Liberal government to bring in its promised sentencing reforms is preparing to go ahead alone.

Independent Sen. Kim Pate says she is planning to introduce legislation that would allow judges to decide whether they should impose mandatory minimum penalties on offenders at sentencing time.

"They are in the best position to determine: is this is an appropriate place for the application of the mandatory minimum penalty?" said Pate, who was a longtime advocate for the rights of prisoners before she was named to the Senate in November 2016.

"If they determine it is not, the provisions that we are proposing will actually allow them to not impose the mandatory minimum and provide their rationale for doing soor not, as the case may be."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould with reviewing the controversial sentencing reforms the previous Conservative government brought in as part of their tough-on-crime agenda.

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