B.C. Attorney General David Eby tried not to sound churlish in his support of the suite of federal measures aimed at addressing systemic racism in the country’s legal system.

Who can blame him? The federal announcement was filled with fine-sounding rhetoric; but the province gets to provide the services and pick up most of the tab.

Federal Attorney General David Lametti on Thursday unveiled a package of measures to address the staggering over-incarceration of Black and Indigenous peoples — amending the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to repeal mandatory minimum penalties for certain drug, firearm and tobacco offences and adopting more holistic, community-based sentences and diversion programs.

But judges can’t keep people out of jail if they don’t have housing, access to mental health and addiction treatments and social supports.

“I don’t want to overstate the impact of yesterday’s announcement, but I don’t want to understate it either,” Eby said. “This is important work that needed to be done.”

Read The Full Article In The Vancouver Sun

The federal government took aim on Thursday at eliminating systemic racism in the legal system that is blamed for significant and widespread over-incarceration of vulnerable minorities.

Ottawa hopes to stop the unjust jailing of Black and Indigenous persons and help drug users avoid conviction by ending many mandatory minimum prison sentences, broadening conditional sentence guidelines and urging prosecutors and police to divert more cases away from court.

There was no shortage of back-patting rhetoric from Liberal ministers about the multi-faceted package of measures dubbed “bold and appropriate action” to address “the greatest challenge facing Canadians” … “a reset of the justice system.”

The Liberals maintained the individuals who will benefit are not “a menace to society.”

“Some people like to talk tough on crime, let’s instead be smart on crime,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.

Read The Full Article In The Vancouver Sun