Pubdate: Sat, 08 May 2010
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2010 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Alex MacEachern


It appears that our provincial government is asleep at the wheel when
it comes to the tough-on-crime agenda of the federal government.

Last week, concerns were being raised about possible extra billions of
dollars in costing for longer jail terms proposed by the feds. Much of
this would be downloaded to the provinces.

In a Herald piece this week, it was said the Tories are re-introducing
legislation to impose mandatory six-month jail sentences for people
convicted of growing as few as six marijuana plants.

Mandatory jail time for a few marijuana plants. Plea bargains and no
jail time for some violent deaths and sexual assaults. Is it just me,
or is there something wrong with this picture?

Six-month sentences are served in provincial jails. What a great way
to sound tough on crime - have someone else bear the costs.

We are in debt up to our ears in Nova Scotia. With offshore oil
revenues drying up, we are short enough of revenue as it is and few
people are in favour of tax increases. There are enough things crying
for our hard-earned tax dollars: health, education, transportation and
social services, to name a few.

I, for one, don't want to see a pile of tax dollars spent on programs
which sell politically, but do little or nothing to actually combat
crime. Experts in the field seem to be almost universally in agreement
on this. I'm going with the experts on this one.

Alex MacEachern, Dartmouth
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