Yesterday, the voters across Canada were loud and clear: it’s time for change. A decade of politicking and policymaking based on fear and division is, I hope, finally over.
There’s a lot to be undone.
We have big plans to hold our new federal government accountable to the promises they’ve made, by ensuring that they reverse laws that harm vulnerable people and move forward with policies that protect marginalized Canadians.
Here’s what happens next. In the coming months we’ll work to ensure that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government:
- Develop a national housing strategy that recognizes the constitutional right to housing and ends the criminalization of homelessness.
- Repeal harmful sex work legislation enacted by the Conservatives last year and replace it with evidence-based laws that prioritize the health and safety of sex workers.
- Create drug policy that places the health of people first, instead of punishing them. That means decriminalizing drugs, expanding access to harm reduction interventions, and making the addiction treatments available to those who need them most.
- Undo the mandatory minimum sentences brought in under the Safe Streets and Communities Act, that disproportionately impact vulnerable groups such as Indigenous people, women, and people who come before the court as a result of their addictions.
- End the tough-on-crime regime that has led to over-policing of marginalized Canadians and the over-representation of minority groups in our prisons. Justice should not be punitive.
If this new government isn’t up to the task of protecting the rights of ALL Canadians, we have a powerful tool to ensure it does: the law.
The work has just begun. Please join us.
Executive Director, Pivot Legal Society