Motivations are key

Conservative crime bill leaves something to be desired

When it comes to crime, it can be extremely difficult to take people’s motivations into account. If you have had your home broken into or you are the subject of a sexual assault, the motivations don’t usually come into it.

However, there are times when motivation can be crucial to actualy solving or at least reducing a criminal issue. When we know why people do things we don’t like, this gives us a tool we can use to get them to stop.

It’s unfortunate then that the Conservative omnibus crime bill not only doesn’t take motivations into account in its crackdown on the illegal drug trade, but also appears to tie the hands of judges to prevent them from doing so, too.

Let’s be clear here. If the neighbourhood drug dealer asked for your daughter’s hand in marriage, you likely wouldn’t go bragging about it to the neighbours. Drug dealing isn’t about social status, after all.

What it is really all about, of course is money. Full stop. That’s all there is. There is a reason for that. Drugs, because they are illegal, are extremely lucrative, for those willing to take the chance to sell them.

Take the money away and you take away a large part of the problem.

The Conservative bill does nothing to address this fact, or rather, it will likely serve, not only to put more Canadians in jail — at a hideously expensive cost — but will likely raise the risk, and therefore the price and thus profitability of the illegal drug trade.

Yes, there will be more people in jail, but there will also be far more people willing to take their place on the street.

— editorial by Neil Horner