“If any of these permanent residents break the law in terms of drunk driving, then they should pay the price, like any other Canadian, because we cannot afford to jeopardize the lives of innocent people on the streets,” said Senator Ratna Omidvar, one of 47 senators who voted in majority for the amendment Tuesday evening.
“But I don’t believe that permanent residents should bear an added punishment — not just another punishment, not just another fine — but a sledgehammer of a punishment of inadmissibility and deportation. This is exactly what Bill C-46 will do if we allow it to leave this chamber without this amendment.”
Immigrants who commit a serious crime should be deported, said Senator Mobina Jaffer, who introduced the amendment. Bill C-46 would have created a system that would make all impaired driving offences not equal, she said.
“We are a country that gives people who make a mistake another chance, as long as it’s not a serious offence,” she added.
The amended bill will be sent back to Parliament for a final vote before it becomes law.