An Ottawa activist has started a hunger strike in protest of the Conservative government’s tough-on-crime legislation, Bill C-10.
Obert Madondo was one of eight protesters arrested for trespassing in Confederation Park during the Occupy Ottawa eviction on Nov. 23, 2011.
He started his hunger strike Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and vows to continue it until the bill is repealed in its entirety.
Parliament passed Bill C-10 Monday and it received royal assent Tuesday afternoon. Critics say the bill’s increased mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers and sexual predators would result in overcrowded prisons.
Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, said in a statement Tuesday that Canadians gave the government a “strong mandate” to crack down on child predators and drug dealers.
“By moving expeditiously to reintroduce the Safe Streets and Communities Act, our Government is fulfilling its commitment to protect families and hold criminals accountable,” said Nicholson.
“By imposing sentences that are in proportion to the crimes committed, this Bill recognizes that victims have suffered and gives them confidence in Canada’s justice system.”
Madondo said he wrote a letter to Gov. Gen. David Johnston Tuesday calling for him to listen to Canadians who are opposed to the bill.
“I’m demanding that your esteemed office use the Crown’s discretionary and constitutional powers to counsel and warn,” said Madondo.
“Now is the hour to force Parliament to return to sanity and respect our democratic and legislative processes. It’s the hour to encourage our elected representatives to listen to and value the concerns of all Canadians.”
Madondo says his hunger strike will take place in his apartment.