Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson was in Vancouver yesterday to drum up support for a bill that would impose mandatory sentences for drug producers and traffickers.

“Illicit drug production is the No. 1 source of income for gangs and organized crime,” said Nicholson after touring a mock grow-op at the fire department’s training facility. The fake pot plants were green plastic bags sitting on bamboo stems.

“Drug labs and grow-ops … threaten the safety of B.C.’s neighbourhoods and particularly our children.”

Insp. Brad Desmaris, of Vancouver’s gangs and drug squad, said police find families with children living in grow-ops and meth labs about 30 per cent of the time.

Nicholson met with groups like the Vancouver Board of Trade to gain support for Bill C-15.

It has been held up in the Senate, which adjourned before the bill could be passed.

Latest From ...