Vancouver police want a chance to tell the Senate that even small grow-ops are a threat to public safety and that eliminating minimum sentences for growers would lead to their spread.

Canada’s Senate is looking at amending Bill C-15 to remove minimum sentences for people convicted of growing fewer than 200 pot plants.

Vancouver Insp. Brad Desmarais said yesterday the move would just encourage criminals to diversify their business.

“Criminals constantly operate on a cost/benefit analysis — 199 plants will still constitute a viable commercial option,” said Desmarais. “I suspect if this amendment passes we will see even more unsafe grows occurring.”

He added that grow-ops in houses where children are present should attract a minimum sentence.

“It doesn’t matter if there is a wiring malfunction in a 200-plant grow or in a 2,000-plant grow, houses still burn down,” said Desmarais.