Nanaimo – Cowichan MP Jean Crowder says the Conservatives may be going too far in calling for mandatory minimum sentences in a bill that makes it a specific crime to harm a service animal.

The NDP is supporting Bill C-35 – known as Quanto’s Law after an Edmonton Police dog killed on duty.

But, debating the bill in the Commons, Crowder pointed out they’re not comfortable with mandatory minimum sentences. Crowder says it’s a strategy the government over-uses, and it sends a negative message about the justice system.

Crowder is also criticizing the government for not backing two NDP private members’ bills designed to tackle animal cruelty.

Bill C-35 is just getting its first reading in Parliament.