Saturday, May 31, 2008

The hypocrisy of the higher moral ground

Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier’s public humiliation became complete with his resignation this week for being careless with cabinet level briefing papers that he evidently left at his former girlfriend’s home. Was that stupid? Oh, absolutely and undeniably. And he has paid forfeit with his job. And that is as it should be.

But the sanctimonious bleating by the Liberal Opposition is really wearing a little thin. No, more than a little thin.

The femme fatale in this sordid and tawdry movie, Julie Couillard, is basking in her 15 minutes of fame. It seems rather career, if not life-threatening to engage in any meaningful intimate association with this Black Dahlia. But all of that notwithstanding, the spectre of any Liberal MP barking about the risk to National Security considering the ties to the Libs of all manner of dodgy people they were happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with is not only absurd but insulting.

Where does one start?

Consider the demands that Mme. Coulliard should have been vetted by the Mounties before Bernier’s ill-advised dalliance. Uh, excuse me, but didn’t the RCMP try and stop the appointment of since-disgraced Minister of Public Works and ultimately Ambassador, Alfonso Gagliano to Executive Council because of his direct ties to members of Italian organized crime? And didn’t the powers that be in then Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s office ignore those warnings, much to their ultimate chagrin?

Gagliano always tried to dispute his connections to organized crime figures as co-incidental and the Liberal Party of Canada struck out against those who tried to tell the truth as anti-Italian and whatever racist allegation of the day that might stick.

Well whatever. Gagliano and Augustino Cuntrera (and indeed, all of the Caruana / Cuntrera familigia are from the same village in Sicily and they were successive leaders of the Siculiana – Cattolica Eraclea Society in Montreal. Any pretense of coincidence is insulting.

But the salient point is that despite the warnings from the RCMP and the initial refusal to grant him clearance for appointment to Executive Council, the RCMP acquiesced. Was the Force strong-armed by someone in the PMO? I don’t know, but I will leave you to formulate your own opinion.

Then there’s the holier-than-thou Bob Rae who may well go down in history as the worst premier in Ontario history, screaming and burbling about interference from the PMO.

Hmmmm, one of the worst scandals in this country’s history is the handling of Project Sidewinder and the political interference – dare I say cover up – by officials in senior levels of the government of Canada. And Rae, who undoubtedly needed a job to suckle from the public tit after being summarily tossed from office in a sudden and decidedly rare moment of clarity by the voting public in Ontario, was a member of SIRC, the handsomely paid civilian oversight committee of CSIS that reviewed the file and in the face of an incredible amount of circumstantial and direct evidence decided that nothing bad had occurred.

Project Sidewinder was a case of actual government corruption and influence peddling as opposed to the possible accidental leak of confidential information.

So, how does that work? How does Rae demonize the one, minimal event and exonerate the other, systemically corrupt problem? I guess one would have to climb into the confusing and convoluted mind of former NDP Premier, now Liberal MP, Bob Rae. Enlightening? Probably not. Hypocritical? Absolutely.

L’Affaire Bernier is sad and tawdry. The fact that this narcissistic MP from Quebec has embarrassed the government of Stephen Harper is sad enough. And there is no doubt that none of this would have happened had Harper been able to actually utilize the talent within his caucus. But unfortunately, this is Canada, and the Prime Minister had to find places for lesser lights in Cabinet simply because they come from certain politically necessary parts of the country.

And, at the end of the day, Bernier, no matter how he plays out in Quebec, simply isn’t that bright as evidenced by this whole affair. What is really sad is that the Prime Minister had to reach into the shallow end of the gene pool because of the tiresome politics of Quebec.

Leo Knight

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Supreme injustice

In 2003 the governing Liberal Party of Canada foisted a supreme injustice upon this country with the Youth Criminal Justice Act or YCJA.  Many police officers in Canada think YCJA stands for You Can't Jail Adolescents, so weak was the legislation.  

But count on the Supreme Court of Canada to take an already weak piece of legislation and make it weaker still.  And in the case of Regina vs D.B. 2008 25  they did not disappoint.

Back when I was a young police officer we had the Juvenile Delinquents Act as our governing authority when dealing with the teenaged scumbags - oh sorry, poor little devils who weren't breast fed and or their mommies drank and their daddies deserted them and boo hoo hoo - who seem to think that the rule of law doesn't apply to them unless and until they get caught. Then they were happy to piss and moan about how hard done by they are and how it isn't their fault.

Back then, we would complain about how the JDA was so lenient on juvies and how they couldn't give a fig because nothing would happen to them.  I remember a cop who used to mail a birthday card to 'frequent flyers' wishing them a Happy Birthday when they turned eighteen. Inside was a photo of a pair of handcuffs and a bullet.  The implication was obvious; now that you are an adult, I'm coming to get you.
The JDA was replaced with another weak-kneed statute called the Young Offenders Act (YOA) which was later replaced with the YCJA.  All of this nonsense is created by the hand-wringers who simply cannot or will not understand that some of these criminal thugs are incorigible and irreparable as human beings.

The Supremes said that we can't impose statutory reverse onus positions on the little darlings. It's unfair to treat these charming young folks as adults unless Crown can absolutely prove that the crimes committed, be it murder most horrible as occurred in case of Rena Virk or the teens involved in the senseless and most brutal killing of 13 year old Nina Courtepatte.  

Much has been written about the killing of Nina Courtepatte.  But what has not been said is that for several hours she was raped and tortured and for a long period of time she was badly injured and knew she was going to die. And she pleaded for her killers to finish her off. And they wouldn't. They did it slow and very painfully.  

You simply cannot view the circumstances of a file like that and not come to the conclusion that those involved are evil. And evil should never see the light of day ever again. 

But that will not be the case for the killers of Nina Courtepatte.  The adults, such as they were, will some day be eligible for parole.  The juveniles will be free in far too short a period of time. And Nina, unfortunately, will be forgotten.

And the Supreme Court of Canada  decided that the legislation that protected the people instrumental in the murder of little Nina Courtepatte are being unfairly done by politicians who haven't a clue about the real problems in this country.

If the Supreme Court of Canada had any conscience or morals, they would be ashamed of themselves for not doing the right thing.   

And if my Aunt had balls she would be my Uncle.

Leo Knight

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Failed again . . .

A week ago, a story appeared in The Province about a rather innocuous sign of the times - thefts of bags from unsuspecting visitors at Vancouver International Airport.

But, what was glossed over was the identification of an arrested suspect in the spate of thefts. Ramon Rafael Montesinos Chavoro, 36, was arrested, charged with Theft over $5000 - an indictable offence in Canada - and released on $5,000 bail. And that’s not posted bail as in real dollars. No, indeed, that means “promised” dollars. Or, in more simple terms, nothing.

But, hang on a second, Chavoro is a Mexican national. Is he in Canada legally? And even if he is, why would we allow a foreign national to come here, allegedly commit a series of crimes and allow him to be freed on minor bail conditions?

Does he have a previous criminal history in Canada? What about in his home country?

This is ridiculous at any level. Made especially moreso since we learned this week, courtesy of the federal Auditor General Shelia Fraser, that the Canadian Border Services Agency had lost track of 41,000 illegal immigrants, most of whom are failed refugee claimants. 

It seems that in this country it matters not whether you are a failed refugee claimant or a serial criminal, what passes for a justice system in Canada will let you go with little or no restrictions on your freedoms. 

I must confess I am at a loss here to try and understand whatever logic exists to pretend that such a system is somehow tolerable or that this system “works” by any definition.

Who are these 41,000 failed refugee claimants? I don’t know and the government won’t tell us. We don’t know if they are gypsy thieves, Russian strippers or al Qaeda terrorist. And the sad part is that the government hasn’t a clue either to go along with where they might be. 

But they do know who Chavoro is and what he’s all about. And yet the system still let him go instead of holding him in custody pending trial. And if, as is most likely, he is found guilty he should be deported after serving whatever sentence the court might impose. Which, of course would be nothing more than time served. But, at least the government could have packed him aboard a plane and sent him back to his homeland and in doing so, lived up to their responsibility to protect the public.

But sadly, that is not what happened in this case. Or in the thousands and thousands of others like this.

Leo Knight

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Immigration decision a mystery

It's difficult to try and be respectful of the Canadian justice system when you get decisions such as the one rendered by Immigration adjudicator Daphne Shaw Dyck in the case of Jose Franciso Cardoza Quinteros, an admitted killer and member of the notoriously violent Latino gang Mara Salvatrucha or more commonly known as MS 13.

But then, I have come to expect so very little of a system designed to be overseen by people with little or no training for the role they are performing. For most, it seems the only qualification is to have connections to whatever political party is in power and makes the appointments.

Now, I don't know the adjudicator with the double-barrelled family name. And, it may well be that from time to time she gets it right. But then, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

What I can and will say is that she is so wrong in this case that one has to question her competence to sit in judgement of immigration claims. When a waste of oxygen like this has already admitted to being a member of MS 13 and a participant in gangland murders, I sincerely question her ability to process information presented.

How she came to the conclusion that this lothesome individial was likely not a gang banger because, well, I have no idea. She had no evidence before her that said this goof was anything but what he said he was.

The real problem here is not that this adjudicator went off the reservation in this case, but rather that there are so many of these 'appointees' in similar positions of power to put at risk the rest of society in Canada. And there is precious little we can do about it.

It seems that Pierre Trudeau's so called "Just Society" is really anything but.

Leo Knight