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.