(This column was published in the North Shore News on Nov. 29, 2000)


Refugee process abused by criminals

By Leo Knight

BASKING in the afterglow of the fourth B.C. Lions Grey Cup win, (I purchased my first season's ticket in 1980 and still maintain my regular chair), I was somewhat taken aback by a press release emanating from Elections Canada on the eve of a federal election called for no other reason than to assuage Jean Chrétien's massive ego and to try and keep Paul Martin from taking his job.  


Elections Canada issued a press release on Grey Cup Sunday with a stern warning for those who might choose to take part in our National Party.  


Here, in its bureaucratic eloquence, is the release:  


"Aware of the passions that today's Grey Cup game can provoke, Elections Canada reminds all election day workers that, no matter how elated or disappointed they may feel about the results of the game, Canadians are counting on them to be there at polling stations tomorrow, election day, to exercise their right to vote."  


Interesting, isn't it? The only reason that release needed to be written is because Chrétien couldn't wait until next spring for an election just in case Stockwell Day managed, with a little more experience under his belt, to be a little more palatable to the stupidest voters north of Palm Beach County, Florida. Yes, I do mean the Greater Toronto Area.  


But to me, the real issue of this election has been the inability of a great many of the electorate to recognize the institutionalized corruption of the federal Liberals. Maybe I've been a little too close to it all. With the whole Sidewinder debacle being so close to my heart, it's been very hard to be anything remotely resembling objective.  


On the weekend before the election, news broke that one of the biggest alleged criminals in China was arrested in Canada. On the run from authorities for being at the centre of the largest corruption scandal in history, isn't it amazing that the country of refuge chosen by the alleged gangster was Canada?  


His organization purportedly controlled the smuggling of guns, drugs, stolen property and people. Yes, people, mainly from the Fujian Province. Sound familiar?  


Of the nearly 200 so-called civilized nations of the earth, this man chose our fine country. And why do you suppose that was?  


Simple, really. Our federal Liberal government has created an atmosphere that he, and those like him, can do whatever they want with virtual impunity.  


What kind of mugs are we to allow him to claim refugee status almost a year after he actually came to this country illegally? Our government has created such a fuzzy system of rules that this is possible.  


Let's be realistic. If someone comes to this country with a bogus passport created to escape a despotic regime, it's fair enough if that individual puts up his or her hand at the airport and says, "Hey, I'm here illegally but I want to claim refugee status." No problem. But, to be here for a significant period of time and, only after being outed, he then wants protection under our refugee process, is so totally and blatantly wrong.  


Thus far in the investigation in China, fourteen mid and low-level government officials have been convicted and many sentenced to death for their part in the scandal. Reports from South East Asia indicate hundreds more government officials may be involved.  


Interesting. But, I wonder how many of our government officials were involved. A strong statement, you say? Not really. How else might one explain how agents of the People's Republic of China came to this country with a convicted criminal in tow, to threaten Lai Changxing with the deaths of family members unless he returned to China?  


The agents of the Chinese government used Lai's family as bait. It is nothing less than extortion, which, I might add is a crime in this country.  


Don't get me wrong in this. I believe Lai should never have been in this country in the first place. I also believe he should be returned to China post haste. But, that doesn't deal with the salient questions in this whole affair.  


Officials of Canada Immigration knew of his illegal presence in this country and did nothing about it except, apparently, to advise the government of the PRC. Agents of that foreign, communist government then came to this country and used methods of intimidation that would land any Canadian police officer in jail. And, apparently, this was all sanctioned by the Minister of Immigration.  


This is just the beginnings of what promises to be yet another whiff of scandal involving the federal Liberals, Asian organized crime and the Government of the People's Republic of China.  


It just never ends.  






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