(This column was published in the North Shore News on Nov. 7, 2001)

 

Arrogant Ottawa gets earful from a critic

By Leo Knight

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is holding hearings in Ottawa to try and find some balance in the proposed anti-terror legislation, Bill C-36.

 

I had occasion to appear before the committee on Thursday last week along with the chief constable of the Montreal police, the commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and the president of the Canadian Police Association.

 

There's something about just being in Ottawa that makes you understand why there are such problems in Canada. The place oozes political correctness. Just strolling down Sparks Street, it's hilarious watching the tight-arsed bureaucrats, walking to and fro, afraid to say anything to anyone lest they offend.

 

In front of the Standing Committee, the message was pretty consistent from the panel. Admittedly, I had a bit more freedom to "call a spade a shovel" than the others. Does that mean they listened?

 

The Canadian Alliance members of the committee seemed genuinely interested in doing the right thing as did Progressive Conservative MP Peter McKay, who is looking more and more like the heir apparent, if and when Joe Clark finally leaves this country in peace before he does any more damage. I also thought Liberal MP Stephen Owen seemed to have a good grasp of the issues and realities. Then again, he is from B.C. and realizes there is intelligent life west of the Lakehead.

 

Then there's Lynn Myers, the Liberal Parliamentary Secretary for the Solicitor General, who embodies everything in arrogance, pig-headedness and self-serving dogma that marks the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien.

 

Myers is a junior minister from Waterloo, Ontario, a teacher by trade who has been salivating to get his hands on the levers of power since his first unsuccessful run at a seat in 1984, when John Turner snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by foolishly patting Iona Campagnola's tush in full view of the media. Myers was finally elected in 1997.

 

But he clearly didn't like the criticisms his government was taking in my presentation. And instead of coming at me directly and risking my being able to substantiate my position (a piece of cake), he made a ridiculous comparison to the number of undocumented aliens in the U.S. and said I was wrong about Brian Tobin's billion-dollar budget to bring fast downloads to Eskimos. But after stating I was wrong, he couldn't summon up the courage to have me respond, and just as the clerk was clicking my microphone on for me to do so, he immediately changed the topic and asked a question of the Montreal Police Chief, Michel Sarazin.

 

Typical.

 

Ah, they are a slippery bunch these Liberals in Ottawa. They are quick to call critics damning names to silence them. Perish the thought they might actually answer a question if they are cornered on an issue. They believe they are the natural ruling party and no one else has an opinion worth considering.

 

Such is the state of our government today.

 

(If anyone would like to review a copy of the presentation I gave the Standing Committee, just e-mail me at the address listed below. Sorry, only electronic requests can be considered.)

 

o o o

 

A little warning to parents: those two teens who died at the rave dance party last week at the Coliseum may sadly be just a harbinger of more to come.

 

Ecstasy has long been the drug of choice for the rave crowd. One of the so-called "designer drugs" - a serious misnomer if ever there was one. "Ex" or MDMA as it is more properly called, is, in and of itself, a dangerous drug because of the cocktail of chemicals from whence it comes.

 

But, recent seizures by the police have shown something even more dangerous. North Vancouver RCMP, Sgt. Rick Winslow, who runs the drug section, says so-called Ecstasy seized in recent investigations has analyzed as much as 35 per cent methamphetamine and the rest a jumble of "filler."

 

Now this is a strong variation of speed, an upper that zips along the body's systems including heart and respiratory functions. It has long been the purview of the biker gangs who set up their own labs to make this crap.

 

But, at 35 per cent, it is much, much stronger than the uppers you used to get you through a night of cramming for finals when you were in school. No, this is something else again.

 

Especially when it is being sold as "Ex." The kids taking it are not expecting the jolt they get and especially if mixed with other chemical concoctions prevalent in the rave scene, it is potentially deadly.

 

Now, I'm not pre-supposing this is what killed those two kids. That is a job for the coroner. I am merely trying to warn parents what is now out there, yet another frightening danger to have to protect your kids from.

 

Bottom line, there is at least one homemade lab in the area that is putting out a highly concentrated methamphetamine and representing it to be something more benign, that is very dangerous for those who take it.

 

Tell your kids to be very, very careful.

 

-30-

 

 

 

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