Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Political revenge or justice?

Last week the RCMP announced a single charge of Breach of Trust by a public official against Vice Admiral Mark Norman, the former second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The investigation was conducted by the RCMP’s National Division, the section responsible,ostensibly, for “sensitive and international” investigations. This is the same section that conducted the investigation of Senator Mike Duffy in the Senate expense scandal. The problem is that it reeks of politics and seems to have little to do with justice. Norman had in his portfolio oversight of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which was intended to be the replacement of the Protecteur class of naval supply ships. While the project had been underway for several years, a series of incidents led to the premature decommissioning of the HMCS Preserver and the HMCS Protecteur in 2014. The government of Stephen Harper understood the problem of not having our own naval supply ships. There aren’t any gas stations in the middle of any ocean. That meant our navy was limited in how far our ships could travel. The navy scrambled and rented a supply ship from the Chilean navy for the Pacific, but that was a limited arrangement. They were in the process of negotiating with Spain for a supply ship for the Atlantic coast but that never came to fruition. The Harper government changed contracting regulations that allowed them to do a sole-sourced contract when operational necessity merited. They then entered into an agreement with Davie Shipyards to convert...

In a world gone mad

As I watched events unfold in the UK this past week, I couldn't shake the feeling the world has truly gone mad.In Gleneagles at the G8 conference, events pretty much unfolded as predicted in last week's entry. The anarchists, waited for what they perceived as the right time and attacked the police lines.The police, ready as ever, repelled the assault and made a couple of hundred arrests over the course of three days.The media consistently referred to the anarchists and mayhem-makers as 'protesters.' They are nothing of the kind. Sir Bob Geldof called for a day of protest. Many thousands answered the call, lending their voice and their presence in support for the cause. They are protestors.People who hide behind balaclavas, armed with tire irons, bottles, rocks and petrol bombs are not protestors. They are thugs and need to be treated as such, especially by the media who seem to think they are the victims.As it was all unfolding according to script, the unthinkable happened in London. A series of bomb blasts turned the city into absolute chaos, shutting down the transit system and leaving 55 dead and hundreds wounded.The world was horrified. Well, except for the followers of radical Islam and quite likely the anarchists who were arrested in the violence at Gleneagles. They of course will blame Tony Blair for blindly following Bush into Iraq and whatever other nonsense their moribund brains come up with.There seems little doubt that al Qaeda factions were responsible. There is also...

Canada needs relief from the Liberals

The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation joined with various other political activists and a few Conservatives on Parliament Hill on Saturday to protest high gas prices. Or, more accurately, to protest the oppressive taxes charged on top of high gasoline prices."Let's work to ensure that consumer anger becomes voter anger and that this is an issue in the next federal election," said John Williamson federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation at the rally.Considering that taxes from all governments make up about 45% of the price of a litre of gas it seems to be a significant point that relief for consumers would best be provided if the leeches that masquerade as our federal government would back the taxes off even if only a little.But Finance Minister Ralph Goodale threw cold water on that request when he said lowering taxes would only provide minimal relief. But the kicker is what he followed that up with when he said the money would be better used by Ottawa and poured into federal programs.Really Ralph? Like what? Another Adscam? Perhaps an expansion of the Gun Registry? This is exactly the attitude that underlines why this country is in the state it's in. Why we're the highest taxed country in the G8 and businesses are taxed higher here than in any country in the world save and except the Communist country of China for God's sake.This country needs relief from the Liberals and more of their "programs." Leo [email protected]

The ‘Thought Police’ alive and well

Following today's appearance by former RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli it would seem that in today's Force, the buck, such as it is, doesn't stop anywhere. Since I first wrote Are the winds of change blowing in Ottawa? I have received email messages from police officers across the country. The men and women at the sharp ends of things in the service of this country are in agreement that something drastically needs to change in the culture of today's RCMP. One writer, I thought, was particularly poignant. I asked for and received permission to reprint his thoughts in this space as long as I witheld his name to protect his career. A sad statement in and of itself now isn't it? Here is his letter to me:**********************************************************************Much ink has been spilled with respect to recent and not so recent revelations of fraud, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the most senior levels of the RCMP. Although it may have been received with some degree of shock by the Canadian public, it’s a fair bet to state that no regular or civilian member of the RCMP would have been surprised by these headlines.The repercussions for the members who dared to speak out also came as no surprise. The words “culture of corruption” and “culture of vengeance”, attributed to members of parliament describing the RCMP, are all too fitting. Truer words have never been spoken. Any member, whether dealing with senior management or low level supervisors have undoubtedly felt the wrath for going...

A systemic murder

Another senseless murder of an innocent person committed by someone who should not have been on the streets but for a weak, broken justice system. Yesterday, police in Calgary charged Christopher James Watcheston, 21, with the murder of Arcelie Laoagan, a 41 year old mother of five whose battered body was found a week ago near a public transit station. He was on bail at the time of the murder.Lawyer and justice commentator Scott Newark had this to say in an email about this case. It's worth sharing:************************************************************So let's see.....guy gets charged with three assaults and doesn't make bail for a couple of weeks. That suggests maybe a history not revealed in story. Shortly after release he commits more crimes...while on bail which is literally a promise he wouldn't commit more crimes if court released him from charges of first set of crimes...but again he is released on bail and now charged in this murder.A) We should be keeping track of this "profile" because quite literally the state had the capacity to have prevented this crime by taking notice of his continuing criminality but chose....consciously...to let him go...again....and take a chance...again....B) There is a need for a review of the circumstances of the release of this person independent of the criminal trial. Did the Crown seek revocation of the original bail and oppose his release. If not, why not? Did the JP or provincial court judge reject such requests and order the release? Did someone say they would serve...

The bath is getting crowded

Well, as witch hunts go, Calgary Chief Jack Beaton certainly doesn't hold back. The story headlined on Prime Time Crime's front page today, Chief won't give up the hunt demonstrates just how out of control he is.Is it possible he does not realize that by his actions he is proving the Standfirm group were accurate in their assessment? They talked about bullying and retribution and failing to adhere to the Core Principles espoused, but apparently not practiced by this chief. I was in Calgary yesterday and had to covertly meet with a couple of Calgary cops. They described a climate of fear pervading the department. Members are trying to burn off lieu time hours, taking days off, calling in sick, leaving early and generally doing anything to avoid the Beaton freight train. Said one officer, "Paranoia is running rampant in HQ with many trying to avoid the Chief and his deputies at all costs. " And it didn't stop there. "The climate of fear and terror in CPS is enormous. I've never seen anything like it in my life!" And why? Because Beaton can't take criticism that certainly appears to have been well-founded. And, he is proving every day just how accurate that criticism was.And what's with the President of the Calgary Police Association? Let's take a look at the quote attributed to him in the Global stoy. Here's the quote:"There appeared to be about 15 people that were regular contributors," says Koenig. "Now, 15 people out of 2,200...

Justice delayed is justice denied

There’s an old legal maxim which says “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The phrase has been attributed to William E. Gladstone who was Prime Minister of the UK for 12 years spread over four terms in the mid to late 19th century. But the concept goes back to the Magna Carta of 1215, clause 40 which reads, "To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” Yesterday the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) issued a media release saying there would be no charges against a member of the RCMP resulting from an in-custody death that resulted from an incident on February 14th, 2015. The man died in hospital on February 21st, 2015. I shook my head and read it again. Could it really have taken nearly three years to reach a conclusion in the case? What could possibly be so complicated that it would take that long for a process to determine what happened? The circumstances seem fairly straight forward. Jacobus Jonker, 53, was arrested by Smithers RCMP resulting from a domestic dispute. His daughter called 9-1-1 saying her father was drunk, holding a knife and was “really aggressive.” She remained on the line with the dispatcher reporting that he had gone to his gun safe and taken out a shotgun, that he may be suicidal and was concerned he would shoot her. When the responding officer arrived, later to be the so-called subject officer, Jonker was standing in the door. The officer called for him to walk...

Harper takes advantage of Martin’s delirium

I realize it’s early in the campaign yet and far too soon to be making any predictions, but it certainly seems that Conservative leader Stephen Harper has seized the momentum out of the blocks.Thus far he has unveiled a new plank of the Tory platform every day including his promise to trim two points off the hated GST, something that resonates with most, if not all Canadians.Prime Minister Paul Martin has stumbled out of the gate and even taken the first weekend off to regroup. But before he limped back to 24 Sussex, Martin came out with one of the most inane comments ever uttered in any election campaign in this country’s history.This appeared in a “brief” in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen:Martin Makes His Pitch to Asian Canadian Voters"Sometimes election campaigns can travel to so many cities and towns in a day it gets hard to remember what time it is or where you are. But Prime Minister Paul Martin appeared to forget what country he was in yesterday. During a series of interviews with Chinese media organizations, Mr. Martin attempted to explain to the interviewer how important the Chinese Canadian community is to the country. In fact, he announced that Canada has geographically moved its borders to be closer to them. "What we really are saying is we're a major Asian country," Mr. Martin told Omni TV, to roars of laughter from the Canadian media watching the interview."Canada a major Asian country? Geographically moved our borders to be closer...

An affront to the brave

Being Canadian means having to accept stupidity disguised as political correctness. I have spent much of this week on planes moving between Alberta and BC and back and forth. I was making my way at Calgary Airport to the baggage carrousal the other day and I watched a number of soldiers in battle fatigues clearing security on their way to the front lines of the war on terror being waged by extreme Islamist thugs against western democracies. In the same week as an addle-brained spokesman for the Taliban claimed they were targetting Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan deliberately in order to have an effect on the current federal election campaign, I watched as our soldiers were being subjected to physical searches by CATSA security guards with names like Ali and Mahmoud. The female baggage screener wore a Muslim head scarf. There was something wholly incongruous and hypocritical about what I saw. I harbour no illusions about the efficacy of airport security in Canada. There is no doubt is it little more than an expensive pantomine to create the illusion of security for the travelling public in the post-9/11 world. But, really, couldn't we really add some actual effect to the illusion? And I have to admit that it just pissed me off to watch a Canadian soldier who has been security cleared to a level the CATSA guard could never aspire to, being searched, in combat uniform, before getting on a plane to defend this country from the religious zealots who threaten the world and...

The Lunatic fringe

While I would never credit the Anti Poverty Committee with any significant ability to engage in any level of critical thinking, they seem do have outdone themselves today for blatent stupidity. While reading my morning Province newspaper, I came across a newsbrief stating the anti poverty group had planned a march on the downtown office of Vancouver MLA Lorne Mayencourt. According to their website, they are intent on presenting Mayencourt with their "People's Budget." They are demanding that the BC Liberals spend the budget surplus on housing the homeless and raising welfare rates. They are, apparently, planning on "direct action" if Mayencourt doesn't speak to them. They also said the expect the police to respond in a "violent manner." Given their performance last week in the three hundred block of East Hastings, it would be more accurate to say they will do everything they can to force the police to engage them physically. Well, I guess they will get what they want then. Mayencourt will, unfortunately, be unable to meet with them when they show up on his doorstep. He is on holiday in Mexico. Idiots.Leo [email protected]

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