Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Those truculent Liberals

  So, it would seem the prospect of our annual federal election has dissipated for the moment thanks largely to NDP leader Jack Layton's ability to master the incredibly obvious.  Pity Michael Ignatieff hadn't the same basic skill set.   But then Liberal arrogance is nothing new in this country.   I was amused to read the story that ran today on the amount of money spent by various government departments on golf balls and tees.  The winner was the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation who spent a whopping $37,419 on golf balls and $7,967 on tees. Wow!     I'm a golfer and I can't get my head around how many tees $7,967 would buy.   But bureaucrats with a sense of entitlement spending our money on frivalous things is nothing new. Would that it were.  No, what was really interesting from that story was this comment that appeared on the CTV website:   It's a comfort during this recession to see that the conservatives are such wise managers of money, end of joke, laugh here! How dare they complain that the Liberals wasted money? Parliament worked until the conservatives took charge and they have wasted how much taxpayer money on their annual quest for a majority? Millions upon millions. Canada can't afford the conservatives - we can do better with the Liberals!   It's hard to know where to begin with that blind stupidity.   In the first instance, no matter what political critics might like to stand up on their hind legs and bleat about, profligate spending on stupid things by entitled bureaucrats...

Let the punishment fit the crime

Yesterday's story in The Vancouver Sun (Dismissed in 2004, 2 Mounties keep jobs) should be the final chapter in the determined effort by the RCMP to get rid of two North Vancouver members for "trash talking" in text messages to each other using their on-board police computers. That Constables Sat Dhaliwal and Deri Kinsey used inappropriate and offensive language is not in issue.  There is no doubt  they should not have said some of the things they did.  But the knee jerk reaction to fire them was wrong.  So said the Federal Court of Canada in 2007 and has now been upheld by an RCMP adjudication board. I can't imagine how many cops would be left standing if everyone was to lose their job for making an inappropriate comment or using a sexist or racist reference at some point in their career.  Does that make all cops sexist or racist?  Not in the least.  Hands up anyone who has never repeated or listened to a sexist or racist joke.  Ever tell a blonde joke?  That is sexist.  An Irish joke? That is racist.  But it doesn't make you sexist or racist.  It makes you capable of laughing at ourselves. Policing is a tough, emotional job.  You deal with the worst society has to offer on a day to day basis.  The only regular folks police typically deal with are victims.  Everyone else is either a criminal, thug, addict, gangster or smart ass punk.  You learn early on in the game that your...

Popular spin blurs facts in Marshall case

Donald Marshall Jr. died this week at age 55.  That is too young to shuffle off this mortal coil in most cases.   The mainstream media (read trendy lefty) have tried to portray Marshall over the years as an icon and a rights activist.  He was nothing of the sort.   In 1971, when he was 17, Marshall and his partner in crime, Roy Ebsary, set out to commit a violent robbery of a man in a Sydney, NS park.  During the course of that crime, the intended victim Sandy Seale, was stabbed and died as a result. Marshall was charged in the case and convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Which, I would argue, was emminently fair.  However, the politically correct got involved and because he was aboriginal and he didn't actually wield the knife, (Ebsary did) he became an  icon and was painted as "wrongfully convicted."     He may have been wrongfully convicted of the specific charge, but that is legal hair-splitting.  Marshall deserved to be in jail for his participation in the crime that resulted in the death of Sandy Seale and that is the reality the hand-wringers simply won't deal with.     I suppose there is a legal argument here, but there is equally an argument that as a party to the offence of robbery, the murder that resulted made him as guilty as though he wielded the knife.  And in that case, he was not wrongfully convicted in the least.   And The Criminal Code of Canada supports that...

Tasers have a role

In the wake of the recommendations for police use of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs) or Tasers if you will, by Judge Thomas Braidwood conducting the inquiry into the death of Polish traveler Robert Dziekanski at YVR, the government of Alberta also issued its own recommendations (remarkably similar to Braidwood's) to police in that Province. What I found interesting was the RCMP took a couple of days to respond before saying they will abide by the Solicitor General’s new guidelines.  Oh, to have been a fly on the wall of K Division headquarters listening to the discussions.  Do we or don’t we? The RCMP, as the federal police force in Canada, are subject to the RCMP Act for matters of legal procedures, discipline and such. The Commissioner’s Regs and Orders is the other 'Bible' that guides the RCMP.  Provincial legislation such as the BC Police Act or the Alberta statute governing municipal police forces simply don’t apply to the RCMP. They were under no legal obligation to even respond to the directive put out by the Alberta Solicitor General.  Yet, they acquiesced in short order.  Why? Well, one suspects it has everything to do with the pending contract for provincial policing services due in 2012.  But, colour me a cynic. Tasers have been in widespread police use since the early '90s and have been controversial in that time because of indirectly related deaths.  Taser use has even spawned new psycho-babble terminology such as "excited delerium." Braidwood delivered, for the most part, well-considered and...

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