column was published in the
Aug. 18, 1999)
soft laws easy target for abuse
By Leo Knight
boatload of illegal migrants washes up on our beaches.
the U.S. government is threatening to add Canada to the
"Majors" list of drug producing and trafficking
two events made big news last week and strangely enough, both
Monday in the National Post, Diane Francis reported on a
leaked Immigration Department memo citing the government of the
People's Republic of China essentially blaming our federal
government's policies for the illegal migrant problem from
to the document the message from the PRC was clear. "You
expect us to try and hold the lid on the boiling pot of illegal
migrants, while your refugee, welfare and legal systems continue
to put more kindling on the fire."
short, Canada's laws are too soft on the criminal element.
message in the second story from the U.S. is primarily the same.
the U.S. State Department report, documented last week in the Globe
& Mail, the Americans complained that our judges are
soft on narcotics crime and sentences are too light.
much of a revelation to those of us who pay attention to the
average sentence for a street level drug trafficker? Jail?
Hardly. A $200 or $300 fine is the cost of doing business.
sort of a licence fee paid periodically to a government itself
rife with corruption.
report also spoke of the lack of Canadian rules in the banking
industry which facilitates the money laundering so needed by the
organized crime groups to actually be able to use all the money
generated by their illegal activities.
in Canada, only transactions valued at over $10,000 are
reportable by the banks.
crooks simply employ mules to do nothing but purchase stocks,
bonds, bills and funds in amounts less than the 10 grand limit.
five or 10 different banks a day per mule and, well, you get the
Americans also pointed out that cutbacks in the RCMP have
seriously inhibited the force's ability to combat drug
is a no-brainer. The Mounties have to go, cap in hand, every
year to the bureaucrats in Treasury Board pleading their case
for the dosh needed to try to keep pace in the fight.
the current federal surplus exceeding $10 billion, there is
simply no excuse for the financial restrictions handcuffing the
police forcing them to cut all manner of services just to
maintain front-line reactive policing.
Globe quoted a U.S. DEA officer saying, "Canada is
just one big sieve. Tonnes of dope is just flowing across the
border and something needed to be done. Maybe this will wake
some people up in Canada."
the possibility of the U.S. adding Canada to the list of bad-boy
nations, a flurry of diplomatic measures has been unleashed by
the Chretien government in an attempt to forestall the sanction.
External Affairs spin doctors have been working overtime to
convince the media there is nothing to the cited report.
remains to be seen how successful those measures will be, but
the fact remains that successive Canadian governments have
allowed the situation to get out of control.
the government's reaction was to try and stop the U.S. action as
opposed to committing to stopping the criminals.
it is not just the trade in narcotics. It is virtually
everything to do with organized crime.
as a country, have done precious little to discourage the
world's criminals from coming to this country and conducting
their illicit activities virtually unimpeded save for the
efforts of the undermanned and underfunded police.
the police are just a piece of the justice system.
boatloads of migrants from the Fujian province in the People's
Republic of China demonstrate the same lack of commitment, just
in a different area of organized crime.
off, I take no quarrel with the migrants themselves.
the same position, who among us would not try to better our
position and perhaps try the same thing? But there are a couple
of realities here.
long as we do not come out and demonstrate that the trafficking
in human misery will not be tolerated, it will continue.
as long as we pander to the government of the PRC, they will do
nothing to stop it before it gets started.
face it, with the massive military machine of the PRC does
anyone really believe these ships could get very far without the
cooperation or at least the wilful blindness of their
government? The snakeheads who profit from people smuggling know
full well how to take advantage of the winds of politics.
PRC will allow this to go on until they can extract a
determination from Canada and the other western democracies to
adhere to a "one-China" policy.
long as we push for recognition of the government of Taiwan, the
PRC will allow, if not actively assist, their criminal groups to
go about their nefarious business unimpeded.
choices are simple. Either we detain illegal migrants until the
refugee process can be concluded and either deport or admit the
migrants or we knuckle under to the communists and ostracize
To continue in the manner we are will do nothing except increase the problem and we might just as well give up any pretence of control on our sovereignty.