column was published in the North
Shore News on
July 5, 2000)
Organized crime flourishes
By Leo Knight
of political inaction and inattention by the federal government
have allowed the various elements of organized crime to operate
with virtual impunity in this country.
warnings from the police including voluminous reports filed each
year to the House of Commons, the Chretien government still
doesn't get it. Or, conversely, they are deliberately working to
obfuscate the reality of the situation and frustrate police
efforts to combat the ever-increasing menace.
the revelations in the media last fall concerning Project
Sidewinder, the joint RCMP/CSIS initiative into the infiltration
of our country by elements of Asian organized crime and the
resulting uproar in the Commons, the Standing Committee on
Justice and Human Rights began a Sub-Committee on Organized
Crime. The sub-committee is made of members of all parties, but
is dominated by the Liberals and includes former Solicitor
General Andy "Loose Lips" Scott.
sole Canadian Alliance member of the sub-committee was SolGen
critic Jim Abbott. I say "was" because last week
Abbott resigned from the committee because they refused to hear
any testimony in public. One of the ramifications of this
decision was that no committee member could later bring up any
information, learned as a result of the hearings, subsequently
in the House during Question Period.
that former Foreign Services Officer Brian McAdam was slated to
testify, and would be alleging corruption and political
interference, this move by the Liberal dominated committee
ensured no embarrassing information would ever see the light of
protecting their political comrades has a price. It plays into
the hands of the very people they are mandated to investigate.
You see, the only way for organized crime to flourish is to do
so in secret, away from the scrutinizing eye of the media and
the public at large.
a reason they are called "secret societies."
for the record, has agreed to testify but only if the hearings
are held in public. Evidently, the last thing the Liberals want.
spoke with him last week after Abbott announced his decision to
retire from the sub-committee. While it's fair to say he was not
surprised at the latest series of events, he was also angry at
the continued efforts of a government to keep a lid on the
activities of organized crime in this country.
of the most important objectives of organized crime is simply to
be ignored. If there are politicians who deny or down play the
importance of organized crime and who refuse to talk about it
publicly, because it may antagonize the Chinese, Italian,
Russian or some other ethnic community, or because it may upset
the image of Canada, or a province, or a city as a crime-free
area, then organized crime has a license to do what it
pleases," said McAdam.
serious is the problem of organized crime in Canada? Consider
the comments of Deputy Commissioner Zaccardelli at the top of
this column. Then, also, consider the statements of R. James
Woolsey, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the
U.S.A. between 1993 and 1995.
threats from organized crime transcend traditional law
enforcement concerns. They affect critical national security
interests. Organized crime is a multi-billion dollar
transnational business. Profits from drug trafficking alone --
some $200 billion to $300 billion a year -- dwarf the GNP of
virtually all the 170 nations in the international system,"
crime can undermine the sovereignty of a state, although
criminal groups do not deliberately set out to do so. Indeed,
their preference is to ignore the country they operate in. But
when threatened by law enforcement, these groups respond with
every means available, from bribery to murder, to protect their
operations," concluded Woosley.
this, a UNDP report (United Nations) released in August, 1999:
"Organized crime syndicates are estimated to gross $1.5
trillion US a year. The sheer concentration of their power and
money criminalizes business, politics and government."
why all the secrecy of the sub-committee hearings? The problem
is global and there has been more than enough information made
available in the public domain to demonstrate the significance
of the problem and the fact we, as a country, do precious little
to combat the growing menace.
is my belief that corruption of government officials and
politicians is also one of the key reasons for the Triad
denial," says McAdam. "The Triads want to be ignored,
hidden and secret. I exposed them and suffered the consequences
of our government having corrupt officials in positions of
camera hearings will never succeed. It seems what this committee
wants to do is not protect the witnesses, but the politicians
from any unexpected revelations about how they allowed this mess
to grow exponentially," he explained.
issue is too vital to Canada to keep it all hidden,"
a matter of interest, I brought to McAdam's attention, the
efforts of a certain RCMP corporal, now working in Ottawa
Headquarters, who seems on a mission to destroy McAdam's
reputation. The corporal, who shall remain nameless for the
moment, is spreading the malicious gossip that McAdam, while
stationed in Hong Kong, forged immigration papers to bring his
mistress to Canada, and still sees her for secret trysts in
to say the allegation is totally groundless and is but another
demonstration of the political stakes and methods. If you can't
discredit the message, discredit the messenger. Tried, true and
Mountie involved is merely a political pawn and a discredit to
the force and the fight against organized crime and political
It is but the latest in a dirty, sordid game.