Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive April  7, 2012)

Justice should be colour blind

By Bob Cooper


The fact that 22 year old Del Louie won’t do a day in jail for brutally sucker-punching Coast Mountain bus driver Charles Dixon (Conditional sentence for assault) was best summed up by CKNW’s Jon McComb who acknowledged Louie’s unfortunate background but asked rhetorically why his victim should bear the brunt of it.

The public has weighed in on the fitness of the conditional sentence handed down last week by Provincial Court Judge Karen Walker in no uncertain terms so I’m not going to dwell on it here.  Rather I’m going to discuss a couple of factors that Judge Walker was required to consider in arriving at Louie’s sentence.  The mere act of questioning these things will have Lefty social engineers reeling with self-righteous hysteria but here goes.

Both Section 218(2)(e) of the Criminal Code and the Gladue Case (Supreme Court of Canada – 1999) require judges to consider all alternatives to incarceration particularly in the case of Aboriginal Offenders.  The sentencing principles set out in Gladue were reaffirmed in another case last month (Aboriginal history must factor in sentences, SCC says).  Writing for the majority, Justice Louis Lebel held that this does not amount to a “race-based discount on sentencing” but is rather a “remedial provision designed to ameliorate the serious problem of overrepresentation of Aboriginal People in Canadian prisons and to encourage sentencing judges to have recourse to a restorative approach to sentencing.”

With respect M’Lord, Balls.   It most certainly is a race-based discount and no amount of weasel words like ‘remedial provision designed to ameliorate….’ can change that.  These provisions were brought in by Liberal politicians and liberal judges seeking to assuage a collective case of White Man’s guilt.   While no one can deny past mistreatment of Aboriginals it’s not like they are the only race that’s ever suffered in this country so where’s the discount for the Chinese, the Japanese, or descendents of the passengers on the Komagata Maru?  Fair is fair, isn’t it?   

I’ve always felt that anything, particularly in the law, that bestows an advantage or disadvantage on any person or group based upon race is ipso facto racist and there is simply no such thing as good racism despite what liberals would have you believe.  It’s both wrong and divisive and one has only to look at the doctrine of ‘affirmative action’ (designed to ‘ameliorate’ past discrimination) which has been one of the biggest setbacks to race relations in the United States.  Call me crazy, but I’d rather not be treated by doctors, defended by lawyers, or helped by cops who got into their respective professions on anything but merit.

When you stop and think about it, these principles are an insult to Aboriginals who have worked hard, overcome adversity, and made something of themselves.  Don’t want to be ‘overrepresented’ in prison?   Don’t commit crime.  Many others have managed not to.  Treating people like adults means holding them accountable.

In addition to being a vicious thug with a violent past who left his victim with life-changing injuries, Louie is only ½ Aboriginal but apparently gets the full discount.  So what is an ‘Aboriginal’ in law?  Louie also has a history of breaching the same sort of conditions that accompanied this sentence.  While the law requires judges to ‘consider’ Aboriginal heritage, it doesn’t preclude them from finding that the brutal circumstances of the crime and danger to the public far outweigh those considerations.  It would have even been open to Judge Walker to have ‘considered’ Louie’s Aboriginal heritage and given him five years because under the same circumstances she’d have given a white guy ten.

Both Gladue and Section 218 put the lie to the adage that all men are equal under the law and it’s time the present government did something about it.



Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver policeman.  He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.



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