Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for December 2005

Martin spins to defend Minister under the gun

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Prime Minister Paul Martin’s spirited defense of embattled Finance Minister Relph Goodale is admirable in his loyalty to a trusted lieutenant but certainly nothing but an attempt at spinning a bad situation.

While speaking to the media, Martin said, “I believe that an investigation, as does he, will clear the air — including the allegation as to whether or not a leak actually took place. The RCMP have said that there is no evidence of wrongdoing on Mr. Goodale’s behalf, his office or his department.”

One has a very difficult time believing the RCMP would advise the Prime Minister of something as definitive as that just as the investigation is beginning. How could they possibly know what evidence they will or will not uncover when they have not yet begun the investigation?

Martin’s spin is nonsense and designed to deflect the calls for the resignation of a Minister under the cloud of a police investigation.
In the British parliamentary system, the Minister is responsible for the actions of his or her department. Traditionally, the Minister should fall on his sword should there be wrongdoing uncovered in the ministry. Equally, should that Minister be under a cloud of suspicion, then he or she should resign pending reinstatement when that cloud is lifted.
But, it would seem that only happens with an ethical government. That apparently does not include the government of Paul Martin.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

December 29, 2005 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Talk is cheap

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The rhetoric is flying fast and furious from politicians of all stripes as the country tries to come to grips with the indiscrimate shooting that occurred on Boxing Day in Toronto.
The Prime Minister was fast out of the gate with a bunch of empty words that said exactly nothing about bringing about the type of change necessary to combat the senseless violence. Not that I would expect much else from him, but a real leader would stand up and meet the problem head on.
NDP leader Jack Layton got a little closer to the mark with his comments. “These crimes remind us that we must get illegal handguns off our streets in Toronto and across Canada. To do that we need tougher border controls, tougher sentencing for weapons offences and tougher anti-gang policing, prosecutions and sentencing.”
Sounds good until the very next thing out of his mouth. “We need more effective witness-protection programs and more compassionate victim assistance. We also need to get tougher — much tougher — on poverty, unemployment and social exclusion.”
Uh-huh. More socialist claptrap. I mean really, social exclusion? We are the most inclusive country in the world.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper at least seemed to focus on the issue when he said, “I am committed to doing everything necessary to crack down on gun violence, including increasing support for front-line policing; stopping the revolving door on our nation’s sentencing system by introducing mandatory prison sentences; enforcing Canada’s tough gun control laws; stopping the flow of illegal guns at our borders; as well as supporting community programs for youth at risk. I will have more to say about this in the days to come.”
I suspect they all will have more to say on the issue in upcoming days. And what they say will be telling as the events in Toronto have propelled crime up the list in election issues. Only Harper seems to have grasped this fact thus far.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

December 28, 2005 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

A Christmas filled with horror

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The news started breaking around the supper hour on Boxing Day. By this morning the full horror of what happened in a busy shopping area in downtown Toronto was clear. Two groups of rival thugs started tossing shots at each other with the streets full of people taking advantage of the best shopping day of the year.

When the smoke cleared, seven people had been shot and one was dead, a 15 year old girl out shopping with her family. An innocent victim of the escalating insanity dead with her whole life in front of her. It is absolutely outrageous.

These little pissants don’t give a damn about the rules of a civilized society and it is way beyond time we recognized that in this country and started doing something to take back our streets.

We should all be sick and tired of the pablum we are being spoon-fed telling us that our sad excuse of a justice system is working. We are constantly being told that these scumbags deserve more chances and that jail doesn’t work because they will be eventually let out.

I call Bullshit!
When a 15 year old girl can’t go shopping with her family without getting shot, something is horribly wrong. And that something is the concept that the rights of the accused supersedes the rights of society to be protected. The concept of lawyers and the judiciary worshipping before the altar of the Charter in this country must stop.
Vancouver has the highest property crime rate on the continent. Surrey and Abbotsford, both suburbs of Vancouver, are number one and three respectively for the highest rates of car theft in North America. Toronto is setting historical records for the numbers of shootings and the number of handgun related deaths this year is twice the previous record. Edmonton is having a banner year in homicides and gang violence in Calgary is at an all time high.
The proliferation of organized crime is out of control and the government has done precious little to stem the rising tide.
Enough is enough.
We are in the middle of a federal election and the main issue in this country should be crime and the protection of society not whether or not Stephen Harper would call a free vote on gay marriage. Who cares if two men want to call themselves married? As long as the churches in this country can follow their respective doctrines and not be forced to participate, who really cares? This is not a campaign issue, it’s a red herring put out there by a government bereft of ideas or morals.
We all have an opportunity in front of us to send a message that the status quo is not acceptable. And I’m not talking about the theft of millions of dollars by the Liberals.
No, I’m talking about demanding our politicians understand their primary duty is to protect the population as a whole and not just special interest groups, friends and party workers. They should then tell us exactly how they are going to do that. And then, and only then, consider whether they deserve your vote.
Our country is at a crossroads. This is not a left or right issue, this is a right and wrong issue. It is wrong to let the criminals do as they please, to snub their noses at society and then get no barriers placed in front of them to halt their criminal behaviour.
The murder yesterday of an innocent teenaged girl in Toronto is so outrageous it should wake up even the most somambulent of voters. I want to hear what everyone running for public office is going to do to fix a horribly broken system.
Enough is enough.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

December 27, 2005 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Martin just doesn’t get it

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Prime Minister Paul Martin’s proposed ban on handguns is further proof that he just doesn’t get it.

Crime is a huge problem in this country. Certainly the bodies falling on the streets of our cities is cause for concern, but this is no more a solution to gunfire on the streets than the gun registry was a solution to a lunatic misogynist like Marc Lepine.

Criminals have it easy in this country. All criminals – from shoplifters to Mafia kingpins and all stops in between. There are no meaningful consequences for committing crimes in this country. It is no more complicated than that.

Justice, such as it is, takes far too long to be delivered and when decision is finally rendered, it provides no solace for victims nor protection for the public. But, and more importantly, neither does it provide deterrence or punishment for the criminal. Well, nothing meaningful anyway.

Giving a street thug probation for breeching a probation order is not justice. Yet, that is the practical reality every day across this country. What about jail you ask? Not in this country. It is exceptionally difficult to go to jail in Canada for anything short of homicide and even then I’m still shaking my head at the conditional sentences given to the street racers convicted of criminal negligence causing death for killing Irene Thorpe.

If Martin really wanted to attack the proliferation of gun crime in our streets all he need do is amend the Criminal Code to tell the courts what to do and not let those ermine clad wonders on the Supreme Court bench tell the country what is good for us. Take back the country from the liberal social engineers who are convinced that all people will fit their image of what a good person is and will change their evil ways if given enough chances.

Commit a crime with a gun? Simple solution, you go to jail for years, not days. You don’t get a conditional sentence. You don’t get to piss about on probation. This is no different than stopping a puppy from peeing on your carpet. The puppy sees some consequences for his actions and eventually the behaviour is modified until it is acceptable.

Handguns have been tightly controlled in this country since 1934. According to StatsCan, two thirds of all gun related homicides are committed with handguns and 84% of those are committed with unregistered handguns. The Liberals have spent $2 billion on their stupid long-barrel gun registry and what has that achieved? Nada, nothing, zilch. Any legislation to further control handguns will not prevent one single, solitary death. But, knowing Martin it will probably cost a lot of money and employ a lot of bureaucrats who can speak both official languages.

Martin doesn’t get it and he never will.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

December 8, 2005 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Harper takes advantage of Martin’s delirium

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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 to Asia? Has he lost all touch with reality?

Harper has been strong thus far in deliberately and methodically saying what a Conservative government will do. Martin is musing about Canada’s place in Asia? The 60’s were apparently good to him.

Then there was NDP leader Jack Layton in Vancouver on the weekend trying to justify having a convicted thief on the slate when he actually said disgraced former MP Svend Robinson was an example in his behaviour.

“Svend has a long history of serving his community and standing up for people on many issues, and I think his behaviour, given what happened, has been exemplary and Canadians and his voters will certainly understand that and appreciate that,” said Layton in response to reporter’s questions.

Really? Well, this Canadian voter does not understand that. Robinson got caught stealing a woman’s diamond ring worth over $50,000. He claimed he had some type of brain cramp. Well, whatever. He stole and got caught. The last thing this country needs is another thief in Ottawa. The Liberals have provided enough of them.

This election was driven because of the systemic corruption in the federal Liberal party. The combined opposition said the government lost its moral authority to govern. If ethics is the primary issue, one wonders how Layton can possibly defend the actions of Robinson with a straight face. But then again, Paul Martin thinks we are no longer on the North American continent.

All in all, it would seem, a good week for Stephen Harper.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

December 4, 2005 at 11:43 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment