Hang ‘em high, Part 2

Posted January 8th, 2011 in British Columbia, Canada by MarkOttawa

Further to this post,

Hang ‘em high

Holy justice! As close as it gets in Canada:

Ontario’s top court hikes sentences for convicted terrorists

Ontario’s highest court has come down hard on convicted terrorists, dramatically hiking prison sentences for the first Canadians convicted of violent jihadist activities…

another court brings down a (for Canada) judicial hammer:

Inderjit Singh Reyat sentenced to nine years for perjury in Air India trial

Inderjit Singh Reyat.
Photograph by: Ian Smith, PNG

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the Air India bombing, has been sentenced to nine years in jail for perjury at the trial of his accused co-conspirators.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan gave Reyat credit for 17 months in pretrial custody, meaning he will spend seven years, seven months more in jail [it does?].

The sentence was the highest ever in Canada for perjury, the previous longest jail term being six years from a case in Alberta…

Who would have thought that judges could turn out to be amongst the hardest-assed in our government? And there can be no suggestion of Islamaphobia in this case.


The Seinfeld Of News Reporting

Posted December 5th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

What do you do when a story that purports to say something actually says nothing? If you’re like me, you choose not to run the story and toss it in the dumpster where it belongs. Unfortunately the Winnipeg Free Press (via the Canadian Press) didn’t make that decision:

MONTREAL – The Harper government says it will introduce a plan this week to ensure a tragedy like the 1985 Air India bombing never happens again.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement today at a ceremony in Montreal, where ground was broken on a memorial dedicated to the victims of the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history.

An inquiry report released this summer catalogued a litany of federal failures before and after the attack, which killed 329 people, most of them Canadians.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has apologized on behalf of the federal government but hasn’t acted on other recommendations made in the report.

The recommendations include a one-time payment to family members of victims.

Kenney said the memorial will serve as a place for quiet contemplation to remember the victims.

Let’s break this story down into a single focal point. What is it saying? Well, if we’re believe the text, it’s saying that the government will introduce a plan to ensure that airplanes can’t be blown up ever again. And how does the government plan to accomplish this goal?

No idea. The story won’t tell us. Or it doesn’t know. It’s likely both.

I’m also struggling to figure out how the headline, which screams “Harper government to introduce plan that would prevent another Air India bombing”, is related to the story. All the story has is two sentences related to the headline, the substance of which is based entirely on something the immigration minister said at an Air India memorial. The rest of the story could be found on Wikipedia.

Preposterous claims in a headline deserve some factual evidence in the story. ‘Nuff said.

Abolish the RCCP

Posted June 18th, 2010 in Canada by MarkOttawa

That’s the Royal Canadian Contract Police.


The Air India inquiry effectively recommends it’s abolition:

VANCOUVER – The RCMP should stop providing police services to the provinces so the force can focus on national security, says a public inquiry report into the 1985 Air India bombings…

“Perhaps the time has arrived to re-assess the role of the RCMP in providing contractual policing services in many of the provinces,” wrote Air India public inquiry commissioner and former Supreme Court justice John Major.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is contracted to provide community policing services in all provinces and territories of Canada, except Ontario and Quebec.

The report says even if the RCMP’s mandate was limited to enforcing federal laws in a country as vast as Canada, it would be “ambitious.”

But when provincial and territorial responsibilities are factored in, the report says the RCMP’s mandate is too broad.

“This commission believes that, after nearly 80 years of contract policing arrangements, it would be appropriate for the government to give serious consideration to the advantages and disadvantages of the present policing structure in Canada,” it says.

“It might well be an opportune moment to put the emphasis on a national police force that is more focussed on federal matters and less occupied with provincial policing.”

The RCMP’s 20-year contracts for provincial and territorial policing expire in 2012…

Here’s what I wrote at Daimnation! in November 2007:

Some immodest proposals on federal policing

If today’s RCMP is not what it should be, what to do? I can think of no other developed country (and probably no others of any size) that has a national police force responsible for the following types of law enforcement (I confess I don’t know quite the jurisdiction of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary):

-municipal policing (Ontario and Quebec and many cities in other provinces excepted)

-rural policing (all provinces except Ontario and Quebec)

-All policing in the territories

-highway patrol (all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, and the RCMP also does this on federal roads in Ottawa)

-Organized crime (drugs etc.)

-National security (terrorism, espionage)

-Border policing

-White collar crime (sometimes, e.g. Karlheinz Schreiber).

I’m sure I missed a few things.

It seems to me that all provinces should provide their own municipal, rural, and highway policing, by the means of their own choice. There then should be separate federal law enforcement agencies to deal with, in cooperation with the forces in provinces and municipalities as required:

1) Serious organized crime and national security matters (there are many common techniques involved, and both rely greatly on intelligence)

2) Border, airport, and port policing (this function should be part of the Canada Border Services Agency–think Vancouver Airport; one service might have done better)

3) The territories

4) White collar crime (small and mainly civilian, that is to say lawyers)

5) VIP protection.

Mark C.

Damian adds: the RNC is responsible for law enforcement in St. John’s, Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South and Labrador City. The RCMP handles the rest of the province.

Sensible as such a major reform might be, I can’t see it happening in this country where almost all big changes now seem beyond us. In the case of the RCMP the provinces would howl (contract policing saves them quite a bit of money), the Conservative base out west would howl along with them, and the Liberals would not want to go near anything as controversial with a ten foot pole (no Tasers, remember).

Pity.  By the way, many years ago a Turkish friend of mine living in Canada made the acute observation that Canada was the only country he could think of in which a police force was the greatest national symbol (see link in first para–at least in the RoC I would amend).


Trial For Pathological Terrorist Liar Delayed Over “Racism”

Posted March 8th, 2010 in Canada by Adrian MacNair

Photo: Ian Smith/ PNG

In July of 2008, mass murderer and terrorist, Inderjit Singh Reyat walked out of prison and into a heroes welcome in Surrey, B.C., after serving just 20 years in prison for “manslaughter”. That charge came for building the Narita bomb that was destined for a second Air India flight when it exploded and killed two baggage handlers. To date, nobody has been punished for the first Air India flight 182 terrorist bombing by radical Sikhs that murdered 329 people.

22 days. That’s the average amount of time Mr.Reyat spent in prison for each of the 331 victims he butchered. The victims got the death penalty. Each and every last one of them.

The federal government has absolutely failed to bring anyone to justice for this act of of terrorism, and the case is a black mark on Canada’s history. Worse still, despite knowing that Mr.Reyat was involved in the mass murder of 331 people, and despite knowing that nobody had officially been punished for the crime of the first terrorist bombing that killed 329 people, the man was released on $500,000 bail back into his community in July of 2008.

He was set free by Appeal Court Justice Anne Rowles, reversing Associate Supreme Court Justice Patrick Dohm’s decision in March denying the Air India participant bail on the grounds that to do so would “undermine public confidence in the system.” Ms.Rowles kept her reasons for overturning the previous ruling a secret at the time.

Mr.Reyat was also charged with perjury for allegedly lying 27 times under oath during his September 2003 testimony at the trial of his co-conspirators Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri. Justice Ian Josephson characterized him as an “unmitigated liar under oath”. Mr.Reyat’s wife, who lives in Surrey, was convicted of welfare fraud eight years ago for accepting $100,000 of illegal payments arranged by Mr.Reyat’s co-conspirators.

Now, just as Inderjit Singh Reyat was about to face charges of perjury in court today, the jury was inexplicably dismissed from the B.C. Supreme Court, delaying the proceedings further.

Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan dismissed the jury before any evidence had been heard, based on the preposterous claim of “racism”. A jury of an original pool of 150 were pared down to 12 in the perjury case, but the entire jury was tossed out over allegations a juror had made a racist comment.

Justice McEwan said he got a letter from a juror about the alleged comment made in front of other jurors, and that it could impact the impartiality of the trial.

Which means that with Inderjit Singh Reyat, justice has once again been delayed.

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