A year later, and Liberal ‘Chicken Littles’ are still preaching that the world has ended-
A review of Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bill C-10
With the passing of semi-unpopular Omnibus Bill C-10 (also known as the ‘Safe Streets and Communities Act’) in March of 2012, one would think, that after over a year, the online chatter and debate regarding this supposed controversial bill would have died down. Yet, time and time again, I find myself coming across critics, pundits and bloggers doing everything in their power to discredit the act through any means necessary.
Let’s all go to ‘Friend’s House’ to resist Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bills… Seems legit, right?
When the bill was first set in motion, the majority of Liberals and the NDP demonstrated, yet again, that they want to keep violent criminals, child molesters, rapists, drug dealers, gang members, and pimps on our streets – but only because it suits their political agenda of trying to oust the current administration.
With the steady uproar of the opposition and Leftist activism rising up together nationwide to fight the new(ish) Harper initiative, I cannot help but wonder how the general population is not completely dumbfounded as to why. Who in their right mind would ever want shorter sentences for child molesters, rapists, violent criminals, hardcore drug dealers and pimps? The answer is nobody, not even an actual Leftist.
In fact, the truth is quite simple. The majority of information regarding the recent Omnibus that is being distributed online at an alarming rate, is, for the most part, either fabricated, or completely misleading. Many of the sources I have seen on social media have obviously not even read the act nor even breached the surface, satisfied by using other misinformed Leftist media outlets to fuel their own version of ‘saving Canada from the tyrannical Harper’.
One of the most ridiculous notions I’ve even seen bloggers use as a defense for combating the recent Omnibus Bill is a scenario in which extending criminal sentences results in deprivation to the convicts’ families. The primary bread-winner is behind bars and unable to provide for them. They imply that shortening the sentence will relieve their hardship never mind the fact that the convict, himself never consider the affect his criminal actions would have on his own family nor that of the victims’ family.
I even remember arguing with a friend of mine because they were literally convinced that C-10 was based solely on not allowing individuals pardons ever again, as well as resurrecting old charges that had been pardoned in the past. This is a case of a story that grows bigger and badder every time it’s told, to the point where this runaway train of propaganda has everyone believing that Harper’s intent is to single-handedly promote the spread of AIDS. Organisations such as AIDS Action Now take a deliberately anti-conservative standpoint and will use every opportunity to defame new legislation of any kind. www.aidsactionnow.org features a homepage headlined “The Conservative Party of Canada is bad for our health”.
Maintaining that sex offenders behind bars will be more likely to contract HIV because of longer sentences is wholeheartedly laughable. In fact, from a common sense point of view, it seems a better option that they be spreading it in an environment of concentrated criminality than to innocent victims on the outside. For example, in February 2012 an HIV positive man, Apay Ogouk, facing sexual assault charges in Winnipeg came to Calgary and continued committing sexual crimes. He spread the disease (in one known case, with a minor) with no restraint or remorse. It should also come as no surprise, then, that he was also born in the Sudan, a country that holds women in low regard. Ogouk was so faithful to his native country’s cultural norms, that he still needed an Arabic interpreter to face our legal system, despite living in Canada for almost ten years. It took the second arrest in Calgary to finally deny him bail, and put his disease spreading rampage to an end. For more on this story, see: http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/02/02/bail-denied-for-hiv-positive-perp
One of the greatest opponents of the Omnibus was the CCLA, or the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. My viewpoints fall far within the spectrum of Conservatism, however, on occasion, I find myself to a small extent in agreement with the CCLA. Unlike most of their leftist ‘keyboard warrior’ brethren, the CCLA is actually a respectable body of intellectuals that not only read the bill in full, but outlines their contentions with Bill c-10 in six easy to read and understand points-five of which I will discuss in detail. For the complete summation of their stance see http://ccla.org/omnibus-crime-bill-c-10/
Point 1, as per the CCLA
Broad and vague amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act: Amendments give a very broad mandate to deny any foreign national a work permit and do not specify what factors would be used to target an individual as ‘at risk’ of being exploited. It is also poor public policy to punish foreign individuals who are vulnerable to abuse as opposed to addressing the Canadian employers who exploit these populations.
Although vague, the amendments are, indeed, a step in the right direction. As well, the Omnibus covers harsher punishments for human trafficking, so, it seems to me that foreign nationals being exploited in a Canadian scenario would be better protected by the newer laws.
Rwandan war criminal? Serbian warlord?! Fanatical Islamic Fundamentalist?!? Here you go!
Point 2, as per the CCLA
Hollow expansion for the rights of victims: Both torture and terrorism are serious crimes of international concern. Numerous Canadian victims of torture have been unable to access meaningful justice in Canadian courts– and yet the government has chosen only to make these amendments available to victims of terrorism. Even victims of terrorism would have to have their cases ‘pre-approved’ by the government, which has the ability to decide which governments can and cannot be sued. Canada should not play politics with victims of torture and terrorism.
Here, I believe the CCLA may have a valid point. It is unfair for the Canadian government to state on one hand that “torture and terrorism are serious crimes of international concern“ and then, backpedal and inform victims of torture and terrorism that their cases will only be pursued if their complaints are made against approved enemies of the state.
Point 3, as per the CCLA
Unconstitutional use of mandatory minimums: The use of mandatory minimums for broad and vague underlying offences may result in the imposition of unjust, grossly disproportionate sentences. The drug provisions include low-level drug offences – producing as little as six marihuana plants – and extremely broad aggravating factors which would target all those who rent or live in a house they do not own. The child pornography provisions criminalize, and would impose mandatory minimum jail sentences, for the consensual, legal sexual activities of youth and young adults. There is little evidence that mandatory minimums provide any deterrent impact, enhance community safety or lower crime rates. There is also little evidence to suggest that they will significantly impact sentences for the most serious offenders – who are already being sentenced to significant amounts of jail time by the judiciary. Rather they will handcuff the judiciary, preventing them from responding to unique facts and exceptional personal circumstances.
First off, a ‘point’ starting off with the words, ‘May result…’ is hardly a bullet proof case. Secondly, this part of the bill literally only affects the hardcore criminal, putting a harsher sentence and more time on your sentence –
You would have to be a drug dealer (as little as six marihuana plants) or child pornographer for this bill to affect you. It also claims to be ‘unconstitutional’, but in the end, how many rights should a drug dealer or child pornographer have? How many ‘unique facts and exceptional personal circumstances’ can there be in a case of statutory rape and child pornography? There is little evidence to support the effects of longer sentencing being a deterrent, but it is 100% fact that if these people are behind bars longer, they will have less of an opportunity to initiate their loathsome crimes.
Point 4, as per the CCLA
Prison conditions and disparate impact of amendments on aboriginal peoples and persons requiring mental health care: The proposed will amendments greatly increase the prison population, and are likely to have a disproportionate and devastating impact on already-marginalized communities – particularly Aboriginal peoples and those with mental health needs. These populations are already greatly over-represented in correctional institutions, and existing programs and services are already
ineffective and insufficient to keep up with general demand. The elimination of conditional sentences for a range of offences is particularly concerning, as these flexible sentencing tools are used by the judiciary to allow single mothers to continue working while serving their sentence and preventing the breakup of families, or to ensure that those with underlying mental health needs get the community treatment that best ensures their recovery and rehabilitation.
Is a victim accosted by an aboriginal or mentally disabled individual any less a victim because of the race or mental capability of the aggressor? Isn’t clumping ‘aboriginal peoples’ into the same category as ‘persons requiring mental care’ not only a gross generalization, but also racist?
This part of the bill that the CCLA is referring to focuses primarily on the ‘special cases’ scenarios that unjust systems have used time and time again to thwart true justice. Such as in the case of a 22 year old Aboriginal man who attacked a 55 year old bus driver in Vancouver over refusing to pay fare. He injured the man’s neck and back, damaging his brain to the point that he has cognitive issues as well as the necessity for a plate and screws to keep his head intact after the fight. The aboriginal man’s native ancestry was considered a mitigating factor, and much to the dismay of the victim, the assailant walked free with no jail time. For the full story see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/man-who-punched-bus-driver-spared-jail-time-due-to-his-native-ancestry/article4098224/
What about the case regarding the rape of a young girl in Calgary who will never see justice now because her trial was ‘delayed for too long’, and so the case was dismissed. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2009/12/02/calgary-rape-charges-stayed-trial-delay.html
. The judge stated that “the delay is almost entirely attributable to the Crown,” and, “it is in large part unexplained and unjustified.” Truly comforting words to a young woman who was found naked and bleeding a cold October night five years ago.
With examples like these, it isn’t hard to come to the conclusion that our system is broken, and long overdue for a sorely needed complete and total overhaul.
Point 5, as per the CCLA
Unconstitutional amendments to the International Transfer of Offenders Act: The amendments attempt to give the Minister an unconstitutional level of discretion over when Canadian citizens, incarcerated abroad, can return to Canada. From a policy perspective, facilitating such transfers enhances public safety as rehabilitation and
reintegration is enhanced when individuals are close to their families and have access to high-quality, culturally-appropriate programs. When offenders serve a portion of their sentence in Canada, it also allows the government to create records of their crimes and monitor their rehabilitation. Absent such transfers, offenders would simply return to Canada at the end of their sentence without any records or legal restrictions on their activities.
I have seen the Canadian system work tirelessly to return ‘true’ Canadians home as in the case of Ken Hechtman. He was detained in Afghanistan and accused of being an American spy. The Canadian government dispatched diplomats, Paul Gareau and Phillipe de Varennes, who were able to prove he was simply a journalist, securing his release on December 1, 2001.
Sadly, I have also seen the Canadian system defend enemies of Canada who, for the liberties inherent to holding a Canadian citizenship,obtain and use it to defend themselves after committing criminal and often treasonous acts abroad. This is a growing concern among a multi-cultural society like ours, and needed to be addressed. To ignore the fact that we have homegrown terrorists in this day and age would be disastrous and foolhardy. To defend ‘Canadian’ citizens, who have no respect or appreciation for our society, and simply want to use our country as a haven and our government as a guardian, protector and sponsor is unacceptable. For an example please read: http://globalnews.ca/news/460010/nationalism-and-religious-obligation-sending-canadian-youth-to-join-overseas-terrorist-organizations/
A few other points for discussion regarding Bill C-10:
Contrary to the beliefs of some, the RCMP and Police were not being granted the power to suspend pardons, nor were they given extra powers of arrest.
It had nothing to do with allowing the government legal access to your personal information (though, in all honesty, 90% of the population literally presents that information to law enforcement via social networking), and no, the bill had nothing to do with harsher punishments for trivial offenses like speeding tickets and other menial crimes.
So, where as a nation, has our common sense gone? When did we forget the age old adage, “Don’t believe everything you hear”? And where have all of our morals and integrity gone? It seems the current online population would rather do or say anything to discredit the ‘unpopular’ politician to seed their own.
Integrity and morality have long given way for online vanity, self-righteousness and the attempt to garner admiration and attention. One would rather lie and be considered a ‘hero’ of socialist liberalism than tell the truth and be branded a conservative. I hope those ‘Likes’ are worth it as you proverbially rob Peter to pay Paul, and our society takes a mass misinformation nosedive.
In closing, although I feel that last year’s Bill was a step in the right direction, I cannot help but think that Canada has a long way to go. Our system is broken. At present, our system would rather keep criminals near our loved ones than in a prison. We see it in the news every day. “Police issue warning – High risk possible repeat offender being released…”
We need to stop letting them out! We need to stop hoping they’re not going to do what we know they’re going to do. I hope to one day live in a country where ‘High Risk’ offenders are no longer allowed to walk our streets.
And maybe one day we’ll see the victim as a person, and not just as a statistic.