Thursday 5 March 2015

Working in Montréal today --Smoke, mirrors and iron bars

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Crime is falling in Canada.  Falls each year.

Since 2009 murder has fallen from 600 and change to 505 in 2013.  In fact that is the lowest rate of murders in Canada since 1966.

Yet, the Harper gov't continues to shove crime bills down our throats.   The latest bill is the 'life-without-parole' bill which calls for 35 years before parole instead of the current 25, but it also includes something else.  The role of Cabinet in release decisions.

Figure I would let that sink in a bit.

In 1959 Canada created the National Parole Board.  It is the Board that administers, reviews, enforces, revokes and monitors parole releases and those releasees.  It is non political, their  mandate is public safety and offender rehabilitation.  The gov't passes laws (those tend to be political) and the Judiciary applies those laws and when applicable sentences offenders to punishment.  Now the gov't will get a routine second pass at individuals found guilty of crimes.

It will be a bit off for Cabinet.  A few bills to discuss, lunch in the cafeteria --are they still serving seal meat? -- and an inmate gets dragged in wearing shackles for a parole hearing.  What a waste of time and what a step backwards from division of powers and responsibility.

But what can we expect from Harper?  I recall back in 2010 they socked the taxpayers with a large tax bill to build more prisons, yet it is not just murder that is down, crime overall is down in Canada.  Back in 2010 Stockwell Day ..

Hey wait a second Uncle Daniel, wasn't there suppose to be a plebiscite or referendum to determine if Stockwell Day was to be renamed Doris Day?

Yeah, there was .. I'll need to check with Rick Mercer.

Anyway, back to 2010.  Day explained that we needed more prisons because although crime was down, it was only reported crime that was down but unreported crime was up.


Uh.. Doris, did we end up locking away any perps of unreported crimes?  Do the police investigate unreported crimes?  Is this a future world where three psychics lay in a tank of water and get visions of future unreported crimes?

I can't be sure but I think it was a CBC survey that found at 70% of those victims of unreported crime surveyed did not report because the crime or the impact was not important enough.  I'll ask the question, if the vic doesn't care, why would society build a prison to lock the perp up?

Harper explained that this new bill is targeted at those most dangerous of offenders and rattled off a bunch of crimes that make us all shutter, but those offenders are already denied parole as a matter of routine by the Board.

No statistics of reoffenders have been provided, no stats on how this would improve anything, protect anyone.  There are currently 200 convicted murders living in Canada in the community on parole.  Their release is determined by the Board based on the risk the individual poses to other members of the community.  The Board does not make the decision based on when an election may take place. 

This is just a big PR move for Harper coming into what will likely be an October election.  Waste of time, money and my attention.

Have a good day.  Spring is almost here.