Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trotting out the Spectre of Karla

Today, Canada's tough-on-crime Prime Minister trotted out the spectre of Karla Homolka applying for a pardon in July 2010 to scare Canadians into believing that the soft-on-crime Liberals would have given her a pardon based on the same National Parole Board system that pardoned Graham James.

Let's look at a bit of history. The Conservatives under Stephen Harper took power in January 2006. He's been in power for 4 years and 3 months. The National Parole Board was pardoning criminals for that entire time. On April 4th, 2010, the Canadian media released the information that Graham James had been granted a pardon three years previously on January 8th, 2007. It's taken the Harper government over 3 years to figure this out and they probably wouldn't have without the help of the Canadian media? Do they not have access to this information? Perhaps they should make a submission under the Access to Information Act to learn the names of those who have been granted pardons over the past 4 years!

Who's been minding the store? If Canada's media could figure out that Graham James had received a pardon, why were all three of Stephen Harper's Ministers of Public Safety Vic Toews, Peter Van Loan and Stockwell Day unable (or unwilling) to discover that James had received a pardon? Why didn't any of these three Ministers do something to fix the pardon issue years ago? After all, they've had control of the portfolio for over 4 years.

It's a little late to blame the Liberals for the weaknesses in the pardon system when you've been in power for 4 years. If it's changes to the justice system that the Conservatives want, Canadians shouldn't have to wait for the government to play catch up. We also shouldn't have to wait for the media to figure out and inform us about what's wrong with the justice system. That's what we pay our elected officials big salaries to do.

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