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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the view on tuesday.

1) Oil is sitting at $38 a barrel.

2) Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr has launched a website to support Bill 201, a piece of legislation that would give Police more powers in fighting gang violence. Hehr will be introducing this bill in next session of the Alberta Legislature, set to begin on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.

3) The RCMP are investigating alleged misuse of Wheat Board voters lists by five Conservative MPs. Alleged to have been involved are Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson, and Saskatchewan MPs David Anderson, Randy Hoback, Andrew Scheer and Ed Komarnicki.

4) Molotov cocktails are reported to be the source of an arson against the Edmonton home of former Syncrude President James Carter.

5) The University of Alberta Students' Union has launched their Restricted Access campaign, and in today's edition the Gateway has an interview with Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner.


Matt Grant said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Dave.

Cue anonymous comments about how Kent only advocates on issues in his Shadow Ministry in his first year of elected office. (:

Anonymous said...

A bill that does only one small thing, allows the seizure & sale of cars that contain illegal firearms.

Brought forward by someone harmed in a drive-by shooting.

If that's not targetted special interest legislation, I don't know what is.

Apparently the fact that possesion of an illegal firearm allows police to arrest & charge the individuals involved wasn't enough? Now we need the government to seize and sell cars?

What does this bill prove, other than the Liberal party has no concept of what private property means?

Jailtime is the punishment for most crimes, including murder, rape, etc. Seems jailtime should be good enough for gang members too, leave the gimmicky specialized punishments out of it.

Matt Grant said...

Took 15 minutes, on the nose. (:

Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective on the right to property by Anonymous: property accrued through almost inevitably illegal means is sacred - a good defence for individuals who have absolutely no respect for private property in the first place. I guess he’d rather have taxpayers on the hook for the real costs of being a victim of crime.

It’s a good Bill. It should be debated and seriously considered in the Legislature instead of immediately thrown out because it’s being presented by a Liberal.

Corey Hogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corey Hogan said...

"Jailtime is the punishment for most crimes, including murder, rape, etc. Seems jailtime should be good enough for gang members too, leave the gimmicky specialized punishments out of it."

Yesterday I filed an update to a Corporate Charter, on which the bottom of it I was warned a false submissions would warrant a $5000 fine. I then had to go a block over to mail it. Crossing the street illegally would have warranted a $200 fine from the city, so I waited at the crosswalk. It was a good idea because somebody shot by going about 50kph through a playground zone. Add up all the maximum fines to that, and your looking at quite the ticket.

And of course, under the current law, if he was stopped, and was found to have an unauthorized firearm, could be charged with a summary or indictable offence. If it were a summary offence, he would be subject to up to six months jail time, and a fine of $5000.

It's true that the more serious the crime, the more likely the penalty is only jail time. But sorry, no. The penalty for most crimes is financial. This creates a much stronger financial disincentive than existing laws, and changes the balance sheet on criminal behaviour - to society's benefit.

Support Bill 201

Marnie Tunay said...

Re Corey Hogan's "Seems jailtime should be good enough for gang members too."
Gang members laugh at prison. It's like a rite of passage for them. They wouldn't laugh at a one-way ticket back to the motherland. Gang membership should be prosecuted as a crime in and of itself - with an automatic penalty for those convicted who hail originally from another country: bye bye baby bye bye. Other countries aren't nearly as shy about revoking citizenship and visas from those who don't deserve it. Marnie Tunay Fakirs Canada

Enlightened Savage said...

Re: Dave's point 3), in the original post...

Where, pray tell, is the investigation into how Dave Taylor got my name, 10 year-old email address, and phone number during the Liberal leadership race? I've never belonged to the Alberta Liberals...

Corey Hogan said...

"Other countries aren't nearly as shy about revoking citizenship "

There are lots of things other countries aren't nearly as shy about, but I don't think we want to go down that route.

Citizenship should be citizenship, and as soon as we start differentiating between citizens born in Canada and citizens born elsewhere, we start going down a slipperly slope. As long as that citizenship was obtained legally, I don't think we should treat them differently than a natural-born citizen.

Anonymous said...

Original Anon poster here.

Regarding Corey Hagans point: You're absolutely correct, financial penalties abound in our legal system. And if the Liberals want to add a $200, $5000, or $50,000 fine to the existing sentencing conditions for those transporting illegal firearms, I'd support that. But giving the government carte blanche to seize a person's car creates a terrible imbalance. Obviously not every car is worth the same, so why should one person lose his 1980's Honda Civic and another lose a new Mercedes AMG for the same crime?

It's ticky tack punishment and poorly contrived legislation. I'm amazed the Liberal caucus staffers let it go forward in its current shape, but I guess presenting viable legislation with even a remote chance of passing isn't the Liberals priority.

As for Matt Grant's wonderful insight, predicting that those of us who see Kent Hehr as a poor MLA will speak up does not invalidate our point. But have a gold star for paying attention to the forums over these last few months.

Anonymous said...

One other thing to consider. Many good Albertans are in possesion of unregistered long rifles that our Federal government would claim our illegal. Do we really want to pass legislation that would allow or even force the RCMP to start seizing farm trucks every time an upstanding Albertan is stopped, just because of an unregistered hunting rifle in the back?

Clean up the gun laws and tighten the borders, don't pass goofy legislation because of one MLAs vendetta.

Vote No on Bill 201.

Corey Hogan said...

"Why should one person lose his 1980's Honda Civic and another lose a new Mercedes AMG for the same crime?"

Asymmetrical fines is not without precedent. The Canadian Criminal Code allows victim restitution levies to be reduced on the grounds of financial hardship. In some ways, this is far more egalitarian. A $2000 fine would be crushing to somebody who drives a $2000 car. It's not going to be much to a gang-banger driving around in his $50 000 Mercedes. It creates a roughly proportionate disincentive regardless of the means of the criminal.

"Many good Albertans are in possesion of unregistered long rifles that our Federal government would claim our illegal. "

This is a half truth. The fact is yes, the Gun Registry remains on the books, but the province is the one that brings charges on gun registry violations, and they have all - save Quebec - said they will not do so for long guns. As well, our current federal government does not press the point, preferring to let the long gun registry die.

The target is not flinty farmers, and it's disingenuous to suggest that is the case. If that is a concern, language can be tweaked in committee. But there is absolutely no good reason to drive around downtown Calgary with an illegal handgun.

If this bill makes gang-bangers leave their pieces at home, it means situations that would have otherwise escalated to murder will not. It sends a message: we're getting tough on crime. We're going to take away your toys. We'll see how much glamour there is in thug life when you're reliant on your bus pass.


Corey Hogan

Support Bill 201