Monday, February 23, 2015

Police Paid Leave Beyond Reason

Letter to the Toronto Star published Feb. 23, 2015
Re Peel Regional police officer convicted in car insurance scam, Feb 14:
It is beyond reason that a recently convicted police officer has been on paid leave since his arrest in the spring of 2011. That’s four years of salary at taxpayer expense.
I trust his conviction ends this nonsense, or will it continue during a protracted appeal process? There is something wrong with a legal system that permits such mischief.
One solution is to place in trust the salary of an arrested officer. If found not-guilty, he receives back pay plus interest. If convicted, the funds are returned to the taxpayer.

In the interim, the police union should cover his basic needs, or he be allowed to find alternative employment.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech

Letter to Toronto Star, January 28, 2015. Unpublished.

The initial reaction to the January 7 events at Charlie Hebdo has faded. We may now quietly examine the situation.

This weekly of juvenile effusions itself indulges in censorship. In 2008, the magazine published cartoons challenged as anti-Semitic. Because of the outcry, cartoonist Maurice Sinet  was asked to issue an apology. He refused and was fired.  So much for Charlie Hebdo being "on the front lines of the free-speech fight," as the Toronto Star describes this purportedly satirical publication.

We currently have a visitor trying to raise funds for the cash-strapped magazine (Canadians urged to fight against fundamentalism, Jan 27). She frames her effort as a battle against Islam which "must submit to secularism." Is it Cartesian reasoning to equate a radical element with an entire religion?

Dialogue and accommodation promote understanding, not confrontation. That's something Charlie Hebdo and its fund-raiser apparently do not understand. It is to be hoped that our visitor return to France wiser but empty handed.

Supreme Court Okays Death on Demand

On February 7, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada jolted downwards the quality of health care in Canada. It approved death on demand. Doctors capable of aborting healthy babies would not hesitate to sign death warrants for the terminally ill, the chronically ill, the mentally ill and the disabled.

Then we have the intervention of human rights commissions and their authority to override Supreme Court decisions and parliamentary restrictions. Spurts in the floodgates are already evident in some European countries where there is currently a demand for lethal injection from a clinically depressed teenager and a healthy prisoner serving a life sentence.

Would denial violate constitutional and charter rights to equality before the law?  Restrictions were once in place against abortion on demand. Remember what our Supreme Court did in that case and what Parliament failed to do. Members of the highest court in the land are out of touch with reality (not for the first time) if they believe restrictions can work.