Saturday, March 22, 2008

Living with the consquences of the Nanny State

Thanks again to SDA for the link today. Tony's comment regarding this article seems to have piqued her interest as it did mine. Is "Sandy Smith" an alias for Brenda Martin? There certainly appears to be no end to the intrigue.


The Record surprised me today with a fairly level-headed editorial on the controversy - Harsh realities for jailed woman:

...Nonetheless, there appears to be little more the Canadian government can do. There have been more than 100 contacts between federal government representatives and either Martin or Mexican officials. Canadian officials at the highest levels -- including Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, and possibly even Harper himself, have spoken to their counterparts about her case, urging fair and swift treatment. Other Canadians, including former prime minister Paul Martin, and several MPs, have visited her and telephoned. There is no doubt that Mexican officials, from President Felipe Calderon on down, are intensely aware of her case
But as Harper himself points out, Mexico is a sovereign country, and this case is one for the courts, which must be free of political intervention. There would be an uproar, and swift resignations, were Harper, or any other politician, to step in if they disagreed with a judge's rulings here.
We must remember, too, that unfortunately Martin's case is hardly unique. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, about 1,750 Canadians are today imprisoned in other countries and the Canadian government has the same responsibility to them that it has to Martin. The bulk of these prisoners are in the U.S., but others are in jails in countries as diverse as China, Australia, Thailand and Peru, mostly on drug, immigration or fraud charges.
Many doubtless are guilty as charged. Others have been dealt with in ways many Canadians will consider harsh. For example, Kitchener mother Loan Ngoc Bui is serving 40 years for drug trafficking after a police officer in Illinois stopped her car and found 3,710 ecstasy pills hidden in it. Her boyfriend, who was driving, says Bui knew nothing of the drugs.

But Americans take a different view of drugs than we do in Canada, and as a result, Bui is serving out a sentence harsher than a Canadian court would dole out even for a convicted murderer.

The federal government has lived up to its obligations to Martin, who has had the benefit of dozens of high-level interventions, something most Canadians imprisoned abroad never see. Ottawa must continue be vigilant, and ensure her case is dealt with swiftly and fairly, but beyond that, Martin's fate lies in the hands of a Mexican judge.

(Just when I was determined to cancel my subscription... Oh well.)


After reading that editorial, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First of all, as the Record noted, the Mexican government would probably like nothing better than to have Brenda Martin ejected from Mexico forthwith. By now her notorious case is undoubtedly an embarrassment and a drag to their tourist industry. So how will putting pressure on either the Canadian or Mexican government change anything people????

As Harper was quoted by the Record, "Mexico is a sovereign country, and this case is one for the courts, which must be free of political intervention."

O.K. I know that the Mexican legal system is reported to be corrupt, and there is a presumption of guilt until innocence is proven, but it is still a sovereign country. Brenda Martin left Canada and went there of her own volition to work. And yes, she has been in prison already for two years awaiting charges (which have now been laid) and trial, which has its own quaint little idiosyncrasies in the Mexican system. And yes, she has been imprisoned with already-convicted women.

However according to many sources, she has received special treatment in this high-profile case - certainly much better than many other Canadians in the same plight.

Which brings me to point number two. Isn't it interesting that anyone committing a crime seems to want to either return to Canada or stay in Canada when it comes time to pay the piper? I'm thinking about Schreiber, several Canadian pedophiles, and countless others who know that Canada is an easy mark when it comes to serving sentences and the comfort of that environment. And the Lefties were in shock that our Charter Rights didn't extend to Afghan detainees!

Could it be that our Canadian system is so lax to the point of creating a mentality of rights-entitlement that has undercut the fundamental need to be held accountable for our actions?

Just go where you want, do what you want and Canada will bail you out afterwards if you embarrass the government enough.

There must be a middle ground somewhere.

* * * *

33 comments:

Alberta Girl said...

Excellent analysis, Joanne.

Will the rest of the media pick up the "facts" of the story so that the rest of Canada (um- lefties) will know the real story??

Or will they drop it like a hot potato now that they have been shown to be fools for how they reacted to one side of the story?t

Gabby in QC said...

Alberta Girl, in a previous post you talked of your email to Roy Green.

Have you considered sending Green the additional information that has come out since then in Tony's comment with this link?
http://www.thewantednovel.com/edjournal.html

Gabby in QC said...

PS. Gotta go do some cooking for Easter.

Happy Easter to all!

BBS said...

Your comment yesterday about the prison wear is just as on point. For such harsh conditions, that seems to be a well coordinated outfit, complete with earings and necklace. On the other hand, maybe she was allowed to put that on just for the photo op that wasn't a photo op. Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

Record is showing hope...
Even a blind dog pisses on th odd fire hydrant

I still consider any money spent on it a donation to the Liberal party

wilson said...

''Just go where you want, do what you want and Canada will bail you out afterwards if you embarrass the government enough.''

The smear job on PMSH won't stick.
Martin has been treated like a queen by the Mexican authorites, compared to most.

It's the Mexican govt Martin and her buddies are embarrassing.
If the Mexican judge wants to, he could make an example of Martin so as other 'visitors' don't use this route to go free,
give her a stiff sentence, and then slap afew more charges on her, such as being in the country illegally.

GrantK1 said...

Great title to a great story. Why are the words "nanny state" synonamous with the liberals. And yes why is the MSM missing this and the bloggers all over it as ususal? Even CHQR in Calgary which is normally conservative were all over the government about not doing anything as they broad cast Brenda Martins cries for help all over the radio, it was quite chilling actually. Now the other side of the story is getting out and not a peep from this station. Maybe they're embarrased for falling for it.

Gayle said...

"Which brings me to point number two. Isn't it interesting that anyone committing a crime seems to want to either return to Canada or stay in Canada when it comes time to pay the piper? I'm thinking about Schreiber, several Canadian pedophiles, and countless others who know that Canada is an easy mark when it comes to serving sentences and the comfort of that environment. And the Lefties were in shock that our Charter Rights didn't extend to Afghan detainees!"

It has nothing to do with pleasant conditions in our prisons. If you have ever been in a Canadian prison you would not say this. They are dangerous places full of gangs carrying weapons. Many prisoners are subjected to sexual abuse.

It is about being somewhere where you can have contact with family. Prisons are lonely, desolate places, and being incarcerated for a lengthy period of time without access to family and friends is debilitating.

I am all for putting prisoners in jail. I am simply commenting on this myth that somehow jail is all sunshine and lollipops. The only people I have ever known who want to go to prison are either homeless, and therefore seek a custodial setting in the winter, or people who have spent so much time in prison they cannot adjust to the outside world and simply want to return to more familiar surroundings.

As for your last point, I did not know "lefties" were shocked that the Charter does not apply to Afghan detainees. Do you have proof of this mass "leftie shock" phenomenon? As a leftie myself I am shocked my fellow lefties are shocked. I must have missed the memo on that one.

Alberta Girl said...

"They are dangerous places full of gangs carrying weapons. Many prisoners are subjected to sexual abuse"

Perhaps that is why Brenda said she does not want to come back to Canada if she has to go to jail.

I don't think anyone thinks jail is a wonderful place, it is the justice system, Gayle, that does not put away the criminal for crimes committed.

That is why the majority of us keep the straight and narrow, the thought of any kind of jail scares the H... out of me.

Gayle said...

Really AG? The onloy reason you do not commit crimeis because you do not want to go to jail?

Most people do not commit crime because it is wrong. Jail has nothing to do with it. Criminal acts are defined by the harm they cause to other people.

I was lucky enough to be raised by people who taught me values and to respect others. That is why I do not commit crimes. I suspect that is your primary motivation too.

Brenda Martin does not want to come back to Canada to go to jail because she claims she is innocent, and that she is in jail because of a corrupt justice system. I have heard allegations that she could not pay a bribe and that is why she was arrested.

She believes her government should support her in this, rather than say they will accept her once she is convicted and given her sentence.

Alberta Girl said...

Well Gabby - guess I won't bother e-mailing Roy - unfortunately, he seems to stand by his view of things... here is his response to me.

"Mexico claims it's Brenda Martin's fault the case hasn't been heard in court? That's patently absurd!
In Canada, if a criminal case were to drag on that long, for any reason, all charges would be constitutionally dismissed.
The other issues you raise? With respect, it seems to me that you're more interested in defending the PM and the Conservative Party than Brenda Martin.
Sorry you won't be listening to the program any longer. I hope you find something on the dial which is more satisfactory.

Roy"

Hmmmmm

Fay said...

I just caught a bit of the beginning of Roy Green show. He had both Debra T and mother on, the say that Brenda is sedated with drugs and didn't mean to attack the Canadian Government on their efforts to help her. Both were thanking the Canadian government for all their help.
Roy green also gave slap down to emails supporting Conservative Government.
He must have facts on Brenda Martins innocence that he isn't sharing with the public.
Bizarre story!!!!
Also no one crying on the show today, nice change.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

He had both Debra T and mother on, the say that Brenda is sedated with drugs and didn't mean to attack the Canadian Government on their efforts to help her. Both were thanking the Canadian government for all their help.

Well, that's an about-face!

Roy green also gave slap down to emails supporting Conservative Government.

Based on what Alberata Girl said as well as this, I'd say that Roy Green is trying to defend his gullibility and not doing a very good job at it.

Really what we Conservative supporters are saying is let's hear both sides of the story, and let's have a little impartiality.

As BBS pointed out, this whole 'photo op' diatribe is quite hypocrtical considering Dan McTeague's visit.

Instead of boycotting Mexico, perhaps we should boycott Roy Green and his sponsors.

Alberta Girl said...

"Instead of boycotting Mexico, perhaps we should boycott Roy Green and his sponsors."

I told him I would not be listening and I will not. I don't think he cares.

I replied to his email to me with the following.

Sheeesh Roy - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with defending the Prime Minister - this has to do with you "reporting" on a story without knowing ALL the facts.

Just how do you expect any Prime Minister (no matter their political stripe) to demand that a leader of any other soverign country let a prisoner out of jail. It has NOTHING to do with my political views or who is in office. It's called waiting until facts on both sides of the story are out. Because, Roy, it appears that Brenda is in jail awaiting trial because SHE chose the route of constitutional challenge, SHE chose her own lawyer - not one that was recommended by the government, and unlike what you have reported, the Tory government HAS been working on her case for over two years now, just as they have on the multitude of other jailed Canadians around the world. Just because they don't call the media every time they do something to help someone, doesn't mean they are not working on it.

It appears though that you are sticking by your "version" of events

Hopefully you will provide a bit more balance to the story as more facts come out.

I am extremely disappointed in your coverage of this and we will leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense for Roy Green to play down that he's been suckered in just like his Liberal counterparts. More to save face than anything else.

Sad to hear his show over the last two weeks for sure.

I think Harper's doing exactly what he should be doing. Let the Liberals twist in the wind with this one as usual..they'll lose.

JR said...

Joanne, Great posts on this!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Alberta girl, great reply to Green there. Please let us know if he answers back again.

If you haven't already done so, check out Tony's Viewpoint. The link is at the end of this post in an update. Lots of interesting questions with no answers.

Alberta Girl said...

"Alberta girl, great reply to Green there. Please let us know if he answers back again."

I sure will although I don't expect he will reply and yes, I have checked out Tony's "questions" - curiouser and curiouser (hey isn't that what we said about Cadman)??

And on and on we go....

Tony said...

"Mexico claims it's Brenda Martin's fault the case hasn't been heard in court? That's patently absurd!

In Canada, if a criminal case were to drag on that long, for any reason, all charges would be constitutionally dismissed.


I am surprised that Roy Green actually said this. If he had done just a little research, he would have easily found out that this is not the case with the Canadian justice system. He should know better.

The Canadian justice system is particularly slow, when it comes to bringing cases to trial. If fact there are several examples where it has taken more that 2 years to bring a case to trial and none of these were constitutionally dismissed. This is just a couple off the top of my head.

1. Robert Pickton was in jail for more than 2 years before his trial begun and it was not dismissed on constitutional grounds.

2. Curtis Alfred Dagenais, the guy who shot those 2 RCMP officers in Saskatchewan has been in jail for almost two years and his trial date has not yet been set. I doubt that any judge is going to dismiss this case on constitutional grounds either.

3. Former NHL player Rob Ramage's case took four years to be brought to trial.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Way to go, Tony. Someone should call him up on that.

Ti-Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alberta Girl said...

"You participate enthusiastically in this smear fest and you have the nerve to wish people Happy Easter?"

Who is smearing who Ti?? You of all people shouldn't accuse ANYONE of using smears.

This is a debate of the ACTUAL facts in this case - something you and most others on the left do not want to take into consideration. They would much rather use innuendo and one sided reports to make their cases.

Only problem with that is that the truth does come out then it becomes obvious who was "smearing" whom.

Have a Great Easter Ti!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Alberta Girl, thanks for addressing that one. I deleted his comment because I don't find it relevant at all. And besides, I have no more patience for him or a few other trolls.

Alberta Girl said...

Ti and I go way back - he had called me some pretty derogatory names so I never hesitate to call him on his comments, which are usually personal attacks rather than debates and comments on the topic at hand.

I am sure he will be back as he usually likes to take a few jabs at me whenever I try to engage him in the actual topic.

Ha Ha.....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I am sure he will be back as he usually likes to take a few jabs at me whenever I try to engage him in the actual topic.

If he does, he'll be deleted. I have no use for him.

BBS said...

It's interesting in this whole debate how they never mention another high profile case where a Prime Minister intervened to secure the release of a prisoner from a foreign country - that would be Jean Chretien and a gentleman by the name of Ahmed Said Khadr. I seem to remember a lot of protestations of innocence related to that case as well.

Brenda Martin may very well be innocent, but has only herself and her supporters to blame for politicizing her plight.

Ti-Guy said...

If he does, he'll be deleted. I have no use for him..

The feeling's entirely mutual, you egregious and censorious liar.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mmm... for some reason it pleases me to let that one stand.

Ti-Guy said...

Me too. Cheers.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Happy Easter, Ti-Guy.

Ti-Guy said...

Same to you. I'll pray for you at Mass tomorrow.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks. I could probably use the prayers.

Möbius said...

If he does, he'll be deleted. I have no use for him.

I heard he's now blogging under the name "Hammertimegp".