Weekly Commentary  

The court of public opinion

Illegal immigration frustrates long time and new Canadians.

Disturbing polls show that Canadians, tolerant and generous by nature, are becoming impatient with our system. This erosion of tolerance is directly linked to what they see as people abusing a historically open system.

Following recent arrivals of illegals onto BC coasts we came up with legislation intended to discourage this insidious form of human trafficking. This week there was yet another court judgment which weakened our legislation and left too many loopholes for illegals.

Though this is frustrating we live in a democracy where we respect the rule of law. I just wanted you to know we will take the legal steps available to us to appeal this ruling and hopefully bring some reality and effectiveness back to our system.

At this point I also intend to support a new Private Member's Bill from MP Stephen Blaney. It would require anyone voting in a federal election to not have their face covered for identification purposes.

In another example of the court of public opinion, we are deciding with 'the people' in not agreeing with the recent Internet CRTC decision.

As you've probably heard we have sent clear signals that we don't agree that companies should now be able to reduce or charge for the unlimited access now available to Internet users.

We'll see where this one goes.

A surprising Opposition vote against our tax reduction package this week. It would force us to reverse the tax reductions which we passed by law back in 2007.

Bad idea. Most people agree. So does the Canadian Federation of Small Business and the Chambers of Commerce across the country.

Our economic plan is the best in the G-20 (recent IMF report). Over 400,000 new jobs have been created by that plan since June 2009 (Statscan).

We will do all we can to make sure the job creators in our riding are not part of being smacked with a $6 Billion tax increase because of that vote.

People here in the riding are asking if it's true that we're going to change the rules on the municipal gas tax rebate to allow for federal money to flow to a new Quebec hockey arena.

The answer is clear. No. No changes. Non.

I keep hearing wild figures and stories about a massive new prison building program. Here are the numbers and the facts.

Yes, we are trying to change some laws to keep serious, repeat violent criminals off our streets.

Certain crimes deserve jail time.

Sex crimes against children, violent home invasions, burning down somebody's home, defrauding thousands of citizens of their life savings, serious aggravated assault all merit incarceration.

We also want to change the present law allowing serious criminals to get out of jail free after serving only 1/6 of their sentence.

This could mean up to some 4,300 more people in jail over the next 5 years.

We didn't factor in the amount of people that will be deterred from planning a serious crime once they realize they might actually get jail time for their assault on an innocent civilian's life.

There's also the significant cost savings related to serious 'repeaters' being prevented from committing multiple offenses. The cost for the extra jail beds and accommodations will be around $2 Billion over 5 years. That's about $400 million a year.

And while they're 'inside', an array of rehabilitation and restorative programs will be available to them.

We will also continue funding the multi-millions of dollars which go to communities and cities from coast to coast for valuable programs in crime prevention and reduction, rehabilitation, drug addictions and skills training.

I'm taking advantage of new technology to add yet another way of keeping in touch with you.

You'll get a phone call from me next Tuesday evening to invite you to stay on the line to take part in a live Telephone Town Hall Meeting that I'll be doing.

I think you'll like it. Hope you'll stay on the line.


This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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