Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Crime in Canada reaches lowest level in 40 years due to Conservative party policies

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

From the National Post.

Excerpt:

New figures show Canada’s crime rate dipped to its lowest level in 40 years last year, the very year the federal government enacted some of its harshest tough-on-crime policies.

Just under two million criminal incidents were reported to police in 2012, about 36,000 fewer than the previous year, according to a Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics study on police-reported crime.

The decline is primarily attributed to decreases in non-violent crimes. In fact, 2012 marked the ninth consecutive year that both the volume and severity of crime was down.

According to the study, 543 homicides were reported across the country, 55 fewer than in 2011. Youth crime was also down.

“As a result, the homicide rate fell to its lowest level since 1966,” the report concluded.

Relaxing gun control laws was also likely a factor:

Although crime rates have been falling for years, the federal government passed a controversial omnibus crime bill early last year. It set a number of mandatory minimum penalties for drug trafficking and sex crimes against children and got tough on pot producers, young offenders, Canadians imprisoned abroad seeking a transfer to a Canadian institution and ex-cons seeking a pardon.

The government also scrapped the controversial long gun registry last year.

A gun registry is nothing but a promise that the government will confiscate weapons later. When the registry goes away, people feel safer about buying guns. The more citizens who are legally armed, the worse it is for criminals.

I’m posting this to show that unlike our own government, some governments are actually doing things that work to solve problems. But all of this goes back to qualifications. Stephen Harper has the BA and MA in Economics. He is an economist, so he understands how laws and policies influence human behavior. That’s why when he makes a policy, he gets the results he wants to get. He actually knows what he is doing. He is actually doing work that he knows how to do. It can happen.

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Is environmentalism good for the environment?

Although I am not a global warming alarmist, I am concerned with conservation. So, all things being equal, I think it’s a good idea not to pollute the environment unnecessarily. Now, you might think that environmentalists agree with me on that.

Let’s take a look at this article by Bret Stephens from the Wall Street Journal where he writes about how a train that was transporting shale oil was derailed and then exploded. (H/T Dennis Prager)

Excerpt:

The derailed 72-car train belonged to a subsidiary of Illinois-based multinational Rail World, whose self-declared aim is to “promote rail industry privatization.” The train was carrying North Dakota shale oil (likely extracted by fracking) to the massive Irving Oil refinery in the port city of Saint John, to be shipped to the global market. At least five people were killed in the blast (a number that’s likely to rise) and 1,000 people were forced to evacuate. Quebec’s environment minister reports that some 100,000 liters (26,000 gallons) of crude have spilled into the Chaudière River, meaning it could reach Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River before too long.

Now the question is, why is it that trains are used instead of pipelines, when pipelines are safer than trains?

Let’s see why:

The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren’t enough pipelines to carry it. The provincial governments of Alberta and New Brunswick are talking about building a pipeline to cover the 3,000-odd mile distance. But last month President Obama put the future of the Keystone XL pipeline again in doubt, telling a Georgetown University audience “our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

[...]Like water, business has a way of tracing a course of least resistance. Pipelines are a hyper-regulated industry but rail transport isn’t, so that’s how we now move oil. As the Wall Street Journal’s Tom Fowler reported in March, in 2008 the U.S. rail system moved 9,500 carloads of oil. In 2012, the figure surged to 233,811. During the same period, the total number of spills went from eight to 69. In March, a derailed train spilled 714 barrels of oil in western Minnesota.

Predictable, you would think. And ameliorable: Pipelines account for about half as much spillage as railways on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines also tend not to go straight through exposed population centers like Lac-Mégantic. Nobody suggests that pipelines are perfectly reliable or safe, but what is? To think is to weigh alternatives. The habit of too many environmentalists is to evade them.

Investors Business Daily has more on the benefits of pipelines:

Railways suffer spills 2.7 times more often than pipelines, according to the Washington-based Association of American Railroads. If that seems self-serving, the State Department, citing a 2012 study from the free-market Manhattan Institute, said trains spill 33 times more oil than pipelines.

[...]“The evidence is so overwhelming that railroads are far less safe than pipelines,” says Charles Ebinger, director of the Brookings Institution’s energy security initiative.

Brookings is a left-leaning think tank, and they agree: pipelines are safer than trains.

It does make sense, I think, for Christians and conservatives to ask ourselves sensible questions about the environment. How do we make air clean enough? How do we make water clean enough? How do we avoid impacting nature unnecessarily? But I think this story about the train should help us realize that fundamentalist environmentalists are not the best people to be making these sorts of policy decisions. These decisions should be made by rational thinkers, who can consider all sides of an issue and think critically about the needs of everyone concerned. This is not a problem for secular leftist idealists who are more motivated by blind faith than by facts.

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Canada repeals Section 13 law that criminalized politically incorrect speech

Canada Political Map

Canada Political Map

Sun News reports on some good news up north.

Excerpt:

An Alberta MP has succeeded in his bid to repeal a section of the Canadian Human Rights Act long seen by free-speech advocates as a tool to squelch dissenting opinions.

Conservative MP Brian Storseth saw the Senate give third and final reading late Wednesday to his Bill C-304 which repeals Section 13 of the Human Rights Act, an act that had been used to, among other things, attack the writings of Sun News Network’s Ezra Levant and Maclean’s columnist Mark Steyn.

Section 13 ostensibly banned hate speech on the Internet and left it up to the quasi-judicial human rights commission to determine what qualified as “hate speech.” But, unlike a court, there was no presumption of innocence of those accused of hate speech by the commission. Instead, those accused had to prove their innocence.

With elimination of Section 13, producing and disseminating hate speech continues to be a Criminal Code violation but police and the courts will adjudicate rather than human rights tribunals.

Storseth drafted his bill in 2011 and enjoyed support from the highest levels in cabinet.

“Our government believes Section 13 is not an appropriate or effective means for combating hate propaganda,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in late 2011. “We believe the Criminal Code is the best vehicle to prosecute these crimes.”

Last summer, Storseth’s bill cleared the House of Commons in a free vote and, now that it’s through the Senate, it will get royal assent and Section 13 should soon disappear.

Brian Lilley comments: (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

To put it bluntly, the means you can’t take someone through the federal human rights apparatus over hurt feelings via a blog post or a Facebook comment.

Now the bill is passed and will become law but like many acts of Parliament it will not come into force for a year.

Still after a long hard battle to restore free speech in Canada, this is a victory.

Canada just became a little more free. Congratulations to Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada for undoing a harmful policy enacted by the radical left.

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Gay man who captured, chained up and repeatedly raped boy gets 11 year sentence

From Sun News Canada.

Excerpt:

David James Leblanc, 48, was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday after he previously pleaded guilty to charges including kidnapping, forcible confinement and sexual assault. He also pleaded guilty to charges in an earlier case involving the sexual assault of two young boys.

The teen’s mother said her son was prescribed anti-HIV drugs and anxiety medication after he was chained and raped by two men in a cabin in Upper Chelsea, a rural area about 125 km west of Halifax.

“If there’s anything good that can come from this sickening crime against my son it would be to have David James Leblanc declared a dangerous offender,” the mother said in her victim impact statement.

“He has been filled with such an overwhelming amount of despair and hopelessness and to have your 16-year-old child tell you through tears and sobs that he doesn’t want to live anymore.”

While she spoke, Leblanc rolled his eyes, sighed and shook his head.

[...]In September, Leblanc promised the teen a painting job.

The boy said Leblanc conned him into getting into a van in Halifax, and drove him to a cabin in Upper Chelsea, where he met Leblanc’s partner, Wayne Alan Cunningham.

Leblanc gave him alcohol and offered him money to see his penis, and the boy said he was marched into a bedroom, chained to the floor and sexually assaulted.

Over the next 10 days, the teen said he was sometimes chained standing with his arms above his head and other times locked to the bed while Cunningham and Leblanc took turns raping him.

It seems to me that the responsibility of the criminal court system is to protect the public from predators. How much does an 11-year sentence for kidnapping, forcible confinement and sexual assault deter future crimes like this one? Something tells me that if the victim had been a woman, and the perpetrator a straight white male, then that would have drawn a much longer sentence.

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Two Muslim immigrants arrested in Canada for Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist plot

Stephen Harper in Afghanistan

Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Afghanistan

The CBC reports on a blockbuster story from Canada. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

Canadian police say they have arrested two men and thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack on a Via passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area.

In a press conference that followed an exclusive report by CBC’s Greg Weston, police named the two accused as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto. They have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”

The two men arrested are not Canadian citizens, police said Monday, but would not provide any details about their nationalities.

The RCMP accused the two men of conspiring to commit an “al-Qaeda-supported” attack.

Police said the two accused were getting “direction and guidance” from al-Qaeda elements in Iran. There was no information to suggest the attacks were state sponsored, police said.

Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan said the two suspects watched trains and railways in the Greater Toronto Area. There was a specific route targeted, not necessarily a specific train, Strachan said, although she declined to reveal which route was allegedly being targeted.

“We are alleging that these two individuals took steps and conducted activities to initiate a terrorist attack,” she told reporters.

The two men are expected to appear at Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto tomorrow.

With Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the helm, the Conservative Party majority gets the job done again!

Too bad Harper is not in charge down here. Democrats think that only married, Bible-believing small business owning Tea Party conservatives who served in the Armed Forces can be domestic terrorists. They think that William Lane Craig is more likely to be a terrorist than KSM. That’s what they believe.

I have to share Blazing Cat Fur’s headline for this “Canada: Muslims Fear Backlash Over Latest Thwarted Terror Plot – Linked To Amish Division Of Al Qaeda“. He also points out that the Canadian chapter of CAIR is urging the Canadian government not to pass national security legislation.

Blazing Cat Fur is the place to be for the latest news from Canada. Best Canadian blog.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the Canadian media will try to blame this on the Amish, or whatever the Canadian equivalent of the Tea Party is. They can’t bring themselves to believe that they made a mistake by ratcheting up unregulated immigration from Muslim countries in order to move their country to the left. Bringing in skilled immigrants who learn English is one thing, but bringing in radical extremists is something else entirely.

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