You never have to wait for an endless supply of fresh stories about Canada’s justice system that make you shake your head in disbelief.
In Winnipeg, a man who stabbed his wife to death in the middle of rush hour on Portage Avenue has been granted parole after 17 years, thanks to the love of a good woman. Bruce Stewner was allowed to marry his new partner during his last year as a guest of Her Majesty at Stony Mountain.
Next door in Saskatchewan, five inmates of the federal slammer in Prince Albert are suing Ottawa, claiming they have been inflicted with nervous shock. The prisoners say in their claim that they have to self-deaden because they are constantly being “overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness and erosion of self-worth.”
They’re claiming damages in excess of $50,000, which shows a remarkably Canadian sense of restraint. Justice Robert Hughes was somewhat sympathetic, but he told them to get a lawyer and come back to court with more specifics.
The majority of Canadians who have never been confined to a prison cell have a difficult time imagining what it must be like. Many of us speculate that it’s a pretty soft touch, with three square meals a day free of charge, and a warm bed to sleep in every night.
Stephen Harper and company insist that we need more jails to keep us safe from the bad guys. In the past couple of years I’ve heard two people speak out strongly against the idea, and both were people you might think would be Harper supporters.
One was Colin Thatcher, the former Saskatchewan cabinet minister who did 23 years for killing his ex wife. The other was Conrad Black who was a guest of Uncle Sam in Florida.
Here’s hoping those guys in P.A. get their day in court, and that Judge Hughes encourages Canadians to listen. It might be the closest we ever come to walking a mile in their shoes.
I’m Roger Currie
You can listen to Roger Currie’s commentary by clicking on the link below: