Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Canada not a child abuser dumping ground, says Dalton

Following-up on Sunday's post about an American citizen, living in Canada but working in the U.S. as a teacher, who was convicted of child abuse in the U.S. for having an affair with a 15-year-old student in the U.S., and instead of prison was sentenced by the U.S. court to stay in Canada and not enter the U.S.

As Dr. Phil would say (in a completely non-sexist sense, Peter) that dog just won't hunt. At least Ontario's Liberal Premier, Dalton McGuinty, thinks so. McGuinty today rightly said this guy should serve his sentence in the U.S., where the offence took place. Crazy concept, I know.

This is a federal matter though, and he called on the Harper government to step up.

“This is obviously not the kind of precedent that we want to allow the Americans to establish,” Mr. McGuinty said. “It's not the kind of thing we're prepared to accept.”

“We will work with the federal government and we hope we are of one mind in this regard to ensure that we don't become some kind of a dumping ground for convicted offenders south of the border,” he said.

So far, the silence from Harper and his immigration minister, Monte Solberg, has been deafening. I guess they have no trouble with U.S. courts sentencing their sex offenders to "Canada." This is a dangerous precedent to accept.

Remember when these guys pretended they were tough on crime?

UPDATE: Signs of life in the Conservative caucus:

A federal cabinet minister, Rob Nicholson, said he was "infuriated" by the decision and vowed that Ottawa will do whatever it can to block U.S. pedophiles from serving their probation time in Canada.

"I think the Minister of Immigration has made it very, very clear that anyone who is convicted of an offence like this is unwelcome in this country and that all steps will be taken to indicate that that is the case," said Mr. Nicholson, the Government House Leader, who represents the riding where the man lives.

Immigration Minister Monte Solberg would not comment on the situation yesterday. Immigration Department spokeswoman Melanie Carkner said that while specific cases cannot be discussed, the next step in such cases would be to revoke an individual's status as a permanent resident of Canada.

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S.K. said...

I don't believe "child abuse" is something anyone can be convicted of in either jurisdiction Jeff. He was convbicted of having sex with a minor under his care more than likely. She is actually above the age of consent in Canda but because she is his student he would be stripped of his ability to teach here.

He is however not a child abuser. He did not rape the young woman. She consented as much as a young student can consent and I do believe it is an abuse of position and power to do this and he should never be allowed to teach again.

But try to use your terms carefully Jeff. Child abuser he is not.

Jeff said...

Child abuse was the term that has been used in all the news coverage of the story, so I was careful to use that same term in my posts.

Olaf said...

So far, the silence from Harper and his immigration minister, Monte Solberg, has been deafening. I guess they have no trouble with U.S. courts sentencing their sex offenders to "Canada." This is a dangerous precedent to accept.

C'mon Jeff, the government doesn't sit around waiting for a controversy and the jump to issue a press release at the soonest possible opportunity. This story just broke a few days ago, be patient.

You can rest assured that if this story stays in the media long enough and if it gets brought up in question period enough times, and if all the parties combine to pass a motion in the house of commons demanding immediate action, Stephen Harper will, eventually, send a cordial telegram to George to consider the issue 'if he gets a chance... or not, whatever'.

Let the democratic process take its course...

Jeff said...

Man Olaf, you had me going for a second there...

Jason Hickman said...

Jeff, I agree that this guy should be given the heave-ho.

But are you really suggesting that the government should simply say, as one Tory famously did, "To hell with the Courts" and toss the guy out w/o due process?

I'm not saying such a position isn't arugbale, though I'd personally prefer the govt actively oppose this loser's presence in the Courts; I'm just trying to see if that's what you and/or Premier McGuinty had in mind.

Jeff said...

Jason, certaintly the fellow is entitled to process, but I would like to see him gone as quickly as possible. The first step would seem to lie with Monte Solberg's department; from there it's up to the guy whether he wants to avail himself of the appeals process or just leave the country. If he does appeal, I agree the government needs to actively fight to send him back to the U.S. Even if the cirsumstances of this case weren't so objectionable, the government could now allow the precedent to stand.

Nomennovum said...


Are you so exercised about this issue because of the heinousness of the crime of having sex with a 15 year old or the perception that the US is doing something to Canada’s sovereignty (just what I am not exactly sure). The man has broken no Canadian law (that we can tell from the news accounts), there is no requirement that the US seek extradition of its criminals, and the man has legal rights in Canada. On what legal grounds do you propose to send him packing? And to where? Remember, he is not allowed into the US.

“This guy should serve his sentence in the U.S.” -- BCer

You seem to be neglecting the fact that this is not a jail sentence of any sort to be “served.” Indeed, as part of his plea bargain, he agreed not to enter the United States for three years. He is not being sentenced by the US to jail in Canada. He is actually serving no sentence in Canada at all. He may go to the UK, Mexico, Cuba, or Timbuktu. Stop implying that living in Canada is tantamount to a jail sentence. I don’t think many believe this. Do you?

His punishment has been given. He is paying for his crime. You have plenty of ex-cons all across Canada – many from other countries. Do you propose to kick them all back to their countries of origin?

“Are we now the dumping ground for all the United States' undesirable criminals?” you asked in your prior post. I think this gets to the crux of your problem. Your problem is not the man. Your problem is not his crime. Your problem is not where he lives . Your problem is the United States.

I am trying to imagine the shoe being on the other foot, and all I can think is that there would be one great collective shrug of the shoulders in the United States … and all the convict’s neighbors – especially those with teenage daughters – would keep a close eye on the Lolita-loving Mr. Humbert wannabe.

As far as I can tell the only one who may have a legal claim against the US courts would be this self-styled Humbert himself . But he would have to show that the court exceeded its jurisdiction (the State of New York) in prohibiting him from entering any state of the United States. Nevertheless, he would have a tough row to hoe because he himself agreed to this prohibition.

The man is a legal resident of Canada. The man did the crime in the US. The man plea bargained an agreement in the US not to enter the US for three years. The man broke no crime in Canada. The man has legal rights (such as due process) in Canada. The man is unlikely to contest this sentence since he agreed to it (somehow finding that three years with his family in Canada is better than jail time in Buffalo). Canada has worse criminals in its midst, many of them foreign born. Why single out this guy and not the radical Islamists in your cities? Do you really think Harper is going to complain to Bush about some Lolita-loving loser from America when sending Islamists back to their countries elicits outcries among the same people now screaming for Mr. Watson’s forced expulsion? What do you think would be America’s response to this?

Nothing will come of this.

Jeff said...

Actually, this would have been a crime in Canada because he was her teacher, and therefore was in a position of authority.