The politically silly “woke” nonsense continues now infecting Canada’s legal processes.
According to Cristin Hopper, in the National Post, 5 April, 2023 the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are upset with the Federal Government’s bail system:
“Most notably, the law requires that the top priority at any bail hearing is “releasing the accused at the earliest reasonable opportunity and on the least onerous conditions.” Judges are also told to set aside their usual considerations on public safety if the accused is from a “vulnerable population.”
But, wait a minute, aren’t we supposed to be safe from all these desperate criminal types now that Mr. Trudeau has brought about his revised gun control legislation? Was that not the promise, to make Canada a better place with respect to public safety?
Set aside their usual considerations like, will this individual harm someone if let out awaiting trial or will they present a flight risk, is the dude a runner, never to be seen again? Do they release Chester the molester simply because (insert the correct pronoun) are from a “vulnerable population”?
To set aside their usual considerations on public safety, justices are required to release someone if they are from a “vulnerable” population. Do we have a legal definition of who is contained in the “vulnerable” population cohort? I doubt it.
What we do have is a political view of who is considered “vulnerable” by those who make up these quasi-legal pronouncements. Oh, we have the usual rhetoric of who might be someone from the “vulnerable” population. There are the usual types from the repressed populations represented by such groups as Black Lives Matter and or course those of Indigenous background.
Now I don’t disagree with a Justice digging into the personal circumstances of each accused when presented to him or her at a bail hearing. This is why Justices have been given wide powers of discretion in such matters and these circumstances are important in making bail decisions.
However, to give accused a Cart Blanche, “get out of jail free card”, just because someone feels they fall under the rubric of “vulnerable” population without some sort of codified legal test identified is not only dangerous, it is just plain dumb.
Cultural appropriation has been defined as; “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. Of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society”.
How many artists, writers or other public figures have recently been accused of cultural appropriation in the press and media? Oh, yes, let us not forget our own Prime Minister who has paraded himself in public as such in at least two famous occasions.
Are we now going to see as a preliminary argument before a Justice on background history of every defendant presented for a bail hearing? Will our Courts have to provide a costume and makeup room complete with a fashion designer and a makeup artist?
If you are thinking that I have used the term “vulnerable population” far too often in my comments, you would be absolutely right. Releasing certain populations on bail simply because they meet some sort of populist criteria is insanity. The reasons why our politicians categorize such people in the first case needs addressing and solutions found, not just making Justices give them a “get out of jail free” card.
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are right to be concerned.