Pubdate: Fri, 4 Sep 2009
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Travis Erbacher


Dear Editor,

Stephen Harper has taken another step towards being declared the worst
prime minister in our country's history. Mr. Harper appointed eight
new puppets in the Senate, one the illiterate hockey coach Jacque
Demers, another the husband of Human Resources Minister Diane Finley,
and he stands to appoint more later this year.

For someone who holds the position that senators should be elected,
and once called the senate a "dumping ground" for political cronies,
he sure seems to enjoy appointing his own cronies. This is a
significant story because the huge omnibus crime bill that has passed
in Parliament, and is waiting on the Senate's to-do list, has been
under serious scrutiny from those of us who have actually looked at

The bill includes what died previously in Parliament as Bill C-15,
which brings in mandatory minimum sentences of six months for growing
as little as five marijuana plants.

This is at a time when most American states are repealing mandatory
minimums for drug crimes. Governor David Patterson of New York has
said that "few initiatives have failed as badly and for as long as the
Rockefeller Drug Laws [mandatory minimums for drug

The bill also includes provisions that would give police the authority
to take bodily fluid samples from a driver who appears to be high.
However, there is no test that can reliably determine if a driver is
stoned. The only test available gives false positives and can only
tell if the person has smoked marijuana in the past month, not if they
were stoned while driving.

This means a lot of innocent people will be locked up, costing you,
the taxpayer, millions every year.

The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) has declared these
provisions unconstitutional, as they violate one's charter rights to
privacy and security of person. Imagine that: something about police
officers randomly pulling people over and forcibly taking bodily
fluids for no reason seems slightly authoritarian.

Because of the CCJA's objection, our prime minister is stacking the
senate with people who will vote the way he tells them to. Forget the
"Triple E" senate, he is working on a "Triple I" senate: Ignorant,
Incompetent, and Immoral.

It has been a source of national pride for a long time that we have
more sensible laws than the U.S.A., however there are now 13 states
with more lenient drug laws than Canada. This is a dark time in our
country's history. This is change I can't believe.

Travis Erbacher, Langley
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