Tories stock parole board with former cops, jail guards


Canadian Press

June 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM EDT

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has favoured former police and corrections officers for new appointments to the National Parole Board since the Harper government took office in 2006, government records show.

Of the 36 new members Mr. Day has named to the board since he became minister that year, 23 are retired police officers or former federal and provincial corrections staff.

The preference for former police and prison personnel is drawing criticism from opposition MPs and a senior executive with the John Howard Society, who accuse the government of extending a get-tough justice ideology into corrections and rehabilitation.

They say if that is the case, the Conservative government is ignoring successful aspects of existing standards for supervised parole and rehabilitation.

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh and New Democrat MP Joe Comartin add that the trend — combined with other measures the government has taken to increase the role of police officers in the criminal justice system — indicates the government is in danger of “politicizing” police forces across the country.

“This is, by wide agreement, the most ideological government that anybody can remember and very, very consistent in their application of their ideology and their disregard of the evidence for what works in corrections,” said Craig Jones, executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada.

Mr. Day's appointment of former police officers and correctional service personnel to the parole board far surpasses the number named by former Liberal Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan.

She named only two retired police officers and one retired corrections employee through 2004 and 2006, out of 27 appointments to the board.

Parole board appointments are proposed by the public safety minister and ratified by cabinet. The parole board has exclusive authority to grant, deny, cancel, terminate or revoke day parole and full parole for all federal inmates and all provincial inmates except for those in Quebec and Ontario, the only provinces that continue to have their own parole boards.

Mr. Day has also re-appointed a further four retired police officers and four former corrections administrators who were named to the parole board by Ms. McLellan and previous Liberal ministers.

His most recent appointments to the board, last week, included one with both political and policing undercurrents: Mr. Day named former Alberta solicitor general Harvey Cenaiko, who had a 24-year career with the Calgary police force before entering politics, as a full-time board member.

Earlier this year, he named a 25-year RCMP veteran in Mission, B.C., to the board, and last year appointed a retired Sudbury, Ont., police inspector, renewed the part-time appointment of a former Saskatoon police chief as a full-time position and named four other former police officers as full or part-time members.

In all, Mr. Day has named eight former police officers and 15 former federal or provincial corrections personnel as new members to the board, and has made a total of 52 full- and part-time appointments, including renewals and new members.

Although formerly associated with police departments or prisons, several of Mr. Day's full- and part-time appointments also have experience in rehabilitation and an education in criminology, including the former director of a Correctional Service of Canada sex offender program in Ontario, a victims' rights adviser, a B.C. parole officer who worked with an aboriginal rehabilitation program and specialists in family violence.

Mr. Day has also appointed a lawyer who served as a Crown prosecutor, and has made at least two appointments that appear to be of a political nature.

The parole board has 32 full-time members and 35 part-time members, excluding six members at national headquarters in Ottawa.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Day did not respond directly when asked by e-mail whether the minister was purposefully naming board members with policing and corrections experience.

Communications director Melisa Leclerc replied to that and other questions in a general way, saying all of his candidates meet board qualifications and requirements, including interviews with senior board officials.

“Persons with law enforcement and corrections experience are often amongst the most qualified candidates as they are very familiar with the corrections and criminal justice system,” said Ms. Leclerc.

“I believe if you look at the individuals who have been appointed and re-appointed to the board, they come from a variety of backgrounds.”

Mr. Comartin, a lawyer, and Mr. Dosanjh, a former B.C. attorney-general, noted the Harper government has also added a spot for police officers to ministerial advisory committees that are set up for the appointment of federal judges.

The first person Mr. Harper publicly visited after he was sworn in as prime minister was former RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. Mr. Harper subsequently named a former Progressive Conservative political aide as RCMP commissioner, and last week took the unprecedented step for a prime minister of appearing at the force's college in Regina to announce a new $500-a-week salary for Mountie cadets in training.

“There's a real risk here, in fact almost a certainty, that you politicize our police forces to be oriented to the party in power that makes these types of appointments,” said Mr. Comartin.

“It says, you know, ‘We're your buddies.”'

Mr. Dosanjh linked the increase in police presence in the justice system to the determination the government showed when it threatened an election to get Parliament to pass new sentencing laws that included mandatory minimums for a range of crimes.

“What this government is trying to do is actually take us down the U.S. route,” he said. “Their (U.S.) jails are overcrowded and the mandatory minimums haven't lowered the crime rate.”

Mr. Comartin, however, said if Mr. Day is expecting the former police and corrections officers to clamp down on parole applications, there is no guarantee that will happen unless he selects candidates he knows may be less likely to grant paroles or more likely to revoke them.

“The reality is you get police officers on a wide spectrum,” he said.

Seventy per cent of federal inmates released on full parole in 2005-06 successfully completed their parole supervision period, the parole board says.




Commentary in Globe and Mail

Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: Stockwell Day is "Stocking the stockings of business". I can't think of anything more revolting that a Federal minister, Stockwell Day, making a business decision disguised as a legal decision.

Stockwell Day is extremely good at shooting himself in the foot and in particular his legal knowledge appears to below the level of comprehension of many if not most Elementary School students.

Stockwell Day is stocking the Jails with "criminals", you see, he is a puppet or closet "Republican" with all the right wing "Mike Harris" "common sense' ideas on private enterprise running jails and pandering to the likes police associations who again have just one goal in mind and that's putting an increasing percentage of Canadians behind bars, and keeping them behind bars.

Any experienced Criminal Judge or lawyer will be shaking their heads in horror at what Stockwell Day and the conservatives have managed to achieve.

Its doing indirectly what is improper or illegal directly.
They have turned the parol board into a political organization that brings the administration of justice into ill repute.

Its extremely offensive, its means its just another elimination of a check point in the justice system that aims at putting the poor in jail and keeping them there.

In the USA in excess of One percent of the population is incarcerated, Look at Gender and its a hell of lot more than one percent as it criminalises men rather than women when women go free or are not charged or get reduced sentances for the same offense.

Canada is the same, and in particular, the jails are filled with the lower end of the economic scale, those who were in many cases incarcerated initially for nothing more than being poor or being the product of a dysfunctional "FATHERLESS HOME".

Mr Stockwell Day has not said a word about how men are increasingly incarcerated for nothing more serious than seeking access to their children. Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada) wrote: Stockwell Day will be remembered in Canadian History as more of a fool and Vigilante than anything else. The conservatives actually expect us to swallow their stacking of the parole board as being OK?

The tragedy is that they rely upon the apathy of Canadians, the fact that most Canadians don't give a dam that many police officers simply arrest innocent people, frame them, destroy their lives, abuse their powers, run businesses and criminal organizations while employed as "Police Officers" who get "Appointed to a Parol Board"?

Next prosecutors will be adding that little reminder in their plea bargains to cut deals with innocent victims of Police Officers who fabricate criminal charges against those who they don't like or for political rewards.

I'm willing to bet that the parole Board appointees will have their own histories that need to be carefully examined.

Why should the next government have to "clean house" to remove a "parole board" that is nothing but a political organization.

Canada needs just but ONE police force across Canada, every little tin pot police force is just a breeding ground for corruption and abuse of process.

Take Timmins Ontario, their police force used to run a Call Girl racket and at last check several years ago, almost every instant lottery sales point in the entire city was owned by a Timmins Police Officer, their spouse or a business associate.

Up in Sault Ste. Marie, if you had power and influence, you could call up the SSM police and have criminal charges laid against your next door neighbor and have them end up in criminal charges.

Canada's police forces especially the "smaller ones" are a breeding ground for abuses. Often they work hand in hand with others in power in the local community such as prosecutors, social workers, parole officers, jail guards and now, parole board members.

Just how much embarrassment does Canada want? Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: Kudos to Craig Jones of the John Howard Society. EXPECT Stockwell Day to "get rid of him" for his public statement. Thats what you expect in today's CORRUPT CANADA.

We have a pool of judges, and in that pool of judiciary is an underbeelly of the judiciary who will make not legal decisions but Political decisions.

Increasingly, Canada's Judiciary has a large percentage of judges who will not hesitate to knowingly convict or criminalize anyone who is "critical" of their actions.

Canadians need to be alarmed at the fact that we have Corrupt Police forces especially smaller police forces, and the conservatives don't give a dam about justice.

They adopt the "get rid of em" approach to poverty.

Fact is, in Canada encourages those with money and power to commit criminal offenses, abuse powers to cause criminal convictions, that is "criminalize" victims who now will be kept in jail even longer by Stockwell Days appointments that can only be described as "an insult to justice" and "CORRUPT".

I'm not surprised in the least to hear this of Stockwell Day, its the kind of right wing radical Republican idea that is again a political decision and not a legal decision.

Hopefully, Canadians will wake up to the Conservatives abuse of power and their failure to address Canada's problems in the justice system that stem from Canada's failure to have a legal presumption of equal parenting and their failure to address the taboo subject of mental health. Both of which are causal to Canada's negative birth rate, fatherless homes and an increasingly dysfunctional corrupt society of decreasing values.

I'm not the greatest fan of the liberals but Stockwell Day is a great example of just how dangerous a politician can become. Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: If Stockwell Day of the Conservatives really cared about justice, they would address the War Against Men being waged by Family Court Judges who like the conservatives, have many credits to society and an underbelly who like Stockwell Day abuse their power and authority.
Stockwell Day must know what he is doing is "WRONG", Why? Why is Stockwell Day so willing to embark on a mission to turn a parole board into a political puppet organization for the obvious use of Police Forces?

Fact is, Canada has corrupt juges willing to make political decisions, that is convict innocent victims for nothing more than being critical of the judiciary or the local police.

Local Canadian Police are FAMOUS for laying criminal charges against anyone who dares to suggest that they are corrupt.

In Korrupt Kanada, you can "arrange" for a specific judges to hold a specific hearing especially if you are a lawyer with the "right connections". It happens dam near every day.

Ask ANY experienced Criminal lawyer in Ontario, on certain matters, it is not usual for those with the right connections to get "a certain judge" to hold a hearing.

In Family Court it is amazing at how the same judge gets to make some of those draconian orders that defy legal logic because they are not legal decisions but political decisions.

Increasingly, anyone who is critical of Family Court gets to be a victim of Judicial revenge.

Police forces often refuse to be associated with it but increasingly, those in power know which judge to contact and how to get a certain judge to hear and make a favourable decision.

If you are thinking of emigrating to Kanada, be warned, Kanada has a Korrupt Judicial system, a country of very large number of independent police forces that are often a law unto themselves making political no policing decisions. Its worse than a third world justice system.

Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: Stockwell's plan to "stock the Parole Board" is fundamentally improper, offends the principles of justice and brings the administration of justice into ill repute.

Certain retired police officers and former prison guards may actually have experience and knowledge that might just be quite a surprise to the conservatives.

Obviously, a parole board needs to be composed a bit like a jury, just imagine if every jury in Canada was stacked with police officers or jail guards. Obviously fair trials would cease to exist, and equally obviously Stockwell's stocking of the parole board means that it becomes a branch office of the Conservatives.

Hopefully one day, society will wake up to how Canada's judicial system has become increasingly political subject to widespread abuses of power by those in Canada with the most amount of power. Yes, Judges, then police, then politicians hell bent on power at any cost and or prejudice to Canadian society.

Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: All jail guards, all police offices, all parole officers and all judges are not the same. But they tend to have one thing in common, "Absolute Power" and in Canada like anywhere else, "Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" The worst example is Family Court Judges who criminalize men for nothing more than having a genuine meritious claim that their children's best interests include a relationship with their father.

Family Court Judges, then police embark on a mission of Male Destruction, its called "Male Gender Apartheid" all in a knee jerk hen pecked reaction to Extreme Feminism that treats all men as violent abusers while ignoring the fact that women initiate violence towards men equally if not more than men.

Canadian jails are increasingly filled with male victims of false allegations, false criminal convictions and, jailed for failing to pay child support based on Incomes that never existed except in the imagination of a mentally ill violent woman hell bent on using Family Court Judges to destroy the father of their children by repeatedly incarcerting him, for no other crime than attempting to be a father.

Now Stockwell Day expends his energies on stocking the parole board? Perhaps he should look at Australia's Legal Presumption of Equal parenting after separation and their child support legislation. It makes Canada look like a two bit third world corrupt justice system which is an accurate description of Canada's Justice System. Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: The unspoken instruction of Stockwell Day is, "Your mission, is to make political decisions to reward your appointment to the Parole Board"

The contempt for the judiciary is obvious and palpable. Judges already have incredible restrictions by way of "sentencing guidelines".
Many of the most experienced knowledgeable judges in Criminal law exercise "judicial discretion" and make "judicial decisions" that are a product of many years of dealing with difficult repeat offenders including dangerous offenders.

For experienced judges, every decision requires a calculation of a probability of re offending and incorporating substantive methods of reducing the prejudice to society while, balancing the probability of rehabilitation.

At one extreme you have a California style of 3 strikes and you are out and at the other extreme is making in later hindsight, poor decisions.

Judges criminal decisions are often the result of a long trial, where the judge had all the facts before him or her and a parole board with a political mandate is no simply an impossible replacement.

Parole boards are now a law unto themselves and also now, thanks to Stockwell Day, they may well erode the public's confidence in the administration of justice and thats something that Stockwell Day does not seem to give a dam about.