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Our Canadian Justice System is Failing (Part 6)

The goals of our justice system to prevent crime and to protect society are not being fulfilled that well.  I would call the justice system in Canada tried and found wanting.  In other words, it is failing.  We have out-of-control crime.  Drug addiction, drug overdose deaths and drug related crimes are at an all time high.  In an article in the September 1, 2021 issue of Maclean’s Magazine, Michael Friscolanti revealed that very 49 minutes there is a drug overdose death in Canada. That translates into 29 people per day and over 10,500 people per year. Most of those who die are considered young, most likely under 40. The late native lawyer, Harold Johnson, in his book Peace and Good Order, said he processed about 1500 files per year as a prosecuting attorney in La Ronge.  He said of those 1500 files, 95% were because the persons involved were intoxicated at the time of the offence.  

Two main reasons our justice system is failing is first, a moral collapse, which then secondly, results in corruption. Moral failure is really the greater sin that results in corruption.  Corruption simply means that the institution is not functioning within the moral guidelines and foundation that it was intended and designed for.  Morality defined by Webster Dictionary: The doctrine or system of moral duties, or the duties of men in their social character; ethics. The system of morality to be gathered from the writings of the ancients, falls very short of that delivered in the gospel... The quality of an action which renders it good; the conformity of an act to the divine law, or to the principles of rectitude. This conformity implies that the act must be performed by a free agent, and from a motive of obedience to the divine will. This is the strict theological and scriptural sense of morality. 

Our society has lost its moral foundation; this is the undercurrent to our loss of a justice system that is effective. If the people in our justice system were moral or righteous, we would see changes for great good in our justice system. I am not saying every employee or judge is immoral but the system in general is.  We have people making judgments in law who do not really understand right and wrong and how important it is for justice to function effectively.  The next step is corruption by default as well as many other ills. Many within the system lack the moral character to know right from wrong and end up doing nothing to make changes for the better. Instead, it results in living for the next pay cheque and dreaming of retirement. The best defence against immorality are good churches, Bible preachers and genuine Christians functioning in society.  Jesus gave the principle of salt in society: “Salt is good: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:34). Salt makes a difference to food and it makes a difference in society, in the character of people.  

Let’s again review the example of justice that Judge Matthew Begbie exercised in B.C. in the mid 1800’s during the high crime days of the new province in a new dominion.  For the province and country to survive, justice and order was needed to be restored or the new province would collapse. We need to learn from history and apply the same principles today if we have any hope of saving our country from collapse, like Venezuela or Mexico, as two present-day examples are. Once there is a failed justice system, people take the law into their own hands which ends in chaos and collapse with ruthless, brutal leadership ruling over the poor and helpless.   

Patrick Henry, a lawyer, and one of the founders of the U.S. constitution, understood the connection to morality and justice:   Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. 

I want to close this article by referring to the drug war in the Philippines conducted by President Rodrigo Duterte 2016-2022.  When elected as president, Duterte had already proven some of his radical anti-drug policies when he was a city mayor.  The drug trade was growing to a point in the Philippines that Duterte said, “If we keep on this same course, we will be a narco state similar to what Mexico has become, ruled with thugs and cartels.”  He declared war on drug trafficking and executed anyone caught dealing drugs.  He warned, “We are coming after you if you are a drug dealer.”  He implemented another program where, if anyone gave themselves up and turned themselves in to the authorities, there would be mercy granted.  Thousands did turn themselves in and were granted clemency.  One man on our church staff is from one of the Filipino cities where corrupt city officials, along with police officers, were involved in the illegal drug trade. They all feared for their lives and turned themselves in and were granted clemency and minimal consequences were realized.  However, if there was no turning themselves in, it was just a matter of time until the police would catch them with drugs or dealing drugs and there would be arrests, trials and execution.   Now, this seems so brutal in today’s passive justice mentality but Duterte, while not perfect, knew what was needed for his country at that time and carried it out for six years. 

When Duterte had concluded his term as president, the results of his war on drug policies in the Philippines, with information taken directly from Wikipedia, were: By March 31, 2022, 1,130 drug dens and clandestine laboratories has been dismantled. 24,766 of the 42,045 barangays (districts or wards) has been cleared of illegal drug influence. 14,888 “high-value targets” arrested, including 527 government employees. 76.17 billion worth of methamnetamine was seized. 4,307 minors (aged 4–17) were “rescued” from the illegal drug trade. 6,241 people were executed in the anti-illegal drug operations conducted from July 1, 2016, to March 31, 2022.   

The human rights agencies of the left-wing human rights world, along with the left-wing media, conducted a continual attack on Duterte throughout his term, criticizing his policies.  Enemies within the country continually brought false accusations about his policies. Duterte has expressed willingness to be tried for his role in the war on drugs but only in domestic courts. He refuses to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

I think what Duterte did made the Philippines a much safer place for families with children to grow up in.  I will let you make your own judgment.  The Philippines is a country rank with corruption but what Duterte did made a good start to making things much better. Corruption must be rooted out of every facet of government and institutions in order for confidence and security to attract business investment.   It would never have happened if there wasn’t a leader willing to stand against the attacks to finish the job. Duterte was a bulldog.  His reforms were not popular with many but he was willing to lead the country in radical and proven principles of reform. It was proof to me that it worked better than anything else I have seen. Six months into his first term, Duterte said he had no idea how big the drug problem had become until they started his campaign against it.  I believe we would discover the same in this country.   

Again, considering the Macleans article by Michael Friscolanti that every 49 minutes there is another drug overdose death in Canada, I think time is of the essence in Canada for our justice system to make some radical reforms to deal with this crisis, as well as the crime crisis. 

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The content of this article is solely the personal opinions of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Prince Albert Shopper.

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Wednesday March 13, 2024