Sometimes Ian Mulgrew mails in a shoddy effort: on Basi/Virk, for example. Other times he is thoughtful, incisive and on target: Dsziekanski and the RCMP, for example. Today Mulgrew is on track. I suggest you go to the Vancouver Sun pages and read B.C. legal system is ‘a ticking time bomb’:
…five years ago, we had 143 provincial judges; now we’re down to 130.
The B.C. Crown Counsel Association warns that not only are there not enough judges, there are not enough prosecutors either.
Victoria has long promised to add more; it hasn’t happened.
…To maintain the budgetary line, the Liberals have neglected the province’s legal infrastructure to an unconscionable level.
They closed 60 legal aid offices, the Vancouver Pre-Trial Centre, 10 jails and 24 courthouses. Pre-trial jails are said to be horrendously overcrowded.
All this at a time when the federal Conservatives were attaching mandatory jail sentences to more offences and threatening tougher enforcement.
It’s absurd — one level of government jacking up penalties while the other slashes funding so cases are tossed out of court for taking too long to get to trial.
Another thing that I find absurd is that Mike de Jong has been Attorney General for near two years and a Liberal Cabinet Minister for ten. During that time, the justice system in British Columbia degraded substantially while its political and bureaucratic managers paid themselves handsomely. The degradation continued even recently while the government claimed to be waging war against murderous drug gangs.
Despite being an abject failure as Attorney General, de Jong offers himself as the next BC Liberal Premier. That, more than anything else, labels this governing political party as careless, ignorant and incompetent. For de Jong to be a leadership candidate and in Cabinet, demonstrates his own lack of awareness and the paucity of political talent in Victoria.