Judge rebukes Toews for rejecting yet another convict’s transfer request


mentalfloss
#1



Judge rebukes Toews for rejecting yet another convict’s transfer request

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews didn’t give adequate reasons when he rejected a bid by a Montreal trucker jailed in the United States to serve the rest of his sentence back in Canada.

The judgment is the 15th time a Canadian federal court has criticized Mr. Toews or his two Conservative predecessors, Peter Van Loan and Stockwell Day, for failing to provide a proper explanation why they wouldn’t allow a Canadian held in a foreign prison to be transferred to their country of citizenship.

The court ordered Mr. Toews to review again the application by Yves LeBon, saying that the minister's rejection was “neither transparent nor intelligible.

Mr. LeBon was intercepted by an Illinois state trooper for a minor traffic violation in 2007. A search of his car trunk uncovered 119 kilos of cocaine. He is now serving a 10-year sentence at a minimum-security penitentiary in Pennsylvania. American authorities approved his request to be transferred to Canada three years ago.

The Correctional Service of Canada told Mr. Toews the available information “does not lead one to believe that [Mr. LeBon] would, after the transfer, commit an act of terrorism or organized crime.”

Mr. Toews, however, turned down the application, citing Mr. LeBon’s refusal to reveal for whom he was transporting such a large amount of cocaine.

The minister’s decision was upheld in Federal Court but rejected by the appeals court in an April 27 decision that hadn't been reported until now.

“Because the minister’s decision was not justified, transparent and intelligible it was unreasonable and so it should be set aside,” Madam Justice Eleanor Dawson wrote for the three-judge appellate panel.


Lawyers who have dealt with transfer cases say that requests used to be almost automatically granted. However, under the Conservative government, about a third are systemically rejected, usually those dealing with drug offences.

Often, the minister’s rejections come despite assessments by Correctional Service of Canada that the applicants were at a low risk of reoffending.

Mr. Toews cannot comment on specific cases.

However, when asked to comment about the policy in general, his office said in a statement that “at all times and in all decisions, the minister puts public safety first.”

Under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, the public safety minister makes the final decision over whether to allow Canadians convicted abroad to serve the remainder of their sentences in Canada.

Amendments to the law passed under the Conservative omnibus crime bill will give the minister more discretion in deciding the cases. However, Mr. LeBon’s case went to court under the old law.

A transfer to Canada is advantageous to inmates because generally they qualify for parole earlier than if they were in custody abroad.

However, lawyers and advocates say that it is also better to have applicants back within the Canadian correctional system where they would be registered and eventually released under supervision.

Otherwise, they say, offenders can serve their whole sentences abroad with little access to rehabilitation programs and be returned without notification to authorities in Canada.

Judge rebukes Toews for rejecting yet another convict's transfer request - The Globe and Mail
 
Machjo
#2
If it's the law, I'd say the Minister ought to respect it. However, it jsut seems to make sense to serve one's sentence in the country the crime was committed in. But still, if the law says otherwise, then set an example as Minister and obay it.

Damn this government!
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
+3
#3  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, the public safety minister makes the final decision over whether to allow Canadians convicted abroad to serve the remainder of their sentences in Canada.

OK, if the law says the final decision is up to the minister, then what is the justification for the appeal(s) of his decision or the judge's condemnation of the minister's decision? I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything but this type of court challenge seems to be a waste of public resources (i.e. court time etc) that are better spent elsewhere.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the John Howard Society or most prison advocate groups. I believe punishment and making restitution are as important as rehabilitation.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

A transfer to Canada is advantageous to inmates because generally they qualify for parole earlier than if they were in custody abroad.

However, lawyers and advocates say that it is also better to have applicants back within the Canadian correctional system where they would be registered and eventually released under supervision.

Otherwise, they say, offenders can serve their whole sentences abroad with little access to rehabilitation programs and be returned without notification to authorities in Canada.


So in other words, felons know its an easier ride and shorter sentences to do their time in the Canadian system. The idea of convicts being returned without notice is laughable, considering that they would have to cross the border and go through Customs and Immigration; its not like they would be sneaking past anyone, and if they have paid their debt to the society they offended against, who really cares?
 
Goober
Free Thinker
+1
#4
119 k of cocaine - 10 years - min security - my guess is he cooperated with the US Police/Authorities.

My opinion - let him do his 10 years - I have no issue with that. It became an expectation that Canadians could serve the last portion of their sentence in Canada - that in many cases meant under our law automatic release.

It is a wonder he did not get life for that amount of cocaine.

Also - MF - perhaps you could provide a link on how many cases were denied and what types of crimes these people who were denied a transfer committed.

Or are you just on a hunt?
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#5
Why would we let them serve their time in Canada? That would mean us taxpayers would have to feed and house them for several years. That would be foolish. Like the old axe says" If you can't do the time don't do the crime."
 
CDNBear
#6
The court ordered Mr. Toews to review again the application by Yves LeBon, saying that the minister's rejection was “neither transparent nor intelligible.

Mr. Toews, however, turned down the application, citing Mr. LeBon’s refusal to reveal for whom he was transporting such a large amount of cocaine.

That's pretty transparent and intelligible.
 
The Old Medic
Conservative
#7
I agree 100% with the Minister on this one. if this guy won't reveal who he was transporting 119 Kilos of Cocaine for, the odds are high that he will go right back to working for the same person, as soon as he's let out.

I can't believe the Canadian courts. 119 KILO'S of Cocaine doesn't get their attention?
 
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