Rac­ing through the bor­der

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Anotherof our bor­ing edi­to­ri­als about the lack of real po­lice in Stanstead. Why bother with flow­er­pots when you can race through the Cus­toms of­fice in Stanstead and then go to the near­est town where a hot cof­fee is avail­able and wait to be picked up by the po­lice and claim asy­lum sta­tus? And not get de­ported back to where they came from, namely the United States. Un­less they dropped in from the sky, that is; all is pos­si­ble.

All of this is due to a huge, as in HUGE, loop­hole in the ap­pli­ca­tion of the law and of the We will try to be brief. To be ac­cepted as a refugee un­der this law, a per­son must ap­ply ei­ther to Canada or the United States when they arrive in ei­ther coun­try to ask for refugee sta­tus. So if you are com­ing from Africa, if you arrive in Canada you can legally ask to be ac­cepted as a refugee at the air­port. You will be ac­cepted into Canada while your case lingers in court for years. If, on the other hand, you arrive in the USA and, know­ing the Amer­i­cans com­plete lack of hu­mour in these mat­ters, you want to set­tle in Canada, if you show up at any Cana­dian Cus­toms of­fice and ask for refugee sta­tus, you will au­to­mat­i­cally be turned over to the Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties. All clear? But if you skip the stop at the cus­toms of­fice and sim­ply cross over the street and don’t re­port, then you can ask to be ad­mit­ted as a refugee in Canada and wait for years for your claim to be set­tled.

The prob­lem is the same one that we have de­nounced again and again: Lack of proper polic­ing, as in the per­ma­nent and con­tin­u­ous pres­ence of po­lice cruis­ers, marked and un­marked, in Stanstead. If the RCMP lack the proper man­power and re­sources to do this, they should ask and com­pen­sate the Sûreté du Québec to pro­vide them with the proper backup to as­sure that at least two cars are on duty, twenty fours a day. This is not rocket sci­ence. Only a con­tin­u­ous pres­ence, known by marked cruis­ers, will ren­der Stanstead a for­bid­den des­ti­na­tion for il­le­gal cross­ing.

We have wit­nessed enough star­tled “What? There was a Cus­toms of­fice there?” peo­ple over the last year, ar­rested by the un­marked cars of the RCMP, to know that the prob­lem is not with the force but rather from a se­ri­ous lack of peo­ple and re­sources, a.k.a. a real bud­get to cover this prob­lem.

Not be­ing of a crim­i­nal mind, we are not com­pletely stupid ei­ther. Jack, the guy who wants to bring some­thing into Canada il­le­gally, only has to get into ca­hoots with some il­le­gal im­mi­grant smug­glers, find out when they will act, and zoom along be­hind them for the ride.

Now the Harper Gov­ern­ment is all for law and or­der. So are we, but with a bud­get and re­spect of hu­man rights.

This may be a prob­lem. The in­cred­i­ble good­will that the World had for Canada un­der the Pear­son doc­trine, en­dorsed by all Cana­dian gov­ern­ments, Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives, is gone. Rather than ad­mit­ting our fair share of refugees un­der the United Nations High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees guid­ance, we are block­ing al­most ev­ery le­git­i­mate claim, with them go­ing to the same slow process as the il­le­gal ones. This, along with bla­tant abuse of the ba­sic rights awarded to any Cana­dian cit­i­zens at birth, the Omar Khadr case be­ing on top of the list.

All of this is re­lated, but for the time be­ing, what is needed is a proper bud­get to pro­tect the bor­der at Stanstead on the Cana­dian side. We hope that the is­sue is raised in the House soon.

AFrench­language lec­ture on “Wa­ter Mills & the Be­gin­nings of the Town­ships: The First Mills of Bolton” by Daniel Chevrier and Hélène Buteau, Arche­ol­o­gists, Archéotec, will take place on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 28, 1:30 pm at the Holy Trin­ity Church, 903 Bolton Pass Rd (Route 243), South Bolton. It will be fol­lowed by a bilin­gual dis­cus­sion. There will be a draw­ing of an origi- nal en­grav­ing by Wil­liam Henry Bartlett, 1809-1854, who vis­ited the Eastern Town­ships around 1839-1840.

The Pat­ri­moine BOLTON Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion is work­ing to pre­serve Holy Trin­ity Church by trans­form­ing it into a his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural cen­ter while main­tain­ing its spir­i­tual vo­ca­tion. Free ad­mis­sion, vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion call (450) 292-4822.

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