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Skipping bail in Canada is simply too easy

– Anybody see Ahmed Moalin-Mohamed around?
Head for cover if you do. And then call police.
“He may be in London, he may be in this city,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday.
He may be anywhere because he didn’t show up for his latest court hearing to determine if he should be on bail.
Oh, don’t worry. He’s only on the lam after being charged with attempted murder, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and 10 other charges in the Thanksgiving shooting of four people in London, Ont.
“He was ordered to stay at home with his mother,” Harper said sarcastically. “He promptly vanished.”
Seems his mom, who lives in Toronto, wasn’t able to detain him — despite being asked to by the court while he awaited the next court date. Maybe mom’s cooking wasn’t as good as it used to be or he didn’t want to make his bed.
You hardly need reforms to deal with this kind of stupidity. But reforms are what Harper, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor David Miller were talking about yesterday.
It’s actually a bail reform package that Harper’s government will table before Parliament — essentially making those on bail for serious charges go though a reverse onus process.
In other words, rather than have the Crown say why the suspect should stay in jail awaiting trial, the accused will have to show why he should be out of jail.
“As you know, cracking down on gang, gun and drug crime has been one of the top priorities of Canada’s new government,” said Harper. “We made it a priority because Canadians had made it very clear to us that they wanted the scales of justice rebalanced.”
He also stated: “In this city, police report that almost 1,000 crimes involving firearms or restricted weapons have been committed so far this year …nearly 40% of them were committed by someone who was on bail, parole, temporary absence or probation. Gun crime is a menace to public safety, and protecting Canadians must be the first priority of our bail system.”
The three leaders stood up there in unison. “Between the three of us we pretty much cover the political spectrum,” said Harper.
But they all agree on this. “We close ranks,” said McGuinty on crime against citizens.
“More arrests and more guns off the streets make it a safer city,” said Miller, adding he’s glad to see the PM say, “yes, to Toronto.”
You have to give these men credit. They are the good guys, on our side, and are trying to deal with a very difficult problem. The ideas revealed at this news conference are okay.
The measures that have been employed in Toronto this year by Chief Bill Blair have been effective in getting the numbers down and they have to be encouraged to keep crushing the criminal gangs.
But even though I support these leaders working together, there is still such political posturing to it all. After an hour of patting each other on the back, they still hadn’t mentioned there had been three shootings here in the last 48 hours.
One was at Yonge and Shuter — right near where Jane Creba was slain Dec. 26. One was up on the 401 in which police officers were shot at and one on King W. in the Entertainment District where a man was shot in the leg.
No funerals necessary. This time.
The part that amazes me is how people don’t help police out. “The victim (in the Entertainment District) was not exactly co-operative,” said a frustrated 14 Division Staff Sgt. Steve French. “If anybody has information, please call Crime Stoppers.”
And, please, don’t tell me somebody out there doesn’t know where Moalin-Mohamed is. The fact that people harbour fugitives like this gives a good indication of where this crime problem is really at. It says people are more afraid of the gangs than they are of the law. Or they don’t feel any moral responsibility to the rest of us.
This week’s incidents show how free and unafraid these people feel. They are carrying guns all the time. You have to be careful because you don’t know who has one. If there is one rat you do spot, there’s 100 you didn’t. You are probably never more than a few metres from a gun.
Maybe that’s Moalin-Mohamed sitting next to you right now. If it is, call 911 and get out of there — not necessarily in that order.