is how one judge described the Mandatory Victims Surcharge. This surcharge – an additional fine tacked onto every criminal sentence- $100 for summary offences and $300 for indictable ones -was made mandatory for all offenders in the 2013 criminal law reforms brought in by the Conservative government. Continue reading “A Tax on Broken Souls”
Unlike Canada, where Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada face mandatory retirement at age 75, thus giving the Prime Minister, (barring the unforeseen) an orderly schedule for the making of future appointments, US Supreme Court jurists serve for life, Continue reading “More turmoil for SCOTUS”
I confess to being a wee bit discouraged. St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again, and while for most it is a day of pretending to be Irish, for me it is a day of deep reflection upon the plight of our wee forest folk
It is a topic I have blogged about before, including a piece last year proposing the establishment of sanctuary cities for undocumented leprechauns. Alas, our world has completed a full orbit around its sun since I penned that post, and nowhere has the plight of leprechauns been alleviated in even the smallest of measures.
To this day leprechauns, elves and other assorted wee forest folk have absolutely no civil rights in this great Dominion called Canada. They cannot vote, they are excluded from the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they can’t claim Pogey, or welfare, and can’t even belly up to the trough for refugee funding
I had hoped that the Truth and Reconciliation commission report, released in the past year, might have some kind words, but not a single sentence in that weighty tome was devoted to the topic. South of the border, I had my fingers crossed that our wee green deamers might obtain some relief under the DREAM Act, but sadly, even there their dreams were shattered.
The future does indeed look bleak for leprechauns in North America. Unless we act decisively and soon, I fear they may well become extinct; remembered only in gaudy cartoons every March 17. Now, their only real hope is rested with the bureaucrats of the European union.
It’s a little-known fact that within the vast bureaucracy of the EU in Brussels exists a European Habitats Commission, which in 2009, issued a European Habitats Directive to protect the biodiversity of Ireland’s Cooley Mountains, and particularly the Sliabh Foy loop, declaring it a protected area for”Flora, fauna, wild animals, and leprechauns”. Although census figures are difficult to verify, it is estimated that as many as 237 leprechauns live within the E.U protected biosphere.
Still I worry. As we know from other endangers species, protected areas are only a partial solution: the species themselves frequently wander away from their protected spaces, and into danger. The Cooley mountains are only a ramble away from the border with Northern Ireland, where Brexit will put a quick end to any habitat directive issued by the EU !
Stay safe, and be vigilant, my little friends.