Editorial – Remote living much trouble

Jeff Burgar

Going to jail for drunk driving is too much of a hardship.

But, you ask, isn’t that what jail is supposed to be all about? Punishment for one’s bad deeds?

Apparently not. Sure, punishment, but these days, one must not be too harsh. Particularly if it involves separating a mother or father from their children. The argument being of course, the kids had nothing to do with the crime. So they should not have to suffer for the sins of their parents, so to speak.

There is much of this current thinking. When Barack Obama was America’s president, it was routine to detain illegal immigrants entering the States from Mexico in prison camps while it was decided what to do with them. Usually, send them back to Mexico, even if they came from countries further south. If they had kids with them, which many did as a ruse so authorities would feel sorry for them, the youngsters were separated until it could be determined if parentage was legitimate.

Too often, it was not. These days of course, current President Donald Trump is vilified for the same practice, even if it was fine under Obama. So much for a fair and unbiased media!

A recent court decision here in Canada continues a similar theme. People from remote Indigenous communities put in jail are deemed by one judge that a mom and her family were suffering cruel and unusual punishment.

Specifically, the mother was locked up in a jail far from home, it being the nearest jail of any sort to her community.

Her crime was drunk driving. Often. The typical jail sentence for her and many others in similar circumstance is serve the sentence on weekends. Weekdays can be spent at home. So everybody is let out.

Except, this mother has no way to get to her far away home and family. This judge did much hand wringing. In the end, as with so many activist judges these days, he decided to rewrite the law. He sent mom home. Period. No jail at all.

It probably would be much better to simply let nature, and media, and politics, take its course. Another suggestion is charter a plane and fly the mother home every week. Or just let the lady carry on with her chosen path of drinking and driving. What could go wrong?

There are so many things wrong here, one does not know where to start. For openers, in our own province of Alberta, honest, law-abiding people from all kinds of communities, especially isolated, do not have ready access to medical treatments. Kidney dialysis and cancer treatments are just two examples. Do they get free flights to treatment?

We have no love for unelected judges overturning policies and laws made by elected people. We would love them much more if they would just be public about their concerns.

Sure, the drunk mom has a problem. Sure, her family probably deserves better. But there are many, many law-abiding people right across Canada getting bad deals from government.

Do they have to break laws to get consideration?

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