Law Enforcement

Gun smuggling charges in Toronto

Six persons face a combined 260 criminal charges after a months-long firearms trafficking investigation in Toronto which resulted in the seizure of 62 long guns and handguns, all but five having been brought in from the U.S. “Our youth are dying over this issue,” Interim Toronto Police Chief James Ramer said December 5. “Shootings devastate families and erode the sense of security for entire communities.” [node:read-more:link]

Fortin acquitted of assault charge

More than 18 months after he was suddenly removed as the face of the federal government’s pandemic vaccine response, Major General Dany Fortin was acquitted today of sexual assault in 1988 while he was at military college in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The unidentified complainant, a fellow student, said she had not come forward until she had retired from the military for fear of how it might have affected her career. [node:read-more:link]

Massive Salvadoran gang crackdown

Unable to deal with widespread gang violence through conventional policing, the government of El Salvador deployed some 10,000 troops to surround the city of Soyapango December 3 as part of a massive crackdown. President Nayib Bukele said “extraction teams from the police and the army are tasked with extricating all the gang members still there one by one.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran says morality police suspended

Iranian Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri is reported to have suspended operations by morality police after weeks of widespread rioting. There has been no corroboration of his order, whether it is permanent, or any indication that the law mandating women’s dress code would be terminated. [node:read-more:link]

Abused spouse shares horrific experience

In October 2020, Helen Naslund was sentenced to 18 years for shooting her husband on their Alberta farm in 2011. Her case sparked widespread outrage and exposed serious issues with how the justice system treats abused women. Her sentence for manslaughter was reduced last January to nine years on appeal and now, through letters and multiple interviews at the Edmonton Institution for women, she is opening up for the first time. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario child-exploitation ring exposed

Coordinated investigations by 27 Ontario police services have resulted in 428 child exploitation and pornography charges being laid against 109 persons. The Ontario Provincial Police said November 30 that the charges laid in October through Project Maverick, which is ongoing, are a “snapshot” of efforts to protect children from Internet-based sexual abuse and exploitation. “Because the Internet can cross jurisdictional boundaries, this project highlights the collaborative working happening with police services all over,” the OPP said. [node:read-more:link]

Oath Keepers leaders guilty of sedition

Stewart Rhodes, founder and national head of the Oath Keepers militia and a key figure in the January 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, was found guilty by a federal jury in Washington today of seditious conspiracy along with Kelly Meggs leader of the militia’s Florida chapter. Both face up to 20 years in prison. They also were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, namely congressional certification of the November 2020 presidential election results. Three co-defendants were found guilty of the latter charge only. [node:read-more:link]

Stage set for constitutional confrontation

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced her draft Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act today, a proposal she says will enable her cabinet to direct cities, police, health authorities, universities and other entities to ignore federal laws her government believes would be unconstitutional or harmful to the province. The bill does not define “harm” and legal scholars have panned the idea as unconstitutional and it has been divisive within Smith’s own party. [node:read-more:link]

Tighter gun controls planned

The federal government has been accused by Alberta of planning to “ban legal firearm ownership altogether” with a proposed amendment to Bill C-21, a gun-control bill currently before a parliamentary committee. The change would prohibit “a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun, that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed.” [node:read-more:link]

Police racial profiling ruling appealed

The Quebec government will appeal a provincial Superior Court court ruling that police were violating drivers’ constitutional rights by stopping them without cause and that the practice is “a safe conduit for racial profiling.” Public Security François Bonnardel said in announcing the challenge that it is “unjustified to abolish a tool that is so important to police services.” [node:read-more:link]

Alberta wants RCMP Commissioner fired

Accusing RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki of damaging the federal police force, Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro called November 23 for her dismissal but it was immediately rejected by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino. “The commissioner . . . must be held to the highest of standards,” Shandro said. “So far, Minister Mendicino has stood idly by while Commissioner Lucki has failed to meet even the most meagre of standards for the past two years.” [node:read-more:link]

Cryptocurrency platform a “Ponzi” scheme

Authorities in Estonia say two persons arrested in Tallinn November 20 for allegedly running a US$575-million cryptocurrency mining operation which was no more than an “elaborate Ponzi scheme.” Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, being held for extradition to the U.S., are said to have convinced their victims to invest in the service and then used shell companies to launder the cash and buy real estate and luxury cars. [node:read-more:link]

Mendicino says lives were at risk

The RCMP warned Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino during last winter’s “freedom” border blockade in southern Alberta that some protestors were willing “to go down with the cause.” He told the Emergencies Act inquiry today that it was “a threshold moment for me” as the government considered invoking the legislation because “lives literally hung in the balance.” [node:read-more:link]

Emergencies Act had CSIS support

The federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with “freedom” protests in Ottawa and at two border crossings last February was supported by Canadian Security Intelligence Director David Vigneault. Testifying today before commission of inquiry into the decision, he said that while the blockades did not meet the agency’s technical definition of a national security threat, he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the evolving situation “required” action. [node:read-more:link]

Public safety a concern in B.C.

Two days after being sworn in as Premier of British Columbia, David Eby announced a package of plans November 20 he said are designed to address growing concerns about public safety. They include proposals expanded emergency mental health resources and the formation of “repeat violent offender response teams” to address what’s been criticized as a “catch and release” justice system. [node:read-more:link]


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