Law Enforcement

International criminals targetting Canada

A surge in automobile thefts across Canada is being tied to international gangs and police services are having trouble stopping them. In Toronto alone, they overtook burglary as the second-most common crime in 2022, jumping to 9,439 from the previous year’s 6,518. Hundreds of vehicles are retrieved and dozens of thieves arrested but Insurance Bureau of Canada investigator Bryan Gast says the problem is that “we’re getting to a point now where globally we’re a source country for stolen vehicles.” [node:read-more:link]

Cop-killer appeals sentence

Jason Burke, a New Brunswick man who shot three RCMP officers in 2014, is appealing his unprecedented three consecutive 25-year prison terms without eligibility for parole. His application to the province’s appeal court, to be considered February 15, cites a Supreme Court of Canada’s decision last May which struck down as unconstitutional a 2011 law that made it possible for judges to extend parole ineligibility in cases of multiple murders. [node:read-more:link]

An “extremely extraordinary” court ruling

A Nova Scotia court has banished a U.S.-Canadian citizen from Canada in what the presiding judge acknowledges is an “extremely extraordinary” sentencing. Allen Desrosiers, 64, whose only tie to Canada is through his mother, served 23 years in Massachusetts for a range of sexual offences. Shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia last fall, he was charged with criminal harassment for stalking a woman. He told the judge he would not return to Canada if he was sent back to the U.S., where he has spent most of his life. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian cop killings “unprecedented”

The December 27 shooting death of an Ontario Provincial Police constable literally hours after he had completed probation and could patrol independently, has left many in the ranks devastated. Grzegorz Pierzchala was the fourth officer to be killed while on duty in Ontario this fall and the fifth in Canada since mid-September. “I've been in policing for 18 years, but certainly during my time I've never seen anything like this,” says Mark Baxter, President of the Police Association of Ontario. “It really has shaken our profession to the core.” [node:read-more:link]

Enough Fentanyl to kill entire U.S.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says a recent drug bust resulted in the seizure not only of methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin but also 4,500 kilograms of Fentanyl and 50.6 million pills made to resemble different prescription pain-killers. The DEA said December 20 that the highly-addictive substance made by Mexican cartels from Chinese raw materials could have been used to manufacture 379 million fatal doses. [node:read-more:link]

Stolen vehicle ring suspects arrested

Toronto-area police forces have arrested 51 people and recovered more than 215 stolen after a months-long investigation. Project Touchdown also resulted in the seizure of 15 handguns and an assault rifle, most of which have been traced to the U.S., as well as ammunition, a kilogram of cocaine, and “various reprogramming devices.” York Regional Police Chief Jim Macsween said today that in his jurisdiction alone, vehicle thefts this year are more than 44 per cent higher than in 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Teenagers charged in “swarm” killing

Eight teenage girls have been charged with second-degree murder and remanded in custody after a 59-year-old man was stabbed in a Toronto “swarming” incident. Three are 13, three are 14 and two are 16 and police say three had had previous contact with them. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa police prepared for protest anniversary

Indications that organizers of last winter’s trucker blockade of Ottawa are planning an anniversary visit have prompted Police Chief Eric Stubbs to flatly reject the idea. “The Ottawa Police Service will not allow for the conditions that led to the unlawful protests seen in February 2022,” he said December 19. “Vehicle-based protests will not be allowed to enter the downtown core or in areas of national significance and we will take appropriate action to preserve public safety.” [node:read-more:link]

Six dead in Ontario shooting

Five victims and their killer are dead after a December 18 shooting in a condominium north of Toronto. Police say the 73-yer-old shooter who live in the gated complex killed five other residents with a handgun before he was shot by officers. [node:read-more:link]

More armoured vehicles for Haiti

Canada’s UN envoy, Bob Rae, says the federal government will send more armoured vehicles to Haiti to help its national police deal with gang violence that has escalated over five years and effectively paralyzed the country. Canada shipped three Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles and three commercial-pattern AVs in October and details of the next batch evidently will await an in-country assessment by three Canadian experts. [node:read-more:link]

Shakeup in European Parliament

Against the backdrop of a corruption scandal in the European Parliament, the information technology systems in 10 politicians’ offices have been “frozen” to prevent the disappearance of data. A total of 20 IT searches have been carried out and more than €750,000 seized since the scandal broke December 11. In addition, several socialist politicians were asked today by their party to step down from key posts. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. man faces long prison term

A British Columbia man and two from the U.S. face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years after beachcombers in Washington state found duffel banks containing methamphetamines and Fentanyl worth some $7 million. Their grand jury indictment in Seattle was delivered after an extensive investigation by the RCMP and U.S. agencies. [node:read-more:link]

Veterans Affairs under renewed pressure

Former military and RCMP personal are calling for changes to Veterans Affairs Canada, saying it has been too slow in implementing health service changes announced by the government years ago. “Benefits and services are accessible,” said one vet at a December 8 rally in Nova Scotia, suggesting also that privatization of some services in 2021 is part of the problem. “If you’re in the system already, it’s not hard,” Rollie Lawless said. “It’s those trying to get into the system that seems to be the hiccup.” [node:read-more:link]


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