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People who always vote Liberal but are now switching to the NDP this year should really think long and hard about their decision

The Role of the Police in Andrea Horwath’s Sanctuary Province


By —— Bio and Archives--May 25, 2018

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The Role of the Police in Andrea Horwath’s Sanctuary Province
As the Ontario election campaign enters its final two weeks, the PCs are dropping in support while that of the NDP is increasing. The majority of new support for the socialists comes from Liberal voters realizing the almost certain death of their usual party of choice. Some polls predict the governing Liberals will end up losing official party status.

The NDP platform, entitled “It’s about change. It’s about you,” is a 42-page document. One section is about making life easier for immigrants to the province. It ends with a line, “We will declare Ontario a Sanctuary Province.” (NDP Platform, pg. 11)

There has been very little mention of this in the left wing media who, seeing the inevitable, have switched their support from the Liberals to the NDP. To the extent the notion of a sanctuary province has been discussed, the criticism has centred upon the added costs to the taxpayer of providing services to those who are illegally in Canada. The concept of a sanctuary province is merely being seen as a province-wide extension of the city of Toronto that declared itself a sanctuary city back in 2013.

But what is mostly neglected in the discussion is the fact municipalities are not the same as provinces. And sanctuary provinces will not be the same as sanctuary cities.

Syed Hussan is an activist and a co-ordinator with Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC). In a Toronto Sun article by Antonella Artuso, Hussan points out making Ontario a sanctuary province is not as easy as simply extending all the “free stuff” legal residents of Ontario get to illegals. A lot of laws have to be changed to create a sanctuary province, including the Police Services Act. (Toronto Sun, May 21).

Unlike provinces, municipalities have no power other than that given to them by the province. Although Ontario’s police forces, except for the OPP and the RCMP if you consider them to be real police, are all municipal forces (or services to be politically correct), they are governed by provincial legislation such as the Police Services Act.

Hussan suggests the Police Services Act will have to be amended under Horwath’s vision to prohibit police from doing anything to assist federal immigration officers. An NDP government could easily make that change.

Currently in the sanctuary city of Toronto, police are asked not to inquire into the immigration status of victims or others they come into casual contact with. This makes sense. Witnesses to serious crime would be reluctant to come forward if by doing so they ended up possibly being detained and deported. Allowing violent people to remain at large because witnesses will not assist the police is dangerous. And as to those who come into contact with police in matters having no consequences, Hussan is right; it is not the job of police to enforce federal immigration laws.

But currently, police do advise federal immigration officials of illegal immigrants they arrest. This is part of their duties to keep the peace and protect society from crime. If Citizenship and Immigration Canada places a hold on these individuals, immigration officers have 24 hours to take them into immigration detention after they are released by the police or by the criminal justice system.

An NDP government could easily follow Hussan’s advice and amend the Police Services Act to state police “shall not” contact federal immigration whenever they arrest a person determined to be illegally in Canada.

If an NDP government makes this change to create its glorious sanctuary province, what is happening all too often in the United States will take place in Ontario. Innocent people will be murdered or become victims of other violent crimes by persons known by police to be dangerous and illegally in the country but allowed to go free because police were prohibited from notifying Canada Immigration. Making Ontario a sanctuary province involves more than just money. It is dangerous.

Although Premier Kathleen Wynne deserves little credit for how she and the Liberals have governed, at least she resisted calls by the NDP to make Ontario a sanctuary province. People who always vote Liberal but are now switching to the NDP this year should really think long and hard about their decision.


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Arthur Weinreb -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. Arthur’s latest book, Ford Nation: Why hundreds of thousands of Torontonians supported their conservative crack-smoking mayor is available at Amazon. Racism and the Death of Trayvon Martin is also available at Smashwords. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com,  Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

Older articles (2007) by Arthur Weinreb


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