Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No surprises

"That's not news," Peter Trueman used to say after his nightly commentaries on Global, "but that too is reality."

A sampling of today's unsurprising non-news:
  • The Globe & Mail's Christie Blatchford jumps to the defence of 69-year-old male Justice Douglas Cunningham, who found it necessary, in assigning little weight to the testimony of Nepean-Carleton Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod, to refer to her personal life: "She was commuting regularly to Toronto for her work, leaving her husband and child in Ottawa." [emphasis added]

    Naw, no sexism there. It was just apropos of nothing, right? An "innocuous remark." Like Blatchford's own envious reference to MacLeod being "young and pretty."

    Back to your lurid tabloid-style coverage of sensational murder trials, Christie. We know what you think of pretty young women, already. As for Cunningham, will the Canadian Judicial Council see fit to scrape this barnacle off the judicial bench? Now, that would be surprising.

    PS: Letter-writer Karen Sellick agrees with Blatchford. Who? Oh, right.

  • Commissioner William "Bubbles" Elliot, top dog at the RCMP, has rejected a call by Paul Kennedy, head of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, for an end to RCMP officers investigating complaints against other RCMP officers, in many cases their superiors in rank.

    The language of Kennedy's report, huffed Elliot, was "unduly negative."

    It would be surprising if the mothers of Ian Bush and Robert Dziekanski
    agreed--not to mention the survivors of unpunished police brutality who have learned first-hand about police impunity.

  • In the matter of Suaad Hagi Mohamud, the Toronto Star asks a good question:

    Mohamud quickly presented a credible batch of documents to Canadian diplomats in Nairobi attesting to her Canadian citizenship and residency. They included an Ontario driver's licence, an Ontario Health Insurance Plan card, a citizenship certificate, a social insurance card, credit card, bank cards, a Humber River Regional Hospital card, a Shoppers Drug Mart card, a note from her Toronto employer, and a recent Toronto dry cleaning receipt. Given all this, Ottawa should have been able to confirm her citizenship within days at most.


    To the very end, officials seemed indifferent, if not hostile, as she languished abroad. "The individual has to be straightforward, has to let us know whether or not she is a Canadian citizen," Cannon said on July 24. "She's saying so, but there is no tangible proof ..." By that point Mohamud had produced documents and offered fingerprints, launched court action, filed affidavits and had lobbied for a DNA test. What more could Cannon expect from someone stranded abroad?
    [emphasis added]

    No surprises there: we know what the Conservative government in general and Cannon in particular think of brown Canadians with funny names like "Abdelrazik" or "Mohamud."

    And equally unsurprisingly, we have heard absolutely nothing about this case from former human rights advocate Michael Ignatieff, the lacklustre politician now poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory:

    "Advisers fear Liberal Leader hasn't offer [sic] voters sense of who he is, how he diverges from Harper," says the Globe's dek. Quite.

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