Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Cotler: vows increased co-operation with U.S. law forces.
(CC News) In a surprise announcement today, Canada's Justice Minister Irwin Cotler promised increased co-operation with American authorities to track down and bring to justice Canadian citizens who are, as Cotler described them, "blatantly flouting American law and cowardly hiding behind the technicality that they happen to be Canadian citizens living in Canada while they do it."
Cotler opened by describing the case of Marc Emery, who was arrested by Canadian authorities in Canada while selling marijuana seeds, an act which, while legal in Canada, violates American law. "And it's not going to stop there," Cotler assured reporters.
"As it stands now, while the legal drinking age in, for instance, Ontario is 19 years, it's uniformly 21 years throughout the United States," explained Cotler, "and it's obvious that countless 19- and 20-year-old Ontario residents are shamelessly breaking U.S. law whenever they knock back a Moosehead."
"Because of this casual disregard for American law," continued Cotler, "we've agreed in principle with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that they can randomly raid Ontario drinking establishments and arrest underage drinkers. I've already discussed this with the RCMP, and we expect the extradition process to be relatively quick."
Cotler continued, "Of course, this isn't just a one-way street. It's a reciprocal agreement. For instance, while handgun laws in the U.S. are fairly liberal, they're very strict here in Canada, so the RCMP will be given the authority to enter the United States and arrest all handgun owners who, while they happen to be American citizens, are in clear violation of Canadian law."
"Any American carrying a concealed weapon," warned Cotler, "would be subject to particularly harsh Canadian penalties. Residents of Texas would, of course, simply be shot on sight."