Well, given that numerous Blogging Tories have practically shit themselves over the recent Malcolm Watson incident, what the hell, I might as well weigh in with the following opinion: Canada has (as far as I can tell) absolutely no grounds for complaint. And, yes, I'd be happy to explain.
As I read it, Watson is a Canadian landed immigrant living in St. Catharines with his wife and three children, which inspires the only question that has any relevance in this situation -- does Canada have the right to deport him for what he's done? Yes or no? That's it -- that's the only question that counts. And why is that?
Because if what Watson did would not be grounds for deportation, then Canada has no grounds for complaint if he continues to live in St. Catharines. It really is that simple. If he would not have been deported, then the only other possibility is that he would have been allowed to continue living in St. Catharines, exactly the situation he is in now. So what's the problem?
The problem, of course, is the U.S.'s insistence that he not return to the U.S. except for probation hearings. But that is not an issue that involves Canada. If being barred to that extent from the U.S. poses a hardship to Watson, then that's an issue that Watson and his lawyer can take up with American immigration, and they are free to make that argument. But that in no way involves Canada.
The last part of that article does suggest that the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board will be reviewing Watson's case and might very well order his deportation, which is certainly within their purview. But, legally speaking, the only decision for the Canadian government to make here would be to deport Watson or not. If it chooses to let him continue living in St. Catharines, it has absolutely no say over how the U.S. government chooses to treat him.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, which should be blindingly obvious from the above.
BOILING THIS DOWN TO ITS ESSENCE. Grog comments (among other things):
Like the United States, we reserve the right to deny convicted criminals who are not Canadian citizens the right to enter our borders.
Fair enough, but I want to make sure readers understand the fundamental point I'm trying to make here. Let's say that everything else about this case happened exactly the same way, but that the United States didn't effectively bar Watson from returning to the U.S. Would people still have had the same outrage that he was being allowed to continue living in Canada? If not, then they have no right to complain now.
Quite simply, Canadians should look only at how Canada should react to a landed immigrant who already lives here who is convicted of a crime, using no more information than that. Deportation or no deportation? Make a decision. But that's not what's happening.
What's happening is that outraged Canadians are factoring into their outrage the fact that the U.S. has barred Watson from re-entry except for probation hearings. But how the U.S. decides to deal with Watson should have no bearing on how Canada resolves this.
It's annoying to hear people whine about how Canada is being used as a "dumping ground" for American felons. It isn't. The man is a landed immigrant who already lives here. Let Canada make a legal decision based on that information, and only that information. What the U.S. does about it should not be a factor.