I had to work last night, so I was somewhat tired this morning. I so much, did not want to go to school. However, being the second week of classes I didn’t want to leave a poor impression. I’d forgotten that we had a guest speaker. Our professor couldn’t stay. His wife was/is pregnant and her due date was today. She’d been having “pains” and was in hospital being checked. I ended up being the one to facilitate the presentation by the guest speakers.
Our speaker was Serge LeClerc, an MLA with a colourful background. He spent many years in various federal penitentiaries in Eastern Canada before he decided at 38 that he’d had enough. He got an education while inside, continued his education outside and has done various and sundry work afterward. He’s also a Conservative…in Saskatchewan he’s a member of the Saskatchewan Party. Same pile, different name.
He began his presentation/lecture by insulting everyone in the class. Yeah, a really good way to start. I can’t say I disagreed with all he said. He advocates early intervention with children who commit crimes, keeping them out of the “justice system” and thus avoiding having labels become self-fulfilling prophesies. He spent much of his time bashing the previous government (forgetting that before this past one, his own was in power and did nothing but rack up a huge debt). I wish I’d counted the number of times he used the phrase “hand up, not hand out”. Jingoisms leave me cold. I have no doubt to his passion and his dedication. However, because he’s dealing with the products of the Criminal Code and that’s federal jurisdiction, his success will be limited.
He’s also a fan of indeterminate sentences. In his dream prison system, the only way people would be able to get out of prison is to take programming to address their problems. He thinks that if you commit a crime you don’t just do the time, you lose all rights as a citizen. Of course, that can’t happen. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says he can’t and the Supreme Court will ensure that.
I do think that working with community organizations to help offenders access necessary programs and services is a good idea. Communities know what needs are unfulfilled and are more effective in many ways than government imposed systems. I do have some concerns with the funding of “faith based” organizations since the majority of them have an agenda of proselytizing and connecting services with being required to follow their faith systems. If someone is sentenced to work with them it could be a problem. However, if the government is willing to work with any faith based group, not just Christians, then ok. However, knowing the Conservatives as I do, I doubt they’d work with a pagan faith based group no matter how affective the programs are. Colour me sceptical.
He and I butted heads a few times. He pulled the “I’m more an expert than you” card more than a few times. While I will be the first to admit that I don’t have his experiences, he also doesn’t have mine. When I talked about how CSC lacks adequate accountability (as several government appointed commissions have pointed out time and again) he claimed they did.
I could go on, but let’s just say that the whole experience left me offended and concerned about what’s going to be happening. The phrases “bleeding heart liberal”, “common sense” (whose?), the ubiquitous “hand up, not hand out” and others that were bandied about with reckless abandon. He did leave us a present of his book. I don’t know when I’ll get around to read it though.
I have reading I need to get done for tomorrow, but it’s all about qualitative research and that’s not too exciting. In fact, it’s kind of dull and being tired like I am it’s going to be hard reading.
I discovered that I have to make sure I check my blocked comments to ensure that none of your’s get caught in there. It never occurred to me that regular comments would get caught in that filter. They did. I approved the latest ones, scanned back to a while ago for any more recent ones and then deleted the rest. Hopefully no one lost any. But they’re all there now. I don’t know what it was about them that triggered the filter, but I’ll be checking it more often than when I have over 1500 blocked.
That’s about it for now. At least that’s all I can think of at the moment. I think I’m going to lay down for a nap.