Not so much a whodunit as a WTF

Colby Cosh on why the Crown didn’t want to press ahead with drug charges against Jaffer

Anyone else think the Star‘s buried revelation about Rahim Jaffer’s criminal case only makes things more confusing?

A rookie Ontario Provincial Police officer failed to follow proper procedures during a strip search of Jaffer, 38, causing the Crown to conclude the case would be open to a Charter challenge, the Star has learned. While the OPP opposed Jaffer only being charged with careless driving, the Crown took a steadfast position, sources say.

If they found cocaine in Jaffer’s possession before conducting the strip search, failing to follow proper procedure wouldn’t impeach that evidence (and it is hard to see how it could impinge upon the impaired-driving charge at all). Under Charter guarantees, the lawyers tell me, you can use fruit gathered from the “evidentiary tree” up until the point at which it becomes “poisoned”. But if the cops strip-searched him before they knew he might be carrying cocaine, why the hell did they do it (and do it carelessly)? Cops are only supposed to conduct strip-searches to protect their own safety or to prevent the destruction of evidence related to the reason for the original arrest.

I’m struggling to arrive at an alternative explanation other than “Some ‘rookie’ cop overstepped his authority and used a strip-search as an instrument of intimidation”, but I’m open to suggestions.

Not so much a whodunit as a WTF

  1. I find the credibility of this story dangerously thin. Middle-aged brown dude driving erratically? A real rookie OPP officer would have tazed him.

  2. Oh no. Not a Charter Challenge. Just the mention of the term shakes my conviction. And unprecedented in the last 30 yrs. Run away! Run away!

  3. Perhaps a lawyer in the crowd could comment: if police fail to "follow proper procedure" on a strip-search (e.g. I assume it is policy that more than one officer be present during the search – was that the case here?), does that open the prosecution's entire case to challenge if it goes to trial? And if so, does that possibly allow the defendant to push for the dropping of all charges?

    I can certainly see why they'd prefer to get something to stick for sure, even if it's just a slap on the wrist, if the alternative is an all-or-nothing gamble that the cop's mistakes didn't jeopardize the entire case.

    • It would depend on whether the manner in which procedure wasn't followed was sufficient to infringe the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure,or arbitrary detention. Then there might be a case. the most likely remedy would be that the evidence would be excluded and not allowed to be introduced in the actual trial. The Crown then has to decide if it can still make out a case they want to pursue.

      I really don't feel there's enough details so far to apply the general principles to the specific situation, so I don't want to speculate on exactly what happened to Mr. Jaffer.

    • A failure to comply with the Charter jeopardizes only the evidence gathered AFTER that point. Problems specific to the strip-search shouldn't have had any bearing on what the arresting officer was able to establish at the roadside. And the Star doesn't say that even the strip-search itself was unwarranted, just that there was a procedural issue with it. (There are dignity-preserving rules the cops have to follow in strip-searching a suspect.)

      • I beg to differ. While a Charter breach may not necessarily result in an exclusion of the evidence, it still might result in a judicial stay on all charges. In fact, that could happen when a strip search is conducted unlawfully but does not result in the discovery of evidence.

        In Edmonton a few years ago, a man named Pringle had his impaired driving charge judicially stayed because the police conducted a strip search that did not produce any evidence. The strip search had nothing to do with the evidence gathered to support the impaired driving charge because it occured several hours later.

        • Nevertheless,

          The Charter breach would have to be egregious for the Crown to accept such a plea bargain. It's one thing for a judge to order a judicial stay after hearing all of the evidence, and weighing the seriousness of the offence against the seriousness of Charter breach.

          It's quite another for the Crown to dump the charges without explanation.

          • If the strip search was conducted without a lawful basis, then the crown did the right thing.

          • Egregious? On a single possession charge? HA!

          • No Mike, a possession charge and a DUI.

            Well, at least in the three jurisdictions in which I practiced as a prosecutor, it was not the practice to dump these things unless the Charter breach was egregious. We would always argue that the the administration of justice would not be held in disrepute for minor Charter violations, and let the judge decide.

          • Ex-reporter here. Covered lots of impaired cases, and I have to agree with the Farmboy on this one. Either someone slapped him around, or somebody failed to calibrate the in-station breathalyzer and then lied to cover up the mistake. In order to get an impaired charge dropped, it hs to be a big problem with going to trial.

          • You wouldn't take the plea baragin Jaffer got in the face of just a minor Charter breach (or let's include a possibility of a major breach, but only a possibility)?

            I will take your word for it, but I have to admit I didn't think the deal sounded all that extraordinary the circumstances.

    • Cops cannot just strip search people. It may have nothing to do with the actual conduct of the strip search and more do to with the reasons why the strip search was conducted. Our courts have been very clear that strip searches are not to be done routinely and only when there is reasonable grounds to believe it is necessary to discover evidence or weapons.

      • Well, except the Star said specifically that the police "failed to follow proper procedures during a strip search", not that the strip search itself was improper. But you could still be right if the Star is wrong, and that's very possible.

  4. There's enough in this situation to attract attention away from more important issues. I comfort myself with the thought that Rahim is married to Helena (and Helena is married to Rahim). Karma rules.

  5. What if they found the coke in his car's glove box? Grounds to search him for proof of undisputable possession?

    • I'm uncomfortable speculating about exact situations and specific details. Although I suspect if they're already in the glove box they've started their search, legally or not.

    • The OPP's press release specified that it was found on his person.

      • Well I assume they were not stowed in some bodily cavity, so I doubt they were discovered as a result of the strip search.

  6. The lawyer would have used a charter arguement under sec 24(2) (I think) to get the evidence thrown out.

    You would have to prove that the methods used to collect the evidence were so egregious, that by admitting the evidence it "would bring the administration of justice into disrepute." This would be considered a violation of his right against unreasonable search and seizure.

    It is a pretty common argument for drug offenses and a good laywer can make it workable.

    The drunk driving is a tougher defense. Your only defense on DWI is if you claim you drank the alcohol within 5 minutes of being pulled over, and that your stomach didn thave time to process the alcohol and actually intoxicate you, until about the time that they administered the road side test. This is an extremely tenuous argument.

    • I'm given to understand that the "disrepute" species of exclusion still can't apply to the evidence gathered before the Charter violation took place.

      • So your argument is that they could have found the cocaine and then strip searched him? In which case, the cocaine remains in evidence?

        It would seem more likely that the policeman decided to search him and the vehicle based on the fact that Jaffer was a self-righteous jerk in a brown skin. Only the fact that Jaffer is high-profile individual with a good lawyer makes this is a problem. In most cases, I am betting that the circumstances of the search get lost once the confession has been squeezed out of the defendant based on the discovery of the cocaine.

        • Care and control of the banned substance can be difficult to establish. However the drunk driving is always a slam dunk. They do a roadside test, followed up by blood work at the police station.The evidence there is almost impossible to get thrown out.

          This comes down to an extremely lazy prosecutor.

          • Unless the right to counsel was breached by the cops. Or the documentation was poor.

        • Nope. See my reply to Mr. Cosh above. A strip search that is conducted without reasonable and probable grounds to believe it would result in the discovery of evidence or weapons is illegal, and charges can be thrown out no matter when the evidence was discovered.

          • I am wrong if Pringle is the standard. It's an Alberta Provincial Court case though.

          • Based on the law that came before it. Just because it is not binding does not mean it is not well reasoned and correctly decided.

            A lot of judges follow the reasoning in that case.

      • I think – not sure – but think you're wrong here.

  7. Maybe Jaffer's pupils were dilated (telltale sign of recent cocaine use) and this is what motivated the cops to overstep their authority and conduct a strip search to look for drugs. Cops are trained to look at the pupils and smell the breath of drivers that get pulled over.

    • Wouldn't that then be reasonable grounds to conduct the search…in which case why was it thrown out?Merely because a second person wasn't present? The rules are there for a reason i suppose. Oh well, probably just idle peculation anyway.

      • It surprised me too, but apparently that wouldn't be grounds for a strip search. Check out Colby's link to R. v. Golden above. Anyway, I agree with you that this is all idle speculation, and we have no way of knowing what really happened.

        • So doesn't that complete the equation? Rookie cop asks, "does this guy seem hepped up to you?" They search him on those grounds. It turns out that's illegal. Off to the lawyers we go!

    • I really hope they don't rely on pupil dilation as an investigative tool. That can be caused
      by a thousand things …. from the shock of a police stop, any number of medications, and
      ….. death.

      • I am reasonably certain that your average arresting officer can readily distinguish cocaine intoxication from death. As to the other exculpatory items on your list, these too may be determined once the search fails to come up with the cocaine.

          • Alrighty then. Just what is the arresting officer entitled to rely on as evidence of cocaine use: the white stuff still snowing out of the nostril? Anything else? Or would any other reasonable suspicions be disallowed when the officer's actions based on those suspicions actually confirm the suspicions?

            Officer: Your pupils are dilated, you've been driving erratically at high speed, and you won't stand still right here in front of me. You will therefore be searched for cocaine or other stimul–
            Suspect: Nofair! I'mnervousIwasdrivingaToyotaandIhavetopee! Youhavenocauseto–
            (ziploc bag containing white powder falls out of inside of suspect's T-shirt as officer restrains him)
            Crown prosecutor: Sorry, Bill, we can't use that poisoned fruit.

          • We're talking about a strip search here, which rightly (in the view of the courts) requires a very high standard of probable cause or a perception of immediate and profound danger. You may be eligible for a Read Before Commenting award.

          • Nah, you've earned it more than I, Colby. Keep it. If you had been reading this little thread, you would have seen that this all started with a dilated-pupils observation as grounds for suspicion in a living suspect and its allegedly confusing overlap with death.

            Besides, I would offer that your average coke-head pulled over for impaired driving satisfies both your standards. The dilated pupils (and agitation, etc.) gives you your probable cause and the hypermanic state of cocaine intoxication gives you your potential for danger to self or others. Strip search away, handcuff him to the stretcher as you slap a heart monitor on him, etc.

            And besides besides, before we have at each other for too long, I am prepared to hazard a guess that you are not all that enamored with our current doomed-to-forever-fail prohibitionist possession-and-use illicit drug laws. If such be the case, rest assured we are reasonably close to one another there. Until the user gets behind the wheel…

  8. Colby – your understanding seems sensible, except that if "untainted" evidence can't be thrown out and the Crown case based on that evidence can't be otherwise weakened, then the police lose much of their disincentive to do things like conduct an improper strip search, no? In other words, if your understanding is correct why wouldn't they, having found the cocaine using proper methods and subsequently become annoyed with jaffer (or whatever) just proceed to strip search him as a summary punishment?

    • I had the same question, which is why I checked with an evidence expert; but you might just as well ask "Why wouldn't they just beat him up if they were annoyed with him?" There are other disincentives for outright illegal conduct; we don't depend primarily on evidentiary exclusions for that kind of thing.

  9. Who at MADD did CTV get a comment from when Margaret Trudeau was allowed to walk? I'm betting nobody.

    Did David Akin go find out who appointed the judge that acquitted her? I'm betting no.

    Who demanded answers from the Federal Liberals, who were in power at the time Trudeau was acquitted? Nobody.

    The double standard could not possibly be more clear.

    • The double standard could not possibly be more clear.

      Yeah, yours. A DUI charge dropped for a divorced former wife of a deceased PM who last held power in 1984, and passed away in 2000.

      Give your head a shake, and get over your Kinsella obsession.

      • Right. That's nice.

        If PET had still been alive, would Margaret have been guilty of DUI then? What if they'd still been married? Or what if PET had still been PM?

        Or here's a thought…maybe it's still the same crime either way.

        • Or here's a thought…

          12,500 people per year are apparently convicted each year for drug possession. That means out of a pop of say 34,000,000, roughly 33,987,500 (99.963%) are just like Rahim Jaffer – not convicted of drug possession.

          So, what's the big deal?

          • Did Margaret Trudeau ever air an ad like this during a national campaign?

            Rahim Jaffer's radio ad in the last general election:

            "Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices, especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug-free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children. Don't let our schools go up in smoke. On Oct. 14, vote Conservative."

          • (My last comment was sarcastic)

          • don't let our schools go up in smoke, vote conservative? Probably sounds better on cocaine.

    • Not mention each of those things listed was done before anybody bothered asking the provincial justice dept. or OPP a single question.

  10. Whatever the reasons the charges were thrown out, the fact remains…….if the cops got this guy off the street BEFORE he killed someone, then they did a good enough job. Hopefully, he's learned from it and won't be such an ass in the future.

    As for the Liberals and the media….of course they're going to play politics with it. That's what they do.

    Lastly….Jaffer's wife….is hot. (and apparently has quite a temper)

    • That's what they do

      Do you grate your own partisan cheese or do you buy the stuff in the shaker?

  11. <i.Police in Ontario are standing by their investigation, even though two of the serious charges against Rahim Jaffer were dropped…

    Constable Peter Leon won't give specifics, but says the Ontario Provincial Police stands by the work of the arresting officer.

    "The OPP does a very, very professional job in investigating occurrences. And, where criminal charges are appropriate, appropriate criminal charges are laid.", says Leon.

    http://www.inews880.com/Channels/Reg/LocalNews/st

    Given this reporting, actually quoting an OPP officer, I'd question the source of the unattributed Toronto Star report. Could be someone related to the prosecution deflecting criticism/CYA.

    • I don't think the arresting officer would be the one in charge of a strip search which would not be conducted in a cruiser by the side of the road!! They might go elsewhere for that!

      • Yeah, the guy who pulled him over probably went back patrolling, and Jaffer hitchiked to the OPP HQ to report for a body search.

        • The arresting officer would have transported him to the station. Someone else could have conducted the strip search.

  12. Hey Cash. I think the "rookie cop who overstepped his authority" was a she.

  13. Nuance seems to escape notice.

    I believe the criticism that is being directed at the Conservatives is basically the lack of reaction to the event. I mean, they have pretty much clammed up on this one, presumably because Rahim once was or is "one of their own."

    If he had been a Liberal or someone not affiliated with the Conservatives, it is fairly certain that the shoe would be on the other foot. The Conservatives would have been the ones ranting, raving, and taking advantage of the opportunity. They certainly didn't mind taking advantage of Ruby, when they had that opportunity. Now, all of a sudden, the cat's got their tongue?

    It's the height of hypocracy, but that's politics for you.

  14. Me thinks had it been one of us lesser mortals the issue of 'proper procedure' would have been overlooked and the the charges brought forward for prosecution. The crown would have likely judged the possibility of success based on the financial resources of the accused… and whether or not he would have been able to finance the legal firepower to win the case… a charter challenge takes a lot of money. Jaffer has plenty of money… not to mention the fact that his conviction, especially on the cocaine rap, would have represented a bit of a political liability for the Cons… considering wifey is a member of Harper's inner sanctum. The Cons are breathing a sigh of relief… Lets face it the scales of justice are not balanced… there is a law for those with deep pockets and political connections… and there is a law for the rest of us unwashed masses…

    • Unwashed? I have a bath every week, whether I need it or not.

      • Bath maybe once a week?…sniff sniff…OK Bill you can sit at the other end of the table… OK?. An old Catholic Church term referring to Jesus (the upper crust) as he looked down at the unbaptized rabble below him… just a parody on that biblical reference.

  15. Disgusting whatever way you spin it and now Toews, the only government minister willing to talk about it says it is a Liberal smear campaign. What ever happened to standing up and taking responsibility for your actions. Regardless of whether Jaffer got off or not, there was cocaine on his person or in his vehicle. Why is this GOVERNMENT not addressing that fact? They should all go to morals rehab. HARPERCRITES!!! I want an election!

    • Vic Toews and Rahim Jaffer are definitely cut from the same cloth

      Blast from Vic Toews past:

      But the 55-year-old Toews' public face of self-righteous morality is now clashing with his troubled private life. An MP dubbed the "minister of family values" by Liberals is embroiled in a messy divorce after fathering a child last fall with a much younger woman.

      -Don Martin, Calgary Herald

      Rahim Jaffer's radio ad in the last general election:

      "Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices, especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug-free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children. Don't let our schools go up in smoke. On Oct. 14, vote Conservative."

  16. Hmm,

    I would assume that Jaffer and his Wife are both cocain users. I have dont the drug in the past, and i will admit my behavior while on it was very much like Helena's behavior at the airport in charlettown. I have also been caught with a joint of weed in my possetion while driving in Ontario. i know i didnt get off so lightly. It would be interesting to see what a drug test would show when done on both of them. As for the rookie cop why not ask him directly what happened. wouldnt that clear up the record. I have never been strip searched and i doubt any cop would just suddenly do that .

    just a thought

  17. 1) The cocaine bugs the hell out of me, that it is anywhere near the cabinet table is major major problem.

    2) Who cares if the judge was a tory, it was a provincial (Liberal's are in charge) crown that wouldnt take it past what was ruled on. You think the judge issued the ruling from nothing? It came from a crown reccomendation, as is usual.

    So unless there was a favour done by the Provincial Liberals there legally isnt anything else here. Now where he got the coke, and what did his wife know and has he been through rehab and just wtf is going on in the Guergis/Jaffer household as it relates to illegal pharma is another story all together.

  18. I will also point out that in Simpson (from Newfoundland) the SCC upheld the ruling by the trial judge who entered a judicial stay because the accused was unlawfully detained without access to a bail hearing for several days. The detention had nothing to do with the evidence gathered in support of the charge but the stay was granted anyway.

    • Pat's going with what I was thinking. I don't Colby's wrong about the ability to use "unpoisoned" evidence, but rather that Pat is right in that subsequent egregious events can taint absolutely everything. If the strip search conduct tainted both the blow and the breathalizer, well, there's a story here, one way or the other.

  19. Helena is very hot – especially when confronted with airport security

  20. The simple sad truth is that certain selected people get their rights respected and the rest don’t. It’s a multi tiered justice system in Canada and it’s nothing to be proud of. It’s a lot like Taliban justice. It all depends on whether you’re one of them or not.

  21. I was always a good boy as a teen but my friends, not so much. Strip-searching was always the SOP if you were being a mouthy SOB. What do you think the chances were that our good friend Rahim, former junior cabinet minister was indignant about being pulled over and started mouthing the rookie cop? SOP, strip search him.

  22. Too much speculation, too little facts.

  23. Unreal. This is now pretty much identical to the case of Margaret Trudeau escaping DUI charges a few years ago because of Charter violations by the police who processed her.

    Except of course, for the lack of outrage then.

    Warren Kinsella was up in arms about Jaffer on CTV. However, he was thrilled when Margaret Trudeau walked from a DUI which she admitted she was guilty of. I guess in the eyes of Liberals, the Charter was established by them, so only Liberals are entitled to protection under it.

    • Adscam!

      • Adscam! Adscam! Adscam! (sung to the tune of "Monorail" by Lyle Lanley)

    • Exactly the same, except for the cocaine and that I seem to recall reading that Jaffer’s lawyer said they would have disputed the possession charges. So, no admission of guilt.

      • …and that Trudeau wasn’t ever a MP.

        • Forgive me, i don’t that’s relevant? Neither was an MP or trying to be elected as one at the time of the proven and alleged offenses. Only from a media frenzy perspective would the fact of “used to be” matter.

          • You're forgiven, I don't that's either.

            Verbs and humour aside, the point I was trying to make is that Rahim Jaffer was a Conservative MP and formerly Conservative caucus chair. While I'm certainly not going to claim that the Conservatives should somehow be responsible for him now, him using cocaine now suggests he may have been using cocaine then, and that certainly wouldn't reflect well on the Conservatives.

            Personally, I don't view this as anything more than cheap entertainment at Jaffer's expense, but I can certainly see why others might care.

    • One abuse of the justice system deserves another? That is how a banana republic operates, and I refuse to support that, regardless of the politics/politicians involved. Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc… all are equal under the law (the same law).

      If it were you or me, we would have a criminal conviction, probation (depending on the amount of cocaine), suspended licence (past 90 days) and a much larger fine.

      • So not true. The justice system shits the bed all the time. Often to the benefit of much less savoury characters than Mr. Jaffer.

      • So not true. The justice system soils the bed all the time, often to the benefit of much less savoury characters than Mr. Jaffer.

    • Yes, lets blame all Liberals (oh, and lets blame the media too) for Kinsella's opinions.
      That said, it is important that prosecutors not waste the court's time with cases which the Supreme Court have already ruled that a charge should not be brought. I just hope that prosecutors apply the same standard to all of the cases they deal with, not just the ones where the accused are wealthy enough that they could pursue a charter challenge..

      • For Christ's sake…why do you people not get this? I'm not excusing Jaffer.

        I'm asking why Trudeau was excused.

        Look at CTV's coverage of her case:

        She's smiling. She hugs her daughter. She's relieved it's over. They go into tremendous gory detail of every possible way that her Charter rights were violated by the nasty vicious policeman. The poor dear.

        Jaffer? CTV doesn't even mention the violation of his Charter rights while they call for the blood of the Federal Conservatives (who were involved in this how exactly?), and the Star buried that information somewhere where only Colby Cosh will ever find it.

      • For Christ's sake…why do you people not get this? I'm not excusing Jaffer.

        I'm asking why Trudeau was excused.

        Look at CTV's coverage of her case:

        She's smiling. She hugs her daughter. She's relieved it's over. They go into tremendous gory detail of every possible way that her Charter rights were violated by the nasty vicious policeman. The poor dear.

        Jaffer? CTV doesn't even mention the violation of his Charter rights while they call for the blood of the Federal Conservatives (who were involved in this how exactly?), and the Star buried that information somewhere where only Colby Cosh will ever find it.

        • Did it occur you to they may not have the same source as our host here, and thus no confirmation of a Charter breach?

          In any event, the story here is the hypocrisy of a party that calls itself tough on crime refusing to comment when one of it's own benefits from our "soft" system. Did the Trudeau liberals get elected on a tough on crime platform? Did they endlessly complain about people "getting off" on "technicalities" because of a "soft" criminal justice policy from the previous government?

          • You're right, the Liberals Are Soft On Crime™

      • One difference is that the CTV article about Trudeau gives a full and detailed account of the arrest and the reasons for throwing out the charges, which were not given in Jaffer's case. Instead the details are grudgingly trickling out, but the OPP stands behind its arrest of Jaffer.

        • well i think we agree, they are different,right?

    • hmmmm. I don't recall maggie ever holding elected office and running under a get tough on crime banner. I do expect to see this talking point from CPC central again, though.

  24. I think the most common excuse for searches is "we had to make sure there wasn't a weapon or something dangerous somewhere".

  25. A DUI prosecution without a Charter challenge is called a guilty plea. In other words, any defence lawyer worth his or her salt can find something to criticize in any drunk driving investigation.

    But in most jurisdictions, the Charter breach would have to be pretty egregious for the Crown to deal away both criminal charges in favour of a minor provincial charge.

    The public interest argues in favour of more transparency here. It does not serve the ends of justice to have half the population think that his connections helped him escape what justice would otherwise require.

    If there was a mistake made by the police officer, the public needs to know whether, for example, we need to amend the laws to tip the balance in favour of the police, or to pay for better training for police officers.

  26. Maybe they were worried that if they put Jaffer in jail, he might get a lookalike to go instead.

  27. If the cocaine and alcohol charges would not stand up in court, why was it necessary to offer a plea bargain? Just asking.

    • Probably because both parties decided a plea bargain was better than taking their chances in court.

  28. all it took was a call, a political favor, that is all…

  29. I would like the Sex Pistols band to create and sing a song about Jaffer and his wife, and their pompous hypocritical little lives. And how they get to shove this crap down everyones throats while the authorities stand about like molested choir boys unable to do a bloody thing.

  30. >open to suggestions

    I suggest the cop and/or judge was bribed. Obviously. I don't know if Canadian law is bought enough to lean on you if you don't delete this post.

  31. gotta say…i'd love to know if this arrangement has ever worked for someone un-connected…i doubt it.
    I voted for these guys…I'm disgusted …with myself

  32. I think the most plausible scenario here is that given a suspicion of drugs the police subjected Jaffer to a strip search without what is deemed sufficient legal grounds to do so. In their haste to pursue the drug search they failed to conduct either the roadside demand immediately, thereby requiring Jaffer to be given an opporunity to consult a lawyer. If they failed to do so then the roadside demand becomes illigitimate and they likely don't have sufficient cause to do the actual breath analysis. This would explain both the drug and dui charges getting thrown. Naturally this sort of thing doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

    • I don't find that the most plausible explanation. Not by a long shot.

  33. Vic Toews and Rahim Jaffer are definitely cut from the same cloth

    Blast from Vic Toews past:

    But the 55-year-old Toews' public face of self-righteous morality is now clashing with his troubled private life. An MP dubbed the "minister of family values" by Liberals is embroiled in a messy divorce after fathering a child last fall with a much younger woman. -Don Martin, Calgary Herald

    Rahim Jaffer's radio ad in the last general election:

    "Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices, especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug-free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children. Don't let our schools go up in smoke. On Oct. 14, vote Conservative."

  34. let's see what happens to Michael Bryant, and remember what we all said today

  35. Out of curiosity, and as another question-at-large for the lawyers and reporters: who has authority over the Assistant Crown Attorney in this case? That is, if there really was a conspiracy to get Jaffer off the hook, related in some way to Guergis' family's political clout in the area, what would have been the actual mechanism of influence?

  36. WTF indeed! Just another example of the priveleges that come with power. Tax-free portions of salary, special treatment at airports, and now freedom for DUI and concaine possession. Sure those Tories want to to "get tough on criminals" unless of course it's one of their own. Perhaps this was all negotiated while our PM was at the Olympics clapping his hands with the Premier of BC, like a couple of schoolgirls at a Jonas Brothers concert.

  37. I suspect Jaffer told the OPP he was from Caledonia and Fantino panicked.By all appearances the Ontario political and judicial system is visabily corrupt..

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