A Foreign, Former Chief Justice Who Makes Governments Tremble

di Joe Volpe del August 19, 2019

TORONTO – There are always issues that sway the public because they evoke raw emotion, unveil the inconsistencies of grand ideas (policies) in the face of reality and test the integrity of politicians who extoll them.

Immigration is such an issue.

Ask Donald Trump. His one consistent theme is that immigration is a cover for all acolytes of Attila the Hun renowned in history as a °rapist, pillager and sacker° wherever he set foot. The Scourge of God in some circles.

Ask some of Trump’s admires, like Doug Ford. Aside from the on-going economic theme of “putting money in your pocket”, is there another that resonates so loudly as the one that intimates “sharing that money with people who aren’t us”?

“Sharing”, much to our collective chagrin, is still a concept that runs against the grain of keeping for ourselves the fruits of what we think is purely due to our own enterprise – or, just as likely to our good fortune.

Ask Europeans; yes, including our British, German, French and Italian cousins, who are wrestling with the idea of accommodating hundreds of thousands of African “refugees” making their way north to the “promised lands” yearly.

Yet, it is an ethic upon which we premise many of the “values” we say define us: equal rights to all, privileges to none; human rights; “level playing fields”; the rule of law; due process, the separation of powers and the exercise of democratic freedoms without fear of reprisal.

As Canadians, we preach these values to the World: bribery, corruption, the attendant misuse and abuse of power invariably lead to repressive regimes as the “in crowd” veer ever further away from the democratic systems that guarantee those rights and freedoms.

Now we have within our midst an individual whose very presence will test the veracity of our commitment to those values.

Former Chief Justice of the Bengladesh Supreme Court, Kumar Sinha, had the “audacity” to challenge the authority of his government over the court system. He led his colleagues on the Bench to a unanimous decision declaring as unconstitutional the 16th Amendment permitting the power of the Executive Branch to dismiss Supreme Court Justices, thereby subordinating the Judiciary to the will of the Government.

CJ Sinha had been proving himself a thorn in the side of a government known for it willingness to bend to the will of those with deep pockets. Bangladesh ranks 149th on the corruption index published by transparency international. International companies like SNC Lavalin are accustomed to buying “every blade of government grass” to ensure that they all bend in the direction wanted by their wind.

Now CJ Sinha is a self-exile from his own country. The numerous extra-judicial assassinations attributed by the popular press to a repressive regime may be a contributing factor.

On July 4th, 2019, he and his wife entered Canada legally and filed for refugee status. At a hearing on August 7th, he was denied that status but permitted the opportunity to submit to a Pre Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). The officer/delegate of the Minister (himself a former Refugee from Somalia) disqualified CJ Sinha because he had filed for refugee status (without any response) in another “safe third country”, the USA.

Too hot to handle for Minister Hussen, probably. Why?

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