September 14, 2005
Reaping what you sow
The big news in Vancouver today is the deportation of Bahadur Singh Bhalru, a convicted street racer who was involved in the death of Irene Thorpe.

In November 2000, Ms Thorpe was struck and killed while walking down Marine Drive in Vancouver. I drove past her memorial every day for nearly 4 years and often thought of the tragedy that befell her and her family.

Mr. Bhalru
and another man, Mr. Khosa were street racing when Mr. Khosa lost control of his car at an excessive speed. I can only hope that their victim never knew what hit her.

They were arrested but never spent any time in jail. While convicted, they were sentenced to 2 years of house arrest. House arrest? For causing the death of another human being! Our justice system is notoriously weak and this is yet another example of that.

However, the crux of the story is that neither were Canadian citizens and were still on landed immigrant status when they committed their crime. Therefore, they rendered themselves ineligible for citizenship and were ordered deported. And today, just a hair short of 5 years after the event, the deportation is complete. My cynical mind does wonder, however, if we paid for the ticket.

Their lawyers argued that they "made a 30-second mistake in [their] life for which [they've] paid a very big price."

Well, citizenship is a privilege not a right. They came to Canada and rather than make it a better place, have destroyed a family, taken a life and have yet to even understand why they were denied the right to live in this country. That 30-second 'mistake' caused someone to die, and that is just not acceptable. Bhalru arrogantly seems to miss the point completely on what it means to be a Canadian. Today, his tearful statement at the airport was heavy on the 'poor me's' and very light on the remorse he supposedly feels.

If I was to move to another country, I would expect to be living under their laws and their rules. I would not expect to have laws changed to accomodate me and I would endeavour to live within the laws of the land. When these two young men decided to use poor judgement and race, they chose to forsake their rights. They weren't thinking that night, I'm quite sure, how fortunate they were to have the opportunity to live in Canada - nor what they stood to lose. They should have.

For all those who struggle to come to Canada and to make their lives better by living here, it would have been a slap in the face to allow these convicted criminals to stay. Irene Thorpe didn't get a reprieve. She does not get an appeal. Her family does not get to see her ever again.

Some interesting discussions on the subject are in the Discover Vancouver forum.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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