By Glenn Kauth, Law Times News
Once again, we see how politics are playing a disproportionate role in how Ottawa treats Canadians who get into trouble overseas.
As revealed by Postmedia News last week, at least nine Canadians serving time for crimes committed abroad have active cases before the Federal Court challenging the federal government’s decision to deny them transfer to Canada to finish their sentences.
Many of them are drug dealers jailed in the United States.
By Janice Tibbetts and Laura Stone, Postmedia News
OTTAWA — Canadian offenders serving time in prisons abroad are increasingly turning to Canada's courts to win transfers to domestic prisons in light of the Harper government's crackdown on allowing such inmates to finish their sentences at home.
There are at least nine cases before the Federal Court in which offenders — mainly drug dealers serving time in United States prisons — are asking judges to overturn decisions by the federal public safety minister denying their transfer applications on grounds they are likely to engage in organized crime once they've served their time in Canada.
The federal government's own research suggests Canadian prisoners transferred back here from foreign jails have a relatively low recidivism rate, CBC News has learned.
A briefing note prepared for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews earlier this year showed that just over three per cent of offenders transferred back committed another crime while on parole. In the five-year span ending in 2008, of 473 people who were repatriated and later paroled, only 16 reoffended.
The figures come to light as the Canadian government seeks more freedom to refuse prisoner transfers.