Archive for July 27th, 2012

Supreme Court upholds shooter conviction

- July 27th, 2012

Jeff Shuckburgh

A sensible decision:

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday upheld the second-degree murder conviction of Adrian John Walle in the 2004 shooting death of Calgary bar owner Jeff Shuckburgh.

Walle, then 20, shot the 29-year-old Shuckburgh once in the chest with a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle on Jan. 7 of that year, while the victim was escorting him from Shuckaluck’s Pub.

Walle was initially found guilty of manslaughter, but the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned that decision and ordered a new trial.

In 2008, Walle was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole for a minimum of 13 years.

Walle appealed the conviction, arguing that his mental health problems and alcohol consumption on the evening of the shooting meant he could not have formed the intention to murder Shuckburgh.

Walle claims to suffer from a number of psychological disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome, adult antisocial disorder and alcohol abuse disorder. But no evidence was presented at trial documenting those disorders.

In a 7-0 decision, the court points to overwhelming evidence showing Walle had the intention to commit the murder.


Them’s fightin’ words

- July 27th, 2012

BC Premier Christy Clark rips another page from the Quebec playbook - now she’s using the politics of the empty chair, and using the “knife-at-the-throat” strategy. Is she going to threaten to separate next?


Former top Harper aide charged with influence peddling: RCMP

- July 27th, 2012

A former top advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been slapped with an influence peddling charge, the RCMP said Friday.

Bruce Carson, 66, has been charged with one count of fraud on the government. He served as Harper’s chief policy analyst and problem solver from 2006 to 2008 and returned to the prime minister’s office (PMO) briefly in 2009.

Carson is alleged to have accepted commission from a third party in connection to a government business matter.

Harper’s spokesman Andrew MacDougall said the government immediately referred the matter to the RCMP commissioner, the ethics commissioner and the lobby commissioner after it was informed of the allegations.

“Any individual who doesn’t respect our laws must face their full force as well as the consequences that come with them,” MacDougall said in a statement.

RCMP said the national police force has been investigating Carson since March 2011 after it received a referral from the PMO.

Carson is slated to appear in Ottawa court in September.

If I were cynical…

- July 27th, 2012

I would think that having an issue that might do damage to President Obama’s re-election prospects is something that Stephen Harper is prepared to live with, for as long as he can make the suspense about whether or not Canada will approve the deal last. Like until November. Not that the prime minister would ever consider enjoying a little payback fun after Obama’s Keystone reversal. No, of course not. Perish the thought and all that.

But if he were, it might look like this

Republicans in Congress have also expressed concern about the deal, although they stopped short of saying that the U.S. government should intervene.

“I’m concerned because it’s really a trend, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico,” Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter said. “I don’t know enough about it to know whether it should be blocked through any American, U.S.-based law. But I do think the far better alternative is for us to play offence, and for us to be developing, taking advantage of these energy resources.”

Vitter and other Republicans have blamed President Barack Obama’s delay in approving the Canada to Texas Keystone XL pipeline for pushing Canada’s government to more aggressively explore oil deals with China.

Good thing I’m not cynical, eh?