Saturday November 22, 2014

Not satisfied with fine and help


I’m one of these people who feels like there is always someone to blame for something, so pardon me for not accepting the fact that Ali Shahi has a mental illness and therefore after he pays his $1000 fine, he will now seek medical treatment and all is well. Shahi is the man who, last week, made a bomb threat on a Sunwing flight and airline officials made the decision to alert authorities and fighter jets were assigned to accompany the plane back to Pearson International Airport in Toronto. According to Sun News, the man became agitated when he learned cigarettes would be cheaper on the plane than what he already bought at Duty Free so he, allegedly, made a bomb threat. The man’s parents say he’s had 23 encounters with police in his life, but has never ever been charged with anything and now they are pleading with the courts to help find Ali some help. Okay, I’m alright with all of that.  But, someone is still to blame for the outburst on the plane and here’s how I see it: if Ali has, at any time in his adult life, been of sound mind to the point where he was should have been aware he needed help or it was suggested to him by someone, then he should have sought it out. Otherwise, I feel there should be a criminal charge for disregarding his medical condition that threatens the lives of the rest of us. If not, there ought to be an investigation into why the police encounters never resulted in actual charges. To me, somebody somewhere is responsible for a 25-year-old man making a bomb threat at 35-thousand feet. It’s not acceptable to say “Oh, he has a mental illness, let’s get him some help.” There was, clearly, evidence something wasn’t totally right with this guy long before he boarded the plane last week.

I don’t suffer from mental illness, so I’m not qualified to offer an educated opinion, but I wonder if there are people who do have mental illness and are, quite frankly, offended when they see situations where mental illness is used as a means to be found not guilty of a crime. The only comparison I can draw from is from my court reporting media days when I, often, heard lawyers defend their client’s actions by saying the accused suffered from a childhood where he/she came from a single parent home and dealt with poverty and, therefore, the courts should find a reason to be lenient. I, myself, came from a similar background as a youth; yet don’t have a criminal record. So, I would find it offensive every single time I, not only, heard it passed off as an excuse; but accepted from the judge.

I got into it a little bit over a Facebook post from Charles Adler last week that says there are reports Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have enough support that if an election were held today, they’d win a majority. I commented that I’m disgusted with all political parties at the moment, so I’d be inclined to spoil my ballot. A couple of staunch Conservatives were on me later about not being supportive, but that’s what is wrong with politics today. If Stephen Harper tells you the sky is blue, you better not even look up to make sure. You nod your head and smile because to go against the leader in any situation is not allowed. What would be wrong with your local MP speaking up and saying, “Hey, I don’t agree with my party’s position on this particular issue (whatever the issue may be), but that doesn’t mean I’m right nor does it mean we are doing a bad job governing.” I’ve seen the same thing at the provincial level. What’s the point of talking to your local representative if he’s not allowed to tell you how he feels?

Call me disappointed after I emceed the opening ceremonies for the Saskatchewan Midget AA Baseball Provincials on Friday night and there wasn’t a Yorkton municipal elected official to be found to welcome visitors from ten teams to our city for the weekend. Mayor Bob Maloney is excused.  He celebrated the new arrival of a grandchild into his family and was out of town. Family takes precedence. Perhaps the six other councilors had family commitments as well; but it was just too bad that we didn’t have someone to say thanks for coming on behalf of the city.

I don’t want this to be an unpaid ad so I’ll keep it as vague as possible; but I just want to mention that you shouldn’t believe everything you read when it comes to reviews on the waterslide park in southeastern Saskatchewan. Our family went last week and had a blast. If you haven’t been for a while or have never been; I suggest you try it. It’s not for kids under the age of six or seven because the slides are too challenging; but otherwise it’s a real good time and it’s clean.

Nice person mentions this week to Susan Constable, Garth Simms, Brett Franklin, Glen Fafard, Trista Hearn, and Kristy Helbren.



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