Thursday, September 29, 2005

Form letter I sent to the Crown in Quebec:

La présente vous informe que le cabinet du ministre de la Justice et Procureur général a bien reçu votre courrier électronique.

>>> gvanpopta 21/09/05 21:37 >>>

Mr. Yvon Marcoux
Attorney General
Ministère de la Justice
Édifice Louis-Philippe-Pigeon
1200, route de l'Église, 9e étage
Sainte-Foy (Québec) G1V 4M1

Email address:

Dear Mr. Marcoux,

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to appeal the outrageously light sentence awarded to Paul Coffin on Monday, Sept. 19.

A conditional sentence with no time in prison is simply not severe enough for 15 counts of criminal fraud involving $1.5 million of public money.

Your prosecutor was quite correct in asking the judge for at least 34 months in a federal penitentiary. No matter how remorseful Coffin is, no matter how co-operative he has been, no matter how willing to repay his ill-gotten gains, punishment remains an essential aspect of criminal deterrence.

The absence of any element of punishment in Justice Jean-Guy Boilard's sentence sends a fearful message: namely, that politicians and their associates are exempt from the same sting of consequences for illegal actions meted out to everyone else.

For the criminal law to be effective, it must be feared equally by all. Instead, Paul Coffin will go on a lecture circuit to teach business students about ethics. Regardless of what he says, he will serve as an object lesson that if you know the right politicians, nothing too terrible will happen if you get caught in a criminal act. This is the hallmark of banana republics!

Please take this grossly unjust sentence to appeal. Surely the chance of success is high. If not, I despair for our country.


George van Popta

46 Sulphur Springs Road

Ancaster, Ont. L9G 1L8

cc: Paul Monty,
Associate Deputy Minister, Public Prosecutions