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Conservatives misquoting yet another expert.

The Conservatives sure like to try to pull the wool over the eyes of Canadians.  When Conservatives aren’t slamming various experts in their fields for “living in ivory towers” or being elitists, they’re trying to quote them at their website as having approved of a particular policy that comes under fire in order to deflect the controversy as “the experts approve of our plan”. Except that the expert in question usually doesn’t approve of the plan – but that doesn’t stop the Cons led by Decevin’ Stephen from trying to trick you.

You might remember John Baird tried that with  Marc Jaccard and the government’s environmental policy – except Jaccard actually wrote up a report more or less approving of a carbon tax and reporting it would have a negligible effect on the economy.  That didn’t go over too well.   The latest attempt is with Harper and company and their website claiming that Justice Merlin Nunn, he who issued a report on youth justice a couple of years ago, supports their youth crime proposals. That would be great for Harper, except for the slightly inconvenient minor fact that Justice Nunn has just issued a public rebuttal or 2 that he doesn’t:

Canadians would be unwise to follow the Conservative plan for harsher jail sentences, up to life imprisonment, for young offenders, warns the retired judge who shone a spotlight on the flawed youth justice system. Merlin Nunn issued a landmark report on youth justice two years ago that Stephen Harper claims supports “many” of the Conservatives’ newly unveiled proposals to toughen the youth justice law. But the former Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice took issue with the Tory proposal to boost jail sentences for young offenders, including ratcheting up the maximum youth sentence for murder from 10 years to life in prison, and up to 14 years for other violent offences. “They have gone beyond what I did, and beyond the philosophy that I accepted,” Judge Nunn told The Lawyers Weekly in an interview.

Justice Nunn isn’t done either – here’s another interview he did for another media publication:

Merlin Nunn, who penned a 381-page youth justice report two years ago in Nova Scotia, publicly panned the Conservative push for longer jail terms – up to life in prison – for violent convicts as young as 14.  It’s a hefty blow given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeatedly cites Nunn’s work as tacit support for his promised legal overhaul. Nunn said he agrees that less is more when it comes to sentencing minors. Harsh penalties don’t deter crime, he said in an interview from his home near Halifax.
“There’s no evidence anywhere in North America that I know of that keeping people in custody longer, punishing them longer, has any fruitful effects for society.  Custody should be the last ditch thing for a child … I have no doubt that some of the kids who get convicted have to be held in custody for some period of time – but not lock the door and put away the key.  Instead of rehabilitating him, you’ve got a kid that may be 10 times worse than when he went in.”

Cue the Conservatives and their Blogging Tory supporters to now start calling him an ivory tower judge, or something similar. Experts who publicly disagree with the Prime Minister get turned on very quickly with this group.


1 comment to Conservatives misquoting yet another expert.

  • Well, er, at least that time they were openly quoting.

    It appears that that’s somewhat of a new thing for Harper. He’s more of a “borrowing” type.

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