07 August 2007

Stunned is as...well... yet again

Queen's Counsel is largely an honorary designation, but it is supposed to indicate that the laweyer wearing silk has a knowledge of the law that is above the norm. After all, the title goes with the consideration, as spelled out in the Queen's Counsel Act, that the recipient is "learned in the law."

So how is it, then that someone who took silk, albeit long after he stopped practising, could not understand the law as it applies to police forces?

That's the effect of his suggestion in July:
I also agree with a suggestion that a reformed RCMP should become a solely federal force and get out of provincial jurisdictions altogether. Our own government here should kiss the RCMP goodbye and extend the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s coverage beyond the St. John’s, Corner Brook, Labrador West regions to blanket the entire province.
As a lawyer, albeit a lapsed one, Rowe QC should understand that the criminal law, drug laws and fisheries regulations, for example are exclusively federal jurisdictions under the constitution. The major provincial laws handled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police relate to the Highway Traffic Act.

Rowe QC is actually not suggesting the change some people - and likely Rowe himself - think he is, beyond the superficial nationalist posturing he's wont to do sometimes.

No. What Rowe QC is actually proposing is that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary expand across the province to become glorified traffic cops and meter maids. Meanwhile, for criminal offenses like murder, theft, drug trafficking and poaching, the Mounties would handle the cases across the province.

There's a brilliant idea.

As it stands right now, policing jurisdictions are geographical and within the geographic areas, the two highly professional police forces Newfoundlanders and Labradorians call their own, work without any difference between the two.

Rowe - in the guise of supposedly elevating the RNC - is actually proposing their demotion to a second rate service confined largely to catching speeders and litterers. The job of policing the tough stuff would be taken away from the local constabulary - under Rowe's clearly misguided scheme - and handed to the federal police force.

What a disservice to the RCMP, the RNC and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

What an insult to the intelligence of his readers who may not be as "learned in the law" as the freshly minted QC.

What an insult to the men and women from this province who serve and who have served at all rank levels of both police forces not just here but across the country.

Too bad, as well, that some people in this province - including Rowe's employer - actually take his bumpf seriously.