From: Paulette MacQuarrie
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 9:03 AM

[The following was read as the "letter of the day" by talk show host Peter Warren on CKNW Radio, Vancouver, 7:30 pm, Wed., May 09, 2001]

Your comment on con artists

Dear Peter Warren,

Further to your comment Saturday morning, one has to wonder how--or who--determines our federal government's priorities.

In their benevolent wisdom they have decided not to extradite individuals to the US who have bilked vulnerable Americans such as senior citizens and the mentally infirm of millions of dollars. Apparently there is some danger they might be sodomized in an American prison if convicted, so of course Canada must defend the rights of these con artists... at the expense, of course, of Canadian taxpayers.

Yet our government is about to extradite an Ontario man on the basis that he may have lied to authorities about his wartime activity when he came to Canada. Unlike our friends the con artists, Wasyl Odynsky has been a productive Canadian citizen for over 50 years, dutifully paying his taxes and living an exemplary life. While the courts have ruled that there is no evidence whatsoever that Odynsky lied or was even asked about his WWII activity, and have found him to be a citizen of good character, the government says he may have lied and those questions probably were asked. Therefore he will be extradited to Ukraine.

Our government has spent an exhorbitant amount of tax dollars to persecute an upstanding, law-abiding, tax-paying Canadian, against whom they have no evidence of criminal activity allegedly committed over 50 years ago. Yet they are about to spend who knows how many tax dollars to protect foreign con artists (who have made no contribution to Canadian society) because our government says there is a danger they may be mistreated in a US jail if convicted.

Anne McLellan needs to give her head a shake. And as Minister of Justice, to do the right thing for once. Let Wasyl Odynsky stay, and send the con artists back to their country to face the evidence.

Paulette MacQuarrie
Coquitlam, BC