BRITISH Columbia's justice system is in crisis. This year, we saw serious cases delayed or thrown out because of a lack of judges to hear them or sheriffs to keep the courtroom safe.
The Liberals have also gutted the legal aid system; a penny-wise, poundfoolish policy that denies skilled counsel to those in need and bogs down an already groaning system in the process.
With this in mind, it's astonishing that the courts are the only branch of our provincial government that has any interest in Derek Delaurier, a 41year-old North Vancouver man whose mental disability has contributed to him committing more than 60 minor, non-violent crimes.
Lacking any other options, a clearly frustrated North Vancouver judge recently tossed Delaurier back on the streets, even though everyone in the room knew it's only a matter of time before he finds his way back into a police car, a jail cell, and in front of yet another judge with the same futile sentencing choices.
Consider the tax dollars spent on arresting, processing, prosecuting and imprisoning someone more than 60 times. Surely that sum would pay for a least some measure of help for this man, who is clearly more victim than villain.
Yet Premier Christy Clark's priority for our courts is not to find more judges, or sheriffs, or to fund legal aid, or to find a better way to handle cases like Delaurier's, but to stage televised showtrials of accused rioters - yet another waste of scarce court resources.