Airlines, Canada Post, “complicit” in growing crime rate of Nunavut

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Residents of Nunavut are well aware that we live in a territory where crime is a huge problem.

Much of that crime, from assaults and the occasional murder to petty thievery, is fueled by bootleggers and drug dealers.

This criminal scum, if their activities are not curtailed, will eventually turn the whole of Nunavut into a dangerous, crime-ridden ghetto and eliminate the last positive aspects of Inuit culture. Their illicit wares, primarily alcohol and marijuana, can enter our communities by only two routes: Canadas Post, or concealed in various pieces of luggage or air freight.

The airlines and Canada Post could take an active role in reducing the carnage but they choose to do nothing, quoting concerns for “personal privacy.” My generation would use a 1970s term to describe their inaction – cop-out.

Airline passengers have no expectation of privacy in terms of what they choose to transport. The airlines are fond of reminding us that all luggage and air freight is subject to search for dangerous or illegal items. Apparently this policy is more likely to apply to an aerosol can of deodorant than to five pounds of marijuana or a half-dozen 60-ouncers of illegal liquor.

When was the last time you heard of First Air finding drugs or illegal alcohol and refusing to carry it? Or report the fact to the police? Does that ever happen?

Canada Post has also been complicit in their virtual support of drug dealers by implementing rules that practically guarantee them a safe transportation system.

Again, the personal privacy excuse is invoked. But Canadians have a long and proud tradition of limiting personal rights, when necessary, in favour of the common good.

Certainly the courts need to be tougher. It’s also true that people who buy from drug dealers and bootleggers have to recognize that they are a large part of the problem.

But it is equally true that the airlines, Canada Post and the pseudo-civil-libertarians have to step up to the plate and start co-operating with the police in running the bootleggers and drug dealers out of business.

If that were done, it would go a long way towards toppling Nunavut from its embarrassing position as crime capital of Canada.

Larry Whittaker

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