Corrupt Canadian Immigration Judge Jailed – The Bigger Story

June 29th, 2006

Former Immigration and Refugee Board appeals division judge Yves Bourbonnais pleaded guilty yesterday to multiple counts of obstruction of justice stemming from his leading role in a bribery scheme that targeted cases he was scheduled to hear. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

It’s a sad fact of life that, from time to time, we hear of corruption in the judicial system. We may be disappointed but we’re not shocked. In the end the bad guy was caught and punished, as he should have been.

The real issue here is that Mr. Bourbonnais was appointed a judge in the first place. Back in 1996, then Immigration Minster Lucienne Robillard named Mr. Bourbonnais to the bench. Had the former Minister done a background check she would have learned that in 1988 Mr. Bourbonnais had been convicted of breach of trust for selling government office furniture from a prosecutor’s office and two courthouses. Just the kind of person we’d want to uphold our laws.

It’s got to make you wonder about the quality of the security screenings that were conducted on the thousands of immigrants who entered Canada between 1996 and 1999, the period of time during which Mrs. Robillard served as the chief Canadian gatekeeper.

Blog written by David Cohen on Friday, June 30, 2006

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