VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The writ for October’s federal election hasn’t dropped, but there’s already plenty of nasty chatter online.
A Vancouver-based immigration lawyer says most people reposting stories out of the United Kingdom about a child killer possibly moving to Canada are politically-motivated.
Richard Kurland says it could take years for Jon Venables, who murdered two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, to be allowed to visit Canada after he’s freed from a British prison, but reaction on social media isn’t based on the truth.
“I expect to see more of the same shenanigans between now and voting day. Any potential hot-button issue will whirlwind on social media with the goal of confusing people or the goal simply to forward the particular agenda of the person pushing the send button.”
Angry social media posts about Venables, now 36-years-old, accuse Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of welcoming violent criminals into Canada, but Kurland says the flip side of that is Liberal supporters going online to suggest Tory leader Andrew Scheer wants to make abortions illegal.
“Someone on social media on one hand is trying to link the abortion debate to the Conservative party and someone on the other side of the political spectrum is trying to link soft on crime to the Liberal party. Do the facts support either position? Likely not, but sometimes emotion ‘Trumps’ logic.”
Because Canada’s immigration rules are extremely tight, Kurland tells NEWS 1130 it’s highly unlikely Venables would be allowed access without being born here or already having citizenship in this country.
“Even if the person is a permanent resident, they’re not getting on a plane. They can’t access the United States to get to Canada by a land border, so suggesting that the individual may access Canada soon? That’s an utter illusion. We call it fake news.”
Venables was 10 when he and Robert Thompson, who was also 10, lured the toddler away from his mom at a shopping centre in Liverpool.
Thompson has never committed another crime, but Venables has been jailed twice more on child pornography charges.