What that decision does not take into consideration is the jury's finding
that, in all the circumstances, Mr. MacDonald's reaction to the risk presented
by Mr. Allen, which I might say was a risk clearly identified by Mr. Dick,
the preventive security officer, before Mr. Allen's arrival, was proportionate.
That, in my judgement, is not evidence of a propensity to resort to
violence to solve all problems, so as to constitute Mr. MacDonald a dangerous
offender, and a risk to any other persons in the general population, or
indeed any officer of the Correction Service in the institution. The matter
of the Allen/MacDonald hostilities was a specifically identifiable, predictable
problem. No such evidence is available with respect to the balance of
the population. I find that the decision to send Mr. MacDonald to a Special
Handling Unit is patently unreasonable under those circumstances ( MacDonald
v. Warden of Kent Institution, Vancouver
Hughie MacDonald was finally returned to the general population at Kent
on August 23, 1996. In the concluding paragraph of his reasons for judgement,
Mr. Justice Wilson had stated, "I would like to add that I would certainly
encourage the Service to endeavour with all deliberate speed to get Mr.
MacDonald to the Regional Health Centre." However, it would take than
more than judicial encouragement to get Hugh MacDonald to the Regional
Health Centre. He remained at Kent for almost two years after Mr. Justice
Wilson's judgement. And in July 1998, even when the Correctional Service
finally agreed to transfer him, it was not to the RHC but to Matsqui Institution.
In August 1999, almost three years to the day of the court's exhortation
to CSC to get Mr. MacDonald to RHC "with all deliberate speed," I spoke
with him at Matsqui. He had just been told he was not sufficiently motivated
to benefit from the Violent Offender Program and therefore would remain
at Matsqui. In July 2001, over three years after his acquittal, I again
interviewed Mr. MacDonald. He was still warehoused at Matsqui, having
served twenty-two years of his life sentence. He was not transferred to the RHC until October 2001. The Correctional Service's
interpretation of "all deliberate speed," while inviting comparison with
civil rights violations in the American Deep South, hardly stands as a
model of respect for the Rule of Law.
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