Sometimes justice is not blind, just near sighted

Obi Canuel wears a colander and he’s vexed that the ICBC won’t let him pose for his driver’s licence photograph while so adorned.

Trivia question: what do you call that bowl thingy full of holes that lives in the kitchen cupboard — the one that looks like a basin that’s been peppered with shotgun pellets?

Time’s up. It’s a colander — a sieve, basically. It’s used for draining water off pasta and rice and such.

Or you can be like Obi Canuel and wear it on your head.

Obi Canuel (real name) of Vancouver wears a colander and he’s vexed that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia won’t let him pose for his driver’s licence photograph while so adorned.

It’s a religious thing for Obi. He’s a practicing Pastafarian you see.  He belongs to the First Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I swear I am not making any of this up.

He feels that his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are being violated by ICBC’s ruling and he may have a case. ICBC policy guarantees that no one will be asked to remove headgear that doesn’t interfere with facial recognition technology “as long as it is worn in conjunction with religious practice.”

I’ve seen a photograph of Obi in costume.  He looks reasonably normal. Aside from that colander on his head.

Naturally he’s planning to sue.

Good luck with that, Obi. The Canadian system of justice is weird and capricious — and not just when it comes to religious headgear.

You can go to jail for an overdue library book, or you can be like Ian Thow, a B.C. con artist who  stole millions by bilking hundreds of old age pensioners out of their life savings.

For his sins, Thow went ever-so-briefly to jail in 2010 but in less than two years he was out and at last report soaking up sunshine in Mexico.

That’s how our justice systems rolls, baby. A single roach in your car ashtray can earn you a lifetime criminal record — or you could be like Michael Simoneau-Meunier, a two-bit thug doing time in Quebec’s Bordeaux Prison for various violent acts including permanently disabling an innocent bystander with a baseball bat.

Monsieur Simoneau-Meunier recently posted a selfie on Facebook with a bottle of cognac in one hand and a giant spliff in the other. “Livin’ da jail life” it was entitled, and yes, he was in jail when the photo was taken.

Ah well, the law isn’t always an ass. At least that pusher in Lethbridge who was dealing coke out of his school locker finally got nailed.

Actually, he wasn’t a drug dealer. He was Keenan Shaw, a Grade 12 student. And the coke he was dealing wasn’t even Coke. It was…Pepsi. As in Pepsi Cola. Keenan (an aspiring capitalist if every there was) was selling pop to fellow students who were too lazy or impatient to wait until they were off school grounds to buy it.

Officials at Winston Churchill High School slammed Keenan with a two-day suspension. “We can’t have just anyone coming into the school and selling anything they want” explained a school superintendent.

Bang on. Now, free marketeering while in prison…that’s a different story.

Pepsi Cola in high school; Remy Martin cognac in jail. Who said justice was blind?

And what’s it cost to become a Pastafarian?

— Arthur Black lives on Saltspring Island. His column appears every Tuesday in The NEWS. E-mail:  arblack43@shaw.ca.

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