Five years after he offered the Russians his services, Canadian navy Sub-Lt Jeffrey Delisle pleaded guilty in court yesterday to charges of spying. He'll be sentenced in January. We've all seen the Bond movies and read Ludlum's books, but it's rare to get a bit of an inside look at a real live spy. Delisle was apparently having marital issues, was cash short and even disillusioned according to some reports when, five years ago, he walked into the Soviet embassy in Ottawa and asked to speak to a military intelligence officer. A relationship started that saw Delisle get $3,000 a month in return for military secrets. His guilty plea means it's very likely we'll never know the extent of his actions or even how Delisle managed to get away with smuggling sensitive information out of an apparently secure naval facility. Bottom line, Delisle was a traitor and deserves to spend a long, long time behind bars contemplating his disgrace.
The Harper government has finally stopped its longstanding and controversial policy of clawing back the benefit payments made to members of the military with disabilities. Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney announced yesterday effective immediately the government will stop deducting the amount of a veteran's pension from their disability payments. Before you offer a round of applause, let's remember the Harperites didn't do this voluntarily. As Peter Stoffer, the NDP veterans critic, said yesterday, "They're not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They're doing it because a judge ordered them to."
A compromise has been reached that would stop a methadone clinic from moving into a Fairview neighbourhood. Residents have been lobbying hard to stop Direction 180 from setting up a clinic in an area home. Businesses in Fairview had even raised over $400,000 to buy the house. The two sides got together yesterday and Direction 180 agreed it would not set up the clinic if the community raised another $100,000. It would then use that money to set up a mobile clinic. Sounds like a win win situation for all sides. But the clock is ticking on the deal. The community has until the end of the day today to raise the hundred thousand. If you'd like to help contact the Fairview Community Association. Tick tock.
A tip of the ball cap to one of the good guys. Police Supt. Don Spicer's retiring after 35 years on the job. Spicer is the city's first public safety officer, a position created after the mayor's task force on violence. We first met Donnie when he was the department's media spokesman, a constable at the time. He may be retiring from the police department, but he's not giving up his work to make this city a better place. Spicer will be moving on to Shelter Nova Scotia to work with the homeless.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.