Did Canada just classify playing poker as a ‘serious crime?’

Canada-Poker-Serious-CrimeFor those whose knowledge of Canada is limited to ice hockey and/or Pamela Anderson, here’s something you might find interesting. Canada’s Conservative government – basically a Diet Coke version of America’s Republican party – has just announced new measures that will grant police sweeping new powers in the areas of wiretapping, asset forfeiture, thumbscrews… (okay, we made up that last one, but it’s probably coming). The Tories are also reclassifying a whole bunch of criminal activity — such as keeping a gaming or betting house — as ‘serious crimes’, i.e. punishable by five or more years in prison.

Opposition parties are crying foul, in part because these changes are being implemented while Parliament is on its summer break, but also because they claim it’s serious overkill – akin to swatting a mosquito with a sledgehammer. For example, under this new scheme, it’s entirely possible that three or more people playing a money game of poker could end up being jailed for five years. Hey, Tories… If you really want to look tough on crime, why not arrest those criminally inept PlayNow doofuses? Read more.