There are times when government rules, regulations and the resulting penalties and punishment simply don't make sense.
Two perfect examples, one involving the Royal Canadian Mint and the other the federal government itself, made newspaper headlines this week.
In the first case, East Coast singer Dave Gunning had the audacity to use the image of the Canadian one-cent piece on the cover of his new album, No More Pennies. For that, he was told he faced a hefty penalty for violating a copyright on the copper. The mint initially said he'd have to pay more than $1,000 in royalties if he sold 2,000 or more of his records. What's worse, the amount would rise if album sales went through the roof.
In the second case, two Nigerians who attend the University of Regina now find themselves hiding out in a church - they have been there since June - after authorities learned they had the temerity to land summer jobs at a local Walmart.
According to the by-the-book bureaucrats who run the Canada Border Services Agency, it's against the rules for them to accept a summer job without first securing the appropriate work permits.
The penalty? They've both been ordered out of Canada.
To their credit, Canadian Mint officials backed down on their overly harsh demands when somebody in the federal agency finally realized that the punishment hardly fit the crime. The case so obviously ran counter to common sense that it triggered a review of mint policies regarding such matters.
The fate of the young Nigerians?
Well, that's not so cut and dried. As of Friday, deportation orders still dangled over their heads.
At a time when it seems as though illegal immigrants can cross our borders like they were Swiss cheese and when human trafficking for the purpose of sexual slavery continues to be big business in North America, it appears beyond the scope of reason that a couple of university kids can find themselves targeted by heavy-handed federal officials simply because they took a job at Walmart.
Indeed, there are times when the punishment hardly fits the crime. With any luck, the folks at the Border Services Agency will realize that, give the girls a break and let them finish their education in Canada.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.