Thursday, February 07, 2008

Compare and Contrast your "human rights"

Here's the Front Page, headline story, of today's Vancouver Sun print edition:
A Surrey pot grower's Charter rights were violated when police used a battering ram to break down his door and find more than 700 plants in his basement, a B.C. Supreme Court judge just ruled.

Police are unhappy with the ruling, and hope the Crown will appeal it.

Justice Catherine Bruce said even though marijuana production is a huge local problem, Surrey RCMP should have given more warning to Van Dung Cao after they knocked, called out "police" and entered by force a couple of minutes later.

Cao, who was acquitted of all charges Monday, argued that he was on his way to the front door to answer after hearing police call out back in March 2004. But before he could get there, he said the police bashed through a garage door, guns pointed at him and made the arrest.

Two of the officers involved in executing the search warrant testified at Cao's trial in December that they waited at least two minutes after announcing their presence before making their way to the other door and entering.

But Bruce said that even though Cao's house hosted a suspected marijuana-growing operation, there were "no exigent circumstances justifying a dynamic entry."

"I am satisfied the evidence should be excluded. Notwithstanding production of marijuana is a serious offence and the Crown will be unable to prove its case without the evidence secured by the entry to the residence, to admit the evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute," Bruce said in her ruling, released Wednesday.
Now consider Ezra Levant who reviews the sections of the Alberta Human Rights Act that allow:
Shirlene McGovern, or any other human rights officer, can come into my office whenever she thinks it's reasonable, to "examine" it. No search warrant necessary. She can even come into my home, if she gets a court order -- but such a court order can be applied for and granted without notice to me. That's the kind of ambush usually reserved for getting warrants to break in on crack houses.

Again, without a warrant, she can take any documents I have, including on my computer.

Oh, and section 24(1)(c) allows for such search and seize orders to be granted not just against me but anyone else who refuses to answer questions put by investigators like Shirlene McGovern.

That's the power of these commissions -- before I'm even found "guilty".

Mackintosh says I was "invited to respond in person or in writing to the allegations." Indeed I was -- with search warrants to enter my property and take my computer if I refused Mackintosh's hospitality. I called these people fascist -- I think they meet the definition of that stern term.
Claire Hoy points out the origins of the "human rights" commissions extraordinary powers of search and seizure:
While the Levant case involves the Alberta commission - where Levant was recently grilled by a commission commissar for the apparent crime of holding political views that the commission and a complainant - it was Ontario under Davis - and particularly under two of his senior ministers, recently retired Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry and lawyer-surgeon-cabinet minister Bob Elgie - who set the tone for commissions to run roughshod over centuries of due process and legal objectivity.
Davis, to the chagrin of many in his own cabinet and caucus, tabbed Elgie to rewrite the human rights code, the result of which was a proposal to give human rights officers more power than police to search for and seize private documents without a warrant and based solely on a complaint, whether frivolous or not.

There was so much opposition from Davis's own party to the June, 1980 proposals, that the premier - typically - decided not to fight an election on his police state bill. But after regaining a huge majority in 1981, Davis pushed the new law through the legislature, a law that has served as the prototype for all the other provinces and has led to the sorry situation where Levant - and Maclean's magazine writer Mark Steyn - are being forced to defend their opinions simply because there are some readers who were offended by them.

It is sickening for Borovoy to now lament this state of affairs. This is the same Borovoy who, during an instructive two-week period in 1981, appeared at both the federal investigation into RCMP wrongdoing in Quebec and the hearings into Elgie's infamous Bill 7. In Ottawa, Borovoy argued passionately that the police should not have the power to search and seize without a warrant. At Queen's Park, he argued just as passionately that human rights officers had to have the powers or search and seizure without a warrant.

At the end of the day, some of Elgie's proposals - although not many of them - were modified slightly, but the result still was an overweening, totally biased bureaucratic juggernaut which, although supposedly set up only to deal with discrimination in housing and employment, has continued to expand its power and influence into every facet of our lives.

It's time to blow them up and start again. And it just shows what happens when a politician - in this case Davis and his crew - is more interested in catering to mouthy militants than in dealing in a reasonable way with the vast majority of people who, despite what the zealots may claim, are decent, law-abiding Canadians.
It's time to write all your politicians, provincial and federal, and tell them to rip up the "human rights" acts. The administration of justice in this country is falling into disrepute, and for good reasons.

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