Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Toronto Thursday to announce the introduction of a government bill, C-60, that would, in theory, prevent honest citizens like Toronto store owner David Chen from being abused by our legal system.
Officially the title of Bill C-60 is “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen’s arrest and the defences of property and persons)”. Unofficially it is being hailed in the press as BILL C-60: Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act.
Whichever title you prefer, it’s a small step in the right direction. Finally.
But it’s a very small step.
The proposed Act still leaves far too much latitude for Monday-morning quarterbacking of someone’s actions when they are making a citizen’s arrest.
There are no less than nine criteria for judging whether someone is justified in making a citizen’s arrest. Anyone thinking this bill will stop malicious prosecutions like those of Lawrence Manzer of Burton, New Brunswick, or Ian Thomson of Ontario may be in for a bit of a rude awakening.
That being said…
Canada over the past decade or more has moved from prosecuting the perpetrators of crime to prosecuting the victims of crime. It’s a nasty and disgusting trend.
David Chen, as you probably remember, was arrested and dragged through the courts because he dared do what the police refused to do: arrest the thieves stealing from his store. The Crown prosecutor was so furious with Chen for making a citizens arrest that he made a plea bargain with the thief so he would testify against Chen.
That’s one prosecutor who needs to be fired, and fired last week.
I can’t think of anything more repugnant than a Crown prosecutor making a deal with a criminal so he can put an honest citizen in jail.
But I seem to be one of the few who view it that way.
In a response to Harper’s announcement, the CBC (always a bastion of freedom) went to Ryerson University (the home of pretty much anyone who can’t stand civil rights) and, predictably, got a good sound-byte from one of the [alleged] morons there, Myer Siemiatyki.
Siemiatyki is a professor of politics which, I suppose, means he cannot comprehend reality. At least that’s the conclusion I came to after reading his moronic statement to an [alleged] CBC reporter:
Myer Siemiatyki, a politics professor at Ryerson University, questions whether the law even needs changing, given that the courts actually upheld the arrest made by Chen.
The issue is NOT that the courts actually did the right thing in Chen’s case and acquitted him.
The issue is that he was arrested, charged, and dragged through the courts in the first place.
According to [alleged] moron Myer Siemiatyki, that’s completely okay.
It’s okay that Chen had to pay enormous legal fees to defend himself against a malicious prosecution. It’s okay that Chen was threatened with years in jail, and that the actual perpetrator of the crime, the thief that Chen arrested, was given a reduced sentence so that ignorant Crown prosecutors could try and make a name for themselves.
And therein lies the problem…
Liberal morons believe it is absolutely okay for you to be bankrupted defending yourself against charges that should never be laid in the first place.
That is not just a ridiculous position to take, it’s absurd.
It’s attitudes like this that have allowed charges to be laid against Lawrence Manzer of Burton, New Brunswick for the “crime” of protecting himself, his family and his neighbours from drunken teenage jerks who thought that stealing from their neighbourhood for over 6 months was okay.
The RCMP apparently agreed, since they practically refused to show up at all for months on end.
They showed up pretty quick once an honest citizen was forced to do their jobs for them though, didn’t they?
It’s an attitude like Siemiatyki’s that has put Ian Thomson on trial in Ontario for daring to defend himself as three masked thugs were trying to burn him alive. He took out his legally-owned handgun and fired a shot or two to scare off the attempted murderers.
It worked. He’s alive, and is now forced to defend himself for daring to defend himself. For the “crime” of being alive instead of burned to death inside his home, Ontario Crown prosecutors are actually charging HIM with being dangerous to the public!
It’s obscene, yet [alleged] morons like Myer Siemiatyki seem to have no issue with the victims of crime being persecuted in such a disgusting fashion.
All because the courts might come to the “correct conclusion”.
But never before the victims of crime have to go broke paying lawyers to defend them from a justice system gone mad.
Bill C-60 hopes to prevent injustices like these from happening in the future. That’s a good thing. The law and justice SHOULD be on the side of the “good guys”. It stopped doing that some time ago, and that’s why Harper’s announcement and this bill are welcomed.
Even that bastion of anti-freedom and anti-citizen’s rights, Toronto Police Services chief Bill Blair, was sort-of on side with Harper on this. But not, of course, without issuing a veiled threat to anyone actually daring to do his job, even when he won’t.
“We all have different abilities,” said Blair. “And there could be a potential risk. I know my officers face a risk and we train in equipment to deal with that, but there are some circumstances when you are detaining a person where you could be confronted with a violent individual, with an armed individual.”
The thing about the police is that they’re never around when the crime is happening.
They weren’t there when David Chen was stolen from repeatedly, despite his numerous attempts to get them to show up.
They weren’t there when Lawrence Manzer and his neighbours apprehended three drunken thieves in the middle of the night, despite the fact they’d tried to get the RCMP to show up repeatedly over a 6-month period.
And they sure weren’t there when Ian Thomson had to defend his life and his home as three masked attempted murderers tried to burn him to death.
In one sense Bill Blair is right. The police are trained to deal with thieves and violent criminals like the ones who tried to murder Ian Thomson.
That means absolutely nothing if they won’t show up when we honest citizens are in danger.
At that point, the ONLY hope the honest citizen has is to defend themselves with any means necessary.
Even if the police and Crown prosecutors (and idiots like Ryerson University’s Myer Siemiatyki) don’t like it.
Allan Thomson says
That’s a really terrific article you’ve written about Bill C-60, but I’m not so sure of the stuff you said about the differences between liberals and conservatives. Highly informative stuff. Please keep up the good work Christopher.