I regret to inform you that the rules of the game have changed. We didn’t ask for the changes. We certainly didn’t legislate them. But nonetheless it seems they’re here to stay. That’s the only conclusion one can come to after reading Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown’s decision regarding the Idle No More
protests on the main line of the Toronto–Montreal CN rail.
The blockade began at 4 p.m. last Saturday. Shortly before 9:30 p.m., CN appeared before the court to seek an injunction to clear the tracks. Brown ordered the blockade to be ended by 12:01 a.m.
The blockade did in fact end, “yet the Ontario Provincial Police would not assist the local sheriff to ensure the order was served.” The OPP made a discretionary call to not act — just as they did in response to a December injunction regarding a similar blockade on a CN line near Sarnia.
What does this mean? It means we’re screwed. Law enforcement has become selective and police now make decisions based on a whim, not according to the law. “We seem to be drifting into dangerous waters
in the life of the public affairs of this province when courts cannot predict, with any practical degree of certainty, whether police agencies will assist in enforcing court injunctions against demonstrators who will
not voluntarily cease unlawful activities,” Brown wrote.
Read that again. It’s an eerie paragraph. The police’s reluctance to enforce the law (and please take a moment to ponder how surreal it is that such a statement can be made in Canada) in this case is clearly related to the fallout from the 1995 Ipperwash conflict. But that doesn’t mean a precedent hasn’t been set that will be followed by other activist groups, too. The next round of Occupy? A flareup in the Tamil
protests on the streets of Toronto? Students in a froth because they have to pay for their own education?
They will expect their lawless actions to be tolerated (like many of them already have been). They will
expect police to approach them with kid gloves. They will expect a court to have to order the police to enforce the law. And when the law is enforced, they will try to argue before the highest authority that their constitutional rights have been violated.
But that is not the most alarming section in Brown’s decision: “I question why a landowner must resort to seeking a court injunction to stop the sort of unlawful conduct engaged in by the protesters in this case. It strikes me that the police enjoy adequate powers of arrest to deal with the unlawful conduct without the further need of a court injunction.”
In other words: Why does a person have to go to court in the first place to simply request that the police
do their job and enforce the law? This places everyone’s security of person and property on very shaky footing. And of course the situation is not black and white. What if one Aboriginal person violates the
rights of another Aboriginal person?
Will police step in to bring about order in that situation? Or will they just make it up as they go along?
Yes, the rules have changed all right. And they’ll continue to change at the discretion of the lawless.
Because, as Justice Brown notes, it’s not like there’s anyone willing to show them otherwise.
After reading this, do you feel the need to complain? I mean, the police do have
a code of conduct to follow that includes: a- to act with honesty and integrity b- to treat people with respect c- not to abuse the extraordinary powers and authority police officers are
granted d- to act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence
in the police service
Not your regular Scout meeting!
So, the question becomes...is ignoring a judges order acting in a manner that
brings discredit and undermines public confidence in the police service? If
you feel that this is the case, then you are free to file a complaint with the
Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) at... firstname.lastname@example.org
Ezra Levant, a brave Sun Media reporter going where the Police dare not go?
But before you do, you may want to consider that it is not uncommon for our
Police officers to be ordered into situations that you may see as dangerous. This
is the nature of their job. But, if you were in a leadership position, would
you order your force to go into a situation with a potential for danger knowing
that your political masters would let you suffer the consequences? This problem
occurs when the decision makers; the politicians who are demanding action don't
anticipate the challenges, don't get involved in the plan for contingencies and
then when something bad happens, they fail to back the officers tasked with
carrying out their orders.
A camp-out in a Toronto park?
So, could this reluctance to enforce a court order simply be a backlash from the
killing of Antony 'Dudley' George, an Ojibwa on September 6th, 1995 during a
First Nation rampage? According to police officers on the scene, they simply
responded to gunfire from First Nations folks who later insisted they had no
weapons in the park that night. When the OPP Tactical Response Unit team returned
fire, that action resulted in the tragedy. To digress, on Tuesday, September 5,
1995, it was reported that government officials met in Toronto to discuss the
rampage at a provincial park in Ipperwash, Ontario and the meeting notes
apparently conclude with, "The province will take steps to remove the occupiers
as soon as possible."
OPP on the scene in Caledonia!
After receiving their orders and out of public safety concerns, the OPP intended
a show of force to maintain peace but as too often occurs in a confrontation
after dark, bad things can happen. It should certainly surprise no one that in
the aftermath, the OPP TRU came under heavy fire, figuratively speaking when OPP
Acting Sergeant Ken Deane (October 1961 – February 25, 2006) was convicted of
Dudley George was carrying a rifle but a judge rejected Deane's claim. Deane hung
on to his job for 5½ years after the criminal conviction, as he unsuccessfully
appealed the verdict to the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of
Canada. Deane later worked at an Ontario Hydro nuclear station in security but
died in a car accident, when his vehicle collided with a truck near Prescott,
Ontario, on his way to testify in the inquiry. So why should the OPP care now what
the Attorney General says..........or does when a similar situation occurs?
Is this what a confrontation looks like?
History is littered with examples of weak-kneed individuals in leadership
positions who are not qualified to appreciate the complexities of confrontation,
don't comprehend battle order, are unable to plan and execute and finally
unwilling to support those who do have an understanding of the above so if you are
upset with those 'who did not do their jobs', ask yourself, should I be
complaining to the OIPRD or should I send my message instead to the fellow who
could just be our next Ontario leader, Tim Hudak at...
Future Premier Tim Hudak?
It's just a question.