NDP will support Conservative bill allowing greater use of Citizen's Arrest, Part 2

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
NDP will support Conservative bill allowing greater use of Citizen's Arrest, Part 2

Continued from [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-will-support-conservative-... 1[/url]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issues Pages: 
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Bill C-26, [url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp... Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act[/url], passed second reading in the House of Commons December 15, where it was [url=http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&volume=31&number=3..."enthusiastically endorsed in principle by the NDP and Liberals"[/url]. It's now before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Quote:
On behalf of the Criminal Lawyers' Association (CLA), defence counsel Leo Russomanno... called for public debate on the proposed expansion of the power of citizen's arrest, which he predicted will be used most often by the fast-growing commercial security industry, rather than by lone shopkeepers, such as Toronto grocer David Chen, whose arrest for apprehending a fleeing shoplifter inspired the bill.

"This legislation expands citizen's arrest in a way that makes private law enforcement powers greater," Russomanno asserted. "And when we look at the numbers of arrests being affected by private law enforcement, you can see that it's undergoing a massive increase, and this simply wasn't contemplated by Parliament."

Russomanno suggested "the elephant in the room" is whether Charter protections apply to persons subjected to citizen's arrests. Most appellate case law says "no" (although the Supreme Court hasn't settled the question).

Absent constitutional constraints, if private security forces are to be given broader arrest powers, there must be enhanced oversight and regulation, Russomanno argued.

The Canadian Bar Association will oppose Bill C-26's expansion of citizen's arrest, said criminal lawyer Eric Gottardi of Vancouver's Peck and Company.

"We're of the view that the law on citizen's arrest, as it currently exists, is fine, and this is a kind of a worrisome expansion of the power of the individual citizen to potentially get themselves into dangerous situations," he said.

Gottardi warned that the bill opens "a real can of worms" with respect to private security forces, which don't get the same training or oversight as peace officers.

"I think it's going to be hard, on any view, to cast [private security] as state actors," he explained. (The Charter protects only against actions taken by the state, not by private actors.)

Yet, "statements [arrested] people make to those individuals [making a citizen's arrest] are likely to be fair game for use in any trial down the road," Gottardi pointed out. "And right now there wouldn't seem to be any obligation on the arresting individual to provide any kind of notice to the [arrested] individual that what they say might be used [against them at trial], or that they might have access to a lawyer upon their arrest. And again there doesn't seem to be a lot in place in terms of other types of oversight, or redress, for any kind of misconduct that might happen during the arrest." (People wrongfully arrested can sue in civil court).

Gottardi said the bill is also ambiguous about how long after an alleged offence a citizen may make an arrest, and about what constitutes "reasonable" force during the arrest.

"To the extent that this is going to be seen as encouraging shopkeepers and other individuals to put themselves in harm's way, it's certainly not something that the CBA supports," he said.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Proposed+bill+would+empower+rent+cop... C-26 now at Third Reading[/url]

Quote:
Bill C-26: The Citizen's Arrest and Self Defence Act, now at third reading in the House of Commons, clarifies and simplifies the rules on when citizens can take the law into their own hands. The bill is intended to repeal around 10 existing Criminal Code provisions dealing with self-defence, defence of property and citizen's arrest, and collapse them into three easier to understand sections.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May - the only MP to oppose the bill - said C-26 will encourage vigilantism and amounts to a "very big gift to the private security companies."

"The constitution of this country is governed by the concept of peace, order and good government," May said. "This stuff goes off in a wacky new direction, and it worries me."...

The bill has the support of the Liberals and the NDP, in part because a private member's bill by NDP MP Olivia Chow inspired it.

Thanks, Olivia.

kropotkin1951

It's all about protecting property rights. I love it, now the mall security forces will be legally entitled to do full on take downs of perps.  Fortunately for the poor people in Canada who will come in contact with this new species of "peace officer" they would never lie about the type of provocation that caused them to blacken someones eyes.  No pesky civilian oversight of any kind is also another bonus for this new owners entitlement to its own police with arrest powers.

Cool   Cool

Slumberjack

What May and the rest of them fails to apprehend is that security in the broadest general sense is already in the service of private interests. The fact that some of it is subsidized or is paid for entirely by the public doesn't obscure the fact in the least.

kropotkin1951

Which is precisely why we need way more civilian oversight not less.  The police forces are already way too unaccountable. We don't need a whole shitload of cop wannabes being told they have the power to arrest people.

Stupid idea and the caucus should have told Olivia exactly that when she first proposed it.  The proof it was a dumb idea is the Conservatives bringing it back as a government bill.

Slumberjack

Brings a whole new meaning to food security.  You see em in all the grocery outlets now as it is.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sounds like a fucking stupid bill. And the NDP supports this???

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

So if Elizabeth May is the only Progressive in the House on this issue, how does that make the Greens right-wing Libertarian Tories with composters?

[Sorry if this seems like a thread hijack, but it's a perfect example to illustrate]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Interested Observer wrote:

...right-wing Libertarian Tories with composters

That's a new one on me.

"Tories with composters" in many ways, for sure. But right-wing libertarians? Certainly not in May's case.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Of course they will, why would anyone be surprised? Is the "law and order issue", really this toxic?

Esther Pinder

David Chen is getting a medal for basically hog-tying a poor man up like an animal. I'm pretty sure he's laughing at us.

 

lyshah Hasham
Staff Reporter
0 Comments

 

When Chinatown grocer David Chen caught and tied up a repeat shoplifter with twine and tossed him in a delivery van to await police three years ago, he never expected to one day receive a Diamond Jubilee medal from the Prime Minister.

“I’m very surprised,” he said from his store, the Lucky Moose Food Mart, Thursday afternoon.

Chen, the inspiration behind the Conservative government’s “citizen’s arrest” law, will receive his medal on Jan. 12, joining 60,000 Canadians to be so honoured for making “a significant contribution to Canada.”

By his side at Chen’s third meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be a few happy friends and family members, and Chi-Kun Shi, the lawyer that has stood by him through his initial arrest, trial and acquittal and his subsequent testimony to the Senate committee.

The law, which came into effect last June, empowers a private citizen to arrest a suspect when caught red-handed, or within a reasonable time afterwards, if the option of using police has been ruled out.

It also allows people to take “reasonable” actions to protect themselves, their family and their property. It is up to a judge to determine what is considered reasonable in the circumstances.

Chen is still the go-to person for other small shop owners when it comes to advice on dealing with shoplifters, he says. But despite the media and political attention, little about him has changed.

“I’m like normal,” he says.

Chen is still considering what he’ll do with the medal.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1310352--chinatown-grocer-who-ch...

Unionist

Olivia Chow must be pissed off that Harper hogged the tough on crime agenda away from her.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

1

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Esther Pinder wrote:

David Chen is getting a medal for basically hog-tying a poor man up like an animal. I'm pretty sure he's laughing at us.

 

lyshah Hasham
Staff Reporter
0 Comments

 

When Chinatown grocer David Chen caught and tied up a repeat shoplifter with twine and tossed him in a delivery van to await police three years ago, he never expected to one day receive a Diamond Jubilee medal from the Prime Minister.

“I’m very surprised,” he said from his store, the Lucky Moose Food Mart, Thursday afternoon.

Chen, the inspiration behind the Conservative government’s “citizen’s arrest” law, will receive his medal on Jan. 12, joining 60,000 Canadians to be so honoured for making “a significant contribution to Canada.”

By his side at Chen’s third meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be a few happy friends and family members, and Chi-Kun Shi, the lawyer that has stood by him through his initial arrest, trial and acquittal and his subsequent testimony to the Senate committee.

The law, which came into effect last June, empowers a private citizen to arrest a suspect when caught red-handed, or within a reasonable time afterwards, if the option of using police has been ruled out.

It also allows people to take “reasonable” actions to protect themselves, their family and their property. It is up to a judge to determine what is considered reasonable in the circumstances.

Chen is still the go-to person for other small shop owners when it comes to advice on dealing with shoplifters, he says. But despite the media and political attention, little about him has changed.

“I’m like normal,” he says.

Chen is still considering what he’ll do with the medal.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1310352--chinatown-grocer-who-ch...

This is just plain wrong. These medals are supposed to be used to recognize community service. What is there in being a vigilante and taking the law into your own hands that warrants your receiving a medal in the name of "service"? What am I missing here? Does anyone know?  What's next? Posses?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Unionist wrote:
Olivia Chow must be pissed off that Harper hogged the tough on crime agenda away from her.

If that is true, that is depressing. You know Unionist, to say the least, you are a cynic, Wink

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The Jubilee medals are a joke. Harper and his gang have been handing them to their favourite poster partisans, be it anti-choice activists (including one in jail at the time of the award) or tax payer federation sponsored whistle blowers. I would love to see a complete list of Jubilee Medal winners just to compare it to a list of Harper Conservative's favourite causes.

Unionist

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Olivia Chow must be pissed off that Harper hogged the tough on crime agenda away from her.

If that is true, that is depressing. You know Unionist, to say the least, you are a cynic, Wink

I'm not a "cynic", Arthur. Olivia Chow started this disgusting show, doing photo-ops with this thug who pursued, "detained", and hogtied a poor man of colour who shoplifted something from his store. Chow declared the store owner a hero, and introduced a private member's bill to expand the powers of citizen's arrest, so that assholes like Chen couldn't be prosecuted. Harper, smelling blood (and having a far better political nose than Chow could ever hope for), stole her thunder.

I didn't make this up, Arthur. Just review the two threads. I think Chow's only hope now to steal back the agenda is to propose that store owners be allowed to stash assault rifles in case someone steals a head of lettuce.

 

6079_Smith_W

Never mind the public; I can imagine that there are a number of police who probably aren't too happy with it either.

It will be interesting to see how this legislation gets spun when people start getting injured or killed (including people trying to play sherrif), and when cases start getting thrown out of court because all most people know about making an arrest is from watching Law and Order.

 

 

Buddy Kat

If the bill will allow citzens to arrest say Harper and his illegal cabinet and they get to hogtie them and throw them in a van while waiting on regular law enforcement people to arrive ..it is a good law. If we gte to fire gun sinto the air as a warning it's good too and if we get to "do whatever we want" when someone resists arrests with immunity ..good law?

 

New http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns_F-08rrbU New

Sineed

Unionist wrote:
Olivia Chow started this disgusting show, doing photo-ops with this thug who pursued, "detained", and hogtied a poor man of colour who shoplifted something from his store.

Toronto is a crack town. We have a huge problem with crack addicted folks basically stealing everything that isn't nailed down to support their habit. Small business owners call the police only to have them show up when the perpetrator is long gone. And we DON'T want more cops, who justify their existence by hassling pot smokers and handing out tickets to cyclists and jaywalkers, or take obnoxious drunks out to Cherry Beach to beat them senseless.

Some kind of community approach might be warranted. That Harper is in favour doesn't make it automatically wrong.

And btw, the vast majority of drug addicted people/theives in Toronto are white people born in Canada. And Chen is a man of colour. Race is irrelevant here.

Unionist

Sineed, this was wrong, and ugly, when Chow was promoting it on her own. That Harper jumped on the bandwagon was sadly predictable by anyone except Chow and her brilliant advisors.

I don't condone petty crime nor fail to sympathize with small business owners. But Chen is a thug who should have been prosecuted to the hilt, in case you've forgotten the details of the original incident.

And, as I said from day 1, until I see Chow calling a press conference demanding assistance and attention and compassion for Anthony Bennett and all others in his position, I will continue to count her as a shameless opportunist pandering to the "lock 'em up" crowd.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Sineed

I think things might be different if this hadn't been turned into a media and political circus.

I don't begrudge Chen being driven to do what he did; and I don't think the judge was wrong in letting him off; but the fact that he was driven to do what he did is not a good state of affairs.

While me may have felt he had to, I think he broke the law. His case shows a grave flaw, but giving him a medal sends a completely wrong message, IMO.

While I think there might be call for a law like this as a shield, I am concerned about it being used as a sword by rentacops, and people who have a grudge turning into vigilantes.

It should not be something that paves the way to a new normal of citizens arrests, because ultimately it would be best if these things get solved without arrests - as I think you imply by calling for a community approach.

Again, I see the need for protection, but I think the far greater danger is of people who don't know what they are doing  and people with bad intent using this law in the wrong way, with people getting hurt as the result.

 

 

sanizadeh

Unionist wrote:

I'm not a "cynic", Arthur. Olivia Chow started this disgusting show, doing photo-ops with this thug who pursued, "detained", and hogtied a poor man of colour who shoplifted something from his store. Chow declared the store owner a hero, and introduced a private member's bill to expand the powers of citizen's arrest, so that assholes like Chen couldn't be prosecuted. Harper, smelling blood (and having a far better political nose than Chow could ever hope for), stole her thunder.

I didn't make this up, Arthur. Just review the two threads. I think Chow's only hope now to steal back the agenda is to propose that store owners be allowed to stash assault rifles in case someone steals a head of lettuce.

Obviously if this was not a case of an Asian man supported by a politician of Asian origin, we would not have heard the phony outrage from some white Quebecers who think they have the sole right to set the rules for the rest of the nation. Good job Chow, and Cheers for Chen.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

sanizadeh, knock off the personal attacks, please. Thank you.

Ken Burch

sanizadeh wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I'm not a "cynic", Arthur. Olivia Chow started this disgusting show, doing photo-ops with this thug who pursued, "detained", and hogtied a poor man of colour who shoplifted something from his store. Chow declared the store owner a hero, and introduced a private member's bill to expand the powers of citizen's arrest, so that assholes like Chen couldn't be prosecuted. Harper, smelling blood (and having a far better political nose than Chow could ever hope for), stole her thunder.

I didn't make this up, Arthur. Just review the two threads. I think Chow's only hope now to steal back the agenda is to propose that store owners be allowed to stash assault rifles in case someone steals a head of lettuce.

Obviously if this was not a case of an Asian man supported by a politician of Asian origin, we would not have heard the phony outrage from some white Quebecers who think they have the sole right to set the rules for the rest of the nation. Good job Chow, and Cheers for Chen.

You're saying the poster you attacked there wouldn't have objected to this legislation if it had been introduced by a white Quebec politician on behalf of a white Quebec business owner?  What do you base THAT insinuation on, given that the poster in question has spent years on this board and in his off-board life as a union member and a social activist calling out Quebec politicians AND business owners on all number of acts of prejudice and stupidity?  You've pretty much said that one of the most honourable people we have on this board, and one of our most committed opponents of all forms of bigotry and hate, is an anti-Asian racist.  Are you SURE you want to stand by that?

janfromthebruce

nothing

Aristotleded24

Getting back to the issue at hand, it's possible to see where both sides are coming from. In particular, it's disturbing to see how the Harper government is glorifying this unfortunate event as a heroic cause. We certainly don't want people taking the law into their own hands and going after someone and hurting, or possibly killing them in revenge. (There was a high profile court case on this issue in Winnipeg some time back.) Furthermore, individuals committing these crimes, knowing that the store owners have more legal tools at their disposal, might become even more desparate, thus making the situation more dangerous for all involved. The police are correct to express concern over how things could become even more dangerous.

Having said that, I think the police also need to look in the mirror and ask why people have lost confidence to the point that they are prepared to go to these lengths. One could say, "well, it's just petty crime," and yes, it is, to a point. However, when individuals keep stealing repeatedly, it damages the social cohesion within that community, and hurts the livelihoods of the affected business owners. And I get that there are several social factors that contribute to crime, but at some point, individuals have to be held responsible for their actions. Not necessarily in the "lock'em up and throw away the key fashion," but they should answer for their actions. (Restorative justice could come into play, but that's a whole other topic.)

So where do you draw the line? Unfortunately, you can't make hard and fast rules that apply in every situation, so you have to set guidelines. Sometimes people may cross the line, but then that is what the court system is there to deal with.

Sineed

Unionist wrote:
And, as I said from day 1, until I see Chow calling a press conference demanding assistance and attention and compassion for Anthony Bennett and all others in his position, I will continue to count her as a shameless opportunist pandering to the "lock 'em up" crowd.

I think you've misread her stance. She is taking the side of Asian business owners in Toronto's Chinatown who put up with an extraordinary amount of theft.

Recall how in the Igor Kenk years, Toronto had the highest rate of bicycle theft in North America, beating out New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Baltimore, and other US cities that otherwise have rates of violent crime far exceeding what we experience in Canada. I live west of downtown Toronto and like everybody else my household has experienced theft, including four bicycles and my three year old's trike, a brass ashtray we kept on the porch for our smoker friends, construction material (a ladder and insulation bales) from our back yard. 

All this theft is driven by crack addiction, a massive problem in Toronto. I have worked in drug addiction treatment for quite a while, and crack addiction remains resistant to treatment. 

The NDP shows progressive support of drug addiction treatment. But in the meantime, there's the problem of businesses whose profits are significantly threatened by theft. And these businesses pay the taxes that go to support drug addiction treatment programs, such as the one that employees me, for instance.

And there's the volitional aspect of addiction. The popular progressive stance is to view people with addiction problems as helpless victims, and it's rather more complicated than that.

onlinediscountanvils

Sineed wrote:
And there's the volitional aspect of addiction.

Quote:
[b]Q:[/b] Is there room for free will in recovery from addiction?

[b]Dr. Gabor Maté:[/b] Is there free will? When you think about it, there is no absolute free will because let’s say that you and Donald Trump both have the freedom to fly a private jet. You have the freedom but he has the ability. The same thing is true psychologically. Donald Trump might be free to have a spiritually validated life but he might not be able. He needs the accouterments, and riches and power, and that has to do with psychic factors that he has no control of. Free will implies consciousness. For addicts, their behaviors are very unconscious. The safer people feel and the more accepted they feel, the more they feel connected to others. The more defensive they are, the more reactive they are. You can give them the conditions where they can develop free will. Very few people have absolute free will because very few people have absolute consciousness—the addicts least of all, and that includes the power addict.

http://www.thefix.com/content/dr-gabor-mate-on-addiction-10076?page=all

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

And there's the volitional aspect of addiction. The popular progressive stance is to view people with addiction problems as helpless victims, and it's rather more complicated than that.

... and by contrast, that others are villains, and absolutely responsible for their actions. I'd say the reality is a bit more grey, and that to a greater or lesser degree, most people can be driven to acts of desparation.

@ ODA

Good post, and a good reminder.