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MORGAN: It’s time to make defence of self & property the law

“The thug-huggers tell us, “It’s just property, and property is never worth someone’s life.” The thugs themselves disagree. They clearly value stealing someone else’s property more than their own lives. Their decision to take this risk is protected by our upside-down justice system.”

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Canadians have a theoretical right to defend themselves and their property, but you wouldn’t know it judging by how the authorities treat people who dare to exercise that right. When an incident occurs involving a citizen using – or even threatening – force to protect themselves from intruders, the person defending themselves is almost always charged. The crown then pressures the newly ‘accused’ to force them to plea to a lesser charge. If the accused refuses, they are dragged through the courts for months or even years before the charges are either dropped or a jury fully acquits the defendant.

The process itself is the punishment. The state knows well that they rarely win when self-defence cases go to trial.

We watched the disgusting actions of the crown prosecutor as they dragged young Okotoks, Alberta father Eddie Maurice before the courts every two weeks for months in hopes that he would cave-in and plea guilty. The crime? He injured an intruder with a ricochet from a warning shot as he defended his home and child from a pair of intruders. When it was clear that Maurice wasn’t giving up and that public support for him was building, the crown dropped all charges and skulked away. While Maurice was never convicted of anything, his life was turned upside down for months and the stress was unimaginable as it appeared that he may face years in prison. It was an unforgivable act of bullying and cowardice from a state justice system that jealously protects what it sees as an exclusive right to use force in the prevention of crime.

The usual suspects claimed that dropping the charges against Maurice was due to the catch-all accusation of “systemic racism”, as though fending off violent criminals was a racist act.

In Collingwood Ontario, Cameron Gardiner just had manslaughter charges dropped against him. Gardiner and his girlfriend were tied up by three armed, masked home intruders. Gardiner managed to break free and in the ensuing melee, shot and killed two of the invaders with their own shotgun while the third leaped from a window. The crown began with murder charges against Gardiner in 2019. They dropped those charges to manslaughter when it became evident that he was not backing down, and would never obtain a conviction. Now they have dropped the manslaughter charges.

Gardiner wouldn’t back down and plead guilty, so the crown dropped the charges and scurried away before a jury could acquit him and humiliate the racket in public. Again, a person’s life was seriously disrupted as the police and crown prosecutors tried to use the process itself to order to punish a man who had broken no laws, and committed no injustice.

In the 2016 case of Gerald Stanley in Saskatchewan, the crown went the distance. A group of young people went on an impaired, armed, and criminal rampage. After attempting to rob a neighboring farm, the gang showed up on the Stanley property. Chaos ensued as the criminals tried to steal property and rammed one of Stanley’s vehicles. It was a dangerous circumstance causing Stanley to fear for the safety of his family.

The incident ended tragically as Colten Boushie was fatally shot. A young indigenous man had been shot by an older white man. To some people, that is a case of racism, regardless of who was the good guy, and who was the bad guy. The crown decided to join in and show just how progressive it was, and so they charged Stanley with second-degree murder.

The jury however, would have none of it. They acquitted Stanley in February of 2018. The defence was based on a possible hangfire in the handgun used, but the jury certainly took self-defence into consideration when they freed Stanley.

Just last week in Granum, Alberta, invaders tried to rob a man’s home and found themselves held by citizens arrest after a warning shot was discharged by the homeowner. The crown is still investigating and is actively considering charges against the homeowner.

Those charged with leading our justice system have little sense of justice.

The time has come to more clearly enshrine in law the unambiguous right to defend ourselves, our families, and our property. The benefit of the doubt must be given to the person in their home when charges are considered. We must make clear that if criminals are going to consider entering a property with nefarious intent, they will be doing so at their own risk. Law-abiding citizens must be able to make life-and-death decisions under pressure without the prospect of long prison sentences hanging over them.

The clear right to defend oneself and property is normally called ‘castle doctrine.’ It recognizes the need for a person to be able to stand their ground in their place of residence and to use force if necessary.

To be clear, castle doctrine-inspired laws do not give license to homeowners to shoot anybody stepping foot on their property without reason. It must still be be established that the intruder had criminal intent and that the homeowner felt that their property or person was at serious risk. Most homeowners have no interest in harming a person, and would only see the use of a firearm as an option of last resort. But homeowners must know that that option of last resort is available without the government coming down on them.

The thug-huggers tell us, “It’s just property, and property is never worth someone’s life.”

The thugs themselves disagree. They clearly value stealing someone else’s property more than their own lives. Their decision to take this risk is protected by our upside-down justice system.

Declining to protect ourselves and our property is asking us to roll over and let criminals take the fruit of our labours from us. It is demanding that we work, abide by laws, and sacrifice our time in order to acquire property, only to have a criminal take it from us without recourse. That is not reasonable. It should be noted that rural property crime has gotten so bad in some areas that insurance companies will no longer cover losses. Importantly, the police rarely recover stolen property. They write a report, file it in the system, and pull it up again if they happen to stumble across the thief later. When your property is stolen, it is probably lost forever.

The criminal apologists assume that most home invaders are ultimatley harmless and simply want to take our property. We are to assume that they will not rape, assault or murder the residents of the home once they have them under control. The legal assumptions here must be in favour of the resident’s safety. Free citizens have every right to assume that a home or business invader is violent without a lengthy interview.

I have personal experience with this.

In 2019 a small gang of young criminals went on a crime spree over the course of a few weeks through the Foothills region just south of Calgary. They repeatedly robbed a number of businesses and properties, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages and losses, along with putting the entire region on edge. One of those businesses was my own pub. The first time they hit us, they stole several thousand dollars worth in products, and did many more thousands in damage. Ten days later, they hit our place again. We had taken precautions and so they took nothing, but did thousands of dollars worth in damage to demonstrate their frustration before they left. I missed intercepting them quite literally by minutes as I drove out to respond to the alarm. In hindsight, this was a good thing.

While the criminal careers of this gang were prolific, they weren’t very good at it. In a matter of weeks – thanks to video footage – seven people from a property near Airdrie, Alberta were charged. They were then of course released to await court, even though many of them had prior offences.

One of those charged was a fellow named Hunter Van Mackelberg. He was charged with murdering 19 year old Kalix Langenau within a month of his having been released.

Another two who had been charged with robbing my place were Ian Abercrombie and Shane Smith. After they were released, an incident occurred where Abercrombie fatally shot Smith, and then allegedly rolled his body in a carpet and disposed of it in the Bow River. You may remember the “Justice for Shane” campaign as they tried to find the body. Abercrombie claimed that the death was accidental the crown took his word for it. They allowed him to plea down to criminal negligence causing death. Abercrombie also pled guilty to the numerous charges including robbing my place. Shamefully, those convictions will be served concurrently with his prior conviction so that he will be out in less than six years.

Six years for murder and serial robbery. Canadian justice.

This issue is only going to become more acute as we see an addiction epidemic continue and even harder economic times approaching. Criminals are becoming bolder and police simply can’t keep up with them.

Loudly and publicly enshrining the right to defend property by force with a more clear-cut law will provide some deterrent upon those considering victimizing people in their homes. Our catch-and-release justice system certainly isn’t sending the message.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist and Host of the Cory Morgan Show for the Western Standard

Cory Morgan the Alberta Political Columnist and Host of the Cory Morgan show for the Western Standard. cmorgan@westernstandardonline.com

Opinion

WAGNER: Coming federal election could drive support for Alberta independence

“The election results may very well convince enough Albertans that independence is the only alternative to a future of continued economic decline and impoverishment.” – Michael Wagner

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Many commentators have speculated that there will be a federal election this year, quite possibly in the spring. Early in February, Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star wrote a column entitled, Trudeau’s strategic plans aimed at June election. A few days later, Brian Lilley of the Toronto Sun contributed a similarly-themed column, Spring election could still be in Trudeau’s cards. And on March 1, Lilley’s Toronto Sun colleague Lorrie Goldstein added another, Liberals looking for excuses to call an election.  

These columnists are speculating, of course, but they offer strong reasons why an election may not be too distant in the future.

The outcome of the impending election will have a very big impact on Alberta. If Justin Trudeau is re-elected with a majority government – as some polls seem to indicate – his climate change policies designed to phase-out Alberta’s oil industry will be locked in place for at least four more years. Alberta will continue to suffer job losses and other fiscal and economic hardships. The provincial outlook will be truly bleak.

Many Albertans realize that the stakes in the election will be very high. The future of their livelihoods is in jeopardy. For them, a Trudeau majority government would be the last straw. Government-imposed financial suffering will be impossible to endure any longer. A new path forward will be needed. For a growing number of us, that means independence 

In other words, if Justin Trudeau wins the upcoming election, expect to see the Alberta independence movement experience unprecedented growth. Large numbers of people will be desperate and willing to consider previously unthinkable options. 

This kind of thing has happened on a smaller scale before. It was due to widespread anger after the February 1980 re-election of Pierre Trudeau that Elmer Knutson formed West-Fed and began holding large meetings around the province. In the wake of the November 2000 re-election of Jean Chretien’s Liberals, province-wide anger propelled support for Cory Morgan’s Alberta Independence Party, while Stephen Harper and some of his colleagues published the famous “Firewall Letter.” 

More recently, immediately after Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were re-elected with a minority government in October 2019, well-attended Wexit meetings were held around Alberta, including one with 1700 people in Calgary. The Wexit organization formally merged with the Freedom Conservative Party in June 2020 to form the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta. 

Indeed, the existence and growth of the Wildrose Independence Party and the federal Maverick Party can be attributed in large measure to the outcome of the 2019 federal election. It seems clear then, that federal election results have been a major factor in the development of Alberta’s (and Saskatchewan’s) independence movement.

This pattern is likely to be repeated when the next federal election is held later this year. Unless Erin O’Toole can engineer a miraculous turn-around in Conservative Party support, Trudeau will be back and Alberta will be trapped within a country whose government is determined to destroy its primary industry. In that case, expect many Albertans to fight back. Expect big meetings around the province with impassioned speakers advocating independence to preserve our future. Memberships in Wildrose and the Maverick Party will sell briskly and new volunteers will step forward.

If O’Toole can pull a rabbit out of the hat, the initial response in Alberta will be celebratory. Trudeau would be gone. What could be better than that? But O’Toole’s commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change would tie his hands and limit his enthusiasm for developing Alberta’s rich energy wealth. 

O’Toole has also been a defender of the current Equalization formula and supply management, policies meant to win votes in other parts of Canada. 

After voting overwhelmingly for the Conservatives, Albertans would justifiably anticipate some payback. If O’Toole didn’t deliver, there would be severe consequences for him and his party. A betrayed electorate would look to its only remaining option: independence.

The upcoming federal election will likely be a key event for Alberta’s future. Another term for Justin Trudeau would be an existential threat to the province. A victory for Erin O’Toole would be somewhat better, but would hold no guarantees for Alberta’s well-being. Pro-fossil fuel policies are very much out-of-favour in Central Canada where both parties are eager to please the voters. 

The election results may very well convince enough Albertans that independence is the only alternative to a future of continued economic decline and impoverishment. For Alberta, it seems that there is no way forward except out. 

Michael Wagner is a Senior Columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

PARKER: Kenney is the wolf in sheep’s clothing

“Alberta conservatives were deceived by one of Canada’s greatest political showmen. He bought a new blue truck, put on a cowboy hat, and sang us a Siren’s song.” – David Parker, Guest Columnist

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Guest Column: David Parker was the Regional Organizer for Central Alberta on the 2017 Jason Kenney Leadership Campaign and GOTV Membership Chair of the Wildrose Unity Campaign

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus gives his followers a warning, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Whether you are a Christian, follow another creed, or simply a person who cares about freedom, we should always pay attention to those who claim to be prophets. Jason Kenney came to Alberta as a kind of secular prophet. He claimed that he would unite the Wildrose and PC parties, restore the Alberta Advantage, defeat Ottawa, and lead his people back to the proverbial Promised Land. 

Now, he puts preachers in jail, destroys small businesses, takes on record levels of debt, and fills our province with fear. 

Even worse, he is not a leader. His true talents lay in being the right-hand man to a leader; but he has proven himself unable to make clear decisions or even adhere to any real comprehensive set of principles. He claims to be a conservative; but he has his government buy up and subsidize private businesses with record levels of corporate welfare. He says he is a man of faith (and he probably is); but he crushes those who wish to practice their faith in a manner that disagrees with his government’s authoritarian policies. 

This is evident from many angles; but the most obvious example of it is how he ran nominations. He is an authoritarian. I was the campaign manager for Rita Reich’s nomination race in Lacombe – Ponoka (one of Kenney’s staunchest supporters during both the PC and UCP leadership races). He disqualified her over a single Facebook post that said Hitler was actually a socialist. That was it, it did not praise Hitler, it just said that Hitler was a socialist based on the fact that he led something called the National Socialist German Workers Party, and repeatedly referred to himself as a “revolutionary socialist”. He did this to a woman who had him to her house for BBQs with hundreds of people and who sold hundreds of memberships in support of him. Why? It was easier for him to simply disqualify her than let her challenge a sitting MLA in a nomination. 

The list of loyal people that Jason Kenney has used and discarded is long and full of many very talented people. The worst case of this is perhaps the story of Caylan Ford, who Kenney praised as his, “political love at first sight” and who the UCP used in much of their campaign digital and visual messaging. When she encountered a targeted and malicious attack from a bad actor within the conservative movement, he dumped her as a candidate and left her to bleed out under the wrath of the SJW mob. Kenney folds to cancel culture like a cheap house of cards. Just like he bows to Rachel Notley when she calls for more lockdowns.

Alberta conservatives were deceived by one of Canada’s greatest political showmen. He bought a new blue truck, put on a cowboy hat, and sang us a Siren’s song. We don’t have to keep believing him. His actions have shown us who he truly is. 

The mask is dropped. We can now see as clearly as day that the sheep is truly a wolf. 

Guest Column: David Parker was the Regional Organizer for Central Alberta on the 2017 Jason Kenney Leadership Campaign and GOTV Membership Chair of the Wildrose Unity Campaign

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Opinion

SCOTT: Supreme Court injustice allows Ottawa to rule all

“In one fell swoop the Supreme Court of Canada has gutted any meaningful provincial jurisdiction, creating an untenable situation that, if left to stand, will add unbearable tension to the federation.” Mike Scott

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Guest Column from Mike Scott, Reform MP for Skeena, BC from 1993-2000.

The recent Supreme Court decision, which provides legal cover for the Trudeau government’s usurpation of provincial jurisdiction on carbon taxes, should be of immense concern to all Canadians.

In essence, the Supreme Court did not take issue with the argument put forward by three provinces that the federal government’s carbon tax is an intrusion into provincial jurisdiction. 

What the majority on the court did accept is the Liberal government’s argument that such an intrusion is justified under the rubric “Peace Order and Good Government (POGG)”.

On the face of it, this is an astounding conclusion.

POGG was never intended to be a substitute for clear, constitutionally delineated jurisdictions, nor a tool for constitutional monkey wrenching.

This is a clear case of an activist court seeking justification – no matter how thin – to endorse a progressive political agenda.

First, the court is clearly taking sides in a public policy debate and the reasons for judgement underscore this. Public policy arbitration was never intended to be the purview of the court and, by venturing into this highly charged political debate, it is signaling a willingness to take ever more activist positions.

Citizens don’t get to vote for judges – the prime minister appoints – but it is vital to the credibility of the institution that the court remains assiduously neutral. Jurisdictional disputes must be weighed against the metric of the constitution and adjudicated based on longstanding principles of law – jurisprudence – not creative or specious arguments.

Secondly, by accepting the federal government’s “POGG” argument, one can see the door has now been swung wide open for future intrusions. This is the slippery slope the Supreme Court’s decision has set us on. Going forward, all the feds need to do is invoke “POGG” – there will be no judicial recourse for the provinces.

This is exceedingly dangerous for confederation. As the provinces come to understand that their constitutional jurisdictions are trumped by POGG – with the collusion of the high Court – what recourse do they have?

There is already far too much political power concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. Adding the Supreme Court to the list of institutions lined up against the country’s regions is exceedingly provocative. When, on this continuum, do we reach a tipping point?

It is worth quoting the dissenting voice of Supreme Court Justice Russel Brown who brilliantly spells out the ramifications.

“It is not possible for a matter formerly under provincial jurisdiction to be transformed, when minimum national standards are invoked…This would open up any area of provincial jurisdiction to unconstitutional fedreral intrusion once parliament decides to legislate uniform treatment”

Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Rowe, also in dissent, cogently adds; 

“Canada’s proposed doctrinal expansion of national concern should be rejected because it departs in a marked and unjustified way from the jurisprudence of the court and, if adopted, it will provide a broad and open pathway for further incursions into what has been exclusive provincial jurisdiction. (the act) is not an exercise in cooperative federalism; rather, it is the means to enforce supervisory federalism”

The Supreme Court’s willingness to allow POGG as a means to justify abrogating a clear provincial jurisdiction, is a threat to the regions of Canada that is unprecedented. It is an egregious assault on one of the very foundational principles of our constitution – the division of powers between the provinces and the federal government. 

In one fell swoop the Supreme Court of Canada has gutted any meaningful provincial jurisdiction, creating an untenable situation that, if left to stand, will add unbearable tension to the federation.

All provinces – particularly those in the West with significant energy resources – should see the writing on the wall.

Guest Column from Mike Scott, Reform MP for Skeena, BC from 1993-2000.

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