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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

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Mike DiGasparro

    April 6, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    great article ! -from a like mind

  2. la.malmberg@shaw.ca

    April 6, 2021 at 9:29 am

    When will Albertans catch on the we would be far better off without Canada? Everything in the country is backward as evidenced by Cory Morgan’s comments. Further what about the energy industry as Canada imports tonnes of oil from countries who beat woman , they being second class citizens. It is imported to where ? Quebec which does not have the ‘social license’ to run a pipeline from Alberta through La Belle Province. Biden is proceeding with his objective of doubling the price of gas for climate change or god knows what? Trudeau will follow lock step with his carbon tax. Who benefits from such a policy ? Not Alberta. Why are we part of this insanity?

  3. Terrace Sutherland

    April 2, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    “Declining to protect ourselves and our property is asking us to roll over and let criminals take the fruit of our labours from us.”

    Jeeze Cory, that sounds a lot like our government. Perhaps this why they are “protected by our upside-down justice system”.

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Pickup trucks are a plague on Canadian streets — Gee, did he get it wrong?

Nasty pickup-driving soccer moms rolling coal in mall parking lots are the ones killing the planet!
At least, that’s how Globe and Mail writer Marcus Gee sees it.

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Across Canada’s untamed urban frontier, when pickup truck drivers aren’t wrestling wild hogs, they’re on the road tailgating electric cars and cyclists for sport.

And the biggest polluters aren’t factories in China, India and elsewhere ceaselessly spewing smoke and chemicals into the air.

Nasty pickup-driving soccer moms rolling coal in mall parking lots are the ones killing the planet!
At least, that’s how Globe and Mail writer Marcus Gee sees it.

Thank goodness he ventured out of his urban bubble to set people straight on the devastating impact of the vile permeation of pickup trucks in North America.

Hopefully, Gee’s Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino, with a heaping topping of utter contempt, didn’t dribble down his elitist chin whilst he penned a recent snobbish attack on the character of pickup truck drivers.

It doesn’t take long for the initial surprise at the absurdity of his sanctimonious reasoning to turn into laughter.

Gee lamented that last spring – in the midst of a pandemic yet – Americans bought more pickup trucks than cars. And, if you can imagine, for years, Canadians have had the audacity to make Ford’s F-150 a best-selling vehicle.

“For heaven’s sake why? Most people no longer use pickups to haul bales of hay. They drive them to the mall to shop or the soccer field to drop off their kids. Why anyone thinks they need to do that is an abiding mystery,” anguished Gee.

“Once the vehicle of the cowboy, the contractor, and the good old boy, pickups have become the continent’s mainstream ride,” wrote Gee.

“A vehicle that started as a practical tool for hard-working people has become, for many, an obnoxious assertion of dominance and division,” wrote Gee.

What a clever ploy! Pretend you’re purchasing pickup trucks to haul things, make a living, or for safe driving in brutal weather conditions, when the real intent is to achieve dominance and create division.
Do pickup truck drivers hold super-secret meetings like the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group to achieve this nefarious goal?

Gee referred to a survey – no, he didn’t identify it – that claimed three-quarters of pickup drivers use their trucks only once, or not at all, for hauling each year.

That would come as a shock to farmers, contractors, tradesmen, delivery companies, utility repairmen, movers, people who haul loads to the dump or the whole team’s gear to regular sports events, and a host of other pickup truck drivers.

“Buyers can drop $100,000 on luxury models, which most will spend more time polishing than loading,” he wrote.

“Even if they weren’t polluting and dangerous, the parade of pickups would be a blight on the roadscape and a finger in the eye of other drivers – a way of saying to everyone else: ‘I am bigger, badder and richer than you.”

No, Gee didn’t say what message is sent by purchasers of the $93,000 Audi e-tron Sportback or the $170,000 BMW i8 Roadster, or other expensive electric or hybrid vehicles he prefers.

Gee’s entitled to his opinion. But it evolved into a personal attack on people who drive vehicles he doesn’t like. He portrayed them as reckless bullies on the hunt for targets.

That’s inexcusable.

“In the charming practice known as rolling coal, some pickup drivers blow past cyclists and electric vehicles and deliberately spew black smoke at them,” claimed Gee.

Yup, those hordes of pickup truck drivers – even the soccer moms – spend their spare time modifying diesel engines so they can hunt down targets to spew sooty exhaust fumes on. Great fun!
Can anyone possibly be so detached from reality?

But Gee wasn’t finished flinging wild accusations: “Then there is safety. Anyone who has travelled a Canadian highway lately has been tailgated by a speeding pickup driver. Being up there in that big cab over the huge engine seems to make the drivers think they own the road; lesser vehicles be damned.”
Now that’s a fabricated, irrational fear, right up there with monsters hiding under the bed or in the closet.

And the good old boys Gee mocked still drive pickups. They’re everywhere. They’re the first to stop on the highway in frigid, stormy weather to pull vehicles that jackknifed and slid off the road out of the ditch, never expecting more than a thank you.

He’s right about farmers not using pickups to haul bales, particularly in Manitoba now. That’s because there are no bales to haul to feed the cattle they’re forced to sell because of drought and grasshoppers.
Meanwhile, many people, especially in Alberta, are using their pickup trucks to move their possessions out of the homes they’ve lost because clueless and destructive environmentalists successfully campaigned against the energy industry.

Gee was applauded by his colleague Gary Mason who tweeted: “This is a column I wish I’d written.”

These Uber boys are so sadly out of touch.

Most Canadians are fed up with condescending so-called elitists who look down on them believing they have the right to tell them how to live and what to buy.

Rev those engines, folks!

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard  lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

WAGNER: Election of Maverick MPs would send a clear message of Western defiance

But what if – instead of business as usual – the Mavericks picked up a few Alberta seats?

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The May poll showing emerging support for the Maverick Party is good news for Alberta. The party is beginning to build its profile and may become competitive in some ridings. As time goes by, more and more Albertans will hear about the party and see it as a viable alternative worthy of their vote.

A federal election will likely occur this year (very soon, according to Brian Lilley in the Toronto Sun), and almost all of Alberta’s seats are currently safe havens for Conservative MPs. A result like 2019 where every seat except one goes Conservative will be met by a shrug in Ottawa. That’s just business as usual. 

But what if – instead of business as usual – the Mavericks picked up a few Alberta seats? A result like that would set off a firestorm. Nothing would catch the attention of people in Central Canada more abruptly than Albertans sending some so-called “separatist” MPs to Ottawa. Bloc Quebecois MPs don’t raise too many eyebrows down there. They are, after all, from Central Canada too, and share the same “progressive” values and anti-oil sentiment exhibited by most of the other parties. But sovereigntist MPs from Alberta? That would be something else altogether.

There are many good Conservative MPs from Alberta who undoubtedly do their best for their constituents. But right now, the West needs MPs who can speak out publicly without the fear of retribution by party leadership whose ambitions are always to please Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – MPs, that is, whose only loyalty is to Alberta and the West.

From a Western regionalist perspective, a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for the status quo. Alberta needs something different now, something that offers a full-frontal challenge to Central Canada’s political elite. Electing politicians from the old-line parties just won’t do it. But electing Maverick candidates might.

The ridings most likely to show support for Maverick candidates are in rural Alberta. Ridings like Battle River—Crowfoot and Red Deer—Mountain View are unfamiliar to people in places like Toronto. But if those ridings sent Maverick MPs to Ottawa, people in Central Canada would suddenly hear about them, for all the right reasons. 

The large Wexit meetings that were held in the wake of the October 2019 federal election generated some attention down East. A prominent Toronto-based magazine, The Walrus, even produced a cover feature on Wexit with two major articles, The New Separatists and Meet the Albertans Who Want to Start Their Own Country. But as the Wexit meetings dissipated due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and perhaps declining enthusiasm, Central Canada once again forgot about Western discontent.

Having a Maverick presence in the House of Commons would ensure Western concerns would not be forgotten or ignored. Maverick MPs would be a continual reminder that things are not okay and big changes are needed. 

It’s true that only a provincial government can hold a referendum on independence. Even with elected MPs, a federal party cannot initiate any measures that would lead to Western independence. As a result, some people question the necessity of a federal sovereigntist party. However, if a referendum on Alberta independence were held under the Clarity Act, the House of Commons would determine whether the referendum question on independence was “clear.” The presence of MPs whose only loyalty is to the West could be crucial in getting a fair judgment on that point. 

Maverick MPs would represent the West’s interests in other important matters as well, of course. We know that Quebecers believe there are advantages to sending committed sovereigntist MPs to Ottawa because they repeatedly elect candidates from the Bloc Quebecois. The West can do likewise.

If Alberta and Saskatchewan send full slates of Conservative MPs to Ottawa after the next election, no one will be surprised and Canadian politics would continue as usual. However, if Alberta – and perhaps the other Western provinces – send some Maverick MPs to Ottawa, that would convey an unmistakable message of defiance.

It would be a clear signal that the West has had enough.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Help too little, too late for Manitoba farmers

Severe drought and a grasshopper invasion have left parched watering holes and destroyed crops and pastures, forcing producers to sell cattle they can’t feed at emergency auctions.

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A disaster relief program announced Thursday for drought-stricken Manitoba farmers is too little too late to save too many.

And the package, although welcomed, doesn’t address other critical problems.

Severe drought and a grasshopper invasion have left parched watering holes and destroyed crops and pastures, forcing producers to sell cattle they can’t feed at emergency auctions.

Farmers are exhausted from hauling water to thirsty animals and a prolonged fight for survival.

An exodus from the devastated industry is underway. Forage livestock commodity producers – beef, sheep, goats, buffalo and horses – are planning, in some cases, permanent exit strategies.

“This could be the end of the industry here. By the time most people are forced out, they’re not going to have enough money to go back into it,” Orval Procter, a beef producer and councillor for the R.M. of Woodlands, just north of Winnipeg, told the Western Standard.

“These announcements are wonderful but there needs to be strong dialogue provincially, federally, with all the commodity groups to figure out as best a path as we can to benefit everybody.

“This is a small drop in what we need. Not all of what we need is money. We need good planning and regulations or restrictions to add some control to the marketplace.”

Agriculture contributes $7 billion a year to Manitoba’s economy and $1 billion of that is attributed directly to livestock. 

The ripple effect of an exodus would devastate communities and businesses within them.

Manitoba’s suffering its fourth year of drought. Areas where cattle production is prevalent are hardest hit.

“Livestock producers are unique in that we’re struggling, and we have live animals that we’re dealing with. Grain producers who are struggling aren’t putting animals at risk,” said Procter.

Over the past two years with feed in short supply, farmers have had to sell one-third of their breeding stock.

But for 11 years, the resilience of economically crippled farmers and producers has been severely tested by a string of blows including BSE (mad cow disease), flooding, drought, economic recessions, and the impact of COVID-19.

“Because we’ve had so many issues, nobody has the financial resources, and nobody knows where we can get enough feed. It’s dire,” said Procter.

Through it all, they’ve mostly had to go it alone because there was “minimal recognition” by the government of the crushing economic damage to the industry, said Procter. 

He helped organize a July 21 rally to call for immediate federal and provincial government help. Nearly 100 producers showed up. Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler didn’t attend for health reasons and didn’t send anyone from the agriculture department in his place.

Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau visited drought-stricken areas Thursday and announced federal/provincial relief programs.

Through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s Hay Disaster Benefit, insured livestock feed producers will get an extra $44 per tonne to offset replacement feed and transportation costs. Changes to the AgriInsurance program allow some crops damaged by drought to be sold as feed.

“What they’re really announcing is a top-up to the insurance programs to make sure there’s enough money to increase benefits to producers for hay shortages based on the extra cost. That price is typically set almost on a national scale, so when you get in situations like we have, where the price is triple what it was last year and they pay you out on last year’s costs, it doesn’t let you buy much,” said Procter.

He’s concerned about the cattle.

“There’s about 450,000 cows in Manitoba. Most producers are being affected by this,” said Procter.

“One of the biggest things that scares me, and nobody’s talking about it, there’s obviously going to be a huge influx of cattle into the market. Where are these cattle going to go? Are we going to have days with 5,000 head showing up an auction mart with three days selling? How many days before they’re moved? Who’s going to want them?” 

Every bit of hay that comes into the system is desperately needed. Eight bales saves one cow.

But pleas for more Crown land and wildlife management areas to be opened for haying and grazing, appear futile.

“The department has let land out, but they’ve not let all of it out. Areas still aren’t open and that’s to no one’s benefit,” said Procter.

“There’s no engagement. We asked for a contact to meet with, it’s been three weeks and we haven’t been given that. We got a roundabout response that it probably wasn’t going to happen.”

Meanwhile, skyrocketing feed costs and negative sales returns have resulted in producers receiving up to $400 less per animal than the cost of raising it.

“We haven’t even been in a break-even position for some time. We get 19% of the final cost, feed lots get 19%, and the rest is taken up by slaughter plants and retail,” said Procter.

“I’ve got receipts from 2002 – $1.87 a pound for a 400-500-pound steer was pretty common. I got the same price a month ago.” 

Producers are demanding a “government-driven investigation into the system that prices meat products, from the farmer’s gate to the consumer’s plate.”

The price producers receive isn’t reflected in what consumers pay for meat products.

“What’s hamburger worth? That’s your cheapest cut,” said Procter.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard 
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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