fbpx
Connect with us

Opinion

SELICK: Make golf (and protests) legal again

“When the first and second branches of government – the legislative and executive branches – fail the citizens, all we can do is turn to the third branch, the judiciary, and ask for the constitution to be applied.”

mm

Published

on

Have you ever heard of anyone who contracted COVID-19 through playing golf?  I’ll bet you haven’t, nor will you because the outdoor spread of the virus has been shown to extraordinarily rare. It would certainly be far less likely to occur out on the golf course than in a supermarket filled to 25% of its normal capacity. 

But that doesn’t logic seem to bother Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose zeal to “protect” Ontarians has made him outlaw virtually all outdoor gatherings, including golf, religious services, protest marches, and children’s outdoor sports, despite the fact people are still allowed to gather indoors, albeit in limited numbers and for limited purposes. 

The rules are contained in regulations to the Reopening Ontario Act, a statute whose purpose and effect seems to be in direct conflict with its name. 

Children almost never contract coronavirus, and the probability of survival if they do is 99.997%. They’re at much greater risk of dying in a car accident, but we don’t have laws forbidding them to ride in cars. Outdoor team sports, however, is forbidden.

It’s madness like this that has impelled Ontario MPP Roman Baber, together with a grassroots organization called “Lift the Lockdown” (LTL) to bring a constitutional challenge against the outdoor gathering rules of the Ontario lockdowns. The case will be argued in court Friday, May 14. It will be one of the first to proceed to trial in Ontario, but it tackles only a very limited component of the lockdown measures. If they’re successful, LTL will move on to challenge other portions of the lockdown orders. 

You may recall hearing Baber’s name after Ford removed him from the Progressive Conservative caucus in the legislature for daring to question the wisdom of lockdowns. But before he became an MPP, Baber was a commercial litigation lawyer. He knows the ropes in the courtroom. However, rather than having a fool for a client, he has hired a lawyer to act for him and LTL. 

It has all been done lickety-split, and with little publicity. The evidence will be presented to the judge in written form: affidavits of witnesses, plus transcripts of cross-examinations that have already been held. Nobody will testify live over Zoom. There will just be oral argument by the lawyers.

LTL will argue that the outdoor lockdown violates the Charter, specifically the freedoms guaranteed in Sec. 2: freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly, and of religion. The government will presumably argue these encroachments on freedom are “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” under Sec. 1 of the Charter. I’m eager to see what evidence they could possibly have for saying that. They’ve never presented any so far, beyond political rhetoric. 

A win in this case would have broad implications for Ontario, and would also set a precedent to be followed in other provinces. Among other things, kids could play outdoors with their friends, golf courses could start operating again, and churches and synagogues could conduct outdoor services without the cops arriving and hauling away their religious leaders. 

Most importantly, however, is the mass protests and demonstrations that have been occurring in Toronto and other Ontario cities every weekend since the lockdowns began. The protests that are almost never reported in mainstream media, but can usually be discovered only on social media, will be legal again. Police have become increasingly aggressive about trying to shut down such events and charge the protesters for breaking the law. Tickets are being issued for $750 per person per incident, and a minimum of $10,000 per incident for organizers. This blatant and despicable denial of free expression should stop.

From my own history as a constitutional lawyer, I know litigation like this is expensive. There are lawyers’ fees and witness expenses. To assist LTL in this important case, I’ve organized a crowdfunding campaign.

When the first and second branches of government – the legislative and executive branches – fail the citizens, all we can do is turn to the third branch, the judiciary, and ask for the constitution to be applied.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Baber and Lift the Lockdown this Friday.

If you pray, now’s the time.  

Karen Selick is a Columnist for the Western Standard

Karen Selick is a Columnist for the Western Standard. She has previously written for the original Western Standard, the National Post, and Canadian Lawyer Magazine. She is the former Litigation Lawyer of the Canadian Constitution Foundation and is the owner of KeenEyesEditing.ca.

Continue Reading
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Steven Ruthven

    May 14, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Hell ya !! Open up golfing in Alberta to.

    Social distancing? No problem. Working up a sweat? Not likely. Lots of fresh air? Possible.

    Check all the boxes Dr. Hinshaw.

  2. RED ALERT

    May 13, 2021 at 8:33 am

    What’s worse, is that virology is a total fraud. There is no scientific study (with control studies) that proves beyond a reasonable doubt by any independent group, or court that a dead non living virus causes covid or any disease and in addition there is no live video footage of a dead non living virus attack a living cell, hijack all it’s biological functions and replicate the dead non living virus by obligate reproduction (obligate reproduction has never been seen and documented in biology, only Hollywood sci-fi movies) and they never will because viruses are dead, dead, dead!!! Dead bits and pieces of DNA/RNA proteins.

  3. lajc63@gmail.com

    May 12, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Gather up all the health care experts, the majority of the provincial governments, and can never leave out the greatest fraud in Ottawa of Canadian history. Send them to the highest courts, being the courts of their constituents that hired these despots, and see how long it takes before they face execution for their crimes

  4. Left Coast

    May 12, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Doug Ford . . . the incredible disappearing man . . . who rode into office on his deceased brothers coat tails.
    Doug is a Fraud, he is another gutless wonder, a quality that seems to infect EVERY Premier and the stupidest man in Canada our Crime Minister.

    Many jurisdictions in the USA are Normal today because they have Intelligent Leadership and Governors who are listening to the SCIENCE . . . not the Quack Brigade like Canada.
    Like Canada’s stumbling HC System, our Health Depts have no clue what they are doing.
    Our low intellect leaders all thought it was Halloween and dressed up as Chairman Mao and Stalin . . . they are making up rules as they go and their weak Character & Despotic Tenancies are coming to the surface.
    Not one of these fools should ever be re-elected in Canada again . . . EVER ! ! !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

GIEDE: The legacy of residential schools still haunts us

There is a palpable sense of anger and grief in nearly every quarter, but I am deeply skeptical about the possibility of concrete action and change.

mm

Published

on

The 215 children’s bodies uncovered in Kamloops, BC, on the grounds of the Indian Residential School have shocked us all. Calls for action have ensued, Facebook has provided frames, and both church as well as state authorities have expressed their regrets. There is a palpable sense of anger and grief in nearly every quarter, but I am deeply skeptical about the possibility of concrete action and change.

Indeed, the death of innocents in Canada is often used by our political class to double-down on their own agendas. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will continue to not fulfill promises of clean drinking water on reserves. BC Premier John Horgan has twisted this tragic moment of history into a justification for the continued clear-cut logging of our old-growth forests – an impressive non-sequitur even for him.

Policies and initiatives that would end the Third World reality experienced on reserves, help protect indigenous women and girls at home and in transit, or create more economic opportunities for all status, non-status, Metis, and Inuit regardless of location will not be enacted, despite having sat on the desks of our politicians for decades. In short, these solutions would cost money, and talk is far cheaper.

Ironically, no one was counting the cost of building and staffing the residential school system when it was debated and developed in the 19th Century. Every political movement – from child welfare groups to land speculators who wanted First Nations out of the way – viewed the use of education to assimilate aboriginal children as the most progressive method at hand to solve the centuries-old “Indian problem.”

The residential school system was conceived within the Indian Act of 1876, but did not fully mature until 1894, when an amendment made day school attendance mandatory for aboriginal children. There is no denying schools were built far away from the traditional territories of First Nations which helped facilitate assimilation. Yet these locations were also chosen because of the realities of staff and supplies.

Education was almost the exclusive purview of churches at our founding, so it only made sense for churches to extend their role along with the widening borders of Canada. Large government contracts were appreciated by all denominations involved, as these served to fund missions both at home and abroad. Ottawa provided the bricks and mortar – Christianity provided the staff inside these buildings.

Non-aboriginal children were also sent to these schools. Unlike America, using excess capital to enforce segregation was too costly for our leaders, whatever discriminatory attitudes they might have held. For some of my fellow aboriginal agitators it may be distraction from their preferred narrative, but the truth is that the non-indigenous children at residential schools were just as likely to suffer abuse and neglect.

To the point of abuse and neglect, there is no excuse. Those who committed sins willfully or by omission are worthy of the stiffest penalties that our justice system can mete out. There must be transparency as to who attended and staffed the residential schools – if those records are not surrendered willingly, the power of the courts must be utilized. People have a right to their history – even to the darkest parts of it.

But the central fact remains the Canadian political class was willing to expend what must equate to billions of dollars today on assimilating aboriginals for over a century. Why, now we know what would actually help solve the challenges faced by the First Nations, are those in charge unwilling to pay the cost? How much more expensive could it be to build up a new generation with intelligent policies?

Empty apologies and payouts withheld for years will neither undo the damage nor create a better tomorrow. For those who have made Western sovereignty their rallying cry, there is a mutual enemy of the federal government ready in the form of we, the First Peoples of Canada. If Ottawa refuses to fix what their policies broke, then provincial authorities should step in, creating alliances with aboriginals.

Mourning and grief are appropriate responses to the news we’ve received. And while transparency about the past must happen in order for healing to occur in the present, we must not allow more commissions or committees to take the place of real change. Clean drinking water, economic opportunity, education, safe means of travel: let these be the demands First Nations make in honor of the 215 children long lost.

Nathan Giede is the BC Political Columnist and the host of Mountain Standard Time

Continue Reading

Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Fed up Canadians mobilizing to take our country back

They’re stomped on by a smug woke crowd too dumb to know they’re merely useful idiots in a cunning plan to steal our freedoms and privacy.

mm

Published

on

A movement to take Canada back is on solid ground.

It’s fueled by Canadians fed up with being pushed around. 

People are targeted if they attend church or synagogue (not mosques though), question the brain-washing garbage their children learn in school, ask Saint Theresa Tam hard questions about COVID-19, call boys boys and girls girls, keep businesses open, or play in the park.

They’re stomped on by a smug woke crowd too dumb to know they’re merely useful idiots in a cunning plan to steal our freedoms and privacy. 

Even politicians cower at the woke crowd that weaponizes social media. All 12 of them – each with multiple Twitter accounts creating the illusion they are legion – will come at you screeching like a crazed (because they are) herd of banshees.

The time’s ripe for a movement.

Canadians are hungering for a leader who’ll save us from this madness. 

Sadly, the inept have secured top management positions in every federal political party. 

They keep good politicians tethered.

But MPs with all parties, like countless Canadians, abhor late-term abortion, disagree with same-sex marriage not being motivated by hatred but by religious beliefs, are aghast that children undergo sex changes, want to lift COVID-19 lockdowns, wonder why twerking Drag Queens ‘entertain’ kids in libraries, support police, admire how former President Donald Trump strengthened America, and rue globalists running/ruining Canada. 

They obediently lose their moral compasses when told to shush. Not shushing destroys political careers, they’re warned. 

Even worse, the Trudeau CBC Fan Club will hate them. 

Honest, open debate is forbidden.

Just look what happens to one who dares to defy the shush rule! 

Derek Sloan was pummeled and banished for, largely, expressing his moral beliefs, although no one was honest enough to admit that.

But the MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington had the courage and conviction to carry on. 

He’s still standing.

Sure, he’s not standing in the same place since he was booted out of the Conservative caucus in January – but he’s still fighting for the unwashed Canadians few politicians have the guts to fight for.

Sloan was wrongly portrayed as an LGBTQ hater and a white supremacist sympathizer because someone dug deep to find some nut job made an obscure $131 donation to his campaign. 

The ‘racist’ Sloan was accused of hating every Chinese person on the planet because he dared question public health officer Tam’s ties to the World Health Organization when she parroted COVID-19 lies it fed us. Well, well, don’t recent revelations vindicate Sloan now?

Canadians wonder if there’s hope of salvaging the life we cherish in this good and beautiful country.

Maybe. 

There’s a movement underway that’s building momentum.

Freedom loving Canadians have united to build a viable option, hopefully in time for the next election.

It’s too premature to “expose” the many groups and political parties involved, or provide more details, says Sloan. That’ll come soon though.

“I have been working actively to forge all of those elements together into a credible sort of political movement. That’s still in the formation stages but I want everyone to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” he says in an interview with the Western Standard.

Sloan says “hundreds of thousands of people” across Canada receive his communications and in the past six months he has gotten “tens of thousands” of emails.

“Many of them are saying: ‘Derek, I can get behind you just tell me what to do,’” says Sloan.

Canadians are “begging” for a party willing to take a strong stand.

The woke mob may screech the loudest, but it’s not the true Canadian voice.

“They are a minority of people that are pushing an agenda. There is a strong groundswell of dissent to that. But there’s also a lot of Canadians kind of in the middle-of-the-road that don’t know what to believe and need a real alternative,” he says. 

The Conservative strategy to play it safe, hoping people will like them, is backfiring.

“The Conservatives have every ability to stand strong on whatever issue they want. If they’re not willing to do it now, we certainly can’t expect that they would do that if given the chance to govern,” he says.

Sloan, a member of the end the lockdown caucus comprised of current and former politicians, says the “biggest elephant in the room” is dealing with the response to COVID-19.

“If COVID went away tomorrow there’s still many issues. We’re dealing with a fanatical embrace of critical theory, whether it’s critical race theory, whether it’s critical gender theory. We’re dealing with a fanatical embrace of climate alarmism,” he says.

“We’re dealing with very aggressive ideologies that don’t believe in free speech, that don’t believe in dissent, that don’t believe in democracy unless it suits their own ends.”

Combined forces are moving quickly to change Canada into a “debt-ridden, freedom-stricken, second-tier country.”

Canada needs an option that shows them the way to go, says Sloan who feels an obligation to serve Canadians.

“I believe personally that one day I’ll have to account to God for how I used my time on this earth. I hope, when that time comes, God looks at me and says as He did to others ‘Well done good and faithful servant.”

Countless Canadians will get this.

Others will cackle and mock, dismissing Sloan as a religious fanatic. 

They foolishly dismiss the movement at their peril.

Slobodian is a Western Standard columnist based in Manitoba
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

Opinion

CARPAY: Bad ruling against a church’s charter rights begs for an appeal

“Judge Shaigec has gone off the judicial rails, not regarding the facts, but in failing to apply a proper two-step Charter analysis.”

mm

Published

on

The dismissal of the Charter freedoms of Pastor James Coates by Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robert Shaigec on June 7, 2021, is crying out to be appealed.

As any first-year law student can tell you, Charter claims are judged in two simple steps.

First, the court rules on whether a government action (law, policy, health order, arrest, charge, fine, prosecution, imprisonment etc.) violates one of more of the Charter freedoms to associate, assemble, worship, express oneself, travel, and move about freely without facing house arrest or prison. For the past 39 years the Charter has been part of Canada’s constitution, courts have ruled that charges, fines, tickets, arrests and prosecutions clearly qualify as “government action.” The moment that a citizen is charged with violating a federal, provincial or municipal law (whether the penalty is jail time or only a fine) is the moment when that citizen’s Charter rights and freedoms are impacted. The existence of a particular law, and being charged with violating that law, are one and the same.

Next, if the answer is ‘yes’ and some form of government action violates one or more Charter rights or freedoms even in a small way, the court must make a separate assessment as to whether the violation of that Charter freedom is “reasonable” and “demonstrably justified” with compelling evidence “in a free and democratic society.” At this second step of the process, the government is obligated to put forward medical and scientific evidence to try to justify its public health orders, or to justify whatever other law, policy, ticket, fine, arrest or prosecution is violating Charter freedoms.

The facts of this case are not disputed, apart from some minor details. 

In early 2020, when Premier Jason Kenney compared COVID-19 to the Spanish Flu of 1918, everyone in Alberta became terrified of the new virus. Governments across the globe believed the dire predictions of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College of London, who also warned that we were dealing with a virus as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu, which killed 50 million people at a time when the world population was barely one fourth of what it is today.

Pastor James Coates and the GraceLife Church congregation initially complied with all public health orders. However, as the “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned into the permanent violation of our human rights and Charter freedoms, the church members (like so many other Canadians) observed the politicians’ ongoing fearmongering was simply not based on facts. 

In our 15th month of lockdowns, the government’s own data and statistics show COVID-19 is harmless to 90% of Canadians, and has a 99.77% survival rate. Death rates in Canada in 2020 were in line with those of 2019, 2018, 2017 and prior years. Statistics show COVID-19 has not had any significant impact on population life expectancy. This isn’t the Spanish Flu of 1918. Not even close. 

To date, politicians have not put forward evidence to back up their repeated claims lockdowns save lives. Lockdowns harm the mental and physical health of millions of children and adults. The Manitoba government’s own expert witness, Dr. Jared Bullard, admitted in court under oath that PCR testing for COVID-19 is not accurate 56% of the time.

Governments and media dishonestly use ‘case’ numbers to keep Canadians in a state of permanent fear. But children are as likely to die of lightning strikes as they are to die of COVID-19. Canadians under 70 should be more afraid of dying in a motor vehicle accident than dying of COVID-19.

After significant research, deliberation and reflection, Coates and his congregation eventually ceased to comply with Kenney’s irrational and unscientific public health orders. Since the fall of 2020, they have held normal, regular church services. The government has not presented any evidence in court that GraceLife’s full church services have caused any harm to anyone.

Judge Robert Shaigec has gone off the judicial rails, not regarding the facts, but in failing to apply a proper two-step Charter analysis.

Public health orders obviously violate Charter freedoms. This is further confirmed by the 35 days Coates spent in jail.

Limiting church attendance to 15% of fire code capacity obviously violates citizens’ freedoms of association, religion and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Charter. Public health orders that make it illegal for people to hug each other and sit next to each other obviously violate the Charter-protected freedom of association. A legal requirement to cover one’s face is an obvious violation of the Charter’s rights to liberty and to express oneself freely, and for many individuals this law also violates the Charter-protected security of the person. Whether these limits are reasonable, necessary, and producing more good than harm is an entirely separate legal question, to be answered at the second stage of Charter analysis: is the violation of the Charter freedom “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?”

Unfortunately, Shaigec ignored the obvious impact of public health orders on the Charter freedoms of religion, association, expression and peaceful assembly. He instead embarked on a hair-splitting exercise that finds no support in 39 years of established Charter jurisprudence. 

Strangely, Shaigec ruled the enforcement of public health orders did not violate the Charter freedoms of Coates. This is a mystifying finding, and entirely misses the point. The Coates case involves a constitutional challenge to the health orders themselves, not their enforcement. If a law is unconstitutional, that law’s enforcement is also unconstitutional.

Shaigec cites seven reasons for his conclusions, none of them supported by case citations from other court rulings: Alberta Health Services and the police were acting under the authority of the Public Health Act; GraceLife Church was not “targeted” by government; similar restrictions applied to “secular” activities and gatherings; health bureaucrat Janine Hanrahan acted reasonably and professionally; the RCMP did their best not to disturb church services; the police acted on reasonable grounds in issuing the ticket; the police did not obstruct a religious service (prohibited by section 176 of the Criminal Code.)

None of these seven reasons shed any light on the judge’s outlandish and bizarre thesis that law enforcement does not qualify as “government action” to which the Charter applies.

Shaigec suggests that citizens’ Charter rights are not violated when they are threatened, intimidated, ticketed, fined and jailed; he seems to believe that as long as the enforcement of a law is carried out in a reasonable manner, there are no Charter violations. Amazing. 

It will be interesting to find out whether the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench agrees upon hearing the appeal that will be filed by the Justice Centre.

John Carpay is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) which represents Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens, and other Canadian challenging lockdowns in courts across Canada

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

9 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

Share this with your friends:

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.