Roots of the Ottawa Illegal Occupations

Years of Police and Political Passivity and Acquiescence in the Face of Indigenous Lawbreaking Created a Permissive Template for the 2022 Illegal Occupations

“Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.”– Sophocles

The roots of the recent lawlessness in Ottawa, Windsor and elsewhere and of the passivity and inaction of our police and politicians in the face of it, lie in the now decades-old policy of basic police and political passivity and inaction in the face of illegal Indigenous behaviour, including but not limited to roadblocks, occupations and acts of vandalism and theft. Very often this illegal behaviour has received judicial rationalization, and by thus implication, endorsement, and very often it has been expounded upon favourably, on “social justice- historical injustice” principles, by our political, academic and media elites.

The result of it all has been twofold: Firstly, ordinary Canadians have been taught that justice is no longer blind in Canada. If Lady Justice, peaking under her blindfold, sees that the lawbreakers are Indigenous, she pulls out a For Indigenous Lawbreakers Only handbook prepared for her by our aforesaid elites, and the matter is dealt with accordingly. If she sees that the lawbreakers are non-Indigenous, she puts her blindfold back up, pretends she never took a peek, and the rule of law unfolds as it has traditionally been applied.

The ultimate upshot of all this has been, on the part of ordinary Canadians, is that they have developed an extraordinary disrespect for and lack of trust in law enforcement high officials and political elites, and a disrespect for and lack of trust in all other elites who have supported this harmful situation. Social trust, the glue that holds the citizenry together and keeps us all basically law abiding, has been allowed by our elites to erode to the totally foreseeable and dangerous extent that some non-Indigenous Canadians, not appreciating the social justice-historical injustice niceties of long-acquiesced-in Indigenous lawbreaking, and naively thinking that, regardless of such things as race, the rule of law should be applied evenly to all, naturally, and eventually, say or think: “If they can break the law and get away with it, why can’t I?”

Thus, in large part, and even allowing for social media silos and the divisive and exasperating Justin Trudeau, unfolded the Canadian rule of law debacles of January and February of 2022.

The 1990 Oka illegal Mohawk land occupation and road blockade started this trend. There, a Quebec police officer was murdered, and his killer, one of the Mohawk occupiers, was never identified or found. Social justice- historical injustice “history” treats Oka as a landmark event in the Canadian Indigenous “decolonization” and “land back” movements and ignores the murdered young policeman.

In 1995 at Ipperwash, Ontario, on the other hand, an Indigenous protester, in very confused, chaotic, “fog of war” and disputed circumstances- circumstances set in motion by an illegal occupation– Indigenous protester Dudley George- now since almost deified by Indigenous rights proponents- was killed by an OPP officer, setting off a torrent of “white” guilt and recrimination, a criminal charge and conviction against the OPP officer who fired the shot, an official enquiry that thoroughly trashed the law and order-motivated actions of the police and the provincial government, and eventually, becoming a classic, harmful example of a complete overreaction- the development by the cowed and over-politicized OPP of a special “hands off” policy with regard to any future illegal Indigenous behavior. This includes even behavior that only merely alleges some connection, often absurd on its face, to an Indigenous “land rights” claim: their Framework for Police Preparedness for Aboriginal Critical Incidents. (See my article,  The Ontario Provincial Police’s Framework For Police Preparedness For Aboriginal Critical Incidents– A Planned and Deliberate Policy for the Enabling and Appeasement of Aboriginal Lawbreaking.)

In 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada, in its Haida Nation decision, [1]invented out of legal thin air the obligation on the part of government and Canadian resource project proponents, based on section 35 of the Constitution and the so-called “honour of the Crown”, to “consult and accommodate” any and all nearby Indigenous bands and groups prior to proceeding with any new resource project.

 In addition to severely wounding the Crowns of Canada’s sole right to make laws relating to resource development and to regulate the economy generally, the consult and accommodate obligation, being constitutional in nature and thus higher in status than any particular federal or provincial law to the contrary, has given Indigenous bands and groups a practical, de facto veto over such projects.

Further to the law and order subject matter here, the consult and accommodate obligation has muddied the legal waters to the extent that Indigenous groups can arguably say that, having these constitutional rights that supersede federal and provincial law, gives them the legal right to ignore other federal and provincial laws that they say should also be superseded, or at least left on the legal sidelines, when they are pursuing or “defending” their new constitutional rights- such as laws prohibiting illegal roadblocks, blockades and occupations. This was the crooked line adopted by the B.C. UNDRIP-drunk Wet’suwet’en lawbreakers in 2020.

The OPP Framework referred to above, shamefully, gives credence and purchase to these anarchy-producing arguments. It has deeply informed the police passivity in the face of Indigenous lawbreaking in Ontario, and similar police passivity across the country generally, which has so demoralized ordinary Canadians, lowered their respect for law enforcement and legal authority generally, and helped to remove the psychological barriers that had previously prevented non-Indigenous Canadians from engaging in similar lawbreaking activities.

“Criminal means once tolerated are soon preferred.”- Edmund Burke

So have our Courts, following Haida Nation’s lead, given credence to these anarchy-producing, “sovereign nation” arguments. They have taken the concept of “meaningful consultation” to such an extent that they have elevated it to a status above the basic, traditional rule of law.

The original, violent, lawless Indigenous occupation of private property in Caledonia, near Brantford, Ontario, was cravenly permitted to go on unchecked for months, and was only ended when, in 2006, the cowardly and unprincipled Ontario government purchased the land from the justly aggrieved developer and then permitted the illegal occupiers to remain, thus rewarding criminal behaviour.

The Ontario Court of Appeal then gave their seal of approval to Ontario’s unprincipled behaviour.

In their Henco Industries v. Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy Council decision,[2]the Ontario Court of Appeal, in overturning a very gutsy lower court judge’s ruling that the governments of Canada and Ontario should stop negotiating with the illegal occupiers – stop talking to them entirely! – until their blockades were lifted and their illegal occupation ended, basically gave its moral and legal stamp of approval to Ontario’s conduct. The Court ruled that, since the occupation, now that Ontario owned the land and was consenting to it, was “peaceful,” and that “reconciliation, not the force of law” was “the best way to achieve a lasting resolution of this dispute.”

Thusly the rule of law was diminished in the eyes of all by our Court of Appeal.

And ordinary Canadians, including would-be non-Indigenous lawbreakers, took note.

Until this recent trend started with Oka most Canadians instinctively thought that” the law is the law,” and is equally applicable to all. We had been taught that and it used to be the case. That idea- that value- embodied in our statute and common laws, was and should always be a given-a binding, unifying, intractable force in our society, regardless of the issue or the cause or the racial or ethnic makeup of those involved.

This is not so any more with respect to Indigenous bands and groups asserting Indigenous rights claims, even if only “potential and as yet unproven” (Haida Nation) minor claims.

Now, our lower court judges, Crown personnel and police forces are being instructed by our higher courts- and by their own high officials- that the rule of law, as it applies to Indigenous rights claims, however weak or speculative they may be, is to be regarded not as absolute, like it is for non-Indigenous Canadians, but rather as “highly textured.” As the court wrote in Henco:

“Other dimensions of the rule of law, however, have a significant role in this dispute. These other dimensions include respect for minority rights, reconciliation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal interests through negotiations, fair procedural safeguards for those subject to criminal proceedings, respect for Crown and police discretion, respect for the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and respect for Crown property rights.”

For our Indigenous and non-Indigenous elites now, the rule of law, which ordinary Canadians reasonably regarded as fundamental and sacrosanct, is regarded, in the context of Indigenous matters, as merely one menu choice amongst many, its application as the primary factor depending on which way the political and political correctness winds are blowing at the time in question, and for Indigenous would-be lawbreakers, how much lawless behaviour they figure they can get away with.

The new retrograde reality reflected by the decision in the Caledonia case was reinforced by another decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2008, their decision in the Frontenac Ventures case, [3] a case involving two members of a relatively tiny reserve, the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, located in south-central Ontario just east of Algonquin Park.

Both these individuals were city-dwelling university teachers, one of them holding a Ph.D. They were both sentenced to jail for acting in contempt of two court orders to cease blockading a mining exploration company, Frontenac Ventures, from engaging in an exploratory drilling program on Crown lands pursuant to mineral lease rights lawfully given to it by the Province of Ontario.

The protestors, their deliberately illegal behavior encouraged and justified by the Haida Nation court decision, and no doubt inspired by seeing what the Caledonia occupiers were getting away with, claimed that Ontario failed to consult with them about the mining company’s exploration plans and the renewal of the mining lease. They admitted their disobedience of the court orders, which occurred after negotiations with Frontenac Ventures and the Province had “failed to resolve the impasse.”

In this case, there had already been a fair amount of “consultation.” Their lawyer admitted that their behavior came close to criminal contempt of court“but stated that their conduct flowed from adherence to Algonquin law.” (!)

Poor hapless Frontenac Ventures. It had tried to “consult” with the blockaders, even though, as a holder of valid past-acquired mining rights which included the untrammeled right to explore for minerals, it was legally doubtful here that it even had a duty to consult because there was no Crown or Crown-authorized activity being proposed or contemplated and no Crown decisions or approvals required by Frontenac Ventures.

But the problem here, as the lower court judge had noted, was that:

“… in the present case the defendants have shown little interest in consultation and accommodation and have made it perfectly clear that there will be no consultation so long as there is even a potential of uranium mining on the property….”

Shockingly, despite this disdainful and arrogant attitude on the part of the illegal blockaders, the timid legal position of the Ontario Crown before Justice Cunningham, the lower court judge, was that he “…ought to defer any decision regarding injunctive relief until further consultation can be undertaken…” thus restating and refining the government of Ontario’s new “retreat and hide” and  “we continue to try to negotiate with economic terrorists, even if they won’t negotiate with us,” default legal positions in civil cases involving illegal Indian behavior.

Justice Cunningham, bless his heart, found no merit in the cowardly and unprincipled position Ontario had suggested he adopt. He ordered the blockade ended and the arrest of anyone who failed to obey his order. In his judgment, he wrote that “there can only be one law, and that is the law of Canada, expressed through this court.”

Maybe there is only one law, our Court of Appeal ruled (although one never knows – they did not expressly reject the protesters assertion that there was such an objective, relevant thing as “Algonquin law,” In my view there is not. (See https://fcpp.org/2021/08/11/the-myth-of-indigenous-law-in-canada/) and, given the comment of Chief Justice McLachlin in Haida Nation that the Indians of Canada were “never conquered”, maybe the court decided that the issue was moot and could be left to be decided in another case on another day), but for Canada’s Indigenous bands and groups, unlike for the rest of us, that law is, as stated, “highly textured,” “nuanced” and will be differently applied.

In the case of Indigenous persons violating a court order, the court said, “…compliance with court orders is an important but not exclusive component of the rule of law.” (!)

It is simply stunning that the court clearly said here that complying with its orders can in some circumstances be basically optional for Indigenous Canadians. As the court said:

“The stage at which the comprehensive and nuanced description of the rule of law expressed in (the Caledonia case) must be considered is when a court is requested by a private party to grant an injunction and where doing so might have an adverse impact on asserted aboriginal and treaty rights affirmed in s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Such cases demand a careful and sensitive balancing of many important interests in assessing whether to grant the requested injunction and on what terms.

In the present case, as in (Caledonia), the competing interests include the asserted aboriginal rights of the Algonquin First Nations, Frontenac’s private interest in pursuing its exploration plan in accordance with valid mining claims and agreements, and respect for the Crown property rights of Ontario.

And how are these rights to be effectively balanced? The answer has been clear for almost 20 years in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada- consultation, negotiation, accommodation, and ultimately, reconciliation of aboriginal rights and other important, but at times, conflicting interests.

Having regard to the clear line of Supreme Court jurisprudence, from Sparrow to Mikisew, where constitutionally protected aboriginal rights are asserted, injunctions sought by private parties to protect their interests should only be granted where every effort has been made by the court to encourage consultation, negotiation, accommodation and reconciliation among the competing rights and interests. Such is the case even if the affected aboriginal communities choose not to participate in the injunction proceedings. (!)”

By these words the court in effect downgraded Frontenac Venture’s mining lease, embodying concrete rights granted to it by the Crown, and no doubt representing hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditure on the part of Frontenac Ventures, to a “private interest,” having little more status in the court’s eyes than the “competing… asserted aboriginal rights.

Also, by these words the Ontario Court of Appeal inadvertently gave the green light to cynical, legal-savvy First Nations taking the law into their own hands, knowing that the first response of officialdom will resemble Chamberlain at Munich.

Now, when any Indigenous group asserts an aboriginal or treaty right in relation to a mining lease or claim, and engage in illegal behavior in furtherance of the pursuit of that right, then, in the face of that bare assertion and that illegal behavior, the rights of the lessee or claimant become merely, in the eyes of the law, a “contentious private activity” that cannot be further carried on unless the Crown“fully and faithfully discharges its duty to first consult with the affected First Nations, including engaging in endless, cost-prohibitive “consultation, negotiation and accommodation”.

In effect, in these always money and time-sensitive situations, the lessee can expect no real help from the police.

This is a disastrous new reality for any business legally operating on public lands in Canada, as they now have to factor in judicially sanctioned Indigenous illegal behaviour.

Frontenac Ventures confirmed to Canadians that we are now subject to a two-tier justice system: a deliberately lenient one for Indigenous Canadians and a traditional one for the rest of us.

And ordinary Canadians and would be non-Indigenous Canadian lawbreakers took note.

This lawlessness-tolerating trend on the part of our elites came to full fruition during the so-called Idle No More protests in 2013.

Canadians associate the image of police officers standing idly while the law is being broken right in front of them with corrupt and dysfunctional third world countries. But we no longer have to be abroad to experience this frightening and disturbing phenomenon. We can experience it anywhere in Canada now, whenever and wherever Indigenous bands and groups choose to stage an illegal blockade or occupation.

The 2013 Idle No More protests well represent this civically unhealthy and dangerous new reality.

Many Canadians have had to endure the minor frustrations of being stopped and delayed in their travels while placard-bearing Indigenous protestors, being slowly led by a local police car and surrounded by enabling and accommodating police officers, march down the middle of some major city street or provincial highway. We’ve also, as a country, now had to endure the major situations of illegal road and rail blockades causing major delays, disruptions and financial losses.

The common theme throughout these situations is government and police passivity and inaction in the face of blatantly illegal behavior.

If there had been any doubt before, the Idle No More protests put “paid” to any notion that there is not a two-tier law enforcement system in Canada, a sad part of Canada’s two-tier justice system generally in this area of Canadian life.

Idle No More protestors, protesting legislation passed by the federal government that loosened environmental laws relating to proposed resource projects and that might have only indirectly affected the workings of the consult and accommodate law, illegally parked a large truck on an important CN railway line near Sarnia and blocked the main Toronto- Montreal rail line near Kingston. In relation to the latter blockade CN applied for and got an injunction[4] from Mr. Justice Brown of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against the protestors requiring them to immediately remove their blockade and stop trespassing on the rail line. Justice Brown had earlier granted an injunction ordering the end of an Indigenous blockade of their rail line to Sarnia.

Disgracefully, in response to the Sarnia injunction, the Sarnia Police Service, holding themselves above the court order, refused to enforce it. Their position, cribbed from the Frontenac Ventures decision, was that “respect for aboriginal interests and issues” qualified the traditional application of the rule of law, and that enforcing the court order would, in their view, be detrimental to all and would “undo much of the goodwill that the Service has created with the aboriginal members of the community it serves.”

Part of the evidence CN had put before the court was a YouTube video showing a Sarnia police officer participating in a drumming circle at the blockade site.

Superior Court Justice D.M. Brown was clearly shocked and angry at the contemptuous (of the court) conduct of the Sarnia Police.

The injunction order expressly said that it was to be carried out “forthwith.” (Legalese for “NOW!”) But six days had gone by since the order was made and the Sarnia Police had done nothing about it except try to get the illegal blockaders, now in contempt of court, to “make nice” and leave voluntarily.

Justice Brown condemned this contemptuous police conduct and warned of the harm it was causing to respect for the law and to the administration of justice. As he wrote:

“…if those upon whom the courts rely to enforce the law have decided in effect that the writ of the courts does not run against particular groups or particular political messages, and that disputes involving such groups or messages should be determined in accordance with the respective strengths of the protagonists’ political wills, then I do not see how courts can involve themselves productively in such situations. Courts do not engage in contests of political wills. Under our constitutional system, courts are to remain outside such contests of political wills.”

He continued later in his decision in more pointed fashion:

“Where the police do not enforce court orders in a timely fashion…there may not exist a practical legal remedy to the violation of legal rights in the particular circumstances. That would not be a healthy situation. It would leave the person whose rights have been transgressed only with a political remedy, trying to persuade those who control the agencies of public force to come to its protection. That would then leave us with a government of men, not a government of laws, but such is the result if those charged with enforcing court orders do not do so.

No charges were ever laid against the illegal blockaders, no police officer was ever disciplined for failing to do his or her duty, and no government official ever complained or did anything about the quasi-anarchical behavior of the Sarnia Police Service.

With respect to the rail blockade near Kingston, Justice Brown made a similar time-sensitive injunction order requiring the illegal blockaders to end their blockade. The OPP refused to assist the local sheriff in serving and enforcing the order! Justice Brown observed the following about this shameful, contemptuous conduct on the part of the OPP:

“We seem to be drifting into dangerous waters in the public affairs of this province when courts cannot predict, with any practical degree of certainty, whether police agencies will assist in enforcing court injunctions against demonstrators who will not voluntarily cease unlawful activities…such an approach by the OPP was most disappointing because it undercut the practical effect of the injunction order. That kind of passivity leads me to doubt that a future exists in this province for the use of court injunctions in cases of public demonstrations.”

Finally, articulating the profound and fundamental principles in issue, fully understood by ordinary Canadians, but apparently not by our short-sighted, timid and unprincipled police and government elites, Justice Brown wrote:

Without Canadians sharing a public expectation of obeying the rule of law, the rule of law will shatter. And a key support for maintaining that expectation of abiding by the law is that those who are empowered to enforce the law will do so and do so in an even-handed fashion.

Again, no charges were ever laid against any of the protestors, no police officer was ever charged with dereliction of duty, and no government official ever complained about the quasi-anarchical behavior of the Ontario Provincial Police.

And ordinary Canadians, including would-be non-Indigenous lawbreakers, took note.

In 2020 the same CN rail line was blocked by a Mohawk group solidarity-protesting in support of the opposition of the B.C. Wet’suwet’en band hereditary chiefs to the Coastal GasLink pipeline going through their so-called “traditional territories.” (A noxious concept that poses a direct threat to the crucial concept and reality of Crown sovereignty.) The same injunction order was issued. The same shameful passivity and inaction on the part of the police and politicians occurred, and there was the same lack of consequences.

In British Columbia the leaders of the illegal activities, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, said that they were only bound by “Wet’suwet’en law”, (like “Algonquin law”), and that their law forbade the pipeline going through their “traditional” and thus sovereign territory. They claimed in essence that in their “traditional” and thus sovereign territory they were not bound by “Canadian” law.

Shamefully, constituting a near-treasonous endorsement of this country-fracturing concept, and further constituting a direct insult to the rule of law, the UNDRIP-drunk Trudeau Federal government and the equally UNDRIP-drunk B.C. Provincial government, in May 2020, after “dialoguing” with the lawbreakers, signed an agreement with these law-breaking Chiefs that essentially forgave them for their lawbreaking activities, paid them money, and affirmed their so-called “Aboriginal title and rights”.

And ordinary Canadians, including would-be non-Indigenous lawbreakers, took note.

In the summer of 2020 a second illegal Indigenous occupation of a different property in Caledonia, Ontario took place, involving road and rail blockages, road destruction, vandalism and theft of property, ignored court injunctions and, inevitably, thanks again to the OPP’s above referred to Framework, the same placating, demoralizing and divisive police and political passivity and essential acquiescence. The illegal occupation of this land continues to this day.

And ordinary Canadians, including would-be non-Indigenous lawbreakers, continued to take note.

In 2021 a shocking and unprecedented series of violent and illegal Indigenous or Indigenous-inspired actions occurred in various places across Canada. The cause of this mass spate of lawless behavior was the highly questionable and still never verified assertion that a mass grave had been found containing the remains of allegedly missing and murdered former students of the former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

Several Catholic churches were deliberately set on fire. The statue of Queen Victoria was torn down and destroyed in Winnipeg. The statue of Egerton Ryerson was torn down and dismembered in Toronto. The painted head of Mr. Ryerson’s statue eventually ended up on top of a post on the grounds of the illegally occupied lands in Caledonia, the occupiers clearly, in addition to all the other laws they were being allowed to break, then being in possession of stolen property.

Despite many of these instances of criminal behavior being filmed and photographed, no charges of any kind were laid against the perpetrators. The police were not only generally passive, but they were also silent.

As usual, ordinary Canadians, including would-be non-Indigenous lawbreakers, took note.

Ordinary Canadians also took special and incredulous note of the implicit endorsement of all this illegal behavior by significant members of the Canadian establishment.

Harsh Walia, the head of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, an organization purportedly dedicated to the upholding of the rule of law in all circumstances, even and especially in relation to “unpopular” persons and causes, tweeted in response to some of the church burnings: “Burn it all down.”

Prime Minister Trudeau called the church arsons and statue-destruction “unacceptable”, but then went on to say that the anger fueling these illegal actions was “fully understandable given the shameful history that we are all becoming more and more aware of…” (referring to the still unverified Kamloops “mass grave” allegation.) (https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-trudeau-explains-away-arson-attacks-on-churches)

Here we have two establishment personages, one the Prime Minister of Canada, speaking for the entire Canadian government- speaking for the Canadian people- essentially saying that if one sincerely, in good faith and truly believes that one’s cause is just and moral, then it is understandable, and thus in effect acceptable, to take the law into one’s own hands and commit illegal acts to further that cause.

The Prime Minister of Canada, after engaging in very public, “dialogue” with some of the Indigenous proponents and/or apologists for this illegal Indigenous behavior, speaking for the entire Canadian government- speaking for the Canadian people- was further essentially saying that if one takes the law into one’s own hands with these “good faith” underlying beliefs, then one should reasonably expect the same law enforcement passivity and acquiescence in the face of it as Canadians have observed happened over the years in all the instances above.

Ordinary Canadians- including the non-Indigenous, soon-to-be-lawbreaking “truckers”, and all their motley adherents- all of whom apparently sincerely, truly and in good faith believed in their anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-Trudeau, anti-“take-your-pick” causes, again took note.

 And this time they acted accordingly.

For three long, lawless, disgraceful weeks the illegal occupiers in Ottawa, Windsor and elsewhere were winning the bet that law enforcement would give them a pass, just as Indigenous lawbreakers have been given a pass for years. After all, they were just as sincere and righteous as all those Indigenous lawbreakers. They should get the same pass!

But the playing out in the tony streets of the nation’s capital of the Prime Minister’s radical theory that a legal matter can be judged in terms of one’s own personal sense of right and wrong finally made it clear to all but the most irrational subset of Canadians that this theory, which presumes the rule of men rather than the rule of law, is fatally flawed, is anti-democratic and is a recipe for social breakdown and the end of the rule of law.

The rule of law keeps the peace…judging a legal result simply in terms of one’s own sense of right and wrong simply won’t do. The whole point of the rule of law is to set standards of governance that transcend individual moral feelings. If all we have are our moral feelings, we are no better than religious and political fundamentalists who insist that their moral scheme justified destroying other incompatible moral systems…the rule of law substitutes legal reasoning for moral righteousness. -Leif Carter and Thomas Burke- Reason in Law[5]

The law is our last defense against ourselves. – Playwright Arthur Miller[6]

The recent events in Ottawa, Windsor and elsewhere have borne out Justice Brown’s wise and prescient warning that the rule of law will shatter unless all Canadians, of all races and causes, share a public expectation that the law must be obeyed and if not, swift and even-handed enforcement will follow.

(Note how uneven was the use of the federal Emergencies Act. There was no very public, empathic, “dialoguing” with the lawbreakers before it was implemented. Only the Indigenous lawbreakers warranted that.  It was unnecessarily used against the 2022 lawbreakers, almost as an instrument of class and political warfare. It was not used in any of the many, serious instances of Indigenous lawbreaking discussed above. How disgraceful, demoralizing, divisive, selective, and again, how inimical to the rule of law!)

By not obeying or enforcing court orders, or by standing by idly while laws and court orders are being flouted, police and politicians, and all other elites who support or rationalize this illiberal behavior, forfeit the confidence and respect of the citizenry, threaten our civil liberties, encourage similar illegal behavior in others and betray the values upon which our country is based.

Major changes are needed in this profound area of Canadian civic life. For starters we need to go back to a completely race-free and issue-free approach to law enforcement, where the race of the lawbreakers and the allegedly meritorious nature of the cause or issue in relation to which any particular illegal behavior is being justified, are both prima facie matters of official indifference on the part of law enforcement personnel. Those matters are best solely left to Judges on sentencing.

Men may, of course, have order without liberty, but they cannot have liberty without order. – Samuel Huntington

Peter Best

February 24th, 2022


[1] 2004 3 S.C.R. 511

[2] 82 O.R. 3rd, 721 (ONCA)

[3] 2008 O.J. 2651

[4] Canadian National Railway Co. v. John Doe, 2013 ONSC 115

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2013/2013onsc115/2013onsc115.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAZY2FuYWRpYW4gbmF0aW9uYWwgcmFpbHdheQAAAAAB&resultIndex=9

[5] London Classics, 2010

[6] From his autobiography, Timebends – A Life, Harper & Row Publishers, 1987

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