CARPAY: Democracy and justice depend on freedom and privacy rights
Some years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a federal election gag law that undermines the Charter freedoms of expression and association, and the right to spend one’s own money on the cause of one’s choice.
The Court ruled that our Charter-protected fundamental freedoms must give way to “electoral fairness,” which is not mentioned anywhere in the Charter itself.
Making the situation even worse, Alberta has passed a gag law that applies not only at election time, but at all times. Non-profit advocacy groups must register with the government if they wish to spend more than $1,000 on advertising, and must publicly disclose the names of citizens who donate more than $250 towards advertising.
The first victims of this new law are the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and The Rebel media, each fined for spending money to express an opinion on a billboard, without having registered or disclosed donor names.
Those who dislike either or both of these two groups will be tempted to celebrate the fines. But any celebration is very short-sighted, as this law applies to all groups: left, right, centre and otherwise.
The Alberta Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (EFCDA) goes so far as to trample on the privacy of citizens wanting to donate for advertising on any “issue” that is “associated” with any party or candidate, at any time, permanently. Practically speaking, that covers education, health care, human rights, taxes, labour laws, social services, and a long list of other important topics on which political parties take a stance.
One of the great things about a free country is that all citizens have an opportunity to fight for justice through advocacy for better laws and policies. In a democracy, citizens are not only free to criticize politicians, but also free to advocate openly and publicly for justice, however one may conceive of it.
For some, justice might mean tougher penalties imposed on those who abuse animals, or on those who drive while impaired, or on those who misuse firearms. Perhaps justice means Canada doing more – or doing less – to develop our oil and gas exports. Perhaps justice entails Canada pursuing different policies on Israel, aboriginal people, abortion or the environment.
The benefits of free expression are not limited to providing every individual with the right to advocate for justice. Free expression facilitates competition among diverse ideas, which creates the healthy debate that a democracy needs to thrive.
When everyone thinks alike, nobody thinks very much. Truth is more likely to emerge from the clash of ideas than from a herd of conformist thinkers who reject challenges to their orthodoxy. Free expression allows for tough questions and vigorous criticism, which in turn tend to destroy bad ideas.
In a free country, citizens also enjoy the ability to join with each other to fight for a just cause. One citizen can do little to change a bad law, but 10,000 citizens working towards a common cause are a force to be reckoned with.
Dictators know that individuals are more powerful and more effective when united together in a group, so they restrict freedom of association, to isolate citizens from each other. Dictators demand that citizens register their groups, and seek the government’s permission to start trade union, a church, a new political party, or other groups.
Citizens of a free country are able to donate their money and volunteer time to worthy causes. Citizens can do so anonymously, or with great fanfare. The secret ballot protects citizens from coercion and intimidation, and in similar fashion, privacy protects people who want their donation to a cause to remain confidential. The government of a free country respects people’s privacy.
No doubt, those who passed the EFCDA were motivated by notions of fairness and transparency when they directly attacked the citizen’s right to be free from intimidation when donating to an unpopular or controversial cause.
An attack on the secret ballot could also be justified on grounds of fairness and transparency. Governments never attack fundamental freedoms without conjuring a nice-sounding reason. But if we lose our freedoms of expression and association, and our right to privacy about which causes we donate to, we lose our democracy.
Lawyer John Carpay is the president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca).
Don Cherry was trying to make a point about patriotism, loving our country, and honouring those who sacrificed everything so we could be free.
Cherry had clearly seen a lot of people not wearing poppies, and as the public figure who has perhaps done more than any other to show support for our troops and encourage respect for Veterans, Cherry was obviously pissed off.
In remarks that—if people weren’t afraid of offending the cancel culture cops—most Canadians would admit to agreeing with, Cherry said that people who enjoy the freedom of coming here and living in Canada (enjoying freedom not enjoyed in many other nations) should at the very least wear a poppy to show respect for Canadians who fell in war.
Of course, any hint of patriotism or nationalism makes the elites go absolutely crazy, and that’s what happened.
The outrage mobs and cancel culture cops went into overdrive, and Sportsnet (a company that is apparently fine with letting communist China-controlled Huawei sponsor Hockey Night in Canada) fired Cherry.
And they fired him on Remembrance Day of all days, which is a huge insult and totally disrespectful to Cherry considering how much he has fought to stand up for Veterans and those who lost their lives for Canada.
By giving in to the outrage mobs, Sportsnet has disgraced themselves.
Cherry’s colleague Ron MacLean also threw Cherry under the bus, after nodding along with Cherry and giving a thumbs up to his remarks, he then acted like he didn’t really get Cherry’s comments.
Peter Mansbridge also wrote an article for CBC with the subheading, “The notion that Canada’s veterans were all white is dangerously wrong and an insult to thousands.”
Yeah, bro, that would be “wrong” and “offensive,” if Cherry had actually brought up race.
But he didn’t.
Cherry didn’t mention race at all.
So CBC pushes an article by Mansbridge that skews the facts to make it look like Cherry was talking about race?
Also, how about the loyalty of CBC throwing Cherry under the bus after all he’s done for them – including the millions of Canadians who only watched CBC for Hockey Night in Canada?
So now, this is where Canada is:
The Prime Minister wore blackface so many times he can’t even remember how often, and he’s still in power (after getting a big assist from the media), while Don Cherry—a man who does everything he can to bring attention to our veterans and honour our troops—gets fired for saying people should wear poppies.
It’s total hypocrisy, as the examples below make clear:
“Kellie Leitch: “Values Test”
Quebec Government: “Values Test”
Cherry: “Wear Poppies”
Elites: REMOVE HIM!!”
What the hell is going on?
This is a disgrace, and it shows once again why the establishment media and political elites need to be defeated. Their priorities and judgement are broken beyond repair.
The grandson of a British World War II veteran who died on the beach in Dunkirk in 1940 during the evacuation of Allied forces is going back to where his grandfather made the ultimate sacrifice.
Thomas Michael McDonald, who himself never met his grandfather, had a love of Canada instilled in him by his father, just as his own father instilled it in him.
Shane McDonald, father of Thomas, says his father described Canada as a “wondrous mystical far off place” by his father before he fought in the war, moving to Canada to raise his young family in a new, booming young country.
With that in mind, the McDonald’s made the journey to the beaches of Dunkirk to pay tribute to where the patriarch made his sacrifice.
McDonald says it was overwhelmingly emotional to be on the beaches where his grandfather waited in the sand for a rescue that never came.
Shane was also able to locate his grandfather’s name on the memorial nearby, and attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Dunkirk.
Shane was also noticed by French locals at the ceremony, having conversations with others in attendance.
“I don’t know whose English or French was worse … but the actual meaning behind the conversation was one hundred percent understood,” said Shane McDonald.
“Part of his posthumous legacy, I truly believe, is I am a Canadian citizen,” said Shane. “He gave me one of the greatest gifts any parent or grandparent can give.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is calling PM Trudeau to recall Parliament just five days after Trudeau is expected to announce his cabinet.
According to the CBC, Scheer made the demand a day before the two leaders were supposed to meet.
Simon Jefferies, the spokesperson for Andrew Scheer, said Parliament should reconvene to address growing divisions in the country coupled with an economic downturn in the energy sector.
“Trudeau can’t keep running scared from testing the confidence of the House,” said Jefferies. “We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on behalf of Canadians.”
Jefferies said Scheer would try to convince Trudeau for certain priorities to be included in his throne speech. They’ll be based on the Conservatives’ priorities for the new Parliament.
Priorities include “keeping Canada united and strong,” “helping Canadians get ahead,” “restoring ethics and accountability in government,” and “getting the energy sector back to work.”
The Liberals won 157 seats this election, enough to form a minority government; the Conservatives came second with 121 MPs.
Trudeau has said he will reveal his new cabinet on November 20 but hasn’t announced when he plans to recall Parliament.
Environment Canada is warning of freezing rain across sections of British Columbia. Icy conditions on numerous highways are expected.
According to the Canadian Press, Arctic air combined with a warm Pacific front throwing moist air will create icy conditions. These conditions will lead to icy rain.
The freezing rain could be mixed with snow near Prince George, Williams Lake, Quesnel, and Stuart-Nechako.
Residents are warned of slippery conditions.
Environment Canada proclaims freezing rain and ice pellets may further spread south late Monday. The direction is toward the South Thompson region and southwest Interior highways, including the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector.
A special weather statement for the Peace Region has also been issued. The frontal system is expected to produce a “wintry mix” of weather through to Tuesday.