Archive for October 4, 2007

Statement for the Freedom March, Caledonia 

Today is a day when we should all be at home with family celebrating Thanksgiving.  Instead, sadly enough, you are here making an important point about freedom: freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom not to live in fear in your own homes and your own city.

We have been blessed to live in Canada, a country that usually celebrates these freedoms even when they challenge us on sensitive issues such as this.   Everyone wants to see a peaceful resolution to the troubles in Caledonia. Everyone wants a quick resolution to the troubles and disagreements in Caledonia.  

Governments need to step up to facilitate an end to the standoff so freedom can be returned to Caledonia. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a national, not-for-profit organization with 68,000 supporters. Our mandate is to fight for lower taxes, less waste and greater accountability in government.  The standoff has cost taxpayers over $50 million dollars and government has not been accountable for the tremendous hardships all have faced. People like the Gualtieri’s and the Brown’s, injured OPP officers and so many others can attest to that. 

It has been more than 19 long months since this standoff began and it appears no closer to resolution today. Thanks to the unfortunate acts of a few, the failure of governments and the failure of police to act, all are suffering.

Read the full statement here

Police investigators can be sued if they conduct an investigation negligently, the Supreme Court of Canada said Thursday in a ruling that will send shudders through police ranks.

”Police officers owe a duty of care to suspects,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said for a 6-3 majority. ”Their conduct during an investigation should be measured against the standard of how a reasonable officer in like circumstances would have acted.

”Police officers may be accountable for harm resulting to a suspect if they fail to meet this standard,” she said, writing on behalf of Mr. Justice Ian Binnie, Mr. Justice Louis LeBel, Madam Justice Marie Deschamps, Mr. Justice Morris Fish and Madam Justice Rosalie Abella.

The court nonetheless dealt a personal loss to a Hamilton man – Jason George Hill – who had argued that he was negligently arrested, resulting in his spending 20 months in jail for a string of robberies that he did not commit.

Mr. Hill was ultimately exonerated when the real robber was found and convicted. He sued investigators, specifically citing an inept police lineup procedure, but the court ruled against his suit.

Mr. Hill’s lawyers – Sean Dewart and Louis Sokolov – were exultant about the legal implications of Thursday’s ruling but disappointed that Mr. Hill’s lawsuit was thrown out.

This is a bitter day for Jason Hill,” Mr. Sokolov said. “The court acknowledges that he was wronged by the justice system, and yet excused the police from liability because their conduct in this case met the very low standards that prevailed more than a decade ago.

“On a happier note, this is a very good day for police accountability in Canada. The Supreme Court stated in resounding language that police are no different from the rest of us, and can be sued if they do their jobs negligently.”

Read the full story here