I've read this novel before - Macleans.ca
 

I’ve read this novel before


 

Bill C-95, the “criminal organization” amendment to the Criminal Code passed in 1997, has borne its inevitable fruit. Devised to calm the spirits of a fearful nation, the law bent civil liberties into new and fascinating shapes. It created a new offence:

467.11 (1) Every person who, for the purpose of enhancing the ability of a criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament, knowingly, by act or omission, participates in or contributes to any activity of the criminal organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Which sounds fair enough, but be sure to check out the convenience-of-the-Crown caveats in subsection (2):

(2) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (1), it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that

(a) the criminal organization actually facilitated or committed an indictable offence;

(b) the participation or contribution of the accused actually enhanced the ability of the criminal organization to facilitate or commit an indictable offence;

(c) the accused knew the specific nature of any indictable offence that may have been facilitated or committed by the criminal organization; or

(d) the accused knew the identity of any of the persons who constitute the criminal organization.

To put it another way, you can conceivably be tried for “participating in or contributing to” a criminal organization even if it didn’t get around to committing any crimes, you didn’t do anything to help it actually commit crimes, you didn’t know what particular crimes it might be thinking of committing, and you couldn’t possibly pick anybody else in the group out of a lineup.

This might seem to make things pretty easy for the police and the prosecutors. Nonsense! According to them, their job can never be easy enough. Like farmers and civil servants, they cease complaining only intermittently to inhale oxygen, and there is no shortage of Joint Multi-Level Integrated Discussion Committees before which they can retail their grievances. C-95 proved pretty hard to apply because the courts require the criminal-ness of any “criminal organization” to be proven anew for each trial of its members, and everybody in the justice system is reluctant to fix this by creating an official statutory list of “criminal organizations”, for fairly obvious reasons (a group added to such a list could just change its name, insignia, and totems, and members of criminal groups not yet added could conceivably use such an omission in their own defence).

So the crime-obsessed Conservative government, looking for other ways to make the law more easily applicable, has stepped back and taken a look at the definition of a “criminal organization”:

467.1 (1) “criminal organization” means a group, however organized, that

(a) is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and

(b) has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group.

There would seem to be some protection for the citizenry there: the broad, pulverizing apparatus of the “criminal organization” bill is available for use only against groups of people engaged in “serious offences”. Until now a “serious offence” had been defined as “an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more”, but the government of the time, perhaps never considering that it could be supplanted in the people’s affections, allowed for more offences to be added to the list by Order-in-Council without the consent of Parliament.

This possibility, now realized, raises the natural question of how we should define a “serious offence”. Justice Minister Nicholson, in introducing the new schedule of patently less serious and mostly victimless “serious offences” on Wednesday, offered a dazzlingly simple heuristic: “The fact that an offence is committed by a criminal organization makes it a serious crime.” You will note that this introduces a curious logical circularity into our manner of upholding justice. How does the law define a “criminal organization”? See above: a criminal organization is a group of people that bands together to commit serious crimes. How do we know what a serious crime is? It’s any activity that is characteristic of criminal organizations. What, you thought Catch-22 was fiction?


 

I’ve read this novel before

  1. I think it is unfair to single out farmers, civil servants and police. In our society, nobody ever stops complaining.

    • "I think it is unfair to single out farmers, civil servants and police."

      I think it is only unfair to single them out when leaving teachers off list. In my experience, teachers are the biggest whingers but I don't know any farmers.

      • really now…. I have just completed a Clement-approved, super-scientific VOLUNTARY poll to get that data you two are hankerin for.

        Biggest whiners: by a 3 to 1 margin! Conservative ideologues complaining about biased press coverage.
        Second place: Conservative ideologues complaining about Ignatieff's existence
        Third place: Olaf (but rising fast!)

        Honourable mention: Conservative ideologues (still) complaining about Trudeau & the NEP

        • Stewart – I must say, as much as I like and respect you, I found this comment completely unfair, unsubstantiated, and downright malicious.

          There is absolutely no way I haven't yet cracked the top two.

          • Stewart has clearly failed to integrate your rate of unreported whining into his tabulations.

          • If it helps, the reason for your lackluster performance was that the time frame for the exercise extended back to the dark Olafless days of yore. So in terms of total tonnage of whinery you suffered although in whintensity you were off the chart. This could hurt you badly if the dreaded whine tax comes to be, although in any cap & trade format you will be able to sell off your allotment of whine and make out like a bandit. (Hopefully an unreported bandit)

        • See, two more people who are complaining. ;)

        • And then thejre miscellaneous parties not in power

        • lol!

  2. "The Harper government, fresh from botching its alleged pander to the libertarian wing of the Conservative party with its voluntary census plan, appears to be having no problem steamrolling over the libertarian wing's sensitivities on crime ….

    Under the guise of fighting "organized crime," a global economic sector created largely by government laws and regulations, the Conservatives — with hardly a peep from the opposition or critics — this week expanded the Canadian division of the monstrous U.S.-led war on drugs. For a government allegedly concerned about the "intrusiveness" of a pollster extracting personal information under threat of fines and prison, the Conservatives are disturbingly unconcerned about a massive increase in police power to meddle in the lives of its citizens in the name of fighting crime." FinPost, August 7, 2010

    I have not really been paying attention to Cons crime bill until the weekend when I read T Corcoran's article. Maybe the census decision was sop to libertarian branch of Con party because they can't be too happy with so-con Cons and their desire to 'police' crimes before they even occur.

    I was thinking on the weekend that progressives, liberals and so-cons are always squabbling with one another because they are very similar indeed: they all want to control me, and others, regardless of whether I want the help or not. So-cons and liberals might have different ends in mind but both sets of people think they know best and want to impose their beliefs on me.

    • "I was thinking on the weekend that progressives, liberals and so-cons are always squabbling with one another because they are very similar indeed: they all want to control me, and others, regardless of whether I want the help or not."

      This from a staunch pro-lifer.

      • I don't want to control anyone, just stop murderous mothers from killing their babies. If pregnant mothers were more careful before they got pregnant, or less of a sociopath, than I would not have to worry about dead babies.

        Holding people to consequences of their decisions/actions does not make me hypocrite, I think.

        • What you call "holding people to consequences of their decisions/actions", others call "holding people to consequences as defined by your personal moral stance."

          Anyway, I really don't want to start an abortion debate, just found it odd that you would complain about so-cons "imposing their beliefs" on people. Clearly you're ok with the concept when it's your beliefs being imposed.

          • I usually stop reading where he says "I was thinking". I know that nothing good
            can come after that.

          • Hahahahhahaha. Well played snark, BGLong.

          • That was my favorite bergkamp post of all time. It must be a challenge to be a libertarian these days.

            Question: do you not consider yourself to be socially conservative?

          • The only major topic I agree with so-cons on is abortion. I think abortion is murder and murder is wrong. So-cons make me as twitchy as liberals and progressives do.

            Government exists to protect my/our inalienable rights and markets decide morals and behaviour – I think drugs, prostitution should be legalized and government should only concern itself with defence, infrastructure and law/order.

  3. What's worse is that anyone who tries to fix this insanity will doubtless be labeled terrorist-sympathizing, soft-on-crime troop haters.

    • Remember, if you're not part of the solution – er, I mean helping to create the problem – then you're part of the problem. But we want a problem, which must mean if you're not part of the solution then you're the solution? Cripes, how about if you're part of the solution then you're the solution? By which we mean the problem. Only not the same problem we're trying to create. Which is the solution, which you're clearly part of. Commie.

      • What we really need are unreported solutions to unreported problems.

        • And someone to blame for those unreported problems.

      • Professor, my solution has gone opaque.

      • I thought if you weren't part of the solution you were part of the precipitate.

  4. One shudders to contemplate the extent of unreported *and* undefined crimes out there. I guess what you don't know really can hurt you.

    • Rumour has it Sean that you have never been accused of a serious crime. Sean, we are talking about serious crimes here that do untold damage to the way of life of Canadian citizens. Why is that damage untold? Glad you asked Sean, because so many serious crimes are unreported, we have no way of knowing the damage they cause. This means that the perpetrators of unreported crimes have never been accused of a serious crime. As you can see, you fit the profile perfectly.

      I really did not want to turn you in, but I was afraid that if myself and one other person failed to turn you in things could get much worse, well for me anyway. As for you, they are on their way.

      • In a comment thread full of good stuff, this one makes me stop to say: Nice.

      • LOL!!! (to everyone above too!)

    • What the Harperites don't know hurts the rest of us.

      • And they don't know a lot. And are trying to know even less.

        • This is the new brain drain.

  5. A friend of mine ran for the Libertarian Party in the distant past before he soured politics – even the "radically pure" kind he was then pursuing. He became a successful and independently-wealthy entrepreneur.
    While circumspect on his political views, when pressed he admitted voting against Mike Harris and all versions of the Reform Party. He reasoned that he was able to do well despite (what he thought of as) a socialist economy but was terrified of the so-cons and their agenda.
    We need more like Colby here to toss these miscreants under the bus and join us deluded lefties while we get back to building a civil, progressive, rational society where we disagree on the weighting of the public vs private economic mix.

    • But I don't want to be tossed under a bus.

      • I think his point was that if you just disagree on matters of "public vs. private eonomic mix" than you're worthy of helping to build society, but if you're a "social con" "miscreant" then you have no place in the construction of a "progressive, rational society". Ergo, under the bus with you!

        Over on the Left I think they call this "tolerance" and "open-mindedness".

        • "Over on the Left I think they call this "tolerance" and "open-mindedness"."

          Here, on this comment thread, we call that hyperbole.

        • Irony alert:
          Ah yes, scolded about tolerance from the guys who would lock me up cause I violate their version of morality.

          oh the pain…..

          • "… scolded about tolerance from the guys who would lock me up cause I violate their version of morality."

            What the hell are you talking about??

  6. Well, obviously we need new crimes, as broadly defined as possible, otherwise where would we get people to put in those new jails the Conservatives are building?

  7. I just need to find 2 other people to have an organized crime gang? Awesome.

    • Well I'm in, so let's just find one more.

      • Like true love, one's entanglement in organized crime can't be arranged or deliberate. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it, when you're not looking for it, when you don't even know what it is.

        • So you're saying I may have been in a gang all this time and I didn't even know it? So romantic.

      • I pledge to aid you both in unspecified ways, without learning your identities.

    • What makes it even easier is, I'm not sure those two people need to actually know they're in your gang.

      Hell, I'm not even sure they need to know who you are!

  8. Ladies and gentlemen, apparently we are all now part of a criminal organization, as we are participating in posting on the Macleans' Magazine forum, which likely results in direct and indirect financial benefits to such miscreants as John Geddes, Colby Cosh, Paul Wells, the "Andrew Gang" of Coyne and Potter, and of course, the primary "serious offence" giver, Aaron Wherry, whose daily articles provide serious offence to any number of government ministers.

    • We're screwed once they get into a nasty rumble with the "Trashy Daughters" gang they offended in the latest issue.

  9. Ahh. Another day—another piece of junk criminal law from the CPC bill mill.

    … a criminal organization” means a group, however organized, that (a) is composed of three or more persons in or outside Canada; and(b) has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit…

    Did it strike anyone else that this definition fits most governments? Is the Crown ready to arrest members of the Bush cabinet should any of them again set foot on Canadian soil?

    Conversely, shall we allow criminal gangs to evade the law by holding elections for key membership positions and thereby self-conferring "democratic legitimacy"?

    • Note: it wasn't a Conservative government that wrote that "junk" language.

      • …it wasn't a Conservative government that wrote that "junk" language.

        I wasn't referring to C-95's language. I was referring to the Order-in-Council's "junky" extension of its provisions.

        • Still, you can see Cosh's confusion given that you make reference to "junk criminal law" and then immediately cite a law (and ONLY cite this law) that wasn't passed by the Tories.

          • No one likes a smart arse… ;)

  10. It occurs to me that the Government, the Civil Service and the entire House pretty much all qualify as a "criminal organization" under these rules. I expect to see them placing themselves under arrest in the next month. (Not the Senate, unless there is some offence you can commit while asleep….)

  11. Ok, I hate to pour cold water on the fun (kidding, I love to), but it should be noted that this provision has been interpreted rather narrowly by the courts, specifically to avoid the absurd consequences that might follow from a more generous reading. Pretty good summary here.

    The acts or omissions committed by an accused person must be proven to have been committed with subjective knowledge of the criminal organization and also to have been committed with a subjective intention (for the purpose) of enhancing the ability of the criminal organization to commit an indictable offence.

    • While we must, of course, thank God for the wide powers of discretion routinely deployed by all those unelected "Liberal" judges Harperoids always complain about, we must also acknowledge that key limiting or qualifying criteria should probably be written into our laws rather than mentally imported into them by the judiciary—lest we end up with a body of [*gasp*] judge-made law.

      • heh

      • If I didn't know better, I'd think that you're deliberately conflating the centuries old practice of interpreting legislative provisions (which can be subsequently clarified with ease by an elected legislature) with reading vague constitutional provisions to invalidate, modify, truncate, or augment duly enacted government policies, on the basis that the judge would have prefered another policy.

        But you wouldn't be doing that, would you?

        • If I didn't know better…

          …you mean, if that slow pitch you really want to hit out of the park were not, instead, a slowly lumbering straw man—again?

          But you wouldn't be doing that, would you?

          Nope. Just pointing out the routine and necessary nature of judicial discretion and reminding everybody that one man's invalidation/modification/truncation/augmentation tends to be another man's "centuries old practice of interpreting legislative provisions". I'm ready to be schooled in infallibly objective ways of drawing the line, though. Got any handy?

          • Well, I doubt I'll be able to satisfy your 'infallibly objective' standard, which I know from experience you apply in all of your arguments regardless of the degree of scientific precision to which they lend themselves, however, the "centuries old" phrase may have given you a hint. In short, interpreting parliamentary intent in order to determine the meaning of legislation is, in fact, centuries old. Canadian judges inventing "principles of fundamental justice", out of whole cloth, for example, is rather more recent. The difference between the two is that in the former instance, the legislatures can correct an interpretation that did not correctly identify their intent. In the latter, the courts can come up with reasons to circumscribe parliament's actual intent with finality. That's not to pass judgment whatsoever on the relative merits of each, but rather to provide a line, however fallible, that is generally followed in the debate on judicial review of constitutional rights.

            Its a complicated subject, but I'm not sure that your "if you accept that judges can apply discretion in some situations, you can't with consistency criticize any members of the judiciary for applying discretion in other situations, regardless of how they apply that discretion" argument is a useful contribution to it.

          • …regardless of the degree of scientific precision to which they lend themselves…

            Attentive readers will be aware, of course, that it is you who appears to believe that Canada's tradition of judicial interpretation lends itself to such a degree of scientific precision. I'm not at all sure. I think many recent decisions that appear "invented" can be validly seen as legitimate (if adventurous) interpretations, notwithstanding the extent of my happiness with those decisions.

            …interpreting parliamentary intent in order to determine the meaning of legislation is, in fact, centuries old…

            …as is the practice of determining the meaning of legislation by appeal to the constitution as a whole.

          • that it is you who appears to believe that Canada's tradition of judicial interpretation lends itself to such a degree of scientific precision

            How on earth do you figure that? I was merely pointing out that there's a debate to be had, which cannot be adequately avoided by you imposing a 'infallible objective' standard, according to which if any discretion is good, all discretion is good, and all applications of that discretion are good. And absolutely, some rulings may appear 'invented' to some and legitimate to others. But saying that because some are legitimate (if adventurous) doesn't preclude the possibility that others are illegitimate, notwithstanding the extent of anyone's happiness with those decisions.

            …as is the practice of determining the meaning of legislation by appeal to the constitution as a whole.

            The process according to which courts determine whether or not certain legislation is ultra or intra vires is extremely different from interpreting the Charter (or other rights-based constitutional texts). There is far, far, far more latitude in the latter case, and thus far more opportunity for adventuresome justices to remake the social order according to their own political preferences. Justices can use vires analysis to enforce their own political preferences (see the JCPC and federalism), undoubtedly, but their ability to do so was negligible relative to judges with access to the Charter.

          • I'm not sure Olaf realizes that his approach is reminiscent of the "legal process" school of the 1950s, which conceded that there might not always be clear correct answers in law, and that lawyers and judges lacked expertise in moral and policy matters, but which championed "tried and true" procedural techniques for deciding certain types of disputes. This conservative approach required judges to back away from contemporary legal questions where the social justice of the outcome was central to the dispute.

            Like the purveyors of the legal process school, Olaf favours adjudication of "neutral" disputes that are governed by supposedly hoary, tried-and-true processes, but he does not like Charter disputes that require judges to think about present-day social justice outcomes. But this distinction is artificial and cannot be sustained – it falls apart like wet tissue paper as soon as it is applied in actual disputes. The legal process school disappeared along with the 1950s – like many right-wing posters, Olaf appears to want to take us back there.

          • Wellwell, you assume far too much without any justification whatsoever. Instead of telling everyone what Olaf thinks, why don't you put your psychic powers on hold and tell everyone where what I actually said (which represent the only thoughts of mine you have access to) was demonstrably wrong.

          • Olaf, you are purveying a tired theory that was tested and rejected more than half a century ago – and you don't even realize it. I don't care in the least what your subjective thoughts are – but I do object to your ignorance of legal theory.

          • Ugh. Give it a rest. The point is you can't discern what 'theory' I'm 'purveying' from the short comments you've read here, most of which are philosophically neutral and descriptive (which is not to say 'correct', necessarily). The comments are consistent with any number of legal theories, and aren't normative in the sense of preferring one over the other.

          • In their very early post-Confederation decisions, the JCPC did not merely find itself adjudicating the question of vires. The key question was the meaning of the "Peace, Order, and Good Government" residuary clause; upon the Judicial Committee's interpretation of that clause hung its verdict on the question of vires.

            It so happened that, despite the Fathers' wish for the clause to be an essentially centralising provision, the JCPC read the clause as literally as possible and found otherwise, putting matters in provincial hands that the BNA Act's framers would have placed in Dominion hands (in effect, the JCPC ruled against the Fathers of Confederation). Thus, there we have, in the late 19th century, a process of legislative judicial review driven by a constitutional interpretation that ignored completely the intentions of the legislators, something you claim was invented around 1982 or so.

          • something you claim was invented around 1982 or so

            If there's anything that bothers me to no end, it's when people attribute opinions to me based on what they want me to say as opposed to what I actually said. It's especially galling when I give them the cue, and specifically grant the point that they are trying to make before they make it, without (in my opinion) injuring the point that I actually made. And then they act as if they've come up with a knockout blow. Please, try again.

            As you generously grant, the determination of the scope of the POGG power was an issue of vires, and no one said that it was a purely mechanical enterprise (I specifically granted the opposite, if you'll recall). However, they could only adjudicate issues of jurisdiction. Now, the judges can reach verdicts on the percentage of cigarette packages that can be covered by government anti-smoking methods without unduly impairing "freedom of speech". The answer is 50%. if you were wondering.

          • With due respect Olaf, did you not distinguish sharply between mere judicial interpretation of parliamentary intent (which is presumably hundreds of years old) and judicial invention totally unrelated to parliamentary intent (which is presumably "rather more recent"), or did I hallucinate all that?

            Yes, the JCPC's destination was a question of jurisdiction, but the deliberative process contained significant judicial invention and significant indifference to the expressed wishes of Parliament. Thus the judicial process you described as "recent" is actually not.

            What you want to say, I think, is not that there is now more of a judicial urge to invent than there was a hundred years ago but that the effects of that urge when given vent are more extensive because the changed nature of our constitution gives those effects a wider scope of play. If that is, in fact, what you wished to say, I unreservedly agree, while pointing out that those early JCPC decisions concerning jurisdictional matters had a far greater impact on the life of our Dominion than any decision about cigarette packages (or same-sex marriage, for that matter).

          • I'm not "distinguishing sharply", I'm merely saying that where judges interpret that legislation is outside a given government's jurisdiction, the other government can implement those policies, if they desire. And where judges suggest that a given government action was outside their jurisdiction, because it was not authorized by parliament, parliament can subsequently authorize that action, and likewise, if the court misinterprets the legislators' intent, parliament can subsequently clarify.

          • …. but that the effects of that urge when given vent are more extensive because the changed nature of our constitution gives those effects a wider scope of play

            Yes, that is what I wanted to say, in part, and I take your point regarding my sloppy distinction between 'interpreting' and 'inventing'. However, I also wish to say that whereas the JCPC usually resolved disputes between levels of government, they did not preclude the possibility of legislating, and the most seminal cases had to do with who could regulate liquor or insurance (both levels wanted to), or who could regulate margerine production. Now the Court resolves everything, from the definition of marriage to national security issues.

          • In any case, this has gone off the tracks a bit. I merely wanted to clarify that one can have reservations about 'judicial activism' under the Charter, however one describes it and for whatever reasons, while still granting that judges have to exercise a considerable degree of discretion, generally speaking, and have in the past exercized that discretion. I think that many of the people who rail against judicial activism under the Charter (on both the left and the right, mind), are the same people who would have railed against the decisions of the JCPC that ran directly counter to the framers intent.

          • On that last point, we can agree. Macdonald and the other Tory Fathers of Confederation were livid at the way the JCPC interpreted the residuary clause and considered the result a serious distortion of the nation's basic self-understanding. On the other hand, it was a huge victory for old Reformers and Grits like Mowat, who were overjoyed at seeing this juridical endorsement of their jurisdictional cavilling and of the petty, pusillanimous literalism of their minority report on the constitution. Needless to say, the Reform/Alliance/Conservative movements have been fully within the Clear Grit camp in that regard.

          • Canadian judges inventing "principles of fundamental justice", out of whole cloth, for example, is rather more recent…

            No. What is centuries old is the conflict between the contesting perceptions you describe. Was Governor Simcoe's Act Against Slavery a constitutional "invention" or a legitimate interpretation of the British constitutional heritage? Contemporary Loyalists were split on the question. How would you have felt?

          • What is centuries old is the conflict between the contesting perceptions you describe.

            Admittedly. And I know nothing about Governor Simcoe and his Act. But I assume that the debate took place in political realm, instead of being definitively mandated by a slim majority of the bench. Of course, British Constitutional heritage would, assumedly, bring reasonable people to disagree on the correct interpretation, and those disagreements were assumedly hashed out in the political arena. Knowing your old school Tory sympathies, I'm shocked you're so thoroughly supportive of US-style judicial rights review, and so feeble in defending the wisdom of UK style parliamentary supremacy.

            Incidentally, in the US, that question did go to the Court, and they said slavery was A-OK. Then they had a civil war. Ipso facto, creative judicial review of rights legislation leads to civil war. Do you want civil war, Sir Francis?

          • I'm shocked you're so thoroughly supportive of US-style judicial rights review… in the US, that question did go to the Court, and they said slavery was A-OK. Then they had a civil war.

            I'm all for parliamentary supremacy, by which Canada is still governed, you'll be happy to know. That “notwithstanding” bludgeon is still near to hand for any government with the stones to use it (which, perforce, excludes the Harper government).

            As for American judicial review, it's been a calamity—still is, frankly. The quality of judicial review shall always depend on the nature of the legislation it is reviewing, the character of the reviewers, and the magnanimity of the constitutional framework within with the review takes place, precincts in which Canada has been blessed and in which America, sadly, has not.

          • And the Queen is officially the head of state. So what? Section 33 is a dead letter. What the Court says, goes. You can feel free to pretend otherwise (at least with regards to ss. 2, 7-15), but I'll occupy myself in reality, thanks.

          • …but I'll occupy myself in reality…

            My reality includes the law.

          • Does it include how the law actually operates?

          • Yessir. It even includes what the law allows.

          • Finally, I'm assuming you're fully aware that the American Civil War did not occur because "the Court…said slavery was A-OK ", right? I don't mean to be condescending; I just want to be absolutely sure that a crucial "teaching moment" isn't passing me by here.

          • I thought my subtle "Do you want civil war, Sir Francis?" comment would have made the point clear, but perhaps I need to be more deliberate with you. :)

          • …perhaps I need to be more deliberate with you.

            …especially since I sometimes think a civil war wouldn't be a half-bad idea.

          • I sometimes wonder if we'd be on the same side in that clash. I'm guessing probably not, but I guess it depends on the dividing lines.

          • I sometimes wonder if we'd be on the same side in that clash.

            In all probability, I would be on the losing side, Olaf.

    • Come see the liberal judges making policy and over-ruling parliament from bench! Come see the liberal judges making policy and over-ruling parliament from bench!

      • (meant to be sung to the tune of "Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed! " from Dennis the anarcho-syndicalist peasant in Holy Grail)

        • Bloody peasant! I got it before I read your second post!

          • glad to hear it, oblique references are fun, but I don't like it when mine seem to cross into the obtuse!

    • http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Prohibition/3371

      As examples of just how the prison population will expand, selling any quantity of marijuana will now become a ''serious'' crime or, having your friends over for a Friday Night poker game can also be considered as a ''serious'' crime…

      Libertarians supposedly scored a point on the census changes (I don't believe that for a second), and lost 10 points on this!

      • Cosh is one of the few reasonably consistent libertarian writers around. Most of what I hear – and certainly what neocons shovel out – is a mix of selective libertarianism and retarded socialism.

        • The liberals hope to protect us from ourselves and provide forgiveness when we fail. The neocons, on the other hand, simply wish first to judge and then to punish us for our sins.

          • Unfortunately, it's not just that they want to judge us and punish us for our sins, they also want to punish us for the sins that people we do legal business with might be thinking of maybe committing in concert with other people we may or may not know.

          • they also want to punish us for the sins that people we do legal business with might be thinking of maybe committing in concert with other people we may or may not know.

            Let's be reasonable, LKO – see the qualification and linked judicial reasoning above, which includes discussion of the legislatures intention, which is not how you describe it.

            Also note, as Cosh points out, the provisions to which you refer were enacted by a decidedly non-neocon Liberal majority parliament. The CPC just wants to compound the original mistake, by making it really stick. :)

          • Oh, I agree that our judges will stop this from getting too out of hand, but to me that's rather cold comfort!

            :-)

  12. Indeed, if an issue regarding the Great Lakes, or diversion of the Red River comes up I would expect him to do the miraculous and pull a homophonic variation on John 2: 1-11.

  13. Will unreported crime rise with the advent of unknowing criminals?

    • We'll never know. That's the beauty of the whole scheme. It's auditor proof.

  14. Wouldn't a registry be intrusive?

  15. I agree.

    • Whereas libertarianism tends to consider the rights of a woman as not worth anything. She's just a disposable fetus-carrier, right boys?

      • Holly, what Olaf was trying to say is that libertarianism has nothing to say about the abortion issue. (well actually he did say that) On this board, most of the notable libertarians have conservative Christian beliefs and are pro-life, but it would be easy to find an libertarian atheist that is just as strongly pro-choice.

        Personally, I agree that a woman has an absolute right to dictate what happens to her body.

        I also believe the life of a child is a precious thing and I can agree that the moment of birth is an arbitrary definition of when that life acquires value. Also there is no moment of birth… I have been there, it takes forever.

        The obvious alternative to moment of birth is conception, which I also reject.

        You might ask then how I reconcile the above, the answer is that I can't. I really don't believe there is an clear, logical, ethical solution to conflict of rights between the fetus/unborn child and the mother.

        • Your libertarianism appears more consistent to me. I'd say a libertarian who holds conservative Christian beliefs and is pro-life is a libertarian who thinks liberty is for men only, not for women.

          • The extent of my libertarianism is that I often do not wear a lifejacket. Indeed I believe that rather than export recent Canadian immigrants who have actually chosen Canada we should toss those born here who reject her social constructs.

            There is, however, that pesky Charter thing. Indeed, I view its recent introduction as intrinsic to Canada's coming of age.

            Yet another unresolved conflict.

  16. Bill-C95 was the first attempt to make Organized Crime an indictable offense. It made many amendments and additions to the Criminal Code of Canada. Since then Bill-C24 was introduced in January 2002, it made further amendments to the Criminal Code including Section 467.1. So, if this new Bill was researched it would essentially change this whole article. Also, Section 467.1 does not attempt to define organized crime, as it is stated above, Section 2 of the criminal code is set aside for all definitions. I would expect more credibility from a Maclean's article.