January 15, 2019

Guilty until proven Innocent in Canada

Timothy Birdnow

Here is how liberty dies. Using the pretext of keeping the public safe, the Canadian government has imposed draconian laws that fundamentally alter the relationship of the citizen to the State.

From the article by Arthur Weinreb at Canada Free Press:

Under the old law, police who lawfully stopped a motorist could demand breath samples be given into a roadside screening device only if the officer had a "reasonable suspicion” the driver had alcohol in his or her system. The reasonable suspicion would be formed if the officer could smell alcohol or observe other indicia of impairment. The new law does away with the need of "reasonable suspicion.” Any driver who is lawfully stopped by a police officer can be required to provide breath samples even if there is no evidence the person had been drinking.
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It didn’t take long to see the results of these new amendments. In Ontario, empty liquor bottles as well as empty beer bottles can be returned to a beer store for a refund. Taking liquor bottles back to beer stores for refunds is done in the name of recycling. On Jan. 5, Art Lightowler, a 70-year-old resident of Mississauga, took three cases of empties back to the beer store. He was seen committing this horrendous act by a police officer who waited for the senior to drive off. After Lightowler drove away he was stopped. The officer told him the three cases of empties were a lot, he was obviously a drinker and he was then asked when he last had a drink. Lightowler said he last drank around midnight the day before.

The cop then demanded he provide a breath sample. Lightowler asked what would happened if he refused to take the breath test and was told he would be charged with a criminal offence and would be looking at a minimum fine of $2,000 and a licence suspension for one year (penalties for drinking and driving offences were increased under the new law). Lightowler provided a sample, passed and was allowed to go on his way. (Toronto Sun, Jan. 10)

[...]

As bad as the above was, there was another change to the law that is much worse and that is being ignored by much of the Trudeau-loving media.

The law has been changed so a police officer can demand a person provide breath samples up to two hours AFTER the person has been driving. This is the most draconian section of the new law and was supposedly passed to get around the following situation. Police are advised a certain vehicle is driving erratically. By the time it is located, it is parked in a driveway and the driver is in the house drinking. It is impossible to know how much, if any, alcohol the driver had in his or her blood at the time of driving. Under the new law, if the person ends up being charged with an offence, the onus is on them to prove they had not been driving illegally within the preceding two hours. This change also avoids the situation where someone drinks a lot of booze quickly and speeds home so if they are stopped, the alcohol has not yet been absorbed into their blood. Police now can simply wait up to two hours for the alcohol to be absorbed.

Lawyer Daniel Brown gave the following example. A husband and wife go to a bar and the husband drives. He plans to drink but his wife will not and she will drive home. Police could enter the bar and, within two hours of the man driving, demand a breath sample. If he fails or refuses to blow he can be charged criminally. It matters not he was completely sober when he drove to the bar or that he had no intention of driving home after drinking. The onus is on him, not the state, to prove he did not drink and drive. If he has thousands of dollars to pay for lawyers and toxicologists, he has a chance of meeting this reverse onus and getting off. (CBC, Jan. 11)

The government justifies this abuse of peoples’ rights by saying they are essentially no big deal; the law if justified for the greater good of combating the evil of drinking and driving. And it’s no big deal to avoid problems with the police. People like Lightowler will just have to learn to make three trips to the beer store to return three cases of empties. And in Brown’s example, if the wife could drive home she could damn well have driven to the bar.

Not only are these changes in the law bringing Canada into a true police state where people are guilty unless they prove they are innocent, these changes are not likely to do anything to decrease drinking and driving. As Brown pointed out, it is almost unheard of that someone drinks quickly and then drives before the alcohol can be absorbed into their bloodstream. And, it is not that frequent that someone who is suspected of drinking and driving will make it to a place where they can drink before police show up.
Now Canada essentially demands proof of innocence rather than proof of guilt. And if the rights of Canadian citizens is exempted in this fashion over one thing it can be exempted over another. How long before Canada forces those accused of serious crimes - like murder, or rape - to prove their innocence?

That is what has been happening at American and Canadian universities for some time in regards to "sexual assault" - a catchall phrase that encompasses breaking up with a woman or rebuffing her advances. The accused has to prove innocence, and I am of the opinion the Left wants to make that standard the national standard for anyone, in college or not. The new drunk driving laws in Canada merely extend this standard to the criminal realm, and it will be promoted here in the States in short order.

People in bygone eras understood that freedom presupposes a certain amount of risk. One cannot have a society that is bot free and absolutely safe. You are much safer locked in a cell than you are out in the world, after all. But the Left has promoted all manner of behaviors and ideas that are fundamentally at odds with personal security (such as lenient prison sentences for real criminals, sexual deviancy, or violent behavior as "self expression") than they offer safety imposed by law. But who is being kept safe, and in what manner? The cure is, in many ways, worse than the disease. Innocent people are hurt in the Liberal steamroll to make everyone safe, like it or not. And they know that the real issues that would promote security for the individual are not being addressed.

In other words, they broke it and want to fix it by empowering themselves.

Everything comes back to government control with the Progressives. They eschew personal responsibility, or Christian morality, as a means to promote societal stability, and take every pain to dismantle the institutions and beliefs that make society orderly and safe, but then they turn around and use the resultant chaos as a tool to promote new powers, new laws, new institutions designed to expand their stranglehold on society.

This is only the beginning for Canada, and for the rest of us.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:36 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Posted by: Alicia S. at September 24, 2020 11:16 AM (XueTt)

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