h/t Toronto Sun
Only in Canada do Aboriginals get lenient sentencing when they commit violent acts. Since when should this ever happen? As a citizen of a country, everyone should be treated the same. This only opens the gates to favoritism. Down in Caledonia, the Liberal Government of Ontario allows violent racist attacks on non-Natives. Remember when they shut down the 401 near Kingston a few years back? If they want “fair” treatment, then perhaps they should start paying taxes and stop demanding special rights.
Did Quebec really need to introduce a new law to fight the rioters? Or was it just busy-work to distract from their lack of courage in enforcing existing laws?
Take section 51 of the Criminal Code. Here it is in full: “Everyone who does an act of violence in order to intimidate Parliament or the legislature of a province is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”
This, of course, does not criminalize peaceful protests. It applies only to violent ones — with Molotov cocktails and smashed windows and smoke bombs in Montreal’s subway station.
The rioters are clearly trying to intimidate the legislature into repealing its proposed dollar-a-day tuition increase.
And how about section 467.1 of the Criminal Code? That law deals with criminal organizations — groups of people who get together for the purpose of committing crimes.
In the U.S., this kind of law is called a RICO statute: Racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations laws. It’s the law used to go after the mafia.
In Canada, section 467.1 says a “criminal organization” is “composed of three or more persons” and “has as one of its main purposes … the commission of one or more serious offences that … would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit.”
Let’s break it down. A group of three or more people? Check. That applies to the rioters.
Is one of their main purposes to commit serious offences that would likely result in a direct or indirect benefit by the group? Check. That’s what these riots are all about. Stopping tuition hikes, and getting other freebies.
The Criminal Code has a list of factors that help us decide if an organization meets this test. It includes whether they use a “name, word or symbol” associated with the group. Check — a red square is the rioters’ symbol. And then there’s the Guy Fawkes mask of the Black Bloc.
Whether organizers are paid and whether they have a chain of command is another factor. Again, check — for some of the radical student organizers.
Free speech isn’t a crime. Neither are protests. Neither are student “strikes” — what the rest of us would call playing hookey.
But planning and organizing crimes is a crime — and it makes the organizers a criminal organization.
We use this law to go after the mob. Why shouldn’t we use it to go after these new mobs?
How many smashed windows and torched cars are necessary before we say that these aren’t just young students anymore, these are young criminals?
Can the mafia get away with this now if they just put on a Che Guevara T-shirt and say they’re doing crimes in the name of social justice?
The students should not be beneath the law. They should have the right to freedom. But they should not be above the law. They should have the duty to comply with the Criminal Code. Why haven’t the leaders of this violence — and the organizations that support them — been charged under section 467.1?
It isn’t against the law for big union bosses like those at CUPE in Ontario to send their members’ dues to help finance the protests. But if that money is being sent, knowingly and on purpose, to finance actual violence, that’s a different matter.
A lot of people are watching the law-breaking. They’re learning lessons about what’s allowed now in Canada and what isn’t. Just like the lawlessness at Oka and Caledonia taught lessons about what is accepted when it’s done by Aboriginal militants, too.
Watch for that lesson to be replicated in B.C. to stop the Northern Gateway pipeline.
There aren’t many things we need government to do for us. But one thing is to prove that left or right, Aboriginal or Caucasian, every Canadian must live under the same laws.