WITH THOMAS FLANAGAN and William Whatcott so heavily in the news, section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms might well be designated trope of the moment. Section 2(b), as we are of late reminded, grants to Canadian citizens their freedoms of conscience and religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression. The Charter also submits these freedoms only to “such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
ON DECEMBER 23, 2011, Ontario Superior Court Justice the Honourable Alan C. R. Whitten rendered his verdict in the case of a vicious beating in Caledonia of builder Sam Gualtieri, by defendant and Six Nations resident Richard Smoke. The judgement has received only a smattering of press attention, most of it issuing from the National Post. My feeling is that there ought to be more attention paid, but of a sort which begins by acknowledging universal failure and the urgent need to do something constructive before southern Ontario becomes a Gaza strip of AK-47-wielding Warriors, rock throwing children, and the Canadian army. If you think this is a dramatic and paranoid fantasy, then you are simply one of the many sleep-walking Canadians who has forgotten (or never bothered to notice) that such a thing has already happened. There is no reason at present to conclude it can’t happen again.
Readers of this humble column of mine know that as a matter of principle I defend the right to unfettered expression of any and all persons, regardless of point-of-view. The other and necessary half of this social compact requires that I subject to deliberation the jingoism, fear-mongering, and stupidity which from time to time result when this right is exercised. And so, Dear Reader, I give you Mr. Charles McVety. Continue reading I Give You Mr. Charles McVety →