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2022 CPC Leadership Discussion: Et tu Redeux

brihard

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Even if pretty much everyone knows that existing laws…properly used/enforced…would address such situations, if there’s a consolidating/focused legislation package that splits the difference between “not using existing law” and “going full EA-tard,” I suspect many will see that as a decent mid-point solution to addressing the extremes of inaction/ultimate action.
No, because it takes a Provincial purview (the administration of law and justice) and awkwardly jams an unnecessary federal wrench in works that are gummed up purely at the municipal and/or provincial level. Even with such an infrastructure bill in place, it still only empowers police (though in ways we’re already sufficiently empowered). It doesn’t mandate us. Unless Parliament were to explicitly carve out new responsibilities to assign to the Mounties under the RCMP act, there’s no functional change to enforcement mandates or responsibilities.

It’s electoral theatre.
 

TacticalTea

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Theatre. Such blockades already constitute criminal offences; Mischief being the most easily applied one. Police don’t need court orders to clear out such protests. The choice to wait for one in recent cases was a political decision, not a legal necessity. The only bit of this law that would address an actual thing that existing law doesn’t already cover would be the stripping of charitable status for tax purposes.
Out of curiosity; whose political decision was that?
 

brihard

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Out of curiosity; whose political decision was that?
Dunno, I can’t speak to that. It would depend on which particular protest one might be talking about, and the respective governance structures and power dynamics between the police of jurisdiction and the applicable municipal or provincial governments. I’m simply saying that, generally, the necessary law already existed to make the things being done offenses under provincial law, criminal law, or both, and that either way, police officers had the necessary legal enforcement authorities had they been allowed to use them. This applies whether you’re talking to Ottawa convoy, the Ambassador bridge, the logging protests in BC, or what have you.
 

TacticalTea

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Dunno, I can’t speak to that. It would depend on which particular protest one might be talking about, and the respective governance structures and power dynamics between the police of jurisdiction and the applicable municipal or provincial governments. I’m simply saying that, generally, the necessary law already existed to make the things being done offenses under provincial law, criminal law, or both, and that either way, police officers had the necessary legal enforcement authorities had they been allowed to use them. This applies whether you’re talking to Ottawa convoy, the Ambassador bridge, the logging protests in BC, or what have you.
Okay.

And just to make sure I'm reading your comments from the right perspective, were you saying you're a LEO?
 

brihard

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Okay.

And just to make sure I'm reading your comments from the right perspective, were you saying you're a LEO?
Yep. Sorry, it’s pretty broadly known among those who’ve been here for a while, I missed that you wouldn’t necessarily have been aware.

Long and the short of it is, as soon as a group of people start blocking roads, premises, or the lawful activities of others or their use or enjoyment of property, there will be offences there that we would have legal authority to enforce; at that point it’s a matter of will. So my comment about a new federal statute to criminalize blocking infrastructure in protests being ‘theatre’ is coming from that standpoint. It may provide a more explicitly tailored offence to more specific fact sets, but it doesn’t really give us powers we didn’t already have.

Take, for instance, the Ottawa convoy. Police could already direct traffic and tow vehicles at owners’ expense if they blocked public roads, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Anyone interfering with police doing that could be charged criminally with obstruction. Those blocking roads or other property such that other people can’t use it could be criminally charged with mischief. Likewise those slamming truck horns and keeping people awake. There are legal authorities to deem an assembly unlawful or even a riot, and to arrest and charge as needed. Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from on that.
 

TacticalTea

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Yep. Sorry, it’s pretty broadly known among those who’ve been here for a while, I missed that you wouldn’t necessarily have been aware.

Long and the short of it is, as soon as a group of people start blocking roads, premises, or the lawful activities of others or their use or enjoyment of property, there will be offences there that we would have legal authority to enforce; at that point it’s a matter of will. So my comment about a new federal statute to criminalize blocking infrastructure in protests being ‘theatre’ is coming from that standpoint. It may provide a more explicitly tailored offence to more specific fact sets, but it doesn’t really give us powers we didn’t already have.

Take, for instance, the Ottawa convoy. Police could already direct traffic and tow vehicles at owners’ expense if they blocked public roads, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Anyone interfering with police doing that could be charged criminally with obstruction. Those blocking roads or other property such that other people can’t use it could be criminally charged with mischief. Likewise those slamming truck horns and keeping people awake. There are legal authorities to deem an assembly unlawful or even a riot, and to arrest and charge as needed. Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from on that.
You good, I just wanted to be sure ;P

I think that, especially in electoral contexts, almost everything politicians say is simplistic and would not actually solve problems. They package orientations that are digestible for the public, though utterly idiotic to any expert. And I think this applies to every field.

Have a politician talking about medicine, the doctors will tell you their ''solution'' is missing the mark; have them talk about nuclear energy, the physicists will say that the politician doesn't understand anything, etc.

So while I agree that this is probably not all that clever, it also seems to me that it is the direction given by Charest. He provides the political leadership... teams of actual subject matter experts and advisors will eventually develop a policy that is more appropriate. I think it is distinguishable from populism in that the latter serves strictly to please the electorate, and not actually to find workable solutions.

That's generally how it works in the military, and is what I've observed from political leaders as well, I'm not singling out Charest here. Plus, that is how people vote. They don't really examine platform points one by one, by rather, get a general idea of the candidate and make their decision based on their overall preferences.

Now regarding the issue at hand itself; I'm of the opinion that there should be greater separation of police and politics. Would you agree that political and administrative powers have often exerted undue influence on police forces in recent years? So it seems to me like we do need some sort of policy that would compel law enforcement agencies to act more swiftly and decisively against threats to the national interest and the economy. Maybe his solution isn't actually good, but at least he's bringing it up and making it an issue on the mediatic-political scene.
 

lenaitch

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Theatre. Such blockades already constitute criminal offences; Mischief being the most easily applied one. Police don’t need court orders to clear out such protests. The choice to wait for one in recent cases was a political decision, not a legal necessity. The only bit of this law that would address an actual thing that existing law doesn’t already cover would be the stripping of charitable status for tax purposes.

The only value I would see in such legislation would be where the critical infrastructure is private property; such as a railway, where there needs to be a determination that the lawful enjoyment or operation of their property is interfered with (a victim, as it were). Companies usually do that via the courts and law enforcement waits for that to happen.

Similarly, where blockades, etc. are related to FN land or treaty claims, a court injunction at least considers the issue of colour of right, on both sides (land/treaty rights vs. exploration/development licence).

Pretty thin soup, I agree, since one side most often simply ignores them and the other is often reluctant to enforce them in a timely manner.

I wasn't there, you were, but I still maintain that Ottawa PS had some serious leadership and governance issues going on that allowed the situation to spiral.
 

lenaitch

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Now regarding the issue at hand itself; I'm of the opinion that there should be greater separation of police and politics. Would you agree that political and administrative powers have often exerted undue influence on police forces in recent years? So it seems to me like we do need some sort of policy that would compel law enforcement agencies to act more swiftly and decisively against threats to the national interest and the economy. Maybe his solution isn't actually good, but at least he's bringing it up and making it an issue on the mediatic-political scene.
I'll jump in here as well (former LEO). You statement seems to contradict itself; on one hand claiming that there is undue civilian influence on police operations, then wanting a policy that does just that.

Law enforcement operates at the behest of civilian authority and is subject to civilian oversight. Some commentators, often professional ones, take various interpretations of the extent or manner of civilian direction of the police; usually to decry that they did/did not do enough/too much to protect or control their particular hobby horse. Generally, I think it works reasonably well in Ontario most of the time.

It is a perfect world? Absolutely not. In the 'Ottawa convoy' context, I haven't heard of any allegations of overt political interference.; although there was clearly an issue with the relationship between the chief, PSB and council, as well between the chief and his command staff. In Windsor, things went pretty damned well. Did Mike Harris say he "wanted the damned Indians out of the park" in 1995? Yup. Was that direction given to the OPP Commissioner? Nope. Did his views get conveyed to the police commanders at Ipperwash? Yup, but not as direction. The wheels fell off that operation all on its own.

Injunctions, emergency orders, legislation aside, law enforcement always has to consider public and member safety. Operations and plans can never have acceptable losses, and individual members are individually accountable for their actions. Things get done, just not always at the speed that makes everybody happy.
 

TacticalTea

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I'll jump in here as well (former LEO). You statement seems to contradict itself; on one hand claiming that there is undue civilian influence on police operations, then wanting a policy that does just that.
Pretty disingenuous to boil it down to a contradiction that it isn't. There's a world of difference between stated policy / legislation, and direction at the whim of a politician, whose strategy varies based on their electoral prospects.

Perhaps I should've worded it differently. ''Ensure political and electoral concerns do not affect LE operations'' instead of ''compel LE agencies to act''.
 

lenaitch

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So the revised statement would be: "So it seems to me like we do need some sort of policy that would ensure political and electoral concerns do not affect LE operations." compel law enforcement agencies to act more swiftly and decisively against threats to the national interest and the economy.

Maybe it's the hour or my age, or both, but I'm not getting what you are proposing. An example might help. All the policy or legislation in the world can't prevent somebody from colouring outside of their lines if they are hell-bent on doing so.

In Ontario, the Police Services Act is fairly clear on the relationship between a municipal chief and their Police Service Board (council has no codified role). For the OPP, locally they have a similar relationship to their client municipal governments, and the Solicitor General only has the authority of 'general direction'.

Note: I have to go out of town for a day or so and will likely be off-scope unless I can't sleep.
 

Eaglelord17

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Intimidation

  • 423 (1) Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, wrongfully and without lawful authority, for the purpose of compelling another person to abstain from doing anything that he or she has a lawful right to do, or to do anything that he or she has a lawful right to abstain from doing,
    • (a) uses violence or threats of violence to that person or their intimate partner or children, or injures the person’s property;
    • (b) intimidates or attempts to intimidate that person or a relative of that person by threats that, in Canada or elsewhere, violence or other injury will be done to or punishment inflicted on him or her or a relative of his or hers, or that the property of any of them will be damaged;
    • (c) persistently follows that person;
    • (d) hides any tools, clothes or other property owned or used by that person, or deprives him or her of them or hinders him or her in the use of them;
    • (e) with one or more other persons, follows that person, in a disorderly manner, on a highway;
    • (f) besets or watches the place where that person resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    • (g) blocks or obstructs a highway.
  • Marginal note: Exception
    (2) A person who attends at or near or approaches a dwelling-house or place, for the purpose only of obtaining or communicating information, does not watch or beset within the meaning of this section.

We have the laws at hand to deal with most of this stuff, the fact we choose not to utilize them is a whole other issue.
 

TacticalTea

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So the revised statement would be: "So it seems to me like we do need some sort of policy that would ensure political and electoral concerns do not affect LE operations." compel law enforcement agencies to act more swiftly and decisively against threats to the national interest and the economy.

Maybe it's the hour or my age, or both, but I'm not getting what you are proposing. An example might help. All the policy or legislation in the world can't prevent somebody from colouring outside of their lines if they are hell-bent on doing so.

In Ontario, the Police Services Act is fairly clear on the relationship between a municipal chief and their Police Service Board (council has no codified role). For the OPP, locally they have a similar relationship to their client municipal governments, and the Solicitor General only has the authority of 'general direction'.

Note: I have to go out of town for a day or so and will likely be off-scope unless I can't sleep.
So the answer to that is that I don't actually have an answer. On the specific legal and political questions and machinations surrounding law enforcement operations across jurisdictions and agencies, I am not an expert. I'm just another member of the public. So I can't tell you what needs to happen for this issue to be resolved.

What's plainly apparent though, is that - as I've seen in the media or in the course of my own professional work - there have been multiple cases in recent years of politically-motivated actors disrupting our country's development and economic stability as well as individuals engaging in criminal activities to the detriment of their communities, only for them to encounter a lackluster response from the government as a whole. The consequences are far-reaching and actually degrade investors' and partners' confidence that we can actually take projects to completion and run them smoothly. From a more local perspective, LEOs have told me they can't enforce the law in a manner that would serve justice because political interests have dictated that certain groups are protected one way or another.

I would like to see actions to tackle this issue. And the only one talking about it right now... is Charest.
 

QV

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Pierre Poilievre has some serious momentum. He'll get my vote if he takes the leadership of the CPC.
 

Navy_Pete

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So far it seems consistent that the various candidates are popular amongst Conservatives, but actively alienate other voters to go Liberal.

Really doesn't matter if PP has serious momentum amongst Conservative voters if it just means they'll be in opposition (against a possible majority Lib govt).
 

QV

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This country will get the government it deserves. If it votes in Trudeau or a Trudeau/Singh coalition again, it deserves everything it gets.
 

Haggis

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Yep. Sorry, it’s pretty broadly known among those who’ve been here for a while, I missed that you wouldn’t necessarily have been aware.

Long and the short of it is, as soon as a group of people start blocking roads, premises, or the lawful activities of others or their use or enjoyment of property, there will be offences there that we would have legal authority to enforce; at that point it’s a matter of will. So my comment about a new federal statute to criminalize blocking infrastructure in protests being ‘theatre’ is coming from that standpoint. It may provide a more explicitly tailored offence to more specific fact sets, but it doesn’t really give us powers we didn’t already have.

Take, for instance, the Ottawa convoy. Police could already direct traffic and tow vehicles at owners’ expense if they blocked public roads, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Anyone interfering with police doing that could be charged criminally with obstruction. Those blocking roads or other property such that other people can’t use it could be criminally charged with mischief. Likewise those slamming truck horns and keeping people awake. There are legal authorities to deem an assembly unlawful or even a riot, and to arrest and charge as needed. Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from on that.
We have the laws at hand to deal with most of this stuff, the fact we choose not to utilize them is a whole other issue.

Remember, though, it's a Canadian tradition to create new laws where no need exists.
 

Navy_Pete

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So ignore the reality of the Canadian voting demographics when selecting a leader, then blame that for staying opposition? Winning strategy.

Right now the Liberals are much more effective about staying in power, and the NDP are more effective at getting some platform items implemented, so looks like a safe bet that CPC will not be able to implement any party platform items on the current trajectory. They'll be visibly annoyed I guess, so shares and likes friendly among the party faithful.
 

Brad Sallows

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The most likely candidate to succeed a Liberal PM is a Conservative. Eventually this will happen. The candidate will be chosen by Conservatives. The majority of Canadians who swing the election will not be deeply politically involved or aware; the worse the party in power is at dealing with the events of the day, the more extreme the alternative can be and still be electable. Those who care deeply about narrow issues will mostly have no influence at the point in time when the mob swings. At each election opportunity, the choice is "this one, or wait for the next one"? Sometimes, the choice is "the bad fit now while I have some influence" versus "the worse fit later when the mob decides".
 
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