News You May Have Missed...

web posted June 1997

Federal Justice Minister Interferes with Justice!

The federal Justice Minister Allan Rock forced the Alberta Fish and Game Association's (AFGA) original team of lawyers to resign the AFGA as their client on the Alberta government led constitutional challenge to Bill C-68, the gun control bill.

When the AFGA was granted intervener status by the Alberta courts in December of 1996, it retained a law firm that was well recommended to them. Shortly thereafter, Justice Canada advised the firm that they would be
considered in conflict due to the firm being involved in some special drug prosecution cases. The firm advised Justice Canada that they felt there was no conflict, as there was no connection between the two issues.

It was not until Justice Minister Allan Rock personally intervened that the AFGA was advised that they would have to find a new team. The suggestion was that if they did not withdraw from the case, that not only would the firm loose the special drug prosecution cases, but they would also find themselves being subject to a review of their actions by the Law Society.

Once again Rock proves that the law is secondary to his whims and desires. Here is a letter sent out by AFGA about the case:

May 13, 1997

This is something that not only all firearms owners should know about, but also something all Canadians should know.

It is the sad story of to what extremes the Liberal government and Allan Rock will go to shut down any opposition to Bill C-68.

As many of you know, the Alberta Fish and Game Association (AFGA) has been granted intervenor status on the constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court of Alberta that the province of Alberta and five other governments have issued against the federal government's Bill C-68.

When the AFGA was granted intervenor status, we employed a team a lawyers that we were familiar with. It was a large, well diversified law firm which had ample resources for dealing with the intricacies involving a complicated case such as this.

Here is what happened. Within 10 days of the AFGA engaging the firm, they got a phone call from the Regional Director of Western Canada for Justice. The regional director told the legal firm that they were to fire the AFGA as a client. The reason he gave us was that Justice Canada considered the firm to be in conflict as that firm did some special federal drug prosecution cases.

The firm told that regional manager in uncertain terms that they were not in agreement and they would not drop us as a client.

The next day, the Deputy Minister of Justice from Ottawa called, and again told them the same thing. Again, the firm told the Deputy Minister in no uncertain terms that they did not feel they were in conflict and they would not drop us.

Within an hour, the Justice Minister, Allan Rock himself phone the senior partners of the firm and told them that they will drop the AFGA as a client, and, if they did not, that, not only would they lose any federal government work that they were doing, but also, Rock would ensure that they would be called before the Alberta Bar Society and a judicial review would be instituted on the firm. No legal firm can afford the expense and possible consequences that result from such actions. Out lawyer called me into his office, and, with an extreme amount of embarrassment, advised me that he would have to fire us as a client. He was visibly upset about this situation, and told me that in 20 years of practice, had never had this type of pressure or situation before. (We still use him for other non-C-68 matters).

He arranged our file to be transferred to a firm that specializes solely in constitutional law. They have done an exemplary job to date and we have a huge amount of confidence in their ability.

Rock threatened the AFGA with all sorts of audits if we did not drop out intervenor status. Is is right that Rock can threaten to have the AFGA's charitable status pulled if we did not drop the case?

Is the kind of government and leadership we want...one based on threats, rather than letting justice take its court? The AFGA can accept court decisions that might go against it, it can not accept the federal Minister of Justice interfering with the court and justice system to further his aims.

The AFGA is under threat of losing its charitable status. We are spending money on financing this court case that we don't have. We are very careful to ensure that we do not give any charitable receipts for donations to this fight, and we are well within legislative limits on expenditures on activities that may be construed as not being related to matters that are classified as charitable.

Please, spread the word of this far and wide. Let everyone know to what lengths out existing federal Liberal government and Rock will go to oppose us who believe that C-68 is tainted legislation.

Andy von Busse
Alberta Fish and Game Association

New Institute Opens Doors on Property Rights

The Canadian Property Rights Research Institute (CanPRRI) was unveiled late May with the mission "to research the role of the individual's right to own property in creating a free and prosperous society."

The idea for the Institute began a couple of years ago, but the threat of Bill C-65, the Canada Endangered Species Protection Act, created the urgency to establish the Institute. The Act sounded the alarm for Canadians from coast to coast. "There is 20 years of evidence from the United States to show that this command-and-control approach to species protection has been an unqualified failure," says Danielle Smith, Managing Director for the new institute. In the U.S. billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, enormous tracts of private land have been set aside without compensation for landowners, and not a single species has been saved. "This Act has destroyed investments and ruined lives," says Smith. Although the federal election prevented Bill C-65 from passing Parliament, it will inevitably resurface. Some of the goals of the Institute are to ensure that the Canadian public is made aware of the consequences of such an Act and to provide some alternative solutions that conserve resources and protect environmental quality.

The fact that property rights are not protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms means that government can confiscate land and property without compensating owners. This affects not only homeowners and agricultural producers, but mining and forestry lease holders, sport enthusiasts, and intellectual property developers such as pharmaceutical companies and computer software firms. The Institute will commission research studies on property rights issues and publish the results in scholarly papers, books, articles, the media, and the Internet. The organization's premiere event will be to host a property rights conference in March 1998.

The institute is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy research and educational institute incorporated under the Societies Act in Alberta. In order to remain independent, CanPRRI accepts no government funding. The Institute relies on support from individual contributions and sponsors in petroleum, accounting, real estate, insurance, agriculture, mining, forestry, and other commercial sectors.

Smith has told me that CanPRRI will have a website up within a few days, so check back for the URL. Support organizations that support your freedom.

Promote Canada...Take the Free Website in the United States

While you didn't hear much about them during the election, the Canadian Action Party was there and they did have a platform which represents itself as strongly Canadian.

Among their points, CAP argues for a "new lease on life for...entrepreneurs", that governments and companies will work, "not as adversaries, but as partners, to sustain a vibrant economy and create a land of unlimited opportunity". Their half-baked schemes would lead to more than one million new jobs by the year 2000.

Great stuff right?

So why then didn't CAP locate their poorly designed, typo-ridden website in Canada?

CAP decided to locate their website at GeoCities (http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/3749/cap.html) instead of a Canadian provider, robbing this country of some business.

It's hard to beat free, but shouldn't have CAP bit the bullet, spent a few dollars and had a website located in Canada?

I'm not against Canadian's locating websites in the United States, or anywhere else outside of Canada. Enter Stage Right's second site is located on GeoCities just a couple of neighbourhoods away from CAP's website. What I am against is a political party placing Canadian flags on their website, pounding away at their patriotism, and promotion of the Canadian economy from abroad.

I sent CAP some email asking them about this, but at press time no response was received. If you'd like an answer too, email CAP at cap-pac@istar.ca. At least their email account is located here...

B.C. Government Blinks on Election Gag Law: Won't Charge NCC

The National Citizens' Coalition won't be charged with violating the BC NDP's election gag law.
"It's official," said NCC president David Somerville. "Under the law the NDP government had one year to charge us and the year is up."
The NCC ran its highly publicized "Radio Free BC" and "Television Free BC" media campaign during the 1996 provincial election, which attacked the NDP for its election gag law as draconian violation of free speech.
The NCC also had a "Cyber Resistance" Internet webpage. On the first day of the election campaign, Elections BC bureaucrats threatened the NCC with prosecution unless it stopped the campaign.
Somerville said the NDP's decision to not charge his group was right if belated.
"Premier Clark should now admit the gag law is wrong and scrap it," he says.
"We weren't charged because the NDP government knows its gag law is unconstitutional," says Somerville. "Twice courts have shot down federal election gag laws because they violated free speech. Clark needs to do the right thing and get rid of his gag law."
The BC gag law threatens citizens with up to one year imprisonment for spending more than $5 000, individually or as a group, to support or oppose, directly or indirectly, parties or candidates during provincial elections.

The Rich are Guilty...of Giving!

A friend who is not given to exaggeration or fibs told me this happened last month:

Last month a group of hard working Canadians decided to picket against wealth and capitalism outside of an industrial concern. Bad wealthy people...bad.

At the same time those hard working Canadians were protesting, the head of the company was giving $6-million for a cardiac care unit at one of the local hospitals. Without his donation, the cardiac care unit would not have been possible.

Yeah, those hard working Canadians were right. Wealth is bad.

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