“Even though they were never found guilty of a crime related to the raid, the government went after their house using a rare legal procedure called civil forfeiture… (which) targets property that is ‘a proceed or an instrument of unlawful activity’… Yet no conviction – not even a charge – is necessary for a seizure.”
The above is taken from the article “Charges dropped, Oshawa house still seized as proceed of crime” posted by durhamregion.com on August 20th.
And elsewhere, “In Orillia, the crown is attempting to secure the forfeiture of two rooming houses, arguing that tenants were selling drugs and their rent payments are proceeds of crime. The landlords have not been charged with any crime but are being held liable for the alleged crimes of their tenants.”
Good grief, are we living in the old Soviet Union? This is utterly appalling. What really bothers me is that by using the civil courts when their case is not good enough for a criminal conviction, the police can seize property on the basis of a “balance of probabilities”.
The opportunities for revenge or the exercise of sheer malice are obvious, and if the police decide to make someone’s life a living hell, this can be the way to do it.
All they have to do is partly convince a judge – 51% will do – that a property was obtained by crime or used in the commission of a crime, and it can be seized by the state. And, as with the Oshawa case, the legal fees would possibly exceed the value of the property being seized, so it’s easier to cave in and take the loss either by surrendering the property, or by buying it back – if that is possible.
And what about free speech rights? Take me, for example. I operate this website from my house. Provincial attorney-general spokesman Brendan Crawley is quoted as saying, “An instrument is property that is likely to be used to engage in unlawful activity, such as a house used as a marijuana grow operation.”
What if, perhaps in response to pressure from special-interest groups, the Ontario attorney-general decides that there are insufficient grounds for a criminal prosecution against me under the “hate laws”, but decides to commence a civil action to seize my house as an “instrument of crime”, just to punish me and to curry favour with those complaining?
Ridiculous though that may sound, I would likely not have sufficient funds to fight such a case, and may well lose by default.
Remember, Canada is the country in which bureaucrats can seize wages and bank accounts to pay income tax bills just by signing a form – no reference to the courts is required, they can just grab your assets, including the fruits of your labour, with the stroke of a pen.
And thanks to Pierre Elliot Trudeau, our “constitution” does not include the right to own property.
Canada has all the appearances of democracy, but we are given a “choice” of cookie-cutter political parties which differ only in the relative speeds at which they propel us towards future socialist enslavement.
Free speech and property ownership can be taken away very easily if you challenge the state or offend the wrong people, and the police seem to care little about beating or even killing unarmed civilians if it takes their fancy.
Canada is, in fact, well on the way towards becoming a Nazi-like totalitarian state, and the sooner people wake up and pay attention the better.
See “Charges dropped, Oshawa house still seized as proceed of crime” here.
See my letter “Echoes of the Soviet Union” (August 26th) here.