September 26, 2005
Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant has crossed a line. That line is the property line of Bruce and Donna Montague, property rights activists from Dryden, Ontario. On September 16, 2005 an Order was filed in the Ontario Superior Court at Kenora placing a Crown lien on the Montague's residence and preventing them from using the equity in their home to fund their Supreme Court Challenge to the Firearms Act. The Order was filed by James McKeachie, Crown Counsel, Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities. If AG Bryant is unaware of the sleazy tactics employed by his bureaucrats in their attempts to undermine legitimate challenges to bad laws then he had better wake up and bring his (and our) employees back in line. If AG Bryant is aware of this order and supports it he is showing support for the most malicious application of one bad law in order to prop up another; and make no mistake, this will become an election issue that will hurt him and his party politically.
Civil forfeiture laws were put in place to deal with organized crime. Period. "Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities" allows government to seize assets such as bank accounts, cash, homes, vehicles requiring reverse onus on the accused to prove the assets were purchased with legitimately gained and taxed income. Over time, "jurisdiction creep" has occurred and anyone accused of a crime by the state may, at the whim of the McKeachies of this world, be subject to this arbitrary law. One need not be convicted of a crime in order to be subject to civil forfeiture. One need not even be charged with a crime. A favorite tactic in some US jurisdictions is to stay criminal charges and proceed with the forfeiture. It is not unheard of to have no criminal charges at all, yet still seize a citizen's assets. Is our government picking and choosing the American laws with which they intend to govern? It would seem they are incorporating American bad habits as well.
The government has two reasons to use civil forfeiture - both of which stink. One is to increase government revenues. Related to this is the fact that most civil forfeiture is split between the general revenues account of government and the police agencies that instigate the action. Individual officers have, in the US, been allowed to personally benefit from such seizures. The second reason is to deny the accused the opportunity to mount an effective defense, since without assets one cannot afford legal and court costs and is at the mercy of the state.
Questions, Mr. Bryant: is anyone in the OPP benefiting from the pending civil forfeiture of the Montague property? Did anyone in the Firearms Center instigate this court order to deprive the Montagues of the funds required for their civil disobedience defense? Did anyone in the Federal Government or anyone acting for a lobby group instigate the Order against the Montagues?
Bruce and Donna Montague have no criminal record and no associations with organized crime. They are acting on behalf of a silent majority of Canadians who demand that property rights and laws protecting property be added to the Charter. The Montagues have staked their future and that of their children in order to challenge a bad law, the Firearms Act. The Firearms Act has not been tested in the Supreme Court and the Montague case would be the first challenge. What is the Federal Government afraid of, if they are behind this attempt to deny the Montagues the opportunity to fund their challenge with the equity in their home? Has government become so arrogant that it doesn't care about what is right? What are Canadians to do if government plays dirty to deny Canadians their day in court? Attorney General Michael Bryant needs to ponder this question, and respond quickly to withdraw his Order against the Montagues. That is the decent, and also the wise, thing to do.
For further information, contact Bruce or Donna directly at (807) 937-2197 or director Joe Gingrich at (306) 276-2158. http://www.BruceMontague.ca
- 30 -
DISCLAIMER: BruceMontague.ca is maintained by friends and
supporters of Bruce Montague.
It is NOT an official mouth-piece for Bruce
Montague's legal defense.