by Warner Bloomfield
Bruce and Donna Montague face a new hurdle in their battle with authorities over the gun registry legislation.
On Sept. 16, the local couple learned the crown had filed and order lacing a lien on their residence which prevents them from using the equity in the home to fund their defence against a series of gun related charges.
Montague says the order was filed by James MeKeachie, Crown Counsel, Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities.
The civil forfeiture laws were initially put in place to fight organized crime but are not restricted to that. They allow governments to seize assets such as bank accounts homes and vehicles.
"Basically we can't try to get a mortgage and can't sell our house. We can't do what we want with our property," Montague says, adding the news floored him and his wife when they heard it last week.
The order is a separate case from the firearms charges the Montagues face and will be heard in a Kenora court on Oct. 5.
Beyond the immediate impact such an order has on his family, Montague says he is disturbed to learn the government is prepared to use such powers in a case that has nothing to do with organized crime.
"It's a prime example of what we are fighting for. This is a people control law." he says of the gun registry legislation.
Officials with the Ontario Attorney General's office were not available for comment at press time.
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