James E. Henkel,
298 Bershire Place,
London, On N6J 3N6
519 641 5872
Fax: 519 641 5926
October 24, 2007
The Honourable Rob Nicholson
Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8
Via: Regular Mail, Email & Facsimile
Dear Minister Nicholson:
I am writing to you on a matter of grave concern to me as a Canadian.
As you are aware, the Federal Government has enacted proceeds of crime legislation as a tool to curtail and combat the spread of crime in Canada. The motivation for implementing such legislation was to enable Canadian governments to seize assets of organized crime elements thus limiting their ability to expand their criminal enterprises.
I believe Canadians generally view this as a positive step toward making society safer and reducing criminal activity. It clearly was aimed at criminal gangs as its principal, although not sole, target.
However, this legislation has been utilized in a manner that I trust was unforeseen when it was enacted.
Over the past few years Mr. Bruce Montague, among others, has been a vocal critic of the Liberal’s infamous long gun registry and certain aspects of the firearms legislation they enacted. He, along with many others across Canada, holds that numerous provisions of the Firearms Act (the “Act”) violate Canadians’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Constitution Act of 1982. Mr. Montague, an otherwise upstanding and law abiding Canadian citizen took it upon himself to challenge certain provisions of the Act which he considers unconstitutional. He has done so in an open and peaceful, non-threatening manner. In so doing Mr. Montague achieved what he sought, that is, being charged under the firearms provisions of the Criminal Code, in order to mount a legitimate and legal challenge to those laws.
However, Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario and the Province’s chief law enforcement officer, perverted the intent of the proceeds of crime legislation for his own self aggrandizement and political opportunism. In bringing charges against Mr. Montague, not only has AG Bryant brought to bear the full financial and legal power of the Government of Ontario against Mr. Montague, he has also utilized the proceeds of crime legislation to seize Mr. Montague’s family residence and other assets as a means of preventing him from financing his challenge of the law. Bryant’s actions are not only evidence of his distorted sense of justice but are also immoral, unethical and at complete odds with Canadians’ sense of fair play. Bryant’s decision to utilize the provisions of this legislation in a manner not contemplated by the legislation further erodes the public’s confidence in government and reinforces the growing perception that Canada is gradually migrating to that of a police state and that governments do not exist to serve the people but to suppress them.
Mr. Bryant’s irrational and extremist ranting to ban handguns after each and every death in the Greater Toronto Area have been well documented by major newspapers. However he is completely silent when the deaths of young people result from the use of knives, which as you are aware, are used more frequently than handguns in violent assault as reported by Statistics Canada.
Furthermore, Michael Bryant’s decision to use the legislation in this fashion has discriminated against a group of law abiding citizens focused on preserving democratic rights and freedoms by severely limiting Mr. Montague’s ability to finance his challenge. On the other hand, there seems to be an unlimited amount of funds available to protect the rights of mass murderers, illegal immigrants, those that illegally occupy private land (i.e. in Caledonia) and to fund lobbyists to support the former Liberal Government’s anti-gun agenda.
Minister Nicholson, my letter has a fourfold purpose.
First, I would ask that you seriously consider amending the proceeds of crime legislation to prevent the disgraceful perversion of its use in the future by Michael Bryant and those of similar legal and political views.
Secondly, I ask that you use the influence of your position and office to pressure Mr. Bryant into reversing his decision and to remove the encumbrance on Mr. Montague’s residence.
Thirdly, I would request that you level the playing field for Mr. Montague’s legitimate challenge by providing the necessary financial support for his legal costs in the same manner that the Federal Government paid for the legal costs of Liberal politicians and federal bureaucrats who were part of the scandalous Adscam affair. If those that attempted to hide their violations of the law can be supported financially by the government, surely a man whose highly principled motivation in challenging unfair and deemed unconstitutional law is worthy of such financial support. In addition, the former Liberal Governments directly and indirectly funded Wendy Cukier and her Coalition for Gun Control to lobby the Liberal government in support of its infamous Long Gun Registry and other unconstitutional aspects of the Firearms Act. It is clearly a matter of creating a level playing field and fairness for the Federal Government to provide Mr. Montague with financial support for his highly principled, open, transparent and peaceful challenge.
Lastly, I ask that you instruct the Justice Department to examine the actions of Michael Bryant in bringing to bear the proceeds of crime laws to subvert Mr. Montague’s legitimate and principled efforts.
By way of copy of this letter to Sue Barnes, MP for London West, I ask that she confirm to me and Minister Nicholson in writing her support to amend the proceeds of crime legislation to prevent AG Bryant from imposing his anti-democratic views on well intentioned citizens who pursue change through peaceful means. I also ask MP Barnes to confirm to me and to Minister Nicholson in writing, her support for funding of Mr. Montague’s legal costs and the Federal Justice Department’s examination of Michael Bryant’s conduct in applying the law. And, I ask that she confirm to me and Minister Nicholson in writing the utilization of the influence of his office in seeking to have AG Bryant reverse his anti-democratic decision to encumber Mr. Montague’s residence and other assets.
By way of copy of this letter to Chris Bentley, MPP for London West, I ask that he confirm to me and Minister Nicholson in writing, his support for the Federal Department of Justice examination of Michael Bryant’s conduct in applying the law.
I look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.
James E. Henkel
Sue Barnes, MP London West
Chris Bentley, MPP London West
The Editor – The Globe and Mail
The Editor – The National Post
The Editor – The Toronto Star
The Editor – The Toronto Sun
The Editor – Ottawa Citizen
Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
National Firearms Association
The Honourable Sue Barnes, MP
House of Commons
Fax: (519) 473-7333
Constituency Unit 8- 11 Base Line Rd East
London ON N6C 5Z8
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