April 16, 2013
CCF will take on Bruce and Donna Montague’s case after Doug Christie’s death left them without counsel to fight property forfeiture
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) announced today that it would provide legal counsel to Bruce and Donna Montague of Dryden, Ontario in their ongoing legal battle against government efforts to seize virtually all of their assets.
Bruce Montague was a licensed gunsmith and firearms dealer who believed that Canada’s gun licensure laws were unconstitutional. He deliberately allowed his firearms licences to expire in 2003 so that he would be charged with an offence and could challenge the constitutionality of the law in court. However, the Ontario courts rejected his constitutional arguments, and the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear his appeal.
As a result, Bruce was convicted of 25 paperwork crimes involving his firearms. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail plus probation, and is now permanently prohibited from possessing firearms. He therefore cannot resume his career as a gunsmith.
Donna Montague, Bruce’s wife, likewise let her firearms licence expire and was convicted of a single offence.
The federal government has applied under the Criminal Code to force the Montagues to forfeit ownership of all the firearms they own, including Bruce’s business inventory. The value of these assets exceeds $100,000.
The Ontario government has also brought a civil action claiming forfeiture of the same firearms plus the Montagues’ home, which contained Bruce’s shop. Ontario alleges the properties are either “proceeds of unlawful activity” or “instruments of unlawful activity” as defined by the Civil Remedies Act of 2001.
The Montagues were previously represented by lawyer Doug Christie, who died in March, 2013 of cancer.
Karen Selick, litigation director for the CCF, said: “I have been concerned about the Civil Remedies Act here in Ontario ever since it was introduced as a bill in December, 2000. I welcome the opportunity to defend this couple against financial ruin by a rapacious, opportunistic government.”
Selick wrote about the Montague case in the Calgary Herald last summer. Here’s her article “Just like Russia, Canada Persecutes Its Protesters” - http://www.canadianconstitutionfoundation.ca/...
Selick has also written several newspaper articles opposing the Civil Remedies Act, including these :
“Ontario Wants to Put a Grab on Property Rights” - http://www.karenselick.com/NP001207.html
“Go Ahead—Make Our Day” - http://www.karenselick.com/GM010110.html
“Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws Punish the Innocent and Corrupt the State” - http://www.karenselick.com/CCF090903.html
Selick also appeared as a witness before the Ontario legislature’s Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy in 2001, opposing the passage of the Civil Remedies Act. Here is a transcript of her remarks: http://www.karenselick.com/...
In September, 2012, Selick spoke about civil asset forfeiture at an Ottawa conference on property rights. Her talk, “Property Forfeiture- the Trojan Horse of Law Enforcement” can be seen on YouTube, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByhWQX9HUJw
Selick will be assisted in handling the Montague case by her associate Derek From, a lawyer in the Calgary office of the CCF.
The CCF is a registered charity in Canada and the United States and it issues tax receipts for donations of $25 or more.
Please give generously to support the CCF in its defence of Bruce and Donna Montague. Click here to donate: http://www.theccf.ca/donate
Click the “Yes” button when asked if you’d like to designate your donation to a specific project. A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Bruce & Donna Montague (Property Forfeiture/Firearms)”.
Thank you for supporting the CCF in this important case.
Canadian Constitution Foundation
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