King John’s Ontario

Ontario wants to launch the Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) system. It’s a cute name for an extortion racket.

AMP will treat Highway Traffic Act (HTA) offences as a tax that you must pay. The accused cannot contest the charge; only discuss the amount of the penalty or perhaps the number of demerit points. This discussion will occur online with an ‘independent arbiter’.

The arbiter isn’t there to provide justice. You’re already guilty—you can only discuss the amount of the penalty. The money goes to the municipality and the municipality employs the so-called ‘independent arbiter’. The independence is a fiction.

The entire thing is an effort to bilk drivers. The government knows we must drive vehicles to exist in Ontario. Economists call this an inelastic demand. In such a demand, the quantity demanded is the same at any price because we must have it, and therefore, it may be taxed at any rate. The provincial government creates this tax by replacing the judicial process with automatic convictions and arbiters with a quota to meet—true government efficiency at last!

In 2011, the Law Society of Upper Canada specifically told the Law Commission of Ontario that AMP was not appropriate for HTA offences. The Ontario Para Legal Association rightly calls this an egregious violation of our legal rights. In rebuttal, the Ontario government imperiously states that there was a six-week public consultation about AMP that ended a couple of months ago, but I never heard of it and I haven’t found anybody else who heard about it either–some public consultation that was.

This will cause a drastic increase in the cost of insurance for residents of rent-seeking municipalities, as they will acquire artificially bad driver’s records. The term rent-seeking isn’t typically applied to government but I don’t see any alternative. Rent-seeking is seeking to increase your share of existing wealth by using the political process while not creating any new wealth. A rent-seeking government uses its discretionary and legislated authority to extract ‘rent’ for its own benefit.

What economists might call ‘rent-seeking’ is a coercive extortion racket, plain and simple. King John would feel a deep kinship with today’s Ontario government, since this type of behaviour brought about the Magna Carta eight hundred years ago.

UPDATE–1 May 2016:

Ontario scraps idea to take traffic ticket system out of the courts

“Ontario has scrapped a proposal to have people pay traffic tickets online or dispute them outside of court.”

See:  http://www.ottawasun.com/2016/05/01/ontario-scraps-idea-to-take-traffic-ticket-system-out-of-the-courts

How to be a Facebook Spy

If you need access to someone’s Facebook profile this is how to accomplish that task.

Set up an appealing Facebook account, then request to be friends of some people friended by the subject. Wait until some of them accept your friend request. With mutual friends in hand, request to be the subject’s Facebook friend. The subject will see that you have mutual friends and he should accept you as a friend. Then you have access to his profile, photos, postings, and perhaps you may find what you need. However, there are a few legal issues to consider.

If you are an Investigator, and your subject is represented, then asking permission to see his or her page is contact with a represented litigant. In Canada, if the opposing litigant is represented by council, then you may not contact him or her in person, by telephone, or electronically. In most cases you have to ask to be listed as a friend to view the subject’s Facebook page. Doing this will be considered improperly making contact with the litigant and whatever you find will be deemed inadmissible.

However, what you find in Google, other search engines, and unrelated Facebook pages may be used as the basis for a motion for the production of the subject’s entire Facebook page as happened in KOURTESIS V. JORIS (2007) O.J. No. 2677 (Sup. Ct.).

Don’t Believe Everything the Government Says

Here are three simple facts:

  1. Governments are political.
  2. Politics is not about the truth–it’s about getting elected at any cost.
  3. Morally vacuous individuals are attracted to the power inherent in politics and government.

The following is my approach to evaluating the veracity of what government says:

  1. Record what government or politician(s) said.
  2. Conduct a detailed comparison of what they said to the data provided by the same government.
  3. Bureaucrats are political, they champion ideologies, agendas, or politicians that promise them greater power, higher pay or benefits.
  4. A thorough understanding of statistics and their abuse is required.
  5. If they continue pushing their agenda in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, then you are witnessing morally vacuous individuals engaged in self-serving propaganda.

Alberta Court Stikes Down Trespass to Premises Act

An Alberta Court struck down the provincial Trespass to Premises Act (TPA) as “unconstitutional” as it relates to public property in R v S.A. This decision prevents Transit Authorities across Alberta from using the Trespass to Premises Act to ban individuals from using their facilities.

R v S.A was about a young woman who was banned from all Edmonton LRT stations due to her involvement in an altercation at a single station. This eliminated her ability use public transit in Edmonton.

This is a long and thoughtful decision addresses the Liberty interest found in S.7 of the Charter. On reading the decision, I believe this decision will, over time, extend to all public places where the Trespass to Premises Act might be used by any public authority in Alberta.

Since 1976, Canadian courts have been whittling away at the right of private property owners to keep out trespassers under provincial trespass legislation. The reasoning presented in this decision may become the norm throughout Canada and it may have unforeseen implications for private landowners.

Security and facility management should begin reviewing trespass policies, operating practices, and training in the light of the direction and standards outlined in this case. It seems that the prudent course is to ensure trespass bans are objectively defensible and proportionate to the inappropriate behaviour. Implementing an appeal process for a trespass ban also seems judicious.

Please note that this decision is currently under appeal. It is also from a Provincial Court and not binding. However, understand that landowners rarely get expanded rights from the courts; it usually goes in the other direction.

CITIZEN’S ARREST AND SELF-DEFENCE ACT

The Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act comes into full force on March 11, 2013. The act may be found at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/AnnualStatutes/2012_9/FullText.html and some background on the act may be found at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32762.html.

The Canada Gazette entry regarding the act coming into effect may be found at http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2013/2013-02-13/html/si-tr5-eng.html.

Political Contributions In Canada

Federal Political parties in Canada are only required to report the identities of contributors donating over $200 to one riding association or the central organization. For donations of $200 or less, receipts must be kept by the individual riding associations, but Elections Canada doesn’t record of them. Completely anonymous contributions of $20 or less are permitted.

Elections Canada confirmed in 2007 that individuals could contribute as much as $60,500 over the $1,100 limit – simply by donating $200 to each of a party’s 308 riding associations and Elections Canada would never know about it. Contributions of $200 or less are reported in aggregate, without a break-down by contributor to allow cross-checking across the riding associations.

However, we can search the Contributions & Expenses Database and other databases maintained by Elections Canada.

 

How to End the War of Drugs — Part 2

Sentencing

As I have indicated, the severe sentences for drug offences drives-up the price of illegal drugs and ensures that for every trafficker incarcerated, there are two eager to take his place. Clearly, this strategy is not working.

The power of the court should be used to enforce treatment programmes while reserving penal sentences for only the most recalcitrant offenders. I would also create drug courts presided over by judges with training in drug addiction. Perhaps this will reduce the cost of incarceration for what is essentially self destructive behaviour. With resources devoted to treatment empowered by the courts, we should see a reduced consumtive demand which will reduce revenue for the traffickers.

 

How to End the War of Drugs — Part 1

This article is a continuation of a previous article, Drugs, Violence, and Economics. In this article I shall outline the steps that can be taken to sensibly deal with our drug problem. Unfortuately, as an associate has indicated, this will be an uphill battle due to three factors:

The government mind-set seems to be:
1) He who does nothing (new) doesn’t screw up.
2) He who doesn’t screw up gets promoted or re-elected.
3) See rule #1 …

Read more

Irrational Fear as Law

I noticed in my normal news feed that Obama will ‘evaluate’ bill to ban online munition sales. We have to recognise that many of our laws are enacted to satisfy irrational fears associated with risk.

Billions of cartridges are manufactured in the U.S.A each year. For example, about 4 billion .22 rimfire cartridges are produced per year.

We must ask, of all the cartridges made, what percentage of those used in violent crimes are purchased online?

The violent crime rate in the U.S. is about 403 per 100,000 people. Then we have to subtract those crimes that do not involve a firearm. Then we have to subtract those in which the ammunition was NOT bought through online sources.

If we can then properly quantify how many violent crimes were committed by someone with a firearm while using ammunition bought online, then we can calculate the percentage of all ammunition manufactured that was sold online and then used in violent crimes.

I can guaranteed that the percentage will have a lot zeroes after the decimal. This would be policy by irrational fear. Fear of a risk that is not worth considering.

 

New citizen’s arrest law passed

Canadians will soon have more power to make a citizen’s arrest after they catch someone committing a crime, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced Wednesday, 27 Jun 12, as bill C-26 was set to receive royal assent on Thursday.

The government says that the new legislation will simplify the definitions of “self-defence” and “defence of property” in the Criminal Code, but it will remain to be seen if this stops the spate of “punishment by process” prosecutions for self-defence that have been occuring in recent years.

All that remains now is for the government to pass an order-in-council to define the date on which Bill C-26 will come into force.

 

Ontario Name Changes Easier in 2012

It is now easier for the divorced, widowed, and those who have annulled to revert to their former surnames. The process is simpler and only costs $25.  Previously, the application was required within only 90 days or it was a more expensive and lengthy process. The new law eliminates the 90 day time limit.

This will impact skip tracers as this change becomes more widely known. While it is now harder for debtors to use an Ontario name change to elude creditors, it still happens.

 

The Bank Act & the PI

The Bank Act

The Bank Act (1991, c. 46) is an Act of the Government of Canada respecting banks and banking.  The Canadian banking industry includes 20 domestic banks, 24 foreign bank subsidiaries and 22 foreign bank branches operating in Canada.

Canadian Banks & Lending

Canadian Banks have the right to lend money to wholesalers, retailers, shippers and dealers in “products of agriculture, products of aquaculture, products of the forest, products of the quarry and mine, products of the sea, lakes, and rivers, of goods, wares and merchandise, manufactured or otherwise” on the security of such goods or products, and to lend money to manufacturers on their goods and inventories.

The Private Investigator (PI)

When doing a background investigation of a person, the PI will be looking for previously unknown assets, banking and financial arrangements, or corporate affiliations.  When investigating a company, the PI will be looking for previously unknown assets, banking, and financial arrangements.  In both cases, the equity held by the subject in the assets will be of interest.  Searching the Bank Act Security Registry may reveal all of the above.

Bank Act Security Registry

Under S. 427 of the Bank Act, the borrower must sign a document that provides the bank with the first preferential lien on the goods or equipment.  The Bank then registers a ‘Notice of Intention‘ to take the goods as security, to perfect its security interest.

The Bank of Canada offers a Security Registry service which may be searched for registrations.  The search will reveal whether the Bank of Canada has taken security on property that may interest you.  If the Bank does have a claim on the property, then it means that it has loaned the customer money and that it has the right to take possession of and sell the property if the loan is not paid.  This is important for you to know for two reasons.  First, it shows that the person or business is indebted to a Canadian chartered bank and may have equity in the property listed in the security agreement.  Second, it may uncover previously unknown assets, banking and financial arrangements, or corporate affiliations. You will need to provide the name of the person or business being searched.

Years ago, we only did this when we suspected the subject person or company might have an interest in an agricultural business.  Today however, we find more non-agricultural businesses in the Bank of Canada registry. We have online access to the Bank of Canada registry to search for Bank Act Security items. The search results often indicate that a business assigned its inventory to a bank as security under the Bank Act.

A manual search for Notices of Intention filed under Section 427 of the Bank Act are conducted at the agency of the Bank of Canada in the province or territory where the debtor’s place of business is located. For Bank Act searches,  “agency” means, in a province, the office of the Bank of Canada or its authorized representative but does not include its Ottawa office, and in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut means the office of the clerk of the court of each of those territories respectively [see S. 427(5)].

 

Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law

Internet News reports Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force, Osler, July 5, 2011

Canadian government has passed legislation to address spam (though it is still awaiting proclamation).

“Known as Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, or CASL1, the new rules go much further than restricting bulk, unsolicited e-mail messages, by creating an express consent regime that applies to almost all e-mails and other electronic messages sent for a commercial purpose. And unlike the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, which applies only to e-mail, CASL’s anti-spam provisions also apply to other forms of electronic communication, such as text messages, instant messaging and social media messaging.”