In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.
So far so good.
Before I proceed with the narrative of this particular case and need to give you, my dear reader, a bit of background about our Ontario legal system. I would hesitate before I would call it a ‘justice’ system, because I have rarely seen the legal processes in Ontario result in actual ‘justice': it is so convoluted and painful that the process itself is a deep injury…If it arrives at a ‘just’ ruling….which happens less often than most of us would like to believe.
In Ontario, most of the criminal prosecutions are laid and conducted by ‘The Crown’. And ‘The Crown (in this sense) falls under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of Ontario. All the prosecution lawyers and so on are employed by the Attorney General of Ontario.
And the Attorney General of Ontario is an elected member of the Provincial Legislature, an MPP, who is a member of the Cabinet and is appointed into the role of Attorney General by the Premier of Ontario.
However, it is also possible for a private citizen of Ontario to bring about a criminal prosecution against a person or an organization: in this case, the prosecutor would not be a lawyer working for the Attorney General (who serves at the pleasure of the Premier), but that private citizen. This is important, as it will permit citizens to bring to justice even villains that the government of the day chooses not to prosecute and to uphold the laws of the land where the government of the day fails to.
And that is as it should be.
The Crown (headed by the Attorney General who serves at the pleasure of the Premier) has the right to, at any point, take over a private criminal prosecution whenever it wants to.
And it usually wants to.
And the private person who originally brought the criminal charges does not get a say in this matter.
In the near past, this has, indeed, happened.
One case of which I am aware of (and which was, by the way, cited as precedent by the Crown lawyer in the Monday court hearing) is that of Gary McHale.
Gary McHale is one of our modern-day heroes.
He has dedicated his life to fighting against racism.
For those who are not aware of it, it is difficult to believe that in Ontario in 2013, it was possible for a person to be prevented from walking down a city (township) street – simply because the residents living on that street did not want a person of Gary McHale’s race on ‘their street’.
Yet, this is true.
And not only did the police not help Gary McHale, they arrested him.
On what grounds?
They explained that their job was not to ‘uphold the law’ but to ‘maintain public peace’. Since the racists threatened violence if Gary McHale continued to walk on a public street, the police reasoned that Gary McHale’s action of walking down a public street constituted a threat to public peace and promptly arrested him and his fellow freedom lovers.
That is how things had been in Caledonia, Ontario, for many years.
And not just in Caledonia – when Ezra Levant went to interview some people who were protesting against him, personally, in front of Sun TV offices, the police officers told him in no uncertain terms that his very presence could spark violence from the protesters and since it is easier to remove him than to uphold the law, he must move or they will arrest him… This ‘heckler’s veto’ is the new rule the police have taken to protecting, instead of protecting those who are non-violent and upholding the laws of our land.
In the past, the situation in Caledonia was even worse – the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) (who were contracted for policing the area) would not intervene when racists would violently assault and batter people whose presence they were unwilling to tolerate due to these people’s race, resulting in serious injuries and property damage/loss.
At one point, Gary McHale had started a private criminal prosecution of the then head of the OPP, Julian Fantino, for ordering this race-based policing.
No sooner had Gary McHale laid the charges than The Crown stepped in and took over his case – and shelved it.
As in, decided not to proceed with it – a so called ‘stay of the charges’.
A nice little loophole, isn’t it?
We have a safety-valve built in to our laws so that citizens would have a legal recourse when the government failed to live up to their responsibility to uphold the laws of the land.
And right away, we eviscerate it – giving the government the power to prevent this recourse from ever actually happening.
Neat little package!
By now, you probably know which way this narrative evolves: as soon as he brought criminal charges against Kathleen Wynne, The Crown took over the prosecution.
And promptly ‘stayed the charges’!!!
As in, nothing to see here, nothing to hear here – just crickets!
Aside: did you know they don’t have crickets in Newfoundland? I may move there – I can’t stand them buggers!
Part 3 of this series can be found here.