Monthly Archives: July 2015

Accidental American Writes to Obama

An Accidental American in France has written a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama lawyer to lawyer pleading for Accidentals to be freed from unwanted U.S. citizenship.

His letter was posted (with personal identifying information removed) by Keith Redmond on Facebook.

The story is all to familiar to us. It continues to boggle my mind how U.S. legislators can read these and continue to FATCA the world.

Message in a bottle 2: Democracy, the Appointment of Judges and the Canadian Charter of Rights

cross-posted from the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty WordPress Blog.

by John Richardson
 

 

Introduction – The role of judges in a democracy with constitutionally protected rights

In “Message in a bottle (or from my basement)” I discussed why “freedom” and “democracy” are not the same. I also described the differences between constitutionally protected rights, common law rights and legislative rights.

The message was:

Constitutionally entrenched rights are necessary to protect certain minority interests from the tyranny of the democratic process. Canada’s “Charter of Rights” is a set of “constitutionally entrenched rights”. The effectiveness of a Charter of Rights is determined by the interaction of three groups of people:

First, the general public

Yes, individuals must have the courage to stand up for their rights. They must have the conviction to use the courts. I recognize Gwen Deegan and Ginny Hillis as courageous Canadians. They are strengthening Canada’s Charter of Rights by pursuing litigation against the Government of Canada. It doesn’t take a hero. But, it does take courage.

The truth is that:

All Canadians will benefit by our FATCA lawsuit initiated by Gwen Deegan and Ginny Hillis.

Second, the legal profession

The fact is that most lawyers are absolutely useless when it comes to defending individual rights. Absolutely useless. There are exceptions. Obviously our lawyer, Joe Arvay has a long history of Charter litigation and is an exception. We are proud to have him as our litigator in our FATCA lawsuit. Mr. Arvay has made a huge difference in the lives of Canadians.

But, speaking of lawyers who have made a difference, I can’t resist mentioning Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati – who Globe and Mail journalist Sean Fine, recently referred to as “the unofficial opposition“.

Third, the judges and the courts

Courageous plaintiffs and principled lawyers are not enough. The protection of individual rights requires a strong independent court composed of judges who are INDEPENDENT of the government. Few people realize how important judges are. Few people realize that the most “enduring” things that governments do is to appoint judges. Governments can leave their legacy through their judicial appointments.

At the present time, Prime Minister Harper has appointed (are you ready for this) seven of the nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. Yet, the Supreme Court of Canada has consistently ruled against the Harper government.

In a democracy, with constitutionally protected rights, judges can and do protect individuals from tyrannical democracies. It appears that the Supreme Court of Canada understands its proper role:

And this is why:
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Message in a bottle (or from my basement): Why a Charter of Rights is necessary to protect freedom from democracy

cross-posted from Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty

With all the abuses of late, of the Harper government (Bills C-23, C-24, C-31 & C-51), it’s no small wonder Canadians are looking to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the only way to protect ourselves.

I came to Canada in January 1982, right when the Charter was being drafted. I had no idea really, what it meant; I couldn’t conceive of the idea that Canada up until that year, did not have a Constitution. But being new and caught up in trying to adjust and so on, I paid virtually no attention to what was going on. Little did I realize how important this Charter-thing would become in my own life some thirty-plus years later.

And at the time the Charter was being written, John Richardson was totally immersed in the whys and whats and how the Charter should be applied; this post is a testament to how much it has influenced his life, long before the IGA came to town.

Enjoy!
 
by John Richardson

The above tweet references the following comment at the Isaac Brock Society site from Jefferson B. Tomas. He writes:

@Bubblebustin @Petros @US_Foreign My criticism of the Federal Council applies to every government that accepted an IGA and did not protect its bone fide residents and citizens. Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. These leaders shirked their responsibility, and that goes for all of the countries. And it goes for the entire government. For example, even if it was Widmer-Schlumpf who was in charge of the negotiations, it was up to the entire Council to ensure that what she did would not violate constitutional rights. We can sing “They don’t really care about us” referring to all the other governments as well. We’re too risky to stand up for, so they think, but if many of them had, it would have held.


Freedom and democracy are NOT the same thing

There are many who equate a democratic society with a free society. This is incorrect. “Democracy” is a mechanism to exercise the power of government. If unchecked a democratic form of government (based on voting and possible majority rule) can restrict the most basic and fundamental rights of a minority. A Charter of Rights exists to ensure that, with respect to certain fundamental values, the majority cannot use the political process to undermine certain rights of a minority group. The Harper Government used their majority in the political process to deny rights to one prevalent minority group – those with a U.S. place of birth. Those who doubt this should watch the videos of what took place in House Finance Committee hearings on FATCA.

The FATCA IGA and Bill C – 31 demonstrate the importance of a Charter of Rights

The familiar video referenced in the above tweet is an example of the political process in a DEMOCRACY  overriding the liberties/freedoms of a minority group. Most of you have seen this video. I suggest you watch it again.

This video demonstrates how the DEMOCRATICALLY elected Government of Canada simultaneously:

1. Stripped one specific group of people (based on he immutable characteristic of place of birth) of it’s constitutionally protected rights in a way that;

2. Then imposed mandatory discrimination on that specific group of Canadians, PURSUANT to DEMOCRATICALLY enacted laws.

3. Allowed  the Charter rights of individual Canadians (AKA people) to be overridden by the desires of Canada’s banks (which do NOT have Charter protected rights); and

4. Surrendered the sovereignty of Canada to a foreign government.

(Although beyond the scope and intent of this post, this also raises issues of the “first past the post system” which in many cases leads to “majority governments” with a minority of the vote. But, I will leave that for another day.)
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FATCA – One Year Later

Trish Moon & John Richardson review FATCA IGA and its impacts on Canadian citizens and the economy. Interview June 30, 2015.

‘Twas the Night Before FATCA

John Richardson, Peter W. Dunn & Trish Moon discuss the last night of Canada as free from FATCA.  Interview June 30, 2014