We are now in the third wave of the COVID19 pandemic. As the numbers rise the Ontario government is solely responsible for the latest victim of this horrible disease. The Ontario has killed the Charter. In their newest response to COVID19 they have expanded police power during the stay at home order, granting authority not yet seen in a free and democratic society. Police officers now have the authority to pull you over in your car to ask you where you are going. They can stop you on the street and interrogate you as to why you are out walking. They now have the authority to question why you are out of your house. They can force you to participate in your own prosecution and will face prosecution if you don’t.
I have long said, don’t talk to the cops. I have authored blog posts on why you don’t need to and why it isn’t in your best interest. Don’t listen to that Nick Cake. That Nick Cake was a lawyer in a society that upheld the values articulated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That Nick Cake was a lawyer who practiced criminal law in a society where one was presumed innocent until the state proved that they were not. We aren’t there anymore. In the name of public health the Ontario Government has pulled the rug right out from under us and frankly are ignoring long established foundational principles of our legal system. This new authority is a slippery slope and should scare you. The police have a duty to gather the facts and you always had the ability to decline to assist them. It appears that now in the COVID era you are no longer allowed to express your right to silence. The police no longer have to have reasons to stop and question you either in a vehicle or on the sidewalk. It is reminiscent of the carding issue that plagued the Toronto Police Service for years that the Courts were soon to halt once the issue was brought into the Courtroom.
I am sure it is easy to determine what side of the fence I am on when it comes to these new enforcement privileges. A carte blanche reason to investigate a citizen who finds themselves outside of their home completely infringes the Charter rights of all Ontarians. It is an unnecessary tool that can lead to unjustified use and allows the police to go on fishing expeditions once strictly barred by the Courts. If you or anyone you know is subject to a prosecution based on these new police powers, please do not hesitate to call the team at Cake Criminal Defence. While we respect the virus and urge everyone to stay home we can not stand for a government that doesn’t stand for us.