Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Montague 22 : Hal MacGregor Writes

I read with dismay your remark about eating Shawn Carmichael's eggs, but that you would not break the law to protect him.

I felt two separate emotions when I read your remark: One of disbelief that you were implying Shawn had broken a law, and secondly that you were suggesting I was wrong in defending him, (since my campaign brochure stated I had done so, and I am proud of it).

If you knew Shawn Carmichael as I know him, you would never have made such an absurd statement.

Please let me enlighten you as to the legal aspects of his situation. In Canada, Federal laws have supremacy over any provincial laws - or Municipal bylaws.Article 2 in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, (which is the paramount law in Canada) states: Every Canadian has the right of association.

By definition, that includes the right of disassociation. In other words, every Canadian has the right not to be forced to belong to an association (or guild, or union, or any identifiable organized group). That right is further upheld in several Federal statutes governing labour unions, etc.
I contend that the Province of Ontario statute forcing all egg producers in Ontario with more than 99 chickens, to join the provincial egg marketing board is unconstitutional, and will be struck down if it is ever brought before a competent Canadian court.

No OLA members were charged with anything as a result of our defence of Shawn on that day, quite the contrary.

We later demonstrated at the Prescott Police station, and tried to go through normal lawful channels to lay charges against the Police for their cruel and inhumane suffocation of 800 chickens when they were packed too tightly. I, personally, later testified before an OPP Constable in Rideau Lakes as part of that effort to bring the guilty ones to justice. Of course, nothing came of it in the end.

Most area newpapers reported that event with objectivity, the one exception was the Ottawa Citizen, whose reporter on the scene talked only to policemen at the time. His original report was later corrected on page 15 or somewhere insignificant.

You may find it interesting that, at Shanly, calls were made to the OSPCA as the cruelty was happening, and they declined to become involved. So much for their objectivity and their mandate to prevent cruelty to animals.

You might also find it interesting, that at Shanly, when I was discussing the situation with some OPP friends, they advised me they were not happy with what they were being forced to do.
Also, as for you not being willing to "break the law" in defence of Shawn Carmichael, one must consider that standing on one's principles in the face of a perceived injustice is the only thing standing between an Orwellian nightmare and the democracy, with all its freedoms, we so cherish today in many parts of the world.

George Washington committed treason (which was a hanging offence) when he led a revolution against King George III, but he prevailed and became the greatest hero of the United States of America. His call for "No Taxation without Representation" will go down in history as one of the great milestones of democratic movements.

Here in Canada, we were taught as children that we owe our Canadian freedom of the Press to one man, Joseph Howe. Howe was the editor of a Halifax newspaper, and he wrote a column critical of some Nova Scotia government leaders of the day.

Although he was technically guilty of breaking a (bad) law that forbade such a thing, he argued his own case before a jury of his peers, and he successfully convinced them of his right to do so. He was found innocent and the law was struck down. Now, all Canadians enjoy the right to criticize our governments, thanks to one man who had the courage of his convictions. By the way, Howe went on to become Premier of Nova Scotia, and eventually joined a Federal cabinet in a government of "National Unity".

Thank God for such men.

As a footnote, a prophetic entry was found in a German concentration camp during the closing days of the Second World War. It had been written by one of the many victims of Nazi tyranny. Its author was among those "undesirables" executed and thrown into a common grave. What was most startling about the author was that he had been a submarine Commander in the German Navy during the First World War.

What was so remarkable about the scribbled note, was its stark message of the general compliance on behalf of the mass of German people, when faced with an intolerant authority. It read:

First, they came for the Jews, and nobody objected.
Then, they came for the Gypsies, and nobody objected.
Then, they came for the Gays, and nobody objected.
Then, they came for me.

Hal MacGregor/Candidate for Councillor