Civil Forfeiture Laws Victimize Citizens

Audio, Canada, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Frontier Centre

More and more Canadians are being victimized by laws that allow authorities to seize assets that are suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

In several provinces, property and other assets can be seized even without formal charges being laid, let alone a conviction in the case.

Authorities only have to prove, based on a balance of probabilities, that property was acquired by illegal means or was used to help commit a crime.

Such laws were originally created to help fight organized crime, but many now argue that the net is far too wide.

An example is the story of Chad Squire who was stopped by the RCMP near Brooks Alberta in 2010.

Police seized $27,000 from him, claiming that it must have been acquired illegally.

In fact it was money he received from selling his house, but it took two years and an expensive court fight before it was returned.

74 year old Elizabeth Thomson of Calgary, watched as Alberta Justice obtained an order against her condo, accusing her son of using the property for criminal purposes.

Later, it was revealed that the son had used her address on business documents without her knowledge.

Such cases show that all law-abiding Canadians should receive the same protection against search and seizure which is found in the Criminal Code and the Charter of Rights.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

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