Note: I wrote the article below in 2002. It was published in Catholic Insight Magazine in its November Issue 2002. Nearly nine years later, nothing much has changed regarding freedom in Canada SJG.
The Loss of Freedom in Canada
By Stephen J. Gray
"Freedom can primarily be characterized by the absence of coercion or constraint. If a person is compelled by the state or the will of another to a course of action or inaction which he would not otherwise have chosen, he is not acting of his own volition and he cannot be said to be truly free." Chief Justice Bryan Dixon in the "Big M Drug Mart Ltd." decision.
Substitute "the judiciary" for "the state" in the above quote and we realise we are not "truly free." To understand how we lost our freedoms we have to go back a number of years to the beginning.
The loss of personal freedom in Canada had its roots in a decision by an appointed Supreme Court judge. His name was Ivan C. Rand. This judge brought compulsory union dues to Canada in 1946. This assault on personal freedom was known as the Rand Decision.
The rationale behind his decision was that trade unions needed money for collective bargaining and since workers benefited from negotiated agreements all persons in the union had to pay compulsory dues. There should be no freeloaders. Collective bargaining evolved into collective coercion, and trade unions became a tax-free money machine for numerous political, social, and moral issues that had nothing whatsoever to do with the workplace. Support of abortion, homosexuality, radical feminists, socialism, and numerous other causes became the agenda of trade unions.
There are over 2 million compulsory union members in Canada. These people, just like everybody else in society, have different social, moral, political, and religious beliefs, yet they are forced to support non-work issues with their forced union dues. Even union members' personal views on society are under attack. Chris Kempling a member of the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF), was disciplined by the British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) for "conduct unbecoming a member." What was Mr.Kempling's crime? On his own time, he chose to write letters to the newspapers criticizing the homosexual agenda of the BCTF.
We have reached a dangerous crossroads in Canada when a person can be disciplined by a union for expressing his opinions in letters to the newspapers. Whatever happened to "freedom of expression" in this country? The union bosses say all these non-work issues are decided democratically at conventions. This begs the question: how can anything be democratic if membership and dues are compulsory? And what does this say about our so called Charter of Rights and Freedoms? When a person is in a forced association, how can he have freedom of association?
More Union Involvement
We also have the Vriend decision where the Canadian Labour Congress( CLC) was an intervenor -- what a system this compulsory payment of union dues has become. Another intervenor in this case was the Women's Legal Education Action Fund (LEAF). LEAF has received money from trade unions and also receives government grants. The CLC and LEAF are in favour of "democracy" and "equality" but have no problem taking compulsory union dues to finance their agendas.
Recently we saw the furore over the Durham School Board's attempt to stop a homosexual youth taking his homosexual date to the school prom. The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) issued a press release in favour of the homosexual couple, stating: "We have pushed employers, legislators, and courts in our demand for equality." The press release was signed by union boss Buzz Hargrove. This is hypocrisy, talking about "equality" while being funded by compulsion. Buzz and his union buddies obviously have clout when they boast they can push "legislators" and "courts" to comply with their demands.
More on Judges
What started with Judge Rand and his edict of compulsion has now opened a whole judicial can of worms that is eating away at tradition, normalcy, and morality.
We have a judge in the Nesbitt and Egan case "read in" words that are not written in the constitution. We have a judge in the Singh decision that allowed criminals to stay in Canada. We have another judge declaring a pervert's work has "artistic merit." Now we have another piece of judicial tripe from a judicial threesome in Ontario on homosexual marriage: "The restriction against same sex marriage is an offence to the dignity of lesbians and gays because it limits the range of relationship options available to them" (Judge Harry LaForme quoted in the National Post of July 13, 2002. The other two judges "concurred" with him.) The judges gave Parliament 24 months to change the "legal definition of marriage." Our elected representatives are now being given ultimatums by the non-elected. One could call this a judicial coup d' etat.
Somebody once said the law is an ass; now the law is three asses braying in unison. As mentioned earlier, some of these court cases have some trade union involvement. It would be interesting to see how much union time and money has been diverted to intervening in cases that are unrelated to the workplace. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is on record as saying that it "leads the labour movement in its support of lesbian and gay issues" (CUPE Quarterly, October 1992). CUPE has also been to court on behalf of "same-sex" pensions. Morgentaler, Canada's foremost abortionist has received money from unions, which is evidenced by the following: "The Ontario Federation of Labour has donated thousands of dollars to the Morgentaler defence" (The Charter of Rights and the Legalization of Politics in Canada, page 301.)
Other ways in which we are losing our freedoms are through appointed human rights commissions. These non-elected bodies have also imposed bizarre decisions. The National Post of July 26, 2002, had a headline on page 2 that stated, "Rights commission tells Ottawa 'do what's right' on gay unions." These non-elected commissars are in existence due to the cowardice of elected politicians who have abdicated responsibility to these kangaroo courts.
There are two common threads to the loss of freedom in Canada, by compulsion and by appointment. The trade unions' weapon is compulsion. The Judiciary's and Human Rights Commission's weapon is appointment. All have one thing in common, they are anti-democratic. We live in a pretend democracy. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has become a judicial monster that devours freedom, morality and decency, and vomits compulsion, filth, and depravity.
In this country the peoples' own money, compulsory union dues and tax dollars, are used to fund this loss of freedom. The Court Challenges programme is one example in which the politically correct interest groups receive funding from our tax dollars to take their cases to court. Meanwhile people who are opposed to these groups have to raise their own funds to oppose them. Canada has become a country where the majority is dictated to by an appointed minority, where tax-free unions, funded by compulsion, dictate to their forced membership and use union dues as they see fit, courtesy of an appointed judge, where the Parliamentary system has become subservient to judicial tyranny under the guise of "independence of the judiciary." A more appropriate phrase for these judicial outlaws would be "the perversion of the judiciary."
Robert Bork in his book The Tempting of America--The Political Seduction of the Law, wrote, "Once the judges make the law, the democratic process is at an end." His words aptly sum up what is happening in Canada today.
Stephen J. Gray