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Oct 25 2011

It does not appear to be legal for a Municipal Council to incarcerate someone for a by-law infractions

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I came across Michael G.Crawford’s text “ the Journalist’s legal guide – my University law text from my 2005 Law Course – Mass Media and the Law”

The Journalist’s legal Guide 4th edition 2002 –  page 464 says:

“Only the federal government can constitutionally enact criminal offenses. The provincial governments must establish “non-penal”  laws to enforce provincial statutes.”  

Only the Federal Government can deprive a person of their Liberty! ie: incarcerate someone.

Which confirms in my mind that Municipal Councils cannot and should not be making by-laws which first allow the by-law officer to enter your private property to inspect for complaince – and then if you oppose them for breaking the law and violating your Charter Right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure  the Council has authorized the By-law officer to arrest you – a penalty under the criminal code:

“if you obstruct them in the performance of their job you can be fined $250.00 per incident, restrained or removed through physical force or arrested as obstruction of the officer in the performance of their duty is a criminal offence.

If the Province doesn’t have the authority to uphold their statutes with “penal law” then how is it that the municipality can make an end run around the Constitution and make by-laws with the same consequence?  If the Province can’t enforce their statutes by arresting people – removing their civil liberty – jailing them – the Municipality of Langford cannot  justify a by-law with a penal consequence. Clearly, our democracy intended the Province and Municipal Corporations to use other ways to structure our society and gain compliance.

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