Tuesday, January 27, 2004
China's Constitution: "Private property obtained legally shall not be violated."
Canada's Constitution: Zilch, zip, zero - absolutely no protection of property rights.
Why? Because Paul Martin's Liberals like it that way.
Case in point: The class-action suit Authorson v. Canada on July 17, 2003 when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the federal government and against mentally disabled war veterans. The government amended the Veteran Affairs Act to avoid paying hundreds of millions in interest on pension benefits the government had held in trust for about 30,000 veterans. The Supreme Court stated: "Parliament has the right to expropriate property, even without compensation, if it has made its intention clear and, in s. 5.1(4), Parliament's expropriative intent is clear and unambiguous" and that "the Bill of Rights does not protect against the expropriation of property by the passage of unambiguous legislation." They even ruled that the Bill of Rights "does not impose on Parliament the duty to provide a hearing before the enactment of legislation."
This appalling Supreme Court ruling joins a growing list of similar lower court rulings and once again confirms what respected constitutional expert, Peter Hogg, wrote in 1992, "The omission of property rights from Section 7 [of the Charter] greatly reduces its scope. It means that section 7 affords no guarantee of compensation or even a fair procedure for the taking of property by the government. It means that section 7 affords no guarantee of fair treatment by courts, tribunals or officials with power over purely economic interests of individuals or corporations."
The Supreme Court ruling also makes a mockery of the Liberal government's love affair with the United Nations because it violates the property rights guarantees articulated in the UN's Declaration of Human Rights.
So if the Liberal government can use its absolute power to deprive 30,000 disabled war veterans of their pensions - property that was and still is rightfully theirs - what hope do the rest of us have? So much for Liberal compassion!
It doesn't have to be this way. Sure the Liberals deliberately left our most fundamental human right - property rights - out of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, but the Government of Canada could easily correct this oversight if it wanted to. The problem is they don't want to. They want the absolute power to take our property, without compensation, without a hearing and without due process of law, simply by ramming a bill through Parliament, where, as everyone knows, nothing can stop them.
If the Liberals do have any compassion or any respect for economic liberty, they have two choices.
One, they could pass a resolution in the House of Commons calling for the right to own and enjoy property to be added to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and then petition the provinces to pass similar resolutions in their legislatures.
Or two, they could support my Private Members Bill when I re-introduce it next week. My bill would require the Liberals to get a two-thirds majority in the House whey they pass any law that runs roughshod over our property rights. Thirty thousand disabled war vets would not have had their rights trampled on with this provision.
Paul Martin is always saying that we must get the economic "fundamentals" right. Why then has he so far refused to provide adequate protection for our most important economic freedom - our fundamental right to own and enjoy property?
MP Paul Martin wrote the 1993 Red Book, but there is no mention of adding property rights to the Charter in that document. However, Prime Minister Paul Martin has another chance. He is presently writing a throne speech to be delivered in Parliament next week and could easily add a sentence on protecting property rights in that document.
On February 2nd, if Canadians read Paul Martin's Throne Speech and protection for your fundamental right to own and enjoy property is not in it, then all Canadians will have a real choice to make in the next election.
"Parliament has the right to expropriate property, even without compensation."
Supreme Court of Canada - July 17, 2003
"The right to 'enjoyment of property' is not a constitutionally protected,
fundamental part of Canadian society."
Manitoba Court of Appeal - February 4th, 1999
"No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."
Article 17(2) of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
Ratified by Canada - December 1948