Bulletins :: Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Defence Act (Bill 1)
Today our organization's President wrote a letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta requesting that she withhold Royal Assent for legislation that conflicts with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that are protected as an integral part of our national Constitution.
26208 - 8000 No. 3 Road
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
June 18, 2020
Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
3rd Floor, Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD
It is with great care and concern that I present to you this appeal to withhold Royal Assent on Alberta's Bill 1 entitled "Critical Infrastructure Defence Act" that conflicts with our nation's Constitution, particularly sections 2, 7, 12, and 15 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The proposed Critical Infrastructure Defence Act legislation has, at the very least, the following problems:
- Section 1(1)(vii) is too broad because it refers to almost any type of thoroughfare that is normally used by motor vehicles and/or pedestrians, which anyone is normally legally entitled to use.
- Section 1(1)(xiv) is too broad because it refers to "a device or combination of devices intended for, or capable of being used for, radiocommunication," which can include personal communications devices such as cellular phones that are not illegal to own, operate, or possess.
- Section 1(1)(xvi) is vague because it is not specific about the regulations to which it refers.
- Section 2(1) is ineffective and should be removed because section 2(c) of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the lawful freedom to engage in "peaceful assembly."
- Sections 2(2) and 2(3) are vague and redundant, and should be removed because vandalism is already covered by sections 180 and 430(1) of the Criminal Code.
- Section 2(4) is redundant and should be removed because conspiracy is already covered by sections 465(1) and 466 of the Criminal Code.
- Section 2(5) is vague and redundant, and should be removed because unauthorized entry should already be covered accordingly by the various Acts cited throughout section 1(1) of the proposed Critical Infrastructure Defence Act (a.k.a., Bill 1).
- Section 3(1)(a) has ultimately the potential to subject people to "cruel and unusual treatment or punishment," which is not consistent with the principles of fundamental justice and is prohibited by section 12 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Section 3(3) is unjust and should be removed because it may result in people being charged repeatedly with the same contravention, which is not consistent with the principles of fundamental justice and is in conflict with treating everyone equally under the law as prescribed by section 7 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Section 4 is redundant and should be removed because justification for arrest is already covered by section 199(2) of the Criminal Code.
- Section 5 grants unreasonable power to the Province of Alberta's Lieutenant Governor in Council and should be removed because it provides an opportunity to circumvent section 15(1) of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As you are entrusted with upholding the best interests of Canadians as well as visitors to Canada, and in the spirit of understanding that "oppression anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere" in concert with the principles of fundamental justice, I hereby request that you withhold Royal Assent for the aforementioned proposed legislation without prejudice and with the genuine intention of preserving and defending equality, fairness, and justice for all.
Thank you for your consideration, and for what I anticipate to be your diligence in this important and serious matter concerning everyone's rights and freedoms that are integral to Canada as a nation, and which are among the general core principles of being Canadian.
Sincerely, and with warmest regards,
President of the Canadian atheists
- PDF: Critical Infrastructure Defence Act (Bill 1): https://docs.assembly.ab.ca/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_30/session_2/20200225_bill-001.pdf (backup copy)
- Official web site of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta: https://www.lieutenantgovernor.ab.ca/CFCMS/about-the-lieutenant-governor/her-honour-the-honourable-lois-e-mitchell-cm-aoe-lld/
- Canadian atheists: https://www.canadianatheists.ca/
- This bulletin: https://www.canadianatheists.ca/bulletins/2020jun18.pl