The Legal Grinding of Brad Love
Free speech victims are slowly ground down by the judicial system. It is not just an abuse of process it is an abuse BY process.
In 2003, inveterate letter-writing Brad Love was sent to jail for 18 months for sending letters critical of immigration to 20 MPs and other public officials. He was saddled with increasingly onerous parole conditions, at one point, being forbidden to write to “any person” without their consent.
On January 19, having disposed to a host of charges in Fort McMurray Provincial Court — all but one was withdrawn by the Crown — Mr. Love was handcuffed by RCMP officers on an “outstanding warrant.” [Abuse BY process]
The Crown, a David Belanger, told Judge Cleary that, as the evidence for the list of charges was “circumstantial” [them. wny charge him in the first place?] he was withdrawing charges of “mailing scurrilous” material; (including the Canadian Immigration Hotline and Free Speech Monitor!) to an OXFAM campaigner and the local newspaper Fort McMurray Today. [Sec. 168]; causing a disturbance [Sec. 175.ii] and failure to attend court [Sec. 145.2]. On this latter charge (two counts). both alleged to have occurred last year, the Crown had been informed that Brad was serving a sentence for “breach of undertaking” (sending information packages to FOUR Jewish groups in Toronto) and had been so advised by Peter Lindsay, his Toronto lawyer.
Very ill-advisedly, Brad pleaded guilty to “harassing” the OXFAM operative, a Mr. Crossley, by sending him material through the mail and similarly harassing the the-editor of Fort McMurray Today. How the system works is this: charges are piled on a defendant, more court appearances hover on the horizon and, then, the accused is offered a “deal.” Mr. Love hoped to start a new job imminently and, thus, pleaded guilty to “harassing” these public figures by sending them material through the mail. He received a suspended sentence but is to have no contact with Mr. Crossley or the paper Fort McMurray Today for three years,. Thus, his right to communicate with the local press is severely limited. [Abuse BY process.]
In her sentence, Judge Cleary said: “Mr. Love has these views and he is not going to change. We are entitled to our views but there are limits.” There sure are in politically correct Canada where a person confronted with a politically incorrect opinion is likely to scurry off squealing to the police.
The surly RCMP would not confirm to me whether they had Brad in custody. On his instructions. I drove his car to his residence and secured his keys. Much later that night, he called me. He’d been released on $1,000 bail. The charges were four counts of breach of probation [Sec. 733.1] involving communication in Edmonton, November 13, November 24, 2014 and January 7 and 8, 2015, with unnamed media in Edmonton. “Being bound by a probation order dated the 13 day of July, 2012, [Mr. Love] did without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to comply with the order in that he failed top abstain from any political speech, correspondence, communication or commentary with any media outlet.” Yes, that bail condition was actually imposed by Ontario Judge Kelly Wright, not by some judge in Cuba or North Korea.
What’s quoted in the charge is not exactly what Judge Wright said. I was there. She ordered: “Mr. Love is to refrain from any political speech or commentary to any media outlet, political, cultural or religious group or organization, or police organization.”
At Mr. Love’s first court appearance on these charges, he drove the five hours both ways to Edmonton only to find that he did not have to attend court but merely check in at the clerk’s desk and get a new date. [Abuse BY process.]
Late Sunday night, March 8, Mr. Love was asleep. He’d gone to bed early to arise at 1:30 to head back to Edmonton for his next court appearance. His sleep was interrupted by knocking at about 12:30. The RCMP were there to arrest him for allegedly making threats while working at the Suncor site outside Fort McMurray. Apparently, a fellow worker had Googled his name and decided Mr. Love was a “White supremacist” and scurried off to the police. Mr. Love was held for more than 24 hours (the legal limit) before he saw a Justice of the Peace.
The police wanted him held in custody but the JP did not seem overly impressed with the charges, saying, “Mr. Love’s beliefs are not part of this case,” and released him on $500 bail.
However, he had missed his court appearance in Edmonton. On Tuesday, Mr. Love drove to Edmonton . “I arrived in the courthouse. My name was not on any list. In court, The Crown refused to bring my file up. I did not want to be charged with failure to appear. The judge told me to go around the corner to the police station and turn myself in. I did. I was told it takes 14 days for the system to get around to issuing a warrant for a non-appearance. I was told to come back March 17. What a screw around.” That’s another five hour trip each way to set a date. [Abuse BY process.]
“I can’t even take a job now because I’ll need two days off for these brief court appearances in the next month,” he adds.
On April 8, he must appear in Fort McMurray on the most recent charge. The comical disclosure provided to him by the Crown notes that “Love wouldn’t talk to the arresting officers.”
“That’s right,” he explodes. “On March 1, I was charged with ‘breach of probation’ for calling the local RCMP detachment.”
The disclosure, like a secret police file from some thug state, notes: “Love has a history of contacting police and the government.”
“Damn right,” he answers, “I’m a taxpayer.”
And the abuse BY process continues. — Paul Fromm