Sexual predators. We are on the side of sexual predators in this case. Not only that, the Minister of Public Safety thought it was okay to suggest that people practising criminal law and defending people, which is their right to do, were standing on the side of the criminals and that was the choice they made in their careers. That is the Minister of Public Safety in a government that is supposed to believe in the rule of law. The rule of law includes, I must remind him, the presumption of innocence.
In our criminal system, the government does not decide who is guilty and puts people in jail, and neither do the police. The Minister of Justice does not decide who is guilty and put people in jail. The Minister of Public Safety does not decide who is guilty and put people in jail. They do not have the right to do that in our society. Does anyone know why? It is because we have the rule of law.
We talk about Libya and ask that it develop the rule of law. In Afghanistan, the rule of law is what we are all about. We want the judicial system to work. We only want people to go to jail who are prosecuted in accordance with the law. We want judges to be free of corruption. We expect them not to carry out the will of their political masters. We want free and fair court systems. That is the rule of law. We want that in Libya and in Afghanistan. We have asked some of our young men and women to die for that.
However, when we are in the House, people are pointed at from across the way and told that they practise criminal law and chose to use their career to act for criminals. Members will underscore mockingly that it is an honourable thing. If we read it on paper, it looks fair enough, but that is not the way it was put, as if there is something wrong with somebody ensuring that the rule of law operates.
As I told my friends many years ago when they were wondering why I was practising law, one of the jobs of people practising criminal law was to ensure that the laws we have operate fairly for everybody and that nobody goes to jail unless he or she has been proven guilty in accordance with the law. A defence lawyer would ask if the law had been followed, if the person were truly guilty and if there were proof beyond a reasonable doubt. An individual charged with an offence does not have the means to defend himself or herself.
An old saying in the legal profession, which every lawyer and probably everybody else knows, is that a man who defends himself has a fool for a client. I have even seen lawyers defend themselves and prove that aphorism to be true because they did not have a clue how to defend themselves. They were not paying attention to the law. They were more concerned about their own particular issues as opposed to what defences were there. We have a system of justice in this country that is based on the rule of law. The lawyers who defend the people who are charged are there to ensure that people do not go to jail unless they ought to, unless they have actually committed the offence and it can be proven by a court. All of this is part of our judicial system.
We have a government that implicitly disrespects the rule of law by attacking opposition members for practising law in this country. Since when did it become reprehensible to act as a lawyer, to defend the rule of law and to ensure that people who are charged with offences have a proper defence? We have a legal aid system in this country because we recognize that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to liberty, require that an individual who is charged with an offence has a proper defence. We do not have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for nothing. It is not just a piece of paper. To disrespect that by disrespecting the whole process is absolutely wrong.
Despite being accused by the other side of standing with child pornographers, in the case of Bill C-30, or defending criminals, there are some aspects of the bill now before us that we do support. However, in order to avoid the prolongation of the issue, we proposed that certain aspects of Bill C-10 be taken out and fast-tracked, that they be given special consideration and that the bill be split. We moved that in this House and I spoke to it.
However, instead of recognizing that this proposal was an effort to speed the passage of part of this bill, which is what I said, the government deputy House leader stood and said that it was a delaying tactic. I do not know how it is a delaying tactic to say that we take a section and pass it right away. The section was part 2 of the bill. There were a couple of sections. One related to creating the new offence of making sexually explicit material available to children, part of what is called grooming in the offence of sexual predators against children, and there was a new offence of agreeing to commit a sexual offence against a child.
We considered that those new offences were important and we wanted to see them implemented immediately. It also would increase the mandatory minimums that were already there. We believe those sections should be brought forward and passed immediately. As we indicated, there is a consensus on certain aspects of this legislation that we wanted to separate and pass but we were put into the position, with an omnibus bill, that either we accept all of it or none of it.
We wanted to see the speedy passage of the provisions of part 2 that related to sexual offences against children. However, that did not stop the Conservatives from saying that whenever they bring in legislation that is designed to protect children against sexual predators that the opposition votes against it. They continue to say that kind of nonsense over there but it needs to be on the record that we sought specific and immediate passage of that particular aspect of the bill.
We had experts before our committee from the Barreau du Québec, for example, who talked about the concerns they had regarding Bill C-10 and the cost implications and the failure of imprisonment in reducing the incidence of crime.
The government calling the bill the safe streets and communities act is a very apolitical title. However, the Barreau du Québec has taken the position that Bill C-10 has come at a time when figures from Statistics Canada show that crime is on the decline in Canada. Its figures show that the crime rate in 2011 reached its lowest level since 1973, and that violent crime also was declining to a lesser degree than crime generally but, nevertheless, declining.
The Barreau du Québec said that it was obvious that the national crime rate has been falling steadily for 20 years. It suggested that the reason it was now at its lowest point since 1973 was primarily because the sentencing system currently seeks a balance between denunciation, deterrence and rehabilitation of offenders and that proportionality and personalization of a sentence were fundamental values of that system.
We were told that this legislation would produce less safe streets and here is why. Numerous studies have shown that imprisonment does not reduce the incidence of crime. Public Safety Canada has released the results of a study dealing with the impact of imprisonment on recidivism for offenders serving prison terms. That is how many of them go back. It is the revolving door that the minister talked about. We need to know whether recidivism and the revolving door will be reduced by these measures. The conclusions of the study showed that for most offenders prisons did not reduce recidivism.
Therefore, to argue for expanding the use of imprisonment in order to deter criminal behaviour is without empirical support. The use of imprisonment may be reserved for the purpose of retribution and selective incapacitation of society's highest risk offenders. The cost of the implications of imprisonment need to be weighed against more cost efficient ways to decrease offender recidivism and responsible use of public funds. Evidence from other sources suggest more effective alternatives to reducing recidivism than imprisonment.
There has also been a lot of evidence suggesting that keeping prisoners in jail longer makes them more hardened against society and more likely to commit crimes. If we take away or reduce the emphasis on rehabilitation and focus on punishment, people will come out of prisons more angry, less rehabilitated and more likely to commit crimes.
Another aspect of the bill that I have not touched on is in relation to international prisoners, Canadians who are incarcerated abroad, the International Transfer of Offenders Act found in the bill.
We have a treaty system with other countries whereby if a Canadian citizen is serving a prison sentence in Mexico, the United States or in another country that is part of the treaty, the Canadian citizen can apply to serve his or her sentence in Canada. Up until recently, that has been a pretty automatic expectation, not only for the prisoner but also for the country where the prisoner is now serving a sentence.
For example, we have a number of Canadians who are in prison in the United States.They are serving time for various offences, whether ordinary run-of-the-mill criminal offences or drug trafficking. They can apply to the U.S. and Canadian governments to serve their sentence in Canada. When they come to Canada, they are then subject to Canadian corrections laws and rules with respect to how much time they serve, the availability of rehabilitation programs and all of the things that go with that. These provisions have been in use for many years. However, we have a new situation now.
The government, the Minister of Public Safety and his predecessor have taken it upon themselves to refuse to allow people to come back to Canada. However, people could come back eventually. The government could not deport them. If they served their time in the United States or Mexico, they could get on a plane or a bus and come back to Canada. No one would know necessarily that they had been in prison somewhere else. They could show up at the border as Canadian citizens, show their passport or birth certificate and come in. No one would know where they were or if they were a risk to society. They could come to Canada unless they were serving an indeterminate life sentence or three sentences of 50 years, which they give out in the United States sometimes.
There is a public safety aspect to this. If they serve their sentence in Canada, they are subject to our parole system, our supervision, the mandatory release provisions, a halfway house and everything that goes with that. They are integrated back into the community and are given rehabilitation programs.
However, the current government and this minister have taken it upon themselves to refuse them for what appears to be arbitrary reasons. The Federal Court does not seem to agree with the decision that the minister is making. The Federal Court is telling him that he failed to follow the legislation and the act. It is issuing orders to the minister to review and reconsider these motions because the existing law requires that there be a reason.
In the bill before us, this is slipped in from part of a previous bill that the Minister of Public Safety brought in once before. Proposed changes to the act would give the minister virtually unlimited discretion when it comes to the international transfer of offenders. These provisions would make legal what was previously illegal and contrary to the existing act. The Federal Court of Canada has told the government and this minister on several occasions now that they are not following the legislation as it exists.
What is the answer? Is it to follow the legislation and do the right thing to ensure that the government is acting in accordance with the principles that ensure that Canadians have an opportunity to come back to Canada to serve their time? No, the Conservatives' answer is to change the legislation to make legal that which was otherwise illegal.
Now the Conservatives have added that the minister, in determining consent to the transfer of a Canadian offender, may consider the following factors. The list is here. Many of these factors were already on the previous list. The list talks about whether, in the minister's opinion, the offender is likely to continue to engage in criminal activity after the transfer. This is tantamount to saying that the minister can decide whether, at some point in the future, that person would engage in criminal activity. Is that not what the Parole Board is for? Is that not what we have a corrections system for? Is that not the whole point?
Therefore, if an offender were serving six years in the United States, he or she could come back to Canada and do as he or she pleases. The minister would not even know that the offender is in Canada. There would be no record of the offender's activity in the United States. The minister would not know that the offender exists. Yet, if an offender applied to be transferred back to Canada, the minister could decide whether the offender were likely to continue to engage in criminal activity after the transfer. That is a consideration that the minister would be entitled to give.
The bill includes a long list. The Conservatives might as well leave the list out, because at the end of the list under (l) is “...any other factor that the minister considers relevant”. We may as well get rid of (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j) and (k). We may as well say, “in determining whether to consent to the transfer of a Canadian offender, the minister may consider anything he or she considers relevant”. That is the essence of clause 136 of Bill C-10. That is what we would be doing here. We would be giving the minister unlimited discretion, with no policy and no guidelines, except a series of factors that he may or may not consider and then any other factor that he or she considers relevant.
That is irresponsible. It is irresponsible to give power to a minister to have control over whether an offender who is in the United States comes back to Canada or not. That is not a proper guideline. It is not a judicious framework for a minister of the crown of the Government of Canada, in a country of 33 million people, to have one man or woman decide, based on anything he or she considers relevant. Where is the opportunity for judicial oversight of something that involves the liberty of a Canadian citizen? That is what we are talking about.
When a person is sentenced to jail, if someone thinks it is wrong, he or she can appeal and go to court. In this case, the minister would have control over whether a person served his or her sentence in Mexico, the United States or back in Canada. How would the minister use that discretion? Based on what? Is it based on any arbitrary factor? Is it relevant that a person is known to a member of Parliament who thinks that he or she is a decent person and will come back to Canada and be a good person? If the minister thinks it is relevant, perhaps it would be. Is that the kind of society we want, where the minister could withhold consent based on anything that he or she considers relevant? Not for me, not for the members of the New Democratic Party.
There are other factors there. Some of those factors are quite relevant. However, the history of the use of this section has been to recognize that this is of value, not only to the individual involved but to Canadian society. Our friends to the south and the American government are not too happy that Canada is not accepting people. It is part of the understanding that we will take our citizens back if they are in jail in the U.S. and the U.S. will take its citizens back if they are in jail in our country. That is the understanding. The Americans are getting a bit concerned that Canada is not fulfilling its side of the bargain. I do not think there is anything written down that says we must. However, it is a matter for international relations between Canada and the United States to ensure that we operate in accordance with the understanding where there is good reason to. I do not mean that we have to follow every tradition just because it has always been like that. Where is the reason to say “for any factor the minister considers”? It is only there for one reason. It is there to protect the minister from the reach of the judicial oversight of the Federal Court of Canada. The government seems to be content to do that.
Where is the rule of law in that? The Conservatives will say they are obeying the law. Yes but they would have just changed it to make sure that the courts could not have any oversight. They would be following the law they had just made. That is what we see in the government. If it runs afoul of the law, if the Federal Court says it is doing something wrong, the Conservatives use their slim majority, which they call a strong mandate, to put through legislation that changes the law. If Conservatives do not like the law or they feel constrained by the existing legislation, then they change it. That is what we have.
I want to talk about the amendments because there are changes before us by way of the Senate. They are roughly related to the changes that were brought to the committee by the member for Mount Royal, but have been changed in some way.
I want to talk about how the State Immunity Act actually works. We do not have a lot of faith in this legislation. It had different lives in earlier Parliaments. It was at one time a bill called an act to deter terrorism and to amend the State Immunity Act. Conservatives went off that approach because it would not have any effect on deterring acts of terrorism against Canada and Canadians. The short title of the bill was the justice for victims of terrorism act. That perhaps comes a little closer to what the bill tries to do which is to give a right to Canadians to sue states or non-state actors for acts of terrorism.
It has been called a diplomatic minefield by some commentators. The way the act is written, it forces Canada to name countries that have sponsored terrorism. We cannot say we are suing country X because it has financed a particular organization that conducted a terrorist act that affected me or my family.
With ordinary torts, if we want to sue someone in our jurisdiction, we go ahead and sue them. However, we have to prove that they did the act. That person does not have to be on a list of people that some other body has put there. In this case, there is a list that is determined by the Government of Canada. Having that role of the minister of foreign affairs and the government to draw up and review that list from time to time is a diplomatic minefield.
For example, countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan are commonly seen as incubators of terrorism. Yet listing them could cause significant diplomatic problems as the Canadian government seeks to support the governments of these countries. Therefore, they are not put on the list. If Pakistan is supporting the Taliban, for example, and the Taliban commits an act that can be called terrorism under this legislation inside Afghanistan and a Canadian soldier or a civilian is injured, the relatives of that person cannot sue Pakistan even if they could prove that there was a direct relationship between the Pakistani government or military and the action of a particular group, unless Pakistan were put on a list.
We now have a government with the right to put a list together. Who is on the list? Which countries would be there? What is the experience of listing countries in other countries?
Other countries, such as the United States, have had a list. The U.S. experience is based on similar legislation, which has been in place for more than a decade. Only the listed countries can be sued. Currently, the listed countries are Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan. Interestingly, North Korea, Iraq and Libya were originally listed, but have since been delisted. Therefore, if a plaintiff were suing Libya in retaliation, say for example for the Lockerbie bombing, and was in the middle of a lawsuit and then Libya was delisted because the Americans decided they wanted to develop friendlier relations with Moammar Gadhafi, which they did in the mid-2000s, all of a sudden the lawsuit would be gone based on some action by that government to change the list.
A common problem that was identified, based on these torts, was that the defendants refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the American courts. As such, the defendants, whether it be the country of Iraq, Libya or whatever, would not appear. Then default judgments would be rendered and the debtor countries would ignore or refuse to pay. What is the point of having a lawsuit to get a judgment when the assets of the country are not accessible because it has refused to pay and is not part of the jurisdiction?
Therefore, recovery has become a major problem in the United States because many of these countries have limited assets held in the United States. In fact, the executive branch of the U.S. has been very reluctant to allow frozen assets to be used for this purpose and made available. What happened over time was as Congress attempted to create avenues for recovery, the executive resisted efforts over concerns of retaliation from the other countries against U.S. assets, for example, inside countries like Libya or other places. It was concerned about retaliatory measures and losing leverage over the country concerned, as well as potentially violating international law on state immunity. There was a whole quagmire of problems.
For example, in 1981, as a result of the Algiers accords, American embassy staff who were being held hostage by Iran were released. However, the hostages were then barred from initiating civil suits. Hostages had been taken in Iran, released by the agreement, but then as part of the deal, the government agreed that the hostages could not take civil action against Iran or the groups. The U.S. Congress sought to provide a right of action to those hostages through various laws. The executive resisted because of the international implications of such an accord being violated. Then Iraq changed the circumstances, causing the Bush administration to delist Iraq.
Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was listed as a state that could be sued. A number of lawsuits had been successful wherein the plaintiff sought recovery by seizing Iraqi assets. However, after the invasion of Iraq by the U.S., the American government no longer had an interest in allowing such assets to be taken as it wanted them to be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people in rebuilding the country. Therefore, the victims of terror, or terrorist acts, who had been successful in suing Iraq would not get any redress. The assets, or whatever they had gained from their lawsuits, would now stay in Iraq because it suited the American government. As such, Iraq was retroactively delisted and many plaintiffs were unable to recover the money granted to them in judgments. That has been part of the U.S. experience with these political lists that are determined by the cabinet. All of these amendments, with one exception, implicitly recognize that these lists are key to whether a plaintiff can actually sue under this section of Bill C-10.
There would also be a situation where there would be limited seizable assets in Canada for any countries that might be expected to be listed on such a list. Victims would find themselves competing for the few if any assets available for recovery. The concerns outlined above with respect to retaliation appear to have come true in the American situation, as equivalent measures have been introduced in Cuba and Iran in consequence. What has happened is that not only the countries themselves do not have significant assets in Canada for action, but there are retaliatory measures in the countries that are put on the list.
We have a situation with the legislation that has been put forward that is well-meaning. In fact, there were proposals to make significant changes to it.
We heard from the Canadian Coalition Against Terror, which proposed that this whole approach be changed altogether, allowing suits against any foreign state that did not have an extradition relationship with Canada. In other words, it called it a negative list as opposed to a positive list. It was concerned as well that placing a country on a positive list would expose Canada to ongoing political and diplomatic pressures. It said that the U.S. experience showed that factors unrelated to whether a country sponsors terrorism sometimes would become the determining factors. It would make the process unprincipled and would undermine the credibility of the government, the listing process and the bill itself.
The group went on to say that by not listing countries that objectively should be listed, Canada would be effectively be declaring them as non-sponsors of terror, which would undermine the deterrence object of the bill.
We have a situation where we have very complex legislation requiring very complex litigation. The difficulty is the bill then effectively becomes symbolic, although the government denies that.
The Toronto lawyer who works with the Canadian Coalition Against Terror admits that the litigation would be quite complex: classified information would be involved; the links between terrorists entering the states in question would have to be proven, which would be difficult; and showing causation would be challenging. For example, a government may provide funds to an organization involved in numerous activities from health care to terrorism and tracking where specific funds go could be time-consuming, costly and impossible. The complexities and difficulties associated with these types of lawsuits were acknowledged by the government, but its claim was that it was not just a symbolic gesture, but it recognized the great difficulties involved.
We have legislation that is fraught with political and diplomatic problems, ineffective solutions in terms of remedies and recovery and something we think is unwieldy and difficult for Canada to operate in a principled way, as I have discussed.
When we deal with the specifics of the individual states that are put on a list, that causes a lot of problems. The Canadian government would be in a much stronger position with the legislation if it took the stand that the courts would make that determination. It would be in a stronger position if it could take a stand on the terrorist sponsorship by a particular foreign state if the courts would make that determination. The government is affected by various other relationships with that state.
As pointed out with the American experience, things that have nothing to do with whether a state is sponsoring terror comes into play, such as the Iraqi experience, where even when people had judgments against the state of Iraq, they had no opportunity to get any redress because the government delisted the state. People who had been successful then got nothing, after having gone through the effort of ensuring they had a lawsuit.
The bill, as has been noted by the minister, includes a large number of provisions in various acts. Of the nine acts involved, four are public safety acts, four are Criminal Code related acts, one is the state terror legislation, the new tort. There is another on immigration, and I do not know why the Immigration Act is included.
As a result of the legislation, we have a piece that appears to be unrelated, but nevertheless is a part of it because it is an omnibus bill and the Conservatives figured they could add it and get away with it. That measure would give immigration officers another discretionary reason why they could refuse to allow an individual to come into our country, based on the instructions by Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The minister could authorize officers to refuse work permits to foreign nationals who might be at risk of being subject to humiliating, degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation. We are not opposed to the visa application process being used as a tool to prevent human trafficking and to prevent exploitation. However, the emphasis should be part of a larger process. In an effort to prevent exploitation, the legislation is very vague and would be ineffective by itself in stopping trafficking. It would do nothing to strengthen the rights of workers in Canada, which is the source of the problem, and what would truly protect workers from exploitation.
We see examples of exploitation. The bill has been around for awhile in other forms and seems to have been mounted in response to some exotic dancers who were given visas to work in Toronto. The suggestion was that this was a cover for other activities and that this bill would now give discretion, under instructions from the minister, to refuse people entry into Canada if it was thought they would be subject to exploitation.
If people are eligible to get a visa to come to Canada and the fear is that they would be subject to exploitation, surely they should have the protection of Canadian labour laws that prevent them from being exploited in Canada. If there is a danger that people coming to Canada would be exploited, then the answer is to let those people come to Canada and ensure that their freedom of movement and their ability to choose employment are not compromised by criminal and exploitative activity. That is the dream.
People coming to Canada are not coming to be exploited. They are coming here because they may be given some information that their role or their job is one thing and then someone may try to exploit them once they get here. What is the answer? Is the answer to leave them where they are? Is the answer to say that they are entitled to come to Canada, but we will ensure that our laws protect them? We have a problem with the focus of the legislation being on this exotic dancer notion. However, all foreign workers are vulnerable. One example is live-in caregivers. We have a lot of them in our country. Agricultural workers, for example, are subject to potential exploitation.
Temporary labourers are another group that we have lots of experience with in this country going back to the building of the CPR. They are subject to exploitation. Temporary labourers are some of the most exploitable workers in Canada, but the bill is not likely to assist them because it is not part of a significant effort by the government to clamp down on the exploitation of workers in general. Indeed, I do not think the Conservative government takes that issue seriously at all.
We have support for our position on the bill from many different groups across the country. For example, the Canadian Bar Association expressed its concerns with several aspects of the bill, both in media and press releases and in a 100-page brief presented to committee. It is concerned about mandatory minimums and the government's over-reliance on incarceration, and the constraints on judges' discretion to ensure a fair result in each case. It is concerned about the bill's impact on specific already disadvantaged groups and mentioned in its brief the effect on aboriginal Canadians.
In its extensive brief, the Canadian Bar Association talked about the changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, for example, including the provisions that would add to mandatory minimum sentences with respect to drugs. The association said it was opposed to the passage of what was then called Bill C-15 and opposed the same provisions appearing in Bill C-10 dealing with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It believes that the public safety concerns could be better met with existing legislative tools. The association stated:
We believe the bill would not be effective, would be very costly, would add to strains on the administration of justice in Canada, could create unjust and disproportionate sentences and ultimately would not achieve its intended goal of greater public safety.
Now there is a statement:
—[The bill] would not achieve its intended goal of greater public safety.
I am not saying that because the Canadian Bar Association has said this that it is gospel. I am a former member of the Canadian Bar Association, as are many members of the House. This is an organization of lawyers across the country who represent not just one side of the bar but also prosecutors, defence counsel, people who work in the Department of Justice or justice departments and public prosecution services across this country as well, who are in the courts day in and day out prosecuting crimes, and people on the other side who are defending the accused. As our system is built around the rule of law, there are people who ensure that our system works, that people are innocent until proven guilty. There are two types of lawyers, and together they put this submission forward. When they say they do not think the bill would be effective in achieving the goal of greater public safety, that has to be taken seriously.
When the association talks about the mandatory minimum sentence with respect to marijuana plants, for example, it says that the bill would require mandatory minimum sentences even though the circumstances of the offence and degree of responsibility varied significantly.
The penalties in the bill are based on arbitrary factors and do not meaningfully distinguish the levels of culpability. For example, the clause that poses escalating mandatory minimum sentences for the production of marijuana is geared to the number of plants produced. If it is six plants or more, the sentence would be six months. The mandatory minimum would be nine months for the purpose of trafficking or the plants are on someone else's land. Then there is a one-year sentence for 200 plants, but less than 500. We are almost telling the judge to look at the list, with the number of plants on one side and the mandatory minimum on the other.
This in fact is an affront to the judges of our country. Many of them would say that one of their most important functions is to determine what an appropriate sentence is for a particular crime. This legislation says that the deciding factor is how many plants are involved. If a person has five plants, there is one sentence; if they have six plants, there is another; if they have 200 plants, there is another; and if it is on someone's else's land, it goes up even further, even if someone had only sprinkled a few seeds over a back fence and was growing the plants on that other person's land.
I can see why people do that. They might do it thinking they might not get caught, which is probably the idea. However, because it is on someone else's land, there is a higher mandatory minimum than if it happened to be on the own person's land. Does that make sense?
I am sure members here and all those listening are wondering if that makes sense or not. I go along with the Canadian Bar Association, which says that is arbitrary. It is totally arbitrary and has nothing to do with the degree of responsibility, the degree of guilt, the degree of punishment that is required.
When the Canadian Bar Association says this, it gives some bolster to the common sense of people who say there is something wrong with this picture when penalties have this arbitrary nature. For some reason, the government does not have faith in the judges who are appointed to decide what is fair and reasonable.
There is the case in Toronto of a judge who was dealing with a young man who had a loaded pistol in one hand and a computer in the other when the police broke into this apartment. The situation is actually rather ludicrous. I think the person was in his shorts with a computer in one hand and a loaded pistol in the other, and he was taking a picture of himself with his computer so he could put it on Facebook.
I have to confess I have no idea why someone would want to do that.