Democracy in Canada does not usually directly affect individuals in our society. Usually it is when something goes awry that one sees democracy in action. I guess we take democracy for granted, until it is somehow revoked. Some people look for trouble and get arrested, while the rest of us lead law abiding lives and stay out of trouble. For the average citizen jury duty breaks the veneer of average living and brings democracy to the fore. Jury duty is when your average citizen is called to potentially be selected as a juror for a court case. Mandated by law and therefore mandatory for all citizens over 18 years old, citizens are randomly selected for jury duty, and again randomly selected to become an actual juror. In a world of technology, where certainty and sharp contrasts prevail, I found this randomness surprisingly refreshing.
Blatant as blatant can be at the Toronto G20 Summit in June 2010. Police abuse and brutality, much caught on video or photos. Police use of the crowd control technique called “kettling”, which is not approved nor part of the training of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Abuse of the legal system to create a law that was not disclosed to the public and then abused by the police. Numerous cases of abuse of our rights to free speech, as documented by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Frivolous spending of over $1 billion Canadian taxpayer dollars. Yet at Canada’s federal and Ontario provincial governments, refusal to call a public inquiry. We Canadians deserve much better. These politicians should be removed from office immediately. What more is physical abuse, political manipulation and financial bungling is needed to prompt a public inquiry here in Canada?
My local grocery store Chung Hing at Kennedy Road and Finch Avenue in Scarborough/Toronto, Canada was held up by gunpoint yesterday, Saturday February 20, 2011 at around 16:10 in the afternoon. Five black guys, faces hidden behind bandanas and guns drawn, marched into the store and demanded cash. The cash registers were locked. While these thieves would rather steal for a living, they also risk the lives of those that shop and work at this store. For me, my wife and two kids had just checked out. They were petrified. A single police car with one officer arrived just as my wife left the store. An hour later a neighbour reported that there were 12 police cars at the store, now long closed for the day.
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Chung Hing Chinese Grocery store Held up At Gunpoint
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AT thus summer’s G20 meeting in Toronto, Canada, over a 1,000 fellow Canadians were illegally arrested, detained. About 900 of these were eventually let go without charge. Clearly our right to assemble was trampled to bits by police boots. These people should not have been charged in the first place. There is an ongoing call for a G20 public inquiry by many but it seems to fall on deaf ears. I will not and cannot forget this travesty of injustice and will remember the G20 the next time I vote provincially and federally. Here is an article excerpt from the Toronto Star from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. I would like to read the complete report but have not found it:
This is my Toronto in one of its darkest moments. In this event the Canadian Charter of Rights was wantonly trounced by Toronto Police. Over 1,000 citizens were illegally detained, some for over 24 hrs, and then set free with no explanation. Yes, the fight will continue in the courts but the damage has already been done. Healing, if it occurs, will only start once a proper public inquiry has been completed. Who was responsible for this suspension of our right to protest? Frankly I doubt we will ever know.
G20 vandal wanted by police for property damage in Toronto
Criminals should not get away with their crimes. G20 protesters and bystanders were treated badly by police, this is true. Still, those that smashed their way through Toronto need to be found and prosecuted. Please help police find and prosecute these criminals.
Just because our Charter of Rights and Freedoms were squashed by police during the Toronto G20 is not a reason for these criminals to go free. There is no “Get out of Jail Free” card here.
G20 vandal wanted by police for property damage in Toronto.
Wu Yuren, husband of Canadian Karen Patterson and daughter Hannah
No doubt about it, I am Canadian, and for a short time, I lived in China. Thinking that the Rule of Law in Canada is interpreted the same in China would seem logical but incorrect. Just because there are laws on the books, decreed by the government, similar in both countries, is insufficient to take the Canadian view of law and apply it to the People’s Republic of China. A case in point is Karen Patterson’s Chinese husband, Wu Yuren, who offered moral support for a friend and ended up beaten up and detained, with little access to his family or lawyer. He is still detained. His case is a good lesson to both Chinese and foreigners that China’s legal system works differently from Canada.
I used to joke that after living in China and Japan for a couple of years, returning to my home city of Toronto was a non event. It was literally a non event because nothing really changes in Toronto. Sleepy and a tad boring, Toronto seemed to always be the same stable environment. I have come to change my viewpoint now because of the startling and sudden infringement of human rights and the rule of law that has occurred due to the G20 summits that are now being held in Toronto. With law enforcement ballooning to 14,000, imported from all police departments throughout Canada, police decked out in full riot gear, secretly enacted laws of search and arrest (Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act, specifics for the G20), without public debate nor following the proper procedures of the courts, Toronto has degraded from a sleepy democracy to a communist country or a police state. Startling is how fast my city degraded to a police state, catching all of us by surprise. I expect this while living in China but I did not realize that democracy can be so easily overturned by so few.
Queer comes to mind when talking about the case of grocer David Chen. A known thief, Anthony Bennett, steals flowers from Chen’s store. This is caught on video. The thief returns less than an hour later. Chen and two workers hold the thief for police. Mr. Chen is charged with assault and forcible confinement. All charges for the thief are dropped. This is morally wrong and a perversion of the law. Thieves should not be able to steal and get away with it. How simple can this get? Explain this to a 4 year old and s/he would easily understand, yet Toronto police struggle with this issue. It is no wonder when people refuse to cooperate with police.
It is not as hard as it was before, a decade ago. I recall the road being in terrible condition because it was a main route to Zhengzhou, so the road was pulverized daily by coal trucks. Now they have expanded to have not one but two highways (gaosulu). Here are the hops: Changzhi’s Dongguan bus station, Licheng, Changning, Longwangmiao, to Quixuiyuan. Two buses. The bus from Changzhi to Licheng is hourly and travels about 48kms and costs 20 RMB. The bus from LiCheng to Changning is hourly on the 15 and costs 5 RMB. The bus from Changning is only twice a day for the last 8 kms.
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Travel from Changzhi to Qiuxiuyuan in Shanxi Province, China
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