Perverse sense of entitlement

Ottawa, Ontario - September 9, 2002, by: Peter MacKay



I could not agree more with the Canadian Police Association's assessment of the regrettable decision to allow prisoners the right to vote, recently handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Canadian Police Association President Grant Obst wrote (right),

"Once again, Canadian law is being manipulated to provide a perverse sense of entitlement to persons who have committed serious crimes."

And he is right.


sullies the


Clifford Olsen
, Paul Bernardo and other criminals should not have the right to vote in a federal election. It sullies the process and detracts from the rights of all Canadians. Taking away their right to vote is a reasonable limit to the rights of a person found guilty of breaking the law.

The minority opinion, rendered by Justice Gonthier, that prisoners are already being denied the fundamental right of mobility is correct. Prisoners are not physically able to go out and vote because they have committed a serious crime and losing the right to vote is merely an extension of that limitation and should be considered a reasonable limit under the Charter's guarantees.


Paul Bernardo





But more than the constitutional right of prisoners to vote is at issue here. This is about the ability of Parliament to govern effectively through reasonable legislation without the Court's interference. The 5-4 decision brings into question Parliament's legitimacy in determining what is or is not a justifiable punishment and it sets a very dangerous precedent.

I am urging the Minister of Justice to carefully review this decision and act accordingly knowing the vast majority of Canadians are in disagreement with the direction the Court has taken us.


Justice Gonthier


Peter MacKay


M.P. Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough

  Cohen, Gail J. Taking on the tough cases, November, 2002, Law Times Online
  Biography of Peter MacKay
  Supreme Court judgement that prompted these concerns


Retrun to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004