Thursday, December 22, 2011

Premier Redford's Nanny State Ideals are not what Albertans Voted For

I was unsure about Alison Redford when she “elected” leader of the provincial Tories. Now I feel she is a terrible Premier. Premier Redford makes decisions on behalf of Albertans stating it's either what we want or what any sensible or reasonable Albertan would want. Apparently since she's become our provincial leader, we've lost the ability to make decisions for ourselves.

When she became the (not) elected leader of Alberta, immediately Premier Redford moved forward with her pet project of an unconstitutional drinking and driving law. She would not permit discussion or proper study.  Why not?  Is it because glaring flaws would be found with the new law?  Is this why she had to force it through using power of closure?  Anytime a government circumvents due process, it make me nervous.

With this new drinking and driving law, the police are given the ability to judge a driver guilty on the roadside without blowing over the criminal limit of 0.08.  Based on number of times caught, the driver gets their license suspended and car impounded for increasing amounts of time but there are no charges laid and no demerits given until they blow over 0.08.  Now if the driver blows OVER 0.08, the person's license is immediately suspended and car seized until the criminal charges are resolved.  The police are in essence giving a guilty verdict on the roadside.  The driver must go to court to determine whether or not the police’s roadside verdict sticks or if they are now innocent.  The best part is, there is no recourse for the driver.  Even a violent criminal is innocent until proven guilty.

Why is this law unconstitutional? There is no innocent until proven guilty, it's guilty and less guilty. This law also leads to unreasonable search and seizure.  The vehicle is seized with no criminal charges laid, based on a roadside breath test.  If there was some kind of recourse for the driver, I would have an easier time with this law.  How long will this law last based on Charter violations?  Not being a lawyer, I have no idea how an unconstitutional law makes it into the law books in the first place. I would think the government would know better and wouldn't want to waste their time with a court challenge. How does this benefit anyone?

Something else I don't understand is how a law passes (well, gets forced through) in Alberta that gets deemed unconstitutional in British Columbia? I thought we were one country with one Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely DO NOT believe anyone should drink and drive, ever. There is no excuse for it, but I do believe in a person's Charter rights. I also don't believe that a police officer should play judge. That's not their job.

Instead of creating a new law, why not enforce the old ones more efficiently? I don't see how targeting law abiding citizens is going to solve anything. As long as the government is targeting people that drink small amounts occasionally, it solves very little - if anything.  If they want to target repeat offenders, then target repeat offenders.  What this new 0.05 law will do is burden an already burdened court system.

With this going on, Premier Redford wants to enact a new anti-smoking law. She wants to make it illegal for drivers to smoke when travelling with children and she wants to ban flavoured tobacco products in the name of health. Neither of these will cure anything. Parents will still smoke at home and as for banning flavoured tobacco, not being a smoker, I'm not sure about this one. I'll have to ask smokers who like them.

She states these in the same breath as “let's raise taxes on tobacco and booze to increase our coffers!” I beg your pardon?  So, with the Liberal ideals she’s moving us into, she’s creating “sin taxes” as well.  Does Premier Redford not realize that people won't buy as much if the price increases too much, if at all? That means the coffers she speaks of won't be as full as she wants them too be?

So, I wonder what will be taxed for those of us who don't drink and smoke. When will the tax collector bang on my door asking for his gold to fill the provincial coffers because the totalitarian Liberal - wait, Conservative - government didn't get their two extra cents from me. I also wonder what other stupidity law will be put in place because Premier Redford is doing it in the best interest of Albertans without actually asking us first. Can't do that, she might actually get an answer she doesn't like. Damn that democracy.

It's a good thing an election is close at hand.  What the new leader doesn’t seem to take into consideration is that these are not the ideals we elected into power.  It was the party ideals at the time.  I don’t think Albertans can take more of Premier Redford changing Alberta in our “best interests”.