Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Law enforcement is citizen's business By Dr. Morris Regina lawyer I C.B.C. interview of Dr. M. Q.C. Nitioul of the Civil Jbertiet Section of the Bar Association. Has the association taken my position formally on the luty of a citizen to assist wlice officers in enforcing the I recall no resolution lealing with the question of he individual's obligation to issist an officer. The mphasis today is so much ipon the right of the ndividual to demand issistance for himself. You ire quite right in saying that inder the Criminal Code of when a police officer inds that he needs the issistance of a citizen and upon him for it is a duty to do so. If he ails to assist not having excuse for the that in itself is a so that the Criminal Code does impose a July upon the citizen to assist i police officer in enforcing he law. we are witnessing nstances of great public ipathy in this area with some 'earful consequences. I view .his law to be necessary and lesirable because it reinforces one of the citizen's highest duties. In a it is the luty of citizens to make the aws. direct democracy s no longer possible and representative iemocracy has taken its Dlace. We delegate our law- making responsibilities to our Tiembers of our legislators and our city councillors. But the duty is Basically ours and we can never divest ourselves of that obligation to make the laws in 3 democracy if the concept of self-determination is ever to work. Now in the same way that it is the citizen's duty to make it is the citizen's to enforce those laws. But in a society such as where we have specialists and we delegate many of our duties to we do not enforce the laws very often ourselves. In the criminal we can make what is called citizen's But this does not happen very often. In most in the enforcement of our we do precisely what we do in the making of the we delegate the power to police officers. But in the same way that our legislators may not do the job perfectly themselves and need our help through direct so the police officer may need our help in enforcing it. The Criminal Code of Canada recognizes this fact of life. In my the obligation to assist an officer when called on to do so is clear recognition of the fact that the law is the people's is the citizen's law. It is not the police officer's law. It is not the law of the courts. It is not the law of anybody except the citizens. it is not only the duty of the citizen to assist the police it is also one of our most significant rights. Whenever we fail to do what we can to make the law the mortar that holds the bricks of our society crumbles and the walls that protect us all are weakened. The attack on one member of the community is an attack on every member of that community. That is why the criminal law and its enforcement is not a private affair. it is a public concern. If citizens are worried about a breakdown of law and order today in Canadian it serves no purpose to blame Parliament or the the the police or the courts or judges or lawyers or social workers. We have only ourselves to blame. If we have dear Brutus lies not in the but in ourselves that we are let's take a practical example. You are standing on the street corner and there are three thugs fighting with a policeman and the policeman says me a you presumably know nothing about street fighting. Maybe you have a wife and family. Are you going to plunge in and get into the fray regardless of what the consequences may Dr. you are asking me if I think that the Charge of the Light Brigade served a useful purpose in time of men were ordered to do an impossible task in a hopeless situation. I suggest some BERB 'S 1974 by NEA. Inc a hundred bucks an hour for my these are going to be mighty expensive discretion must be used. Certainly very effective ways to assist a police officer may be found without risking life. Assisting him does not mean that a person has to rush forward and pound the daylights out of somebody. It may be that one just has to pound on a or make a telephone that in some ingenuity is excercised by stopping a passing ringing a fire alarm. But it means doing something. Should there be a distinction between a situation in which a police officer actively requests a citizen's help and a situation in which he just sees something that may or may nor be Dr. I think there is a distinction and certainly the Criminal Code draws that distinction. Whatever the moral at law no one must be a volunteer. Moral obligations are felt more keenly by some persons than others. There is nothing in our Criminal Code which says that if a private sees an offence being committed he has a duty to arrest the offender or the would-be offender. He might even make a serious mistake by intervening too precipitously. For suppose a girl being dragged off by a man and apparently raped was.really his that would not amount to a criminal offence at because no one can rape his wife. There would be no offence committed under those unlikely circumstances. A citizen might get into a good deal of trouble if he were to seize a chap who seems to be forcibly leading away a girl unless he really knows whether the suspicious character was the girl's husband. Book reviews Your question raises another interesting idea. Suppose I see a couple of thugs giving a police officer a bad time and the police officer asks me to intervene and I do so. I believe I am able to give him a hand and I but in the process I lose three teeth and I suffer a broken nose. What about Who should bear the financial responsibility for my In a growing number of provincial jurisdictions in Canada there have been passed what are called Crimes Compensation Acts. If the thug I thwarted has no assets of his own that I could call upon to pay compensation for my injuries and there are provisions that allow me to apply to a board that may provide compensation out of the public treasury. The scale of compensation is not nearly but it affords some recognition of the obligation of the state to compensate those who serve it. Do you think there is increasing apathy among citizens today about getting Dr. I do. I sense an atmosphere of apathy. I think it arises from the unwillingness of leaders of our communities to place responsibility upon the individual and to attribute all ills to some anonymous and amorphous creature called many of are encouraged to shrug off responsibility. If I feel I am responsible for myself and my own that the world does not owe me a I am likely to take action where I see injustice or wrong. I will not slough off that duty on someone such as a police officer or other civil servant. In a society which has grown as permissive as where no demands are made by or by governments of teachers to perform according to a standard of it is not surprising that has been called everybody else's business but our own. It is not surprising that when predators stalk the streets and make their forays against the weak and the we look the other way and the policeman's job. Why should I help him when he's being paid to fight What is of is perfectly apparent. it is growing more difficult to recruit able police officers because they are aware of our attitudes. They often feel that they are operating in enemy territory and that they cannot even call on the you and to help them when they are under attack. they feel not only that violence is more and more becoming the order of the but that it is being condoned by most law- abiding citizens as the norm a phenomenon to be accepted. So it is that the apathy of the citizen engenders apathy and ultimately corruption on the part of the police who are our law-enforcement agents. All of this retreat from reasonable standards and norms stems from the smug assurance that even though we do nothing for ourselves the state will somehow protect and care for us as long as we pay our taxes and break no important laws. But in my respectful a citizen's duty only begins with the payment of taxes. If he were more willing to act and assist peace officers when I venture to think his taxes would decline and the very quality and worth of his citizenship would be enhanced. The sincere politician by Geoffrey Stevens and Stewart 279 On October the people of Canada went to the polls to elect a party which would form the government of the dominion. In one of the most expensive and best publicized elections in Canadian Canadians reminded the Liberals that they were not invincible and assured the Conservatives that they were an acceptable alternative. The government in the eyes of had lost the confidence of the people but Trudeau neverthless decided to stay on as prime minister. Like many was perplexed with the election results which gave the Liberals 109 the Conservatives 107 and left the New Democrats holding the balance of power. The Canadian with the exception of Nova had almost elected a man to the highest public office whom they knew very little about. That man is Robert L. Stanfield. A self-contained man whom Senator Grattan O'Leary calls most and civilized mind on our political Geoffrey sees Mr. Stanfield as a political pushed and pulled by forces that fluctuate wildly in both intensity and man of considerable depth who defies superficial analysis- He desires a private lifestyle yet his life in politics is neither quiet nor private. He accepts challenges seemingly beyond his capabilities yet he overcomes them. He is said to be a man of personal loyalty on he has been ruthless. He has been called an inept politician yet his successes have been large and most of his setbacks Stevens' book begins with a brief look at the Stanfield family and moves on to the days of youth of Bob Stanfield. He spent his early years in Nova Scotia and left home to study economics at Dalhousie University where he graduated four years later with a bachelor of arts degree and the Governor-General's Gold Medal for having the highest academic standing of any graduating student. In his first year at Stanfield made the prestigious Harvard Law Review and was invited to become its assistant a job offered to the top three per cent of the class numbering 600. Bob Stanfield graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1939 but he was still unsure of his future. irs your vacation- we'd like to help make it the best. you just feel like getting away from it all. Whether you have the money for a little trip or not. When you are planning your vacation and you find that a little extra money would give us a call. We think that a vacation loan is a worthwhile purpose. And you can choose a repayment plan that suits your budget. We'd like to help make this the best vacation you ever had. we can help you. LAURENTIDE FINANCIAL CORPORATION A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN OWNED LAURENTIDE FINANCIAL GROUP During the war he worked for the Wartime Prices and Trade Board and married Joyce Frazee from New York in 1940. After the they bought a home in Halifax and began to raise a family. Robert Stanfield had no desire to practice law or work in the family business and having an adequate private income to support his he decided to direct his time and energy towards restoring the two-party system in Nova Scotia. He dedicated nine years of hard work for the Conservative Party in Nova Scotia at the time of his had nQ seats in the provincial legislature. In his hard work paid off when he was elected premier of Nova Scotia. After eleven successful years as he ran for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative Party in 1967 and won. He began an arduous task of reconciling a dissention- plagued national turning it into a respectable political organization appealing not only to the elderly and the rural but also to the young and to people in urban centres. It would be difficult to find a political observer better equipped'than Geoffrey Stevens to assess the political career of Bob Stanfield. Since Geoffrey Stevens has travelled with Mr. Stanfield in two general election campaigns and on tours with him across the country in between elections. He has this to say about Robert prime Stanfield would be the same as he has been as leader of the Opposition. He would be and humane. He would not be given to brilliant insights or eloquent visions of Canada's neither would he be given to outbursts of temperament or flights of empty fancy. He would be and above stable. He would bring calm and good sense to the never-ending search for solutions to the two most urgentroblems of unity and regional In a democratic country such as there is only one way in which we can find out what kind of prime minister Robert Stanfield would really and after reading this I don't think that it will be a choice that I'll regret even though I am not a Conservative. Our heritage By Marie local writer IRON SPRINGS So Alberta is to have a Heritage day this The dictionary defines as that which is handed down to a person from his ancestors an inheritance. I suppose there are many things which we might consider as part of our the time we are allotted on this our family and friendships. I suppose one might also include the privileges of living in a although at times I am tempted to think that government legislation does tend to impose restrictions in some respects. Think of the heritage that Alberta will have 100 years from now. At the moment it might be regarded as a or a melting where the cultures of many ethnic groups are being fused together. Occasionally one may go to a program where people are performing the songs and dances of their country in their native costume. Or you may go to a community especially in a rural where the menu may include frugt chow Irish or any number of foods native to a specific nationality. these people over the came here from other have gradually adopted our way of life and have been integrated into our society. how long are they going to retain their and They have enriched our our nation. But it is time to stop and assess our as some of it is being lost with the passing years. Gone is part of the heritage of the homesteaders and other early settlers who opened up this country. in most are the box community barn and quilt- ing bees. We are living in an age of affluence when we enjoy the things that money can but only our heritage can enable us to enjoy the things that money can't buy. Breaking a vicious circle By Eva free-lance writer appliance dealers use rental purchase plans to get around laws demanding disclosure of the cost of and prisons are full of young debtors who or refuse pay No connection between these two Indeed there is. The flourishing of the former and the downfall of the latter can be laid directly at the doorstep of a greedy society to some extent at the feet of our cock-eyed penal system. Although the majority of people would label them dumb let's face the imprisoned debtors are the more honest victims of our legal code of punishment. Nothing is easier today than raising a dishonest buck to pay large fines for that acquire any of the luxuries kids are brought up to regard as necessities. In an environment of adults buying anything their hearts desire now and paying it is logical that more and more youngsters get into trouble copying their elders' moral standards. In spite of repeated warnings that large fines are not the answer to juvenile delinquency and worthwhile suggestions for better methods of rehabilitation for young the courts go on merrily handing out fines from to or more for first and subsequent misdemeanors of various kinds. At a time when even well paid family heads have a struggle to keep abreast of taxes and do judges never wonder how youngsters raise money for these The majority barely earn enough to pay the exorbitant rents for a roof over their heads and are lucky if they have enough left over for a square meal. let me tell you how it is I am not talking about those lost souls driven to worse like drug pushing or to pay their debt to society. Those smart enough to realize that felony is a mug's have discovered a much more ingenious within the no worse in their opinion than the accepted adult practice of paying off loans with additional credit. In all our larger young people have no difficulty obtaining a rental purchase few questions asked. Nor is it any harder for them to find an citizen who will buy a television or stereo if he can get it at half-price. kids will purchase an appliance costing anything from to and immediately convert it into cash. After they only require to to buy their freedom. Subsequent monthly payments to the dealer of or so seem a small price to pay if a large fine is due by the end of the or else. Who would ask for the final cost of a purchase agreement if it is a question of life or death and to the spectre of prison is worse than death. of are only an infinitesmal part of the many reasons for the young to get ripped off by these rental-purchase sharks but the final results of economic bondage are the same. There for unscrupulous individuals who don't hesitate to swap some old wreck of a car for a valuable new appliance to a boy who needs transport to get to a distant job or rightly or believes no modern girl will go out with him unless he can drive her around in the style to which her parents have got her accustomed. Of course it is high time dealers were prevented from getting around laws demanding disclosure of the cost of borrowing even more urgent is the need for society to take a close look at itself and What have we been doing to our children with our attitude of pay Aren't we all the courts who hand out fines they must know young people cannot possibly find in the short period accessories after the The suggestion has been made before and fallen on deaf ears but here it is Why cannot young offenders be required to get involved in community schemes helping senior entertaining underprivileged patients in hospitals or others in Such worthwhile activities would not only keep them out of mischief but may help young law- breakers to count their blessings and begin to value their gift of youth and health. Isn't it worth a trial to break the vicious circle of crime being paid for by committing more unlawful As it society is supporting loan sharks and dishonest and finally paying the highest possible the corruption of our young people into a pleasure-seeking generation. Homosexual rights By William New York Times commentator Should homosexuals to use the word they prefer to the dozens of slang derogations used by be given a legal tool to combat a social stigma as has been done in several parts of the U.S. recently. I think so. But not for the reasons advanced in most of the writing on this subject. As homosexuals have gained the courage to come of the closets and into the many have proceeded to overstate their case. No longer do Gays say and let they suggest that criticism of homosexuality is bigoted and psychologically and assert that their way of life is fulfilling and morally unassailable. Psychiatrist Robert E. writing in a recent New York Times holds that if social taboos were humans would be functioning bisexuals pathology might very well consist of exclusive interest in one sex Flat assertions like with no empirical evidence to back it go unchallenged. It is one- thing for the American Psychiatric Association to decree that homosexuality is no longer considered a category of mental but to say that in the future the heterosexuals will be considered the deviates steps over the brink. To be Gay is to be whether or not that abnormality extends to one-tenth of the population. To be Gay is to be engaged in an activity that both moral absolutists and moral relativists would label with both scripture and sociological statistics on their side. The majority which considers homosexuality to be a mental problem to be or a moral decision to be is not to be dismissed as a bunch of benighted bigots. Homosexuality should be the prospect of universal bisexuality is infinitely depressing. The question then How can this abnormality be contained in a way that does not abridge personal To that philosophical question can be added this practical How do we deal with Gay militants so as not to make heroes out of are who are becoming unashamed of being and who have every right to be different. People who are etymological root of that word is have every right to to to but not to coerce. Does this high-sounding concern for civil liberty mean that we should pass laws allowing Gays to teach small children in public I'm afraid so. As long as a teacher does not teach he's entitled to be we can hope that Gay leader Ronald Gold is right when he says isn't That is a painful but there is a practical better a forthright homosexual teacher than a secret one. Certainly there is danger in toleration being taken for but the greater danger is the invasion of everybody's right to privacy. The adult homosexual's right to be let alone must not be invaded by a majority seeking to make unlawful what it regards as sinful. If society does not like what it society should remove its eye from the now that Gays want to come out of the it is not right for the majority to slam them back in. Is our morality so or cur heterosexuality so that the majority must find petty ways to discriminate against male and In sexual the male- female connection needs no legal or social let the straights play it straight. Repression and intolerance well as a tone of condescension I cannot comb out of this demeans all of us and cloaks a psychological problem in the guise of a Homosexuality should be neither a cause nor a but as long as we treat it as a we will be giving its practitioners a cause. We can treat the Gays as people with mental or counter their new proselytation with some missionary work of our or gratify our consciences by railing at them as but when we fail to give them the equal protection of the then it is the law that is oueer.