Skip to comments.Government dared to define the word 'criminal'[Canada]
Posted on 06/19/2007 9:54:34 AM PDT by BGHater
CHARTER APPLICATION; The fingerprinting process designates one a criminal: artist
A lawsuit to be filed today in Ontario court demands that the federal justice department define the word "criminal."
Andre Milne, 42, a commercial artist who faces a possible charge of threatening bodily harm to a parking lot attendant, notes that the word is not included in a lengthy glossary attached to the Criminal Code, which defines everything from "act" to "writing," and such emotionally loaded terms as "victim" and "terrorist activity."
So when Mr. Milne was ordered to be fingerprinted and photographed prior to his court appearance next month, pursuant to a federal law called the Identification of Criminals Act, he wondered what had happened to his presumption of innocence.
"The second anyone walks in and is involved in that process [of fingerprinting], they have been designated as a criminal," he said yesterday.
He intended to file his lawsuit today at the Superior Court of Justice, alleging the Identification of Criminals Act violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and demanding the government be more forthcoming about how mugshots and fingerprints are used.
"That information is now being exchanged [between police forces or even foreign governments] from the premise that this person has been identified as a criminal," he said.
Mr. Milne's claims and arguments have not been tested in court, and the Department of Justice has not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit.
The Identification of Criminals Act of 1985 allows police to forcibly acquire mugshots and fingerprints from anyone charged with a crime or held in lawful custody, or anyone issued with a notice to appear in court, even if, as in Mr. Milne's case, no charge has been laid. That file may then "be published for the purpose of affording information to officers and others engaged in the execution or administration of the law."
Mr. Milne's draft lawsuit calls this "a clear violation" of the Charter.
He is a commercial artist, and the proprietor of G2-Net, a multi-media art project housed on the back of a flatbed truck, which travels Ontario for various projects and shows.
At the moment, the truck includes welding equipment, a full workshop, office, couch, a deejay booth, light and sound systems, and a prototype ejection-seat.
Even before his alleged threat, Mr. Milne was known to police in a positive sense, as the artist behind a metal cut-out sculpture of a missing Toronto-area girl. It was a publicity stunt that generated media attention and several tips, although she remains missing.
He has also been involved in charitable work collecting toy donations for poor Asian children, and the clean-up of graffiti in downtown Toronto.
His apparent litigious streak has seen him lock horns in the past with the Toronto Police Service, a local nightclub, and the city's tow-truck companies, although he said he has now made peace.
Earlier this year, Mr. Milne parked his G2-Net truck in a lot in Toronto's west end, and got in an argument with the attendant. The payment machine was broken, Mr. Milne said.
The attendant later told police Mr. Milne threatened to "kick his ass," but Mr. Milne maintains he told him to "go f---himself."
Either way, Mr. Milne was ordered to appear to be photographed and fingerprinted -- under a law for the "identification of criminals" -- before appearing in court to face a possible criminal charge of threatening bodily harm.
"A citizen of Canada can now be formally identified as a criminal under a federal act wiwthout ever having been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada," his lawsuit reads.
"It opens up something that appears to have never been defined," he said. "What is the boundary of criminal?"
"A citizen of Canada can now be formally identified as a criminal under a federal act wiwthout ever having been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada," his lawsuit reads.'
I would think that someone is a “criminal” if he or she has been convicted of a crime (not a violation or traffic infraction) and that conviction has not been overturned on appeal.
Earlier this year, Mr. Milne parked his G2-Net truck in a lot in Toronto's west end, and got in an argument with the attendant. The payment machine was broken, Mr. Milne said. The attendant later told police Mr. Milne threatened to "kick his ass," but Mr. Milne maintains he told him to "go f---himself."
Good for him. Otherwise government will grow, and justice decay.