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CIVILITY WATCH : should DISRESPECT be CRIMINALIZED ? 2023/06/14 15:41  
Not legal advice.

Neighbour interactions including minor nuisances can ironically be a chance for all involved to resolve and move ahead.Or solve a longstanding misunderstanding.

Or even to ? improve the "neighbouring" relationship.

BUT focus on issues instead of personalities : at least easier to avoid some tense scenarios.

Not too often that criticizing someone personally may be better than trying to focus on working out an ISSUE. One may someday need that same neighbour eg to get you out of the overturned tractor. Or provide CPR or whatever. Or support you when trying to persuade your fellow owners of something . Life's short.

1 - Anyway a May 9/23 mild or otherwise innocuous incident between an Ottawa police officer and a mischievous child on a schoolbus, has culminated in a complaint by a witness - a law professor - to police oversight in Ottawa.

The law professor happened to witness as an police officer pulled over a schoolbus and actually next commandered it to a local school. ( The article details more . . . . )

That's after a minor on board made a disrespectful, vulgar gesture at the officer.

Yes : children may need to know that officers are human and usually their needed protection . That's even if the police grasp of Canada's Criminal Code and Charter of Rights is sometimes shaky.

2 - That Ottawa incident ironically has drawn attention to an obscure but bizarre harsh dismissal of CRIMINAL CHARGES laid in Quebec amidst 2021 COVID tension. Reportedly started over children's party noise.

Those Quebec criminal charges were harshly dismissed earlier this year including largely over a similar act of disrespect which is discussed at length as to legality .

( R v Epstein 2023 : A Quebec criminal court judge absolutely roasts police and the complainant. Complainant antagonist arguably hoodwinked cops into charging the other antagonist with criminal harassment and uttering death threats !

A significant portion was for the same vulgar gesture which the criminal court judge rules was ZERO grounds for such charges & arguably even a police Charter breach for the criminal charges ! )

One recalls the pair of incompetent Montreal transit cops who unlawfully handcuffed and temporarily imprisoned an elevator rider. That was outrageously what Canada's Supreme Court unanimously ruled was an outrageous fake offence and Charter breach ! )

3 - Neighbour v neighbour condo or Building Scheme interactions may get tense. But trying FORMALLY to criminalize mere disrespect - to get someone criminally charged over a mere act of disrespect - may not move always move things ahead. It may even rebound.

If the police take formal action it may turn out to be on shaky grounds with lasting bitterness. Do some cops have trouble with “boundaries of authority” despite salary levels ? AND aren't the civil & criminal justice systems overloaded enough ? ( Read the Quebec judge's furious comments )

It may also be easy to forget that a mischievous child has some rights. Was commandeering the bus justified by what possibly should have been just laughed off ?

Note these are NOT a contempt of court scenarios

* *

June 3/23 Ottawa Citizen “Ottawa police accused of intimidating schoolboy who flipped them the bird "Just because someone is a child doesn't mean they don't have a constitutional right." photocaption : Anne Levesque, an Ottawa a human-rights lawyer and law professor, has filed a public complaint after saying she witnessed a police car pull over a school bus when a child flipped the middle finger to the officers from a bus window. flipped-them-the-bird

March 16/23 Canadian Lawyer blog : “Giving middle finger a Charter-protected right, finds Quebec judge" by Aidan Macnab right-finds-quebec-judge/374500

R. c. Epstein, 2023 QCCQ 630
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