Pubdate: Fri, 06 Mar 2009
Source: Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Joel Parkes


"Whose rights win?" (Feb. 26) -

I fully support the response that Jean Grant has taken on behalf of
her son, who was expelled by the PCVS principal for selling marijuana
off school grounds.

There are those in this community who look at the selling of marijuana
as abhorrent and have difficulty with the merits of any legal
challenge against it, but I feel that there is a much, much larger
issue at play here that can't be ignored.

The Charter Of Rights And Freedoms is meant to grant all citizens
equal treatment and equal protections from undue state authority.
There is no "different" tier of citizenship in this country. No person
should be allowed to circumvent the rights granted in the Charter. If
authority is given to any organization to disregard rules of evidence,
search and seizure procedures and extracting confessions under duress
then the actions of that authority should be called into question, as
Ms. Grant and her son's lawyer are doing. I believe that the PCVS
principal acted on his belief of what he was allowed to do within the
law; in that sense, there can be no wrongdoing attributed to him. The
wrongdoing took place in the drafting of legislation that overrode the
Charter in the first place.

Some people seem to think they should be able to inject a moral
argument into this legal position. Even though they believe they are
supporting an existing law, they are more or less saying the law is a
flexible, arbitrary thing that should only apply to some of the people
some of the time. If a law says the Charter is not applicable to all
citizens then that law, not the Charter, is flawed, and it must be

Erosions of basic freedoms don't have to be massive or obvious to
still be erosions of freedoms. Small, incremental steps towards
abandonment of our most basic rights are still steps towards a very
dangerous thing.

I commend Ms. Grant, her lawyer and, most of all, her son for taking
these very courageous steps in addressing a very important issue that
ultimately affects us all.

Joel Parkes

Lynhaven Road
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