Thursday, June 04, 2009

Yes, smarten up Toronto Mayor David Miller!

At what point does exaggeration by a politician become an outright lie? The example that comes to mind is Mayor David Miller of Toronto and his seeming inability to give accurate facts when it comes to gun crime. He is good at emotional harangues against legal firearms ownership but that is no substitute for his police controlling the urban gangs or is it a substitute for correcting the socio-economic problems that are the root causes of the gang culture. Remove the gangs and there is no market for illegal firearms.
Now the mayor wants his minions on council to be able to dip into the public trough for prosecution of dissidents that point out the failures on council. As a lawyer Mr. Miller must know such a device is muzzling and would hamper free democratic debate. We have sufficient libel laws and platforms for countering political attacks. I oppose such a move by Mayor Miller as it is not appropriate in a free democratic system.
Dear zeister:
Thank you for a well written and reasoned e-mail.
Almost completely agree. With degrees from Harvard (economics) and law (University of Toronto) you'd think he'd know better. Can you imagine one city councillor suing another at taxpayer expense? If you're a politician you should be thick-skinned otherwise find another vocation.
How can this decision be rationalized especially, for example, when there's such a crying need for more affordable, better low cost public housing in Toronto, not to mention the deplorable condition of many existing units?
Regarding Canada's defamation laws, in this the electronic age they're far too narrowly framed and antiquated vis-a-vis those in the United States. The Supreme Court of Canada has finished hearing Cusson versus The Ottawa Citizen et al. (includes The National Post) which could reshape existing jurispruidence. Essentially, it would become significantly harder for Plaintiffs to prove their case by offering a new defence. The written decision is expected any day.
Clare L. Pieuk


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