This landed in my inbox. I thought I’d share it with you.
“Much has been made of the opposition of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) to Bill C-391 (An Act to Abolish the Long-Gun Registry). Canadians should be reminded that their interests do not always align with those of Canada’s chiefs of police.
In their letter of January 27, 1981, the CACP wrote to the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada to express their outrage at the legal rights which were to be enshrined in (and now form part of) the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The CACP argued in strident opposition to such crucial freedoms as the right to counsel, the right to silence, the right to be free from arbitrary detention and the right to life, liberty and security of the person.
The CACP wrote that upon examining these proposed rights – which now form the backbone of Canadian constitutional protections – they were “distressed and totally confused”. Enshrining these rights in the constitution would, in the CACP’s opinion, “effectively emasculate law enforcement”. They claimed that as a result of these rights, Canadians would be “the eventual losers”.
History has proven them wrong. These rights and freedoms have been entrenched in the Canadian constitution for nearly thirty years. Law enforcement has not been emasculated and Canadians, despite the dire predictions of the CACP, have only won out, protected by the substantive and procedural guarantees of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The CACP is a lobby organization which aims to advance its own interests. Often, those objectives are laudable and should be supported. However, with regard to C-391, much like the Charter of Rights, the CACP is simply out of step with the needs of ordinary Canadians and front-line police officers. “