Law Society Ontario (LSO)’s white privilege bucket runneth over

To LSO Board: Reinstate the Statement of Principles (SOP); stop granting licences to known convicted pedophiles; stop allowing religious authorities from pedophile-infested churches to infiltrate; and punt all racist and racism-enabling lawyers from your board. Perhaps then you’ll start earning our trust.

To my ex-lawyer LSO board member Murray Klippenstein, who pissed/continues to piss on Law Society rules by lying; abruptly quitting my lawsuit nearly two years ago to enable racism while blaming me for his betrayals; ignoring my correspondence; withholding my trust funds for a year and website for nearly a year; continuing to withhold my case files which I need to proceed with my lawsuit and his final accounting and formal service for quitting: Stop being such a vile cowardly bully. Send me that which belongs to me and heed your law society’s rules.

Magnificent Photo by Jon Yee: Calgary Black (and Brown) Lives Matter March, June 3, 2020

Even redneck Calgary gets it, while Law Society of Ontario slithers around in a cave.

Tweets in response:

Tasha@tkmdonnelly Replying to @JoshuaSealy and @LawSocietyLSO Methinks @LawSocietyLSO Benchers who ran on a #StopSOP platform should have to disavow this tweet lest their hypocrisy show in pretending suddenly to care about systemic racism & ameliorating disadvantage against people whose rights they objected to promoting in the SOP. Takers?

Shahrukh Gondal@Shahrukhzohaib They already did. Infact they have series of tweets against it.

claire kb@ckboychuk Replying to @JoshuaSealy and @LawSocietyLSO Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Oliver Jull@jull_oliver Replying to @JoshuaSealy @emmajcunliffe and @LawSocietyLSO Get it while its hot!

Megan Ball Rigden @1_Non_Blonde Replying to @JoshuaSealy and @LawSocietyLSO Just yes… As a self-represented Mum at Jarvis fam court (thanks for cutting legal aid, Doug), I saw how the Society thrives on the pre-COVID status quo with youth courts.

Erika lloyd @ErikaLloydtdsb Replying to @JoshuaSealy and @LawSocietyLSO Sadly probably not. But maybe if the society hears the public pressure to do so @LawSocietyLSO will do the right thing. #statementofprincipals is needed!!

Jennifer Ramsay Thug @JusticeAppeals Replying to @JoshuaSealy and @LawSocietyLSO The nerve. You know, @LawSocietyLSO I was searching for a particular study and my search results returned acres of lawyers not wanting the “burden” of anti-racism principles.

Tweets in response:

Bhuvana@bhuvana_rai Jun 2 Replying to@LawSocietyLSO
How can the LSO say this when six months ago, you repealed the requirement for licensees to acknowledge their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public?

Liam Thompson@LkmThompson Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
This statement rings hollow given that the majority of Benchers were elected on a platform of denying the existence of systemic racism. It is offensive for the LSO to claim this when its governing body is devoted to tearing down the LSO’s equity initiatives.

Billeh Hamud@hamudlaw Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
You have failed to implement the recommendations from the Report on the Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees and your benchers have actively undermined any progress on equity, diversity and inclusion. Action. Not words.

Busayo A.F.@Busayo_Ayo Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Our memories aren’t that short. You cannot “address the barriers faced by Black lawyers and paralegals” when many of your board members deny that systemic racism even exists. Please back up your words with real actions that rebuild the trust lost and actually remove barriers.

Erin Moores@ErinKMoores Jun 2
Couldn’t agree more! It’s fitting that the @LawSocietyLSO’s “commitment” is just for “today”, and only came at noon when “today” was half over.

Jean-Paul Bevilacqua@jpbevi Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
LOL. Law Society scraps key diversity initiative The decision by a majority of the legal regulator’s board has left the initiative’s supporters concerned that other equality programs may be cut. thestar.com

ClaireM@Clmumme Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Will you though? That’s not what many benchers have said and done over the last year.

Emma Ryman, PhD @emmaaliceryman Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
What concrete steps will the LSO be taking to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism moving forward? How exactly is the LSO standing with and supporting Black lawyers and paralegals?

Scott Byers@scott_byers Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
This Law Society “stands with” its “diversity partners” like I now stand with the people in line for No Frills: reluctantly, nervously, silently and with as much distance between us as possible.

Andrew ⚜ ⚓@sublymonal Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
The work starts at home. Our benchers need to examine the impact of their decision to remove the statement of principles instead of seeing it as a step towards bigger things. We, as a profession, have a lot of work to do.

Ajay Winterburn@Winter_Ajay Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
As an LSO licencee I call bullsh*t on this statement. The LSO has repeatedly shown that its actions are not aligned with this statement including by most recently repealing the #StatementofPrinciples and reneging on any commitment to #DiversityandInclusion. Take this down. Now.

Jean Cumming@database3 Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
To the LSO employee who snuck this onto Twitter: I applaud you and hope you don’t lose your job for such a brave, defiant stance. #takeastand #racismincanada

Allison Grandish Rainbow@AGrandish Jun 2
“How much do licensing fees for racialized lawyers from families without generational wealth they can resort to if they can’t afford it themselves due to the minimum wage articling position they have due to racism in hiring practices among law firms cost? Like $10?”

Cynthia Ojiegbe@Cynthia_Ojiegbe Jun 2
Amen

N. Nicole Nussbaum@nussbaumlaw Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Will the Law Society call for and demand an end to police violence, overpolicing of black and indigenous communities, including child protection, criminalization of mental illness & poverty, a carceral system that often does not even meet basic charter standards, etc. Etc. Etc.?

Kassy G@Kassy_Gee16 Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
“We stand with our diversity partners. And standing by our diversity partners obviously means being elected a bencher on a platform of repealing a statement of principles that strived to work towards diversity and inclusion”.

Ry Ehrenworth@ryanehrenworth Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Seems legit in light of the the statement of principles controversy. You’re paying lip service to this movement without making significant institutional changes for inclusivity

Rob Danter@realdealdanter Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Did you guys hit “tweet” while half your board was out for lunch?

Enbal@enbundist Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Pointing to existing initiatives that your benchers are trying to scrap doesn’t do anything for black lawyers and paralegals. Step up and make real new commitments today that will help black lawyers, paralegals and students.

Amber Bonnell@AmberBonnell Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Please review the conduct and public submissions of the Benchers who ran on #StopSOP. This statement is not consistent with the platform that they won on, and not consistent regarding the promotion of diversity. This is disappointing.

Dr. Gideon Christian@ProfXtian Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Did your #StopSOP Benchers [approve] this message? and what’s the next equity initiative that’s up for repeal in LSO Agenda?

Lapé@rubymorin05 Jun 2 Replying to@LawSocietyLSO
We’d appreciate your genuine support in actions not words.

Nashara|P.@NashieP Jun 2 Replying to LawSocietyLSO
I had no idea that COVID-19 caused April Fools Day to be rescheduled to June 2, 2020.

Carleigh T@Tags20 Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Is repealing the SOP addressing barriers faced by black lawyers and paralegals? We’re all just wondering what you are doing to “address” the barriers…..

Enbal@enbundist Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Where is the law society putting money towards supporting Black lawyers and paralegals?

Ursula K LeGwent@livinginthepost Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
“During Blackout Tuesday” but not the other 364 days per year. The #stopSOP benchers being awful quiet right now

Timothy Sullivan@SullivanLawCA Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Please show us the resolution at Convocation to approve this statement along with the roll call vote.

Law and Wine ScalesWine glass@awandwine Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Show us your benchers and their diversity!

Annette@hannetteev Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Prove it!

Catherine Brennan@CBrennanTO Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Oh, no no.

Merrie@merriemTM Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
The LSO still has ALOT of work to do with respect to supporting racialized lawyers and paralegals. Actions speak louder than grand statements.

Ramon@rkp84 Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Actions speak louder than words, LSO and these words from you are meaningless. Do better.

tee hails@teehails Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
This is so fake and performative. DONT DO THIS.

Debbie Rachlis@debbierachlis Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
And of course, no response….

Karen Chen@ckaren15 Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Don’t forget the history of the law society: to exclude https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2273323

Rose LeMay@The_IRG 15h Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Waiting for the @LawSocietyLSO to implement a framework against racism. Oh. Didn’t they just ditch their reconciliation framework?

M Z@z_dreamchasers June 4 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
LSO needs an action plan, not riding this wave like it’s a trend. LSO what are you doing to actively and meaningfully combat anti-black racism? Where was this message when the SOP was repealed?

Michele Allinotte@MAllinotte Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Is this a joke or just virtue signalling? Either way, this is garbage. Your benchers have shown they DGAF about diversity.

Stacey Mirowski@StaceyMirowski Jun 2
Exactly! Is the memory so short that we’ve forgotten StopSOP?

betwixt nope and yikes@patiencemosher Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Is this a joke?

B Gana@bgana June 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
Lool this is a joke right . The unmitigated gall!

Immanuel@paradoxifl Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
LoL. Incorrect.

Physically Distancing Serra@gimblerocket Jun 3 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
You couldn’t even get a statement of principles pledging support for diversity and inclusion. Sort yourselves out before running your mouths.

Ron Korkut@RonKorkut Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO and @LSOTreasurer
Where CROOKS abort the legal actions of the victims of CRIME for money it is impossible to stop CORRUPTION.
http://ilaw.site
NATURAL RIGHTS

40 Hewitt Crescent Ajax Ontario stolen by frauds!@AjaxStolenHome Jun 2 Replying to
@LawSocietyLSO

@LawSocietyLSO
is #corrupt!
@LSOTreasurer
is a #criminal!

40 Hewitt Crescent Ajax Ontario stolen by frauds!@AjaxStolenHome Jun 2 Replying to
@LawSocietyLSO and @LSOTreasurer
@LSOTreasurer, your arrest is coming soon, you f-ing #criminal, be ready! FU LSO! cc@Rcmpont @OPP_News

the first noelle Glowing star@gragnolla Jun 2 Replying to @LawSocietyLSO
so when exactly are you going to implement the recommendations from the Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees Report? what are you going to do about our benchers that don’t believe systemic racism exists in the profession? this tweet is a joke.

the first noelle Glowing star@gragnolla Jun 2
as a paralegal i am embarrassed you would have the gall to tweet this when the actions of the LSO have not at all promoted diversity or inclusion.

the first noelle Glowing star@gragnolla Jun 2
your tweet doesn’t even address the systemic barriers that licensing CANDIDATES face. it just falls short on all fronts.

To get the vile racist LSO taste out of your mouth, listen to these wise kind loving words from Lawrence Hill in Hamilton:

Canadian cartoonist Terry Mosher@TerryMosher1 Aislin Saturday #MontrealGazette cartoon on the sadness of #Racism (everywhere): https://montrealgazette.com/gallery/gallery-aislin-and-other-editorial-cartoonists-june-2020/wcm/59e147dd-e451-4f3f-bebe-4e2565120de9/

Klan leader charged over driving car into Black Lives Matter protesters by Adam Gabbatt, June 8, 2020, The Guardian

A self-described Ku Klux Klan leader has been charged with assault after driving his car into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Virginia. Harry Rogers, who told officers he was president of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan, has been charged with malicious wounding, assault and battery, and destruction of property after the incident in Henrico county, on the outskirts of Richmond. …

According to Richmond’s WTVR news channel, police said Rogers had “revved [the] engine” of his pickup truck before driving through a crowd of protesters. One person was treated at the scene. No one was seriously hurt.

“The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” the Henrico county commonwealth’s attorney, Shannon Taylor, said in a statement. “We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”

Shannon added: “While I am grateful that the victim’s injuries do not appear to be serious, an attack on peaceful protesters is heinous and despicable and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.” She said: “Hate has no place here under my watch.”

Opinion: Edmonton’s legacy of systemic racism continues today by Bashir Mohamed, June 5, 2020, Edmonton Journal

An advertisement found on page 13 of the Aug. 6, 1932 Edmonton Journal promotes a Ku Klux Klan rally at the city's Exhibition Grounds.
An advertisement found on page 13 of the Aug. 6, 1932 Edmonton Journal promotes a Ku Klux Klan rally at the city’s Exhibition Grounds. FILE / Postmedia

To be Black in Edmonton is to constantly experience gaslighting. You are told the pain you experience is not real — that it has never been real. You are told this by police, schools, and the government. But, with just a little research, you realize this is not true.

Systemic racism is woven into our city’s history of policing and governance. Understanding this history is crucial to understanding this painful moment we’re in.

In the early 1900s, the young Edmonton Police Service created a “morality squad” which was designed to target “social deviants.” One major target of this squad was Black women. Women who were demonized and seen as thugs by the media — including this very paper. These women were over-policed and were often arrested and fined.

City of Edmonton prosecutor Heffermen was even quoted in the Edmonton Journal as saying “it is time these coloured wrenches were taught a lesson…the sooner they and their class put several steel rails between themselves and Edmonton, the better Edmonton would like it.”

But we did not leave. Black Edmontonians stayed and resisted against decades of segregation, and systemic discrimination. Edmontonians like the Black mothers who resisted segregation at Borden Park, and Lulu Anderson who sued a theatre for tossing her on Jasper Avenue. This experience shows that — despite intense hostility — we survived and belong here.

Nevertheless, systemic racism often operates within open white supremacy. Supremacy that has always existed in our city’s history and grows to this day. This may surprise people but we can see this through the Edmonton-based Alberta Ku Klux Klan.

In 1931, at the height of the Klan’s power, the Klan’s leader J.J. Maloney wanted Daniel Knott to be mayor of Edmonton. He won. On election night, the Klan burned a cross on Connors Hill to celebrate. Once in office, the Klan would request cross burnings and Knott would approve them on the condition that “no smoking would be allowed.”

Knott’s portrait is one step outside the mayor’s office and a school is named after him. The school’s logo is a fire-breathing dragon. The Klan only lost their legal status in Alberta in 2003.

Understanding the Klan allows us to understand modern white supremacy and systemic discrimination. This is because the Klan’s full name was “Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” “Invisible Empire” comes from politicians who would tell the Klan that they could not support them publicly — only in private.

Thus the Klan recognized that their support not only came from men in hoods but from the silent support and complacency of the general public. Because of this, I would argue that the invisible empire still exists and that our police forces and municipal politicians contribute to this empire through their inaction.

Edmonton city council maintain their invisible empire by refusing to condemn instances of police brutality or condemning racial profiling. Instead, they allow their transit officers to disproportionately racially profile Black and Indigenous people and use force at a rate eight times that of police officers.

School boards maintain their invisible empire by allowing the deployment of police in our schools despite their direct role in arresting students and leading entrapment programs. Of note, I requested racial data on students arrested by officers but was quoted $64,000.

And finally, Edmonton police maintain their armed invisible empire through their passionate support of racially profiling programs like carding. In fact, chief of police Dale McFee is one of the nation’s most vocal defenders of carding.

Another brilliant Michael de Adder cartoon

Unfortunately, the institutions I mentioned above have not used this moment to create systemic change. Instead, they’ve released empty statements hoping they can escape this moment without criticism.

We cannot allow this to happen. We must destroy this invisible empire. The first step is to demand real systemic change from these bodies. Get cops out of schools, end carding, and create true independent police oversight. This will be difficult but can be accomplished. And, create true independent (not law society) lawyer oversight; get racist and racism/misogyny-enabling lawyers off law society boards and out of politics; and punt racist and or misogynistic judges off the bench!

Refer also to:

How prevalent is racism (and misogyny) among Canadian lawyers & judges?

Statutory mandate of Law Society of Ontario is to function in “public interest” which requires the profession to respect all members of society, not just a privileged few. Pfffft! Some lawyers don’t even respect or tell the truth to their paying clients!

Fabulous! Campaign for an inclusive legal profession in Ontario starts at www.demandinclusion.ca. “Because white supremacy will not roll over and die.” – Kris @GPLLP

Law Society of Ontario a Pedophile Ring? Racism, misogyny *and* enabling sexual abuse of children? Ottawa lawyer, John David Coon, in custody for sex crimes against four-year old daughter of one of his clients. Law Society documents reveal they gave Coon licence to practise law despite knowing of his prior criminal conviction for sexually assaulting another child.

All the world’s not a stage, it’s a pedophile ring! Is Rod MacLeod’s ungagged legal victory against basilian pedophile priest why catholic/extreme right white lawyers took over Ontario’s law society a year later? To keep vatican’s Pedophile Ring & “Silent Shuffle” busy? Jury was blunt: “Put children in harm’s way – grossly negligent. … Betrayal of trust with the community.” Meanwhile in Australia, the ultimate court-ordered gag order betrays the public’s trust

“Unconscionably Unjust!” “Beyond the Pale!” Legal gag at it’s most vile: Protecting known multimillionaire pedophile Epstein and entire network, aided & abetted by? Lawyers! “Non-prosecution deal” gave Epstein and his pedophile ring immunity from all federal charges. How many churches & law societies? Will lawyers & judges hammer out another humdinger of a gag to make sure the world never finds out?

Do you want fairness, equality, diversity, inclusion in Canada’s legal profession? In 2019, 85% of the legal profession in USA is white and mostly male. No wonder so many sexual assault victims are re-victimized in court by judges and known convicted pedophiles are granted licence to practice law! No wonder our environment is underrepresented and unjustly served with vile demented gag orders.

“Klippenstein, admittedly, ‘would not be the person’ he is ‘without freedom of thought and expression,’ so where’s his outrage at the legal suppressing of those freedoms – aka gag orders? And who would he be then, with his mouth legally taped shut?” Comment to Andrew Nikiforuk’s article in The Tyee on Klippenstein & Wanless quitting

The Rule of Law: One for the rich and or ‘well connected’ (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and another for the average ‘Joe’. Edmonton lawyer Shane Stevenson facing drunk driving causing death charges at centre of major lawsuit against him and Dentons Law Firm. Lawyers working drunk is common. How many judges work drunk? What’s the relationship between ordering gags (to cover-up crimes by the rich) and addiction?

Ontario Bar Association reaffirms commitment to promoting equity, diversity & inclusion, “speaks as a united voice.” Compare to Law Society of Ontario’s white supremacists squabbling childishly trying to hold onto power. How does a litigant get fair legal representation with shit like this going on?

Sept 11, 2019: Law Society of Ontario to resume human decency/inclusion (Statement of Principles, SOP) vs white supremacy (StopSOP) debate and hold ‘extraordinary meeting’ of the Board. What nastiness will StopSOP toss this time?

“Hey look Ma!! Racists won!!” Ontario Law Society’s Statement of Principles (SOP) abolished by dinosaurs. “Shows how corrupt our legal (definitely not justice!) system is. May all White supremacists rot in hell.” … “It is from this circus of clowns we choose our judges, and it shows in our injustice system.”

Legal scholar Joshua Sealy-Harrington “totally eviscerates” Murray Klippenstein’s arguments. It revolts me that my public interest lawsuit is being destroyed by Klippenstein pissing on Law Society Rule 2.09 to enable racism. After abruptly quitting my lawsuit more than 500 days ago, he *still* has not sent me my case files. What tune would Klippenstein sing if all the bias/prejudice was directed at Mennonite lawyers?

Baking soda? Frac! Dirty lawyers (become dirtier judges?), dirty prosecutors and dirty RCMP abound. A disgusting horrifying read. I know from experience how terrible it is to be stabbed in the back by one’s own lawyers (in my case, Murray Klippenstein and Cory Wanless), after paying them a fortune. Rotten lawyers know law societies serve their own, just like AER serves polluters that pay AER’s way.

Dear Nova Scotia: “Boys will be boys.” Call it by its name. White Male Terrorism. Misogynistic Violence. Femicides run rampant in rural Canada; Misogyny seethes in our politicians, the judges they appoint, our police, regulators, academia, the legal industry, oil & gas industry …

Gillian Hnatiw, Canadian lawyer, female: “Fundamentally, the law is about power – who has it, who gets it, and how they are allowed to wield it. … Yet evidence of misogyny remains all around us. Lest anyone forget, there is a self-confessed sexual predator in the White House. … In Canada, we’re not faring a whole lot better…. All of our political leaders are men.”

Paul Butler: “This is not about enforcing law. It’s about enforcing white supremacy.” The New York Times: “How the Supreme Court lets cops get away with murder.” Roxanne Gay: “A hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy.” Linda Tirado: “It was police who shot me, not protesters.” Slate: “Police errupt in violence nationwide.”

2020 06 06: Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada, If we truly want to effect change that could stop police killings of Black people, we need to have this conversation

… If we truly want to effect change that could stop police killings of Black people, we must have a conversation about defunding the police.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “What about violent crime?”

I hear you. And I want you to consider this simple fact: police do not prevent violence. What we need in the event of violent crime is a service that will effectively respond to it, stop it from happening if it is ongoing, and investigate the circumstances surrounding it.

This is a conversation about safety, and the mechanism through which we as a society will provide safety for one another. 

Policing is ill-equipped to suit these needs.

When victims are not the right kinds of victims, police have utterly failed. When the queer community in Toronto told police there was a serial killer targeting racialized queer men in the Church Street village, the police openly denied there was a serial killer and did not take the threat seriously. This allowed serial killer Bruce MacArthur to get away with murdering at least eight men over at least seven years.

In British Columbia, police failed to apprehend serial killer Robert Pickton for over 20 years,  and this failure meant that Pickton was able to murder 49 women. The majority of these women were Indigenous, and police routinely refuse to take the disappearance of Indigenous women seriously. Perhaps some police rape and murder Indigenous women, thus why they refuse to appropriately and responsibly investigate or take those murders “seriously.” What better way to feed racist rage than to maintain easy access to rape and murder that which you think you are superior to?

… Defunding the police can free up funding that we can reinvest in services that provide real safety for both kinds of communities. The communities that are constantly exposed to police violence should not be deprived of effective safety and security services simply because more privileged communities feel safer when calling the police is an option.

We can rethink the way that we create safety in our communities by creating alternative services that truly create safety and security for everyone. Black Lives Matter – Toronto has been advocating for this since our inception, alongside our global counterparts and other Black justice organizations.

Right now, the only emergency option available for most people who are experiencing mental distress is to call 911. Both D’Andre Campbell and Regis Korchinski-Paquet died while the police were attending to calls about their mental distress.

Couldn’t we create a new emergency service that connects us with unarmed, mental health emergency service workers specifically trained to provide the health and social care required in crisis situations? It’s happening already, with front-line programs active and working in conjunction with police in parts of the U.K. and in states such as Oregon, where the CAHOOTS program has been active since 1989.

We can also decriminalize activities that are currently against the law, and reinvest the money we save on unnecessary policing and put it into programs supporting the security of communities who need it. The decriminalization of cannabis and our response to the opioid crisis show how a public-health approach to drug use is more effective than policing to support people who need help.

As another example, some public transportation systems use police to ensure that each passenger pays their fare. If we defund the police, we could reinvest our savings to help make public transit free. Fare evasion could no longer be a crime, and the policing of passengers would be unnecessary.

The minor services police provide — adherence to bylaw infractions, traffic services, attending to noise complaints — can be enforced by civilian services. In Ontario in 2015, Marc Ekamba-Boekwa was shot at 19 times and killed by Peel police after a noise complaint was made in his Mississauga, Ont. public-housing complex. Do we really need police attending to noise complaints with lethal force?

In several large cities across Canada, policing accounts for some of the largest municipal budget expenditures. Let’s defund the police and create budgets that truly reflect our priorities. Perhaps then we could fund guaranteed access to housing, increased adult support for children in schools, and other services that create true safety and security.

Each year, police budgets generally increase. But rather than increased safety, all we see is increased militarization and criminalization. Police have been caught infringing on our privacy rights by implementing surveillance techniques that can access our smartphones. They have used the funding they receive to purchase stealth emergency vehicles, and to purchase increasingly militarized devices to harm civilians, including assault-style weaponry and sound cannons in the case of the Toronto Police Service.

Why do we need these services? The police have utterly failed to deliver on their evergreen promise to create safety by being “tough on crime.”

But they have continued their original purpose of harming us. The institution of modern policing was created in France as a mechanism to protect the property of wealthy men — including enslaved people. The police acted as slave catchers to kidnap Black people who had liberated themselves from slaveowners.

In Canada, this mandate was expanded when the RCMP was created in 1873 to “free up land” of Indigenous people to make way for white settlement.

I’ve seen a lot of people commenting that defunding or even abolishing police would solve them murdering so many non-whites globally. Maybe lawyers need to be abolished too – at the very least, make it illegal – globally – for lawyers to become politicians – at any level.

When Canadian “police” trespassed on my private property to try to scare me after I served my legal papers on Encana (now Ovintiv), AER and the Alberta gov’t, I lost all trust in them. I have not felt safe anywhere since. When my home was broken into in 2012, I did not call police.

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