Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Criminal Property Forfeitures Act
The NDP government probably feels vulnerable on crime. It seems a likely reason why they are using the Criminal Property Forfeitures Act to try to confiscate a house where an alleged sex offender lived.
Setting aside the awfulness of the charge, the idea that any felony charge can lead to property being taken by the government is probably not going to stand a court challenge.
It is one thing to confiscate property linked to the proceeds of crime or used as a front for a criminal enterprise and whole different thing about where a crime takes place.
In short, this pushing of the boundaries could be used to take people's houses if they are convicted of domestic abuse. And why not? The crime took place in the home and the province could easily make the claim that the property was an instrument of that crime.
Some people say that criminals deserve no mercy and that there should be no limit to the punishment they receive. However, it is very likely that this decision to go after people based on the location of the crime might fail the provisions of Section 12 and Section 7 of the Charter.