Defending Canadians from Civil Forfeiture
Bruce Montague was a licensed gunsmith and firearms dealer who believed that Canada’s gun licensure laws were unconstitutional. He deliberately allowed his firearms licences to expire in 2003 so that he would be charged with an offence and could challenge the constitutionality of the law in court. However, the Ontario courts rejected his constitutional arguments, and he was convicted of 25 paperwork crimes involving his firearms and was sentenced to 18 months in jail plus probation. Donna Montague, Bruce’s wife, likewise let her firearms licence expire and was convicted of a single offence. Like many small business owners they had their life’s savings invested in their business and the federal government took that too when they forced the Montagues to forfeit ownership of all the firearms they own.
Now, the Ontario government is trying take Bruce and Donna’s house through the administrative processes of the Civil Remedies Act. Ontario alleges the properties are either “proceeds of unlawful activity” or “instruments of unlawful activity”. This process sidesteps due process, lowers the burden of proof and is an assault on individual rights. It bizarrely places the onus on the property owner to prove their property is “not guilty’, in place of the fundamental legal principle of a “presumption of innocence”. This practice has no place in Canada. The government has already taken Bruce and Donna’s of his livelihood and life’s savings, support the CCF so we can save the Montagues’ home!
Important Update (August 8, 2016): Bruce and Donna Montague Reach Settlement that Saves Their Home.
See the Press Release.
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