VANCOUVER, British Columbia (LifeSiteNews) — A civil liberty group is sounding the alarm after British Columbia’s New Democratic Party (NDP) Premier David Eby announced a forthcoming new law that would permit the government to take away one’s property or goods prior to being charged with a crime.
The soon-to-be introduced “unexplained wealth order” (UWO) was announced by Eby on Sunday as part of a broader “public safety plan.” The government says the law is intended to target gangs and criminals who “profit on misery,” but experts warn that such a law would be a severe “infringement” on one’s constitutional rights as defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms….
The recommendation stated that “Civil forfeiture is already used much more readily than criminal prosecution but still requires a link to criminal activity, which may be hard to establish, especially where international transfers are involved.”
“Unexplained Wealth Orders could be used to confiscate property where there is no evident legitimate source of funds, providing another civil process tool that does not rely on criminal prosecution or evidence of a crime.”
No evidence of a crime having been committed…but the government can take your wealth anyway? This sounds a bit Hitlerian to me, but then, Americans hardly have a right to mock our neighbors to the north. It’s just “civil asset forfeiture” without that annoying requirement that the target be accused of a criminal act. You know, about like what happened to Donald Scott.
I can’t resist a quote from my hero, the late, great Cyril Northcote Parkinson:
Freedom is founded on ownership of property…. It cannot exist where the rulers own everything, nor even when they concede some limited right of tenure. But the modern belief is that spendable income is a concession of the State. The taxation which is intended to promote equality, the taxation which exceeds the real public need, and above all the tax which is so graduated as to prevent the accumulation of capital, is inconsistent with freedom. Against a State which owns everything, the individual has neither the means of defence nor anything to defend.
[From The Law, Complete.]
Expect American politicians to embrace this new “unexplained wealth” concept enthusiastically. Of course, there will be debates about the meaning of “unexplained.” Advocates will step forward to explain it. Other advocates will assure us that elaborate protections will be built into the seizure law. And the media will grant their judiciously qualified approbation…after a suitable number of talking heads have rhapsodized over it, that is.