10 August 2006

Whither the rule of law in Ontario?

As the Caledonia standoff heats up again, Premier Dalton McGuinty's talk of appealing Justice David Marshall's ruling is hardly a victory for the rule of law in this province. On tuesday Marshall ruled that negotiations over the disputed land be halted until the protesters leave the site. In allowing the blockade to continue, the Ontario government and the OPP are in effect tolerating the protesters' implicit threat of violence against anyone attempting to venture beyond the barricades. In other words, they are abandoning their duty to protect the public from illegal uses of coercive power.

As I wrote three months ago, if the land claim has any legitimacy, then the province should negotiate in good faith — but not under threat of violence.

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