CSIS not respecting section 3 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act (“the Act”) states that CSIS may by law conduct investigations regarding, or take measures against, a person believed to pose “a threat to the security of Canada”. CSIS is required by law to obtain the approval of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (“the Minister”), presently Ralph Goodale, before doing so.

Citizens of Canada have a democratic voice in choosing the Minister. Once every four years (sometimes less), they may exercise their section 3 Charter rights (“the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be eligible for membership therein”). Between those elections, citizens of Canada have virtually no say at all as to who may give the security agency of Canada permission to spy on them, enter their property without their knowledge, confiscate their possessions, and take whatever other assorted “reasonable and proportional measures” might protect us all from threats to our nation.

The Interactive Sovereign Society (ISS) has its own legislative assembly. The members of this legislative assembly are chosen using an interactive electoral system (IES). This means that each ISS member has one vote that can be cast for any candidate for the ISS legislative assembly at any time and changed to a different candidate at any time after that.  The ISS has designated Public Safety Representatives (PSRs) chosen by its legislative assembly (see pages 5 to 7 of the ISS External Legislation Registry). The ISS wrote a letter to the Director of CSIS, Michel Coulombe, informing him that for any investigations or measures intended by CSIS against an ISS member, obtaining the approval of an ISS Public Safety Representative would thus make sure that the section 3 Charter rights of the ISS member in the matter are available to be exercised at any time, instead of only once every four years, thus helping CSIS avoid becoming legally liable for violation of the Charter.

CSIS responded with a letter stating that CSIS is “unable to accept any aspect of your proposal”.

The supreme law of Canada according to the Queen, the Constitution, does state that the only limits that can be applied to the rights and freedoms guaranteed by law in it are “reasonable limits” that “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. Section 3 Charter rights are not available to be exercised by citizens of Canada for several years at a time. Is this a reasonable limit? Can this be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?

Here is a more clear way to phrase the question. Can it be demonstrated that it makes Canada a more free and democratic nation to restrict Canadians to only exercise their section 3 Charter rights once every few years even though it has been demonstrated that it is possible for them to be provided the opportunity to exercise these rights at any time that they wish? If this can be demonstrated with all material facts and experiences looked at under a wise and impartial view, then of course the Constitution does allow this periodic prohibition of this right that the supreme law of Canada states every citizen to have.

When there is an empirical method available to test whether something is true, can a person be said to have demonstrated a reasonable conclusion despite having completely overlooked that method? Would an empirical method of testing the IES be to look at a society in which it has actually been used? If this empirical method has been completely overlooked, then can any person who claims to believe that it can be demonstrated that denial of these rights is justified in the interests of freedom and democracy be described as displaying a professional level of due diligence?

Have you ever believed that members of CSIS do not always follow the law while acting in their duties as servants of Her Majesty? Would it surprise you if it were found that an agent of CSIS had knowingly violated the supreme law enacted by their commander in chief? Do you believe that freedom and democracy are the most important goals that the government of Canada is designed to achieve? If you don’t believe this, then you clearly do not agree with Her Majesty, because her supreme law says that these are the most important goals. If that is the case, then perhaps you do not believe that the government of Canada has the right to govern you since the fundamental principles it has been designed to serve are not principles you agree with.

The ISS would then disagree with you. The ISS believes that freedom and democracy are of the utmost importance in our survival and happiness as a species and as individual people, as well as an innate responsibility of a person who claims to be lawful. If you share this belief, then you might like to ask about ISS membership. Email psamfrank[at]gmail.com or call 604-765-1496 for details.