FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CANADA IS UNDER ATTACK!
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms states:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
((b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
Hello. My name is Arthur Topham and I am the owner, publisher and editor of the online alternative News site RadicalPress.com which has been operating in Canada for the past sixteen years. Over the last eight years I have been involved in legal battles with the Canadian government – first the Canadian Human Rights Commission (2007) and now the federal legal system (2012) over alleged offences that purportedly violate Canada’s “Hate Propaganda” laws (Sections 318 – 320) of the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC).
On May 16th, 2012 I was charged with a Sec. 319(2) ccc “Hate Propaganda” violation. I was arrested and jailed and then my home was entered illegally by the RCMP’s “Hate Crime Team” who proceeded to steal all of my computers and electronic files. Since that date I have been involved in a protracted and onerous legal battle, first with the British Columbia provincial court and now the British Columbia Supreme Court.
In March of 2013 my former lawyer, Canada’s illustrious “Free Speech” defence attorney Douglas Christie, suddenly passed away from liver cancer and since that date I have been unable to afford another lawyer to defend me against the spurious “hate crime” accusations brought against me by two Canadians – one representing the Jewish lobby organization B’nai Brith Canada and the other a serial complainant who has been making similar complaints against online publishers and bloggers for over a decade now.
Given the current climate of repression, fear and censorship that is being generated by the Harper Conservative government and its foreign lobby supporters, it’s critically important that I raise the necessary funds to win this case.
Why you might ask? Well, for the simply reason that if the government is successful in prosecuting me for simply publishing online books and articles that are freely available on dozens of other websites around the world then this will undoubtedly set a legal precedent; one that the government censors will undoubtedly use against any blogger and publisher in Canada who is now doing precisely what I have been doing for years – publishing online factual, truthful information about current political issues that affect the nation as a whole and that warrant being made available on the internet so that all Canadians concerned about their country’s democratic rights and freedoms can access such information and form their own conclusions.
It is the belief of many Canadians today that the mainstream media (msm) is too controlled by special interest groups and that our information is being selectively manipulated to reflect only the political aims of those in government and their backers and not the wishes or perspectives of the majority of Canada’s citizens.
After eight years of endless legal persecution where I’ve been unable to work and make a living and also now being a senior citizen on a very small fixed pension, the expense of hiring legal counsel is beyond my abilities. It’s absolutely vital therefore that I gain additional support from others who also believe strongly in the fundamental right to freedom of speech, both off and on the net.
At this point in my legal proceedings I have the support of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. Please see here Ontario Civil Liberties Association and here http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014-09-24-Letter-OCLA-to-AG-of-BC.pdf and here OCLA writes to Attorney General Anton on September 24, 2014
I am currently faced with having to present in court a pre-trial, Charter application which will challenge the legitimacy of the aforementioned Sec. 319(2) criminal charge now being used to prosecute me. This pre-trial application must be prepared by the last week in March of 2015 and will then be presented before a judge of the BC Supreme Court in Quesnel sometime during the intervening months preceding my actual trial date of October 26 – November 6, 2015.
If we are successful in convincing the judge of the unjust nature of the charge then there’s a strong possibility it may be toss out and the case stayed.
At this point in time I have expert legal help preparing and presenting the aforementioned Charter application but in terms of raising the necessary $15,000 to cover all the costs of hiring competent legal counsel to present the applications here in Quesnel, the results thus far have proven to be rather disheartening with only $2000.00 having been raised since early November of 2014.
Time is quickly running out and I still must raised an additional $13,000.00 in the next couple of months in order to cover all the legal costs of bringing a lawyer up from Victoria, B.C. to present the pre-trial Charter application in Quesnel, B.C. which is 800 km away.
I’m still hopeful that things will change for the better and that those who believe in freedom of speech will rally to the cause.
Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal. It’s important for all Canadians.