The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saskatchewan trespassing legislation to bypass criminal code
The Saskatchewan Trespass to Property Act takes effect on Canada Day.
The legislation allows police to issue a ticket for trespassing, rather than charging people under the federal Criminal Code.
"Police forces and municipalities asked us for legislation to let them deal quickly and easily with simple cases of trespassing," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan "Now, police can issue a ticket, instead of having to go to court with a more complex Criminal Code charge."
Under the Act, police can issue a ticket for a fine of up to $2,000 to anyone who refuses to leave private or commercial property or who ignores posted "no trespassing" signs.
Apart from Quebec, Saskatchewan is the only province that did not have trespassing legislation.
Will this new law better protect property rights in Saskatchewan, or simply decriminalize trespass?
Posted by Matthew Johnston
Posted by westernstandard on June 30, 2009 | Permalink
This law will have little impact, because as with most legislation, most people don't know that it exists.
If someone is trespassing on private property (commercial property is private property, why the distinction?) then they should be removed by either the property owner or whatever protection service they have, likely the police.
Writing a ticket is just a way for the state to cash in, since the money doesn't go to the property owner that was wronged.
Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-06-30 11:15:14 PM
Scott, although your first sentence will probably prove to be correct, there are problems with the legislation. One is that that the state is motivated financially to issue fines for trespassing. Two, there is now presumption of guilt.
Making the life of our police forces easier does not seem to be good for freedom. The check and balances that would naturally be in place to some degree without this legislation are now gone. The police can simply issue you a ticket and you have to go fight it. If you don't, they win. If you do, the police get overtime to show up in court and you lose those hours of your life.
And if it effectively decriminalizes trespassing, property rights will be further erroded.
Posted by: TM | 2009-07-01 9:18:41 AM
i don't know what to think about this.
so, there is an option to either press criminal charges or issue a simple fine?
i don't know the facts, but if so, maybe its ok. in the past, when someone had trespassed, he was usually just kicked off the property without being criminally charged. maybe this new law is better, in that there will be at least a guaranteed fine as a deterrent, and criminal charges if its serious.
but then again, this is Treaudopia.
Posted by: shel | 2009-07-02 6:57:33 PM
there is no opption. it is just a cash grab for the government. i argee with scott that just like our criminal system now that the victims never sees a dime.
Posted by: howard roark | 2009-07-02 7:06:38 PM
that's something to think about.
ideally the fine would go to the owner.
...yeah, and that's gonna happen. property rights aren't even recognised by our quasi-fascist Charter.
Posted by: shel | 2009-07-02 7:26:28 PM
Oh great, now instead of being kicked off their own Campus, pro-life groups will be levied fines for having the wrong views.
Posted by: Timothy Shaw-Zak | 2009-07-03 11:12:16 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.