Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto police and the Canada Border Services Agency have been working together for over three years to bring down an international drug trafficking ring that they say is based out of the Greater Toronto Area. For three years, they have spent countless dollars, interrogating individuals and trying hard to draw connections between packages of drugs arriving in Toronto to individual Canadians. So, what has law enforcement got to show for their work? Eleven people in the GTA have been arrested for trafficking heroin.
If police are called to deal with a domestic dispute in Waterloo, someone will probably be arrested. Although there may be limited or no evidence of a crime, police may still arrest someone in order to defuse a situation. Despite this harsh practice, a criminology professor from Wilfrid Laurier University has recently recommended that Ontario police do more to investigate domestic threats and other verbal disputes.
At the end of August, the Ontario Provincial Police began promoting the message that driving while distracted has caused more deaths on Ontario highways than drunk driving has, yet the criminal punishments associated with drunk driving far outweigh those for texting and driving. If someone from Brampton were convicted of driving over 80, for example, he or she would be banned from driving for at least one year. Moreover, he or she would likely have trouble getting affordable insurance when he or she regained his or her ability to drive.
In what is being described as the largest methamphetamine raid in Ontario history, five people have been charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug trafficking. The five have since appeared in an Oshawa court.
In order to convict a Torontonian of a crime, the Crown must provide considerable, credible evidence, if it cannot, a defendant must be acquitted. The Crown needs to convince a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did what he or she is accused of, an extremely high burden and one that is meant to prevent wrongful conviction. This also means that police and prosecutors cannot rely solely on speculation and hunches, they must have clear evidence.
For young people in Toronto, getting high may not come with the same legal implications that people of their parents' generation had to deal with because of synthetic marijuana. Currently, synthetic marijuana, some of which is marketed under the Izms brand, is in a legal grey zone, meaning it is neither legal nor is it illegal. Until the federal government issues clearer legislation on synthetic marijuana, there will be some confusion as to whether the substance is truly legal. Currently, the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act classifies cannabinoids, THC (the chemical compound in marijuana that causes a high) and "synthetic preparations" as Schedule II narcotics, the compound used in Izms is not listed.
All Canadians have the right to speak their mind and nowhere is this truer than in a local city council meeting. When one man was clapping during a city council meeting in Oshawa earlier this week, however, the mayor evicted him from the council chamber and he was forcibly removed. Video of his removal appears to show security guards and plain clothes officers roughing him up and at one point putting him in a head lock. Yet it was the man who was removed who will now face assault charges.
Nearly everyone in Burlington knows that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects individual citizens from a government that might otherwise infringe upon their rights. Sometimes, however, law enforcement violates the Charter and arrest individuals in the process. Yet in these situations, criminal defence lawyers can raise rights violations and have evidence thrown out or charges dropped. It is always important to consult a criminal defence lawyer when an individual's rights have been violated, as it is a complicated area of law.