Self-defence – the People’s Right
by Maxime Bernier – Leader
People’s Party of Canada
Canadians should be able to defend themselves when they are violently attacked or are victims of robbery in their own homes, without fear of criminal charges.
Any justice system grounded in morality and reason allows self-defence.
In Canada, this right is, however, inconsistently applied due to the law’s complexity and imprecision.
Too often, honest Canadians face charges, trials, and even jail time for defending themselves and their families.
Their actions are deemed “unreasonable in the circumstances” and “disproportionate to the perceived threat.”
Condemning a person to years in prison for having made the wrong assessment of a “perceived threat,” or having used too much force to defend themselves while in a state of panic after being violently attacked, is clearly a breach of the universal human right to self-defence.
Victims of robbery are typically advised to call the police and avoid any confrontation with assailants while waiting for the police to arrive.
In rural areas however, police stations are often far away and it can take a long time for the police to arrive at the scene of a crime.
The threat that a victim may retaliate with force is a crucial way to deter crime.
The Criminal Code even makes it illegal to carry and use even non-lethal devices such as pepper spray as modes of defence against potential attackers.
This makes women in particular even more defenceless and prone to fall victim to aggression and sexual violence.
Everybody, and women in particular, should be allowed to carry effective means of self-defence against aggressors and rapists.
Yesterday, at a press conference in Portage-Lisgar, I announced the new PPC policy on self-defence. Here is my 3-point policy proposal:
• Amend section 34 of the Criminal Code to clarify and fortify the right to self-defence, and increase the burden of proof necessary to charge and convict victims who used force to defend themselves against a violent attacker. • Amend section 35 of the Criminal Code to include the concept of the inviolability of one’s home, known as “Castle Doctrine,” that allows victims to use force (up to and including deadly force) to defend themselves against a violent intruder, free from legal prosecution. • Amend the Criminal Code to remove pepper spray from the list of prohibited weapons and make it legal to possess and carry it for self-defence.
To be honest, I can’t believe these common sense ideas aren’t already law!
In Canada we must do more to protect honest, upstanding citizens, while punishing criminals.’
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