Dear Minister de Jong:
The Christy Clark Government White Paper on possible changes to the Societies Act was drawn to my attention this evening, the deadline day for the public to comment. Since I have so little time to craft a longer, more detailed response, I will keep this brief!
Mr. Minister, I belong to several societies and chair one. I have personally been an environmental advocate most of my 71 years, and I am totally stunned and…APPALLED… at the proposed Section 99 (1) and (b) listed below:
“Complaints by public
99 (1) A person whom the court considers to be an appropriate person to make an application under this section may apply to the court for an order under this section on the grounds that a society
(b) is carrying on activities that are detrimental to the public interest.”
I could tear this wording to pieces but what would be the point if your Government is so blinkered and myopic that you will not listen to the people who cared enough to start societies to protect that which they love, ranging from the environment to naturism?!! I have no idea who drafted this particular wording, but I can tell you right now if the author had been in one of my secondary school special needs or journalism classes, I would have failed him or her on the spot! Some questions:
- Which “court”?
- How would the proposed Section’s author define “appropriate person” with all the attendant ramifications!
- What is your definition of “activities that are detrimental to the public interest?”
- What is “public interest,” and who has the authority to pass judgment on what is or is not in public interest?!!
We have a document in Canada that guarantees our rights and freedoms! It is called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whoever drafted this travesty of wording in Section 99 (1) and (b), needs to give his/her bigoted head a strong shake while kicking himself/herself in the rear end rather strongly with heavy booted feet. Drop this Draconian legislation and drop it immediately!!!
The time limitations and surreptitious way of trying to sneak this facsimile of legislation in under the Public’s nose is totally appalling and leaves me aghast. We also have something else in Canada that we hold most dear, and it is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
Judy Emily Williams,
Chair, Wreck Beach Preservation Society;
Co-Chair, Fraser River Coalition;
President, Shore Spawners Alliance of B.C.;
Public Relations Director for the Federation of Canadian Naturists
Home Phone: (604)-856-9598
Cell Phone: (604)-308-6336