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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 

Saskatchewan Party Candidate Takes Heat For Calling Charter of Rights And Freedoms 'A Piece Of Garbage'

A candidate for the Opposition Saskatchewan Party has been challenged to explain comments he has made concerning the Charter of Rights And Freedoms:

"But LeClerc, a former career criminal who reformed to become a motivational speaker and the director of the faith-based Teen Challenge substance abuse recovery program, said he supports the charter and his harsh words were aimed at how it can be used by criminals at the expense of victims of crime. "I do not believe the charter of rights is a piece of garbage on the whole. What I was speaking on was a particular issue," he said in a telephone interview.

But NDP Justice Minister Frank Quennell said LeClerc's 1997 comments were troubling given the many protections afforded by the charter, such as free speech and religious freedom.

"That shows a lack of respect I think for due process, the rule of law, respect for minorities and even respect for individual personal liberties," he said in an interview from Saskatoon.

LeClerc's comments were made in a speech in Kelowna to an International Crimestoppers convention.

The Oct. 4, 1997 Vancouver Sun article says LeClerc took shots at the media, parents, and Canada's Charter of Rights for forcing more young people to commit suicide and break the law.

It says he blamed the charter for giving one person's rights more weight than the majority's.

LeClerc, who received a full national pardon seven years ago, said he was talking about issues such as the charter's impact in areas such as organized crime."

-Regina Leader Post
-Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

. . .he blamed the charter for giving one person's rights more weight than the majority's.
Didn't this happen already with religious groups and persecuted minorities? What about those whose religion exempts them from photos on their motorists permits?
Or, do we go back to the Procrustean formula of one size fits all?

I'm just hoping that the intemperate remark was just a one-off and sadly seems to be dug up to cause pain and embarrassment. Am I wrong on this?
Or is this person another Ahenikew?

This guy scares me because he could very well be elected as a member of our Legislature. It is a yahoo cowboy attitude that is fine in the coffee shop but NOT in the chamber of our elected representatives.

He confuses 'democracy' with 'tyranny' of the majority. That is what the Charter is there to protect.

He has no clue. If it embarrasses him, it should. What I hope it does is open the eyes of those who may vote for him without knowledge of how out to lunch he is.

It wasn't that long ago that Saskatchewan New Democrats were calling the Charter a piece of garbage... In fact the Sasktchewan NDP's opposition to patraition of the Constitution with a Charter in the aelry 1980s almost ripped the party apart.

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