Pubdate: Thu, 09 Mar 2000
Source: Edson Leader (CN AB)
Copyright: 2000 Edson Leader
Contact:  Box 6330 4820-3 Ave., Edson, Alberta T7E 1T8
Fax: (780) 723-5171
Author: David Grabowski, Edson


To the Editor:

The RCMP are to be thanked for their thorough police work, which
resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of drugs, as reported in
the Edson Leader Feb. 22.

Drugs are a serious problem that society has yet to solve. The recent
Check Stop at the Jasper Park Gates, Feb. 7-12, fits a pattern that
should concern us as much as drug addiction.

Frequently our freedom is being restricted in the name of the general

Photo radar, gun registration, seat belt laws and Check Stops are
examples of infringements on liberty that many Canadians seem to
accept and perhaps accept too easily. Citizens living in a democracy
should question the motives and actions o those with power, for power
is a two-edged sword.

The Check Stop at the Park gates was arranged to arrest impaired
drivers according to Cpl. Brian Topham. Check Stops for that purpose
are permissible.

Should Check Stops be allowed for other reasons? Not one impaired
driving charge was laid during the week the Check Stop was in place.
Why then will the police return to the Jasper Park gates in future
months unless it is to continue to find drugs? Is the stated purpose
of the Jasper Park gates Check Stop a deception? Will the time come
when the police no longer need a reason to detain and interrogate citizens?

Allowing the police to stop and search the vehicles of "law-abiding"
citizens because there may be contraband is a serious breach of our
freedom and the practice must be stopped.

I recognize the difficult job the police have and admire their
accomplishments under adverse circumstances, but the RCMP and society
need to find a less intrusive solution to crime.

David Grabowski
- ---
MAP posted-by: Allan Wilkinson