Pubdate: Mon, 31 May 2010
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Nelson Daily News
Author: Philip McMillan


Dear Editor,

I wish I found it hard to believe that our city council and police 
department are willing to openly violate the Charter rights of the 
people of our town. But, even though the B.C. Court of Appeals ruled 
that these electrical inspection by-laws violate our section 8 
charter rights, they plan on pushing forward with their own plans for 
this type of bylaw.

Not only that but they plan on putting our firefighters and building 
inspectors into the role that should be filled by the police who have 
the proper training.

I wonder how they feel about being put into situations where they 
will be threatened and or assaulted.

According to the article in the NDN May 27, 2010 that's the only time 
the police will get involved with these inspections.

Finally, knowledge is power.

I have read this unanimous decision from the Court of Appeals. (While 
the impugned inspections in this case are regulatory in nature, they 
constitute a considerable intrusion into an individual's reasonable 
expectation of privacy.

While there is a requirement under s. 19.3(1) of the SSA that there 
be "reasonable grounds" for an inspection, this requirement is not 
sufficient to render the searches reasonable under s. 8. An 
administrative warrant is feasible, serves a beneficial function, and 
should be required.

Requiring an administrative warrant in these circumstances protects 
the individual's expectation of privacy, and it does so without 
undermining the public interest in public safety. To obtain an 
administrative warrant it will be necessary to show that "reasonable 
grounds" exist to believe that permit conditions, or codes or 
standards established by regulation, are not being complied with. 
This Court's decision in Bichel stands for the narrow proposition 
that in the regulatory context of a minimally intrusive spot-check 
search in which a warrant would serve no function, a warrant is not required.

Accordingly, Bichel is of limited application on this appeal.) What 
this means is, they will need Probable Cause to obtain an 
Administrative Warrant to enter your premises, without it you can 
refuse them access to your Home. I give this information to the 
citizens of Nelson so they may protect their rights where others 
would violate them.

Philip McMillan,

Nelson, B.C.
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