Canadian police: 'Unnecessary' social media posts may be illegal
Well, it appears that whatever freedoms of speech remained in Canada's largest province are dead – at least if the provincial police have their way.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) sent out the following tweet on February 9, 2016: "T.H.I.N.K. b4 u post ... T - is it True ... H - is it hurtful ... I - is it illegal ... N - is it necessary ... K - is it kind #SID2016" with a poster attached:
The tweet largely went unnoticed in Canada until picked up very recently by Ezra Levant and Lauren Southern at TheRebel.Media.
The THINK acronym must be catching on at the international level with quasi-authoritarian police forces, since the Glasgow, Scotland police force sent out the same message via its Twitter account yesterday.
Of course, the only letter that should be of relevance is "I" for illegal.
And what is illegal is for the police force anywhere in Canada to intentionally or negligently misrepresent the state of the law to the public. That is exactly what the OPP did with this poster that was sent out via the force's official Twitter feed, which attached a professionally made poster that includes the official OPP logo. It's a classic case of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute if there ever was one.
Referring to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms within the Canadian constitution, section 2 unequivocally states that "[e]veryone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication." Under no condition has whether or not "opinion and expression" is "necessary" been construed in any form by any court in the land as a criteria for limiting the freedom of opinion and expression under the Canadian constitution.
If necessity was a pre-requisite for free expression, effectively all expressions in Canada (and around the world) would be illegal.
Consequently, it appears that the OPP intentionally and maliciously misrepresented the state of the law and the rights of Canadian citizens under the constitution with the clear intention of suppressing the citizenry's constitutionally protected rights for freedom of expression. As a result, those responsible for this action at the OPP should themselves be prosecuted, and any lawyers who "signed off" on the public release of this poster should be investigated, and as necessary – sanctioned, by their applicable law societies.
With Canada's deeply problematic "hate speech" laws, we could argue about the constitutionality of the "T," "H," and "K" in the OPP's poster, but there is no debate over the "N." Whether or not a social message posting is "necessary" is not a constitutionally valid criterion for assessing its potential illegality under the criminal law in Ontario (or Canada in general).