Abuse of Power

Abuse of power is one of the worst things. And when you love democracy and the noble things it theoretically stands for, it’s hard to watch when that democracy becomes the thing it’s built to stop: exploitation, the powerful silencing the weak, a government ruining its people. This is corruption. And you wouldn’t imagine seeing it in Canada.

But there it is.

When my friend first told me about his situation, I was stunned, wasn’t sure how much was true, and thought “isn’t this the kind of thing that happens in Russia?” Second thought: how much of this happens in the good old US of A? Likely more than we’d like, but even more than that: it’s likely more than we want to know.

If you’re still reading, I’m going to force you to know one thing: on Thursday, the Canadian government will likely destroy a family business for its own profit. Again, Russia, right? This doesn’t happen to our cuddly, maple-syrupy, Justin Bieber-producing, friends. Aren’t they a democracy? Reasonable folk? It would seem all people are corruptible.

This 50-year-old business does something very boring but extremely well: it produces electrical guidebooks. The books explain the laws on electrical wiring, so it quotes part of the law. And the family business, P.S. Knight company, is the nation’s largest producer of this book. But a single Canadian agency (the Canadian Standards Association) recently decided they wanted to make money. So what do they do? Produce electrical guidebooks and charge P.S. Knight with violating copyright law. And if you’re the government, and you want to make even more money, just put P.S. Knight out of business, right? Especially in Russia.

But this is Canada! Here are the rules being violated: the government does not exist to make a profit and should not participate in commerce (this is an obvious conflict of interest, since the government makes the rules governing commerce), the law is public meaning the government can not charge for reprinting the law, and (possibly most importantly) this government officially declared full approval of all uses of this text to P.S. Knight decades ago. This boring little company has been doing the same thing for 50 years, doing it so well it became the leader in the industry, and now the Canadian government has decided it wants a piece of that money pie.

There’s only one way to do this: put that family business out of business.

They might do that Thursday, and if they win, that business will go under, the family will lose its entire fortune, that same family will go into debt because of punishing fines from CSA and the related law suit, everybody at the business will lose their jobs, the country will lose a half-century old, preferred, and time-tested product, the corrupt parts of Canadian government will know the victory of how far they can “stretch the rules” and will be emboldened to take it even farther, and Canada will lose part of its democracy.

This is abuse of power. This is the government ruining its people. And this is not democracy.

Full story here: http://www.restorecsa.com/news/article/january-12th-court-hearing

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