Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice in Canada

I'm not sure what the Canucks have against squirrels. First it was Windsor, Ontario officials blaming the local squirrels for eating the bulbs out of their local tulip gardens. Now, a judge in Westmount, Quebec, has fined retiree and squirrel and wildlife lover Lawrence Klepper 200 dollars just for feeding squirrels and birds.

Sacre bleu! This is an outrage!

Apparently, showing kindness to squirrels and other wildlife is so offensive to the sensibilities of local officials in Quebec that in March, the city of Westmount actually had Mr. Klepper followed by a security officer. The undercover cop took pictures of Klepper distributing almonds and seeds to squirrels and birds, causing what officials described as a "public health concerns." The judge accepted the photographs as proof of the criminal behavior and found the defendant guilty.

Westmount, QC officials, why do you hate me?

Just what exactly those health concerns might be is not clear. What is clear is that Mr. Klepper has thirty days to pay the fine or appeal the ruling. The city is also seeking an injunction to prevent him from repeating his criminal behavior. Klepper's attorney, Eric Sutton, rightly describes the city's behavior in this case as "unjustifiable and unreasonable." That's putting it mildly. To go to such lengths to punish an individual for simply being a friend to squirrels and other wildlife is nothing short of bizarre.

I hope that Mr. Klepper chooses to appeal this ruling and, most of all, that he is able to win back his right to be a friend to wildlife.

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