Letter: Color of Right required, better option available

Letter: Color of Right required, better option available

Allow me to bring this “public and personal rights” matter into a proper (shopping cart) perspective.

In the Aug. 24, 2018 Morning Star, a news article about how the BC Civil Liberties were upset at Vernon City Council for wanting to endorse a plan to ban shopping carts in public areas. The Civil Liberties letter mentioned how it is “senseless and cruel to deprive people of access to public spaces simply because they are using a shopping cart.”

Since the Civil Liberties have no sense of balance on the application of civil rights versus the law, allow me to bring this “public and personal rights” matter into a proper (shopping cart) perspective.

“Color of Right” — there is no right to steal or be in possession of stolen property. This is criminal law. Theft is based on a premise of “colour of right” which refers to legal and rightful ownership. A shopping cart belongs to, by colour of right, to the respective store and unless they sold the cart to the homeless (doubtful), or willingly gave ownership of that shopping cart to that person (doubtful again), then that cart is stolen.

It does not matter if the store will not spend the time and money prosecuting the culprit, the legal fact is the cart does not belong to the person using it in public place. Without that “colour of right”, they cannot, in any regard, exercise any civil right to push the shopping cart in public, as it would be exactly the same for any person pushing a stolen bicycle in public.

What I have said is supported by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (established 1982).

Section 7: of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

The fundamental justice which that section speaks of includes and refers to the law set out by the Criminal Code of Canada.

Clearly, by these legal facts, there is no violation of civil rights to stop any person from continuing their illegal use of a stolen shopping cart. The Vernon City Council are doing it by creating a public order to ban these carts.

Now, this is not speaking of any other issues created by use of these shopping carts in public places, which by the way, are interfering with the rightful use and enjoyment of public property by the regular citizenry, as you and I, but suffice to say the “color of right” fact covers it all.

I am sure the homeless do not wish to see themselves arrested for possession of stolen property, an act, authorized by “fundamental justice”, which the Civil Liberties group can say nothing about.

Therefore, the issue that the Civil Liberties claims, is completely non-existent.

What of the issue of these eyesore shopping carts littered on city parks, sidewalks and alleys? I believe there is an answer to this part of the issue.

Apparently, an Armstrong woman has started a “GoFundMe” campaign to buy wagons for the homeless to carry their personal things. This is exactly the answer that Vernon can adopt, but with a difference.

Wagons, to my understanding of their size, would be too small, but instead provide them with a pushcart, a type that suits this purpose and has a carry capacity large enough to replace the shopping cart, one with a foot brake so there are no run-aways (a downside of shopping carts, hence one of the other issues).

The homeless would then have “colour of right”, which they can exercise in public, resolving the shopping cart issue, ridding of the nagging Civil Liberties group and all will return to normal (…well, as normal that it can be).

Mark Warbinek