OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — A bill tabled by Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault is seeking to give national park wardens the authority to conduct searches in “any place” without a warrant.
According to a breakdown of Bill C-23 – officially titled An Act Respecting Places, Persons And Events Of National Historic Significance – by Blacklock’s Reporter, the proposed law contains an ambiguous clause that states park wardens can “enter on and pass through or over private property without being liable for doing so and without any person having the right to object.”
The bill also gives wardens – who since 2009 are in effect armed peace officers – immunity over being held responsible for trespassing on one’s land, with section 42 stating wardens are clear “for anything done or omitted to be done in good faith.”
In section 43 of the bill, wardens will be allowed to enter and search any place “and open and examine any package” with no warrant required.
The section does state however that the search should only be conducted “if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would not be practical to obtain one.”
As per the norm, bills that involve potential violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms must first undergo scrutiny from the Department of Justice.
Despite the broad language used in the bill, justice department staff have already ruled the proposed law constitutional.
“Warrantless searches or seizures would only be permitted where grounds for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of pressing circumstances it would not be practical to obtain one,” justified the staff, adding the provisions intended use will only be exerted “if it is expected to provide evidence” that a crime has been committed.
When the bill was introduced by Guilbeault in June – at which time it passed its first of three readings in the House of Commons – the minister never mentioned the sections pertaining to the expansion of authority for park wardens, instead focusing on other provisions of the bill, such as its requirement to appoint indigenous people to the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board.
This is not the first time Guilbeault has been accused of violating the rights of citizens.
Earlier this month, Health Canada verified that Guilbeault’s ministry did indeed take water samples from farmers’ land without their permission, something he called “misinformation” when the accusation was first brought to light.
LifeSiteNews has also reported that there have been official job postings by the Trudeau government under Guilbeault’s ministry for officers in the so-called “Environmental Enforcement Directorate,” which critics have referred to as “climate cops.”