Judge reserves decision in “Fuck Harper” case
A provincial court judge in Alberta has reserved his decision in the case of an Edmonton man facing a $543 fine for displaying a “Fuck Harper” sign in his car.
An RCMP officer cited Rob Wells for “stunting” after pulling him over near Ponoka, AB for displaying the bright pink home-made sign.
Wells, who is representing himself, has brought a Charter Challenge backed by the Section 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Canada is party to.
“It is difficult to describe how stressful it is to self represent your case in court against the highly trained and experienced crown lawyer who has the unlimited resources of the police behind him,” Wells said in a Facebook post. “I am extremely thankful for the patience and consideration of the Judge for helping me avoid a complete panic attack. I can hopefully assume that the Honourable Judge heard and understood my arguments and my Charter Challenge that using the stunting provisions to suppress free speech is unconstitutional.”
“I was left with the impression that the Judge was interested in my argument that Section 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by Canada, is very helpful to inform the freedom of expression provision of our Charter of Rights,” Wells added. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The Judge will release his decision July 15 at the Ponoka Court House.
“The facts and the arguments are complex and I believe that the Judge will be weighing them carefully,” Wells said. “And, if I loose, it will be the best spend $543. ever, but it would set a very dangerous precedent suppressing political dissent.”
“My sincere appreciation to all my friends who supported and encouraged me to take this matter before the Court,” Wells concluded. “I hope we all come out winners in this ridiculous waste of government resource.”
This is not Wells’s first rodeo.
Edmonton police pulled him over 15 years ago for displaying “Fuck Ralph” bumper sticker protesting against former Alberta premier Ralph Klein’s plans to privatize the healthcare system in the province.
Edmonton police decided not to charge Wells after the service’s legal analysts concluded that displaying political signs containing profanity were not a violation of stunting laws.