Arguing in favour of more searches of individuals by the Canadian police.
My name is Hamza, and this is Daniel and we are here to tell you about how search and seizures protect our society. Simply because the citizen being searched has a decent chance of possessing illegal drugs as relating to the article, cigarettes and alcohol, items that may be used as weapons or may cause bodily harm. Everyone is secure from search and seizure but can still be a threat to society. We believe that making it legal to search people will not only protect society and keep it safe but it will also reduce youth crime rate.
Firstly, we believe that random searches are necessary to ensure the safety of our Canadian citizens; especially in learning environments where children are present. We also believe that section 8 in the charter of rights should be modified to ensure the safety of all citizens of Canada. Section 7 states that “Everyone has the right to security.” For an officer of the law to do his job and keep the public safe he would have to go against section 8 of the charter of rights. This is why it should be modified. We also have reason to believe this because the individual being searched could be concealing various illegal items, such as weapons, drugs, alcohol, or stolen property. Although it is a possibility that someone has a weapon, there should be a proper format to follow for searches. For example, in a school environment we believe there should be a police officer, a teacher and a principle present before any searches take place. Students can sometimes bring illegal items to school creating a threat against other students. This can make the school environment unsafe for teachers and students. My point is simple and straightforward; we believe it is better to be proactive before crimes are committed. For example, just two days ago a boy brought a gun and a knife to his school in Ohio. He killed 3 random students and wounded 2. This could have been prevented with ease if thorough search and seizure laws were enforced, eliminating people from pain and suffering. These three high school students could have potentially been your friends or family. For your own protection let the officers of the law do their job and search the citizens of Canada, you will find that modifying section 8 will be beneficial for all Canadian citizens. In my opinion, I would think twice about random search and seizure, simply because this procedure can prevent a potential crime before it is committed.
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Secondly, Section 8 should be modified as other rights and freedoms are protected due to the proper search and seizure process. As principals have administrative regulations they must follow during student search and seizure. These include what the principal can seize, who else has to be present while the search in going on and what happens to the student if he fails to co-operate etc. Also, research shows that 80% searches are caused because of evidence or witnesses, 13% are due to previous records and only 7% are caused by “unknown” sources. This relates to the article as ________ was also searched because other students were witnesses who told authority that he was taking an illegal drug to the party. The administrative regulations make it legal to search and seize from students as it respects all other rights and freedoms of students therefore also reasonable for the accused. Also, earlier Daniel mentioned Section 7 which states everyone has the right to security; this provides security not only for the accused but also the students around. There are also certified rules in play or sometimes known as the “Code of Conduct” that people must follow. For example everyone has to be searched at the airport, police station and sometimes court houses. Numerous times people have got away by taking illegal drugs on planes, and also other smaller weapons. If it’s that easy in a tight security place how easy is it for students to bring illegal drugs and weapons into school causing harm to other students. Research indicated, that minorities are being searched for no reason the most, especially Africans and Hispanics. If search and seizure was a legal and common thing, it would stop discrimination as everyone is getting searched on a regular basis and not just minorities also the increase in teen illicit substance abuse would go down. 47,000 deaths are linked to substance abuse annually, 23% of Ontario students reported they were offered, sold or given a drug at school in the last year that’s about 219,000 students according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health . Substance abuse has also cost our health care system $8 billion according to the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse. Therefore, having search and seizure legal and more regular will provide citizens with a high level of security (Section 7), save our government lots of money which could be used for other outstanding factors, put a stop to discrimination(Section 27) and also save innocent lives.
For every crime, there is a way to solve it and a way to prevent it. Our main purpose is to prevent it by ensuring that all citizens of Canada are safe. We can ensure that by modifying section 8 of the Charter of Rights so it states that officers of the law can search and seize items of a citizen to ensure safety to society. This is because the individual being searched could potentially be carrying illegal items that could affect the safety of other citizens of Canada. We believe that it should be legal to search anyone at any given time to ensure that the environment is safe for Canadian citizens. Although this would consist of rules that have to be followed before a search can take place. For example, like mentioned before, we believe that a police officer, a teacher, and the principle should be present in the room when a student is being searched. For adults not in a school setting I believe that at least 2 officers would have to be present during a search. If we enforce this law it will not only reduce crime rate but also prevent tragedies such as school shootings and stabs mentioned earlier. 3 Teenaged boys died that day for no reason. This could have easily been prevented if the boy was searched before entering the school with a gun.
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Deane, A.. "Student Lockers, schools' right to search."International debate education association. N.p., 2010. Web. 29 Feb 2012.
"Suspect in Ohio school shooting chose victims 'randomly,' authorities say, as adult charges are expected." Fox News. N.p., 2012. Web. 29 Feb 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/28/suspected-gunman-in-ohio-school-shooting-rampage-to-remain-in-custody/>.
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- Charter of Rights – Legal Rights – Section 8 – Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
- Kimveer Gill injured 19 students by shooting at Dawson College and committing suicide, left apology note to parents for doing such a thing, and most information were found on his online profile at vampirefreaks. (CBC)
- Typically, a police officer can only search a person, home or vehicle when the officer has a warrant issued by a judge or magistrate. But as noted, certain exceptions have developed in the law when a warrant is unnecessary to search a person, home or vehicle.
- Although problems of drug abuse, bomb threats, theft, and concealed weapons sometimes make search and seizure necessary,
- School administrators may seize from students the following categories of items when they have reason to believe that the items are a threat to persons, property or the learning environment. The school administrator may also seize items from these categories if they have reason to believe that the item constitutes evidence in an act of violence (including acts of bullying) or illegal activity.
i. Illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol
ii. Weapons or items that may be used as weapons. Including all
forms of firearms and knives.
iii. Electronic and multimedia devices
iv. Written material including books and journals
v. Stolen property
- Survey from schools in Canada revealed, 80% searches due to witnesses or evidence, 13% due to previous records of stealing or drug/weapon abuse and only 7% were “unknown” causes.
- In North America, most unreasonable searches were mainly on minorities. Africans and Hispanic background being the highest.
47,000 Canadian deaths are linked to substance abuse annually.
Health Officer's Council of British Columbia
- 23% of Ontario students report that they were offered, sold, or given a drug at school in the last year. That's about 219,000 students.
- 42% of Ontario students surveyed have used an illicit substance in the last year.
- 83% of Ontario students in grade 12 drink alcohol. 49% of gr. 12 students admit to binge drinking.
The top four substances used by Ontario students: 58% alcohol; Cannabis (marijuana) 25%; Non-prescribed use of prescription pain relievers such as codeine, Percocet, Percodan, Demerol, or Tylenol #3, 17%; Tobacco 11.7%.
Substance abuse has cost our health care system $8 billion.
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Female addicts are 54% more likely to die prematurely because of their drug use.
University of Toronto