Imagine a quiet street lined with houses. Let’s call it Ontario Street. Now let’s imagine that one man decides that he is going to drive several hundred kilometres from his home to Ontario Street. Every 3 weeks he makes the trip at night. Every 3 weeks he picks one house and finds a way to silently enter the locked, fenced back yard. He records videos of the back yard at 2 in the morning and then goes home.
After doing 5 houses he carefully edits the videos. In the video of the rst house he makes claims of spousal abuse. In the video of the second house he makes claims of prostitution. In the third house he makes claims of child pornography. In the fourth house he makes claims of drug trafficking and in the fifth house he decides that more spousal abuse would be the appropriate theme.
He waits 6 months and then uploads all the videos of these 5 houses with the individual addresses, owner’s name and picture.
At the same time he alerts the media so that all the false information is publicized on local TV and printed in local newspapers. He fully discloses his actions and is charged with certain criminal offenses. The falsely accused receives abusive emails and phone calls and expecting further attacks must nance extraordinary security measures. Let’s further this story by declaring that the sixth house on the street is the home of a judge. When this criminal appears before the judge, he is acquitted.
The judge declares that the accused cannot be convicted because he didn’t damage anything. There is none, no jail time and the judge doesn’t even demand that the false videos be taken down. Would that judge meet his or her neighbours on the street and proudly declare that justice had been served? Would that judge be respected for such a decision?
The recent acquittal of Malcolm Klimowicz on a charge of Breaking and Entering at my farm north of Kingston is an analogous to what I have outlined in my story. He illegally entered five farms, created videos with false narratives and proudly declared his actions to local media. Mine was the only farm where the Crown was convinced to take Mr. Klimowicz to court on a charge of Breaking and Entering.
All of the evidence was not enough to convict, according to Judge Parfett. He is allowed to leave his videos online.
To all citizens on all Ontario Streets, do you think I was fairly treated?
There is one small hope for the farming community and it is called Bill 156, Ontario’s Farm Protection and Food Security Act (passed December 4, 2020). It is my understanding that the fines and penalties defined by this act will make it easier to convict farm trespassers such as Mr. Klimowicz. Furthermore, similar legislation is proposed at the federal level. My story simply proves that this legislation is long overdue.