Editorial: Taking it to court

Governments spending time and money in court

Our legal system, courts, judges and lawyers are integral to keeping our society functioning smoothly.

Beyond the basics of deciding who the criminals are and meting out the appropriate punishment, a court is the final step in defining our rights and privileges, and sorting out when they clash.

Governments, on the other hand, are tasked with creating those laws, regulations and policies in the first place. We elect our parliamentarians to give careful thought to developing these articles, while the courts should only have to step in to resolve contradictions.

But there seems to be a trend lately for governments to be spending more time in courts, asking them to decide matters of policy. The federal carbon tax is a good example.

Some provinces decided to make the carbon tax a political football. That’s normal enough, but instead of the political maneuvering, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan took the argument straight to the courts.

Our elected lawmakers should be spending more time talking, negotiation and finding ways to move forward together before going to the somewhat nuclear option of one level of government suing the other.

It’s like sweeping all the chess pieces off the board three moves into the game.

Likewise, the ongoing pipeline spat B.C. and Alberta are involved in shouldn’t be ending up in the courts. Horgan’s move to get the courts to decide whether B.C. had the power to limit the permits needed to build a pipeline was in itself a delaying tactic — just not something governments should have to ask a court whether it was in their powers.

But Alberta’s turn off the taps legislation was intended to end up going to court. Neither Notley or Kenney’s governments could have thought they would get away with legislation causing significant harm to other Canadians without being challenged.

B.C.’s injunction suit wasn’t a surprise then. All that’s really happened is threats and response, that will now be tied up in the courts, with neither side gaining anything other than political points with their constituents.

There are two reasons making this use of the courts as threats and clubs a real problem. The first is the time—while these cases are being argued and decided, the court has less time to spend on more vital decisions.

Then there is cost—remember the lawyers arguing the government’s cases, along with the judges and everything associated, is costing taxpayer dollars.

Is this what you want your money spent on? Or would you prefer politicians did their job and used tools like fair dealing, negotiation and compromise?

– Black Press

Just Posted

Plenty of true grit shown at Big ‘4’ Rodeo in Barriere

Justin Harrell from Chetwyn, B.C., breaks out of the chute in perfect… Continue reading

Father’s Day Fish Derby a family affair in Barriere

North Thompson Fish and Game Club hold 10th Annual Father’s Day Fish Derby

United We Roll For Canada rolls into Barriere

When a dedicated group got together to organize a convoy of trucks… Continue reading

Susan Mitchell recognized as the ‘birthday girl’ at Chinook Cove Golf

By Leslie Stirling Last Tuesday’s Ladies Night (June 11) was one of… Continue reading

Neal Diamond show coming to Barriere for Legion Week

Legion Week starts on June 24, celebrating 93 years of service to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Most Read