Courts limit free speech

Christie Blatchford: The disgraceful case against a man who dared carry a Canadian flag in Caledonia

Whatever the government or the appeal court says, Randy Fleming fought for his country when few others did, and for his trouble, he’s been nicely smacked down

Behold the lawless bastard, Randy Fleming.

Almost nine years ago, he dared to walk along Argyle Street in the town of Caledonia, Ont., carrying a Canadian flag on a pole towards a peaceful so-called “flag rally”.

For this impudence, he was wrestled to the ground by a half-dozen Ontario Provincial Police officers, permanently injured and charged with obstructing police (though officers told him he was being arrested to “prevent a breach of the peace”, a loathsome preventative detention offence).

After 12 court appearances, the Crown abruptly withdrew the criminal charge.

Fleming sued the OPP and more than two years ago, he won.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Kim Carpenter-Gunn vindicated him, ruling that his arrest was unlawful, that the police used more force than necessary and that they breached his Charter and common-law rights.

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