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1) Original Message by S. Jetchick (2018-March-30)
2) First followup by S. Jetchick (2018-April-05)
3) Second followup by S. Jetchick (2018-October-26)
4) Freedom of Information attempt (2018-October-27)
5) Open letter to the Public Security Minister (2018-October-29; French Only for now)
6) Acknowledgement of receipt; Freedom of Information (2018-November-06; French Only)
7) Following the refusal of the Sûreté du Québec, request for review by the Information Access Commission (2018-November-29; French only)
8) Answer from the Information Access Commission (2019-Jan-10)
9) Second Answer from the Information Access Commission (2019-Jan-17)
10) Slap in the face from the Sûreté du Québec (2019-Feb-14)
11) Second request for review by the Information Access Commission (2019-Feb-20; French only)
12) Request to the Court of Québec for leave to appeal (not sent yet; French only for now)
Dear fellow Canadian firearm owners,
I'm curious: has this ever happened to you? Has your PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) ever been randomly disactivated?
Since I had just signed up for a two-day BlackBadge (IPSC) course, I needed [censored for the Internet]. So I ordered some from Cabela's Canada on 2018-March-15, but the Customer Support lady told me my PAL number was coming back "not valid" from the RCMP web site. "But I've had it for years, and I've never had a problem with it! And it only expires in 2020!" She tried again, still didn't work.
I therefore tried to go on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police web site (www.services.rcmp-grc.gc.ca) with my "GCKey User ID" and my "GCKey Password". No! It gave me an error message like "This User has been revoked"!
So I got on the phone and prepared to suffer Calvary again, and called the dreaded "800-731-4000" number, where you are whipped with voice menus, spit on with silly messages you are forced to listen to while you wait, and often crucified with "We are experiencing an unusually high call volume. Try later. CLICK!"
After several days (yes, days), I managed to reach a human person. She told me my PAL had been "disactivated randomly", and that they were going to send me additional forms to fill out, so my PAL could be "reactivated".
The lady repeated several times that this was normal, that this happens all the time, that they randomly select PALs, disactivate them, then send forms to those firearm owners, and that they only reactivate the PAL when the forms have been sent back and analysed and approved. She told me there was nothing special in my file.
Since we are always warned at the beginning of each phone call that "your conversation could be recorded", I taped these conversations. Just ask me and I'll send them to you. I can also send the forms they sent me.
The forms are basically a "full cavity search":
- A form whereby I sign consent that: "information on my medical record, my personality, my reliability, my school formation, my previous jobs and my solvency will be supplied to the Sûreté du Québec".
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., of all family members (Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, Wife, Ex-Wife, Ex-"spousal partners", children over 18).
- The names of all medical professionals currently treating me (since I'm pretty healthy, all I could find was the name of my family physican).
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., of my two previous employers.
- All of the addresses where I have lived for the past five years.
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., of two additional references, who are neither family members nor employers.
Since I'm a very obedient and law-abiding guy (I was leaving for Maundy Thursday Mass when I took the picture here above), my forms were filled out and sent back by registered mail two days after having received them, but I personally find this whole affair very weird.
[Usual contact info]
Dear fellow Canadian firearm owners,
I informally contacted the following organisations about my situation: NFA, FQTir, Beauséjour, CRTVal.
Offhand reactions were very surprised. Nobody had ever heard of "random PAL disactivations", and many suspected (as myself) that something else was involved. When I told [somebody who prefers to remain anonymous] what my suspicion was, he agreed it was probably the cause (public criticism of certain official teachings of Islam). Here are my current thoughts:
1) Why should you care? Some sources knowedgeable about Canadian laws and the current state of our government estimate my chances of having my PAL revoked and cops show up at my front door to seize my firearms as above 50%. Knowing what is happening to fellow Canadian firearm owners is important, because you could be next.
2) Where can we buy a "Gun Confiscation Detector"? I don't know. I think you have to build one yourself, with the following two-part recipe:
- Find Snow White;
- Make her poke the tyrant in the eye!
The first part is obvious. If a terrorist has his guns seized by the police, we all cheer for the police! If a drug addict, or a suicidal alcoholic, or a mentally-unstable person has access to guns, something could go very wrong. We probably don't want cops crashing through their front doors, but we sure would want some professionals to kindly look into the situation.
To build a good "Gun Confiscation Detector", you need a "Snow White", somebody who has never taken any drugs, never been drunk, never had any mental illnesses, never done anything illegal, never made any threats to anybody, etc.
But that's not enough. This "Snow White" must be full of love for everybody, even her enemies. If "Snow White" says something negative, she will always make a very clear distinction between the bad behavior she hates (for example, drunk driving) and the person, whom she loves, engaging in that behavior (e.g. the alcoholic driving a car while having too little blood in his alcohol).
For the second part of the recipe, you need to do something that is both perfectly legal and profoundly annoying to tyrants. For example, poking Sharia Law in the eye is perfectly legal, because here in Canada, we are (supposed to be) governed by Canadian Laws, not Islamic Sharia Law. Canadian Laws forbid things like: pedophilia, wife-beating, killing people just because they are in a different religion than you, polygamy, etc. If you hand out flyers that speak out against books promoting such behaviors, you should not trigger the "Gun Confiscation Detector".
To guarantee your flyers are perfectly legal, you could have them pre-approved by the Canadian Minister of Justice, the Quebec Minister of Justice, the mayor of your town, your local Member of Parliament, the Member of Parliament responsible for the M-103 motion against "Islamophobia", the Canadian Armed Forces, all Canadian mosques, as many local journalists as you can reach, your local "catholic" Bishop, etc.
Some might claim this is "enticing hatred or prejudice against a recognizable group". But such an accusation is so vague, it can be used against anybody who speaks out against anything, no matter how charitably. For example, what if I see a Company dumping toxic chemicals in the St-Laurence River, chemicals so toxic that it kills the fish and causes horrible diseases to people downstream? If I speak out against this, will I be charged with "enticing hatred" toward the employees of that Company, and forced to shut up? (The possibilities for State censorship are endless!)
Does this "Gun Confiscation Detector" exist? Well, apart from being an old ugly guy and not a pretty young girl, I think yes.
3) What if you're the poor policeman assigned to knock on my door to confiscate my guns? Relax. My fight is not with you. I'm up against Justin Trudeau and his underlings. And even then, what I want from Justin (or one of his representatives) is a good debate, uncensored by the CBC.
Funerals for Policeman Yves Têtu.
I know good cops exist. Many years ago, I started my Infantry Officer's course with a nice guy called Yves Têtu. We did pushups together, shined boots and ironed shirts together, shot targets up with our FN-C1's together. He later on became a cop, a good cop, but he was killed by a bad cop. I have nothing against good cops. We need more of them.
4) That little song we sing before Hockey games. Leftists hate the Canadian National Anthem, especially the French lyrics:
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la Croix!
(Your arm knows how to bear the sword,
It knows how to bear the Cross!)
Those "swords" are not because our Founding Fathers were in favor of "Ballistic Masturbation". We don't own guns primarily to pleasure ourselves on the range, but because:
Ta valeur Protégera nos foyers et nos droits!
(Your valor Will protect our families and our rights!)
If Canadians can get their guns confiscated because they speak out against books that (apparently at least) promote pedophilia, wife-beating, killing "infidels", polygamy, etc., then we have a problem. If law-abiding citizens can get their guns confiscated because of secret files known only to the police, then we have a problem. If a Gun Confiscation Detector sounds the alarm, then you need to start singing that little song they sing before hockey games, but not while holding your hockey stick...
Dear fellow Canadian firearm owners,
No good news to report. Since my last message, I spoke four times to the frustrating "800-731-4000" number of the Canadian Firearms Program. Today, at about 09h24, I spoke to Mr. Vincent Auger, who again told me what has been repeated to me for about seven months: there have been "events", and further "analysis" have been requested, and nothing else. All my questions on the nature of these "events" is left without answer. All my questions about the "analysis" receive the same cold and insulting treatment: no answer on when the analysis will be finished, no answer on who is reponsible for the file, no answer on what I can do to find out what is going on with my file, no answer when I ask to speak to the superior of the person I'm talking to, etc. So the system has been laughing at me for seven months, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
The only difference today is I mentioned the Quebec Commission for Information Access:
A Department or public organism has a file about me. Can I consult my file?
Answer: Yes, you can consult your personal file.
Would this work? I don't know, but it's worth a try (the fact they have been stonewalling me for seven months without ever mentioning this might bode well). A reader also suggests trying The Québec Ombudsman. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, learn about the warning signs of a Police-State, and inform people around you!
-------- Forwarded Message -------- Subject: Demande d'accès à des documents au sujet de la PPA de Stefan Jetchick Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 12:18:02 -0400 From: Stefan Jetchick sjj@ To: accesdocuments add at sign here surete.qc.ca
Quebec City, October 27, 2018.
SÉCURITÉ PUBLIQUE (SÛRETÉ DU QUÉBEC)
Ms Caroline Guay
Directrice du service de l'accès et de la protection de l'information
1701, rue Parthenais, UO 1110
Montréal (QC) H2K 3S7
Tél. : 514 596-7716
Téléc. : 514 596-7717
accesdocuments (add the "at" sign here) surete.qc.ca
Subject: Request for access to documents
Good day Ms Caroline Guay,
I'm sorry in advance if you're not exactly the right person to whom I should send this letter. I found your name on page 66 of Liste des organismes assujettis et des responsables de l'application de la Loi sur l'accès, and was told yesterday by the customer service representative at the "800-731-4000" number of the Canadian Firearms Program that the file they have on me could be consulted using a request through the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec.
Pursuant to Section 9 of the Loi sur l'accès aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels, I wish to obtain copy of all documents of my file at the Contrôleur des armes à feu du Québec (whether they are in their possession, or whether they just refer to them), especially those related to the mysterious disactivation of my PAL described here.
[Usual contact info]
Imagine, a month and a half after my request (by email and by letter), I am informed that something is missing. But I provided my phone number, my email address, etc. Why not bounce me a little email to tell me so, the day after receiving my request? (especially since they never sent an acknowledgment, not even a small "AutoResponder").
But it's worse. My supposedly missing document is in the hands of the bureaucrats over whom they are supposed to have the authority to extract any information, even information those bureaucrats don't want to disclose! Why not phone up these bureaucrats to tell them: "This is the powerful and scary Information Access Commission. Send us a copy of the request you received from Mr. Jetchick, otherwise, be very afraid!"
But there's even worse! None of my documents are missing! I sent everything electronically. And don't forget that Quebec's Government gargles its throat with "Sustainable Development"! So they are against paper copies, and should prefer electronic versions that don't waste trees!
But wait, wait! There's more! Seeing this madness, I tried to contact them. But the lady who sent me the letter has no contact information on her letter! A civil servant goes through the trouble of sending me a paper letter, but without telling me how to contact her! So, I have to go through their stupid call center. OK, let's do it! Bang! Right off the bat, a long recorded message that repeats platitudes we already know. Then, "If you know the name of the person you want to talk to, dial Zero." I dial zero: "All our agents are currently busy serving other clients. Leave us a voice message." So I leave a voice message, and abandon hope...
Fortunately, a few hours later, my phone rings, and it's an employee of the Commission! She doesn't know who I am, doesn't have my file, but at least it's a human person! I told her all the information was in what I had already sent them. "Ah OK. I'll go see". And that's it! The employee told me she would go read my email! They started by telling me (a month and a half late) that I was missing an essential element, to then change their minds and confess that they would go read what I sent!
Excuse me, I have to engage in a stress reduction activity...
A few days later I got a big thick envelope from the Information Access Commission. It's just two short letters, and a long paper printout (15 pages) of this web page (without their first answer).
The two short letters are first an acknowledgment of receipt saying they got my request, and a second one asking the Sûreté du Québec to send me the "motivated response to the applicant's application". In other words, the Left Hand of the Government is telling the Right Hand of the Government to refuse once again my request, but this time to just do it in writing! The Law explicitely says that not answering withing 20 days IS a refusal! The Sûreté du Québec HAS responded to my request already!
What they should have said was something like: "We, of the mighty and fearsome Information Access Commission, hereby order you to disclose the information you are wrongfully withholding from a Citizen!" But it's all smoke and mirrors, to make voters think that we still live in a free Country, from what I can see.
A Government by the People, for the People, should not have secrets kept from the People. Unless there is a provable reason to keep it secret, every citizen should have access to all the information the Government is keeping about them.
In my case, the Police has refused my request, without giving a reason, therefore that information should automatically be made accessible (because there is no reason to keep it secret, and by default it must be accessible).
The Sûreté du Québec has sent its "answer" to my request. Thirty-four pages! And 34 pages almost one month later!
The most important page is their answer as such. This answer is simple: the Access to Information Act has a loophole that allows any police officer to hide anything from any citizen, using the following magic formula:
these are documents the disclosure of which might hinder an upcoming, ongoing, or subject to reopening investigation.
Note that the door is open for an ongoing investigation, but also an upcoming investigation! So all a policeman has to say is: "Um, maybe someday I'll investigate this guy!", and presto! the policeman can start accumulating a secret pre-crime file on this citizen! And even if the police conduct their investigation, and find nothing (as it surely is the case for me), the fact that the investigation proved the citizen was beyond reproach doesn't mean anything, because since there was investigation in the past, this means that the investigation could one day be re-opened! So the police can keep secret this file on this citizen!
Not only is this loophole as big as the combination of past, present and future, but on top of that it's the police that decides whether something might "hinder the investigation". So if the police does something illegal, the disclosure of their professional misconduct would "hinder the investigation" (since a Judge would stop it!), so they can keep their misdeeds secret!
The other thirty three pages are a long bureaucratic slap in the face. They are copies of documents that I sent them! Every few years, we must apply to renew our license. Each of those requests incurs many pages of nonsense that must be repeated. A good dozen pages are photocopies of these forms! And as these forms also require all kinds of supporting documents, another dozen pages are simply photocopies of this or that certificate, or a photo, or the back of this photo, etc.! And to top it off, they even have the nerve to send me a copy of two documents taken from this web page!
(There were even 3 photocopied pages with nothing on them! And of course, all this environmental mess was photocopied only on one side, and in addition it was done on big 8.5x14 sheets, while the originals are small 8.5x11 sheets, which wasted even more paper! Sustainable development is not supposed to be the sustainable development of deforestation...)
They could have just told me, "No, the police has a secret file on you, and the Access to Information Act has such a big loophole, that if the goaltender of the Montreal Canadians had such a loophole in his pads, we'd be able to fit a whole subway train through his legs. Therefore you'll never know what's inside!"
At least it would not have taken almost a year, a ream of paper, and an small army of overpaid bureaucrats...
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