Canada Trying to Ban Offensive Words

On October 14, 2016, Norskk Vikingar Corp., the Canadian division of a Norwegian company, filed legal action against Her Majesty the Queen (File 2016-4639 GSTI), alleging years of abuse and harassment by the Canada Revenue Agency, including the withholding of funds owed to the company by the Canadian federal government.

When Ronald Pétion, Litigation Counsel for the Canada Revenue Agency, finally communicated with a representative of Norskk in the wrong official language out of spite, with unreasonable demands for an immediate response after ignoring the case for nearly a year, and in the context of the Canada Revenue Agency having harassed the company for over two decades, while another Canada Revenue Agency employee had even threatened Norskk representatives with death, a company representative responded by asking for clarifications, while referring to Canada Revenue Agency staff as "idiots", and the Queen as a "c#nt". 

Ronald Pétion did not provide the requested clarifications. He did not even address any of the claims outlined in the lawsuit. As a matter of fact, showing his profound contempt for the very taxpayers who finance his position, Ronald Pétion didn't even bother answering the email. Instead, as an individual who appears to have secured a job with the federal government solely based on his minority status, he used his expertise in victimization to claim offense, while seeing in this exchange an excellent opportunity for the Canadian federal government to silence taxpayers. 

Ronald Pétion therefore filed an affidavit with the Federal Tax Court on October 3, 2017, referring to the email correspondance with the Norskk partner as "offensive" and "disrespectful". Again, in the wrong official language.

In turn, Spencer Landsiedel, counsel for the Department of Justice, used the "offensive" and "disrespectful" claim as the sole basis for requesting to be awarded costs as a form of damages. In the wrong official language as well. Based on Spencer Landsiedel's ludicrous claim that Norskk representatives placed the Canadian justice system in disrepute for failing to act on an email from the Canada Revenue Agency within 10 days, when the Canada Revenue Agency itself had completely ignored the claim for nearly a year, Spencer Landsiedel is also clearly claiming the use of "offensive" and "disrespectful" terms as sole ground for dismissing Norskk's claim altogether.

The Canadian federal government actions in this matter are a violation of Section 2 (Fundamental Freedoms) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression, as well as Section 19 and 20 (Language Rights) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which upholds the right for proceedings and services in either of Canada's official languages. 

The attempt of the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Justice to outlaw terms they deem offensive and disrespectful, while denying due process to the very taxpayers they are meant to serve, should be of great concern to all Canadians. Such repressive actions completely disregard fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, are a blatant abuse of powersand have no place in a democratic society.

Þórólfr Björnsson

Reykjavik, Iceland