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Freedom Party of Ontario


For immediate release

Video-taped Fights at Schools in Orangeville

McGuinty Can and Must Act to Curtail Teen Fights

Echoes of Caledonia Stand-off:
McGuinty and Tory Falsely Deny that Province Has No Power to Intervene

September 22, 2006, Toronto - The government of Ontario, and the police, can and must act to curtail "consensual" teen fights says Paul McKeever, leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario.  Yesterday, a Canadian Press (CP) report published in the Toronto Star ran with the headline: "Up to parents to stop fighting: McGuinty...In rare show of unanimity, Tory leader says premier is right". 

"Once again, Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Tory are spreading the false notion that the provincial government is powerless and that it's someone else's problem", said McKeever.  "First they told us, falsely, that the Premier's office has no power to direct the police to enforce the law at Caledonia.  Now they are holding hands and telling us that the government has no power to interfere with videotaped fights among teens in Orangeville. 

"In Caledonia, they said 'we're powerless to do anything, so it's up to the police'.  In Orangeville, they are saying "we are powerless to do anything, so it's up to parents".  In both instances, it's a falsehood and a cop-out.

"I find it particularly disgraceful that John Tory is, again, aiding McGuinty to spread a falsehood.  This is an international phenomenon but, in Ontario it is happening right in John Tory's own riding.  Yet Tory's turning his back on this and saying it's the parents' problem!

"In my opinion, both Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Tory are shirking their responsibilities to maintain order in the province, to protect minors from violence, and to promote safe, peaceful places in which to live and learn."

At Least Two Solutions Available Already

"There are at least two ways of handling this" says McKeever, "and I think parents in Orangeville have a right to demand that the Premier adopt at least one of these approaches. 

"The first is to use and enforce Ontario's Trespass to Property Act.  In these fight videos, teens can be seen to be conducting these fights in public parks, on public sidewalks and boulevards, in school yards etc..  The Trespass to Property Act could be used to impose fines of up to $2,000.00 on those who use pubic property for these fights.  You don't have to arrest someone for fighting: you can arrest them for trespassing.  The idea that the fighters consent to the fight is irrelevant in the tresspass context.  Under this approach, you deal with it as a matter of property rights.

"The second approach recognizes a simple fact: even consensual fighting is a crime in Canada.  An officer cannot lay a charge of "assault" when the fight is consensual, but he or she most certainly can lay a charge of "prize fighting" under section 83 of the Canadian Criminal Code.

Legislation Could be Introduced

"The McGuinty government could also introduce legislation that deems the owner of private land personally liable for the costs of bodily harm that result from a fight among minors that occurs on that person's land.  Host a fight: re-imburse everyone for the costs, and that includes OHIP.  We have to keep in mind that those who are under 18 years of age arguably lack capacity to "consent" to a fist fight: parents, however, have the capacity to say 'your not going to fight on my property'."

A backgrounder on yesterday's CP report, and copies of the legislation referred to in this media release, follow below.

The CP Story of September 21, 2006

The report stated that teens in Orangeville are the most recent to join the phenomenon of staging and videotaping bare-knuckled fist-fights which are later uploaded to video-sharing sites like www.youtube.com.

The CP report said:

"And while police in Orangeville say they can’t lay charges because the fights were consensual, McGuinty made it clear he believes it would be wrong to outlaw consensual fighting in order to stop the teens."


The report quoted the Premier as saying:

“Rather than resort to the Criminal Code at the outset, I think parents ought to understand what it is their children are doing, and ought to provide them with the appropriate guidance and direction,”

It reported, also quoted opposition leader John Tory, saying that he agrees with the Premier:

“There are some things that government just can’t legislate,” said Tory. “I think if it gets out of hand and trespasses over the existing Criminal Code line, then police will deal with it.”

According to the report, "Tory said police should be keeping an eye on the videos being posted to youtube.com to make sure the situation doesn’t get any worse."


Statutory Provisions (Excerpts)

Trespass to Property Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter T.21

Trespass an offence
2.  (1)  Every person who is not acting under a right or authority conferred by law and who,
(a)   without the express permission of the occupier, the proof of which rests on the defendant,
(i)   enters on premises when entry is prohibited under this Act, or
(ii)   engages in an activity on premises when the activity is prohibited under this Act; or
(b)   does not leave the premises immediately after he or she is directed to do so by the occupier of the premises or a person authorized by the occupier,
is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 2 (1).
Arrest without warrant on premises
9.  (1)  A police officer, or the occupier of premises, or a person authorized by the occupier may arrest without warrant any person he or she believes on reasonable and probable grounds to be on the premises in contravention of section 2.  R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 9 (1).
Delivery to police officer
(2)  Where the person who makes an arrest under subsection (1) is not a police officer, he or she shall promptly call for the assistance of a police officer and give the person arrested into the custody of the police officer.  R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 9 (2).
Deemed arrest
(3)  A police officer to whom the custody of a person is given under subsection (2) shall be deemed to have arrested the person for the purposes of the provisions of the Provincial Offences Act applying to his or her release or continued detention and bail.  R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 9 (3).

Arrest without warrant off premises
10.  Where a police officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a person has been in contravention of section 2 and has made fresh departure from the premises, and the person refuses to give his or her name and address, or there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the name or address given is false, the police officer may arrest the person without warrant.  R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 10.
Criminal Code R.S. 1985, c. C-46

Engaging in prize fight

83. (1) Every one who
(a) engages as a principal in a prize fight,
(b) advises, encourages or promotes a prize fight, or
(c) is present at a prize fight as an aid, second, surgeon, umpire, backer or reporter,
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Definition of “prize fight”

  (2) In this section, “prize fight” means an encounter or fight with fists or hands between two persons who have met for that purpose by previous arrangement made by or for them, but a boxing contest between amateur sportsmen, where the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and forty grams each in mass, or any boxing contest held with the permission or under the authority of an athletic board or commission or similar body established by or under the authority of the legislature of a province for the control of sport within the province, shall be deemed not to be a prize fight.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 83; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 186.

265(1) A person commits an assault when
(a) Without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

For further details concerning this media release, contact Paul McKeever:

Cell: ***-***-****
Office: 905-721-9772

This media release distributed to all major news media, and the Ontario's MPPs.


Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario

Tel: 1-800-830-3301
web: https://freedomparty.on.ca