March 18 2008 THE NEWS NEW GLASGOW NOVA SCOTIA
Accused reluctantly reveals himself after judge threatens to release arrest warrant to the police
NEW GLASGOW – A Thorburn area man will be tried in July for failing to fill in a 2006 Canada Census form.
Brian Stewart, 379 Park Falls Rd., appeared in New Glasgow provincial court Monday morning but initially refused to identify himself.
When his name was read out, three men in business suits approached the front of the courtroom, one of them carrying a box of documents.
One of the men indicated they were there to "present" Stewart. None of them admitted to being Stewart.
When Judge Clyde Macdonald asked if one or more of them were representing Stewart, they declined to answer the question.
After repeatedly asking the men to take a seat in the courtroom, Macdonald suggested federal Crown prosecutor Ed Patterson speak to the trio in an attempt to understand their position.
Patterson later told the court he had some difficulty communicating with the men.
When Macdonald again called Stewart to appear before the court one of the men came forward but declined to identify himself.
"If the person required to come here to speak identified himself as Brian Stewart, would that be considered contracting with the court?" he asked.
He added he might sometimes be called Brian, Friend or Joseph or sometimes be called by derogatory names.
He asked to see the name on the court documents.
The judge ordered the court reporter to show the documents to the man in an adjacent room during a brief recess.
"This is under duress and intimidation," the man told the court as a sheriff escorted him into the adjacent room.
When court resumed the man continued to be reluctant to identify himself as Stewart. He pointed to one of the men with him and said he needed his interpreter.
"He's deaf – somewhat," the other man called out.
Judge Macdonald ignored the request and noted an arrest warrant had been drawn up last week when Stewart failed to appear in provincial court. He added if Stewart was not in the courtroom, the warrant would immediately be turned over to police.
The man then acknowledged Brian Stewart was "a name given to me at birth" and told the court his Charter of Rights was being violated.
He asked whether he could fight the charge under the British North America Act of 1867.
The judge told Stewart he was free to enter a not guilty plea to violating the federal Statistics Act but advised him to save his arguments for trial which was set for July 17 and 18.
One of Stewart's companions activated a large tape recorder as soon as Stewart began speaking but he was eventually ordered by a sheriff to turn off the recorder and escorted from the courtroom.
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tamika from New Glasgow, NS writes: This is one of the sketchiest things I have ever heard!! He wouldn't identify himself, and then spoke in riddles...and he wants to cite the North American Act??????? I hate the census too...but....I'll be interested to see what develops here
Batman from Bat Cave, NS writes: I loved this story so much I sent it to everyone on my email list. Only in Pictou County you say. Obviously Judge Clyde kept his cool & this one will be the talk of legal circles. Too bad it didn't make the national news.
Leigh from Pictou County, Nova Scotia writes: Why is this man being prosecuted? Seems like a huge waste of tax dollars to me. We have no money to fix roads, hospitals and a lot more. Does the Crown not have more important cases to try. Failing to fill out a census....
Seriously, find something better to to.
Posted 18/03/2008 at 2:01 PM | Alert an Editor | Link to comment
July 18 2008 THE NEWS NEW GLASGOW NOVA SCOTIA
NEW GLASGOW – The case against a Thorburn man accused of failing to fill out a Census of Canada form was dismissed in New Glasgow provincial court Thursday.
Brian Stewart, 379 Park Falls Rd., called the dismissal a victory for the common man.
"If I could have presented my evidence I would have caused huge chaos in this country," he said outside the New Glasgow provincial court, not having had the opportunity to utter a single word in court.
When court opened, federal prosecutor Ronda Vanderleuk told Judge Robert Stroud she needed time to discuss new information with Stewart.
Stewart left the court room with Vanderleuk, followed by his seven associates. Two hours later, the prosecutor returned to say no evidence would be offered on the charge.
Following the dismissal, Vanderleuk refused to give any explanation.
Stewart insisted he had never received a census form. Asked if he would have filled it out, had he received it, he replied. "I don't do that stuff."
"Democracy is mob rule," he added, claiming the charge against him was persecution
Stewart said he was not surprised to have the case dismissed.
"I'm happy, I didn't get a fine or go to jail," he said, adding he has spent the last six years researching and studying law, although he had only ever been charged with two offences, speeding and going through a stop sign.
When Stewart first appeared in court with his male supporters last March he was reluctant to identify himself, claimed his rights were being violated and asked to fight the charge under the British North America Act of 1867.
Thursday he referred to his followers as researchers and "free men of the land." Outfitted primarily in black, all refused to give their names.
"We are part of the Blue Collar Movement, the other secret society," Stewart said, adding they live under "the supremacy of God and His rule of law."
Pressed for more information on the organization, the men said they hold no meetings and membership is offered only to those who ask questions.
"Start asking questions and we will come to you," said one of the seven who responded to the name Steve but refused to give his name.
Stewart acknowledged the movement has no female members.
"God created male and female but all are male," he said, pointing out male and man are part of the spelling of female and woman. "Read your Bible, it is all in there."