SK to rewrite gang colours legislation

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reports that the Saskatchewan government will not appeal a decision handed down this past December which deemed legislation prohibiting gang members from wearing their gang colours in permitted premises as unconstitutional.

Last month Justice Albert Lavoie ruled that section 60.1 of the The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act is unconstitutional as “the benefits of the legislation, in its present form, are minimal while the deleterious effects on freedom of expression are so far reaching as to outweigh the benefits.”

The ruling was made in regards to the case of Jessie Leigh Bitz, who had a Hells Angels patch on a vest he wore while at a Saskatoon bar.  Under the act, Bitz would have been subject to a $10,000 fine and/or up to a year in prison.

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said the province would amend the act since it “serves to reduce crime.”

As a result of Lavoie’s decision, charges against five other people under the act were thrown out this past Monday.

Image attributed to Brian Burnell and used according to a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 licence.  Image and licence available here.