Toronto MP Joe Volpe proposes new rights for shopkeepers, including bondage

Toronto MP Joe Volpe proposes new rights for shopkeepers, including bondage

Regular Joe: Volpe stands up for the little guy (Image: ycanada_news) 

One of the larger controversies in Chinatown and Kensington Market over the past year has been the case of David Chen, who is being charged with forcible confinement after he and his staff tied up a shoplifter while they waited for police to arrive. The law allows a person to use some force if someone is committing a crime on his or her property, but the problem for Chen is that the shoplifter had left the store and then returned. Not to worry, though, because someone in Ottawa is listening—Liberal MP Joe Volpe is coming to help.

Says the National Post:

Joe Volpe, the Liberal MP for Eglinton-Lawrence, who has championed Mr. Chen’s cause in a private member’s bill, walked around Chinatown and Kensington Market yesterday to chat with shopowners.

“I came down here because I wanted to meet some of the storeowners who have had some of these difficulties that are associated with the way the law applies to them,” he said.

Mr. Volpe’s bill, tabled in the House of Commons last month, calls for a less strict definition of what is reasonable force in pursuit of a citizen’s arrest.

Now when Joe Volpe talks about making laws more flexible and open to interpretation, some of his critics probably hear a voice whispering “Apotex” and “campaign contributions.” But that’s just mean.

The fact is that quite a few of Chen’s colleagues in Chinatown think he got a raw deal. Of course, there are a few things standing in Volpe’s way: first, in this Parliament, an opposition member’s bill and 50 cents will get you a phone call; and second, he’s Joe Volpe. Don’t the Liberals have rules about people who come in seventh in their leadership races?

• Liberal MP’s bill would make citizen’s arrests more flexible [National Post]