Edmonton police lay 'paper terrorism' charge against self-proclaimed Freeman
Share via Email
EDMONTON — Police have charged a self-proclaimed Freeman on the Land with carrying out a "paper terrorism" campaign against a peace officer who issued him a speeding ticket.
Allen Boisjoli, 45, of Vegreville, Alta., faces a charge of intimidating a justice official and is to appear in an Edmonton courtroom Nov. 7.
Police say they have charged Boisjoli and other Freemen with intimidation before, but it's the first time the charge has been laid in Canada strictly dealing with unlawful paperwork.
Freemen, who don't recognize government or authority, often use the tactic of overwhelming courts with documents to try to have charges against them dismissed or withdrawn, said Det. Rae Gerrard.
"They use a plethora of documents which really mean absolutely nothing," Gerrard said Wednesday.
"They're just cutting and pasting from all over the Internet, from laws all over the world. They put them together into hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents and flood the courts with this."
The term "paper terrorism" has been used by the courts in previous cases to describe a misuse of legal processes.
Boisjoli was pulled over by the Beaver County officer near Tofield, about 70 kilometres east of Edmonton, in May 2015. Boisjoli posted a YouTube video of his friendly-yet-stubborn interaction with the officer, in which Boisjoli said speeding isn't a crime.
He never paid the ticket and a judge convicted him when he failed to show up and fight it in court, said Gerrard.
It's alleged that Boisjoli filed various false documents against the peace officer over three months, including a personal lien on the officer's property, claiming an award of $225,000 for being detained and issued the ticket.
Gerrard said Boisjoli has a history of similar behaviour. Court records show he was convicted in 2013 of intimidating two lawyers with Alberta Justice and sentenced to 10 1/2 months in jail. He was also found guilty of assault.
The officer added that Boisjoli is also part of several other groups claiming self-sovereignty. An online profile lists Boisjoli as founder of Judicial Watch and the Sovereign Coalition of Exempt Natural Entities.
Members of the Freemen-on-the-Land movement commonly claim they do not require a driver's licence, assert their rights to have weapons for self-protection and squat in unoccupied homes.
In 2013, a Freeman took over a Calgary duplex and claimed it as his embassy. After the landlady struggled for two years to get the man out, police arrested him on outstanding warrants in Quebec.
The Law Society of British Columbia and B.C. Notaries have issued several warnings about Freemen and estimated the group could number as many as 30,000 in Canada. The FBI considers the movement a domestic terror threat in the United States.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had police say he received a sentence of 13 months. An earlier version also had the accused's first name spelled as it was in a police release, but it was incorrect.