Topics include the role of civil courts in Upper Canada; legal education; political corruption; nineteenth-century Canadian rape law; the Toronto Police Court; the Kamloops outlaws and commissions of assize in nineteenth-century British Columbia; private rights and public purposes in Ontario waterways; the origins of workers' compensation in Ontario; and the evolution of the Ontario courts. Contributors include Brendan O'Brien, Peter N. Oliver, William N.T. Wylie, G. Blaine Baker, Paul Romney, Constance B. Backhouse, Paul Craven, Hamar Foster, Jamie Bendickson, R.C.B. Risk, and Margaret A. Banks.
The third section, on family law, examines the issues of divorce from 1750 to 1890 and child custody from 1866 to 1910. Finally, two essays relate to law and the economy: one examines the Mines Arbitration Act of 1888; the other considers the question of private property and public resources in the context of the administrative control of water in Nova Scotia.
Other news stories developed. Two dozen law professors wrote to Prime Minister Chr�tien to report that a number of serious constitutional violations that had taken place on campus. One protester, held for fourteen hours for displaying a sign saying "Free Speech," initiated legal proceedings. Other lawsuits followed. The RCMP and the government of Canada were named as defendants, and a public inquiry was launched. A central issue was whether the Prime Minister's officials gave orders of a political nature to the police that resulted in law-abiding citizens being assaulted and arrested.
But why all the fuss? So what if the Prime Minister gave orders to the police? The contributors to Pepper in Our Eyes maintain that the "so what" question is of vital importance. The events at APEC raised serious questions about constitutional principle, the role of police in a democratic society, public accountability, and the effects of globalization on rights and politics. The contributors, experts in a variety of fields, draw upon their knowledge to explain -- in plain English -- the background issues and the values at stake. Some of the authors, such as Gerald Morin, chair of the first RCMP Public Complaints Commission, and CBC journalist Terry Milewski, had a direct connection with the APEC affair.
By getting at the fundamental issues behind the APEC affair, Pepper in Our Eyes seeks to raise our civic consciousness. It shows that there was much more at stake that day than the questionable use of pepper spray.