Criminal Code

Table of Contents

Section 464


R. v. Porisky, 2012 DTC 5037 [at 6731], 2012 BCSC 67

The defendants ran "The Paradigm Education Group," a business in which they conducted self-help seminars and set up teachers to conduct such seminars. The Paradigm curriculum was meant to establish acolytes as "natural persons," working in their own capacity, under private contract, for their own benefit, and thereby supposedly to make them exempt from tax.

Myers J. convicted the defendants for counseling people to commit fraud on the Crown, notwithstanding numerous disclaimers that the educational materials were not to be construed as legal advice. Considering the DVD series The Canadian Illusion, which was the cornerstone of the Paradigm curriculum, Myers J. stated (at para. 113):

To paraphrase the test in Sharpe [2001 SCC 2, that the material, viewed objectively, sends the message that the conduct giving rise to the offence can and should be pursued], does The Canadian Illusion send the message that the Paradigm view should be followed, or does it merely state a valueless opinion or a legitimate political viewpoint? I think it is the former: it exhorts and goads people to free themselves from the shackles of "serfdom" and "slavery" supposedly imposed by the income tax system. It instructs people to do this by exercising the "forgotten option" of structuring their arrangements as so-called natural persons and thereby consider their income as nil. Those who do not do this have chosen the "Common Option for the Disadvantaged."