‘A Sovereign Citizen awarded’ is a regrettable headline on page one of the October 12, 2023 issue of this newspaper.
Burying Jay Tousaw’s recognition with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in the penultimate of eight lengthy paragraphs is bad enough. More shocking is the poor choice of headline referencing Mr. Toushaw as a Sovereign Citizen. I assume this was meant as a compliment, but the reference suggests an ignorance of what Sovereign Citizen means. In Canada, the only Sovereign Citizen is King Charles.
However, in the spillover of the Sovereign Citizen movement from the US, some Canadians have adopted conspiratorial and extremist beliefs. We can recognize those beliefs in the behaviours demonstrated at the Freedom Convoy occupation of Ottawa in 2022.
Sovereign Citizens are anti-government extremists who deny the legitimacy of their governments. They believe illegitimate governments produce illegitimate laws from which they claim immunity, along with liberty from all government authority.
I doubt very much those pictured below the headline with Mr. Tousaw identify themselves as Sovereign Citizens, Natural Persons, or Freeman-on-the-Land, which repudiate the constitutional validity of each level of government.