P.O. Box 9333, Ottawa, Ontario  K1G 3V1
Tel: 1.613.746.9702   Fax: 1.613.746.5387   Email: tom@cyberclass.net

October 5, 2000

The Honourable David Turnbull
Minister of Transportation
Government of Ontario
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Minister David Turnbull:

I have been doing research into the Highway Traffic Act since reading the book "Rights Denied" authored by David-Kevin: Lindsay in 1999 (copy enclosed). David-Kevin: Lindsay presents some very significant information to explain how our governments and courts have disregarded and/or ignored. our travelling rights as guaranteed to us under Common Law.

I have been communicating with various "Natural Persons" in both the United States of America and in Canada who are travelling without drivers' licences or insurance. I draw you attention to the website of  Ian-Napier: Coke-Richards at this URL:

My ongoing and intensive research re: rights and freedoms continues as I prepare to teach others what I never did learn in any formal institutions of learning. In this regard I have some comments and questions for you as Minister of Transportation for the Province of Ontario.

Is the Highway Traffic Act claimed to be public law or private law?  It would appear as though it is private law for the following reasons.

I have looked up the (legal) definitions of key words in the Act such as the words "Driver", and "Traffic".

As you know, these words are used extensively throughout the Act and given the legal maxim which states: "Sensus verborum est anima legis. "The meaning of words is the spirit of the law" it would appear, to the best of my knowledge, that this Act is not public law.

Let me begin by stating that I tried to look up the meaning of the word "Driver" in Black’s law dictionary and I could not find it.  As well, I looked in other law dictionaries such as Webster's Law Dictionary (1996), and A DICTIONARY OF LAW 1893 and could not locate the meaning.  I must stress that one cannot rely on common dictionaries for legal definitions of words used in statutes because the legal definition of the words is often different from common definitions.

I then went to an older dictionary, Bouvier's Common Law Dictionary (1856) 6th Ed, and found the meaning of the word driver:

          Driver. One employed in conducting a coach, carriage, wagon, or other vehicle...
          Bouvier's Revised Sixth Edition law dictionary, 1856 ed.

As you can see the word driver means one who is "employed" in conducting a coach, carriage, or wagon.  This means a driver is a person who is "for hire", that controls a vehicle.  This means "driving" is a commercial activity.  To further prove this I looked up the meaning of the word "Traffic" in a law dictionary:

         Traffic. Commerce, trade, sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money, or the
                       like. The passing of goods and commodities from one person to
                       another for an equivalent in goods or money ... Bouvier's Law
                       Dictionary, 1914 ed., Pg. 3307

So, "traffic" is "Commerce or trade".  This makes sense since "driving" is a "commercial" activity.  To further back this up I then looked up other words that are commonly used within the Act such as:

          Carrier. Individual or organization engaged in transporting passengers or goods
                         for hire; Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition

          Transportation. The movement of goods or persons from one place to another by
                                     a carrier [for hire]. Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition:

          Passenger. In general, a person who gives compensation to another for
                              transportation.   Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition

          PASSENGER, One who has taken a place. in a public conveyance, for the
                                    purpose of being transported from one place to another. Revised
                                    Sixth Edition law dictionary, 1856 ed

Minister, notice the legal definitions of all these words relate to commercial activity and that most or all of these words are used in the Highway Traffic Act.  So, it would appear, based on the (legal) definition of the words used in the Act, that the Highway Traffic Act can be accurately translated into the Highway (Commerce or trade) Act.   Or better yet, an Act Regulating the Commercial Use of the Roads and Highways.   An Act which governs the activities of "drivers" which are those who use the roads for (commercial) gain.

To further reinforce this research I looked up the legal definition of the word "license" in a law dictionary.

          License.  Authority to do some act or carry on some trade or business, in its
                          nature lawful but prohibited by statute, except with the permission of the
                          civil authority or which would otherwise be unlawful. Bouvier's
                          Law Dict 37.

This means a license is a waiver of prosecution for something that would otherwise be deemed illegal or prohibited by statute.

Now, I asked myself: why would travelling in one's private conveyance be deemed illegal.  There is no reason to make travelling on the roads illegal.   Particularly since the Common Law says we have the right to move about the land provided we don’t trespass on other peoples' property or cause damage during our movement.  And, since all public roads are designed for travelling, and moreover to accommodate motorised vehicles, I have to conclude that travelling on the roads cannot be illegal for a commoner under Common Law who is not using the roads for extraordinary purposes such as driving.

Given the above, I then reasoned that the driver’s license was instituted because the use of public roads for commercial gain was deemed unlawful.  It was deemed unlawful because it is unfair that the public should pay for something that others can use to earn an income. However, since it would be unfair to ban all commercial use of the roads, due to the fact the we need cab drivers and moving companies, a waiver of prosecution would be issued to anyone seeking to use the roads for such a purpose.   This waiver of prosecution is the "Driver’s License."  The driver’s license is a way to control the extraordinary use of public roads as well as to collect revenue which would help mitigate the added wear-and-tear caused by highway "Traffic" (commerce or trade).

Therefore, It is my contention that the Highway Traffic Act is not public law.  It is private law which pertains to "drivers" only.  This means that the majority of Canadians do not require a driver’s license because they are not "drivers", they are travellers.  I am fairly confident that you will not find the word "traveller" in the Highway Traffic Act, although you may find the word travelling.

          Traveller. One who passes from place to place, whether for pleasure, instruction,
                            business, or health. Bovier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., Pg. 3309

           Travel To journey or to pass through or over; as a country district, road, etc. To
                        go from one place to another, whether on foot, or horseback, or in any
                        conveyance as a train, an automobile, carriage, ship, or aircraft; Make a
                        journey. Century Dictionary, Pg. 2034

So, the term "travel" or "traveller" refers to one who travels on foot or uses a conveyance to go from one place to another, and includes all those who use the highways as a matter of Common Law Right.  Notice that in all these definitions, the phrase "for hire" never occurs.  Yet, for "driver", it does.

To clarify, you may use the roads in the course of conducting business, but you may not freely use the roads for ‘doing’ business.

         A cab driver uses the roads for ‘doing’ business. Which is using public property
         for ‘direct’ gain.

         A furniture maker does not use the roads for ‘doing’ business.  They will use the
         roads to deliver product, which is not the same as using the roads for direct gain.

The term "travel" or "traveller" implies, by definition, one who uses the road as a means to move from one place to another, therefore, one who uses the road in the ordinary course of life and business for the purpose of travel and transportation is a traveller, not a driver.  So, according to the wording used, the Highway Traffic Act only applies to certain people, and not the public in general.   This means it is private law.

It would appear that when one signs a driver’s license one converts the Common Law Right to travel into a privilege which can be taken away by the state.  Thus, driving, as they say, is in fact a privilege.  But, travelling is a Common Law Right.

I must say, this is all very insidious.  I have been doing the same type of research into the Income Tax Act and I have discovered these same problems.  Given this, is it no wonder that people distrust, and even hate, politicians and judges.

Minister, can you please confirm whether the Act is public or private law.  And if you say it is public law can you please explain (legally) how it could be public law since the words in the Act state otherwise.  Remember the maxim : Sensus verborum est anima legis. "The meaning of words is the spirit of the law."

I believe it was not the intent of the legislature to outlaw people by forcing them to apply for driver’s licenses in order to travel on the roads and highways in their private conveyances, as this would have been a direct violation of our Common law Right to travel and our lawful use of property.  As you know, the legislature cannot compel anyone to give up their rights – except perhaps by lawful judgement – if a criminal act has been committed.

How can the Ontario Court of Justice have jurisdiction over "traffic offences" and particularly how can I be charged with "traffic offence" CD018566 (copy enclosed) and commanded to appear in court if indeed the Highway Traffic Act violates my Common Law Rights?

One last thing,  I need to know when the Act was passed so that I may conduct further research.

It is my right to request you to inform me on these issues since the Highway Traffic Act affects me in so many ways – most of which violate my Common Law Rights.

Respectfully yours,


Thomas-Joseph: Kennedy (Natural Person)