A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Harper's Police State Law

Much has been written of late about the proposed C-51 'anti terror' bill and I will not attempt to dissect it here given that we already know that it will be forced through the legislative process unchanged by the Harper Regime it is somewhat a futile exercise. It is important however to still understand what it means for Canadians who may express an alternative point of view to said regime or express their opposition to certain actions by peaceful protest. One of the few politicians whose views and opinions I respect, Elizabeth May, had this to say last week on this issue:-

“I remember the events of Oct. 22. While I was in lock-down on Parliament Hill, I remember who hid in a closet and who ran toward gun fire. The guy in the closet is now planning to concentrate the powers of the state in his own hands while converting the Canadian spy agency into a secret police with virtually unlimited powers.................”

“Here is what Stephen Harper wants Canadians to think:

We are at war. We face a massive terrorist threat. We must be very, very afraid and we must not question any law brought in allegedly to fight terrorism. Anyone who raises finicky, lily-livered concerns about civil liberties is a fellow-traveller of ISIS.

Here's the truth:

We are not at war. We are at peace. (Would Harper's most trusted lieutenant and minister of foreign affairs quit if we were really at war?)

Acts of terrorism are a threat. They are criminal acts of horrific cruelty and sadism. Luring of disenfranchised, disenchanted, alienated Canadians into their barbaric crusade must be addressed, but the new law, C-51, is not primarily an anti-terrorism law. And legal experts are already pointing out it "undermines more promising avenues of addressing terrorism." (See Bill C-51 backgrounder by professors Kent Roach and Craig Forcese.)

In terms of Canada's future, the climate crisis is a much larger threat.

We must not be afraid................”

'”The vaguest of those things that undermine the security of Canada reads as follows:”
"Interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to intelligence, defence, border operations, public safety, the administration of justice, diplomatic or consular relations or the economic or financial stability of Canada."That list of vague activities has the same status as terrorism in launching CSIS operatives into a murky world with powers to "take measures, within or outside Canada, to reduce the threat..................."

The above are extracts from her article also published in the The Tyee where you will also find this thoughtful response from one Aaron Sheldon:-

“The surveillance state is inherently self destructive. In establishing the surveillance state a society enters a vicious loop where surveillance grows because of distrust of the populace, and in turn growing surveillance erodes the trust within the populace. Is there any greater evidence of not being trusted then having the state insist on monitoring your every activity and moment of being?

Yet without trust a society will not be resilient against the numerous unpredictable insults and injuries that erode its functioning. Trust is what allows families to grow, friendships to form, and financial transactions to occur. Most important, trust is the heart of altruism, through which is the only means that a society can truly recover from disaster, accident, calamity, and attack. In the surveillance state there is no altruism, only public performance and crafted persona.
It is no small irony that the surveillance state seeks to prevent the very misfortunes whose effects the surveillance state exacerbates. If only the consequences were not so grave, we could laugh off the monitoring of the surveillance state as the quixotic tilting of a madmen at windmills - all bravado and no accomplishment.
But then again the real goal of the surveillance state is not to protect society or the public from harm, it is to protect the fragile egos of the few elite who desperately cling to power.”

Given my questions last week as to what and whom we can trust in “government” I can only express deep concern that we can trust “government” to not use these proposed new laws for political and personal gain and ideological purposes. The biggest threat to Canada is the Harper Terrorists!

Security agencies may feel that their present powers constrain their ability to protect Canada. But let us have an open discussion of this claim within Parliament and its committees before rushing to impose politically motivated “solutions.” Our rights as citizens are at stake.” Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow 

Please stand with Elizabeth today -- add your voice and tell the government and opposition that our civil liberties are more important than partisan politics.

PS Apparently if you are religious and go nuts and storm parliament (or an environmentalist) you are a terrorist but if you are not religious and plan to kill many in a shopping center you are not a terrorist???
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Lorne said...

We need as many thoughtful Canadians to weigh in on and disseminate information about the dangers posed by this bill, Rural. Thanks for doing your part.

Rural said...

There are time Lorne when I wonder, as I am sure you do, if anyone is listening, but we must all keep up the effort for a while longer. Thanks for your efforts also.

Unknown said...

It's interesting Rural that almost all of the legislation and agreements, including trade agreements that the Harper regime puts forth , include either the violation or removal of Canadians rights and freedoms.This new anti-terrorist bill is another example of violating our rights.The danger is if Canadians remain ignorant about Harper's pursuit of tyranny and his governments support in providing that power.On my worst days,I see him getting 4 more years in my best days I see him gone. I find it hard to read how the overall Canadian majority views Harper and his regime.

Rural said...

Indeed Pamela, the pursuit of power and control comes before all else with the Harper Regime.