Sunday, February 15, 2015

More On The Dangers of Bill C-51

Well, leave it to The Star's redoubtable readers to remind us of the peril implicit in Bill C-51, Stephen Harper's anti-terrorist bill designed to make us all 'safer' and in a constant state of paranoia. Here is but a small sampling of their sentiments:
I called the Prime Minister’s office to ask why Stephen Harper is so intent on stripping away Canadians’ civil liberties, our rights to privacy, our right not to be arbitrarily detained without charge or trial, and so on, and on, and on. I got a recording. It said:

“Thank you for calling the Prime Minister of Canada. Freedom, the rule of law, and your civil liberties are important to us. Please stay on the line, in your home under house arrest, and your call will be answered by the first available CSIS agent, who will remain anonymous and will not tell you why you are under house arrest. Your estimated wait time is five years. Thank you for calling the Prime Minister of Canada. Freedom, the rule of law, and your civil liberties are important to us.”

Stuart Rogers, Toronto

Harper’s new powers to CSIS, CRA are the start of police state powers. The new powers allow CSIS to examine any group called “terrorist” – terrorist defined broadly as any criminal act that is ideology, or religious based.

CRA also is allowed to pass on information to law enforcement and CSIS without warrant if it is suspected terrorist activity. Harper has called environmental and social justice groups economic terrorists.

CRA is investigating unions, social justice and environmental groups for possible tax violations, which could be considered criminal; given their “ideological” stance in this possible criminal activity it defines them as terrorist. This allows free range to CSIS spy to their heart’s content, which is sadly lacking in oversight.

How long before it becomes used to suppress political enemies, and when you choose to exercise your rights to speak out, will you be the next terrorist?

Joe Healy, Toronto

....With the complete lack of oversight, the almost total abandonment of our Charter Rights and Freedoms and the further erosion of our civil liberties with C-51, I’m led to wonder whose influence the Canadian government is under? The bill itself is classic Harper but what other influences are at work here?

With past U.S. influence on Canadian national policies, examples include the case of Steven de Jaray by the Canadian Border Security Agency, the Maher Arar case and many others, I’m left to wonder when this bill passes, and it will with Harper’s majority and Trudeau’s Liberals in tow, will the oversight of our new “Patriot Act” really be coming from the American State department or the U.S. Homeland Security department?

Janice Meighan, Toronto

Bill C-51, brought to you by Stephen Harper, libertarian, who believes that the long-form census was too invasive. Hmm?

William Thachuk, Toronto

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