This week, Defence Minister Jason Kenney came out warning Canadians that more jihadist terrorist attacks might be likely committed in the future and for this reason he supports the current administrations anti-terror bill. Kenney expressed that Canada was in a long-term ideological battle with radical Islam, in essence Canada is at war with an idea. Canadian authorities want us to believe that we can really win a war against a tactic. Without any clear plan of exactly how we are going to achieve this or what such an achievement would look like. They have no problem with eroding the values of Canadian citizens, while they continue a never-ending battle against an idea. Their efforts don't seem to be making any individual safer, if anything they make citizens less safe and we can see that now because after more than a decade of fighting, terrorism is still rather prevalent in the Middle East.
Kenney said that Canadians “face a global movement that quite literally defies reason.” However, what more eerily defies reason is launching a never-ending war against a tactic that you have no idea how to win. Trying the same failed approach that you have been trying for the past decade, and assuming that you are going to get different results; this is what strikes me as an initiative which defies reason. Limiting the values of your citizens who you are in place to represent, because you fear those who are aiming to instill fear in you, this seems to rather defy reason.
The current administration has yet to fully detail and explain how the new security powers are going to help curb any future risk of violence at all, yet they insist on pushing the legislation through regardless. Why are the powers that they hold currently to investigate and collect information not sufficient all of a sudden? Why must they further creep into the territory of unsupervised activity, working independent of the public and critical oversight? Isn't transparency and due process supposed to be encouraged in a supposedly free and democratic nation? Yet, here we are, trying to infringe on such values and civil liberties.
If we want to decrease the chances of being victimized in the future, then perhaps we shouldn't go intruding ourselves into situations that don't directly involve us. The nation should stay focused on maintaining a peace-keeping reputation, rather than one which initiates unjust violence. Engaging in numerous conflicts is also very costly and the administration will be choosing to waste millions of dollars on pointless warfare, rather than on securing the economic prosperity of its people. Regardless of Kenney and Harper's support for Bill C51, there are a growing number who aren't buying it.
The list of Bill C-51 critics continues to grow and they now include some prominent citizens: four former prime ministers, various former Supreme Court of Canada judges, ministers of justice and public safety professionals, solicitors general, members of SIRC (the Security and Intelligence Review Committee that oversees CSIS) as well as commissioners who are responsible for overseeing the RCMP and upholding privacy laws. Just this week, several collectively signed an open letter which took the position to argue that although the safety of Canadians is “one of the government’s most important functions,” they maintain that the newly proposed powers demand stronger security oversight. As it currently stands, Bill C-51 appears to not only be a violation to the civil liberties of every Canadian citizen, it also doesn't even address the problem any better than current systems in place can address it. If the bill doesn't improve any security or privacy for citizens, then the the administration shouldn't be so content on pushing it through seeing as its implementation means further eroding the rule of law.
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