Are you sitting comfortably?
Today I’m going to ponder a bit on the Anti Terror legislation also known as Bill C-51.
Now I’m not going to go into detail slagging at this bit or that bit because so many already have and they make their points far better that I ever could…
Like the airline people who object to the idea that this law would make them do anything that the Minister tells them to…
Or the people who raise concerns that just taking part in a protest could get you branded a terrorist…
Or the people who wonder that if just repeating the opinions of people who support things like ISIL could get you into trouble with the law…
And the people who say that the judicial orders that the police or CSIS would be able to ask for could put the judges in the position of granting powers to security people that would go beyond what is allowed by the Charter of Rights…
The list goes on.
Nope, today I’m going to ponder on what a fellow I know has been quietly screaming about for a while now, thinking that no one was hearing him.
Some people heard.
My first question to you good reader is “How many terror plots have been carried out against targets in Canada in the last, say 20 years?”
My second question is “How many terror plots have been stopped by our police and security people?”
All of them.
Do you see the point? Our existing laws work. No yelling, screaming, or Charter challenges necessary, just some good old fashioned police work.
The police stopped the Toronto 18, the VIA Rail plotters, the couple that were going to set off bombs at the BC legislature. The police are doing OK without all these special powers that Steve insists that our security forces need in Bill C-51.
But what about the guy in Quebec that killed the Canadian Forces soldier with his car? What about the Ottawa attacker who killed the Canadian Forces soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before attacking the House of Commons?
Those were not plots. Plots have more than 1 person involved, and CSIS even says that these “lone wolf scenarios” are almost impossible to intercept before they happen. They are in the same category as the people who gunned down RCMP members in Moncton and Mayorthorpe.
One day these people decided that it would be a good thing to go kill some people. C-51 is no help here.
What else does the fellow quietly scream thinking no one is listening?
That Bill C-51 is a political pageant by the party leaders to try and grow their bases. Steve hollering that He is the Law and Order Guy, Tom trying to sound like he’ll be able to bring this bill to its knees, and Justin trying to thread his way through the landmines in between.
The only one making sense is Elizabeth May who is saying pretty much what I’m saying. The Bill is unnecessary, it is poorly written, and it’s a show piece for Steve just in time for the election.
For what it’s worth, we’d be far better served by looking at the existing laws and just tweaking the ones that could use some help. And we’d probably avoid the useless costs of dragging them to the Supreme Court of Canada only to have them struck down.
And while we’re on about money, I figure Bill C-51 is going to be a massive fizzle if the government doesn’t step up with some serious funding. Without C-51 the government has made the RCMP move manpower from the Organized Crime Unit to the Terrorist Unit. We’re already borrowing from Peter to pay Paul for our policing. Moving the officers who were watching the bad guys who sell drugs to your kids to the room where they watch the terrorists instead.
With more laws we’re going to need more people to enforce them Steve. You can’t spin around that. Police cost money.
And the then there is the current fiasco surrounding our CSIS involvement in Turkey? Well a bit of oversight might just be a good idea too?
So that’s about it for now, quietly screaming fellow. It would be nice if we could give everyone special glasses that would make them colour blind when it comes to politics, but they’d just start wearing T-shirts with the brand in big letters. It’s too bad, because you’re right. When you strip the colour coding from the bills and start looking at the words, things change dramatically.
Thanks for the idea
Disclaimer: I often steal my ideas from other people, but I only steal from the smart ones. You’ll probably notice that I don’t steal from politicians, with the possible exception of Elizabeth May. That woman is scary smart. I’d like to have coffee with her sometime.