Now Fear This!

Aaron Holmes

Column

Tuesday, March 31 2015

Let’s introduce the bogeymen: Terrorists and child pornographers. Scaaaarry.

Since you’re with “us” or with “them” Bill C-51 becomes difficult to criticize. It’s a clever double bind. If you want freedom or privacy you must be hiding something.

Canadian Police and Intelligence Services already have the authority they need to curtail these bogeymen.

This isn’t about keeping people safe or learning more about Canadians. A government that wanted to understand its constituents wouldn’t eliminate a long-form census.

Bill C-51 is about as close to “we can do anything we want and keep it a secret” as anyone could introduce into the House of Commons. Chilling.

Want to actually help people? Fix cancer and heart disease. Or maybe don’t. Everybody dies from something.

Want to help younger people? Worry about car crashes, obesity and suicide.

Want to distract people from a bad all-in bet on fossil fuels? Keep them scared and defensive. Ignore, destroy or defund data that would suggest other courses of action.

The “risks” they’re protecting us from push our emotional buttons, but consider this: In 2011 Americans were nine times more likely to be killed by a law enforcement officer (155) than by a terrorist (17).

Our representatives can administer our country without the total information awareness and the secret police that an unlimited secret police would provide.

Maybe they actually need extra power. However, if they hope to retain any shred of legitimacy, limiting debate and oversight isn’t the way to do it.