Bill C-51 exceeds the status of questionable for a variety of reasons, but undoubtedly the most disturbing of them is its anti-terror rhetoric. At first glance the anti-terror bill appears to be in the interest of Canadians, but upon closer inspection one can expect to find the inverse. While the prevention of terror sounds like a just and moral cause, we as citizens must analyze the language behind the legal and political jargon. As characterized in the new bill, public display of dissent towards state goals and objectives by individuals in minority interests groups (i.e.environmentalists, gender equality advocates, Indigenous groups etc.) qualifies one as a threat to the government. It also gives expanded surveillance powers to the police and CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. This is significant because it means citizens no longer have to physically be out in public protesting on behalf of their political beliefs, but rather they can be targeted for terrorist activity through their engagement with social media and email. Does the whole breach of privacy and surveillance thing sound all too familiar? That's because you've already read this story in Orwell's 1984.
To conclude I would like to acknowledge my apparent bias, but unapologetically. It's obvious by now that I will not be voting for the Conservative party in the coming election. Originally I had planned to vote for Trudeau's Liberals, until reading of his stance on this bill. His proposition is to allow the bill to pass with more oversight and transparency, but is that truly enough? We would still lose a multiplicity of rights and freedoms protecting us in the charter. Both the NDP and the Green Party have stated their strong discontent towards the bill, so I urge my readers to look into both platforms and decide which one is best for you. Hopefully my next post about this issue will be one of triumph and not of defeat.
With over a thousand demonstrators taking to the streets of Victoria yesterday for the rally against Bill C-51, our Conservative government's proposed anti-terror legislation, the message was loud and clear; Canadians will not tolerate having our fundamental rights and freedoms infringed upon. We, as citizens of a liberal Democracy, demand our rights to privacy and political dissent.