Steve thinks it is "inappropriate" to require Canadians to fill out a once-in-a-decade questionnaire to get a snapshot of what makes this a country.
"I know some people think the appropriate way to deal with that is through prosecuting those individuals with fines and jail terms," he said. "This government will not do that."
How... "liberal" of him.
How much more horseshit do we have to tolerate from his handlers? That line has Dimitri Soudas written all over it.
Harper would have your bank account number, your tax records and, if he could find a way to get it, the number of time you had sex in a week.
Here are a few of the things Harper thinks are appropriate:
1. Attacking the leader of HM Loyal Opposition in nationally televised advertisements when there is no election writ drawn up by the Governor General;
2. Locking the doors to Parliament when his slender grasp on political power is threatened by the whisper of a democratic option;
3. Contempt of the will of the people by ignoring the demands of a majority of the voters' elected representatives;
4. Passing off spurious motions in Parliament as "private member's" bills which are in fact nothing less than the agenda of a core of his caucus.
Just a few of the hundreds of things Harper thinks are appropriate in a democracy, every single one of them intended to save his political skin.
Harper doesn't know, nor it seems, understand Canadians. Nor does he understand citizenship. Somehow he missed that (similar to missing his Canadian Forces experience) in high school.
I've done the long-form census. It's a real pain in the ass. When the census taker came for a visit and had a talk with me about it I was more than reassured. No threat was ever issued. Guarantees, however, were very much in the forefront. As were the explanations and the reasons. And, just so we're all clear here, the point that I could identify with any group within a reasonable level of accuracy as I wished. Therefore, if I wanted to state that I was a Jedi Knight, that was entirely my decision. I told Statistics Canada that I worshiped the gods of the House of the Junii... and only occasionally. Look it up. You'll find it, and you won't find my name.
I also know what it takes to have a national identity and that's where Harper is well off the rails.
He has created an artificial condition with the expectation that it will generate a vacuum that he will fill by exploiting our Canadian sense of privacy.
How Timmy's of him.
I can brew my own 2nd rate coffee, thank you very much.
At some point we all have to pay a price for being able to state proudly, "I am Canadian". Simply providing an accurate tax return is not enough. There comes a time when we have the right to ask each other, with the expectation of a reasonable answer, how we live and what we are doing to support each other.
Harper, who loudly sings the praises of those who surrender their personal privacy, is now saying it's a bad thing. The reason he's doing it has nothing to do with your sense of privacy. It has to do with creating an illusion. He has oft been known to tell us that those who swore an oath to the Crown and wore the uniform are the best of this country... as though we didn't already know their worth. But in stating it, he diminished all others.
Funny thing. I was aware that I had a calling and an obligation to this country that might have been more obvious on the face of it, but I never, not for a moment, thought I was a better Canadian. Not ever.
Now, Harper is trying to create an illusion. It is the big lie.
You will submit to having your body searched in Canadian airports - for security reasons. If you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide.
You will produce a photo ID on demand - for security reasons. If you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide.
If secret government operations decide you are a threat... to unnamed things... you will be permanently affixed on any number of lists which prevent you from getting on aircraft, ferries, buses and on and on and on.
Do they get the information from a long-form census?
No. They can't.
So, Harper can wax on about how "inappropriate" it is to ask citizens how they live until he is blue in the face. The truth is, he doesn't give a red rats ass about whether your private life is secure or not. He has the agency power to bore in, questionnaire or no questionnaire.
Nobody has ever been jailed for not filling in a long-form census. But this Canadian has bought a pair of kids with Canadian flags sewn to their backpacks a lunch in Germany because we enjoyed a like identity. We shared the belief in community. We shared a trust that our government, democratic to the core, also believed in that. That whatever sacrifices we had to make to keep it alive were small compared to the reward we enjoyed for simply being Canadian. That, no matter what happened, no matter where we were in the world, that enormous homeland, with a thousand diversities made us kin.
Harper would like to kill that by making a questionnaire an artificial bogeyman.