Thursday, February 05, 2015

Bill C-51

Bill C-51 is pretty terrifying for a host of reasons, but partly because it represents just how chickenshit the Liberals are of rocking the boat and challenging the Conservatives.

Some things to think about.

1. The Conservative government's involvement of Canadian combat forces in every conflict in the Muslim world in turn makes Canada a target. This is the logic of fighting. If you pick a fight with someone in the street and strike them, you can expect to be struck back. If you send Canadian warplanes and troops to attack an enemy somewhere, you can expect that enemy to hit back.

This terror bill is in part the Conservative government's response to the ultimately very minor enemy strikes on Canada, but strikes nonetheless. The problem is that no one really asked the Canadian public if we'd accept that kind of risk for Harper's little bit of military adventurism.

2. The conflict against Islamist radicals will not last forever, but a new security law on the books will likely remain in place. An expanded security bureaucracy accustomed to radical new powers will look for other places to apply them in order to continue to justify its existence. Politicians have lumped environmental and social justice advocates in the same rhetorical stew as the monsters presently running around Iraq and Syria.

In the era of climate change and growing wealth inquality, that kind of skulduggery leads nowhere good and could well amount to a constraint on adaptive action because it criminalises advocacy.

3. This security fear is a handy distraction for the Conservatives as their economic showpony falls lame with the collapse in oil prices. It won't be much longer if we see massive job losses and economic hardship.


Alison said...

Craig Forcese is great, isn't he? So succinct.

I'm not sure what you expect from the Liberals here given their previous voting history on anti-terror legislation.
On September 22, 2010 the entire Liberal Party but one voted with the Cons to pass C-17 and on October 23 2012, the entire Liberal Party save 5 voted in favour of S-7. Both times, as with this new bill, they indicated beforehand that they would vote in favour regardless of whether any amendments to the bills were passed beforehand.
I'd say their position on anti-terror legislation has been remarkably consistent.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Boris. Check out Elizabeth May's condemnation of Harper And the rest of them in the latest Tyee.

I thought you might also find this interesting.

Cheers, MoS