I’d like to begin my response to the fear-mongering letter submitted by MP Dave Wilks last week (Valley Echo, March 18th) by pointing out that, as Canadians become aware of its intent, opposition to Stephen Harper’s odious Secret Police Act (Bill C-51) is growing rapidly.
As an ex-RCMP, Mr. Wilks will be fully aware that rights lawyers have declared there are already laws in place that can and have effectively dealt with domestic terrorist threats. And that the new law would give reckless and unnecessary powers to spy agencies and the RCMP, including the ability to detain people who haven’t committed any crime, with minimal oversight or democratic accountability.
What about a group of peacenik mum-and-dad protesters who could conveniently be labeled terrorists because their actions can be interpreted by the new law as upsetting “the economic or financial stability of Canada”? Or a peaceful logging blockade by First Nations, or environmentalists obstructing a pipeline route, or a separatist demonstration in Quebec that fails to get a proper permit — they could all be seen as threats to national security and individuals arrested on mere suspicion of future dangerousness.
The Canadian Bar Association, which represents more than 36,000 lawyers, has written to parliamentarians to warn that this legislation is dangerous — as have four former prime ministers, six former Supreme Court judges, Conrad Black, Rex Murphy, MPs Tom Mulcair and Elizabeth May, ex-CSIS officials, the federal Privacy Commissioner, Amnesty International, the Assembly of First Nations, which have been echoed by the editorial positions of the Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star, and a host of other organizations. Are they all terrorists?
Mr. Wilks, as our elected representative, here’s your chance to step up to the plate and let our manipulative leader know the majority of us (over 55 per cent as of a week ago) are truly afraid — afraid of the reckless use of legislation that would deprive Canadians of liberties without increasing our safety. May our country remain strong AND free.