By Frank Moher
Now that the Conservatives’ Bill C-51 is law, having been boosted over the wall by 44 compliant Senators, it’s time for the RCMP to get to work and start arresting people. They can begin with the Conservatives.
Because if any organization has been instilling fear in Canadians lately, for blatantly political and ideological ends, it hasn’t been ISIS, and it hasn’t been those theoretical domestic terrorists the Prime Minister keeps warning us about. It’s been our own federal government.
I’m not speaking solely of the fallout effect from C-51, though that is significant. This graphic prepared by Michael Nabert of Hamilton neatly encapsulates much of the alarm currently floating about the country:
Call it an overreaction if you like (I don’t); that’s beside the point. The point is — to not coin a phrase — “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” I don’t know who said it (apparently it wasn’t Thomas Jefferson), but I’m going with it anyway.
To judge from the reaction in recent weeks, however, C-51 isn’t the only errant legislation provoking Canadian limbic systems. Bill C-24, which allows the government to strip citizenship from any immigrants or dual nationals it deems to be terrorists, traitors, or spies, not only creates a new tier of second class citizens (as the BC Civil Liberties Association puts it), but gets us where we live, literally– in our homes, with our families.
“So, E falls into this category,” wrote a young friend of mine recently on Facebook, of her husband. This was just after the passage of C-24, and before the Senate applied its helping hand to C-51.
“Just think, if Bill C-51 passes and he, say, shares a post in support of ‘Idle No More’, they can send him packing, even though he’s been here for 35 years of his life. R’s without a dad, I’m without a husband, and E loses his home. Good thing I was born here, because I have more than a few ‘unpatriotic’ things I’d like to say to Harper right now.”
What a state of affairs. A mother afraid for the welfare of her child because of her own government’s insidious legislation. And why shouldn’t she be? As the First Nations know, our government is all-too-willing to abuse its authority and disrupt families and scatter them to the winds if it serves their ideological purposes.
Thank god it’s an election year. I don’t think the Conservatives have time to completely subvert the democratic process in the next four months, though no doubt they will try. That leaves us free, still, to toss them from office and then repeal both of these phobic laws. If the Conservatives’ game plan was to get re-elected by invoking the spectre of middle-eastern boogeymen and then convincing us they might come here, it has badly backfired; we’re scared all right, but not of The Terrorists™. We’re scared of those who would scare us.
But not so scared we won’t let them move on to other occupations after November (perhaps leaping out from behind trees to frighten small children). Canadians are made of tougher stuff than that — even if our addled government wishes we were not.