Fear is a weapon. It's a weapon of choice of modern terrorists. Not for nothing are they named "terrorists." They seek to use fear to manipulate a result. It's a despicable, heinous thing to do - deserving of nothing but our contempt.
Fear is also a weapon of choice of the Harper government. They too regularly inflict fear on the Canadian people to manipulate a result they could not hope to achieve by legitimate, democratic means. It's a despicable, heinous thing to do and those who attack the Canadian people with fear and those who support their efforts are deserving of nothing but our contempt.
TorStar columnist, Ed Keenan, tears a strip off the Harper government for fearmongering to sell Bill C-51:
“Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada,” a Conservative party fundraising email sent out this week reads. “They hate us for our values. They hate us because we love freedom and tolerance.”
On occasion, the Conservative government headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown an inclination to take on the role of the press — by producing and distributing its own approved news items to print and broadcast media through the PR agency News Canada Ltd., for example. It now appears it has decided to do the work of satirists, too. How else to explain the transparent layers of irony running through the Conservatives’ public communications, the ham-fisted illustrations of doublespeak that so effectively lay bare the cynical, hollow heart and totalitarian inclinations of their new legislation?
See, the devastating self-skewering element of this line is that it is nominally intended to serve as the justification for a proposed law, Bill C-51, that will restrict freedom. And it is offered at a time when members of the government are using the bill as a means ofwhipping up intolerance against Muslims to score cheap political points. Here we have a piece of legislation that would, among other things, curtail freedom of speech fairly broadly on matters related to terrorism and give an espionage agency domestic policing powers that allow it, in secret, to be specifically exempted from honouring the Charter of Rights.
An extra-constitutional secret police and surveillance agency, and criminal penalties for expressions of dissent. If “we love freedom and tolerance” isn’t the perfect punchline to explain that, what is?
Apologists for Justin Trudeau (who must, by now, be nearing exhaustion) contend the Liberals are supporting C-51 lest Harper turn it into an excuse to call a snap election. Really? And they want us to believe Team Trudeau is fit to govern our country? Cue the ghost of Michael Ignatieff.
No, sorry JT, you don't get a pass for backing up Harper on this one. The assault on our democratic freedoms, especially our right to dissent, embodied in C-51, is your assault as much as Harpers on this one.
Meanwhile, in this morning's Times Colonist, Star Phoenix columnist Paul Hanley slams Canada's Petro-Police, the RCMP:
Given the sweeping nature of proposed anti-terrorism legislation, what does this assessment reveal of attitudes about the environmental movement inside government?
The RCMP assessment lists several incidents of criminal activity directed at the petroleum industry. Fair enough. We all likely agree those involved in actual crimes, such as bombings and threats of violence, should be prosecuted.
But the police force then launches into a pro-petroleum polemic that tars the “broadly based anti-petroleum opposition” — hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Canadians — with the same brush as it does a handful of violent criminals.
The RCMP’s assumption that it’s somehow “anti-Canadian” to oppose the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure is simply wrong. It is also wrong that Canada’s police force should indulge in an ideologically based critique of a legitimate social movement. Its job is to enforce laws, not take ideological positions.
Beyond that, the report is rubbish. Its assessment of risk is not based on an investigation of actual threats but on comments from dubious media and industry sources. If this is what passes as “intelligence,” it makes one question the RCMP’s capacity to judge any threat.
The RCMP makes much of a report from an academic source about the nefarious use of social media by environmental groups to “dominate” the Internet and “recruit impressionable students” to “help save the planet.” How shocking!
How stupid can this thing get? Well, the RCMP goes on to cite a paper from a university student who made the startling discovery that Twitter is being used to mobilize people. That finding leads to this revelation: “Environmentalists are no longer confined to simply waving banners and yelling through megaphones: They have gone online.”
We actually pay people to churn out this nonsense?
It's pretty obvious that Paulson's Petro-Cops are desperate for some pretext, seemingly anything no matter how contrived, to support their sick ideological bent against Canadians concerned about the devastation of our and the world's environment. They've taken sides and it has precious little or nothing to do with law and order.
The Royal Conservative Mounted Petro-Police. Isn't it time to just get rid of them?