Bill misguided

Resident raises questions about the federal anti-terrorism legislation

Ticks, trains and targeted shootings kill more people in Canada than terrorists.

The lonely man who charged onto Parliament Hill with a gun last fall was homeless, not a terrorist. The immediate problem was security at the front door, not militants in Arabia. The assailant in Quebec was also homeless. The real problem prompting these attacks is government failure to address issues of mental health and homelessness.

So why a bill called anti-terrorism? Especially when it has more to do with anti-protest.

The homeless men whose behaviour sparked this bill had asked for help and been rejected by social services, just days before. They reacted by venting frustration against government agents.

Mr. Harper has responded not with help for marginalized citizens but with draconian measures to intimidate everyone who may express opposing views about pipelines, logging, mine sites, and tanker traffic.

Our MP’s defense of Bill C-51 demonstrates a severely misdirected paranoia or simple deceit.

Once again, he and his party reject the opinion of experts like the Privacy Commission, Supreme Court Justices and former prime ministers, who warn that without effective oversight this bill threatens the freedom and privacy of all Canadians.

The lonesome attackers were not “inspired” by Islamic extremism as Mr. Mayes’ suggested in his recent column. They fell on it as a crutch when Canadian society failed them. The “ideological foundation” that should concern Canadians is the one that underpins his government. The one that rejects reasonable oversight.

Instead of focusing on real problems with trains, ticks, gangland shootings, and homeless Canadians, his government is using the scapegoat of foreign terrorism to stifle free speech and expression.

Speech that promises to become increasingly critical of his government’s ominous omnibus bills.

Greig Crockett



Vernon Morning Star