Spying laws are already tough enough

This week’s topic: Is suspicion alone enough reason to allow Canadian law enforcement and security services the right to spy on Canadians?

Never would I have thought that anyone could argue that bending democracy was essential to preserving it. But here we are, once again debating the issue of surveillance on Canadian citizens as a result of the recent tragic events Brent has referred to.

It was one of the founding fathers of the United States, former president James Madison ,who gets right to the heart of the matter in this line from one of his historical debates in 1787: “The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

Madison – who was known as the father of the bill of rights – seemed to foreshadow a time when future governments would justify the erosion of rights and freedoms as a necessary means to protect the country from foreign threats. In the aftermath of the shooting in Ottawa and the fatal attack on two soldiers prior to it, the potential for this to occur is great.

Bill C-13 alone has been raising alarm bells because, although widely justified as a toolkit to tackle the issue of cyberbullying, the powers it gives law enforcement to obtain personal information without a warrant are likely to lead to “function creep.” Function creep is the term used to describe how law enforcement have a tendency to use legislation intended for one purpose, to investigate more intrusively in other areas.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

In combination with Bill C-44, questions are being asked as to whether or not some of this legislation is appropriate and whether or not it’s even needed. Justice Minister Peter MacKay conceded recently that there are already “robust” laws in place that law enforcement can use in cases like the attacks mentioned above. Human rights lawyer Paul Copeland has even argued the police already had the tools that could have, and should have stopped one of them…

Read the rest of this weeks column and vote, here: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/11/02/spying-laws-are-already-tough-enough

10 thoughts on “Spying laws are already tough enough

  1. Jean

    Brent just doesn’t have a clue Laila you need to debate someone with more brains. Brent needs to go live in China if he loves total surveillance of everything he does and thinks and suffer the consequences that China uses to totally control it’s people. It’s difficult to read the anti-Canadian stuff he believes in. I usually skip most of what he says because he doesn’t make any sense.

    He is not a true Canadian by any means because he does not believe in Canadian values.

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    1. There are lots of Brents and they are as Canadian as you and I. Nothing about where you were born confers intelligence. Brent believes all that crap that is propagandized by politicians and lazy journalists. We have some stupid Canadians – face it. Explain Harper any other way?
      The fact is that the police have all the tools they need. The fact is the police had the two suspects ‘in their sight’ and I am sure that both had been arrested more than once. The shooter had even been in jail! More rules are not going to make the police better at what they do. They just aren’t very good. We have some stupid Canadians…and some of them are in uniform and are armed.
      Another fact: our police are more of a danger than any terrorist – so far, anyway. They taser and shoot and kill people all the time. Too often. And then whitewash over it. Even if the two nuts were terrorist inspired, that doe not make them terrorists. It just makes them nuts. But what the hell makes the police kill so many citizens? THAT is the BIG question for me. Why? Peter de Groot? Robt. Dzeikanksi? The list is way, way too long.

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      1. workforfun

        Basically, the RCMP and police are not held accountable for what they do. They are exonerated when defenceless individuals are shot multiple times as happened in Toronto a couple of years ago. again, it was a person with mental illness that had gone a little crazy and was standing alone in a street car with a knife – no danger to anyone but himself. He was shot about eight times by the Toronto police officer and was killed. No apparent reason to pull the trigger of the gun – mace or bear spray would have sorted out that problem.
        So, yes police need to be trained properly and made accountable for their actions. Also, just as important, adequate medical care and attention needs to be afforded to those that are mentally ill – totally inadequate treatment in most cases these days.
        More control by control freaks really won’t solve anything and most likely will cause more problems.
        Thanks.

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  2. I1m, not hiding a body in my freezer so go ahead, look all you want….Seems very simple and yet..

    Curiosity killed the cat, those who look at a beheading video, them who visit environmental sites, environmental sites that oppose corporate oil movement, others who want to learn what Islam is all about, deniers, doubters or teenage rebellion, as you know, if one tells a teenager not to do something guaranteed they dive head first into it.

    Different religion than great ugly leader`s….Those who deny the second coming……He who fears the reaper…

    Live free or die and I love my cat…..

    And very curious Mr. Bitey be..

    Good Day

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  3. nonconfidencevote

    The police have always “abused” surveillance rules. They just want to push the bar lower….and then lower and then lower.

    Try driving through Saskatchewan in a car with BC plates.
    I’m not joking.
    You will be pulled over under the “routine traffic check” even if you arent speeding.
    Why?
    They’re looking for drugs.
    Because everyone from BC smuggles drugs
    I’ve been pulled over 3 times in 7 years. Car searched every time.
    US customs has more rules to abide by than the Saskatchewan Highway RCMP patrol.
    One wonders how many drug seizures are thrown out due to “illegal search” during these blatant fishing expeditions by the RCMP in Saskatchewan.
    Total abuse of power. Totally illegal.
    Happens daily in Saskabush
    Dont believe me?
    Two years ago , my friend , female, 50 with her CAT, plants, books,etc.all stuffed in a Toyota Prius….yup… a Prius….(Definitely fits the drug smuggling profile if there ever was one) was moving from Van back to toronto and I told her about the “drug check”.
    She laughed at me.
    3 days later she texted me from “somewhere on the Transcanada highway in Saskatchewan”. Her car was being searched………

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  4. e.a.f.

    the feds do have enough laws on the books to ensure Canadian security. But really, what is security? harper and his cons have their version. The homeless have another.

    the cons have been trying to expand surveillince on Canadians since the “famous” comments by Vic Toews, with his, “you’re with us, or you’re with the child predators”. Now we have another con with you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists. The cons simply can’t believe not everyone is as bad as they are. When politicians want to know what the citizens are up to its because they don’t trust their own citizens, and that is usually because they don’t trust themselves. If you look at the con track record when it comes to untrustworthy, well you can see why they want to conduct surveillance on us all.

    I would suggest much of this is to bring Canadian laws into line with China’s laws. Once the trade agreement is in “full swing”, China will want to know what Canadians are up to. Hence the need for new laws.

    While the cons talk about the need to protect Canada from “terrorists” the only real terrorists in Canada are the cons in parliament. They create the terror in Canada by not providing adequate housing and medical care for Canadians while providing some of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. The cons create terror in Canada by changing the age for pensions to 67 and people knowing they won’t be able to work until that age and will not have an income. The cons create terror in Canada by wanting to export oil by tanker along the B.C. coast. Yes, that was terror some of us felt, when that Russian freighter was floating out there full of oil and chemicals and no power and no coast guard to deal with it. The cons create terror in Canada by not trying to find out who murdered 1,200 First Nations women. Now that is terror if you’re a First Nations Woman or one is your friend or family. Are they next. Scares the hell out of me. Terror is knowing the cons care so little about public safety they thought it was o.k. to get rid of the long gun registry. Terror is knowing the P.M. signed a deal with China, a known polluter and abuser of human rights, for 31 years, which gives China more power over what happens in this country than our civic governments.

    So if Canada is going to do something about terror, lets start by getting rid of the harpercons, P.M. lets hide in the closet but send Canada’s young women and men to war.

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