The old adage “if you do not learn from history you are bound to repeat it” seems to hold true even in cases of very near and very recent history.
The Patriot Act, which was signed into law after the 9/11 attacks, and is, by most experts’ estimation, a major threat to the very rights and dignity of innocent Americans, is about to be adopted by our government.
For reasons beyond my understanding, our government has decided not to learn from the U.S.’s mistake but, rather, to repeat it. It is with a heavy heart that I write today to express my strong opposition to the proposed legislation Bill C-51.
Let me just highlight three major repercussions this bill, if passed, will have on the inherent rights of every Canadian citizen. First, each and every one of us will have our privacy compromised. Not only will we no longer be protected from the government monitoring our communications, we also risk having our words, thoughts, and sentiments held against us if perceived to be problematic or questionable by government agencies.
Second, this bill will allow unprecedented power to our government officials. It will effectively award to them the legal grounds necessary to target individuals or groups simply on the basis of a “perceived” terrorist threat.
Finally, racial, ethnic, and religious profiling will increase, significantly, and we will be compromising the dignity and privacy of our most vulnerable citizens.
This bill has too many dire consequences directly associated with it to go unchallenged.
To add insult to injury, there are no proposed oversights specific to this bill.
In short, the government could – and history has shown that governments will — use the passing of this bill as a means of profiling and prosecuting innocent people.
It is time we spoke up and fought back against our government’s nefarious attempts to pass Bill C-51.