What's good for the goose - Is the Harper gov't violating its own new anti-terrorism law?
Despite serious concerns raised by all manner of people who understand the issues to a greater degree than most of us, from judges and the legal community to academics who specialize in human rights and the Canadian Constitution, to no less than four former Prime Ministers, the Harper government used its majority to ram through Bill C51, its anti-terrorism bill.
While most agree there are some worthwhile elements in it, on the whole it seriously curtails Canadians rights and freedoms without providing much in the way of increased security. One fear is that it is so broadly written that it can be used against whomever the government of the day happens to want to target, from environmentalists or any other group that could be considered disruptive or a threat to our economic security. And all of this with no increased oversight and no appeal process.
Now, it looks like the Harper government itself is in violation.
One of the provisions of the legislation states it is against the law to promote terrorism. This would include spreading ISIS propaganda videos.
Most would agree ISIS is a special kind of nasty. They are quick to display their extreme cruelty through videos showing these violent actions. They have a sophisticated propaganda machine aimed are riling up and provoking us. It’s an effective recruitment vehicle for them.
So why then, have these vile videos, complete with the ISIS anthem, found a home in campaign ads, produced by the Harper Conservatives? Questions of taste aside, doesn’t this contravene Bill C51?
It sure would seem so, and as you might expect, the party has been asked to explain itself. Watch this item from Global News, where Tom Clark puts that question to Conservative campaign organizer Kory Teneycke. He fails to give a straight answer when asked if this isn’t the government breaking its own law?
It is interesting to watch Teneyche squirm as he flounders from one answer to another, trying to defend the indefensible. Did you notice his body language? He was not having a good time. And kudos to Tom Clark for not letting him off the hook.
As noted in a recent editorial in the National Post, The Tories can’t have it both ways. If Teneyche is right, then Bill C-51 is wrong and the Conservatives are hypocrites. The choice is either to change the law or stop using the ISIS propaganda for their own political purposes.
For what it is worth, my guess is that with the economy going south, about all that Stephen Harper has left to sell going into the election is fear. So I expect the law will not be changed, and he will continue using the vile ISIS video, in apparent violation of his own ill-conceived law. Because that’s the way he rolls.
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