Friday, September 07, 2007

If We're Safer, Why Resurrect Bad Laws?

According to Stockwell "Doris" Day, Canada is safer than it ever was before 9/11.

I'm not so sure about that, but then again, 90% of what has been presented as "security" enhancement has been little more than window dressing in the first place as far as I'm concerned.

However, Mr. Day wants to attack civil liberties and freedoms by extending police powers once again:

Opposition parties banded together to refuse parliamentary approval for renewing two controversial provisions of the act dealing with investigative hearings and preventive arrest. Those controversial measures gave police the power to compel witness testimony and to hold possible terrorist suspects for up to 72 hours without bail.

As well, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down key provisions of the national security certificate process, used to detain suspected terrorists and other potential threats to national security. The court said the process violated the Charter of Rights because detainees were not allowed access to the evidence against them.

Mr. Day said Friday that he wants to resurrect all three provisions.

Waitasec - in the "shock" following 9/11, I can understand a certain amount of overreaction. Our lawmakers were smart last time - they put in sunset clauses on the most egregious parts of the "Anti-Terrorism Act". Clauses that in five years were not used once by law enforcement agencies - in spite of numerous arrests that ostensibly were related to "terrorism". Arrests accomplished within the framework of laws that existed long before 9/11.

The only piece of "anti-terrorism" law that has been used in Canada was the so-called "security certificates" - which the government abused by using them to indefinitely imprison someone without providing any form of recourse.

So...if Canada is in fact safer than it used to be, why would we want to resurrect badly written and considered laws that were either abused or never exercised by law enforcement agencies?

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