Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Next Step In Harper's Police State

So, Harper wants to connect the CRA with the RCMP.
Chantal Bernier, Canada's interim privacy commissioner, says she is concerned by the government's proposal to allow Canada Revenue Agency officials to voluntarily hand over taxpayer information to police if they have reason to believe such information is evidence of a crime. 
In her testimony before the House finance committee on Wednesday, Bernier urged the committee to properly demonstrate that information sharing between auditors and law enforcement is needed. 
"That is exceptional and therefore should be buttressed by an empirical demonstration of necessity," she said. 
The proposal, which is tucked away in the government's hefty 375-page omnibus budget bill, is an amendment to the Income Tax Act that would give auditors the right to disclose information found through the course of their regular duties to police.
In the middle of another one of Harper's omnibus bills, you say?  This has nothing to do with implementing the budget.  It has everything to do with a government who does not want to debate their legislation, and is incapable of being honest with Canadians about what its real agenda is.

As the Income Tax Act currently stands, officials are not allowed to disclose any information unless there's a criminal investigation underway or any serious circumstances with possible danger of death. In other words, only in rare situations. 
But under the government's intended changes, auditors can provide police with information if they believe it's evidence of crimes ranging anywhere from bribing public officials to motor vehicle theft to monetarily benefiting from acts of arson. 
Allison Christians, an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal who specializes in tax law, said this is further evidence of an "erosion of confidentiality — of privacy in general — from this administration."
This government appears hell-bent on stripping away any sense of privacy on the part of Canadians.  Their "anti-bullying" bill is nothing more than a retitling of the "Tell Vic Everything" internet spying bill a couple of years ago and this places the people that process taxes in the position of being an arm of the RCMP.

Harper has gone to extraordinary lengths not just to attack the privacy of Canadians, but he has also made enormous attacks on our judicial system - in particular in the form of "mandatory minimum sentences" which remove all discretion on the part of judges and place more people in prison for longer, but in a myriad of subtle ways which put more and more power in the hands of the police. 

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