In the last week or so, the Harper Government has passed Bill C-51, which more or less turns the entire RCMP-CSIS-CSEC establishment into the PMO's private police force. It grants the state extraordinary powers of surveillance, arrest and detention with virtually no oversight except for that of the Minister responsible for national security. There is so much wrong with Bill C-51 and the structures it creates that I could rant about it all day. If Harper creating a politically controlled police force doesn't terrify you, I don't know what will.
But it gets better. Our strutting little "Dear Leader" is now threatening to go after Canadians who criticize Israel under the rubric of "hate crimes":
The government's intention was made clear in a response to inquiries from CBC News about statements by federal ministers of a "zero tolerance" approach to groups participating in a loose coalition called Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS), which was begun in 2006 at the request of Palestinian non-governmental organizations.
Asked to explain what zero tolerance means, and what is being done to enforce it, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney replied, four days later, with a detailed list of Canada's updated hate laws, noting that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of such laws "anywhere in the world."Just think about this for a moment. Harper is essentially saying that Canadians who are vocally critical of Israel's behaviour towards its Palestinian neighbours are committing a "hate crime". If this doesn't strike you as creating a class of political dissident similar to what China, the Soviet Union and other totalitarian states have done, you're missing the boat.
We aren't talking about criticizing the Jewish peoples here, we are talking about criticizing the State of Israel, which is a political entity on the world stage. Criticizing its actions as a nation and a political entity is not spreading lies and calumny about a particular people, and in no reasonable world would it be treated as a "hate crime" in even the most generous sense of the term.
Harper and his gang want to walk in lock-step with Netanyahu. Fine. As the Prime Minister of Canada, that is his call to make. As citizens of this country, we all share the right to disagree with that, and to take steps to voice that disagreement. Attempting to characterize opposition as "hate crime" is yet another attempt by the Harper Government to silence its opponents.
He has already turned the CRA on environmental groups that represent an obstacle to his "big oil" agenda, now he is looking to turn the police on to any who criticize his government's foreign policy.
I will go a step further and predict that the Harper Government is going to use the tools of Bill C-51 to gather evidence without warrant, and to move any trials associated with this behind closed doors under the guise of "national security concerns".
... and just to finish up today, I will point out to the "Conservatization" of the branding of our government - in the form of allowing the London High Commission to issue blue-and-gold business cards to Embassy staff. Canada's colours are not blue-and-gold. There are guidelines for this long established. What is this other than the government screwing around with the image of Canada where it thinks it can get away with it. Yet another piece of a government dancing around the realm of fascism by attempting to brand the government in line with the political party currently in power.