Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has said that when he is finished with Canada, we will not recognise it. His Omnibus Crime Bill is another large step in that direction, a direction that most Canadians, despite the fear spin fed them by the Conservative Party of Canada ever since they were in charge of a Minority Government up until now, have rejected, and continue to reject.
Conservatives of course are very much in favour of such kinds of legislation, even though the evidence is in, from the US which embarked on the "get tough on Crime" fad quite a few years back, only to find themselves weighed down with expensive prison systems filled with people who should not have been there, because their crimes were not a threat to the the public peace. It was a severe case of overkill, with mandatory minimum sentences, which were harsh, cruel, and excessively long, teaching formerly harmless people how to be real gangsters.
In the end, the Americans found out that this approach doesn't work. it's too expensive and too harsh, and ineffective for its stated purpose. Our Prime MInister however sails his Ship of State according to his own flashlights, rather than the tried, true, and trusted, Pole Star of English and Canadian Common Law, which embraces the idea of do the least harm.
The Conservatives, with their parliamentary majority have the power to pass just about any kind of bill they like, no matter how regressive, or oppressive, because there is no effective opposition.
Right now, our Canadian Senators in Parliament are investigating this Omnibus Crime bill, and have sent it to a committee to thoroughly study the bill, hearing evidence given by various lawyers most recently. Unfortunately there are 58 Conservative Senators and they have a majority in the Senate, too, as the Liberals have only 41 Senators.Then there are the two Independents, the one Progressive Conservative (didn't join the new more Fascist Harperised version I guess), and three seat vacancies, according to Wikipedia.
I was sent a link earlier today by a friend, which takes you to a website where there is a petition to be sent to the Senators from your province, in which you can join thousands of Canadians who do not support PM Harper's 19th Century view of Justice, and who wish to register their opposition to the imposition of 19th century laws in the 21st century.
If there really was a big crime problem, if it really was an increasing crisis, as the Conservatives like to constantly propagandise that it is, then there might be some justifying some of this poorly put together bundle of legislation, parts of which may be reasonable but much of which goes way over board following the paranoid fantasies that must give Conservatives nightmares every night, and which they confuse with reality, despite statistics, and despite objective reality. After all it should be said that the Conservative Mind, driven as it is by the fight or flight response, based in the amygdala, the reptilian, earliest part of the brain, craves black and white answers to complex issues This kind of mind is so rooted in fear, in the fight or flight response, that if you disagree with them, you are public enemy number one. Such a mind, living by Ideology, will never let the objective Truth stand in the way of safe ideological "spin". Ideology trumps all.
I invite all Canadians who read this, and who disagree with PM Harper, Justice Minister Nicholson, and Public Safety Minister Toews who insist that we need this huge clumsry collection of crime bills, some of which are outright oppressive, regressive and seek to return our country to the 19th century justice wise, to write to them and tell them what you think..
As for most lawyers, both defense and prosecution, and judges, as well as prison administrations, and the Public service sectors affilitated with them, and even most if not all Police are against this Omnibus Crime bill. The Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have expressed severe distrust of this Omnibus Crime Bill, to the point where their Justice Ministers have said they don't want it. Some other provincial justice officials are also opposed. The reasons given vary from way way too expensive for the supposed benefits bestowed by the bill, to absolute disgust with the whole concept saying that it is leading Canada backwards, making our justice system more unfair, more brutal, more draconian, and for what? Because a few Conservatives have nightmares at night.
I say NO thanks to this Omnibus Crime Bill, and despite Minister Toews' undoubted beliefs, I am not standing WITH the criminals.
The Conservatives need to untangle this bill a bit, and pass the good parts while revising the poorly thought out ones..
We Canadians are placed by the presence of this kind of legislation into the position of questioning ourselves and others as to the direction that we wish for our beloved Canada to progress in. If you do not believe that we need 19th Century criminal laws in our Canada, to address 21st Century issues, if you believe that Harper and his cabinet have gone too far with this regressive Police State legislation, please let your voices be heard.
Write to your MPs, write to the Prime Minister, as well as the Justice Minister and the Public Safety Minister...
Prime Minister Harper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Justice Nicholson: email@example.com
Minister of Public Safety Toews: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also please follow the link below, which will take you to a petition which will be sent, after you sign it, to the Senators from your Province so that they will be acquainted with what the people of Canada want in this matter. Stephen Harper and his Conservative Government, with their onward march into the Police State that most Canadians do not want, despite their paranoid fantasies and nightmares, should be reminded that they don't speak for us, and that if they are not careful, they will find themselves back in the opposition next election.
Below please find the petition link, and please use it.