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article imageOp-Ed: The end of freedom and individualism

By Kyle Ashmead     Mar 7, 2015 in Politics
We are increasingly being told by our governments that the best way to stop those who would take our freedom away is to eliminate our freedom. The protection of life being the main concern, the ideals of liberty are left tarnished and forgotten.
The recent attacks on the Canadian capital have led the Conservative government to enact anti-terrorism laws with the intent of protecting Canadians from certain death but not from the loss of liberty. See Bill C-51, which is the new Conservative proposed Canadian anti-terrorism law. Under the increasingly strict and invasive security laws faced in Canada and other western nations, all citizens are considered criminals and possible terrorists. You are no longer innocent until proven guilty.
“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” Adolf Hitler
We are increasingly living in a society where it is considered okay for an 80-year-old grandmother to be verbally abused by staff while trying to board an airplane; where it is okay to watch every move people make; where it is okay to hold people without charge. How far are we willing to allow our rights to be eroded in order to foster a sense of security? What is considered an acceptable loss of rights and freedoms? When a Canadian soldier dies overseas we are told they died to protect our freedom, our way of life. When we allow our freedom and our way of life to be eroded at home, we are spitting in the face of those who died fighting for our sovereignty.
Our country is willing to send soldiers to fight and die to protect our freedom with no thought of fairly looking after their needs when they return home. As a nation we are becoming ingrained with the thought that if the new laws save just one Canadian from death here at home, it will be worth no longer having rights as citizens.
“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” Benjamin Franklin.
Canadians have worked hard to establish a fair and just democratic system with laws that protect the social rights for all citizens. It is easy to take what you have for granted. If we allow our laws that protect the rights of citizens to be dismantled, it will be hard to re-establish them. Canada’s new anti-terror bill is deliberately vague as to what constitutes a threat to Canada. What makes Canada such a great nation is the right of citizens to walk down the street, voice opinions and carry on with everyday activities without fear of being labeled a risk or an enemy to the state.
“If you’re not breaking the law; you should not worry about what the government is doing.” These are words often uttered by those who defend the rights of government to take away the rights of the people. But what will be considered to be breaking the law of Canada in the future? Citizens' groups and individuals who peacefully protest that which they do not agree with, environmentalists, teachers, farmers, where does it end? Is it anyone considered to be threatening economic development decisions by asking the government to pause long enough to think about the citizens environmental and social concerns of the development?
The world holds many uncertainties, but what we have built for ourselves in Canada is worth protecting. Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) does an excellent job of monitoring threats to Canada under its current structure. There are likely to be more terrorist attacks on Canadian soil, attacks that may claim Canadian lives. Changing Canada’s laws to erode the social rights of citizens will only increase instability and risk within our communities. By allowing democratic ideals and laws to be eroded, we are allowing terrorism to infiltrate and rule our lives. Canada’s proposed anti-terrorist laws may not turn this nation into North Korea, but it is a slippery slope to a police state where it is no longer the duty of law enforcement to serve and protect the people of Canada.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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