Pushing Bill C-51 through Parliament, the government has chosen to ignore the nation’s lawyers, judges, law professors, former prime ministers, and the newest polls. In the hearing for the bill, our elected representatives will not hear from privacy experts, nor from the Privacy Commissioner who Harper himself appointed recently. Instead, we get an emotional appeal from the sister of a soldier killed not long ago in an act of domestic terrorism. Her sadness, presumably, making her an expert on civil liberties and anti-terror legislation.
What Mrs. Vincent doesn’t seem to understand is that her brother was a soldier in an army of a nation that declared war on an enemy which practices the type of asymmetric warfare that leads to people being killed in Canada. It will probably happen again. A soldiers death, like the death of any human being is unquestionably a tragedy; but it’s insanity to change the laws of the nation in response to their deaths. Soldiers die in war, and if you don’t want your soldiers to die, don’t send them to war, especially wars which are ill-conceived, unwinnable, and aimless.
As a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, Patrice Vincent made an oath to the Crown and, by extension, the Constitution. He died in service to that oath. His sister now lives to undermine it. I mean, yeah, we all grieve in our own ways I guess, but sometimes people, in their grief, act out in destructive ways. They develop drinking problems, or start supporting authoritarian political parties. They make public statements in an attempt to leverage their grief to make the country worse.
And someone has to tell them, someone has to have the heart to say, “Stop. Undermining civil liberties and the rule of law, ripping up the Constitution won’t bring your brother back.”
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