Dr. Dawg

Minority Report

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How many Canadians realize that they can be arrested and have their liberties curtailed by court order—even if they haven’t actually done anything or been charged with anything?

The law that permits this, introduced by the Liberals after 9/11, was on the books, then off the books, then put back into force by Stephen Harper in 2013 with Liberal support. Until recently, it was little used. Yet, just as a new wave of anti-“terrorist” hysteria is receding, life has finally been breathed into it. The fear machine must be fed.

Never mind the unpassed Bill C-51. You can be arrested and imprisoned up to a year right now, or forced to live under a “peace bond,” for what amounts to a precrime. The police have begun rounding up suspects with funny names who “may” commit a crime sometime in the future, as well as giving free reign to their time-honoured practice of entrapment. In case no precrime exists, after all, one can always be artfully constructed for deficient protagonists by those who are worn to serve and protect.

In this respect, the well-known film offered more security to the citizenry—the “pre-cogs” really could see into the future, at least most of the time: without intervention a crime would indeed be committed. But here in Canada in 2015, we don’t have pre-cogs. Instead we have eager-beaver cops who target the weak-minded and vulnerable, and make police-flavoured guesses about the intentions of others. In lockstep, the judicial system is playing along, imposing strict conditions upon ordinary citizens whose future acts are the subject of present scrutiny.

Better be safe than sorry, we are told. “Terrorism”—which can mean just about anything these days—must be nipped in the bud. Yet, remarkably, public opinion has reversed on Harper’s Bill C-51, which will give CSIS broad new powers to harass dissenters. Most people, as it turns out, don’t want laws that can be easily abused by unaccountable agents of the state. The problem is—they’re already in place.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 16, 2015 8:53 AM.

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