For the moment, economics has intervened and put Stephen Harper's dream of Canada The Petro State on ice. But his other dream -- Canada The Police State -- continues apace. Michael Harris writes:
Where was the national debate about sloughing off a century of parliamentary tradition by putting the RCMP in charge of Parliament Hill security — an odd move when you consider that Michael Zehaf Bibeau’s attack on Centre Block occurred while the Mounties were parked on site with their motors idling? If anyone played a heroic role, it was Parliament Hill security, which is now being dumped.
And there’s this to consider: It was then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews who ordered the RCMP not to meet with opposition MPs or senators without clearance from the government. Toews claimed that there could be “unintended consequences” from these meetings that might be “bad” for the government. (Oh no, not that!)
Elizabeth May has cottoned onto what is happening below the radar:
And while the press giggles over the Eve Adams affair, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has rightly pointed out that Bill C-51 will transform CSIS into a Canadian secret police. Why such a dire conclusion from a party leader who is also a lawyer?
Simple. Harper is proposing dangerously vague new powers for CSIS with no increase in oversight. What makes that even worse is that, back in 2012, Bill-38 already provided more police powers and reduced oversight. Most disturbing of all, [Minister] Blaney is not interested in additional oversight for Canada’s security agencies, referring to the proposal as “needless red tape.”
Toews also said he needed to know what the Mounties were doing or he couldn’t properly carry out his duty to Parliament. With the Mounties in charge of security, now every investigation that takes place on Parliament Hill will be telegraphed to current Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney before anyone else finds out. And that is a prescription for the Royal Canadian Harper Police.
Harris has been going around the country pointing out that Mr. Harper is a party of one. For this prime minister, people are expendable -- the list of those he has jettisoned and badmouthed on the way to his dream keeps growing.
But the dream still lives.