Stephen Harper hates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He says that Bill C-51 is all about fighting terrorism. But Michael Harris writes:
Here we have a piece of legislation that advances the prime minister’s favourite project: undermining the hated Charter of Rights that circumscribes his power and remains a monument to his most hated rival — Pierre Trudeau.
Which is why this PM despises the Supreme Court of Canada, why he continues to bombard it with unconstitutional legislation and provokes personal confrontation with judges. It’s the SCC and not the PM that’s charged with the momentous task of interpreting the Charter — and that’s what frosts his socks. If Harper can’t go through the Charter, he’ll tunnel under it until the underpinnings give way.
After this latest piece of “anti-terror” legislation passes, CSIS will join the Canada Revenue Agency as an organization not bound by the Charter. It will be restricted only by the vague words in the legislation that give the hush-hush boys extraordinary powers whenever the economic, social or political security of Canada is at stake.
Harper's objective is to make what he calls "Conservative values" unassailable. And institutions like the CBC -- or, at least, its French language service -- are obstructing that objective:
Perhaps that’s why he slandered CBC employees at Radio-Canada in the way he did. While campaigning in Quebec, he told a private radio station host that many people at Radio-Canada “hated” Conservative values. To what Conservative values was he referring? The ones held by Dean Del Mastro, Bruce Carson, Peter Penashue or Dimitri Soudas? The ones that gave us robocalls or the Senate expenses scandal? The ones that serve up omnibus bills and muzzle freedom of speech? Which ones?
The prime minister is the supreme narcissist:
Most people have forgotten how Harper took down all the portraits of previous prime ministers from his party’s lobby room — including paintings of Sir John A. MacDonald and John Diefenbaker. What did he replace them with? Green Party leader Elizabeth May gives us the answer:
“Photos of Stephen Harper in different costumes, in different settings, dressed as a fireman, in Hudson Bay looking for polar bears, meeting the Dalai Lama … even the portrait of the Queen had to have Stephen Harper behind her.”
Bill C- 51 is the legislative expression of that narcissism, writes Harris. It's now all Steve, all the time.