Stephen Harper has always defended his abolition of the long gun registry by saying it prohibited farmers and hunters from using the tools of their trade. But last week, in Saskatoon, he said that Canadians needed guns to protect their castles:
“My wife’s from a rural area and obviously gun ownership wasn’t just for the farm, but was for a certain level of security when you’re a ways away from immediate police assistance,” he said.
He now suggests that Canadians are under attack from jihadists and from prisoners who will not be behind bars forever. Lawrence Martin writes:
The Conservatives were already pushing hot buttons everywhere – provocative rhetoric about the niqab, sabre-rattling on Russia and Iran, fear-mongering on terrorism, lock-’em-up-forever legislation on crime and punishment.It’s hard to recall another time when we have witnessed such a flame-throwing approach to politics, policy and Parliament. Too often, the governing party resembles a band of belligerents rather than sage public servants. How many fights do they want to pick? Are they not concerned about the impact on the country’s social fabric, the dangers of pitting one Canadian against another?
We have known for a long time that Stephen Harper is paranoid. But there used to be a few people in his government who could keep him from going over the edge. No longer:
Other governments had men at the top who served as voices of reason or restraint – think of Don Mazankowski in Brian Mulroney’s government, or John Manley under Jean Chrétien. Mr. Harper has no such force of measured resistance in his office or cabinet, no one to keep his harder-edged ideological impulses in check.
And his acolytes in Parliament are sounding like Joe McCarthy:
Meanwhile over at the Commons public safety committee, critics of the government’s security legislation were being treated as if they themselves were threats to national security. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney spoke out against the “so-called experts” raising concerns about the bill – a group that includes national security specialists, former prime ministers and former Supreme Court justices.One witness from a civil liberties group was accusingly asked if she was “fundamentally opposed to taking terrorists off the streets.” Another Tory questioner said the executive director of Greenpeace’s opposition to new surveillance measures “makes me wonder if your organization is a national security threat.”
Mr. Harper now knows no restraints. He is Paranoia Unbound.