Harper’s Canada: A public safety and privacy fact sheet

Here’s part three of our series outlining recent events and issues in Canadian politics. This time, how shifts in crime and public safety legislation are creating controversy.

A lot has happened during the past year in Canadian politics and current affairs. Canadians are increasingly speaking up about federal policies, and threats to democracy are raising concern among citizens and experts from coast to coast.

For the third part in our “Harper’s Canada” series, here’s a fact sheet outlining a few recent events and decisions related to law enforcement public safety.

A shift towards more government control, surveillance and the restriction of civil liberties

  • Dec. 5, 2011 - Conservatives’ omnibus crime bill passed in House, currently awaiting Senate approval and facing heavy public opposition
  • Crime bill would increase levels of enforcement, impose mandatory minimum sentencing for things like marijuana possession
  • Feb. 14, 2012 - A new bill was tabled proposing increased online surveillance, immediately criticized by opposition and privacy advocates
  • Online bill would require ISPs to deliver subscriber data to law enforcement without a warrant
  • Public Safety Minister Vic Toews: “if you’re not with us, you’re with the child pornographers”
  • Immediate backlash against "online spying" bill led to a tongue-in-cheek social media campaign using the hashtag #TellVicEverything
  • International hacktivist group Anonymous also joined the opposition, releasing personal details about Toews (including his divorce and alleged affairs)
  • Canada says it’s taking a “different path” for copyright legislation, after intense protests over U.S. SOPA bill – but many worry lobbyists could push for more aggressive approach
  • Feb. 9, 2012 - Canada's new counter-terrorist strategy was released, labeling environmentalists next to white supremacists as potential “issue based extremists

 

For more on “Harper’s Canada”, read VO’s other cheat sheets:

Harper’s Canada: A Conservative government policy cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: An environmental policy cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: A local and provincial politics cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: Threats to democracy

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