In the wake of the violent events in Ottawa and Quebec last month, the Communist Party of Canada warned against attempts to use such incidents to impose new restriction on civil liberties and democratic freedoms. The Harper government is clearly adopting such a strategy, in an effort to intimidate Canadians against expressing criticism of Conservative policies, by expanding the frightening scale of mass surveillance of the activities and communications of the people of this country. We join with many others to warn that this trend towards police state tactics will have dangerous consequences for democracy and freedom.
Instead of adopting an “evidence based approach” to dealing with violent crime, the Harper government is engaged in a blatant attempt to frighten Canadians into silence. The Conservatives strategy is to use various hot-button issues to head off serious debates, such as their claim that terrorist threats pose a mortal danger to the entire country, or that “cyber-bullying” can only be stopped by giving police sweeping new powers to monitor virtually all online communications.