Here is something for consideration concerning the specific provision in Bill S-7, which is scheduled to be voted on April 24, 2013, as described in this legislative summary, that allows for the detention of someone suspected of having information about terrorist activities, who can be jailed for up to 12 months if he/she refuses to testify before a judge.
Canadian Maher Arar was suspected by U.S. officials of being involved in terrorism, and was deported to Syria, despite also being a Canadian citizen, and entering from Canada, and Syria being a designated sponsor of terrorism by the U.S., and known to employ torture.
After he was tortured, our government settled with him in a multi-million dollar settlement and apologized for what had happened.
The American officials were sincere in their judgment, and Canadian officials could be sincere in their judgment about a Canadian citizen or resident being suspected of having information about terrorist activities, and as a result, we could do a serious injustice to one of our own, which can be avoided by not renewing this additional provision, which has served us adequately from 2007 when it expired, until now.
Shame on the Liberals for supporting this measure in 2013. If former Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, did one good thing during his tenure, it was courageously voting against the extension of these un-Canadian provisions. The fact that the 2013 Liberals support these measures justifies their third-place standing in the polls.
The only silver lining I see in this that the provisions are set to expire in five years, just as they were originally in 2001.
At the end of 2011, it looked as if Canada was making a decisive split with American-style post-9/11 anti-freedom policies, as I documented in my article, Championed Canadian political success stories on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith, and the recent Supreme Court decision requiring wiretap warrants for obtaining text messages was yet another hopeful sign.
The pendulum had swung too far for some, and with the recent politically-timed arrest of two suspects in an alleged Via Train derailment plot, it had to be re-calibrated so that Canada’s increasing liberty relative to the post-9/11 United States didn’t become too noticeable.