A letter I wrote to my Member of Parliament James Bezan, a real diehard warmonger like John McCain, George Bush, Tony Blair, Stephen Harper, etc., and an asshole on a personal level.
Dear Mr. Bezan, MP for Selkirk-Interlake,
Your government is again trying to force through Parliament an unnecessary, undemocratic, and dangerous omnibus piece of legislation – Bill C-51.
The fact that your government has repeatedly rammed through Parliament omnibus legislation in an effort to silence opposition and hide a reactionary agenda while claiming a majority government with less than 40% of the popular vote is itself a mockery of the democratic rights and civil liberties you claim to want to protect.
What makes Bill C-51 more alarming than previous undemocratic pieces of omnibus legislation forced through Parliament by your government is that it is an open and direct attack on the civil liberties, democratic and labour rights of Canadians from coast to coast.
Bill C-51 defines terrorism as: “interference with the capability of the government of Canada in relation to intelligence, defense, border operations, public safety, administration of justice, diplomatic or consular relations, or the economic or financial stability of Canada; changing or unduly influencing a government in Canada by force or unlawful means; interference with critical infrastructure; interference with global information infrastructure; an activity that causes serious harm to a person or their property…an activity that takes place in Canada and undermines the security of another state.”
With such a vague definition of terrorism it is clear that, like the previous Bush administration in the U.S., it is not terrorism that your government is fighting, rather it is any opposition to your government’s reactionary corporate agenda of austerity budgets, privatization, war, and environmental destruction.
Labour and community activists across Canada that oppose your government’s corporate agenda have already been targeted by the police and security forces. Climate change scientists have been muzzled, environmentalists opposed to the corporate raping of Canada have been declared as a “national security threat” by the RCMP, Aboriginal people have been ruthlessly attacked and spied on for opposing pipelines and fracking, and workers demonstrating their right to strike have been dealt “back-to-work” notices by your government.
All forms of non-violent disobedience, if it can be argued threatens “the economic or financial stability of Canada” or “undermines the security of another state,” could be classified as terrorism. If Aboriginal people block a highway or pipeline construction, does that constitute a threat to the “the economic or financial stability of Canada”? If Canadian workers employed at a national company, like Canada Post, exercise their right to strike, does that constitute a threat to “the economic or financial stability of Canada”? What about Canadians opposed to more free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic Free Trade Agreement with the European Union? Does the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement in support of Palestinian people, which earlier helped to bring down the racist Apartheid regime in South Africa and that your government signed an agreement with Israel to fight, “undermine the security of another state”? What about Canadians opposed to NATO’s support for fascist elements in the Ukraine? Or those Canadians opposed to a NATO intervention in Iran, which, despite your government’s fear mongering, hasn’t attack a country in hundreds of years? Do these non-violent movements “undermine the security of another state”?
According to Bill C-51 CSIS agents shall not “(a) cause, intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm to an individual; (b) willfully attempt in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice; or (c) violate the sexual integrity of an individual.”
This clause indirectly authorizes CSIS agents to use methods of torture behind close doors so long as these methods don’t “cause…death or bodily harm” or “violate the sexual integrity” of an individual. The Bush administration argued that methods of torture below the level of causing “organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death” were legal, and this clause in Bill C-51 establishes a level of legal torture or “enhanced interrogation.” The bill strictly forbids CSIS agents from the internationally condemned torture methods used at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo Bay, but if it can be argued that the method doesn’t “cause…death or bodily harm” nor “violate the sexual integrity” of an individual, there are no other restrictions on what CSIS agents can do. Torture methods of water-boarding (no bodily harm or physical marks), sleep and sensory deprivation, stress-inducing positions, pressure-point torture and beating techniques will be legal for CSIS agents.
In the aftermath of 9/11 anti-terrorism legislation was passed in Parliament, and to date there has been no explanation as to why that legislation is insufficient in countering the almost non-existent threat of terrorism your government is using to scare Canadians into supporting this bill. I’m inclined to ask if you and your government are suffering from amnesia; however, that can’t be the case because your government is trying its best to make it appear like it is 1929 again.
It saddens me to see a megalomaniac occupying the highest office in Canada, and knowing how much your lips spend kissing Harper’s ass, I am under no illusion that writing this letter will change anything. Nevertheless, as a resident of the Selkirk-Interlake district, I implore you to at least temporarily cease kissing Harper’s ass and defend the rights of Canadians.