Steven Harper will be the fear candidate in the upcoming election. Here’s an example:
Bill C51 is ommibus anti-terrorist legislation made up of five different acts bundled together and labeled to promote fear and divide Canadians.
This is yet another example of the divisive nature of the Harper government , because the message of this bill is “either you agree with us or you are with the terrorists”. I have no doubt that this will be the Conservatives’ primary election issue.
In parliamentary debate on February 23, 2015 MP Irwin Cotler provided some thoughtful insight on Bill C51 (see: irwincolter.liberal.ca).
The world continues to change and some of the tools for national security may need to change as well (eg. provisions for information sharing). However there must be a balance between protecting national security and protecting human rights.
The Liberal Party will be proposing amendments to the legislation including robust oversight, and review mechanisms. However, the reality is that these amendments will not be accepted no matter which way the NDP and the Liberals vote. The partisan Harper government fully intends to use their majority to ram the legislation through. As Justin Trudeau said: “The Conservatives can either accept our amendments or have them be part of the Liberal platform in the coming election”.
What Mr. Harper wants as we head into an election is to push the NDP and the Liberals to vote against Bill C51. This would set the stage for unrelenting “soft on terror” attack ads. I agree with Mr. Trudeau’s position and strategy.
Finally, Mr. Mulcair has said that he would not rescind the legislation if elected, but rather he would change it. Seems that the two main opposition parties are taking a similar position.