In its length, in its cost and in its debate schedule, this election is unusual. The first and possibly only real debate of the campaign ended and here are the highlights of what happened.
A disgraceful attempt to attack Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau yet again shows the questionable judgement of Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party. Controversial Bill C-51 has now become law and gives CSIS new powers to spy on individual Canadians and revoke terrorist propaganda. However, the Conservatives have decided in a pre-electoral ad to use ISIS propaganda as a backdrop to smear Trudeau.
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives recently passed Bill C-51. You’ve probably heard about it but if not, here’s the summary. It grants Canada’s spy agencies new enforcement powers to act upon data they’ve collected by monitoring your phone calls, text messages and your interactions on social media. The reason for this is they want to protect you from a terrorist attack – or arrest you if they suspect you are a terrorist. It would dismantle much of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms which was ratified by former Prime Minister Pierre-Elliot Trudeau and grants Canadians the privacy and freedom of speech they have today.
The new year will be an election year, that may oddly enough, mirror the past. Prime Minister Stephen Harper can only look back to the glory days in 2006 as he fights for his political life after throwing his Reform principles under the bus upon creating the new Conservative Party that will have been in power for nine years come May.
It is no secret the Conservatives are heading for confrontation with the Supreme Court over its reckless and irresponsible notion that unconstitutional legislation should be passed. From the spat between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s reluctance to consult the courts and public on legislation that is predictably going to be shot down, it is clear the Conservatives will try to break the system to get their unconstitutional legislation passed – particularly in the domain of Law and Order.
Privacy experts believe government spying via social media may be in violation of the Privacy Act. As you scroll through your Facebook’s news-feed to find people you knew in High School are now having children, comments on the latest in Entertainment and the slew of personal statuses shared to a group of people considered to be friends, note that Big Brother virtually lurks over your shoulders and agents at CSEC are paid to see what you see.
Following Snowden documents revealing metadata was collected from thousands of Canadians during a two week period through the free wifi at an airport, Canada’s security experts demand answers and government officials are defending the legality of the act.
Who said Canadian politics is boring? This year has been a news-maker filled with controversy and action. From the battle that wages over the economy to the one being waged in the senate, Canadian political junkies had ample opportunities to gather popcorn or join the discussion over the issues that matter to them.
A parliamentary committee has asked ministers’ staff to sign Lifetime Confidentiality Agreements which would inhibit them from sharing information – which has been used by whistle-blowers and lead to revelations in the PMO scandal that has swallowed Conservative support across the country.