What could possibly be wrong with Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act? The short answer is that it was introduced by Justice Minister Peter MacKay. The longer answer is that this bill was introduced to Canadians by Justice Minister Peter MacKay during National Bullying Awareness Week as the long-awaited law that would be instrumental in putting an end to cyber bullying in Canada. This was not even one of the half-truths so commonly used by this government to rally public support for a law, this was an out-and-out lie told by Peter MacKay’s and his political cronies.
Intentionally misleading Canadians as to the full intent of a law that you are trying to introduce, or amend may seem like smart politics when it is being done, but an ill-informed population is not a good thing and nobody likes to have the wool pulled over their eyes, be lied to, or be made a fool of. Eventually there is a price to be paid for trickery of this nature and that price is that the privilege and trust to lead the country and the power to make decisions on the behalf of Canadians is taken away from you on election day by the voters you ignored and lied to.
The way Bill C-13 was introduced to Canadians is a big part of what is wrong with it to me, because it gave:
False hope to the parents, loved ones, friends and supporters of the children who have already taken their lives. These people who have worked so hard and lobbied so long and thought that they had finally gotten the government to do something to see that this type of tragedy did not happen again, only to have their hopes dashed with the reading of Bill C-13.
False hope to parents who are trying to save their children’s lives who are being bullied right now, only to have them dashed by the reading of Bill C-13. This may not be a problem for Peter MacKay, but I find it not only misleading, but cynical and unfair.
False hope to the thousands of children who are being bullied right now on the internet as I type. If these children were looking to this government to do something to end their torment, they have had their hopes dashed by the reading of Bill C-13. Cold-hearted, callous and mean-spirited are words that best describe the method of governing, that has become all to common place with the Harper le Conservative Government of Canada.
That this Harper led government chose to play politics and dash the hopes of hundreds, maybe thousands of Canadian teens, who are one step away from taking their lives is what is wrong with Bill C-13 and proves that if a dollar value cannot be affixed to your life, then to Steven Harper and his Conservative Government of Canada, you are not worth the effort, or the money it would cost to save you. That this government could abandon these teens who were desperately counting on the government to keep its promise and do something to end their torment, will unfortunately become a death sentence to those teens who feel they have no other alternative and who feel that the have had their last hope of relief from cyber bullying dashed with the reading of Bill C-13.
As you may have gathered I feel that one of the major problems with Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act is that it was explained to Canadians in such a way, to enable Justice Minister Peter MacKay to play on the hopes, fears and the need to see something done of all Canadians concerning this matter, but was really a slap in the face to the parents, family and friends of Canadian teens such as Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd. These teens endured years of torment inflicted on them by cyber bullying, before eventually taking their lives. I would suggest that Justice Minister Peter MacKay and the political party he is a member of sold these desperate parents, friends, family and supporters out, just to get themselves another kick at the can and through the police gain a greater ability to snoop into the private lives of Canadians without having to obtain a warrant 1st. Please tell me how giving courts the right to seize computers, phones and other devices used in an alleged offence helps to lessen cyber bullying? Then tell me what a piece of legislation that is meant to expose and punish online bullies is doing taking on terror suspects and people who steal cable TV signals? Why are there only 2.5 pages of Bill C-13 dedicated to ending Cyber bullying and 65 pages dedicated to making it easier for the government to spy on Canadians?
I have no problem with the Harper government going after terrorists and cable cheats, but why not be honest about it? Why put the lives of Canadian teens at risk unnecessarily by attaching this unrelated, but important issues to a bill dealing with the safety of Canadian teens? The answer is because they wish to blackmail the opposition into voting for things that they know will not pass the privacy test. This government has already failed at this before and so now the leverage that Steven Harper has callously chosen to force this bill into law, are the lives of every Canadian teen that is being bullied on the internet. I say this, because this government has deliberately chosen to cause delay in a much-needed part of a bill that could otherwise be passed quickly with unanimous consent in the House of Commons and save the lives of desperate Canadian teens getting ready to take their own lives, because the Harper government is committed to utilizing a winner take all game of American style politics?
Under the new proposed measures the police would be granted easier access to the metadata that internet service providers and phone companies keep on every call and email making things that were once perceived as private, not private any longer. These companies have been told that they can voluntarily give up your private information without fear of being sued by the Canadian citizens they are violating the rights of, because that is now the law. If what the law is intended to do was not in violation of existing law then why is it necessary to protect these companies from court action, by giving them immunity from prosecution? If this is truly what Canadians wanted and have been asking for why hide this part of the bill in an omnibus bill and why not make it a stand-alone bill and pass it on its own merit? The answer is simple, Canadians do not want their privacy violated in this manner and the Harper government knows it; this type of fooling around with Canadians rights to privacy has forced them to abandon this type of legislation in the past; Vic Toew’s Bill C-30, also known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act is a prime example of that.
One does not have to reach far to be able to compare C-13 to Bill C-30, also known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, which was introduced in February 2012 by then Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews. Bill C-30 was supposed to be about fighting child pornography, but also had a lot of unrelated stuff in it as well, most of which is resurfacing and being reintroduced in Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. I am not against most of this stuff, but I do not like to be taken for a fool, I do not like being lied to and I really do not like my choice to decide on things taken away from me, because everything is clumped together in a take it all or nothing fashion of the Conservative style of omnibus bill law making and time allocated debate closure, that ensures that not only will the bill not get enough debate, but also ensures that there is not enough time to call expert witnesses. Then there is the statement made by Rob Nicholson while he was still the Justice Minister, in which he pledged that the government “will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30.” We now know this to be another lie, another broken promise by the Harper Government and yet another attempt to lie to Canadians about a laws true intent and to force its ideological views on Canadians on the sly.
Is it possible that Steven Harper and his government are afraid that if they do not stop people from putting up on the internet the naughty little things that some people do for one’s spouse, or lover, like taking nude and sexually implicit photos that perhaps they could see themselves or their high-powered friends and supporters on the world-wide web exposed, with their sexual prowess on display for the whole world to see? Is it possible that perhaps they are afraid that their spouses will stop posing for them in the nude in sexually suggestive poses, if not given assurances in law that their fear of exposure is adequately dealt with in law? I ask these questions, because it would seem to me that the only people that this is aimed at protecting are the willing exhibitionists, who are not protected under the current laws of Canada.
Is the government afraid that their spouses and friends in high places will start using common sense and stop doing and taking pictures that they would be ashamed of if they got onto something like the world-wide web? Could it be that the Harper Conservative Party of Canada is in favor of soft pornography as long as it is in private collections and kept safely tucked away in one’s home? Instead of this government telling Canadians not to do things like take nude pictures of yourself doing sexual things that you are ashamed of and giving them to people as gifts, because you never can tell where they will end up, they are intent on doing yet another end run around existing law and make what the recipient of such a gift is allowed to do with such a gift.
I agree that it is not gentlemanly or ladylike to do such a thing as share what is intended to be a private matter, but I think that this is not the business of the Canadian government and since when is it against the law to not be a gentleman, or a lady. For the same reason that the government is not welcome in the bedrooms of Canadians and makes it unwise for the government to try and legislate what is acceptable, or legal sexual activity between 2 consenting adults in that bedroom, I believe that the government should be keeping their noses out of the aftermath of those choices. What is next? Will the government be making it a crime punishable by up to 5 years in jail for any person who dares to talk to anyone about what they and others did or do in bedroom sexually on the internet, if they do not have the other person’s permission to go public? There is an old saying about doing in private, what you would be ashamed of if it were made public and it amounts to, “Don’t do it.” Remember this when the government did try to dictate by law what was acceptable sexual behavior between consenting adults, most sexual activity that gay and homosexuals engaged in was considered not only illegal, but immoral as well. I mention this only because this is a regressive and ideological government, with a few members in high positions who have a lot to lose if this government decides to once again enter the bedrooms of its citizens and take away all that they have gained in an omnibus bill in the guise of child protection.
I have seen the pictures of Dr. Laura Schlesinger’s nude sexually explicit pictures and do not get why she should be allowed to dictate to the person she gave them to what he/she can do with them. I believe that they are the persons to do with as they like as would be any other gift. Is it now Canadian law that you can give someone a gift and then tell them what they can or cannot do with it, who they can show it to, or to whom they can speak of it with? Would it not have been wiser to warn Canadians that if they chose to engage in this type of behavior that there is nothing that can be done within the confines of Canadian law to prevent such gifts from being made public? Would it not have been wiser to inform Canadians if they choose to engage in this type of gift giving, do not expect to find legally enforced privacy under the law of Canada, because the act of giving these types of pictures as gifts, makes the pictures no longer yours and if they no longer belong to you and belong to the recipient the expected right to your privacy is no longer there? I believe that such gifts given of one’s own free will as embarrassing as they can be when they are made public instead of kept private as you may have wished, are still the persons to do with as they like as with any other gift and that is why one should never enter into acts expecting privacy that is not there.
That the government has taken this part of the law away from protecting only children and only adults who have been forced, or somehow manipulated into this type of behavior and used the law to include and ensure that their spouses and high-powered friend’s lovers along with every Canadian who chooses to engage in this type of gift giving can continue to do so now without fear of unwanted public exposure, to me is crazy. That the government has taken this part of the bill away from protecting only children and only adults who have been forced or somehow manipulated into this type of behavior and used the law to protect people like Manitoba Queen’s Bench Justice Lori Douglas, I find incredulous.
Does this mean now that the press and the paparazzi can now be challenged and brought to justice in Canada for taking pictures up women’s skirts like they did to Britney Spears and being responsible for the posting those pictures of her naked private parts all over the internet without her permission? It seem to me that everyone thought that she should wear undergarments and if not then she had to live with the consequences. I ask, because I want to understand where all of this is heading. I believe that we as a society should not start to make laws to replace the need of citizens to use common sense and basic morally sound life choices. Common sense dictates that because we never can tell how a relationship will end up down the road that we should consider seriously before we do things on camera that we would be ashamed of if they got out in public and if you do then you must suffer the consequences.