September 21st, 2015
For Immediate Release
Liberal and Conservative support for C-51 reveals surveillance culture
(Vancouver) – “This was the big issue that made me jump into this election,” says Vancouver Quadra Green Party Candidate Kris Constable, a veteran Internet security consultant who knows intimately how wrong-headed Bill C-51 is.
“During the Environmental Forum this past weekend, an audience member asked a direct question to Ms. Murray about why she voted for C-51 when it can easily be used to target First Nations groups unfairly,” says Constable from his campaign headquarters in Vancouver Quadra. “It echoed the tremendous concern for Murray’s decision to vote with her party in favour of this bill. Concern and indignation for this bill and particularly the Liberal’s support of it is what I’m hearing on the doorstep. It would surprise me if Ms. Murray weren’t aware of this. Privacy and security is a major issue in this election.”
Constable compares the flawed methodology behind C-51 to a way to more speedily build a larger haystack of data, when what you actually need to do is find the needle. All of the evidence says that success in combatting terrorism is mostly achieved by setting a laser focus on potential terrorists, and only potential terrorists. In other words, limiting the collection of hay. This is what our laws have done for decades. That way, when there’s reasonable belief that an individual is a terrorist, law enforcement and intelligence can efficiently focus their surveillance efforts.
“The problem with all of these surveillance bills, aside from the fact that they gather vast quantities of useless data about any Canadian who uses the Internet or a telephone,” says Constable, “is that it is a huge and costly allocation of resources that, in the end, do not make any of us safer. Worse, it means that government agencies, the police, border guards — anyone who has access — can use this information against you and refuse you a driver’s licence, refuse you entry to another country, share your intellectual property…the sky is the limit.”
Furthermore, the recent decision by the Conservatives to remove references to “24-hour surveillance” on campaign signs shows their immense vulnerability to this issue and the flawed legislation they brought forward after the attack on Parliament earlier this year.
“The Liberals and the Conservatives have both encouraged the growth of a surveillance culture from Ottawa for over a decade. Neither of them were able to stop the attack on Parliament, despite the fact that the attacker in Ottawa made his intentions known online for anyone to see.”
“Why should we trust governments that use fear to invade our personal lives?” Constable asks. “The Green Party opposes Bill C-51, and they are the one party that has stood firm against it since it was first presented. It clearly violated our constitution, and it was apparent that not one of its five sections made Canadians any safer. I became a candidate because the incumbent in Vancouver Quadra was the voice of support for Bill C-51 within the Liberal Party.”
Since entering the race, Constable has been working the sidewalks, learning from constituents what matters to them. Every day until dark Constable can be found knocking on doors and meeting his constituents.
It seems Bill C-51 is a big concern for many, but so is the concept of “party discipline”. The Liberal candidate in this election is well known to have had a falling out with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. They have publicly debated each other over various issues, and the Liberal party is now talking about bringing pipelines to our shores.
“Will Ms. Murray stand against the Liberal pipeline plan?” wonders Constable. “She certainly didn’t stand up for grizzly bears when she was environment minister under Gordon Campbell.”
The Green Party has come out in favour of encouraging their members to vote to represent the wishes of their constituents, which is what an MP’s job is, according to the constitution. Free voting will encourage a more collaborative and respectful debate in the House of Commons. It will force out partisan bickering and bring a breath of fresh air to Parliament.
“What most impresses me about the Green Party of Canada is that it is committed to integrity, and our Leader Elizabeth May has brought a fresh perspective to Canada’s Parliament,” says Constable. “Why wouldn’t I want to participate in a new way of doing politics in Ottawa?”