The Harper Government Is Expanding Their Surveillance Policy to Treat Every Protester as a Potential Threat - 2014-06-26
In a push that sees Canada move one step closer to a state where being constantly watched, catalogued, and data mined is the norm, the Conservative government recently decided to expand its public surveillance policy to include all protests and demonstrations. The Government Operations Centre sent an email to all federal departments that requested information on even the most mundane social movements. The email then leaked to Postmedia news and opposition parties are now crying afoul, calling the plan a clear blow to democratic freedom.
NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison believes the government's play is a smack in the face of basic democratic rights and freedoms. Though he doesn't feel we've quite moved into a Big Brother state in Canada, he says this issue is proof that the country is undoubtedly heading in that troubling direction under the strong arm of the Harper Conservatives.
"It's a fundamental disrespect for basic rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, to say that they should monitor all the time in case somebody in the future breaks the law. It's shocking," he told VICE. "They've appeared to take the position now that the government should spy on everyone who protests because there is some possibility in the future that any of us might become violent. That's a big concern, when the government's expressing that kind of attitude."