From the reading I did when Irwin Cotler became Justice Minister I gained the impression that he was something of a champion of human rights and civil liberties. That included being a vocal critic of Bill C-36, Canada's anti-terrorism legislation. So I can only assume that he's been possessed by an alien life form.
Canadian citizens with suspected terrorist ties could also be subjected to so-called "control measures" such as house arrest that are currently being developed for immigrant terror suspects, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said yesterday.
The new measures, inspired by Britain's recent move to tone down its anti-terrorism laws, would expand the range of options authorities have to deal with non-citizen immigrants who are arrested as security threats to include measures such as electronic ankle bracelets and house arrest.
The changes are aimed at providing a less Draconian option than jailing such suspects indefinitely.
But Mr. Cotler revealed yesterday that he is considering expanding their use to Canadian citizens, not just non-citizen immigrants.
Authorities currently have a never-used power under Canada's 2001 terrorism law to arrest and jail citizens, with a judge's approval, if they have grounds to believe the detention would prevent an imminent terrorist act.
But adding so-called control measures such as house arrest and electronic ankle bracelets would expand the arsenal available to deal with terror suspects who are Canadian citizens when there is not enough evidence to convict them of a crime.
Emphasis added. There was some criticism of the fact that measures like security certificates were discriminatory because they only applied to non-citizens. Now we see our government's response. They'll just ignore due process and civil liberties for citizens and non-citizens alike.
If you've been shaking your head at the way the American Bill of Rights has been shredded bit by bit, and thinking that at least you're relatively safe in Canada, you'd better think again. It can happen here and we'd better wake up to that fact.