I don’t know my Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as I should. Yes, I study politics, but I’m nowhere near as well-read as your typical freedom-suppressing Conservative. Speaking of which, you have most likely heard about Bill C-51, the one our government put forth in Parliament a few weeks back.
For those of you that haven’t, the new anti-rights and freedoms, sorry, “anti-terror” bill will increase the power of Canada’s spy agencies such as CSIS and CSEC. Bill C-51 is mainly focused on terrorism, but its powers extend to any national security threat.
The bill allows arrest for any so-called “promotion of terrorism.” This is contentious since it will be the government that decides exactly what that means. If they see your videos, social media posts, or blog as “promotion of terrorism,” it will give them grounds for arrest. Additionally, the bill allows the agencies to freeze bank accounts, cancel travel plans, delete online materials, use preventive detention, issue peace bonds, and conduct search and seizure without warrants, among other things.
There is no reason to stop there. Since this bill is loved and agreed on by the majority, how about a new bill that will help more Canadians than ever? Bill H-51, “Canada’s Anti-Heart-Disease Bill.”
In the past few years, terrorism has tragically taken the lives of a handful of Canadians, but heart disease, according to Statistics Canada, has been busy. It’s the second leading cause of death in the country, taking nearly 50 thousand lives per year. Now, tell me that isn’t a grave threat to national security.
What I am proposing in Bill H-51 is double, even triple, the powers that Bill C-51 has granted our spy agencies. What could possibly go wrong with expansion of powers? There has never been abuse before, right?
With H-51, CSIS and CSEC will be able to monitor your smoking habits, your blood pressure, how physically active you are, and, most importantly, your Instagram feed to be sure you aren’t posting pictures of food with “what they believe to be” high levels of saturated fat.
The agencies will be able to give you preventive detention if they don’t believe you are maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol intake, or allowing your stress level to get too high. Say hello to a long and free life.
If you find yourself eating fries and a cheeseburger, you could be issued a peace bond under the new law. That would require you to keep the peace and all those trans fats out of your diet. Posting about some authentic Italian pizza on your food-and-travel blog while vacationing in Italy? Think again. Canada’s spy agencies will now be able to delete the post, cancel your flights, and freeze your bank accounts. You can thank them later.
Most importantly, don’t forget those 30 minutes of exercise a few times per week or you’ll wind up on the business end of a surveillance van. The more Canadians we keep alive, the more they can contribute to the salaries of our hardworking Senate. It’s an infinite loop of win-wins.
Perhaps you are against this new bill. You may even be thinking that it endangers our civil liberties. You may also believe this is a slippery slope to the abolishment of our Charter. If this is the case, you can expect the Conservative government to label you a “heart-disease sympathizer.” You don’t want that. Just remember, it’s all in the name of better health.
Who knows, if this bill works out, maybe next year we can introduce an Anti-Diabetes Bill, maybe with an Anti-Influenza Amendment tacked on for good measure?