(As, of course, they can do the reverse

terrorism bill must stand or fall on its merits

cheap Canada Goose There is a tendency, in discussions of national security, or civil liberties perhaps in discussions of most things for people to retreat into clich. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose Raise concerns, however well founded, about the consequences of some proposed security measure for civil liberties, and prepare to be accused of making for no one bothers to rebut arguments any more, they just name them a “slippery slope” argument. canada goose

On the other hand, suggest that the peculiar threat posed by modern macro terrorism may require some adjustment, however slight, in the traditional balance between freedom and order, and brace yourself for a lecture on the theme “the ends do not justify the means.”

canada goose coats on sale Well, no. Some slopes are slippery. Merely because someone asserts the existence of a “slippery slope” if we accept x then y will surely follow is not enough either to prove or disprove their argument. It depends, rather, on the plausibility of the slipperiness. Likewise, it is no canada goose outlet reviews more true to say “the ends do not justify the means” at all times, in all circumstances than it is to say that they do. How can we know, without comparing them? The true statement canada goose outlet london uk is: some ends justify some means. canada goose coats on sale

buy canada goose jacket So tecfe.ca to the government’s anti terrorism legislation, Bill C 51. The tendency, as I say, has been for observers to condemn it unreservedly, or praise it without qualification. An example of the former was that now legendary Globe and Mail editorial, in canada goose outlet england which it was asserted, on scant evidence, that the government was plotting to unleash a “secret police force” canada goose outlet canada on the unsuspecting public. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose clearance The “secret police” in question is the quite well known Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), who would be given some modest new powers canada goose outlet under the bill. As the editorial itself acknowledges, CSIS “will not be allowed to make arrests or detain suspects,” nor can it “kill or harm anyone.” It can’t even spy on anyone, at least in the cloak and dagger sense entering their house, seizing documents, planting listening devices without seeking, and obtaining, a warrant. The power to ask a judge for a warrant is not a power typically associated with secret police forces. canada goose clearance

canada goose black friday sale Nevertheless, these are new powers, untried and untested, and skepticism is in order. The scale of the threat, or rather threats, is open to debate though with court dockets now bulging with terrorism cases, it’s hard to argue they don’t exist as are the appropriate responses to each. A measure that might be justified in the name of preventing a mass atrocity on the scale of a Sept. 11 might not be justified in dealing with so called “lone canada goose outlet toronto wolf” attackers. canada goose black friday sale

That’s why it’s vital to require both judicial oversight at the front end and close reporting and monitoring at the back, and while the bill is admirably full of examples of the former, the latter particularly the desperately understaffed condition of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, CSIS’s overseer is rather less in evidence.

But the mere fact that police and intelligence gathering activities will henceforth canada goose outlet florida not be contained within separate, airtight silos is not enough, in my view, to condemn the bill. While the Globe may wish to recall some long ago abuses by the RCMP, when intelligence gathering was part of its brief, other observers, Bob Rae among them, have a fresher memory in mind: the Air India attack, whose investigation was greatly impeded by the lack of canada goose outlet sale communication between the RCMP and the newly minted CSIS.

uk canada goose outlet More broadly, to say that the police and intelligence services already have all the powers they need to combat terrorism is to suggest that we struck the right balance between security and liberty on the first try, in public safety legislation passed in the wake of Sept. 11. If nothing else, that would be a remarkable coincidence. Though much of that bill has withstood scrutiny, much has happened since then: including the first successful jihadist attacks on Canadian soil. uk canada goose outlet

No doubt the government sees political gain to be had in exploiting public fears, valid or otherwise. And certainly the prime minister’s cloddish, unyielding rhetoric does nothing to allay those suspicions. But that, too, is not enough to discredit the legislation. People can do the right things for the wrong reasons. (As, of course, they can do the reverse.) The bill must stand or canada goose outlet uk fall on its own merits, weighing the harm it might do to civil liberties against the harm it seeks to avert: the old “reasonable limits” quandary.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill on Tuesday February 3, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Na020515 leadersMoreover, the bill need not be accepted or condemned in toto: different measures will raise different levels of concern. For example, I can see the case for preventive arrest, such as we already have on the canada goose outlet hong kong books, in the case of the proverbial ticking time bomb: where the police have evidence, sufficient to persuade a judge, that someone is about to launch a terrorist attack in the language of existing law, that an attack “will be” committed it does not strike me as disproportionate to let them put him on ice for 72 hours.

buy canada goose jacket cheap I am less willing to accept the language in Bill C 51, allowing police to detain someone for a full week merely on the suspicion that they “may be” about to attack. This is not just “lowering the bar” on the use of preventive arrest, as it is sometimes put: it pretty much removes it altogether. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose clearance sale Likewise, the provision making it a crime to “promote” terrorism not to counsel someone to commit a specific attack, as is already proscribed by current law, but just to endorse terrorism generally is vastly overbroad, and almost certain to be struck down by the courts. canada goose clearance sale

And that’s the backstop in all these discussions. Whatever measures the government may see fit to introduce, and whatever laws Parliament may pass, they must ultimately conform with the law of laws, the Constitution. Which ends justify which means? The courts will decide.