Letter to the editor in response to Mr. Wilks and Bill C-51

For those who have forgotten history, this is exactly what all regimes do before they discard the inconvenience of democracy altogether.

Once again our local MP, Mr. Wilks, has given his defense of the Conservative party’s new bill that would expand the powers available to police agencies, supposedly in the noble fight against that mysterious bogey called terrorism.

For those who have forgotten history, this is exactly what all regimes do before they discard the inconvenience of democracy altogether and reveal their true despotic intentions. Hitler was elected before the Nazis seized absolute power. Likewise Mussolini.

Expanded police powers are inevitably used to subdue all legitimate opposition to the ruling faction. To see what happens when the police become judge and prosecutor on their own, we have only to recall the Robert Dziekanski case at Vancouver International Airport a few years ago, when officers killed an innocent, confused man whose crime was that he couldn’t speak English.

Mr. Wilks alludes to “protections” in the legislation, just as there are presently oversight agencies in place to oversee the actions of the police and spy organizations. In fact, those agencies have little real authority or independence, and are hampered by meager resources and political pressures. Don’t bet your life on “protections.”

The police already have plenty of powers to do their job. Their real problem seems to be a lack of training in proper procedures and in respecting the Canadian constitution. Since Mr. Wilks is a former RCMP officer, naturally he wants to grant more power to those agencies. As we can see from the American example, giving the police further authority and weaponry really hasn’t protected the U.S. population from terrorist activity. More Americans died at the hands of the police last year than were casualties of terrorism. Think about that.

Terrorists cannot take away our freedom; but fear and zealous politicians exploiting fear, can.

John KrzyzewskiFernie, B.C.