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The potential destruction of terrorism is infinitesimally smaller than the damage done to our rights by a disproportionate attempt to prevent it. Please. Please remember this. It's even more important now, when that fact is so easily forgotten in the wake of the attack on our Parliament and the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. We cannot allow the extreme actions of a few to strip us of the freedoms those soldiers worked so hard to protect. But the Canadian government continues to roll back our rights in the name of "security."
For the last year I've been speaking and writing at length about the issue Bill C-13 claims to tackle. While the bill's name in the press is the "Cyber-bullying Bill," the more specific problem addressed by components of Bill C-13 is known as "revenge porn," a term I hate for both its inaccuracy and sexualized sensationalism. After a year of arguing for legislation that criminalizes cyber-sexual assault, I cannot support the legislation as written. I cannot trade one set of civil rights for another. We should separate the components of Bill C-13 that deal directly with cyber-sexual assault from those that do not, and debate them as different pieces of legislation.
Rehtaeh Parsons will live on in the lives of others thanks to the organ donations made after her death. I received a letter from an organ recipient. This unnamed person found out this year they needed a new heart. Their family and friends were scared because they almost died. Then the words hit me, the recipient is "only 17 years old." Rehtaeh's age.
I went to Ottawa for the tabling of the new Cyberbullying Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday. It has been a long time coming, and as parents who have lost our children, it is a necessity. The question that I heard the most from media was this one: Do you think this piece of legislation would have 'saved' Amanda? YES.
Wednesday, Peter MacKay, the new Justice Minister, unveiled Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. The similarly-named bill is now marketed as an effort to crack-down cyber-bullying, yet the vast majority of the bill simply brings back many (though not all) lawful access provisions. As this post suggests, some of the provisions raise some serious concerns. Yet the government is signalling that it would prefer to avoid such debates, wrapping up the provisions in the cyber-bullying flag and backtracking on a commitment made earlier this year to not bring forward Criminal Code amendments that were contained in Bill C-30.