Xtra
2 min

Arbitrary powers and gag orders

The lawful access bill is headed directly
to a special legislative committee before it even gets second reading, which
means that amendments can be pretty broad and far-reaching. As for the bill
itself, CBC’s Terry Milewski uncovers even more troubling sections, which would
allow anyone the minister designates to be an “inspector” to access online data
without a warrant, without it being part of a criminal investigation. Not only
that, but there’s a gag order on accessing your own personal data built right
into the bill, so that ISPs will be forbidden from telling you if police
accessed your data without a warrant, without express permission from said
police. Yeah, this bill keeps looking better and better. Oh, no, wait – Tony Clement
has weighed in and says this bill does more for public safety than the gun
registry did. Seriously.

Ever the klassy guy we all know him to be,
Vic Toews offered a conditional non-apology for his child pornographer comments
yesterday. Meanwhile, the Conservatives spent QP yesterday accusing the NDP of
being behind the Twitter account attacking Toews, not that they had any actual
proof. Not that they’re any strangers to sleazy politics and political
dirtbaggery *cough*Irwin Cotler*cough*. The account has since shut down after
the author said he or she didn’t want anyone to be caught in a government
“witch hunt,” adding that said author is not in Ottawa and the Gmail account the Ottawa Citizen traced the IP
address to was used by several people.

The Conservatives have unveiled their bill
to “fix” the Civil Marriage Act to allow for same-sex divorces of
non-residents.

The information commissioner has concerns over the level of secrecy involved with FINTRAC – the program that monitors
“suspicious” financial transactions.

It seems that testimony by Harper’s former chief of staff at the Commons committee hearing last week on changes to the
Lobbying Act aired some simmering tensions within the Conservative backrooms.
Very interesting (if inside baseball).

And the Supreme Court ruled that a Quebec
family could not pull their children out of a mandatory ethics-and-religion
course because *gasp!* it might expose them to views that weren’t their own. The court’s reason – children being exposed to other viewpoints is a fact of life. Deal with it.

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