‘the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.’
When you Google Terrorism Definition, that’s what pops up.
When looking for how terrorism is defined within Canada’s Criminal Code, you will see references to section 83.01.
Here’s a link to the Ministry of Justice’s page explaining how terrorism is defined (warning, the author is unfamiliar with the use of paragraphs):
For those of you who don’t want to sort through the rambling, here’s the relevant part (with the really relevant stuff bolded)
In Canada, section 83.01 of the Criminal Code defines terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”
So, let’s break this down and look at some of the policies and actions taken by The Harper Government (who apparently don’t consider themselves the Government of Canada) that were clearly meant to intimidate people to further a political purpose, objective, or cause.
One of the things that no one can argue with is that The Harper Government is uncomfortable with scientists who come out with findings that contradict their policies.
In this piece on The Huffington Post, you’ll see that Harper decided to close the Office of the National Science Advisor, stating that its head Arthur Carty, had decided to retire.
As you read further, you’ll see that while testifying in front of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, that Mr. Carty categorically stated that his decision to retire was made after he was told that his office was being eliminated.
You’ll also see that during his testimony, instead of talking about science, Carty was grilled about expense reports.
The message was clear…. “You disagree with us, and we’ll drag you through the mud!”
Clearly intimidation towards a political goal. In other words….it clearly meets the definition of terrorism as laid out in Canada’s Criminal Code.
One might argue about the lack of harm.
I would point out that in muzzling scientists, there is potential for great harm, economic, environmental, social…
Here’s a whole series of articles about The Harper Government trying to stifle science
My next point proves that The Harper Government is more than willing to fire you, if you’re a government employee whose job is doing research and analysis, and the fruits of your labour do not align with the Conservative Party of Canada’s party line..
The Harper Govt slashed funding for the Justice Department’s research division when it became clear that their research would run counter to what Harper has been trying to sell in his efforts to push his “Law and Order” agenda.
In this article on iPolitics.ca, Michael Spratt talks about the folly and fail in Harper’s Crime Agenda.
This is the bit where he talks about what happens when you’re a government employee who disagrees with the Harper reality:
That the Conservatives are indifferent to the pursuit of justice is something demonstrated by their actions, not their words. They cut the Department of Justice’s research budget by $1.2 million. According to an internal government report, the Justice Department’s research budget was slashed just as an internal report for the deputy minister was warning its findings “may run contrary to government direction” and have “at times left the impression that research is undermining government decisions” and is not “aligned with government or departmental priorities.”
Why stop at suppressing the dissenting opinions of the experts when you can stifle them altogether?
Ralph Surrette on rabble.ca makes direct mention in paragraph 3, here.
This is clearly intimidation of the highest degree….threatening the financial security to influence behaviour to further a political goal.
The harm here should be obvious.
With the Harper Government’s penchant for passing tough on crime laws without proper review, we end up with a bunch of laws that end up wasting thousands upon thousands of tax payer dollars in Supreme Court challenges….where the government usually loses…badly.
The true terror here is imagine being Joe Average, and arrested for one of these crimes and facing legal bills that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars….or doing your time and being labeled a criminal….until someone with the resources to fight it to the Supreme Court gets charged with the same thing…
Harper’s reign of terror extends beyond the government payroll.
For the past while, the Canadian Revenue Agency has been reviewing the status of registered charities looking for evidence of ‘political activity‘.
To date, I haven’t seen any evidence of charities that are supportive of Harper and his policies that have been audited, let alone had their charitable status revoked.
Some of these charities, Dying with Dignity, in particular are in a position where they often have to address political issues around their creed.
This doesn’t erode the importance of their work, nor the good they do in the community.
But, instead of addressing points made (or ignoring them completely), the Harper government has chosen to silence them with the threat of a CRA audit and review of their charitable status.
So, a charity that seeks to help people (whether you believe in their ethos or not…that’s what they do), gets shafted, while right wing, pro-conservative, anti-people, pro-business “think-tanks” like the Fraser Institute continue to enjoy their charitable status, all the while trying to turn us in America North.
Again, intimidating the population with the goal of furthering one’s political goals.
These are very clear instances where Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada have engaged in terrorist acts as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada.
This also means, that every advertisement, every one of those campy, embarrassing 24/7 videos the CPC publishes, and even every Action Plan Canada advert with the CPC logo prominently displayed is a violation of any law prohibiting, and criminalizing the promotion, or glorification of terrorism.
Do I think that Harper and his cronies are actual terrorists in the conventional sense?
Of course not.
While I disagree with their ideology and their politics, I do not think they are driven by hate. (I truly hope to never be proven wrong on that).
I think that they’re misguided and too beholden to the “party line” and “their base” to see sense and logic, and bring their ideas into the 21st century.
I also think that they don’t really think about what they’re doing.
Maybe if they still had some researchers that haven’t been intimidated into towing the party line over in the Justice Department, one of them would’ve pointed out that they themselves meet the Criminal Code definition of a terrorist.