Mr. Speaker, on February 17, I asked the government the following question.
Madam Speaker, my question is for the government's chief spymaster who is so intent on snooping into Canadians' private emails and the laptops of the nation. However, Conservatives are not stopping at emails. The minister's bill would allow government agents to enter on an Internet service provider when they wanted, without a warrant and demand to see absolutely everything and even to copy it all.
My question was:
Why does the government see every Canadian as an enemy of the state and why has the minister given Conservative agents absolute power to pry?
As one might imagine, I received a non-answer from the government, in fact from a senior minister. Instead of getting an answer, I received a rant and an attack against the NDP.
The question really was in relation to the provisions of Bill C-30, which was introduced with much fanfare in February of this year and now seems to have disappeared from the order paper.
The concerns expressed by Canadians across the country were consistent. This legislation was designed to enable the government to gain a level of surveillance that has not been seen in this country ever.
However, the government's clear view is that anyone who criticizes its actions, questions them in any way, is described as an enemy, as a radical, as being un-Canadian. Members may remember the Minister of Public Safety's ludicrous remark that one is either with the government or with the child pornographers. These are the kinds of intemperate, belligerent and disgraceful characterizations the government uses against Canadians who raise even legitimate and appropriate questions against the government.
Although this legislation is off the order paper, the Minister of Public Safety seems to have made it clear recently that it will be coming up again in the fall.
This legislation and the elements of intrusion, which have nothing to do with the real issues, should have been the end result of serious consultations, a process the Conservative government seems to know nothing about. The Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development the other day in her comments on employment insurance said she consulted. Premiers have come out and said they have not been consulted. As far as we know the unemployed have not been consulted.
Do ministers think consultation means sitting down with a business partner or a friend and having a glass of wine? That is not consultation. If the government is going to do consultations, they have to be wide open, transparent and public. That is not what the government has done.
The government is not just using surveillance and basically spying on people as an attack on democracy. The government monitors and cuts funding to organizations that disagree with it. We just need to look at the KAIROS funding. That organization has done tremendous work internationally. There have been cuts to peace and development. The public service has expressed fear, with public servants scared to even use their own personal email and Facebook as a result of the government's tactics.
Instead of acting like a legitimate democracy, the Conservative government is instilling fear in people with the kind of attitude it is portraying toward Canadian citizens.