Secret Law – Neat!

Ontario passes secret Law.

The headlines are pretty sensational and most of the reaction is overreaction, but this is still pretty nifty.  Read and come back.

  • OK – is the law necessary?  Should civil liberties be reduced to allow for additional security during the G8/G20?  I think the law itself is OK.  It is specific to certain areas and has a specific duration.  The news reports do not say what is done with the information provided.  That would be my main concern.  But my opinion is certainly debatable.
  • Should the public have been informed of the law existence?  Yes!  First, security by obscurity is always silly.  Second it was sure to come to light if used.
  • Should it have had public debate in the Ontario legislature?  Once again I think yes.  Note – I am pro debate. 🙂
  • Should the government have the ability to pass such a measure without debate?  I think this is a very interesting question.  I am not sure.  But I lean towards no.

Any opinions?

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2 thoughts on “Secret Law – Neat!

  1. Dano says:

    Gotta say, I am in mostly agreement with your assessment. I have no problem with the law itself. it is very much in keeping with the purpose of a fence. A law that says don’t cross the fence, or don’t come within 5m of the fence are pretty much exactly the same. This is softer than the second. You can approach the fence but you may be questioned as to why. Not a big deal.

    As for the ‘what are they doing with the information’ issue; well, this is the old ‘the gov’t is going to track me’ argument. It is total BS. It amounts to a conspiracy theory and has all the validity thereof. The reason to ask for ID is pretty obvious and makes sense. If they see John Smith against the fence and tell him to shove off once, fine. If John Smith shows up against the fence three times despite being told to shove off, then John is up to something.

    The public should have been informed. If by nothing else then signs. “If you approach the fence you may be asked to produce ID.” That probably would have done it.

    It is the next two issues that get me. How on earth is this even possible? How can a bill pass (or a regulation updated) without it coming up in the leg? I don’t know that it needed public debate but that is up to the opposition. They might have just said – yeah, okay, and passed it on, but that is their decision. It needs to appear in the leg to give them the chance. I like debate and I like democracy so I’m not leaning on this one at all. I’m pretty solidly on the side of no measures without debate.

    • On the wall/conspiracy angle. I agree that this is likely a small issue, but it isn’t quite like a wall because you continue to have a relationship with it when you walk away from it. And I’m not so concerned with the Government using that information against me in some 1984 way, but because of unintended consequences. It is the opposite of a conspiracy that I fear – the fact that one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

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