I am writing in response to Eleanor Millard’s letter, Oppose the Crime Bill, published in the Yukon News on Wednesday November 23.
Thank you for your letter, I agree with what you have said and would like to expand on it.
From a rational point of view, it is obvious that the Omnibus Crime Bill has nothing to do with making Canada a safer place. There is plenty of empirical evidence and knowledgeable opinion to refute such an idea. The safety of Canadians is simply the spin being used to sell the bill to a wider Canadian audience.
The Omnibus Crime Bill is about appeasing the social conservative constituency in Stephen Harper’s party. The Conservative party is built on two major groups Ã fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. To keep support for his party, Harper needs to keep the social conservatives happy, not an easy feat in a country that has “lost” battles on the fronts of gay marriage and abortion.
Getting tough on crime (read: imposing a predetermined moral code) is not about safer streets and neighbourhoods. It is not about fact or evidence. It is about imposing laws based on a black and white fundamentalist morality that fails to take reality into consideration.
As part of the Conservative Party platform, the Omnibus Crime Bill fits perfectly next to cutting funding for sciences and dragging their feet on climate change.
No amount of fact or evidence is likely to change opinions that are not based on fact or evidence.
As much as we Canadians like to deny it (it seems it doesn’t fit our self-image) social conservatism is growing steadily in Canada. It is a lot easier for us to look south over the 49th parallel, point our fingers and scold our neighbours. On the other side of the border, we call it the Christian Right.