Has your child ever seen a picket line? If you plan to shop at a Walmart in the U.S. you and your child may well see one this weekend. If your children ask what is happening, how will you explain it? The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust and TVO Parents can help you make the most of that "teachable moment" with a discussion about rights and freedoms.
These are worrying times for privacy in Canada. We've seen shocking revelations in recent months about the ways secretive Canadian government spy agencies like CSEC may be monitoring the everyday Internet usage of law-abiding Canadians -- and storing your private information in giant, unsecured databases.
Thousands of Canadians are speaking out to defend their privacy rights, after recent revelations that an ultra-secretive government agency is spying on our everyday online activities. This agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), was revealed to be systematically collecting the private information of law-abiding citizens, including Canadians, from around the world. This is real.
If we want our own children to learn to be courageous defenders of rights, we must first engage them in thinking critically about those rights. While adults may feel uncomfortable talking to children about the place of religion in society, we can still teach our children that people whose beliefs and practices differ from their own are deserving of respect and understanding.
In a society that values liberty, a whistleblower should be a hero. A whistleblower should not be forced to choose between their personal well-being and coming forward. Edward Snowden's insider announcement on the scope of the NSA's ability to gather, archive, and analyze information should come as no shock to the more cynical among us. It was easy enough to assume, but now we're staring down the truth of it. If we don't find a way to pressure the powers that be to give up some of their hidden power, contrary to all of their self-aggrandizing instincts, we're in for a very stark decline into a classically dystopian future.
One of the most frustrating things about watching a story like the one surrounding The Innocence of Muslims unfold is knowing that there are a whole lot of people set to profit on the chaos. These puppet masters of public opinion know that in both the west and the Islamic world, most people will have knee-jerk reactions that are fueled primarily by hate and mistrust of the other.
Section 436 of the Ontario Municipal Act allows municipalities to pass bylaws that give their officers permission to walk into your backyard, and onto your private property, without having to give the property owner notice, and without a warrant.In short. Don't we have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our backyards?
Did you know that while a police officer must have a warrant to enter your home, a by-law officer can come by any time without so much as a hello? No notice to the landowner is required, no warrant needed. Apart from a requirement that the officer present "proper identification" upon request, there are no hoops to jump through whatsoever. By-law might argue that it's because by-law offenses are minor -- typically resulting in nothing more than a fine -- that power of entry is warranted. But this reasoning is precisely backward.
Even though people suffer from a disease of the brain that impairs their rational thinking, most jurisdictions in North America have stringent legislation that makes it difficult to impose treatment. And, because society allows them to refuse treatment, some die. But, their civil liberties remain intact. Or do they?