Editor, the Gauntlet,
I would like to express several concerns regarding comments Joanna Farley made throughout her article.
Farley believes the entire legislation should have a sunset clause, a thought shared by many. Although a sunset clause would be effective to repeal the legislation, Parliament could do it at any time without a sunset clause. This is parliamentary supremacy, giving governments the right to repeal any legislation from preceding governments at any time.
This would be more beneficial because if we find the bills unnecessary in two years they can be repealed, or if they are needed for 10 years they can still be removed after the required time. It is also naive to think that in five years we will not need anti-terrorism laws. That is like saying the laws in effect before September 11 were just fine.
If someone associates with known terrorists, it is reasonable to suspect the person and an investigation should be pursued. If the person is proven innocent then no harm has been done. However, if evidence is found to support the idea that the person knowingly helped terrorists then the law has done its job.
Although I agree that it is wrong to incarcerate someone without telling them what they are charged with, I think the bills are very good overall. The Supreme Court of Canada will be able to investigate the constitutionality of such areas when they are brought before the courts, as they undoubtedly will be.
I also do not believe that the police will be given absolute power, nor will Canada become a "repressive dictatorship." This is very improbable because in Canada we have elections every five years, so it would be irrational to think that a government could become a police state and get re-elected. To change the electoral act would be a constitutional change requiring unanimous consent of the provinces and I doubt that would ever occur.