R6: Privacy

I’m posting on the reasons I won’t vote for Stephen Harper and his party:

Much though Mr. Harper has a certain cold and calculating logic associated with the Hard Decisions (Bowles, 2015) he’s made over the years (and promised to make in the future), sometimes his capacity to maintain contradictory positions in his mind amazes me. As I said yesterday, Harper actively (and passionately) Killed the Census (Bowles, 2015) in Canada; the first industrialized country to sacrifice the data-gathering potential that is necessary for accurate planning, construction and development: especially in a country the size, scope and diversity of Canada. And why did he limit the census? Ostensibly it was because of privacy concerns. According to Erik Waddel, spokesman for the Industry Minister, “Our feeling was that the change was to make a reasonable limit on what most Canadians felt was an intrusion into their personal privacy in terms of answering the longer form” (The Star, 2010).

Most Canadians? Most? As far as I know, there have been no sighs of relief over the scrapping of the long-form. While there has been an enormous backlash asking for the census’ return. Many groups use census data: from academics to urban planners to marketers to the armed forces. Sure I don’t like telemarketing firms knowing the details about my census areas: but I recognize that comes as part of the price of having reliable data to plan everything else around me. But Mr. Harper isn’t a planner. Mr. Harper is a doer.

After sacrificing the census on the alter of perceived privacy and security, Harper then gave more power to policing agencies in the name of national security (The Star, 2015). Harper then introduced Bill C-51, which deals with “everything from what you’re allowed to say and write to who can board a plane, what happens to your tax information and how long you can be detained without charge” (Global News, 2014), all in the name of protection from nebulous terrorists. Thus we can see the fearful world that Mr. Harper lives in: where we don’t trust each other enough to determine where to build roads or schools or speciality stores, but we trust law enforcement to judge whether we’re worthy of not being classed a “terrorist”. All fine if you’re the Canadian “norm”: or at least like Mr. Harper. Not so much if you’re not.

It’s not a world I want to live in.

More on this from the Winnipeg Free Press (Editorial, 2015).

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One Response to R6: Privacy

  1. Pingback: Anyone But Harper | The Geographer's Corner

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