A provision in our Criminal Code allows Police the ability to wiretap a person(s) without their knowledge, or without having to inform them of the tap, once the investigation is completed. However, the provision is for ’emergency use’ where lives are believed to be in ‘immediate danger’.
CBC News has learned that McMynn’s case is just one of at least 267 cases between 2000 and 2008 where major police forces across the country used warrant-less wiretaps. ( CBC News )
Personally, I happen to agree with the need of an emergency provision, so that Police can act in order to save a life, or lives. However, there still needs to be some form of accountability, to insure that the provision is being properly used, and not for other purposes.
Certainly we want to act, when speed is essential in protecting lives. However, what about property or inconvenience? Should that also be included as just cause to by pass the legal system?
I don’t think so.
And yet, that is what is at the heart of this matter. How can we, the people, or those in charge of the Police, even know if such instances are proper or not, if there is no record keeping, no passing along of information? While it is nice to think that every law enforcement officer is honest, true, and dedicated, free of personal bias, the simple truth is, they are human, just like everyone else. They have prejudices, they have bias leanings, and yes, they too act out of anger, out of irrational fear at times, so they do need to be held accountable.
It is that accountability that makes our society different from a Dictatorship, or Tyranical Ruler. We are at War, with those forces that would like to see our society crumble, but you know, the greatest threat is coming from within, not from them. It is our fear that is driving us to ignore the very principles that set us apart, and when you blur the lines that much, you give the enemy exactly what they seek.
The end of our society.
Laws exist for the protection of everyone in our society, not just a select few who are born of the right religion, have the right skin color, and have the right view or opinion. Laws are for those who disagree, who are willing to accept that others may have a point, or that they are at least allowed to voice them, openly & free from retribution.
Those are the principles that founded this country, that are its backbone for being.
Emergency Powers are needed, but we still need to have procedures, to maybe detail better how and when such powers can be used, and also, to insure that each time they are used, there is proper documentation, & records. Not so we can just punish abusers of the system, but in an effort to refine and make the rules perform better.
Without the data, you can’t say how many lives were saved, or not. You can’t determine what methods worked or didn’t, in saving lives, if you don’t know how Police got to that point. This is about Democracy, about being held accountable, yet it seems, we try to duck that, by using sensationalism stories to illustrate a point, either for or against.
Instead of promising accountability, as Stephen Harper does, let us, for a change, actually BE ACCOUNTABLE.