In the minds of many Americans, Canada represents a more liberal vision of a democratic society — a diverse society that hadn’t followed the United States down the path toward becoming a post-9/11 police state. But it may be following post-9/11 trends more closely than previously thought.
Indeed, American and Canadian leaders recently met to discuss deepening the integration between our countries’ respective militaries, and anti-terrorism legislation passed this year shows that Canada was taking notes from its neighbor to the south on how to use fear to justify a loss of freedoms.
C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism bill, became law in Canada in June, despite vocal opposition from civil liberties activists. It criminalizes speech which encourages terrorism, and also makes it a criminal offense to share terrorist propaganda. It also expands the government’s power to scrub information it deems to be propaganda from the Internet.