Karen Sellick will be roundly criticized for this much-needed critique of our “Stupid Dead Kid Spoils Cool Toy For Everyone” society — but it needs to be said, and often:
I experienced two jaw-dropping examples of this on a vacation to Arizona last month. The resort suite I rented via the Internet promised a private patio with hot tub and a fully-equipped kitchen. Upon arrival, I found the door to my patio bolted shut. “Entry prohibited by federal law,” read the sign. Hotel management explained that the drains in all the resort’s hot tubs had recently been found not to comply with new safety regulations. Compliance costs would be astronomical. Dozens of hot-tubs would instead be cemented over permanently.
But where were the pots, pans, plates and kitchen utensils? These, too, had been removed “by federal law” said the embarrassed bellhop. They would be delivered to a suite only upon explicit customer request. What horrible safety hazard would have befallen me had the kitchenware been present before I requested it, I wondered? Only a bureaucrat could possibly know.
But far worse than these inane inconveniences would be the injury that Canadians would suffer to their traditional legal rights and freedoms if Bill C-6 is reincarnated and adopted in the next session of Parliament.
The bill would empower Canada to disclose citizens’ confidential information to foreign governments on the most nebulous of pretexts and without reliable safeguards for maintaining confidentiality. Armies of inspectors would be deployed throughout the country with instructions — and the legal authority — to poke their noses into every business place containing consumer products, to seize products and vehicles, and to order the business to stop manufacturing or selling its products. No proof of danger or harm would be required. Even homes could be searched, with a warrant — but a warrant could be issued for the flimsiest of reasons: namely, the home has a consumer product stored in it. Under that criterion, not a single home in the country would be secure from these legalized invasions.