Denied our Liberty by a bureaucratic agency,
then our tax money abused by a former Governor General
First, this week it was revealed that it is the intention of Statistics Canada to command banks
to provide the banking habits of Canadians without their consent. Imagine that!
thought that when we opened a bank account that this was possible? Did anyone tells us that this was possible? Imagine how many fewer accounts would have been opened and how less the banks would have earned if people had possessed this knowledge?
Of course, our grand princeling was there front and centre to support this attack on our liberty.
Global News reports that the Agency says . . . "in order to build a personal information data bank
to analyze things like consumer trends and spending habits." And the Prime Minister talks about ensuring anonymity. Oh, ya!
Government has been responsible for many breeches of our privacy already. As Global News notes:
"Data breaches involving government agencies are rare but not uncommon. Earlier this year, it was reported that Statistics Canada lost nearly 600 sensitive files during the 2016 census process after confidential documents
were left on a subway and hundreds were lost after an employee’s car was stolen.
last year, Ottawa agreed to pay at least $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit over a major privacy breach involving about 583,000 student loan recipients."
This of course, misses the point or deliberately deflects the principle which is: that this move is an attack on the personal liberty of Canadians. What does section 7 of the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms say?
has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."
What happened to privacy in a democracy?
Second, If this wasn’t enough, we find out that former Governor General Adrian Clarkson has been billing us each year since she was Governor General (2005) for her office expenses —most years over $100,000. And that all
former Governors General could do this.
This has come to light since Clarkson’s
expenses were so high it took a special line in the Public Accounts of the Government. Up to now the amounts of GG expenses fell under a less revealing subhead of the accounts. And we are given to understand from the National Post article on the matter that
this is – wait for it – forever — as long as the former GGs are still breathing.
Clarkson has been billing since 2005, now totalling $1.1 million. Her pension since 2005 totals $1.6 million. And she received a start up grant for her Foundation of $3 million plus up to $7 million in matching funds with the private sector over
Not bad for six years as Governor General!
So what are we to make of all this?
We have a dysfunctional system of unaccountability, lacking transparency, and agencies out of control, given unusual powers.
As the song says: "Is Nothing Sacred anymore?"
And daily we criticize our friends to the south. Hyper hypocrisy. May this help extinguish our fake moral superiority.
Fredrick Hayek, the Nobel Prize winner, in his classic work The Constitution of Liberty got it right when on page 261 he said:
"It is sheer illusion to think that when certain needs of the citizen have become the exclusive concern of a single bureaucratic machine,
democratic control of that machine can then effectively guard the liberty of the citizen. So far as the preservation of personal liberty is concerned, the division of labor between a legislature which merely says that this or that should be done and an administrative
apparatus which is given exclusive power to carry out these instructions is the most dangerous arrangement possible."
Brian Peckford is
the former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, retired in Nanaimo.