Welcome to Canada . . . Big Brother is watching.
The Orwellian spectre of authorities slapping electronic monitoring bracelets on immigrants who have committed no crimes makes us wonder what country we are living in.
This is still Canada, right?
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews outlined the initiative this week as part of a pilot project to expand the use of electronic monitoring of offenders released into the community.
Canada would consult with the U.S. and Britain (the only countries already doing so) on use of tracking devices on immigrants and refugee claimants.
There may well be legitimate cases where electronic monitoring of suspected terrorists or other suspicious individuals might be prudent.
But if an immigrant has committed no crime, by what criteria do authorities decide who's dangerous and who's not? The whole thing is ripe for abuse, racial profiling and heavy-handed treatment of newcomers to our country, based on nothing more than hunches and the colour of their skin.
Monitoring of parolees and low-risk offenders makes complete sense; we already do that. But expanding the program to refugees and immigrants is downright sinister.
While we're at it, why not make them wear armbands so they are readily identifiable, based on their religious beliefs? Oh, wait. . . somebody already tried that back in the 1940s, and it didn't work out so well.
You may be surprised to learn the Canada Border Services Agency detains thousands of people every year. Among them are that notoriously dangerous group - pregnant women.
Let's not get carried away.
- Managing Editor