When I recently posted a video of police in the US raiding an organic food store with guns drawn, my first thought was “Oh look, the War on Raw Cheese has begun.” After all, those frightening organic grocers are a pretty deadly threat, don’t you think?
My second, less tongue-in-cheek thought was, “Yikes, if it happens there, someday it could happen here.” Yikes indeed. Turns out, it might not be someday, it might be next week.
Among other concerns, first Bill C-6 and now the new Bill C-36 give Health Canada unprecedented rights to literally enter private citizens’ homes and businesses with no legal safeguards for those citizens. What’s wrong with this picture? Even known drug lords are innocent until proven guilty.
I’ve always appreciated that we Canadians take a more reasoned, conservative approach to meddling with the affairs of our citizens. Or so I thought. Seems the reduction of civil liberties in the name of security may not be something we lament only for our neighbours to the south.
I want to have a choice about what goes into my body whether it’s water, food, or medicine. I’m bright enough to seek out options, I make choices, and I take the responsibility. My choice may not be your choice, but allowing it to be my choice is precisely the beauty that living in a democracy offers.
In my view, health regulations are meant to ensure I’m getting the truth about my options, not for someone to be forcing choices on me, without my having any recourse or external checks and balances.
I was recently asked by a reporter if I trust our health regulations. Well no, no I don’t. Not unreservedly. I mean, it was perfectly legal to put unhealthy goop on movie popcorn for decades until the public got wind of what it actually contained and raised a ruckus. Right? And it took the action of private citizens to bring the truth about cigarettes to light, didn’t it? (And still we have choice about cigarettes.)
I do know that we need to maintain our right to choice and our right to due process. Giving any government organization the right to operate above the law is a recipe for disaster. And it’s not democracy.