Canada “does not condone torture,” said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, defending his orders to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to begin using information that may have been derived from the use of torture.
“Information obtained by torture is always discounted. But the problem is, can one safely ignore it when Canadian lives and property are at stake?” Toews said in question period.
So, in other words, while he does condone the use of torture, he just doesn’t want it labelled as such.
Opposition MP Jack Harris accused the government of “showing utter contempt” for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with a “sudden passive endorsement” of torture.
“Instead of moving forward,” Harris said in the House, “this government is moving Canada backwards. The public safety minister has directed CSIS to use information that is extracted through torture. As long as there is a market for information derived from torture, torture will exist. Why is this government getting Canada into the torture business?”
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said he’s concerned such a ministerial directive was issued “without real discussion with Canadians about its implications.” “The law in Canada has been pretty clear that information based on torture, first of all, is not reliable and, second of all, is not permissible.”
Amnesty International was quick to condemn the move, stating that information obtained under torture “has no place in the justice system, full stop.”
Once again, the Conservative party has adopted another of American’s failed policies. Following our neighbors to the south, we’ve expanded the prison industrial complex, extended the horrendous war on drugs, and now we are complicit in torture. What’s next from Harper and his cronies?
Maybe we’ll start bombing foreign civilians with remote controlled planes while letting giant corporations decide who wins the next election. Either way, when the Conservatives are behind the wheel, the country keeps heading places most Canadians don’t want to go.