Are we a free people or are we serfs?
It’s a question people have been arguing about for a long time. Fighting for the freedom not to be a serf.
Despite living under a constitutional monarchy, Canadians have long been able to call themselves a free people.
This move by Statistics Canada to seize the banking records of 500,000 Canadians a year without their knowledge or consent will fundamentally change that. It will make us serfs.
To Chief Statistician Anil Arora and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this move by StatsCan is the right one. They argue it will give StatsCan information they feel they need to provide the government with accurate information to develop government programs around.
That’s nice but it misses the point.
They will be seizing our information without our knowledge or consent.
The promise is also made that our personal data will be protected.
That also misses the point, our data will be seized from our banks without our knowledge or consent.
Those other issues are secondary.
The main issue is a lack of consent.
If the government can gather up all of your private information and put your name, address, social insurance number in a database along with every single transaction you make in a year and monitor you, and they don’t have to ask your permission, then you are no longer a free person.
Free people give consent, serfs live at the whim of the king and with his answers, Justin Trudeau is showing that he thinks he is the king.
We are told not to worry, that the information will be anonymized before it is made public.
That phrase right there, that it will be anonymized, proves that our personal information and detailed banking records will be attached in the government database. Otherwise there would be no need anonymize it.
Will this info be shared with the tax man?
Since I started talking about this story I have had plenty of people approach me and ask if the Canada Revenue Agency will somehow get their hands on this data.
The government answer right now will be no but what is to stop them from doing so in the future.
A future government could say we need to give CRA the data to stop tax cheats. They could change the law.
The justification that allows StatsCan to do this is that the law says so. The law allows it.
Well as Ontario’s former privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said, that is a bad law and needs changed.
A data scoop unfathomable just years ago.
Do you honestly think that when the legislators that devised Section 13 of the Statistics Act were writing it that they envisioned this kind of data grab?
Do you really think the purpose was that one day in the far off future they would be able to scoop up such detailed and personal records with such ease?
I’m not a fan of immediately jumping to references about George Orwell and 1984, it is overdone.
But this fits the bill.
Canadians are outraged by this.
The people I’ve spoken with in the banking industry say they are being flooded with complaints.
But Trudeau and the chief statistician, they are digging in.
They feel they have every right to dig through your banking records without telling you.
Trudeau thinks he is king and we are serfs that don’t have to be asked for permission.
In a democracy the government works for the people, not the other way around.
It is time for Canadians, as free people to stand up and tell the government in no uncertain terms that they must cease and desist.
They must stop this data grab.
If not, we will stop them in the next election by reminding Trudeau he’s not the king, just a guy we hired to do a job and a guy that we can and will fire.