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Herald Ed. Board

Editorial: Bill C-30

A great deal has been said about Bill C-30, the inflammatorily named Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act this past week, and as an internet-based publication, the Herald would remiss if it did not add its two cents to the conversation. With more and more criminal activity occurring digitally, the basic logic of the bill is sound; however, the current iteration of Bill C-30 is unclear, and has the potential to infringe on civil liberties in a drastic fashion. Passing Bill C-30 without amendment would be a mistakeWhile not an issue of legislative substance, part of the issue with Bill C-30 has been the name, and the rhetoric surrounding the bill. By positioning C-30 as a heroic stand against child pornographers (shameful human beings though they may be) meaningful debate, of which there is plenty, was immediately shut down and replaced with immature stunts like the Vikileaks30 Twitter account.In fact, even Conservative MPs like New Brunswick’s John Williamson have called C-30 “too intrusive.” The silver lining is that it appears the Conservatives will be considering significant amendments to the Bill C-30 because of the week’s backlash.What should the amended version of Bill C-30 look like? We have a few suggestions:Restrict access to any information covered by the bill to law enforcement officials. The sensitivity of the information certainly justifies the precaution and the current phrasing of the bill indicates that other government officials may have access to what ought to be private information.Anything as sensitive as browsing history should be inaccessible without a warrant. If an IP address is the internet’s equivalent of a car’s licence plate, warrantless access seems justified. However, as demonstrated by the Ottawa Citizen’s own investigation of the Vikileaks30 Twitter account, an IP address can be easily used to determine a great deal of private information. The… Read More

Herald Editorial Board: Merry Christmas

As predictable as the changing of the seasons, the “War on Christmas” has come around this year in full force. We have already seen some exciting volleys from schools and governments; so get ready for the counter-offensive.Canada celebrates itself as an enlightened multicultural society, which seems a natural corollary to the Liberal-Democratic creed of “majority rule with minority rights.” However, the “War on Christmas” demonstrates a multiculturalism gone too far, acting rather to suppress the majority culture and rights. While a country of immigrants, Canada was founded, and is still populated, by a Christian majority observing Judeo-Christian ethics, norms and traditions.Most indicative of this assault on Judeo-Christian traditions is the recent decision by the Town of Mount Royal to remove both the Nativity Scene and Menorah usually featured at this time of year. This was done under pressure from a minority of Muslim residents looking to erect their own symbols. By caving to this pressure, the town failed on two fronts. First, it implicitly denied the importance of civic celebrations of our shared heritage. The Town was clearly endorsing no single religion, but embracing the celebrations of its residents, with is 50% Catholic and 12% Jewish.The Town also missed the entire point of multiculturalism - as do institutions such as the Ottawa school that cancelled its Christmas Concert in favour of a “February Fest,” or Service Canada’s Quebec offices, which banned decorations this year (since reversed) - to celebrate multiple cultures. Rather than a blanket ban, the Town could have made a counter offer to allow Muslims the opportunity to display their faith on Eith Al-Fitr or Eid Al-Adha. If the point of multiculturalism is to embrace the diversity of Canada’s community of communities, shoving everything under the proverbial rug seems an odd way to go about it.Most Canadians, according… Read More

Republican Endorsement(s)

The Prince Arthur Herald editors wanted to endorse someone in the American Republican race, but very quickly realized that the list of things more likely than our agreeing on a candidate included hell freezing over and this paper endorsing Heather Mallick for Prime Minister. So as a good compromise solution, some of our writers/editors provided arguments for their favourite candidates, and we will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide amongst them. Keagan Tafler Although I have been following the Republican presidential race closely, I am currently not backing any candidate. I feel that each of the current candidates is lacking in a particular quality, and that no candidate fully represents the "complete package" that is idealized in a party's chosen nominee.The 2012 election cycle has been characterized by a multitude of unpredictable twists and turns. At some point, nearly every potential nominee has been labeled a frontrunner, and that label seems to pass from candidate to candidate with every news cycle. Newt Gingrich is December's flavor of the month, but his numbers have been steadily decreasing since hitting a peak on December 8. Since beginning his campaign, Mitt Romney maintained his support and poll numbers better than any other candidate in the field, but has yet to be fully embraced by the conservative Republican base. Ron Paul has been the steadfast Libertarian candidate for years, but has yet to be fully embraced by the mainstream culture, although his numbers are improving of late. Other Republican candidates have similar flaws to address in their campaigns, and not one has yet found the winning formula.A Gallup poll showed that Americans are divided, 48% to 46%, on whether or not they think that a candidate among the current options (including both Democratic and Republican candidates) would be a good president. Like many Americans,… Read More

Herald Editorial Board: Vive la free speech

The Indian-British novelist Salman Rushdie once said: “Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.” Himself a victim of death threats for expressing his views, we at the Herald are inclined to agree with Mr. Rushdie, in so much as we believe that freedom of speech, if not the central liberty from which many others in a liberal democracy are derived, is certainly the most important. With that in mind, and particularly given recent events, it is necessary to expound upon what exactly freedom of speech entails for Canada specifically, as well as humanity as a whole, and how best we can maintain it.The need to constantly reaffirm our commitment to free speech was made clear last week when a French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, had its offices firebombed just as it was preparing to release a new issue focusing on the events of the Arab Spring and recent developments in Libya and Tunisia. The issue, which was mockingly called Charia Hebdo (in reference to sharia law), claimed to have Mohammed as a guest editor, and featured a cartoon of him on the front page.The attack has not been claimed by any group nor has any individual been charged with a crime, yet widespread speculation in the media is that the firebombing was perpetrated by radical Muslims.Regardless of one’s opinion concerning Charlie Hebdo’s actions or the paper’s ideological purpose, we believe that the violent reaction that occurred was entirely uncalled for and despicable, as are any violent actions in response to the lawful exercise of free speech, no matter how distasteful. Sadly, this view is neither shared nor respected by an alarming number of governments and people around the world who actively seek to stamp out opposition to their officially held views wherever… Read More