Skip to content

Terrified by Harper & Co.

Editor: Thanks to Brent Richter for his excellent "tough-on-crime" column (Coast Reporter, July 10).


Thanks to Brent Richter for his excellent "tough-on-crime" column (Coast Reporter, July 10). The timing is pertinent, since it appeared less than two weeks after the arrest of 1,000 "criminals" who protested against the expensive, well-guarded and elitist G20 talks in Toronto.

Most law and order folks would have supported these arrests, just as they are likely to condone Stephen Harper's plans to tighten prison sentences, even though, as Brent highlights, crime rates are declining. They will also support the expenditure on new prisons of $5 billion over five years in order to house the increasing number of felons he will be creating.

So where would you stand if you agreed with their aims, while fully aware of all of the powers they are up against? Sit at home and say "Too bad, too bad, but what can I do?" Or would you place your body and mind on the line and connect with others who endorse your urgent wish to birth a just, environmentally sound and peaceful world?

This is what the 30,000 individuals of all ages who walked on June 26 in the major Toronto demonstration wanted. And they made that clear as their "unity is strength" message stood firm against the overpowering police presence and the machinations and futility of the G20 gathering.

So what about Harper and his tough-on-crime crusade? Will he turn it into a tough-on-dissent campaign as well? Or has he already done so? Did we see clear evidence of this when he appeared to show no concern while well-armed and sometimes-brutal police were rounding up his citizens? Did the arrest of 1,000 individuals (the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, some of whom were merely bystanders) provide glaring evidence of his tough-on-crime stance? I leave that to you to decide, but, frankly, the Harper government terrifies me.

Ruth Houle