Proposed changes to the Criminal Code of Canada are flying low on the public's radar, being presented as a mere curio by the media rather than extrapolate on the infringement these changes will have on our right to privacy and person.
Trade Minister Stockwell Day announced in Ottawa the Conservatives want to give police the power to take fingerprints and mug shots of persons under suspicion of a crime before an arrest is made, or even before charges are laid.
The changes, Day claims, are part of the Conservatives tough-on-crime policy and would streamline the justice system, which is just a load of bull. The 10 minutes it takes to snap a mug shot and get some paw prints can easily come after charges are laid rather than before and while a person of suspicion is still under investigation - unless, that is, Ottawa is looking to give police the power to ignore probable cause.
Day states the changes will only deal with serious, indictable offences and anyone who is investigated but not charged can later request have the material destroyed.
There is no subsequent law, however, requiring police to destroy the material following such a request with the way the bill is currenty drafted so one must consider that in all likelihood once there face and fingers are on file the material is there to stay.
It's an Orwellian proposition, which removing our right to volunteer our information towards a federal database. Further, it throws out probable cause and opens the door for profiling and extending the parameters of the proposed change later on down the road.
To drop a blanket statement that the proposed law will become abused is not entirely an unfair when we consider this a matter of checks without balances.
Had the federal justice department really wanted to make significant changes it would have followed up by now on a provincial report from this province regarding the Youth Criminal Justice Act and need for change.