Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stephen Harper and the Prison State

I always knew that Stephen Harper would eventually turn this country into a prison state, as sinister as the man himself.

I always knew that his American-style plan to jail even more Canadians flew in the face of reason.

“We’re not governing on the basis of the latest statistics,” federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said this week. “We’re governing on the basis of what’s right to better protect victims and law-abiding Canadians.”

Think about that statement. Statistics are facts compiled by people who are expert in compiling them, such as those who work for Statistics Canada. And the facts are clear: Crime rates are going down.

Yet, in the face of this factual/statistical evidence, the Harper government acts as if crime is going up.

But if all that is deeply disturbing and incredibly scary, this is simply madness.

“This is, to my knowledge, the largest expansion since the 1930s,” said Matthew Yeager, a penology expert and criminology professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. “This huge building campaign represents the Americanization of Canadian corrections.”

“Any time you spend billions of dollars to build American-style fortresses, you are making a statement about where you think we should be spending our correctional dollars,” Prof. Yeager said. “We’re putting all our marbles in the American model.”

An American model that has failed so catastrophically, state governments all over the U.S. are desperately trying to undo the damage caused by draconian sentencing policies.

They don't work, they turn prisons into schools for criminals, they brutalize societies, and they bankrupt governments.

So why is Stephen Harper doing it? Part of the reason is, as Simpson says, the need to satisfy his rabid bloodthirsty base. Another reason I believe is because he just can't help being vindictive. It's in his genes.

But I also can't help noting that the last time we built so many prisons was during the Dirty Thirties, when misery gripped the land, poor people suffered without a safety net, and revolution was in the air.

Stephen Harper knows that his reactionary teabagger policies will produce the same result, so if he can't find the invisible criminals, he will fill his jails with trade unionists or demonstrators. And if provinces are forced to choose between funding prisons or medicare so much the better.

Because this isn't a plan to fight crime, it's a plan to dismantle Canada and turn it into Amerika.

This is truly frightening.

Even scarier is Mr. Nicholson’s assurance that “this is not the end; this is just the beginning of our efforts.” He promises that “we’ll introduce other legislation as well.”

And the message couldn't be clearer. Unless we put our petty partisanship aside, unless we unite, organize, and take our struggle to the streets by the THOUSANDS.

We will wake up one day, in a jail cell, in a country we don't recognize...



BC Mary said...


And in an eery echo of the Prison State, there's a story out of Kitimat, B.C., where most job openings are being filled by U.S. citizens.

Details at my place:

BC Mary said...

Here's the info mentioned above:

U.S. Workers take rare Canadian Jobs


Today the Globe and Mail is quoting John Les (now Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of BC Clark) [what?!!] with this statement on employment:

"Everybody is looking for work around home, but (they) may not be aware that there are jobs available in Kitimat or in Terrace or Fort St. John. That's not for everybody, but if you're a young person looking for a job, maybe horizons need to be expanded a bit,"

Really? There are jobs in Kitimat but from all reports to get one and get fair benefits of the employment at the dismantling of the Smelters at the Rio Tinto Alcan site you need to be an American. Canadians are being mistreated and for every one Canadian hired at least three are from as far away as Florida.

For three months the Terrace Daily has been receiving calls from Canadian residents; those living in Terrace, Kitimat and the lower mainland complaining about the treatment and the excessive American hiring practices while locals seem to be sidestepped or mistreated to such an extent they quit ...

Anonymous said...

"But I also can't help noting that the last time we built so many prisons was during the Dirty Thirties, when misery gripped the land, poor people suffered without a safety net, and revolution was in the air".

The more things change the more they remain the same

Anonymous said...

It is nightmarish when unreality takes over. My dated post (2009) but it is the same crap, only now with a majority government. :(

Sher said...

Great Job! We must resist,Please see also
cheers mate


Anonymous said...

What Harper and his gang are up to is far worse than most Canadians could ever imagine...