Le Viol du Courier/Violation of the Mail

Publisher:  La Ligue des Droits de L'Homme/League on Human Rights, Montreal, Canada
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX829

The League on Human Rights presents arguments against the legality and acceptability of Bill C-26. This bill, introduced to Parliament in February 1978, aims to authorize the opening of first-class mail.

Abstract:  The League on Human Rights presents arguments against the legality and acceptability of Bill C-26. This bill, introduced to Parliament in February 1978, "aims to authorize the opening of first-class mail in two instances: a) when there is suspicion of drug or narcotics trafficking, b) when it is a matter of national security." Three main reasons are cited in support of the Bill: 1. to facilitate the Police's task; 2. commitment vis-à-vis International Police Community; c) capitulation of power before the Police.
The Bill is unacceptable to the league, for it aims to deal with relatively minor issues. Drugs/narcotics trafficking does not take place primarily through the mail system. No proof exists that the mail is a major source of trafficking. This concern of the Bill is seen as a cover-up for an invasion of privacy. The bill also aims at protecting national security (i.e., to prevent terrorism). The league senses that this concern is unfounded, for it has proved to be of little value in past cases of suspected terrorism such as the case of Toshio Omura. They feel that the bill's real aim is to give the police more power, and this, in turn, is taking away from Canadians the fundamental right of privacy.

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