Monday, June 12, 2006

Remember this date...

In the history of great republics — and for my purposes, I'll number among them constitutional monarchies like our own — there inevitably come crucial turning points in their evolution or static development; those "what if" moments in which socities make the pivotal decisions that define who they are, for good or ill, thereafter. Though hardly anyone will notice, I believe today we are at such a crossroads in Canadian history...

"A momentous, impending clash in the Supreme Court of Canada between national security and the rights of terrorism detainees has taken on even more significance since the arrest of 17 terrorism suspects.

A three-day appeal -- the first major constitutional test of laws aimed at rooting out terrorists -- starts tomorrow and is expected to yield a blueprint for how the court sees fundamental human rights stacking up against the fear of terrorist attacks..."
(The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2006)

We, as a nation, are about to quietly face such a moment. Over the next three days, what is said and done in the Supreme Court will determine what sort of country we are going to be in the first half of the 21st Century — in other words, for the rest of our lives. Will Canada stay the course, holding dear to values, beliefs, and democratic strengths that have seen us through crisis after crisis, war after war, safely for generations? Or will we embark on a new course, abandoning ship needlessly for a dangerous lifeboat? Because rest assured, if history teaches us anything, it's if they can do it to strangers today, they'll find a way to do it to citizens tomorrow.

I wonder if Canada is strong enough, brave enough, to take it on the chin, or just a timid little coward who shoots first and asks questions later... if ever. We'll see.

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