Open Letter

An Open Letter to Stephen Harper: “So, about this Bill C-51…”

Dear Sir,

The recent crown approval of Bill C-51, also known as the Super Protection Power Friends Act, has now given your government remarkable access to the personal information of Canadians all in the name of terrorism prevention. I assume, unless you have been holed up in a bunker under Parliament for the last several months, you are aware that the people of Canada are generally displeased by this new blank cheque that our national protective services have been offered for accessing the personal information of the general public. We as Canadians enjoy our privacy. We like thinking that our webcams are not being illicitly accessed as we play DOTA2, possibly naked. We like thinking that Canada is just a tiny bit better than our southern neighbor when it comes to our privacy.

This is no longer the case. Now, there are approximately 35 million people in Canada, which is a lot of webcams to hack, letters to carefully open via a boiling kettle so its contents may be read before it is resealed and sent on its merry way, and cellphone conversations about grandma’s bunions to listen to. You folks are going to be positively exhausted, especially given the many different ways we little people like to communicate now. That’s why I thought I would do you the favor and offer you a list of personal information about myself ahead of time, that way you can start compiling my file and begin building the inevitable case against me when I am arrested for… I don’t know, jaywalking or something. Never suggest I didn’t cooperate with authorities. The following list should offer you enough information to begin formulating a damning picture of my inevitable rise to power as a benevolent dictator who rules through the passing of controversial bills that ignore the concerns of the general public- oh… Oh… Sorry.

  1. I am tremendously sarcastic. During an average day you can be sure that my interactions both in real life and on-line are composed of approximately 74% sarcasm. That should probably indicate to you that when I make an ill-timed joke, it is worth taking a second look at its content before sending the militia out to drag me from my bed.
  2. My favorite colours are as follows (in order); Blue, robin’s egg blue, green (all types), yellow, red, lilac, all other purples, and finally orange. I put orange last because I find that it is the most likely to assault my senses. Well, the most likely to assault my senses right after the military and/or law enforcement personnel who are given more permissions to now hold me under vaguely understood crimes that I may or may not have committed. Orange is definitely right after that.
  3. Up to this point in time my biggest crime has been jay walking from the 402 bus to the Somerset-Bridlewood LRT here in Calgary. I find the pedestrian light to be an unfathomably long wait, and when I can clearly see traffic coming from two blocks away in either direction, I don’t feel as if I need to wait. I can understand how you might perceive this as terrorism, and I will do my best to not look Middle-Eastern as I cross the street.
  4. I am married to a half-Arabic-half-Jewish-Canadian man but don’t worry. I already waterboarded him on our second date, and the tracker I have in the bottom of his shoe indicates that he spends the majority of his day at his ‘job’ as a ‘banker’. I am, of course, suspicious of this and will keep you updated as the situation progresses.
  5. I am a nosey individual and as such I have been paying close attention to my neighbours. I have gathered the following information for your use: Neighbour to the east of us – Elderly Chinese woman. Very pleasant albeit hard of hearing. Cooks seafood dishes at least once a week. They smell delicious. Woman across the hall and to the west of us –Possibly Eastern European origin; has a dog; family was over visiting last week and she was making chicken soup for them. Both of these women seem unusually kind and pleasant to deal with, leading me to assume that they are hiding some sort of dastardly plan. I would recommend tapping their phones, if only to get those recipes.
  6. I spend much of my free time conversing with individuals from Critique Circle via their chat. From this I have determined that American politics incite individuals to rioting. I am particularly concerned about the Libertarian of the group, who appears to be a closet anarchist. I would like it to be stated, for the record, that I do not support his views re: people pulling themselves up by their metaphorical bootstraps.
  7. My favourite video games are Borderlands 2, Final Fantasy VII, and the Last of Us, which, as I type it out, I realize all discuss public dissent against government and corporate powers. This is not a sign of my own belief systems but instead indicates my strong love of solid narratives and blowing shit up. In games! In games! Oh shit, you’ve done it now, Kathleen. They’re going to be on to you… Better make the next one count, girl.
  8. As for those questionable search histories… I promise I can explain those. I was looking up information on ‘ebola’ because I was in a panic and my Little Book of Pandemics mixed with my recently rewatching Outbreak led to what I can only classify as an intense paranoia and quite frankly I believe information is the best form of prevention… I guess we have that in common!
  9. And I know I order a lot from that Indian restaurant here in Silverado but honest-to-God, they have some of the best Pakora. A girl’s got to have her vices, you know?
  10. One time I may have told the ex-Governor General, Adrian Clarkson to, and I quote, “gag me with a spoon.” Contrary to popular belief, it was not a form of dissent but my response to her rather smarmy comment about evacuees from a local fire taking their Britney Spears CD’s with them over personal artifacts. Again, not dissent, not a terrorist.
  11. I do know the odd Arabic phrase, but that is mostly from interacting with my husband and in-laws. For instance, I can tell an individual to move their ass. If that person happens to be a chicken, all the better.
  12. Follow up: I also know the word for ‘whore’ in French, but not Quebecois-French. I’m not sure where that lands me on your Possible Terrorist List. Hopefully closer to the bottom.
  13. While I do purchase a lot of drugs, none of them have ever been used as a means to bribe individuals taking part in cultural coups in developing countries.
  14. I use the phrase “da bomb” a lot. I cannot begin to emphasize the fact that I never have been in contact with explosives of any kind (unless high school chemistry class counts.) I enjoy the phrase simply because it is outdated and my use of it often annoys those I talk to. The same may be applied to the term ‘amaze-balls’ and ‘holy guacamole’.
  15. If I was forced to pick a favorite Sailor Scout, it would probably be Saturn. Not because she has her World Destroying Glaive, or anything. I mean, that’s pretty cool but it’s heavy stuff, you know? Being able to destroy the world. Not that I’d want to destroy the world. I just think that’s a lot of power for a kid to have and she seems to handle it well. Not that I crave power, if that’s what you’re thinking. I definitely don’t.
  16. Yes, I own a lock picking kit. According to the research I did prior to purchasing, it is not illegal to own one as long as you pinky-promise you aren’t going to do anything bad with it, which I totally do. Honest.
  17. I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party. In fact, I tend to avoid parties due to the awkward nature of social interactions. Plus, when people find out I have a lock picking kit they tend to get a little weirded out by me.
  18. My top three fears include abandonment, drowning, and being choked to death by a giant python while it slowly crushes my insides and devours my limbs.
  19. Despite the concerns of the general male population, I am not using my ample bosom as a means to distract the opposite gender from their Illuminati-style purpose of ruling the free world. In fact, it is a pushup bra. I’m aware this may be a form of false advertising, but really, the same argument could be made for The true north strong and free. I’m just sayin’.
  20. My overall search history on the internet is, I’ll grant you, rather questionable. I would be a little concerned if I were in your shoes and were told that someone like me was looking up guns, and bullet velocity, and blueprints to the Waldorf Astoria and how many people have escaped from prison in New York City. Pinky-promise that it has only ever been for research, and I’m sure when you sneak into our condo and use a keylog, you’ll discover that all of those things were really quite harmless.
  21. As for that other thing that shows up on my search history, you can thank my husband for that. He wanted to see if Rule 34 applied to the topic (it doesn’t), and didn’t consider what he was searching until I suggested that it was a terrible idea. I’m not a pervert, I’m not doing anything illegal. That was just my husband being a dope.
  22. Sometimes when I get mail for my neighbor that accidentally appears in my box, I don’t give it to them right away. One time there was a tax receipt for him sitting there for a solid three weeks before I finally plucked up the courage to go knock on his door. I think that might be construed as tampering with the mail, but really, I sealed it up again so well that there is no possible way he could have noti-uh… Umm…
  23. I definitely voted NDP in our last provincial election even though I live in Alberta and, worse than that, Calgary.
  24. I don’t like maple syrup that much.
  25. I don’t think Celine Dion is a national icon.
  26. The fact that Martin Sheen is playing Matthew Cuthbert in the new Anne of Green Gables film is actually okay by me even though we definitely don’t need a new Anne of Green Gables film, nor is Martin Sheen Canadian.
  27. Sometimes I forget to say my ‘Sorry’s’ before bed.

I think that about covers it. There will be missing items, of course, as I am frequently told I am a questionable individual by friends, family, and even complete strangers. This may be partially due to my chipper personality which I frequently use to mentally disarm my opponents when I require something from them. Thus far I have discovered that yes, in fact, you can get more bees with honey as opposed to vinegar, however I believe your tactic of simply using a giant net to scoop up said bees will also probably work. Sure, you’re going to get stung, and badly at that, but giant nets, and by that I mean the audacious invasion of our privacy, is probably pretty fun too.

Yours Sincerely,

Kathleen Sawisky, Esq.

Integrity Commissioner

PS: Not a terrorist!

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