It was the best time of all for the Conservatives
Charlie Angus goes after the Conservatives (Photo CP)
The NDP and Liberals are accusing the Conservative government of using the Boston Marathon bombing and the VIA Rail train conspiracy arrests to advance their conservative ideology and make political gains.
Monday morning the Conservatives resurrected the Bill S-7 anti-terrorist legislation they had put up on the shelf last fall.
It is basically a revamped version the old hard-line C-36 anti-terrorism law the Liberals passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001.
Was the timing of S-7 Monday debate a political timing move by the Conservatives?
The original C-36 law lasted only seven years. The parliamentarians dumped it after finally deciding it violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - clauses in it like forcing people to testify against themselves and "preventive detention," putting people in jail for years who had never been convicted of any crime.
These clauses show up again in Stephen Harper's S-7.
S-7 was not supposed to be debated this week. But Harper couldn't wait. Was it political timing or was there a valid reason?
Is there a connection with Richard Fadden, the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service getting dumped out of his jumped at a time when he's needed more than ever?
Why was no CSIS official present at the RCMP news conference announcing two VIA Rail bombing conspiracy suspects had been arrested? Yet had they not been under CSIS for more than a year?
And why on the same day was CSIS director Richard Fadden booted out of his job? Didn't he have something useful to say about the stupendous case his CSIS agents had been working on?
One more puzzler: The last minute change to the parliamentary agenda Monday morning came as the Liberals and the NDP were preparing to rescue a dozen Conservative MPs who had been forbidden by Harper from talking publicly in the Commons about abortion.
"The anti-terrorist legislation coming at this time smacks of political opportunism," said NDP MP Charlie Angus.
The 'timing' is to say the least, suspect.
No debate on S-7 until we have a chance to ensure that basic civil liberties are not undermined by the government to simply embarrass the Liberal Party, said NDP MP Angus.
Candice Bergen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security, said now is the time to debate the S-7 legislation because public emotions are so high.
Yes, that's precisely why the Harper government wants to bring it in, say the Opposition members.