Everyone suddenly burst out singing.[National Post] One of those opening lines, once heard or read, never forgotten. But strange is the occasion on which it was memory-triggered in at least one magpie mind. The prime minister was in full rhetorical aviation mode defending StatCan’s upcoming raid on half a million Canadians’ banking information — a deep, mass meant-to-be-secret dive into their personal privacy and day-to-day transactions — when he came up with a line that can make a serious claim to be the funniest thing ever said in the House of Commons by someone who wasn’t Herb Gray:
VIDEO: [Rebel Media] Ezra Levant details Statistics Canada’s secret access to complete personal banking access for 500,000 Canadian citizens [Nov. 1, 2018]
“When we restored the long-form census as the very first thing we did, Canadians from coast to coast to coast cheered!”
Ah, yes, the famous ecstatic three-coast orgiastic cheer, only once before so explosively heard in modern Canadian times — following the deft triumphant moment of Paul Henderson’s goal during the historic 1972 Russia-Canada hockey showdown.
It would be too great a burden on our striking national postal service to ask readers to send in photos recording the day “everyone burst out singing” on the news of the long-form revival, so I won’t. But we all know that the Henderson goal and the revival of the long-form census are forever paired in the emotional consciousness of the entire nation.
The truest measure of how outrageous or profoundly offensive a government initiative is, is how far its leader will travel into the badlands of absurdity and scalding irrationality in its defence. Mr. Trudeau would have been safer to fall back for explanation on the mass invasion of privacy with the Swiss Army knife of all causation (a prong for every need): that StatCan needed the information to fight global warming.
The difference between the dread long form and StatCan’s latest beaming of Sauron’s all-seeing eye, is that with the former — under the threat of jail — a person makes it out himself. Which, we will agree, implies a consciousness of the action undertaken. However, as the vigilant Global News first reported, (a) the electronic trawling of credit bureau information, and (b) the upcoming search and seizure of half a million Canadians’ banking, credit- and debit-card transactions, phone records and electricity bills, was organized without warning, announcement, acknowledgment, declaration or notice of any kind whatsoever.
This article continues at [National Post] Rex Murphy: Maybe StatCan needs our banking data to fight global warming