Terrorists Will Have To Register And Carry Identity Cards
OTTAWA, 5 Oct. The Liberals are introducing Identity cards for terrorists. The new initiative is Immigration' Minister Elinor Caplan's answer to widespread criticism that she isn't doing enough to keep track of undesirables such as people who are hell bent on blowing up property like the World Trade Center in New York City. To reporters hastily assembled outside the office of her brother-in-law, a lawyer who has a widespread legal practice in easing the flow of new immigrants into Canada, Ms. Caplan held in her hand a sample of what the card will look like.
To manage registration of the large numbers of terrorists suspected of being in Canada, (27,000 at last count) and to issue the cards, she announced that a new Terrorist Registration Ministry will be set up under the overall guidance of her department, but day-to-day operation will be under the guidance of Lawrence MacAulay, the former PEI potato farmer and now Solicitor General. The person chosen to 'ride herd' on the thousands of CUPE members actually engaged in activities involved in the production and issuing of cards will be the same person running the highly successful Gun Registration Program. The name of that person is protected under The Privacy Act.
The new ministry will have a start-up budget of $1 billion and will employ about 10,000 new public servants when it becomes fully operational in mid 2010.The ID cards will show the terrorist's picture and perhaps a print of his trigger finger, but this hasn't been decided yet. Other info such as the sponsoring terrorist organization and his relationship to taxpayer-funded charitable organizations affiliated with terrorist groups will likely be displayed on the back of the card. This, however, may come up against privacy laws and George Radwanski, the Privacy Commissioner, is said to be bitterly opposed to displaying such sensitive matters on a card that "anyone could see".
Once the program gets into high gear, the cards will cost the terrorist $35 but the fee will be waived where the terrorist can show that it would cause undue hardship. Initially, the ID cards will be free but after Jan. 1, 2005, those terrorists who haven't yet registered will face a $50 fine and could be subject to review of their right to draw welfare.
George Radwanski, the Federal Privacy Commissioner, says he is not in favor of identity cards even for terrorists. He was especially indignant that their occupation will be listed on the card. "It's unfair to single out citizens in this way," he said. "If you were a child molester, say, or perhaps someone who gave the Prime Minister elocution lessons, would you want that information placed on a card that anyone could read?"