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Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 – Should the Core of Canadian Democracy Be Disturbed?

Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 - Should the Core of Canadian Democracy Be Disturbed?

To express views freely is definitely the core of modern democracy and no step should be taken which robs citizens of their right to peaceful protest. A democratic government is by the people and for the people, so people and their rights must come first.

I’ve been following stories about this prospective legislation since it became a hot topic of conversation back in the fall 2014. As you are probably aware, during the autumn of 2014, Canada lost two of its precious soldiers in an appalling act of violence by a lone gunman. The RCMP have characterized this attack as an act of terrorism. I was saddened by this terrible brutality on our beautiful Canadian soil.

For this reason, I “partially” support this type of anti-terrorist legislation as known as Bill C-51, as I’m aware that growing threats to Canada make the task of ensuring national security much harder for government authorities. Recent attacks in France and Australia underscore the fact that other nations, such as ours, need to beef up national security.

However, on the other hand, I am equally worried about the prospective bill’s impact on the personal freedom and liberty of Canadians. There were times when countries of the world were run by so-called tyrant rulers (or powerful religious figures), and these sorts of leaders often ruled their people without the people’s consent. Of course, ordinary citizens could only put up with these tyrants for so long, and this is why revolutions began. People fought bravely for freedom and many hundreds of thousands made the ultimate sacrifice, by dying for freedom.

Due to those sacrifices, we must remember and honour the very long path that others travelled in order to give us access to a democratic governmental system, which makes it impossible for leaders to rule with iron fists. Our past generations paid heavy prices in order to obtain personal freedom, which we continue to enjoy today.

As you can see, I am concerned that the personal freedom of innocent Canadians will be placed at risk if Bill C-51 passes into law.

I am disturbed by the present Government’s statement about the Bill C-51 – “The world is a dangerous place and Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks on our own soil demonstrate that our law enforcement and national security agencies require more tools to keep pace with evolving threats, and to better protect Canadians here at home.”

In my view, the world is not a dangerous place. Rather, the world is a beautiful, interesting, and colourful place which is filled with inspiring people. Only some people are dangerous, not everybody! The vast majority of people in all of the world’s many nations are peaceful and trustworthy human beings. Even dangerous people may have become that way because they are products of their environments. This means that they may have experienced trauma, brain-washing, lack of nurturing, social isolation and mental illness during their lifetimes (and particularly during the all-important formative years).

In my opinion, Canada should invest in mental health research, awareness and treatment, in order to give those who are disturbed and dangerous the care and compassion that they need. I feel that more investment in mental health services on the part of our government would lower crime rates and reduce the risk of terrorist acts. Bill C-51 seems like a bill which may be counter-productive, in that it creates a sense of being subject to suspicions and scrutiny by security organizations. In some cases, this sense of being persecuted or watched by government agencies may lead to more paranoia and more violence!

There are also concerns that this type of legislation may be misused in order to target peaceful protesters. To express views freely is definitely the core of modern democracy and no step should be taken which robs citizens of their right to peaceful protest. A democratic government is by the people and for the people, so people and their rights must come first.

What are your thoughts of Bill C-51? Please leave a comment if you’d like to share your views. Thanks for dropping by today!

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Learn to Laugh

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better. Whether you’ve been embarrassed, hurt, or disappointed, the giggles will help you soothe your wounds much more effectively than the bowl of ice cream.

Everyone’s known that horrifying feeling when they’ve taken a spill in a crowded hallway or spilled coffee on their white blouse. The dreaded sniggers rise from the people around you and you start to blush. However, don’t freak out. Instead, laugh along. Make a nonchalant remark like ‘Oh, clumsy me.’, and get on with what you were doing before. Making a scene will help your incident stick around in people’s minds much longer than if you act mature and laugh at your mistake.

So you’ve broken up with your significant other, or you had a fight with your parents. Before you take out that box of chocolates however, call up your funniest friend to cheer you up and to talk. Of course, if the hurt was significant, you may take some time to grieve, but only to an extent. You know the saying ‘You’ll be laughing about this in a year’? Why wait that long? If you start laughing about the situation right now, you’ll recover much faster.

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better.

Disappointment happens to the best of us, and there’s no point in wallowing in it. Instead, take your mind off things by getting together a group of friends and go out to do something fun. Laugh lots (even at the corniest jokes), and just enjoy the moment. You’ll bounce back quicker, and feel more empowered to get out there again. The more you laugh, the more friendly you seem, and the more opportunities will come your way.

Laughing is not the easiest thing to do all the time. Sometimes, our instinct is to cry or scream, which is healthy, but only to a certain point. The more you wallow, the more you drive people away. Have you ever heard the saying ‘You get what you give’? Well, if you continuously act sullen or depressed, you leave no room for positive energy to come in. If you open your heart and laugh, however, positivity will flow to you, making your life happier and more successful.

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Moving on from Failure

Accepting defeat is an action most of us rebel against with fervor, because we think acceptance will deepen the loss and make it more painful. This line of thinking leads us to live in denial of what we lost, and over time can create feelings of depression and ill-will. In order to heal and recover from our past ordeals, we must learn how to deal with failure in both short term and long term.

Loss, at first, may seem impossible. Your mind goes completely into shock and all you can do is stand there as waves of despair crash over you. At this time, especially if you are in public, it is best to put on a brave face to avoid further embarrassment. Take a deep breath, and crack a joke about it. For example, if you just got fired, don’t run sobbing from your boss’s office. Look him or her calmly in the eye and say ‘I understand’. This shows maturity and poise.

After the initial rude awakening, there is most often a period of pretense that everything is alright. There is no need to do this. You should not feel guilty if all you want to do is cry and eat ice cream for days on end. Feel free to use whatever method you would like to help you cope, even if they aren’t the healthiest; just be sure you don’t seriously harm yourself or others. Expressing emotions now will make acceptance come faster and smoother later on.

Now that you’ve cried and screamed your heart out, it’s time to move on from the ordeal. At the time, it might seem impossible to do, since what you lost probably meant a lot to you. However, you should know that a better opportunity will come along very quickly and it’s best to prepare yourself for it now rather than wait until the last moment. In order to accept defeat, you must be gentle with yourself. Give yourself positive encouragements. Sure, you’ve fallen off of the metaphorical horse, but that just means you have to get back up on to it. After all, you’ll never reach your destination if you have no steed.

Throughout your journey, it’s important to realize everyone has setbacks and one failure does not define who you are. Define yourself by your successes and your relationships, and you would live a much happier life. In the end, what matters is not whether you succeed in all your endeavors; it’s whether you have learned anything from them. If you feel you have gained knowledge and experience from your journey, then you have succeeded no matter what the outcome.

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Learn to Laugh

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better. Whether you’ve been embarrassed, hurt, or disappointed, the giggles will help you soothe your wounds much more effectively than the bowl of ice cream.

Everyone’s known that horrifying feeling when they’ve taken a spill in a crowded hallway or spilled coffee on their white blouse. The dreaded sniggers rise from the people around you and you start to blush. However, don’t freak out. Instead, laugh along. Make a nonchalant remark like ‘Oh, clumsy me.’, and get on with what you were doing before. Making a scene will help your incident stick around in people’s minds much longer than if you act mature and laugh at your mistake.

So you’ve broken up with your significant other, or you had a fight with your parents. Before you take out that box of chocolates however, call up your funniest friend to cheer you up and to talk. Of course, if the hurt was significant, you may take some time to grieve, but only to an extent. You know the saying ‘You’ll be laughing about this in a year’? Why wait that long? If you start laughing about the situation right now, you’ll recover much faster.

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better.

Disappointment happens to the best of us, and there’s no point in wallowing in it. Instead, take your mind off things by getting together a group of friends and go out to do something fun. Laugh lots (even at the corniest jokes), and just enjoy the moment. You’ll bounce back quicker, and feel more empowered to get out there again. The more you laugh, the more friendly you seem, and the more opportunities will come your way.

Laughing is not the easiest thing to do all the time. Sometimes, our instinct is to cry or scream, which is healthy, but only to a certain point. The more you wallow, the more you drive people away. Have you ever heard the saying ‘You get what you give’? Well, if you continuously act sullen or depressed, you leave no room for positive energy to come in. If you open your heart and laugh, however, positivity will flow to you, making your life happier and more successful.

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Make a Difference in the World

We take so many things for granted; we don’t even realize they’re there until they’re gone. The health of a family member, the roof over our heads, a full stomach every night… the list goes on and on. What we often do not remember is that in many places around the world, or even in our own city, many people live without the amenities we have. Homelessness, hunger, and sickness are all too common. So how can you help? By volunteering your time, you can make a difference in your community, or even the world.

You must learn to walk before you run, so start small. Look up volunteer opportunities online and sign up for one or two that seem interesting. There are many types of opportunities, from single day events to long-term commitments, so make sure to pick the right one for you. Treat volunteering as a job; although you are not paid, you still have to be punctual and act professional.

Another option, once you have gained some experience, is to volunteer abroad for a short, but intensive, session. You will pay a small fee (for air fare and living necessities), and be taken to another country or city with a large group of volunteers. This is a great way to connect with like-minded people and broaden your horizons, though it’s not recommended for younger volunteers. If you decide to go on a volunteer trip, be sure to pick a reputable organization.

In addition to signing up, make sure you fill out all of the required forms. Many opportunities also require you to submit a resume or do a criminal record check. It may seem like a hassle, but it is necessary for the safety of everyone. If, for any reason, you do not meet their requirements, simply move on. Many organizations are looking for a certain level of experience or want a single age group to help. Just because you don’t meet the requirements for one opportunity doesn’t mean you won’t meet the requirements for another.

If you cannot find a suitable opportunity listed, try to make one for yourself. Search up a few businesses or non-profits in your community and send them an email stating your interest in volunteering for them and a copy of your resume. In most cases, they will write back. If nothing’s available right now, don’t fret; just wait and keep checking for opportunities. If they offer you an opportunity, what are you waiting for? Reply and go for it.

Overall, volunteering is one of the most rewarding activities you can do. In addition to eliminating boredom on your behalf, you are giving back to your community. Also, other than the intangible benefits, many opportunities provide exclusive t-shirts to remind you of the awesome memories you had. No matter how busy you are, what ages you are, or how much experience you have, there is an opportunity out there for you, so go look for it and make a difference in the lives of others!