And here I was thinking that “radical” was a good thing.
Boy, was I wrong. A recent report has revealed that the RCMP is developing a program to stop Canadians from becoming radicalized by violent ideologies. The RCMP aims to have the “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) program in place by the end of the year, but the report doesn’t make it entirely clear how it will work. With implementation approaching, some Canadians–the non-complacent ones who follow the news and read things—are probably wondering what this program will actually do.
Firstly, it’s probably important to ask what the program will define as a radical or violent ideology. People might be able to agree on certain aspects of this definition–if an ideology promotes hurting oneself or others it might be violent–but how can we define radical? If Canadians use the definition of radical as presented by the current government, the CVE program might include children involved in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” program at their local elementary school in their grouping of “vulnerable individuals.” The government will have to assert all their might to prevent these children from becoming too indoctrinated with radical environmental ideology, and will probably instead want to introduce them to the historic “three O” program: Oil, Over-Use, Joe Oliver.
After the RCMP defines those the program aims to help, Canadians might want to know how the RCMP will go about “helping” these “vulnerable individuals.” Well, the report says the program “will include educating Canadians on the role of law enforcement and the responsibilities that they, in turn, have in safeguarding Canada,” which sounds a bit Orwellian if you ask me. It’s also important to note that Canada hasn’t always been very good in the past when it has tried to “help” certain groups. These issues are more complex and challenging than even reforming the Senate.
With so many questions in mind, Canadians should probably move forward with caution if they want to avoid being grouped into the broad RCMP category of “radical.” Maybe don’t advertise to your friends that you compost in your own backyard, that you own a hybrid, or that you’re in the Arctic Ocean with Greenpeace trying to stop oil drilling (especially because Canada owns the Arctic, right?). All Canadians can really hope for is to find out what the CVE will actually do and with whom it will take action.