OTTAWA, April 1, 2015. Double Aspect has learned that a little-noticed last-minute amendment has made it into the text of Bill C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism legislation supported by Stephen Harper’s government. The amendment will introduce, alongside the new offence of “advocating or promoting terrorism,” an additional offence to be known as “advocating or promoting spring”:
Every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes spring in general, or any specific incidents thereof, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the melting of the snow, the arrival of migratory birds, the blooming of flowers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ failure to make the playoffs while knowing that any of these things will occur or being reckless as to whether any of these things will occur, as a result of such communication, is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.
Steven Blaney, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, stated that this amendment is necessary because past incidents of spring on our own soil show that, contrary to the complacent beliefs of some opposition politicians, spring could happen again. “Spring,” Mr. Blaney pointed out, “can cause widespread economic disruption by causing vulnerable persons to sit outside in the sun instead of working. Furthermore, it reduces economic growth by stopping spending on parkas, heating, and futile attempts to wash cars clean of frozen slush.”
While some have expressed concern about the chilling effect of this new legislation, and pointed out that it complying with it would leave most Canadians largely speechless from January to May, Mr. Blaney insists that it is only those who are fundamentally opposed to things hard-working Canadian families stand for, such as hockey and Christmas trees, who need to be concerned.
The opposition parties are divided on the response to this amendment. While the NDP and the Greens are opposing it, the Liberals have announced that they will support it, although if they win the upcoming general election, they will revise the law so as to prohibit the propaganda of winter instead. As for the Bloc Québécois, at publication time, the entirety of party’s caucus was riding a snowmobile in the Gatineau hills, and could not be joined for comment.