Saturday, January 31, 2015

Canada's Elmer Gantry


There was a time in this country when those charged with enforcing the law broke it in the name of national security. Tom Walkom  reminds his readers why CSIS was created:

In 1984, CSIS was created specifically to get Canadian spooks out of the dirty-tricks business.
Before that time, security had been the purview of the RCMP which, as a 1981 royal commission found, routinely broke the law in its war against those it deemed dangerous radicals.
In one famous incident, the Mounties burned down a barn in order to prevent a planned meeting of Quebec separatists. In another, they circulated bogus medical information about a member of a small Toronto leftist group that they were trying to discredit.

The royal commission recommended that Canada’s spies stop trying to disrupt the activities of alleged subversives and concentrate instead on gathering and analyzing intelligence.

But Stephen Harper -- who looks at the world through a rear view mirror -- wants to return to those days of yesteryear. His new anti terror legislation, Bill  C51:

explicitly gives CSIS the right to contravene both the law and the Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The only requirement faced by the agency is that it obtain judicial warrants before acting — a condition that shouldn’t be too onerous.

The government would criminalize the communication of statements that promote and advocate terrorism. This section seems to be aimed primarily at the Internet and, subject to a judge’s warrant, would allow police to seize printed or electronic material that they believe to be terrorist propaganda.

The definition of propaganda in the bill includes any writing or “sign” that promotes terrorism.

The question we should be asking ourselves is whether or not this legislation is needed:

But on first reading, it’s hard to see the point of Bill C-51. In Canada, it’s already a crime to plan or support terrorist activity. The RCMP already uses legal methods to disrupt planned terror attacks. That’s what it did with the Toronto 18. 

Or is this all about getting re-elected? The economy shrunk by .02 percent in November and the Loonie is below 80 cents. The man who planned to be re-elected on his economic record needs something else to sing about. Before long, instead of reedy versions of old Beatles songs, he'll be leading lusty choruses of "Onward Christian Soldiers."

He's become Canada's Elmer Gantry -- who, at the opportune moment, gave up selling vacuum cleaners and started peddling Bibles.


Anonymous said...

Harper is an expert on bibles, blathering and mostly corrupt blinkered backwards vision - certainly not economics and ethics. He is dangerously predictable.

He is all about using fear to hang on to power. A power that has reeked chaos on Canada and Canadians and our democracy. Time for a positive change.


Owen Gray said...

The evidence is everywhere, Bill. It really is time for a positive change.

mogs moglio said...

"But Stephen Harper -- who looks at the world through a rear view mirror -- wants to return to those days of yesteryear. His new anti terror legislation, Bill C51:

explicitly gives CSIS the right to contravene both the law and the Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms..."

You cannot do this Steve the Constitution the Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms combined explicitly forbid you from doing this and act in secrecy with FIPA and the Euro trade deal and the North American Security Perimeter all closed door deals behind Parliaments back and us citizens. With allowing American police secret service military and NSA unfettered access across our border you have eroded our sovereignty. That my little mail room boy is against Our Home Rule of Law in Canada. Sorry little Steve but I am coming after you with the most powerful constitutional lawyer in Canada there is no escape for you. You Steve break the law and pervert the RCMP CSIS break into foreign territory that had never harmed us
and bomb helpless civilians. You also cloak your self with criminals and arguably the most crooked regime in the world Red China. I will not stop until I see you behind bars no Steve not where you can have another beer and tinkle away on a piano but where you are caged.

You can only piss off a limited number of Canadians for so long before they will bite back and Steve dummkopf you have exceeded your limit.

Cheers see you in federal court Steve,

mogs moglio said...

I'm not the only one. Come on we are The True North Strong and Free?

"What a remarkable joke Stephen Harper continues to play on Canada: The law-and-order party is once again making it clear that it’s about as law-abiding as Bonnie and Clyde making a bank withdrawal." from Michael Harris at link above...

Ya gotta love Michael.

Owen Gray said...

Count on it, Mogs. This law is going all the way to the Supreme Court.

ron wilton said...

Isn't what harper is doing with his fear campaign a form of terrorizing?

I know for certain that Canada and Canadians have a lot more to fear from harper than we ever will from one of his phantasmagorical terrorists.

Owen Gray said...

It's all about shifting blame, Ron. If Canadians assign blame to whom it belongs, Harper will be gone.

He wants -- at all costs -- to avoid that outcome.

Troy said...

Ugh, Harper's really hollowed out our economy.
The tar rigs in Alberta are laying people off at an accelerating pace as they begin to face the reality of the price of oil returning to its usual historic levels. The oil bubble is popped (and it seems no matter what the tar sands and fracking industry do, they aren't able to even halt for even a moment the falling prices).
Honestly, I'm not sure, but I think Harper missed his chance for an election. He's in for it, cause a whole lot of debts are going to be called in, soon. March. Will he call an election in February? That's probably his last chance at holding onto this little bit of power he's accrued. But the NDP and the Liberals have full war-chests and seem primed for any snap election, so he might be wary. He's in for a rough ride, trapped between potentially losing an election, soon, or waiting for his fixed election date, when the economy's probably gonna be deep sixed.
Umm, are there any new bubbles Harper can anchor our economy to? He's a trained economist, right? Surely he knows of what the next dangerously stupid bubble is, by now, right? That's his last hope.
Harper's in for rough ride. Right now is when the opposition should be concentrating all their attacks onto him. Make his life miserable. Don't let him off easy.

Owen Gray said...

If Harper really knew how to read economic data, he'd be terrified, Troy.

But, refusing to acknowledge that this trouble is of his own making, he's trying to terrify us.

Anonymous said...

I think Harper has done such a mess to this country? He will fight tooth and nail to stay in power. I think Harper is scared to death, his catastrophic mess will get out to the public.

Canada is pretty much foreign owned. Then Harper gives Canadian jobs to foreigners as well. So, the resource money leaves Canada and so do the foreign workers wages leave Canada. Seems to me, there is more money going out Canada, than coming in.

Owen Gray said...

The economic chickens have come home to roost. Anon. Are enough Canadians paying attention to do something about it?

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Connecting Harper to Elmer Gantry Owen is a really good comparison. Expect with this new legislation though, alot more visits to your blog.

Owen Gray said...

It would be encouraging if we could expect a lot more votes against Harper in the next election, Pam.

the salamander said...

.. the collective outcry of truth, facts, reality needs to quash the fabrications, falsifications, denials of shrill partisan reformatories, paid off pimps & howling monkey media..

Owen Gray said...

These folks truly believe they make their own reality, salamander.

They need and deserve a collision with facts and evidence -- things they have gone out of their way to avoid.