Friday, January 29, 2016

Devious And Dishonest


Stephen Harper kept a lot of things under wraps. Now what he covered up is being uncovered. This week we learned that the Communications Security Establishment has been delving into the private lives of Canadians -- which is specifically forbidden by law. Michael Harris writes:

The real bottom line? It’s not a failure to communicate. It is a grotesque example of overreach by people permitted to operate in almost total secrecy. CSE is only supposed to monitor foreign communications for information of intelligence interest to the federal government. So under what authority had it been collecting the communications of Canadians to the tune of millions of downloads a day? We can thank Edward Snowden for even being able to ask that question.
So Canada’s privacy laws were being egregiously broken, Stephen Harper knew it — and yet never released the report documenting the illegality.

Cindy Blackstock knows what it's like to have the spooks looking over her shoulder:

No story exemplifies that better than that of Cindy Blackstock, the Canadian-born Gitxan and First Nations child welfare advocate. Despite warrantless government surveillance involving 189 federal officials “stalking” her, and more than $5 million in federal legal fees spent to derail the social worker’s case in front of the Human Rights Tribunal, this amazing citizen persevered.

This week the Human Rights Tribunal ruled the First Nations child welfare system was discriminatory:

The Conservatives tried to turn her activism into a crime, while talking about an historic reconciliation with native peoples out of the other side of their mouths. The only thing ‘historic’ was the size of the lie.

Mr. Harper told us that the long form census invaded our privacy.  He was devious and dishonest. You can bet that there will be more examples to follow.


thwap said...

I hope the Liberals have the brains to realize that they could destroy the "conservative" version of neo-liberalism if they only try to hold them accountable to the LAW.

They don't have to invent anything. They just have to apply the law to harper's criminal activity.

Look backwards as well as forwards.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, thwap. Harper's contempt for the courts is well documented. The facts will speak for themselves.

Lorne said...

In a related sotry, Owen, The Star's Tim Harper reports that former Conservative defence minister Rob Nicholson lied shamelessly to a Parliamentary committee about the breach:

Once more we are reminded that there seems to have been no bottom to the deception, contempt, lies and corruption that the Harper government will be remembered for.

Owen Gray said...

It's remarkable, Lorne. They feel no embarrassment or shame.

The Mound of Sound said...

Obama was devoid of the courage to prosecute his predecessors for their high crimes. The end result was that he continued a lot of what they did, even expanding some of it. The longer it goes on, the more hands that it dirties, the more degraded democracy becomes until, finally, reversing course is near impossible.

When it comes to systemic, structural faults in our governance I doubt Trudeau has the salt to make fundamental changes. Powers that lead to excesses by one government are more usually embraced by successors and turned to their own purposes.

Owen Gray said...

That's the record, Mound. We'll see just how much courage Justin has. I continue to hope he'll exceed my expectations.

Askingtherightquestions said...

Mr. Harris lays it down again very nicely, Owen. And I think there will be many more revelations. Harper and his team displayed such a wide variety of misanthropic and deceitful behaviours over their ten years of governance capped by a total lack of transparency that who knows what will be found when light is shone into the dark corners.

I hope that Trudeau and gang will resist the urge to ignore the CPC blunders and "just look ahead to the future", as Obama did (or was made to do). Responsible government requires taking responsibility for your actions. The CPC is in deep and virtually comic denial. Never an impressive parliamentarian, Ambrose is completely disingenuous standing in the House demanding clarity from the new government that her own NEVER delivered. O'Toole is irksome in lecturing the Liberals on their need to support ALL sectors of the economy, having served as a cabinet minister in a true petro-state!? The list of ironic speeches will no doubt continue. They seemed to have learned nothing from the election, and will learn nothing without appropriate consequences.

Owen Gray said...

It's remarkable, Asking. To this day, the Harperites appear to believe that their defeat was just a fluke.